Only Fools 'Del Loses Money' Question

Only Fools And Horses. Image shows from L to R: Uncle Albert (Buster Merryfield), Del (David Jason), Rodney (Nicholas Lyndhurst). Copyright: BBC.

Only Fools And Horses

Sitcom about two market traders, Del Boy and his brother Rodney

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Dave

  • Thursday 10th April 2014, 4:30pm [Edited]
  • United Kingdom
  • 1,172 posts

It's always confused me about Del and Rodney losing the money in the 2001 Christmas special 'If They Could See Us Now'. I get that they invested in the Central American Market, but a few things have puzzled me since I saw it (I appreciate these may be boring questions, though!):

1. Raquel says that Del's financial adviser tried to warn him that the stock market was going to crash but Del was too busy to speak to him (he was water-skiing). How can you have warning about something like that? Surely a stock market crash is spontaneous, otherwise everybody would take their money out before it crashes.

2. What does Rodney mean when he says that when the crash hit the U.K. they were "cast into financial wilderness"? Does that mean they didn't know if they were still rich or not? Like in limbo or something?

3. I think this is right, but: post-crash, they owed £53,000 to the Inland Revenue because with taxes you always pay tax this year on what you made last year. Alternatively, Del simply 'forgot' to pay them.

4. Why would they need character witnesses when they went to court?

5. Considering - as Del said - they were "making more money than the Royal Mint" - why didn't they just pull out? Greed?

6. Why was the money and such in the name of their company? (The court says, "The Inland Revenue Vs Trotters Independent Traders"). In the final scene of the 1996 episode, Del said that "Trotters Independent Traders has ceased trading." They discovery of the watch was not due to them selling a product or some other get-rich-quick scheme, it was an outside-work thing (aside from the fact it was in their garage, where they kept their stock).

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Ian Morgan

  • Thursday 10th April 2014, 4:44pm
  • Bury St Edmunds, England
  • 34 posts

Possibly you're reading a little bit too much into what was quite clearly a thrown together storyline simply to get the Trotters broke & back to the situation everyone knew.

Despite the fact that viewers had watched for years hoping they'd get rich one day & that they blew one of the best endings ever to a sitcom.

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Gordon Bennett

  • Thursday 10th April 2014, 6:19pm [Edited]
  • Basel, Switzerland
  • 19,199 posts
Quote: Dave @ 10th April 2014, 4:30 PM BST


6. Why was the money and such in the name of their company? (The court says, "The Inland Revenue Vs Trotters Independent Traders"). In the final scene of the 1996 episode, Del said that "Trotters Independent Traders has ceased trading."


And: I didn't like the idea of TIT being a propper company now. Being registered in an official way made TIT lose its innocence...or guilt. Although it was funny how Del had to talk a dense Rodney into running the company now that he was banned from doing so.

Quote: Dave @ 10th April 2014, 4:30 PM BST

4. Why would they need character witnesses when they went to court?


Some things they have done must have been dodgy - why exactly was Mike in prison for?

Quote: Ian Morgan @ 10th April 2014, 4:44 PM BST

Possibly you're reading a little bit too much into what was quite clearly a thrown together storyline simply to get the Trotters broke & back to the situation everyone knew.


That.

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Stuart Collie

  • Sunday 13th April 2014, 1:06am [Edited]
  • New Forest, England
  • 30 posts
Quote: Dave @ 10th April 2014, 4:30 PM BST

They discovery of the watch was not due to them selling a product or some other get-rich-quick scheme, it was an outside-work thing (aside from the fact it was in their garage, where they kept their stock).


The acquisition of the watch was actually work-related. It came from a house clearance they'd done years back - the old lady who lived there had died & they bought the contents of a house as a job-lot. Presumably they sold all the other stuff on but were somehow left with the watch.

Quote: Stuart Collie @ 13th April 2014, 12:49 AM BST

The acquisition of the watch was actually work-related. It came from a house clearance they'd done years back - the old lady who lived there had died & they bought the contents as a job-lot. Presumably they sold all the other stuff on but were somehow left with the watch.

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Dave

  • Friday 18th April 2014, 6:19pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 1,172 posts
Quote: Gordon Bennett @ 10th April 2014, 6:19 PM BST

Some things they have done must have been dodgy - why exactly was Mike in prison for?


He went on the Stock Market too, then lost as Del did, and "tried to recoup his loses by embezzling the brewery."

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Gordon Bennett

  • Friday 18th April 2014, 6:32pm
  • Basel, Switzerland
  • 19,199 posts
Quote: Dave @ 18th April 2014, 6:19 PM BST

He went on the Stock Market too, then lost as Del did, and "tried to recoup his loses by embezzling the brewery."


Ah, ok. Forgot about that.

Sadly, the real life reason for his absence was something different. :(

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Chappers

  • Friday 18th April 2014, 8:05pm
  • Surreyish., England
  • 31,249 posts

I think Mike was in prison because the actor had died.

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Tommy Griff

  • Monday 28th April 2014, 9:57am
  • Wiltshire, England
  • 407 posts

1. Raquel says that Del's financial adviser tried to warn him that the stock market was going to crash but Del was too busy to speak to him (he was water-skiing). How can you have warning about something like that? Surely a stock market crash is spontaneous, otherwise everybody would take their money out before it crashes.

I'd imagine that Del's F.A was an expert in all things stock market - especially predicting the performance of a typical period before, during and after a Stock Market period...I really don't know the correct wordings for my reply but hopefully you get what I mean. It's all a gamble as you know.

2. What does Rodney mean when he says that when the crash hit the U.K. they were "cast into financial wilderness"? Does that mean they didn't know if they were still rich or not? Like in limbo or something?

Probably meant that they had no idea of the true implications of what was occurring. They are the Trotters after all.

3. I think this is right, but: post-crash, they owed £53,000 to the Inland Revenue because with taxes you always pay tax this year on what you made last year. Alternatively, Del simply 'forgot' to pay them.

Ok...You're probably right. Where is the question?

4. Why would they need character witnesses when they went to court?

Knowing Del, he would have involved some of the lads along the way - Just look at poor old Mike.

5. Considering - as Del said - they were "making more money than the Royal Mint" - why didn't they just pull out? Greed?

Greed - You know Del Boy. Remember 'A Losing Streak'?

6. Why was the money and such in the name of their company?

Probably wanted to 'keep it real' - Despite ceasing their usual day to day trading.