List of Designing Women episodes
The following is an episode list for the CBS sitcom Designing Women. The series began airing on September 29, 1986 and the final episode aired on May 24, 1993. During its seven-year run, 163 Designing Women episodes were produced. In addition, a Designing Women reunion show featuring the cast members aired in 2003.
Full episode list
Season 1 (1986–1987)
|Episode #||Airdate||Title||Overview||Production Number|
|1||September 29, 1986||"Designing Women (Pilot)"||Suzanne visits a new gynecologist who is Mary Jo's ex-husband Ted; and an uproar is created when she announces she is dating him. (In this episode, Mary Jo is called just "Jo")
|2||October 6, 1986||"The Beauty Contest"||Charlene sponsors Mary Jo's daughter, Claudia, in the Miss Pre-Teen Atlanta contest, and despite her depression over her own upcoming 30th birthday, Suzanne coaches Claudia on how to walk and smile. Meanwhile, Julia takes the current Miss Georgia World to task after overhearing her snide comments about Suzanne.
|3||October 20, 1986||"A Big Affair"||Suzanne's small dinner party, planned to impress an important client, goes awry before it begins when she arranges a date between a very large man and a reluctant Charlene.||No. 3|
|4||October 27, 1986||"Julia's Son"||Julia's nineteen-year-old son, Payne (George Newbern), is bringing his girlfriend home from college for a visit, and Julia wants everything to be perfect. Payne then presents his girl, Primmy, who is tall, attractive, and forty-one years old. This leads to a conflict clash between the two women, until Primmy tries to make Payne choose between her and his mother, which infuriates him.
|5||November 3, 1986||"Mary Jo's First Date"||Julia hopes an IRS auditor doesn't remember where he met her before, while Mary Jo reluctantly re-enters the dating circuit for the first time since breaking up with Ted.
|6||November 17, 1986||"Design House"||Suzanne is tired of her image as a bimbo at Sugarbaker's, so Julia assigns her to do the decorating of their next project. Unfortunately, the house burns to the ground while Suzanne is working on it.
|7||November 24, 1986||"Perky's Visit"||Perky Sugarbaker, Julia and Suzanne's mother, in her only appearance on Designing Women, brings her friend Bernice Clifton to have Thanksgiving dinner with the women of Sugarbaker's and their ex-con handyman, Anthony.
|8||December 4, 1986||"I Do, I Don't"||After a perfect evening (and some champagne), Julia and her beau, attorney Reese Watson, decide to get married on a lark. The next morning, they both regret the decision.
|9||December 4, 1986||"The IT Men"||When Charlene's boyfriend, Mason, takes a job in Japan, she finds herself attracted to another man, who happens to be married to a Sugarbaker & Associates client.
|10||December 18, 1986||"The Slumber Party"||Suzanne tells Charlene, Julia, and Mary Jo that when she tried to fire her maid Consuela, the maid put a voodoo death curse on her. Meanwhile, Mary Jo asks the women to help with her daughter Claudia's slumber party.
|11||January 1, 1987||"New Year's Daze"||On New Year's Eve, the women of Sugarbaker's are ready to have a fun night on the town. Charlene keeps the identity of her date a secret until a news flash reports that he is the subject of a massive manhunt.
|12||February 1, 1987||"Old Spouses Never Die: Part 1"||Mary Jo is ruminating about her ex-husband's interference in her life and J.D.'s constant interference coming from his ex-wife, Janet. The women distrust Charlene's doctor's cavalier attitude toward the lump he found in her breast. Julia discovers that a friend of hers saw the same doctor, and angrily confronts him.||No. 12|
|13||February 1, 1987||"Old Spouses Never Die: Part 2"||See summary of previous episode.
|14||February 8, 1987||"Monette"||Monette, an old schoolmate of Charlene's, buys Chadwick mansion and asks Sugarbaker's to redecorate. At first, the women are excited about the lucrative job, but the assignment is not what they expected. (Monette would make appearances to Season Four)
|15||February 15, 1987||"And Justice for Paul"||Suzanne has a client who wants period furniture on a very tight budget. The women of Sugarbaker's, with the help of Charlene's new boyfriend, find antique furniture at bargain prices but later discover that it was stolen furniture.
|16||February 22, 1987||"Reese's Friend"||Julia and Suzanne are preoccupied with a disagreement over the theme for the annual country club fund-raiser until Reese appears with a gorgeous young woman on his arm, explaining that she is a new attorney in his law firm.
|17||March 16, 1987||"Nashville Bound"||Charlene gets exciting news that her entire family, including all ten of her brothers and sisters, will be visiting her at the same time, but it is overshadowed when a Nashville producer discovers her.
|18||March 23, 1987||"Oh, Suzannah"||While in Reese's office to sign legal papers, Suzanne suddenly volunteers to foster a Vietnamese boat child, Li Sing, for four weeks, at which point she'll go to her adoptive home. Suzanne becomes attached to Li Sing quickly and has a hard time letting go.
|19||April 6, 1987||"Mary Jo's Dad Dates Charlene"||Mary Jo becomes protective when her divorced father comes to Atlanta for a visit and dances cheek-to-cheek with Charlene.
|20||April 13, 1987||"Seams from a Marriage"||When Anthony saunters into the shop wearing an enormous cowboy hat, he is followed by a breathless Mary Jo, who has obviously been out all night as she is wearing the same clothes she had on when she left the day before. This leaves everyone clamoring for an explanation. It seems their appointment with Sugarbaker's newest client turned into an all-night bash, complete with Cajun buffet and country-western band.
|21||May 4, 1987||"Grand Slam, Thank You Ma'am"||Suzanne is desperate for revenge after her baseball player ex-husband, Jack Dent, writes in his autobiography that he had a lot of groupie action during his career.
|22||May 11, 1987||"Bachelor Suite"||Mary Jo finds herself the target of sexual harassment when she takes a decorating job with a wealthy client, Hence Winchester.
