The vicar calls, asking for an article on rag and bone men for the church magazine's centenary edition. Both Steptoe and Son want to write it but Harold wins the toss and, foreseeing a journalistic career ahead of him, works hard interviewing local totters for his piece. Albert has still been asked to make a contribution - a crossword, but, as the clues and answers turn out to be filthy, the magazine is seized as being obscene and burnt so Harold's article never sees the light of day.
Harold has joined an amateur dramatics group who use the Steptoe house as a rehearsal room for their play set in Afghanistan during the days of the Raj. Initially mistrustful of actors Albert changes his mind when given a part in the play but his snide interruptions during Harold's scene with leading lady Nemone, plus his inability to read his lines correctly, get on Harold's nerves. Come the performance however a nervous Harold is a flop whilst his father is the star of the show. Leaving the stage door Harold is asked by a young boy if he is an actor but replies he ...
When Albert's brother George dies it's a surprise to Harold who never knew he existed. The greedy relatives turn up for the funeral, all hoping to be left something - even Albert wants the twenty-five pounds he lent George in 1925 for an aborted emigration to Australia. They are all in for a shock when it transpires that George left all his money to animal charities, though at least Albert manages to sneak out a valuable figurine everyone coveted.
When a tax inspector calls to investigate Albert's claim for an allowance for his - long dead - wife, Harold gets him drunk and he agrees to giving 'her' a back-dated pension, though Albert has to drag up to claim it and attracts an unwanted admirer. Eventually Steptoe and Son tell the tax office that the lady has died. However, Albert forgot to tell Harold about the fake daughter for whom he was claiming, thus requiring another drag act.
After being beaten at badminton by his father, who announces his desire to join the local tennis club, Harold tries to kill him whilst sleep-walking. A visit to a psychiatrist reveals Harold's dislike of his father stemming from childhood when he had to sit outside the pub waiting for him. Albert then succeeds in scaring away Harold's new girl-friend, Bunty, and her mother, convinced that Harold will get put away. He has even advertised for a lodger...and joined the tennis club.
Harold wants to re-decorate but cannot agree on a colour scheme with his father so they agree to put a partition down the living room and have their own space on either side. There is even a coin-operated turnstile put in the hall which each must feed to pass through common ground. Unfortunately when the house catches fire the turnstile severely limits the firemen who do not have change for it.
It's a cold winter day and the Steptoes are reduced to putting pfennigs in the meter. They are visited by two escaped convicts, elderly Frank and the younger Johnny. When Johnny denounces Frank as introducing him to crime and ruining his life, Harold sympathises and says that Albert has always held him back. Frank defends Albert, telling Harold to respect his father. When the two finally leave, having given Harold their last shilling for the meter, Johnny agrees to let Frank go with him, just as Harold has always allowed himself to return to Albert. Steptoe and Son ...
Albert is looking forward to another family Christmas but Harold wants to go to Majorca and put his father in a home for the duration. When Albert pulls his customary stunt and feigns illness Harold agrees to stay and spend the holiday money on a lavish party. Unfortunately he catches chicken pox from his father so the party is off and they are stuck with each other for the festive season.