123 Responses to “Worst 5 Only Fools & Horses Episodes”

  1. Gerard Milligan says:

    Worst 5
    Miami 2

    Best 5
    Tea for three
    See us now

  2. S h says:

    As you say no episode is entirely bad just when you have set the standard so high then some may not hit the mark

    Mine are in no particular order

    Sleepless in Peckham… For the last ever episode it not so much goes out with a bang but a damp fizz . Too long and serious and the reveal that Freddy the frog is really Rodney’s dad and del looks surprised yet he knew Freddy the frog so did he not get a teeny weeny bit suspicious when his baby brother was the spitting image of him… To be fair the last three episodes were not great but then you have to blame the fans for wanting more episodes. Even the best sitcoms have a shelf life

    Strangers on the shore… With the absence of Albert only fools lost a lot, as well as with Mike and grandad. These were key characters and I always thought grandad and Albert had the best one liners. It’s a one joke episode that just drags on and on

    Slow bus to chingford.. very slow, not enough laughs and boring in the bus

    The Russians are coming.. it’s starts off well, but with half the episode in the bunker there is limited where it can go.. one plus point is granddad’s serious speech about the war. I thought that was very well written and acted out

    From Prussia with love.. apart from a brilliant title this lacks laughs

    A royal flush.. after the brilliant from hull and back the second lengthy special was a poor follow up. The unlikely pairing of Rodney and a lady. The opera scene is cringy and it reveals a darker side to del that I never wanted to see again at the end who ruins and embarrasses Rodney’s relationship. Watching it you feel embarrassed too. It’s simply mean and cruel and not funny

  3. Paul says:

    There is no such thing as a bad Only Fools and Horses episode.

    Every episode has a point to it and sometimes it’s more drama than comedy with serious points being made, but that depth is what makes it special. If I’m looking for guaranteed laughs at regular intervals in every episode then I’ll watch Not Going Out.

  4. Roy Wood says:

    OK, so here’s all my WORST episodes of “Only Fools & Horses”:-

    “Big Brother” – too boring, apart from the classic Cheeseburger and Emperor Burger scene!!!!

    “A Slow Bus To Chingford”

    “The Russians Are Coming” Very boring and probably the WORST ever episode in my opinion.

    “A Losing Streak” I know a lot of people consider this a classic and it is a clever storyline but I just don’t like this episode and find it boring. I never have liked this episode, sorry to those who love it.

    “No Greater Love” – boring and just stupid.

    “Diamonds Are For Heather” – just boring and too sentimental and soppy.

    “May The Force Be With You” – there’s not much in this episode and I find it boring to watch.

    “Wanted” – again, just not much in it and boring to watch.

    “It’s Only Rock & Roll” – although I love the scene with “Diane” by The Bachelors!!!!

    “From Prussia With Love” – one of the worst episodes ever made.

    “Sickness & Wealth” – not the best episode but not the worst. It’s OK but it’s not great and it’s no classic.

    “Three Men, A Woman And A Baby” – not much in it apart from Damien being born. Don’t like this episode.

    and not so keen on “Miami Twice: Part One”.

    BUT on a positive note – my MOST FAVOURITE episodes are:

    “A Touch Of Glass”
    “Who’s A Pretty Boy?”
    “To Hull & Back”
    Chain Gang
    The Unlucky Winner Is….
    “The Jolly Boys’ Outing”
    “Miami Twice” Part 2
    Mother Natures Son
    Heroes and Villains

    My MOST FAVOURITE EVER being “The Jolly Boys’ Outing” – absolute classic!!

    and then there’s “The Long Legs Of The Law”, “The Yellow Peril”, “Stage Fright” and “The Frogs Legacy” and the list goes on.

    There are so many great episodes and moments in “Only Fools & Horses”.

    There are more great episodes than bad episodes, which is good.


  5. EKAlexM says:

    Completely agree on ‘Diamonds Are For Heather’. Too drama-based and seriously lacking in laughs, especially for a Xmas special. For me, this is the definitive crummy episode. ‘Video Nasty’ wasn’t great either but the scene where Del is proposing the rhino movie is a classic OFAH moment. Both Miami episodes would be in my bottom five. To offer some balance, ‘Jolly Boys Outing’ is my favourite, with ‘Friday the 14th’ hot on its heels.

  6. Not so good as intended says:

    The whole series plot is kinda dull and boring and above all predictable cause every bloody time it is a given that there will be some situation in which the curry boy Delboy Plotter will stick his fat ugly nose in and destroy everything without even realizing what he has done the show is ok but gets boring and old pretty quickly and too obvious to be dismissed if you watch for the characters behavior patters and changes and not to mention his idiotic so called french phrases it is a straight phoney trade mark

  7. Rob Williamson says:

    Slow bus to chingford was terrible

  8. Will Jones says:

    There are no bad episodes in my opinion however My least favorite 5 when rewatching are in no particular order The Russians Are Coming , Video Nasty , A Royal Flush , Sleepless In Peckham and Wanted .

  9. Dave says:

    How’s the Frogs Legacy not on this list?