Season 2 (1987–1988)
|Episode #||Airdate||Title||Overview||Production Number|
|01||September 14, 1987||"101 Ways to Decorate a Gas Station"||A grungy gas-station owner wins free interior decoration from Sugarbaker & Associates. Charlene consults a psychic about her future.
|02||September 21, 1987||"Ted Remarries"||Mary Jo has a hard time handling her children being spoiled by her ex-husband's new wife.
|03||September 28, 1987||"Anthony Jr."||Anthony goes overboard trying to impress his girlfriend's wealthy parents until an uninvited dinner guest informs him he is the father of her child.
|04||October 5, 1987||"Killing All the Right People"||Kendall Dobbs, a friend of the women of Sugarbaker's and fellow decorator, announces to the women that he is dying of AIDS and wants them to design his funeral. The news gets Mary Jo fired up at a PTA debate on birth control.
|05||October 19, 1987||"Half an Air Bubble Off"||When Sugarbaker's acquires an eccentric client with bizarre decorating requests, the women play matchmakers by pairing him with their off-beat friend, Bernice Clifton.
|06||October 26, 1987||"Dash Goff, the Writer"||Suzanne's novelist husband visits, and she discovers he has writer's block and is contemplating suicide.||No. 28|
|07||November 9, 1987||"Heart Attacks"||Julia's boyfriend, Reese, suffers a heart attack while arm-wrestling a law-school classmate.
|08||November 16, 1987||"Cruising"||When the Sugarbaker ladies go on a cruise, Mary Jo and Suzanne are pursued by the same man.
|09||November 23, 1987||"I'll Be Seeing You"||Charlene dreams the ladies are back in WWII and the USO. Soon, a handsome Army colonel appears at the Sugarbaker's shop, and Charlene is sure her friends have arranged his appearance as a surprise answer to her birthday wish for a soldier.||No. 31|
|10||December 7, 1987||"Stranded"||While Charlene, Julia, and Mary Jo get the flu on a trip to St. Louis, a snowstorm forces Suzanne and Anthony to share a motel room in Tennessee.
|11||December 14, 1987||"Howard the Date"||Out of pity, the women take a nerdy acquaintance of Mary Jo's out on a group date when he proves dateless for their high school reunion. Things take a turn, however, when Howard, formerly the nerd, develops an obnoxious ego as he brags about how he handles his "four women."
|12||December 21, 1987||"I'll Be Home For Christmas"||Charlene and Anthony portray Santa and an one of his Elves, to outsmart Mary Jo's disbelieving son on Christmas Eve. Meanwhile Suzanne hires a department store Santa to surprise them.
|13||January 4, 1988||"Great Expectations"||Anthony is dismayed when an old prison cellmate arrives at Sugarbaker's to talk with him about a business proposition.
|14||January 11, 1988||"Second Time Around"||Charlene withdraws after being dumped by her boyfriend, Bill, who is still grieving the loss of his first wife. Julia then shares with Bill her own personal experience about losing her husband and tries to convince him that being with Charlene is okay.
|15||January 18, 1988||"Oh, Brother"||Julia and Suzanne disagree on how to handle the arrival of their half-brother, Clayton (Lewis Grizzard) a recently discharged mental patient with hopes of becoming a stand-up comedian.
|16||January 25, 1988||"There's Some Black People Coming to Dinner"||Mary Jo gives Claudia permission to go to a school dance with a black boy, contrary to his father's wishes.
|17||February 1, 1988||"The Return of Ray Don"||Suzanne is broke after her accountant, Reggie Mac Dawson absconds with her entire life savings and faces stiff fines for back taxes, so after trying to charm Ray Don at the IRS, she sells off her possessions and considers marriage to wealthy elderly man, Wilmont Oliver.
|18||February 8, 1988||"High Rollers"||After Charlene unwittingly puts a bug in Suzanne's ear by relating the success story of Fred Smith, founder of Federal Express, Suzanne flits off to Atlantic City with Charlene and Anthony in hopes of winning a bundle to pay off debts by employing Anthony's gambling expertise.
|19||February 15, 1988||"The Incredibly Elite Bona Fide Blue-Blood Beaumont Driving Club"||Suzanne and Julia clash over a posh club's offer of membership when Julia discovers discrimination in the club's bylaws.
|20||February 22, 1988||"How Great Thou Art"||Julia is chosen to sing at a Baptist convention, but she worries about a high note in the arrangement of "How Great Thou Art". Charlene is upset when she discovers her minister is against allowing women to preach.
|21||March 21, 1988||"Ted-Bare"||On the brink of marrying a young woman, Ted begins to appreciate ex-wife Mary Jo's maturity, but his sudden attentiveness makes everyone else suspicious.||No. 43|
|22||March 28, 1988||"Reservations for Eight"||A romantic ski weekend turns into a battle of the sexes when an avalanche sidelines the Sugarbaker ladies and their boyfriends.
