Modern Men (Only Fools and Horses)

"Modern Men"
Only Fools and Horses episode
Episode no. Episode 14
(Christmas Special)
Directed by Tony Dow
Written by John Sullivan
Produced by Gareth Gwenlan
Original air date 27 December 1996
(21.3 million viewers)
Running time

60 minutes

  • 58:29 (DVD)
  • 58:34 (iTunes)

"Modern Men" is an episode of the BBC sit-com, Only Fools and Horses. It was the second episode of the 1996 Christmas trilogy and the fourteenth Christmas special, first screened on 27 December 1996. In the episode, Del is a reading a new lifestyle book, Modern Man. Later, Cassandra suffers a miscarriage.


Because of the good news that Cassandra and Rodney are expecting a baby, the Trotters go out for a night at the Nag's Head.

At the Nag's Head, Del Boy is able to convince Mike to accept a fiver for a trayful of drinks as well as sell him a "hairdryer" (actually an electric paint stripper) by doing the "I can make you turn your hands over without touching you" trick. Mickey Pearce then reminds Rodney that he needs to get a proper job before his and Cassandra's child is born (Rodney accidentally quit his last job in "The Chance of a Lunchtime").

Later that night, while they are in bed, Del shows Raquel a new book he bought called "Modern Man", which Del thinks will turn him into a very polite gentleman when he meets Raquel's parents in the near future. Raquel then requests that Del give Rodney a proper job, because in seven months time, he will be a father.

Meanwhile, while they are in bed, Rodney tells Cassandra that Del has to stop making on-the-spot decisions. Del, however, has decided to have a vasectomy.

The next morning at Nelson Mandela House, Rodney tells Albert about a want ad in the paper advertising a highbrow company. He picks up the phone and dials the company, but does not realize that he has called Del's new mobile phone. Del takes part in the conversation with the false identity "Ivor Hardy" and talking in a strong Welsh accent, as well as explaining what his company sells; anything it can get its hands on, and Rodney's job is to take the stuff down to the market and sell it from a suitcase. Del enters the lounge and says in his own voice, "We're always on the lookout for dirty little plonkers like you!" Rodney realizes that the job he wanted is already his, and that Del only placed that ad in the newspaper so that someone could help him while Rodney looks for a real job. Del accuses Rodney of trying to get rid of him when Rodney said that he had not got a brother to Del. Completely understanding about his younger brother's worried pride, Del promotes Rodney to Sales Director.

The Trotter Brothers go to Sid's cafe, and hide from a Sikh medic named Dr. Singh, who's looking for Del because of the faulty paint (whose expiration date was June 1983) he sold him. Del tells Rodney that he is getting a vasectomy, much to his younger brother's disapproval.

Sometime later, Del is in a medical clinic, ready for his vasectomy, and Dr. Singh is going to operate on him. Del screams loudly, and wakes up back in his own bed with Raquel. Del then decides to not have the vasectomy after all, and goes back to sleep.

The next day, upon coming back from the market, Rodney teases Del for backing out of the vasectomy. But Dr. Singh shows up and demands that Del get rid of the faulty paint he sold him immediately. As the Sikh doctor leaves on a motorscooter, Del wisecracks about him not wearing a crash helmet because of his huge turban (a genuine legal exemption under UK law), which gives Del an idea.

Later at 5:30pm, Rodney is shown wearing a horseriding helmet with Raquel's scarf on it, which Del calls a Trotter Crash Turban. Raquel believes that the product will never catch on, while Albert receives a phone call for Rodney from Cassandra's bank that Cassandra suffered a miscarriage.

The Trotter Brothers quickly drive to the hospital and ask the sister about which room Cassandra is in. As they head off, a drunken man is insulting the hospital staff and its patients.

As Del and Rodney arrive at Cassandra's room in theatre gowns, Del tells Rodney that he has to be comforting and understanding as well as talk about the future, not the past or present. The Trotter Brothers enter, and Cassandra tearfully says that she is sorry. To Rodney's surprise, Del begins to cry. Rodney tries his best to comfort his wife and tell her that things just happen. Del agrees and leaves the room sobbing. Cassandra then says that she lost the baby, but Rodney tells her that they will get through this. Cassandra smiles and hugs her husband.

Back in the waiting room, the drunken man is still insulting the staff, and becomes even more angry when Mike (who accidentally burned his forehead with the paint stripper Del sold him) is attended to before him. As Del enters the room to dry his tears, he is insulted by the drunken man's trash-talking. Del shuts the drunken man up by hitting him square on the jaw. The impact from the blow causes the drunken man to sober up. Now feeling better, Del says to a waiting patient, "I bet you wish you'd gone private!" then leaves satisfied.

Episode cast

Actor Role
David Jason Del Boy
Nicholas Lyndhurst Rodney
Buster Merryfield Uncle Albert
Tessa Peake-Jones Raquel
Gwyneth Strong Cassandra
Roger Lloyd-Pack Trigger
John Challis Boycie
Kenneth MacDonald Mike
Sue Holderness Marlene
Paul Barber Denzil
Actor Role
Roy Heather Sid
Bhasker Patel Dr. Singh
Jamie Smith Damien
Patrick Murray Mickey Pearce
Phil Cornwell Drunken Man in hospital
Beverly Hills Sister
James Olver Doctor
Corrine Britton Nurse
Lorraine Ashley Receptionist


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