  10. Gabby says:

    hi all

    Top five worst ones sorry if its controversial

    1. Strangers on the shore – first half was good then slowly descended into stupidity with gary

    2. Fatal extraction – was never keen on the stalker storyline but there are some good lines in it

    3. Royal flush – Del isn’t likeable just annoying and cruel i wanted him to leave rodney alone

    4. Video nasty – just feels sleazy and not very funny

    5. Diamonds are for Heather – too sentimental not enough laughs always get bored

  11. Rich says:

    5 – Time on our hands
    4 – Modern men
    3 – Strangers on the shore
    2 – Sleepless in Peckham
    1 – If they could see us now

  12. gaz owen says:

    A controversial ones my 5 worst
    5 mother natures son
    4 let sleeping dogs lie
    3 the Russians are coming
    2 Miami twice
    1 royal flush

  13. Matthew Standing says:

    Interesting post to see everyones opinions on worst and fave episodes.

    For me, 5 worst are:

    Sleepless in Peckham – the Marlene storyline was too far fetched
    If they Could see us Now
    The Russians are Coming
    Diamonds are for Heather
    Fatal Extraction – have just never taken to that

    Top 5 for me:
    Chain Gang
    Yuppy Love
    Strangers on the Shore – I think this in particular is a classic. There’s hardly any reference to them being millionaires and could have slotted in anywhere
    Who’s a Pretty Boy
    Mother Natures Son

    Plus a mention for As One door Closes, Friday the 14th and the Miracle of Peckham

  14. Sit tight mike says:

    “A Royal Flush” is by far the worst. I have never been able to watch it right through the Carmen scene.

  15. Gary says:

    My top 5 faves are:
    5: Heroes & Villains
    4: Modern Men
    3: Time On Our Hands
    2: The Jolly Boys Outing
    1: Miami Twice (parts 1 & 2)

  16. Gary says:

    My least faves are:
    5: Cash And Curry
    4: If They Could See Us Now
    3: A Slow Bus To Chingford
    2: The Russians Are Coming
    1: A Royal Flush

  17. Alex says:

    Hi, greeting from a lifetime long fan from Croatia!

    From the top of my head, my 6 least favourite OFAH episodes are (not in order):

    1. Sickness and wealth

    2. The sky’s the limit

    3. Miami twice part 2

    4. If they could see us now (nothing good after Unc)

    5. Strangers on the shore

    6. Sleepless in Peckham


  18. Rob says:

    – If They Could See Us Now
    – Strangers on the Shore
    – Sleepless in Peckham
    3 obvious choices really, OFAH just didn’t work in the 21st century. The story lines were poor and Jonathan Ross’ appearance in If They Could See Us Now was an insult! I always consider ‘Time on Our Hands’ to be the last episode, it wasn’t quite the perfect ending but was near enough to be a happy one, and everybody loves a happy ending don’t they?

    – From Prussia with Love
    I know Del would seize any opportunity to make a quick buck but selling a baby???

    – Fatal Extraction
    I never really took to this episode. Have watched it a few times since its first showing but still feel indifferent towards it.

  19. Griff says:

    Firstly, I am dumfounded when I hear people’s opinions that Miami Twice is considered their worst. I would put it right up there in the top 10, personally.

    My top 5:

    1- JBO
    2- To Hull and Back
    3 – Yuppy Love
    4 – Danger UXD
    5 – Stage Fright

    • Griff says:

      Ok, I just put down my ‘top 5’ – Need to pay more attention, don’t I?!

      My top 5 – least favourite:

      1- Slow bus to Chingford
      2 – No Greater Love
      3 – Diamonds are for Heather
      4 – Watching the girls go by
      5- Sleepless in Peckham

      Special mention goes to ‘Dates’.

  20. Robbo says:

    1. ”If they could see us now”.
    Damian, Raquel and Cassandra don’t act naturally and seem to wait for the unnatural laughter track that’s added. The sories are overblown.

    2.”Sleepless in Peckham”.
    The Film idea has been done in ”Video Nasty”, It’s too far fetched with the Marlene story. It was made to tie up a few lose ends such as who is Rodney Dad & seemed made so it could tie up with ”Rock & Chips”

    3. ”Strangers on the Shore”
    Like the ”Final Three” they weren’t needed and lost the natural feel. Poor acting from ”Gary”.

    4. ”A Royal Flush”
    Spoilt with Laughter track added, Del is embarrassing & nasty rather than Funny it’s too far fetched.

    5. ”The Longest Night”
    Poor Casting of Super Market Actors, Episodes devoid of OF&H regular other characters, a Dull Scenario and set, nothing really happens.

  21. Rich says:

    The 5 ‘Final ever’ episodes for me.

    Who wants to be a millionaire?
    Little Problems
    Three men a woman and a baby
    Time on our hands
    Sleepless in Peckham

    • Robbo says:

      1. ”If they could see us now”.
      Damian, Raquel and Cassandra don’t act naturally and seem to wait for the unnatural laughter track that’s added. The sories are overblown.

      2.”Sleepless in Peckham”.
      The Film idea has been done in ”Video Nasty”, It’s too far fetched with the Marlene story. It was made to tie up a few lose ends such as who is Rodney Dad & seemed made so it could tie up with ”Rock & Chips”

      3. ”Strangers on the Shore”
      Like the ”Final Three” they weren’t needed and lost the natural feel. Poor acting from ”Gary”.