Season 3 (1988–1989)
|Episode #||Airdate||Title||Overview||Production Number|
|01||November 14, 1988||"Reservations for 12, Plus Ursula"||A voluptuous maid disrupts a romantic Thanksgiving at the beach.
|02||November 21, 1988||"The Candidate"||Julia's opinionated nature seems to work against her in a run for a seat on the local board of commissioners.
|03||November 28, 1988||"E.P., Phone Home"||Charlene has VIP tickets to Graceland and talks the girls and Anthony into going there with her for the weekend. While there, Julia is touched by a trucker's story of how Elvis Presley influenced his life.
|04||December 5, 1988||"Getting Married and Eating Dirt"||Bernice Clifton asks the women of Sugarbaker's to be her wedding attendants when she receives a marriage proposal from a man who has an odd habit of proposing to every woman he meets.
|05||December 12, 1988||"Big Haas and Little Falsie"||Mary Jo contemplates getting breast implants after receiving an inheritance from her uncle with the stipulation she must spend the money on something frivolous.
|06||December 19, 1988||"Hard Hats and Lovers"||Suzanne convinces Charlene that Bill will have a wandering eye if he doesn't date more before they get serious. The ladies get revenge on city construction workers across the street by telling their wives and mothers about the sexist comments they've been making.
|07||January 2, 1989||"Curtains"||Striking laborers from a textile factory protest outside Sugarbaker's. The Sugarbaker women desperately need curtains finished for a hotel job, so they decide to go to the factory and finish them on their own. After working for a while, they realize what terrible conditions the laborers had.
|08||January 9, 1989||"The Wilderness Experience"||Bernice Clifton buys herself and the women a trip to a wilderness survival course where their leadership skills are tested.
|09||January 16, 1989||"Tyrone"||Anthony acts as a mentor to a troubled youth named Tyrone. The boy appears congenial and begins helping Anthony with unloading goods at Sugarbaker's, but soon betrays Anthony and the women's trust by robbing a store. Anthony visits Tyrone at Juvenile hall and shares a story about his own past.
|10||January 23, 1989||"Mr. Bailey"||A recently deceased client leaves millions of dollars as well as Sugarbaker's prepaid designing services to her cat, Mr. Bailey, and the women must find a way to honor the woman's wishes. Her home is filled with odd possessions, and the ladies assume the woman was crazy, but a delivery man enlightens them about the belongings and Mr. Bailey's famous past.
|11||February 13, 1989||"The Naked Truth"||Julia sends Mary Jo, Charlene, and Anthony to visit a new client, but they are shocked to find that, unbeknown to Julia, the client lives in a nudist camp. Julia and Suzanne's two nieces visit them at work and stay over at their homes, and they discover that the nieces have nearly identically personalities to Julia and Suzanne.[Note: Guest stars Dixie Carter's real life daughters, Ginna and Mary Dixie.]
|12||February 20, 1989||"The Junies"||Charlene, trying to help out a friend, becomes a part-time saleswoman for "Lady June" cleaning products. Soon, she doesn't need or want the job anymore, but other workers pressure her into staying. Julia decides the job is similar to a cult and decides to rescue Charlene. Meanwhile, Anthony's junior college is trying to get students more involved with pride events like homecoming, and Anthony is strangely nominated as his school's homecoming queen.
|13||February 27, 1989||"One Sees, the Other Doesn't"||Suzanne returns from a week-long stay at a spa where she spent $2,000 and is upset when the other women say she looks the same. She proclaims that any man would appreciate her radiance. The next man who enters Sugarbaker's & Associates is a client who Suzanne doesn't know is blind, and she tries to show off for him. The other women introduce him as Danny Hedgecock, which he amusedly follows with "...Blind Guy". Suzanne is relieved to find out she's not losing her touch. She's soon surprised to discover that the man—a rich, intelligent humanitarian—is attracted to her. She and the other women have a hard time accepting that anyone is attracted to her personality. Mary Jo struggles to figure out how to design the man's house, since she can't show him samples and sketches.
|14||March 6, 1989||"Odell"||Charlene's brother Odell visits with important news: he's marrying the daughter of a longtime rival of their family. Soon, the fathers of both teens show up at Sugarbaker's and begin fighting. Bernice asks Anthony to be her partner in a dance contest.
|15||March 13, 1989||"Full Moon"||The women share their most embarrassing moments after Julia accidentally moons the audience at a fashion show. Mary Jo is suddenly afraid that her 16-year-old daughter, Claudia, might have sex with her boyfriend and decides to spy on her. Suzanne asks Anthony to stay over at her house for the night because she's afraid of her neighbors who keep threatening to shoot her pet pig.
