"The Chance of a Lunchtime" was the second episode of the 7th series of Only Fools And Horses, airing on the 6th January 1991 with a viewing figure of 16.6 million. This episode was a pretty everyday episode rather than showing the usual hilarious adventures and mishaps of the Trotter family. Rodney Trotter and Cassandra Trotter's marriage is still on the rocks but they make up, only to break up yet again, more times than JR and Sue Ellen. And Rodney also ends up the Peckham version of The Boy from the Blackstuff. Also, Raquel drops a very big bombshell at the end.
Derek "Del Boy" Trotter brings Raquel Turner breakfast in bed. She is auditioning for a play. Del gives her encouragement. He is also trying to sell some musical doorbells. He swaps his tea with Albert's after he put his cigar in his tea by mistake when trying to open the door and Albert later feels rough. Raquel says she is auditioning for Ieda At The Met and Del confuses this with the police, Raquel says he ex husband was a copper. Del almost chokes on his tea and quickly covers some hookie gear in clothing. Raquel laughs. Rodney Trotter says he has not spoken to Cassandra Trotter since she got back from Spain.
Del sets Rodney and Cassandra up so they can have a meal and talk about their marriage at a restaurant in Wapping. While there, Cassandra mentions the new front door which Del fitted. Every time the waiter comes up he overhears Cass saying "kicked the front door down" and "Drinks too much". In the end Rod and Cass make up and cancel their order, saying they have lost their appetite. The waiter gives a funny look. Cass says she has to go home to pick up a few things and gives Rodney the key. Rodney says he will see her in bed in 30 minutes.
At The Nags Head, Del is trying to sell a disinterested Mike Fisher one of his doorbells. Mike says only an idiot would buy one and Trigger says he will buy one. Del bumps into a drunken Trudy, an old flame. Rodney comes in to say he and Cass have made up. He escorts Trudy to her minicab waiting outside but as he does, by chance, Cassandra is stopped at a junction and sees Trudy all over Rodney. Cass gets the wrong idea and hares off. Rodney tries to call out for her. He gently puts Trudy down and walks off.
Rodney knocks on the door of their flat and Cass refuses to answer. Rod says it was an old flame of Del's from years ago. Del and Raquel are rehearsing for the play at the flat. Albert laughs, thinking Raq will never get the audition finished in time and no one will be able to understand a Shakespeare play that is 400 years old. The doorbell goes. Del answers it and is surprised to see Rodney there. Del says that he thought Rodney was back at his own place and Rodney says they have broken up. Del says how can they as they have only been back together an hour. Rodney says Cass saw him outside the Nags Head with his arms round Trudy. Raquel says it serves him right for her to chuck him out. Del answers the phone and it is from Alan Parry, Rodney's father in law. Rodney is worried Cass will tell her parents. Del pretends Rodney is in the bathroom and takes a message that Alan wants to see Rodney in his office first thing in the morning. Rodney is worried.
When Del goes to the bedroom with Raquel Rodney confides in Albert that Alan may sack him, Albert says the printing firm is a big business and everyone is working overtime and weekends. He then spins Rodney another war yarn about a chief communications officer on board named Tubby Fox, who was a real party animal that got in trouble for bringing a Maltese girl onto the ship. The captain put Tubby on a charge and started court-martial proceedings. But Tubby resigned his commission, which meant the ship couldn't sail, and the captain had no choice but to refuse to accept Tubby's resignation. Once he'd done that, the court martial was deemed null and void. What Albert's trying to say is that Rodney should realise his own importance. This makes Rodney more relieved with his situation, so he thanks his uncle and goes off to bed.
At a wine bar, Del meets Raquel's friends Adrian and Jules. Raquel feels uncomfortable with her boyfriend Del's presence and Del seems a bit envious when Raquel is being friendly with Adrian. At the same time, Rodney goes up to Alan's office when he is not there and leaves his letter of resignation on his desk. As she goes to the factory floor Alan sees him and says he wanted to see him. Not about his marital problems with Cassandra but about a new contract Alan has signed which will mean moving to a bigger warehouse. Rodney gets in the car with Alan, he says Alan heard that Rod and Cass are back together, Rodney tries to confess that he has split up again by saying he wanted to talk about what happened after that. Alan mistakes this for Rodney and Cass getting frisky, so Rodney does not tell Alan he has split with her again. Alan stops at a petrol station and Rodney sees Del chatting to Jules by the window at the wine bar, and thinks he has turned gay. Del fobs him off with arm signals. Rodney turns round as Alan drives off and Del says "you plonker".