      4. ”A Royal Flush”
      Spoilt with Laughter track added, Del is embarrassing & nasty rather than Funny it’s too far fetched.

      5. ”The Longest Night”
      Poor Casting of Super Market Actors, Episodes devoid of OF&H regular other characters, a Dull Scenario and set, nothing really happens.

  22. Cushty says:

    Worst 5 episodes:

    The Chance of a Lunchtime
    Three Men, a woman and a baby
    Miami Twice part 2
    If they could see us now…!
    Sleepless in Peckham…!

  23. Laura says:

    Worse five

    A slow bus to Chingford
    The miracle of Peckham
    Who wants to be a millionaire
    The unlucky winner is
    If they could see us now

    Top five
    Friday the 14th
    Who’s a pretty boy
    The longest night
    Chain gang
    The jolly boys outing

    • katie says:

      5 worst

      video nasty
      slow bus
      it never rains
      friday the 14th
      whos a pretty boy

      5 favs

      happy returns
      fatal extraction
      stage fright
      jolly boys

  24. Rosiet says:

    My choices for worst episodes would have to be:

    1 Royal Flush not so much because of Del ruining Rodney’s chances (because let’s be honest Rodney didn’t have any chances with Vicky – it was a relationship that would have been doomed to failure anyway) but because it was out of OFAHs comfort zone. The episode with the chandelier was as close as they should have come to the aristocracy. Anything else was ludicrous.

    2. To Hull and Back – overlong and tedious with very few laughs.

    3. Chain Gang. Didn’t like much of series 6 as it is because like Royal Flush it took the Trotters into a different league with the yuppy bars. Rodney seemed to gain the upper hand which wasn’t restored until series 7 by which time Rodney had quit the admin job he seemed ill equipped to carry out and was back working for del and the humour was back to top notch. Danger UXD aside which was classic OFAH, s6 failed for me – even the unlucky winner is which tried to get back to OFAH original roots failed for me because the plot was too ridiculous but Chain Gang has to be the worst of s6. It was long winded pompous and just not very funny. The boys’ club was so pompous they didn’t even let Denzil in on their ever so important business. Tedious.

    4. Cash and Curry. Like to Hull and Back just extremely dull with very few laughs. Mercifully it was only half an hour long.

    5. If they could see us now. Has to be the worst episode by far. True they were at a disadvantage having lost Buster Merryfield (Albert) and Kenneth MacDonald (Mike) but the way they were written out was atrocious. After the poignant scenes we had seen with the writing out of Grandad in Strained Relations, this episode in contrast seemed slap dash and very insensitive. The funeral of Albert was a farce and Mike’s disappearance was written of as being due to embezzlement. No sensitiviy, no poignancy and not a lot of laughs. And to top it all we had the brat Damien urging his dad to ‘deck him’ during a moment of faux sentimentality when Del assured a supposed relative that he loved Albert’s stories of the war and begged him to repeat them over and over. Sentimental tosh!

    Best episodes – Time on our Hands, Stage Fright, Strained Relations, Friday the 14th, Fatal Extraction (can’t hear One Voice now without thinking of Del singing along to it and the carange that followed!)

  25. Micky says:

    Worst are: (only 4)

    1) Miami twice part 2…. Far Too far fetched!
    2) slow bus to Chingford
    3) video nasty
    4) the one with rodenys band…rubbish

  26. Nigel Robinson says:

    I personally never found that Series 7 lost the series vibe, sure the Chance of a Lunchtime wasn’t overly funny but the rest are still pretty great, with Stage Fright being the best. Also, why does everyone have such a problem with Rodney Come Home, say what you like about it’s rather daft story and character decisions but it will still very funny, which is more than I can say for A Royal Flush!

    • Gary says:

      You are right. Rodney Come Home is a good episode and IMO contains uncle Albert’s funniest moment. I won’t ruin it for people who have yet to see it.

  27. Steven Hartley says:

    I’d have to agree that “Diamonds are For Heather” is probably one of the weakest episodes of the entire series. It seemed a good episode as far as character personalities go, and it shows Sullivan’s versatility in specialising emotional, serious scenes, but I find the episode too “serious” for my liking. The humour is incredibly lacking..and it feels like it could’ve worked better if it wasn’t a sitcom. There were still funny elements in it, like Grandad and Rodney laughing about Del Boy while playing football…but otherwise it’s pretty flat by John Sullivan standards.

    “Video Nasty” and “Watching the Girls Go By” are probably one of the very few episodes that I rarely re-watch. You can tell Sullivan had problems with the latter, a little slow-paced for my liking, and an incredible waste of what could’ve been comedy gold: showing Rodney’s bird performing a strip out of the blue.

    Admittedly, I’m not fond of some of the Season 7 episodes..except for “Stage Fright” and “Class of 62”. At that point, the true spirit of the show seemed to wane and it was more focused on families and martial problems..instead of more wild antics like what Seasons 3 or 6 had to offer!

  28. Markie says:

    Wassup everyone! I see there is no activity on this topic, but being a die hard fan, I’ll share my thoughts!

    After seeing all the episodes for many times and reading various topics about best and worst episodes, I see that people mostly brag about the last 2000 trilogy.