|16||March 20, 1989||"Ms. Meal Ticket"||Just as J.D. moves in with Mary Jo, he loses his job. Enjoying himself while waiting to find work, Mary Jo becomes afraid that J.D. will be dependent on her and never work again, which sparks a fight and J.D. leaves. A psychic whom Charlene consults with ends up talking to Mary Jo and helping her come to grips with her real fears about the situation.
|17||March 27, 1989||"The Engagement"||When Charlene, now happily engaged, goes to meet her in-laws, she's terrified that she won't be good enough for Bill's mother. She regularly calls Julia on the phone to question her about etiquette. After breaking up with J.D., Mary Jo gets asked out by a younger man and ends up at a keg party.
|18||April 10, 1989||"Come on and Marry Me, Bill"||The ladies throw a party with all of Charlene's relatives to celebrate her wedding which will take place the next day. Bill heads to his stag party where he reluctantly watches a Latin exotic dancer and ends up handcuffed to her. The dancer, unfortunately, has forgotten to bring the key to the handcuffs, and soon Charlene becomes worried about what is going on when Bill doesn't answer the phone.
|19||May 1, 1989||"The Women of Atlanta"||Charlene and Mary Jo meet a photographer who wants to take pictures of them, along with Julia and Suzanne, for a magazine article focusing on the women of Atlanta and their occupations. Julia distrusts him from the beginning and after he has the women change into sexier outfits and strike suggestive poses, she becomes furious and kicks him out.
|20||May 8, 1989||"Stand and Fight"||A shaken Mary Jo comes to work and recounts to Anthony and the women how she was mugged. After she describes how she was too frightened to fight back against her attacker, Anthony gives her the name of a self-defense class at the community center where he sometimes volunteers. The four women all attend the class, but Mary Jo still struggles to fight. Later, alone in a parking garage, she's confronted by a stranger who touches her shoulder and she suddenly remembers what she was taught and yells at the man to back off. She proudly tells Julia of her victory, and a few minutes later, the man she fought off enters Sugarbaker's. It turns out he's actually D.B. LeBoof, a new client, who had recognized Mary Jo from a magazine picture.
|21||May 15, 1989||"The Last Humorously-Dressed Bellboy in America"||The women discover that Reggie Mac Dawson, the accountant who absconded with Suzanne's life savings, is working as bellboy/pianist in a hotel. Suzanne confronts him, demanding he return her money, but Reggie Mac instead spends what's left of the money by purchasing a circus for Suzanne.
|22||May 22, 1989||"Julia Drives Over the First Amendment"||A local newsstand begins displaying a large, smutty poster of a woman to advertise its pornographic magazines. Julia tires of seeing it on her way to work each morning and becomes so angry that she drives her car through it. The newsstand owner keeps putting sexy posters up, and Julia continues to drive through them. A lawsuit ensues, pitting Julia up against a very determined magazine publisher.
Season 4 (1989–1990)
|Episode #||Airdate||Title||Overview||Production Number|
|01||September 18, 1989||"The Proxy Pig and Great Pretenders"||Suzanne, desperate to mother something or someone since her beloved pet pig, Noel, ran away, ends up nursing Anthony back to health after he injures his back carrying her marble-top table down the stairs and his health insurance lapses. Belva McPherson, a rich, snobby acquaintance of Mary Jo's comes to town and, to impress her, Mary Jo claims that a mansion she's decorating is her own home.
|02||September 25, 1989||"One Night with You"||Julia discovers that Donald Stillman, a terminally-ill man who was a classmate of hers, has a last wish: to spend one night with her. She can't find his picture in her yearbook and has no memory of him at all. She dresses up, against Suzanne's advice, and meets with him at a restaurant, with no intention of going any further than dinner. Donald turns out to be a charming—albeit geeky—astronomer, and Julia finds herself attracted to him. She admits that she's already in a relationship, and they simply spend the night dancing. Suzanne, Mary Jo, Charlene and Anthony decide to spy on Donald and Julia.
|03||October 2, 1989||"There She Is"||While preparing for Charlene's baby shower, Charlene, Mary Jo and Julia are surprised by a visit from the Director of Pageants for Miss Georgia. While putting past voting information onto computers, an error was discovered and it turns out that Suzanne actually came in second place, not first. The women try to find a delicate way to break the news to Suzanne that she must relinquish the crown she won 15 years earlier, but in the end Suzanne believes everything will work out to her advantage. Her prediction comes true when, in the ceremony where the crown is set to change hands, the true Miss Georgia reveals that she slept with one of the judges to get a better score, and Suzanne keeps her crown.
|04||October 16, 1989||"Nightmare from Hee Haw"||The Sugarbaker women and their mates take a canoe trip in the Georgia backwoods, but while unwinding in a bar/diner later that night, some large countrymen get it set in their minds that they want to dance with the women and will do whatever it takes to make that happen. Episode marked Hal Holbrook's final appearance in his recurring role as Reece Watson.
|05||October 23, 1989||"The Girlfriend"||Anthony introduces his new girlfriend, Lita, to the women and they immediately dislike her. The women are desperate to get a remodeling job done when they must fire their handyman for slacking off. Anthony offers his services, and hires some of his ex-convict friends to help him. Anthony's eager to prove himself, but his friends cut corners with much of the material and Anthony would rather tell the truth to the women than do a shoddy job.
