Strained Relations

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"Strained Relations"
Only Fools and Horses episode
Episode no. Series 4
Episode 2
Directed by Susan Belbin
Written by John Sullivan
Produced by Ray Butt
Original air date 28 February 1985
(14.9 million viewers)
Running time 29:42 (DVD) / 29:43 (iTunes)
List of episodes

"Strained Relations" is an episode of the BBC sitcom, Only Fools and Horses. It was the second episode of series 4, and was first screened on 28 February 1985.


It is a day full of sorrow for Del Boy and Rodney, as their Grandad has died. They have attended Grandad's funeral, along with Mike, Boycie, Trigger, and the North London branch of the Trotter family.

Back at the wake in Nelson Mandela House, Rodney is extremely upset to find that Del is cheering himself up by telling his mates lots of jokes. Del and Rodney also meet Grandad's younger brother, their Uncle Albert, who lives with Del and Rodney's cousins Stan and Jean in North London. Albert also reveals that he is Del's godfather, after he and other brother George flipped a coin, with Albert winning.

Later that night, Del and Rodney are alone in the flat, until a hungover Albert emerges in the bathroom. He is informed by his nephews that Stan and Jean have gone home. Del agrees to let Albert stay for the night, but does not allow him to sleep in Grandad's bedroom, since it is now a shrine to him (as well as a storage area).

Del drives Albert home the next morning, only to return with him in tow after discovering that Stan and Jean (who live in a mobile home) have moved. Though Del initially decides to allow Albert to stay with them for a few days until he finds a place of his own, Albert mentions that this is not the first time he has been abandoned; the first relatives he stayed with emigrated while he was out shopping, and the second set fire to the house six months later. Worried that Albert may drive him and Rodney to a similar fate, Del refuses to shelter Albert and orders him to go to the local Seaman's Mission. As Albert goes off to the kitchen to have a quick cup of tea, Rodney berates Del for his harsh treatment of Albert and for his behaviour during Grandad's wake. Del snaps back at Rodney, explaining that he doesn't know how to grieve, since always having to play the tough guy has led to him becoming a figure of great (but false) admiration, which he greatly resents. Rodney finally understands and apologises.

Later, at The Nag's Head, Albert shows up again, claiming that the Seaman's Mission has been torn down. Del finally gives in and decides to let Albert stay with him and Rodney, and a new era for the Trotters begins. As they leave to get a curry, Mike quickly gets a hold of Albert and informs him that the Seaman's Mission just called saying they have a room available. Albert quickly tells Mike to be quiet.

Episode cast[edit]

Actor Role
David Jason Derek Trotter
Nicholas Lyndhurst Rodney Trotter
Buster Merryfield Uncle Albert Trotter
Roger Lloyd-Pack Trigger
John Challis Boycie
Kenneth MacDonald Mike Fisher
John Pennington Vicar
Maureen Sweeney Cousin Jean
Mike Kemp Cousin Stan
Lala Lloyd Old Lady
Nula Conwell Maureen

First appearances[edit]


  • This episode, along with "Happy Returns", was added in at the last minute, due to Lennard Pearce's illness and subsequent death. This left the producers with eight episodes instead of the standard six episodes in Series 4. "From Prussia with Love" was moved to Series 5 leaving seven episodes in Series 4.[1]


  1. ^ Did You Know?

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Happy Returns"
Only Fools and Horses
28 February 1985
Succeeded by
"Hole In One"