    To be honest, I don’t really have a problem with those episodes, and if we’re being perfectionists, I’ve read that the last episode should have been Who Wants to be a millionaire? from 1986, and I think that should be the last one. If we elbow To Hull and back, which I like very much, we’d have 36 episodes + 12 of Fawlty Towers would be 24 hours of the best sitcom ever! Now onto the facts:

    The one with Jumbo Mills would be good ending as the Trotters realise that family always comes first. Although I like episodes like Hull, Jolly Boys etc. Here is why I think the show wenf downhill after season 5.

    Firstly, the actors. Unfortunately David Jason gained weight, didn’t age well, and by the end od the 80’s completely lost his posh look that described Delboy in the first place. And that yuppy stuff didn’t help either. He was always kind of a wally, but like Trigger, they went from goofy to kind of idiotic behavior, almost being a carricature of himself.

    Same thing with Rodney, who by the end of the 80s lost his goofy looks and facial expressions. The James Dean thing was the last wallyish thing he ever did. He became intellectual, serious guy. He always wanted to be like that, but his wallyness always was on the first place.

    Women: although I liked Dates for instance where Del meets Raquel, the bitching by her and Cassandra totally spoils the vibe of the episodes, as you watch you kinda get over it, but if you compare it to 30.min episodes where there was no stuff like that, you realize how much the girls actually ruin the classic Ofah vibe. And many people feel the same. Even with series 6, where are many classic moments, it is enjoyable, but season 7 with Cassandra and Rodney going on, not to mention Rodney Come home, if there was no The classic Albert scene, the episode would be a total waste.

    And also not to mention Stuff like Modern men, where Trotters talk about sperm and stuff. Totally not their thing. The only good moment when Del sheds to tears at the end.

    Just a couple of facts, but there’s more. What you reckon?

  29. Deepthroat Ghoul says:

    Look, I still don’t understand why people hate “Diamonds Are For Heather”, maybe it’s because of either the girl of the day not being a busty sort, or that there’s no wheeling and dealing from Del. Well, the formula of Del conducting get-rich-quick schemes 24/7 was driven into the ground by the time “A Royal Flush” and “The Frog’s Legacy” rolled around, so it was a good move for John Sullivan to change the series format up a bit by maintaining a balance between Del’s get-rich-quick schemes and the personal lives of the Trotter Family, starting with “Dates, and ending with “Sleepless in Peckham”.

    • Harry1994 says:

      I agree with you on this, a lot of people say they dont enjoy diamonds are for heather, but this episode is great in my opinion because it shows another side to Del. Admittedly there isnt as many laughs compared to others but its still a good episode.

  30. Harry1994 says:

    I am a massive fan of only fools and horses and have seen every episode a ridiculous number of times. Not one episode is bad but that doesnt mean you cant have a least favourite 5. For me they are: 1) If they could see us now. 2) Strangers on the shore. 3) Sleepless in peckham. 4) A royal flush. 5) Fatal extraction. On the other hand my favourite 5 would be: 1) The Jolly boys outing 2) Dates 3) Class of 62 4) Healthy competition 5) Whos a pretty boy. Any comments are welcome :)

  31. Richboy says:

    Bizarrely i have never seen ‘A Royal Flush’, it’s the only OFAH episode/special i have never watched. I have read lots of opinions on it and the main reason i haven’t seen it is because if i was to buy the DVD then i’d get a hacked to pieces version. Which i resent. I do have an almost morbid curiosity to see the original version though, especially this horrible scene with Del drunk. Or maybe it’s best unseen?

    Anyway based on which episodes i tend to skip when i’m watching my dvds. My 5 least favourite (best way of putting it) episodes are…

    ‘A Slow Bus To Chingford’ – An idea lifted from ‘Hancock’s Half Hour’s’ “Sid’s Mystery Tours” however unlike that classic, this lacks a strong storyline throughout and fails to deliver laughs. I find myself waiting for the end if i do watch it. On 15 minutes i feel like it’s been 50 minutes.

    ‘Diamonds Are For Heather’ – Seemed to replace comedy with overly sentimental soppiness. Sullivan was phenominally good at the comedy/tragedy juxtaposition however in this it doesn’t work at all for me. Watched it a couple of times years ago and haven’t wanted to watch it since.

    ‘From Prussia With Love’ – Cannot stand the storyline in this, it doesn’t sit comfortably with me at all. Del doesn’t come across well. Trying to flog somebody’s unwanted baby? Sorry, i can’t watch it. “Vot Ist Your Naaaame?” by Uncle Albert was funny though.

    ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ – This may be controversial but it’s just my viewpoint and i’m definitely not saying this is a bad episode. It’s very well written and acted, emotional? Very much so. However for me it’s not one i like to watch, primarily because of that. Just a bit too upsetting and not really funn, i don’t mind the bits making you cry now and again as that’s what makes this kind of comedy great. It’s just an episode i always skip.

    Now this one is even more debatable it seems? As some people say it’s their favourite or one of the best. ‘Fatal Extraction’

    When i saw it when it was first broadcast i thought “What on earth is this tenuous Fatal Attraction nonsense running through this episode?” I still think that now, it could have been a decent special but it’s almost like Sullivan thought up the name before the storyline and then wrote it to fit. “Errrr, Extraction…dentist…recpetionist…errr” Just don’t get it personally and it spoils what otherwise could be a good watch.