|06||October 30, 1989||"The Rowdy Girls"||While she is helping the Sugarbaker women choreograph a Supremes lip-synch routine, Charlene's favorite cousin inadvertently reveals that she is a victim of domestic violence. Note: Kim Zimmer guest stars.
|07||November 13, 1989||"Bernice's Sanity Hearing"||Bernice's niece tries to have her declared incompetent because of her sometimes bizarre behavior. The women must testify for her.
|08||November 20, 1989||"Julia Gets Her Head Stuck in a Fence"||Sugarbaker's is hired to decorate the Governor's mansion for its annual ball. Anthony receives an invitation to the ball, but Suzanne is dismayed to learn that she has not been invited. After decorating the "Abbott banister" at the mansion, Julia is persuaded by the others to do something silly and winds up with her head stuck in the banister, which cannot be cut due to its historical significance.
|09||November 27, 1989||"Julia and Suzanne's Big Adventure"||Julia and Suzanne go to Japan to visit their mother. Upon arrival, they are robbed of their money and luggage, and they learn that their mother had to abruptly leave for Paris to visit a sick friend, and are thus stranded in the Tokyo airport for the entire weekend. Anthony and Mary Jo, meanwhile, call in a large number of votes to a television poll, only to learn later that each call costs two dollars, and that they owe an enormous phone bill.
|10||December 4, 1989||"Manhunt"||Desperately single Mary Jo, worried that her busy schedule will condemn her to a life alone, accepts coaching from Suzanne as she plans a weekend manhunt.
|11||December 11, 1989||"They Shoot Fat Women, Don't They?"||Anthony gets Julia and the others involved in a two-day world hunger event to end its starvation in Ethiopia. Meanwhile, Suzanne, in denial of her weight gain since high school, is preparing to attend her 15th class reunion.
|12||December 18, 1989||"You Got to Have Friends"||Mary Jo takes a second job at a fast food establishment when Ted's child support payment is late. Anthony, Bernice and Julia come face-to-face with her while they are in line at "Burger Guy", and reluctantly agree to help Mary Jo work the "lunch shift".
|13||January 1, 1990||"The First Day of the Last Decade of the Entire Twentieth Century: Part 1"||
Suzanne and Mary Jo rush Charlene to the hospital when she goes into labor on New Year's Eve and with a desire to deliver the first New Year's baby. Dolly Parton plays Charlene's "guardian movie star," who comes to her in a dream with news of her baby's birth and Bernice goes for an unexpected ambulance ride.
|14||January 1, 1990||"The First Day of the Last Decade of the Entire Twentieth Century: Part 2"||See plot summary above
|15||January 8, 1990||"The Mistress"||The ladies are hired by a wealthy stockbroker, Ancel Pollard, to decorate a house for a client's wife as well as a condo for his mistress. Though Suzanne is sure that straight-laced Julia and Mary Jo will never go through with the assignment, the firm accepts the job. However, things turn out to untimately to be not what they seem.
|16||January 15, 1990||"The Fur Flies"||The fur flies at a fashion show where Suzanne's after-dinner mink causes a riot among animal-rights activists. Charlene brings Olivia to Sugarbaker's while she looks for a nanny.
|17||January 29, 1990||"Oh, what a Feeling"||Their delivery van breaks down stranding Anthony with a nasty client in the middle of the freeway and in a rain storm. The ladies need to get a van to finish the delivery, by midnight so they decide to buy a new one. They end up dealing with a sexist used car salesman.
|18||February 5, 1990||"Anthony and Vanessa"||Hired for a temporary job at Sugarbaker's, Anthony's friend Vanessa learns the tricks of the trade from Suzanne and then goes to work reeling in Anthony. Mary Jo and Charlene try to figure out why Rusty the electrician wears his pants so low. While Suzanne is watching Unsolved Mysteries, she discovers that the baby nurse is as a con-artist and counterfeiter.
|19||February 19, 1990||"Payne Grows Up"||Julia is not pleased to learn that Payne (George Newbern) is graduating early in order to marry his pregnant girlfriend. Upset at becoming a grandmother so soon, Julia gets tipsy at the wedding, then wakes up mortified—and scantily clad—the next day with Payne's frat house roommate (Rex Young), with little recollection of the previous night's events.
|20||February 26, 1990||"Tornado Watch"||Julia, Suzanne, Mary-Jo, Anthony and Charlene must endure being stranded for the duration of a tornado watch with Bernice, a hillbilly, a sexually dysfunctional client and Anthony's ex-girlfriend.
|21||March 12, 1990||"Tough Enough"||A redecorating job for a sports account is right down Sugarbaker's alley especially when it pits the women against a macho, overconfident designer from an all-male firm. They are determined to steal one of their prized clients, Cherokee Lanes Bowling Alley, in retaliation for the men having stolen one of theirs. They discover that they must pose as regular bowlers to get the account.
|22||March 19, 1990||"It's a Wonderful Life"||Charlene feels unattractive since having the baby and suspects that Bill is having an affair. When she confronts him, they have a huge argument. To bring back the romance in their relationship, Julia, Mary Jo, and Anthony decide to recreate where Bill and Charlene spent their first date.
