As one of the most popular British shows of all time, there are plenty of jokes to choose from for your favourite Only Fools and Horses gag.
But, without doubt, one of the most popular is Trigger’s constant misnaming of Rodney as ‘Dave’.
This gag started in the very first season and continued throughout the whole of the show, with the biggest payoff coming 10 years later in the series seven finale, Three Men, a Woman, and a Baby.
But where did the joke come from, why did Trigger start calling Rodney Dave in the first place?
The truth is that the idea actually came from one of the show’s stars as just a throwaway idea that became something absolutely hilarious.
In the opening episode of season one of Only Fools Roger Lloyd-Pack’s Trigger is introduced to Nick Lyndhurst’s Rodney by Del who says “you know my brother don’t you?”
To which Trigger replies: “Yeah course I do, how you going Dave?” To which Rodney looks perplexed but lets slide.
This starts a constantly reappearing running gag where Trigger always greets Rodney as Dave, often with the immortal words “alright Dave?”
The biggest pay off for this long joke though came in the season seven finale where Trigger is taking bets on the name of Del’s baby.
Having just spoken to Rodney, Trigger explains “if it’s a girl they’re going to name it Sigourney, after an actress. And if it’s a boy, they’re going to name him Rodney. After Dave”.
The ridiculousness of the whole joke hits home here with Rodney’s exasperation and Triggers obliviousness creating one of the show’s best laughs.
It turns out though, that the idea for the joke initially came from none other than Del Boy himself David Jason.
The star revealed in his memoir Only Fools and Stories, that he mentioned the idea in passing to creator John Sullivan whilst filming season one.
He explains in the book how John then “ran with it utterly brilliantly”, turning the joke into the running laugh that it became, dropping it into episodes just often enough that it wasn’t overdone to get the perfect payoff.
You can pick up a copy of David’s 2017 memoir Only Fools and Stories here, with plenty of other fascinating anecdotes from his time on the show.