  32. chris says:

    the worst series to me was the 1st series. If a series was so weak these days it would never be re-commissioned for a 2nd. Thankgod series 2 improved and the rest as they say is history. The last episode of series 1 where dell and Rodney abruptly leave that club after pretending to be interested in girls is so dull. Like it after this right until the sleepless in Peckham episode. That should never have been made so flat. Infact the whole trilogy could have been cut down to one feature length episode

  33. John says:

    Worst? – Definitely ‘A Royal Flush’. Granted some of the 90s episodes are weak, but at that stage it was understandable considering that perhaps it should have been axed by then, but this one is fom only 5 years into the show’s run, so it still should have been relatively strong at that stage.

    My beef is with how obnoxious Del is, a far cry from the Del who took a kicking from Tommy McKay to protect Rodney, to this repulsive disgusting drunk leech taking delight in demeaning Rodney in front of the upper classes. Painful to watch and not in the least funny, a low point for the show. It’s the one occasion when you really *WOULD* like to punch Del full force in the nose.

    • Jake says:

      A Royal Flush is my most favorite episode, its Hilarius, the bit In the opera has me in stitches every time, when Del boy starts whistling is a classic!

      I also find the older ones funny, were Rodders is younger hes ten times funnier than in the later series (series 6+)

      • Griff says:

        I really do struggle to understand some of the fan’s opinions regarding the unpopulatity with the later series/specials.

        The way I see it, as the years went on, OFAH became better and better. Series 6 for me is the absolute best, there’s no question or doubt about that.

    • Daniel says:

      I agree with a Royal Flush. It makes me detest Del and is so cringeworthy when they’re around the dinner table that I have to turn it off. Not a fan at all to be honest

    • Jasper says:

      The thing is, Del is actually quite clever despite his ignorance. He knows that the fling with Vicky will never get anywhere so all he’s trying to do is get something out of it, to do that he’s got to really spoil his chances and make Lord Snooty really hate him and by default, Rodney. He wouldn’t do that with Cassandra as he knows she’s a special one and although she is from a different class level, she’s a down to earth friendly girl. The ones I really can’t stand are the newer ones, Damien is crass, unfunny and annoying and by the mid 90’s I think they’d totally lost the plot, the one with the pocket watch and Raquel’s parents was brilliant and in my opinion should’ve been the one that ended it all. The ones after that were pretty lame and lacked any sense of humour at all.

      I know Rodney’s character changed but he couldn’t really play a dippy teenager when he’s in his 30’s and I liked the way his persona evolved.

      As for favourite? The one with the Chinese take-away and the yellow paint, Yellow Peril. The gold chains one is also a classic.

  34. Patrick Cornwall says:

    I thought as soon as Damien appeared to be getting older it got embaressingly unfunny in every scene he was in right to the last episode.

    There were some classic moments but also having Raquel, Cassandra and Damien becoming main characters was a huge mistake. Ok they had to make up for the lack of Albert but some of it was just cringeworthy.

  35. Emma says:

    Royal Flush is by far the worst episode – only half of it was written by John Sullivan, with the rest finished off by someone else. I saw JS on tv once saying with hindsight it didn’t work.

    I originally didnt care much for To hull and back, and Miami Twice but thats due to the lack of the laughter track – took me some time to get used to! Agree Diamonds for Heather was for me a bit of a non episode & Video Nasty. Best by far is Jolly Boys Outing!

    • Emma says:

      Oh and in Tea for Three, the fact that Lisa’s voice seems to change from squealy and girly in the “indoor” shots, to something completely different in the outdoor hang gliding shots has always irritated me!

      • Cushty says:

        I reckon that was because the indoor scenes were filmed in front of a studio audience so it would of felt as though she was performing onstage so she played the character bigger.

        The oudoor scenes were filmed just to camera & crew, so it probably felt a bit more naturalistic so she toned it down a bit.

  36. Emma W says:

    Royal Flush is by far the worst episode – only half of it was written by John Sullivan, with the rest finished off by someone else. I saw JS on tv once saying with hindsight it didn’t work.

    I originally didnt care much for To hull and back, and Miami Twice but thats due to the lack of the laughter track – took me some time to get used to! Agree Diamonds for Heather was for me a bit of a non episode & Video Nasty. Best by far is Jolly Boys Outing!

    • Jonboy says:

      Wasn’t Royal Flush still being edited on the morning it was broadcast? I’m sure John once said that’s why there was no laughter track added. It wasn’t a particularly bad episode, but it definitely suffered without the laughter track (I know it was later added. It’s currently on Netflix)

      For me, OFAH peaked at Jolly Boys Outing. Sure there were still some good episodes afterwards, but the feel of the original concept was far removed post-1989. When I think of bad episodes, I could easily name five of the ones screened after Jolly Boys Outing. The worst episodes were the Miami two-parter with only the first episode slightly better than the other (which was as far fetched as they come).

      I rewatched To Hull And Back a couple of days ago after refusing to go anywhere near it for years. And I have to say it wasn’t as bad as I once thought. Not great by any stretch of the imagination, and it does suffer from no laughter track. It was also too long. But I wouldn’t place it in my top 5 worst episodes. Those I dislike the most (as mentioned) are the Miami episodes and the three ‘comeback’ specials after the original finale.