April 9, 1990
|"Suzanne Goes Looking For A Friend"||A former beauty queen and currenttelevision weather forecaster announces her "coming out",causing a confused Suzanne to think she means she's the world's oldestdebutante and to accept Eugenia's invitation to join her at a televisionindustry dinner.
|24||April 30, 1990||"Foreign Affairs"||Suzanne's maid Consuela, is threatened with deportation. Anthony pretends to be her, even wearing a dress, to help her.
|25||May 7, 1990||"Have Faith"||Mary Jo attends church with Julia and Charlene and ends up dating the minister. Anthony gets his clothing stolen at a baseball game.
|26||May 9, 1990||"Their Finest Hour"||An hour-long clip show of highlights from the previous seasons including a razor-tongued Julia standing up for Suzanne against an insolent beauty pageant contestant, Julia defending Bernice's eccentricities, Mary Jo commenting on men and bra sizes, Charlene wondering about everything from killer bees to the personal habits of other women, Suzanne displaying a series of wacky dresses, and Anthony being plagued by a variety of indignities.
||No. 94/No. 95|
|27||May 14, 1990||"Anthony's Graduation"||As if Anthony weren't under enough stress over his impending graduation, and a visit from his grandmother, he is shot in the leg by Suzanne, when she mistakes him for an intruder.
|28||May 21, 1990||"La Place sans Souci"||Julia, Mary Jo, Suzanne, Charlene, and Anthony go to a posh spa. After Suzanne and Charlene are put on the weight loss program and Julia and Mary Jo are put on the weight gain program, tempers flare. They end up getting kicked out of the resort after flinging mud at each other from the thermal mud bath.
Season 5 (1990–1991)
|Episode #||Airdate||Title||Overview||Production Number|
|01||September 17, 1990||"A Blast from the Past"||Sugarbaker's is beset by tourists when the building's Civil War foundation puts it on the Tour of Historical Homes, Mary Jo opens her heart to an old friend eager to make good on a marriage pact they once entered into.
|02||September 24, 1990||"Papa Was a Rolling Stone"||During Anthony's 30th birthday, he ends up meeting the father he never knew.
|03||October 1, 1990||"Working Mother"||Resentment builds between Charlene and Mary Jo when Charlene wants to take a year off to look after her baby. The decorators cater to the whims of a rich, insufferable 10-year-old client as Mary Jo and Charlene ponder the joys and pitfalls of working mothers.
|04||October 15, 1990||"Miss Trial"||Julia may have to miss her reception with former President Carter when she is sequestered while on jury duty. Suzanne, Anthony and Charline invade at a record store.
|05||October 22, 1990||"The Bachelor Auction"||When organizational confusion leads to Suzanne winning a date with Anthony in a bachelor charity auction, the two reluctantly try to make the best of a very awkward situation.
|06||October 29, 1990||"Charlene Buys a House"||Charlene buys a house that is haunted by the former owner. She hires Sugarbaker's to make some decorating improvements and the ladies have to stay the night in the haunted house.
|07||November 5, 1990||"Old Rebels and Young Models"||Charlene's baby auditions for a modeling job.
|08||November 12, 1990||"Nowhere to Run To"||Mary Jo takes up jogging and invites Julia to come along. Soon Julia goes overboard, only focusing on running, so she will get in shape for her annual physical.
|09||November 19, 1990||"A Class Act"||Anthony becomes a full partner in Sugarbaker's and this creates some adjustment issues for Suzanne. Charlene begins take classes part-time and has to fend off an amorous psychology professor.
|10||November 26, 1990||"Keep the Homes Fires Burning"||Charlene misses her husband Bill who's been sent to the Persian Gulf. She dreams back in time when the United States enters the war following the attack on Pearl Harbor of December 7, 1941.
|11||December 10, 1990||"My Daughter, Myself"||Mary Jo forbids her nearly 18-year-old daughter to date a 34-year-old man. She then decides to date him herself. Julia crashes the men's restroom at a football stadium after waiting in line forever for the women's restroom.
|12||December 17, 1990||"And Now, Here's Bernice"||Bernice gets a local Public-access television cable TV show and invites Julia, Mary Jo, Charele and Anthony as her guests, but presents them as proprieters of a call girl service, rather than a decorating firm. After Mary Jo has her heart broken, she decides that she needs to warn women about men who break women's hearts, and uses Bernice's show to out them.
|13||January 7, 1991||"Pearls of Wisdom"||Mary Jo switches her knock-off pearls for Suzanne's real ones as a joke, but then loses them in an all-you-can-eat salad bar. Suzanne subs on the local news as a lifestyle reporter. A recurring dream about Julia upsets Anthony.
|14||January 14, 1991||"High Noon in a Laundry Room"||After Anthony's laundry room is taken over by a group of thugs, he's afraid that confronting by the thugs might spark a big brawl. The ladies arrive in the laundry room just in time to come to his rescue.
|15||January 28, 1991||"How Long Has This Been Going On?"||Everyone at Sugarbaker's is shocked when they discover Julia has been secretly performing at a local night club (under the name of Gizelle). Anthony wants to date a beautiful woman who works at the local bookstore, then realizes the woman is rude, loud, and crass.
