"Strained Relations" was the second episode of the 4th series of Only Fools And Horses. This episode was a more sad episode of the sitcom as it featured the funeral of Grandad Trotter and the introduction of his brother Albert Trotter, after years away at sea.
It is a sad day for the Trotter family as Grandad Trotter has died and it is his funeral. Trigger, Boycie, Mike Fisher and Derek "Del Boy" Trotter and Rodney Trotter's cousin Stan Trotter have attended the funeral. Stan is accompanied by his wife Jean Trotter and an old man, aged about 70, with a white beard. Del sees what he thinks is Grandad's old hat on the bonnet of the hearse and drops it into the grave. Boycie asks Mike how business at The Nags Head is going and Mike says someone nicked the cigarette machine, then put it back the next night, minus the fags. A wake is planned back at Del's flat. Trigger says he will come there for a drink. Stan and Jean and the old man say they will also attend, Jean does not want to but the old man says he was Grandad's brother, Jean tells him it has nothing to do with him, and says his name, Albert. Del gives the vicar some money. The vicar then asks if anyone has seen his hat, he left it on the bonnet.
An hour or so later at the flat, Mike, Boycie and Trigger are joking, Mike shares a joke but only Boycie gets it. Rodney then asks Trigger for some cigarettes and Trig puts about 10 packets on the buffet table, he tells Rodney to keep them as he has loads. Albert Trotter comes up to Rodney and introduces himself as Albert Trotter, Grandad's brother. Rodney says he mentioned him. Albert then meets Del for the first time. Stan and Jean say Albert has been living with them at their caravan in North London for 18 months. Jean is annoyed with his constant war stories. They have considered putting him in an old folks home but they are too expensive. Rodney and Albert chat in the corridor and Rodney is wondering why everyone seems to be laughing and joking, at a wake. Albert spins Rodney a yarn about his days in the Navy. He asks Rodney why he wont join up, Rodney says to Albert he just gave him 5 good reasons.
Several hours later, it is gone 11pm at night. Everyone has gone home, leaving just Del and Rodney in the flat. The buffet table is full of empty beer bottles and leftover food. Rodney looks at the old armchair Grandad sat in. Del comes in from the kitchen with some sausage and mash. Rodney says it tastes nice, not like Grandad's cooking. They hear a noise coming from the bathroom, like a lavatory chain being pulled. Rodney says that he and Del are the only ones in the flat and someone is trying to flush their lav. Del says it may be a washer. The door handle of the door leading to the bathroom and bedrooms opens, and it is Albert. Del thinks it is an intruder so almost smashes Albert with a beer bottle. Albert says he ate too much and conked out on one of the beds. Albert asks where is everyone and Rodney says it is 11:30 at night and they have all gone home. Del agrees to let Albert stay the night and to drive him back to North London first thing in the morning.
Several hours later, it is still dark outside and it is about 6am in the morning. Del comes in, he seems to have driven Albert back to North London then come back but Albert walks into the room. Del says he drove Albert all the way to North London and that Stan and Jean have moved, their caravan was not there, and Albert's duffel bag stood on the grass patch where the caravan stood. Albert says this has happened before. Del says he does not want Albert to stay with him and to go to the seamans mission at St Katherine's Dock. He lets Albert go into the kitchen to get some leftover grub. Rodney says all Albert wants is to stay a couple of nights to get himself sorted. Del thinks he wants to stay for good, and refers to the time their dad Reg Trotter came round to stay one night, but stayed two weeks. Rodney thinks Albert may not be a leech like their dad. Del insults Albert and Rodney storms off.
Del sits in the armchair next to Grandad's old one and feels sentimental. Rodney says that Del has changed, he has a side to his personality he never knew existed. The fact he was laughing and joking at Grandad's funeral. Rodney asks Del how he can get over it so easily. Del angrily explains he has not even started because he does not know how to grieve, and that he has played the tough guy all his life, a smile and a prayer, full of bounce and quick chat, nothing ever upset him it seems. He has played it for so long he cannot get out of the habit. Del then says families hold you back, drag you down them break your heart. Now fully understanding, Rodney apologises to Del, and leaves Del alone with his thoughts.
That night at The Nags Head, Del and Rodney are having a drink. Albert comes in, with his duffel bag and sits at a table away from Del. Rodney goes up to him to see if he is OK. Albert has a cough. He says the Seaman's Mission has been knocked down. He had been in The Nags Head earlier on today. Del says he gave Albert £100 this morning. Rodney persuades Del to let him stay with them. Del reckons he is cursed as he has sunk every battleship he has sailed on. Del then goes up to Albert and asks if he fancies a curry. Del says they can get a takeaway and eat it at home. Rodney smiles. Del says Albert can pay for the takeaway. Del and Rodney leave the pub first while Albert finishes his drink. As Albert goes to catch Del and Rodney up, Mike says the Seaman's Mission called to say they have a bed for Albert. Albert tells Mike to keep quiet before leaving the pub.
- Derek "Del Boy" Trotter - David Jason
- Rodney Trotter - Nicholas Lyndhurst
- Albert Trotter - Buster Merryfield
- Boycie - John Challis
- Mike Fisher - Kenneth MacDonald
- Trigger - Roger Lloyd Pack
- Stan Trotter - Mike Kemp
- Jean Trotter - Maureen Sweeney
- Vicar - John Pennington
- Old Woman - Lala Lloyd
- Maureen The Barmaid - Nula Conwell
Previous Episode Happy Returns (21st February 1985)Edit
Next Episode Hole In One (7th March 1985)Edit
- First appearace of Albert Trotter.
- This episode was added in at the last minute, due to Lennard Pearce's death. The new first episode called "Happy Returns" was also added in so Series 4 wouldn't begin with a funeral, therefore leaving the producers with eight episodes instead of the standard six episodes in this series. "From Prussia With Love" was moved to Series 5, leaving seven episodes in Series 4.
- 18 years later in Sleepless In Peckham (25th December 2003), Del gives a speech which is very similar to the speech he gave in this episode about how he has played the tough guy all his life. In Sleepless In Peckham Del says he had to take over when his dad left him and Rodney, as his Grandad was not up to it, and that Del cannot get out of the habit of being in control.
- In "Homesick", Grandad told Del that he wanted to be cremated, but he is buried in this episode. Although in "Homesick" Grandad was pretending to be ill so they could get a ground floor bungalow, therefore his remark about wanting to be cremated was part of his pretend illness.
- Del is stood looking into the hallway at Grandad's funeral wake in the shot looking towards the living room from the hallway, but in the next shot of the flat living room, you can see the shadow of a camera in the door. On an OFAH Facebook group, one fan joked that it was one of the Russian VCR's Del sold 8 years later in Fatal Extraction - (25th December 1993).