      From a personal point of view, my favourite episodes are:

      1) Jolly Boys Outing

      Then in no particular order:

      Christmas Crackers
      The Frog’s Legacy
      Saturday the 14th
      Diamonds Are For Heather

      I can’t understand the hate that Diamonds Are For Heather episode gets. I admit it’s not a typical OFAH episode, and yes it is extremely soppy. But there’s been many worse OFAH episodes than that.

  37. tyler99 says:

    oh and btw, to hull and back is the best episode without doubt, simply perfect

  38. tyler99 says:

    i am a massive fan of only fools so dont get me wrong when i say this. But without doubt, ‘A royal flush’ is THE worst episode by a considerable distance, I’ve got the ‘uncut’ version of it which has no backing laughter and all the original lines. Any attempt of comedy in this episode is voided by the unnatural story line for a start, a coincidential meeting with aristocracy who seems overly keen for rodneys company, come on? completely not injunction with the recurring theme of rodney’s failing lovelife. Of course I realise that the makers were aiming for the whole’meeting royalty’ angle but it fails terribly. This episode simply highlights an inhuman and devilishly cruel side to del, from beginning to end. All in all, especially at the dinner table scene, this episode makes for uncomfortable viewing, not funny in the slightest, usually del’s cruelty to rodney is forgiven for the comedic value but there was none in this episode, so it was a failure. Forget heavily editting it (a version i admit i havent scene) if i were john sullivan i’d have removed it completely and burnt every copy.

  39. Griff says:

    One special that for some strange reason doesn’t do it for me, is ‘Dates’. Even though it’s full of laughs and has a great sub-plot or 2 with Rodney’s date – there’s just a bizarre feeling of me not enjoying it.

    It doesn’t feel like Only Fools and Horses. I suppose there’s elements of depressing scenes.

    • Danboy says:

      I agree. It wouldn’t be in my worst 5 but compared to the Xmas specials that came before and after, The Frog’s Legacy and The Jolly Boys’ Outing, it’s nowhere near as good. The Frog’s Legacy is one of my favourites, a very under-rated episode.

      Dates was John Sullivans favourite episode IIRC

      • Griff says:

        Can’t put my finger on it. Superbly written as all the episodes are. But, there’s something about ‘Dates’ which doesn’t make me want to watch it anytime soon. I find myself only watching a few minutes of it if it’s on UK Gold. I of course own the DVD like everybody else does, but that’s there because it’s part of the collection.

        It’s a very peculiar feeling I experience, cannot nail what it is.

        I know I’m in the minority, that’s for sure.

        • Rich says:

          Maybe it’s something to do with it being the first episode without Ray Butt as director?

          • Danboy says:

            Could be, but also the Nag’s head from outside is totally different (not the last time thar would happen). Just has a different feel about it

          • Griff says:

            Interesting point about Ray Butt.. episodes after RB were still class. Maybe because it was the first one?

            Regarding Danboy’s comment – I recall that Nags Head being a more familar one anyway..I don’t mind different Nags Head. The one in To Hull and Back is mentally different. I still liked it.

          • Paddy The Greek says:

            Dates wasn’t the first episode without Ray Butt as director, the entire first series was directed by Martin Shardlow.

          • Paddy The Greek says:

            Having said that, it was the first the first episode without Ray as producer, with the exception of ‘Christmas Crackers’.

  40. Dan says:

    I don’t think your choice is too disimilar to mine although I’d pick The Longest Night in place of Watching the Girls Go By (which I think is rescured by Del appearing in a Pirate Costume!)The Longest Night just doesn’t do it for me

  41. miki says:

    For me, the weakest episode was “Tea for three”.
    I really didnt find it very funny when Del and Rodney tried to win that Lisa girl…. looked like a bunch of wallies..

    Only funny thing was Rodney tanning :D

  42. Joe says:

    My favourite is “Mother Natures Son”, whereas my worst is probably “From Prussia With Love”; I just don’t find it either funny or emotionally touching, but it’s difficult to pick a least favourite out of a series so perfect!

  43. kirsty says:

    The one where Del fell through the bar, was just not funny

  44. paolo says:

    worst 5 episodes for me are
    1.. the russians are coming
    2.. its only rock n roll
    3.. video nasty
    4.. from prussia with love
    5.. a slow bus to chingford
    all the others a good with quite a few excellent.. my personal 5 favs are
    1.. the jolly boys outing
    2.. chain gang
    3.. a touch of glass
    3.. to hull and back
    5.. a royal flush

    • Jamie Mathers says:

      What? Chain Gang? Worst? Are you having a laugh??? It was one of the cleverest of the entire series. Not to mention how notoriously difficult it would’ve been to write. There’s an endless amount of loose ends in that episode and all of them tie up to a hilaious finale. I can’t believe that would be anyones worst. It’s unquestionably one of the very best!

    • Jamie Mathers says:

      What? Chain Gang? Worst? You’re having a laugh mjate. That was one of the very best episodes of any kind. So many loose ends, all cleverly tied up by a genius writer. No way in hell is this one of the worst. I can’t believe anyone wouldn’t like this episode. It’s excellent.

  45. Tony M says:

    Only Fools and Horses rocks!