|16||February 4, 1991||"The Emperor's New Nose"||Bernice gets a botched face lift, liposuction work, and a (bad) nose job that makes her look like a pig. Suzanne buys a Cadillac after driving one as a loaner while her Mercedes is in the shop. The girls can't stop complimenting her on it, while secretly laughing at it. While shopping with Charlene, Bernice actually gets mistakened for Miss Piggy by a little boy and his mother. Bernice finally decides to get reconstructive surgery.
|17||February 11, 1991||"Maybe, Baby"||Mary Jo told J.D. that she wants a baby and has to decide how to do it, while Suzanne decides she's going to smoke to lose weight.
|18||February 25, 1991||"This is Art?"||After Julia's purse accidentally gets mistaken for a piece of conceptutal art and sold at a local gallery, she gains a reputation as an artist. Suzanne glues her mouth shut while repairing a broken fingernail and unable to speak, and Mary Jo attempts to fix a ding she accidentally put in Charlene's car, when she backed into it.
|19||March 4, 1991||"Blame It On New Orleans"||The ladies attend a New Orleans convention, where Mary Jo oversteps her rules of decorum with a man who turns out to be married.
|20||March 18, 1991||I'll See You In Court||Mary Jo runs across the man who mugged her the year before, but faces horrendous judicial red tape to bring him to trial. Suzanne takes Bernice and her friends to the mall under threat of Julia's wrath and then begins doing it on a regular basis.
|21||April 8, 1991||The Big Circle||After Reese dies, Suzanne helps a despondent Julia plan a getaway cruise; only to have a former client, young Randa Oliver, arrive on her doorstep needing a place to stay.
|22||April 29, 1991||Friends And Husbands||Charlene quits the children's-book project with Mary Jo's upon Bill's return from the Middle East. Bernice takes videos hoping to get them on television. Julia fails her driver's test.
|23||May 6, 1991||"Fore!"||Anthony is invited to be the first black in the previously all-white Beaumont Country Club, which concerns Suzanne because she is worried that it is only because they want to get on the PGA tour.
|24||May 13, 1991||"The Pride of Sugarbakers"||Mary Jo and Julia demonstrate different coaching styles when Sugarbaker's sponsors a Little League team on which Quint and Randa both play. Suzanne's new car seems to be a magnet for foul balls. [Note: this is to be Delta Burke's final appearance on the series.]
Season 6 (1991–1992)
|Episode #||Airdate||Title||Overview||Production Number|
|01||September 16, 1991||"The Big Desk: Part 1"||It is revealed that Suzanne has moved to Japan as Delta Burke has left the series. Carlene, Charlene's sister, is introduced as well as Julia's cousin Allison who bought out Suzanne's share of Sugarbaker's. Much to everyone's dismay, Allison has an enormous desk delivered to Sugarbaker's before she arrives on scene where she quickly annoys everyone at Sugarbaker's. Hilarity ensues when a male stripper arrives at the office for Julia's birthday only to accidentally strip for Allison. [Note: Julia Duffy and Jan Hooks join the cast]
|02||September 16, 1991||"The Big Desk: Part 2"||Sugarbaker cousin and the new not-so-silent partner Allison tries to take charge of Sugarbaker's and Julia is not too thrilled. Also, Charlene's younger sister Carlene arrives and reveals she's divorcing her husband. Anthony and Allison fight over ownership of Suzanne's house. [Note: Jean Smart's final appearance on the series; she is credited as a "special guest star."]
|03||September 23, 1991||"A Toe in the Water"||Julia thinks she's ready to resume dating, but Alison disagrees, questioning the manliness of Julia's new beau. Meanwhile, Allison and Anthony continue to bicker about who owns Suzanne's house, until Anthony obtains an affidavit asserting his right to occupy the house—and allows Allison to stay on only as his personal servant.
|04||September 30, 1991||"Dwayne's World"||Mary Jo protectively takes divorcee Carlene under her wing—going overboard with a lie about Carlene's latest flame—when ex-hubby Dwayne shows up to sweep Carlene off her feet again.
|05||October 7, 1991||"Marriage Most Foul"||When Allison's ex-convict former flame (whom she turned in for insider trading) is released, she fears he is plotting revenge, instead, he proposes to her.
|06||October 14, 1991||"Picking A Winner"||Mary Jo turns to a sperm bank to get pregnant, prompting mixed reactions at work. Meanwhile, Julia threatens to rip the draperies from the windows of the home of a wealthy client whose payment is overdue.
|07||October 21, 1991||"Last Tango in Atlanta"||Allison gets a bad hairdo from a ponytailed stylist. The women help out at an outreach program at Anthony's old prison and are stuck in a room with T-Tommy Reed during a prison riot. He takes a liking to Allison and makes her feel better about her hairdo. After the women leave the jail Allison receives a package from T-Tommy with the stylist's ponytail in it.
|08||November 4, 1991||"The Strange Case of Clarence and Anita"||The Sugarbaker women take sides on the controversial confirmation hearings of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill's accusation of sexual harassment: Mary Jo and Julia side with Hill and Allison with Thomas. Conflict spills over into Allison's birthday party, where Mary Jo and Julia turn up in costume (they'd appeared in a stage production of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?) just in time to hear a television interview about the hearings with Allison.