That night, Rodney has totally forgotten about the letter of resignation he handed in and is cheerfully talking about the new properties Alan has thought of moving his company to. Raquel is standoffish. Del is worried about her. She goes to the bedroom to get some peace. Del worries she is going off him. The phone rings, Rodney answers and it is Alan. Alan mentions the letter that Rodney left, Rodney suddenly remembers and tries to fob it off as a token, a gesture, hoping Alan has not read it. Rodney asks Alan when he says he has accepted his letter of resignation what does it mean. Del looks up, shocked. Rodney then puts the phone down and is aghast. A shocked Del asks Rodney that he has handed in his resignation. Rodney says yes and he thought it was best. Del calls him a plonker and is furious, he says that is the best job he had or is ever likely to have and he has chucked it away.
Turns out Rodney misunderstood Albert's story about Tubby, all Albert was saying is Rodney should realise his own importance and that Alan wont fire him because he is too good to the firm. Rodney thought that Albert suggested he should hand in his resignation so Alan would reject it. Yet Alan happily accepted his resignation.
Del says he will phone Alan and see if he can change his mind but Rodney says Alan has used his useless assistant as Rodney's replacement, meaning he was not that important to the firm. Del says Rodney is the only one to blame as he had a great flat, great wife and a great job and he has blown it. Albert even makes a sly dig at Rodney saying "Strange they should replace you with a silly boy" meaning Rodney was even worse at the job.
Much later that night, Raquel glumly tells Del that the Shakespeare play is a tour around schools, and that she turned it down because she's pregnant. Del is happy to hear the news and also tells Albert and Rodney, thus quoting "How many people do you see there? ...I see two." causing Rodney to turn round to Uncle Albert and say, "You know what this means, Unc? Either Raquel's pregnant or Del's pissed." Del and Raquel then embrace.
- Derek "Del Boy" Trotter - David Jason
- Rodney Trotter - Nicholas Lyndhurst
- Albert Trotter - Buster Merryfield
- Raquel Turner - Tessa Peake Jones
- Boycie - John Challis
- Marlene - Sue Holderness
- Trigger - Roger Lloyd Pack
- Mike Fisher - Kenneth MacDonald
- Cassandra Trotter - Gwyneth Strong
- Adrian - Ian Redford
- Alan Parry - Denis Lil
- Jules - Paul Opacic
- Trudy - Helen Blizard
- Waiter -
- Tyler - Elliott Russell
Previous Episode The Sky's the Limit
Next Episode Stage Fright
- Raquel says her husband used to be a police officer. Del almost chokes on his tea. Little did Del know that aforementioned ex police officer was none other than Roy Slater, Del's ex-schoolmate and the most hated man in the area, and the most corrupt copper to ever have walked the streets of the district. The truth was to emerge 2 episodes later in "The Class of '62".
- Rodney and Del mention Rodney's assistant "Elvis" who had been swiftly given Rodney's job as head of the computer section. In "The Jolly Boys' Outing", Rodney's assistant, a Max Branning lookalike featured in the episode. However, it was never said that the Jolly Boys Outing character was the same character who was described as "Elvis".
- When Del is in bed with Raquel, the extremely tacky purple headboard has a large golden heart within its design, whereas in "Modern Men", the heart was not incorporated within the design.
- At the end of the episode, when Del runs out into the hallway to call Albert and Rodney after hearing that Raquel is pregnant, he runs to the door which is the living room door to call Albert who is in his bedroom, but all that's there is a wall which was obviously not there in past episodes (haunting scene of "Ashes to Ashes", etc.)
- The Trotters flat (living room, entrance hallway, bedroom hallway, Del and Raquel's bedroom)
- The Nags Head (main bar)
- Riverside restaurant in Wapping (dining area)
- Unknown eatery (counter, food area, seating area)
- Parry Printers (office, factory floor, exterior car park)
- Petrol station opposite eatery