BBC Only Fools and Horses fans discover they misunderstood decades-old joke on show

-Credit: (Image: BBC)
-Credit: (Image: BBC)


Fans of the classic sitcom Only Fools and Horses were left gobsmacked after realising a long-believed running joke was actually a case of misinterpretation.

The beloved BBC One series, which aired seven series and made stars out of Nicholas Lyndhurst and David Jason, not to mention bringing Lennard Pearce and Buster Merryfield into the limelight, spanned a decade from 1981 to 1991.

Additionally, sixteen sporadic Christmas specials kept fans entertained until the show's conclusion in 2003.

Packed with recurring jokes and memorable quips, Only Fools and Horses continues to be a fan favourite. Yet, it turns out that some viewers have been getting one particular gag wrong for years, the Mirror reports.

Fans took to Reddit's OFAH forum to share their revelations about misunderstood jokes from the series.

The BBC sitcom ran for a decade from 1981 to 1991 -Credit:BBC
The BBC sitcom ran for a decade from 1981 to 1991 -Credit:BBC

One fan confessed: "I just discovered something I thought was a running gag was simply me being too young. I'm 31, watched this show throughout my life and always thought the 'I've got two GCEs' was a joke, bragging about having the education qualifications but not being educated enough to correctly say GCSEs. I thought it was typical OFAH humour.

"Then I found out GCSEs used to be called GCEs and I felt like a right bl***y idiot."

Uncovered on another discussion page, a different supporter confessed to the same misunderstanding. They shared: "Anytime Rodney mentions he has two GCEs it gets a laugh from the audience. I used to think it was because he was getting GCSEs wrong but turns out they were called GCEs back then.

"So are they just laughing at his somewhat modest achievements? " Way back when, GCSEs were labelled as GCEs - standing for General Certificate of Education. It operated at Ordinary and Advanced levels.

GCSEs broke into the school syllabus in the late 80s. Pupils could utilise it as a certification if they desired to finish school at 16 or advance to gain their A-Levels and degrees.

It's hard to believe that two decades have flown by since the final episode of Only Fools and Horses, yet the mania persists among its followers.

As recently as 2022, a number of props from the set, including a door from the Trotters' Independent Trading van signed by David Jason, fetched a handsome figure when auctioned off.

From time to time, fans uncover fresh insights about the series whilst some cast members spill the beans regarding behind-the-scenes antics of the beloved show.

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