    No bad episodes, some better than others but none bad.

    Stage Fright is my favourite!

  46. dan says:

    5 worst in my opinion

    strangers on the shore
    sleepless in peckham
    Big Brother
    yesterday never comes
    and the first part of miami twice (boring)

    i personally liked a royal flush, the opera scene is great, in the original version, and the bit where del turn up with a sawn off shotgun, admittedly the dinner table scene could be better but del was playing himself drunk.

  47. Darren says:

    I can’t believe someone mentioned Fatal Extraction here. For me it is possibly the best.

  48. Martin Stitchener says:

    Whilst the last 3 have always felt weaker to me, All of them have some good points and charm about them, Although “Time on our hands” still makes a better end to the series.

    Sadly as many people agree “Royal Flush” does not hit the mark.
    It misses on many levels and the fact that Del comes over in a bad way and in the whole series thats the only time you see him as unlikable.

    I love “The Russians are coming” as Grandads lines about the war there are truely moving and it was at this point yhou could see that John Sullivan could make you cry as well as laugh.

    • Rosiet says:

      Agreed about the Russians are Coming. So many people write off this episode because there aren’t many laughs in it but considering the subject matter that’s hardly surprising. Very poignant speech from Grandad so despite people rubbishing the first series, there were gems in there that showed the potential for a classic sitcom.

      ps Didn’t see Del as unlikeable in Royal Flush. If anyone annoyed me it was Rodney with all that apologising. Del was just being Del! Rodney was being embarassingly humble.

  49. Steve says:

    Royal Flush has to be the worst episode. Del wasn’t the loveable rogue that we have all come to love.
    The way he embarresses Rodney isn’t funny at all, its actually uncomfortable, especially in the opera house.
    It was as if this episode wasn’t written by John Sullivan.
    In fact the only funny thing about the episode was poor ol’ Rodney dressed in hunting gear when he goes shooting. That was a real ‘Plonker moment’.

  50. Ben says:

    I personally enjoy the later ones from series 5 to time on our hands always, the earlier ones are probably lesson funny for me because of Grandad I never found him as funny as Uncle Albert, but still good.
    Also the last 3 specials (if they could see us now…so on) weren’t as good, the Trotters richer than much poorer and also the loss of Uncle Albert made them less enjoyable. Strangers on the Shore was good tho.

  51. Matthew says:

    I think all of these are great. Except maybe “Watching the Girls Go Bye”.

  52. wez says:

    I think the weakest episode by far is A Royal Flush by far. I don’t remember an instance where I even giggled, but the main reason is because Del seems set on ruining his chances with Rodney. But not in his old, loveable-but-accidental type of way. Definitely the weakest of the lot for me.

  53. thomas says:

    how can anyone not like strangers on the shore? i thought it was a classic when del and rodney thought that all the men looked like uncle albert. i also thought that miami twice was a classic when del was mistaken for a mafia leader.

  54. Ronnie says:

    The later episodes were not as good I think. They were still funny, but some parts were not as good as the earlier episodes.

  55. Worst 5 OFAH episodes - Plonkers says:

    For a website based on the appreciation of OFAH, the idea of having a list of the top 5 worst episodes doesn’t sound very appreciative. IMO I don’t think there are any episodes, not even one, that are below par. I have watched each episode countless times and enjoy them as much as I did the very first time. Not just because they are funny because,I feel, one can relate to the characters. Anyway, enough rambling and ranting, just felt like getting this off my chest.

  56. Glenn says:

    Their are no worst episodes of the show! We might enjoy one episode better than another but they are all outstanding in one way or another. Who’s to say what worst is anyway? It’s just an opinion and we all know what they are, don’t we?

  57. Colin Garthwaite says:

    Quite surprised at Royal Flush being nominated so much. I would put it in my top 5 of favourites!

  58. wozza says:

    CANNOT THINK OF A BAD ONLY FOOLS EPISODE,the only show i could watch virtually every episode over and over.lately gold has shown the episode where del and rodneys dad returns at christmas 3 times and i have vwatched it and laughed every time.the episodes i struggle just a little with are a royal flush,to hull and back,rodney come home.all of these were single video releases which i bought at the time any way.by the way i liked diamonds are for heather.loved rock and chips by the way,cant wait for the rest.

  59. OFAHnet says:

    My worst 5:
    A Royal Flush
    Cash and Curry
    Hull and Back
    If they could see us now.

    • Ben says:

      most of them, same, although when I first saw To Hull and Back i didn’t like it but when I saw it again I loved it.

    • Steve says:

      How could you not like cash and curry? The brilliant! has to be up their with the best and its in series 1. Classic episode

    • sanders says:

      I’d agree with 4 on your choices mate but Hull and Back as one of the worst episodes? Can’t agree with that one. The sub-plot with Denzil thinking he’s imagining he sees Del all the time (when in actual fact he is) may have seemed contrived and (on paper) like padding for the first ever featre-length episode, but for me it was undeniably hilarious (especially when he sees him on the ship). It was also great to see Slater back in it. A brilliant character superbly performed by a brilliant actor. The story was interesting and well-sustained too. Maybe the lack of an audience threw some people, but i’ve seen a version with a laugh-track put in and it spoils it I think.

