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Healthy Competition
Series 03, Episode 02
Healthy Competition.jpg
Air Date November 17, 1983
Written by John Sullivan
Director Ray Butt
Length 30 minutes
Previous episode "Homesick"
Next episode "Friday the 14th"
List of episode

"Healthy Competition" was the 2nd episode of the 3rd series of Only Fools And Horses, airing on the 17th November 1983 with a viewing figure of 9.7 million. Rodney Trotter is sick of being Derek "Del Boy" Trotter's dogsbody and tries to start his own business with Mickey Pearce, but soon learns that it's easier said than done.


Rodney leaves Trotters Independent Traders to go into business with Mickey Pearce.


Unhealthy Competition.jpg

After an argument with Del Boy for failing to spot an approaching policeman at the market, leading to a frantic chase scene, Rodney informs Del and Grandad that he has other things on his mind and is preparing to make a big announcement, namely that he is leaving Trotters Independent Traders to set up a business partnership with his friend Mickey Pearce. Del and Grandad warn Rodney that Mickey is not to be trusted and has no business sense, but Rodney dismisses their claims. Del also warns Rodney that going it alone means that he has to pay for everything himself from now on, but Rodney goes ahead with it, insisting that he can prove he is just as good as Del. Rodney raises his revenue by informing Del that he owns one half of Trotters Independent Traders to which Del, after slight hesitation, gives Rodney money from the pile (though clearly less than half, in keeping with his character).

Rodney and Mickey meet Del at a local auction the following day, and set their eyes on a set of glass goblets. Del then arrives and urges them not to buy Lot 37, claiming that it's just scrap iron. Both Rodney and Mickey, thinking Del is trying to cheat them out of bidding for that lot, go ahead and purchase Lot 37, which turns out to be rusting and broken lawnmower engines. It also emerges it was Del who was actually selling the engines in the first place, having drunkenly bought them off Alfie Flowers, an associate of his. Adding insult to injury, Rodney and Mickey have paid so wildly over the odds for the engines that Del ending up making a decent profit on the engines, with which he was able to buy the goblets.

Things immediately go downhill for Rodney. Whilst Del has a successful week and manages to sell all his merchandise, Rodney and Mickey are lumbered with the broken lawnmower engines which are still stuck in Mickey's garden shed. Del tells Grandad about his own success and they both joke about Rodney's misfortune with the lawnmower engines. A couple of nights ago someone broke into the shed and stole the engines, only to return the next night and put them all back. Rodney comes in and Grandad suggests they leave him alone and don't upset him about the engines.

Rodney is clearly struggling but is determined to convince Del he is managing perfectly. He claims to have had plenty of clients asking about the engines, and his claims become more exaggerated as Del probes further into his business. Rodney asks for some food but Del and Grandad refuse to cook him anything as he hasn't paid his housekeeping money. Rodney attempts to persuade them, but they don't budge. Grandad asks how Rodney could be struggling with money when he had the £200 given to him by Del out of their share of the partnership. It soon transpires that Mickey has gone on holiday to Benidorm with the company finances, leaving Rodney with nothing.

Feeling sorry for his brother, Del comes up with a scheme to get Rodney to rejoin Trotters Independent Traders with his pride intact and thinking that he has been successful. He pays another trader, Towser, to buy the lawnmower engines from Rodney for £200, even though they're only worth about £20, and to make up a story about a contact in the Parks Department who wants as many engines as he can get. Towser then asks what he should do with the engines, and Del tells him to give them back to Alfie.

Later on at The Nag's Head, Rodney proudly tells Del that he has sold the lawnmowers to Towser. Unfortunately, it becomes apparent that Del's plan hasn't quite worked out, and that Towser only paid Rodney £165 and kept the remaining £35 for himself. Worse still, Rodney has invested all the proceeds in buying another set of lawnmower engines from Alfie Flowers which are, unknown to Rodney, the same ones Towser has just got rid of. He thus asks Del if he can borrow some money, and Del angrily bemoans what a 42 carat plonker his younger brother is.

Featured characters

Other notes

Production goofs

  • The Trotter Van is shown to be yellow inside the back door as well as outside, whereas in "A Touch of Glass", the van had a serious spray job as the complete interior of the van was dark red.

DVD cuts and edits

  • The theme to the film Jaws has been replaced with a similar track when the policeman is walking towards the Trotter Brothers in the marketplace.