  60. Ben says:

    For me the 3 newest episodes after “Time On Our Hands” werent up to the usual high standard. I think they should have left it with that brilliant ending of them becoming millionaires. Other than that, I remember being disappointed by Fatal Extraction. The christmas specials had been brilliant up to that one. There were some funny moments, but It wasnt as good as the previous christmas specials & i wasnt suprised they had a 3 year break after that episode.

  61. AndyB says:

    Do you have a poll of the top 10 of all time. There could be some discussion there

  62. AndyB says:

    Cant agree about Home Sick – the scene where Rodney talks to Trigger about “Dave” and where Del and Grandad dance at the end is classic would agree with the others

  63. AndyB says:

    Well anything after the Jolly Boys Outing was really not up to par because everything up to that moment was truly amazing. The problem was marrying them off and giving them kids – the magic of OFAH was the number 3 and the continuous hope of acheiving their dreams. Cassandra and Raquel broke that magic number 3 up and took some of the edge off once they had found love

    • admin says:

      Andy makes an interesting point
      certainly there was a change in direction
      though it did have the benefit of 50 minute episodes
      I was never keen on changes in fools and horses
      but looking back it was needed to keep things fresh
      for me it was hard to get used to uncle Albert after Grandad died yet alone girls in the script

  64. Amber Steed says:

    The only two episodes I didn’t like as much were ‘A Slow Bus To Chingford’ and ‘The Russians are Coming’ just because nothing really happened in them and didn’t have the same comedy factor as the other episodes.

    Just my opinion.

  65. Dan says:

    I never thought “Video Nasty” would make it into the top (or bottom?) 5 worst episodes, that is one of my favourites. The “There’s a Rhino loose in the city” segment is fantastic, as is the start of the episode in the Nags Head (Mickey mouse wears a Rodney Trotter wrist watch etc).

    My worst 5 to follow!

    • admin says:

      Well I agree the There’s a Rhino loose in the city part was good, but as a complete episode -it doesnt stand out for me

      I have to say series 6 and 7 are lacking nothing
      This was probably John Sullivan’s best writing in my opinion

      • Dan says:

        I can’t think of any part of that episode that is weak. The start, the Rhino bit, the Chinese takeaway scene, all very good. Let’s agree to disagree!

        My bottom 5 would be (in no order)

        Rodney come home
        Yes I know it was meant to develop the story of Rodney etc but I just don’t find the episode enjoyable. No real stand-out scenes either

        If they could see us now
        Not much to say about this, except it must have been hard to write with 2 main characters missing. Still think they should have left the last episode as “Time on our hands”

        Watching the girls go by
        Episode based on a pretty weak joke (50p not 50 quid), some good moments but not a stand-out

        Diamonds are for Heather
        Again an episode I very rarely watch, maybe just at Xmas time of year. Not a classic by any means

        A Royal Flush
        No matter how much I wish this wasn’t a dud, really it was. David Brent style of cringeworthy at the opera, bad side of Del shown at the end. Shame as it could have been good and came between 2 classics for me, To Hull and Back and The Frogs Legacy

        Very hard to pick 5 worst episodes though isn’t it?!

    • AndyB says:

      Couldnt agree more about Video Nasty – also at the beginning “the enditement” and ” what am I having, what am I having …..a bleeding hard time with this miserable git”

    • Kane says:

      I agree Video Nasty is fantastic! :)

    • tim venables says:

      we’ll call the film there’s a rhino loose out in the sticks where no sod lives

  66. liam says:

    in my opinion none are bad

  67. Pete Manning says:

    The only one that I agree with is “if they could see us now” – terrible episode and also “A Royal Flush” which tries to be another Hull and back and totally fails..it’s got weak jokes and the lack of “laughter” unlike Hull and Back where the film type works.

    A slow bus to chingford is a classic – “it wasn’t me it was me brain” the best line from Grandad…in a way Del was on to something and it probably would of worked if Grandad had not thrown all the flyers down the chute.

    I actually think Cash and Curry is another weak episode as it just seems to be bits – and “Strangers on the shore” is also terrible…”sleepless in peckham” is the strongest of the last three and that’s not great.

    • Daniel says:

      A royal flush was intended to have a laughter track but they run out of time and couldn’t show it to a studio audience – they also wanted to film the final scene where rodney breaks his hand live, but again they run out of time – maybe all this is why it was not edited properly,and john sullivan was not happy with the episode

      • Pete Manning says:

        wasn’t it also true that JS was not actually on set when it was being filmed and therefore that’s why it lacks that certain something…perhaps if he had been there then rewrites could of happened and he would of realised it just didn’t work.

        • Dan says:

          Correct, he was in Paris overseeing the Xmas “Just good friends”. Shame as it certainly lacks something as you say

  68. Ronnie says:

    I would say (because these episodes show a side to Del which is not very nice):
    Yesterday Never Comes
    A Royal Flush
    From Prussia with Love
    Home Sick
    If they could see us now.

  69. Piston1984 says:

    It’s a good thing you didn’t put “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” and “Sleepless in Peckham” on this list, as they are both good episodes.

    Also, sure “Diamonds Are For Heather” was a failure for its time, but it’s nearly thirty years later! Don’t you think it’s time to give that Christmas special another chance?


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