|09||November 11, 1991||"Just Say Doe"||When Mary Jo's womanizing brother visits, falls for Allison, and takes her and Quinton on a deer-hunting trip, the women secretly tag along.
|10||November 18, 1991||"Julia And Rusty, Sittin In A Tree"||Julia is pressured into a second date with Rusty and ends up setting up Mary Jo with one of Rusty's friends. Carlene and Allison go out with some junior-college guys. Anthony tags along to the drive-in with Bernice to keep an eye on things.
|11||December 1, 1991||"Julia And Mary Jo Get Stuck Under A Bed"||Sugarbaker's enters a Christmas design contest, but are worried about their ideas being copied. While checking one of the competitor's designs out, Julia and Mary Jo have to hide under a promiscuous anchorman's bed to avoid being caught in his house.
|12||December 9, 1991||"Real, Scary Men"||When their van breaks down the women become unwelcome guests at a men's club retreat Wildman Sanctuary, where Anthony is trying to land a new account.
|13||December 16, 1991||"Tales Out Of School"||Anthony sees opportunity when his normally unfriendly law professor is attracted to Carlene and invites the two of them to his annual Christmas party.
|14||January 6, 1992||"Driving My Mama Back Home"||Julia and Mary Jo take Mary Jo's mother home on an overnight bus trip. Allison, Carlene and Anthony get locked in the storeroom while taking inventory.
|15||January 13, 1992||"Payne Comes Home"||Julia's son Payne returns home with news that his marriage is ending.
|16||January 20, 1992||"Carlene's New Apartment"||Carlene invites Julia, Mary Jo, Allison, Anthony and Bernice to a sleepover to celebrate her finding her own apartment, which turns out to be not in the best part of town. They end up fleeing in the middle of the night.
|17||February 3, 1992||"Mamed"||A tough-talking, hard-drinking, temperamental Broadway has-been promises to make Julia rue the day that she stole the role of Mame from her in Anthony's community-theater production. But on opening night she is too drunk to perform and Anthony is pressed into taking on the role.
|18||February 10, 1992||"A Scene From a Mall"||Mall security guards accuse Anthony of criminal activities when he is standing outside a jewelry store. Julia stages a sit-in at the mall to protest his unfair treatment.
|19||March 2, 1992||"All About Odes to Atlanta"||Carlene enters an Atlanta theme-song contest and convinces Mary Jo and Julia to perform her jingle with her at the contest finals. Shortly after entering Carlene gets a groupie who wants to be as helpful as she can with the contest. She turns out to be a competitor in the jingle contest who is trying to sabotage Carlene's chance at winning.
|20||March 9, 1992||"I Enjoy Being a Girl"||On an overnight Girl Scout outing, Carlene's leadership abilities take a beating, while Allison's methods seem to charm the spoiled troopers, and Mary Jo and Julia advocate roughing it.
|21||March 23, 1992||"L.A. Story"||Allison invests in a Hollywood film, then brings everyone to director Charles Nelson Reilly's home. He has no idea who they are and Allison learns she has basically been conned out of her $25,000 investment.
|22||April 27, 1992||"A Little Night Music"||Julia strolls down memory lane while awaiting the results of hysterectomy tests at a hospital whose workers are on strike, and a surgeon turns out to be her prescription for romance.
|23||May 4, 1992||"Shades of Vanessa"||The Sugarbaker women use Anthony as "date bait" to reel in a big account involving a hotelier's flamboyant debutante daughter who's angling for a whopper of a deal, then Anthony announces he is marrying Vanessa who intends to become a partner in Sugarbaker's.
Season 7 (1992–1993)
|Episode #||Airdate||Title||Overview||Production Number|
|01||September 25, 1992||"Of Human Bondage"||After cousin Allison leaves Sugarbaker's, Julia needs cash but is refused a bank loan. To cheer themselves up, the women play poker with a wealthy client who wins the business from them. Sugarbaker's could use an infusion of cash, and at a rowdy party given by potential new client B.J., the gals kick up their heels in wild abandon. [Note: Judith Ivey joins the cast as B.J.; for the final season the show no longer has an opening theme song, instead displaying the actors' names over the beginning of the actual episode.]
|02||October 2, 1992||"Sex and the Single Woman"||Carlene spends the night with her visiting ex-husband, then admits she was just using him for sex.
|03||October 16, 1992||"Mary Jo vs. the Terminator"||After Mary Jo asks Julia to proofread a letter for her, Julia completely rewrites it, annoying Mary Jo. Mary Jo ends up telling off know-it-all Julia just before the two are about to appear in at a fashion show, leading to disastrous results. B.J. expresses her thoughts on a series of billboards, one of which angers vegetarians.
|04||October 23, 1992||"On the Road Again"||In an attempt at spontaneity, a carefree Mary Jo takes off for Nashville for "a hen party on wheels" with Julia and Bernice, but they become terrified when a trucker that Bernice flirted with at a diner pursues them. Meanwhile, back at the office, Carlene and Anthony put their noses to the grindstone studying for midterms.
|05||October 30, 1992||"Screaming Passages"||Julia finds herself in the "biological twilight zone" of menopause just as she is about to embark on a new relationship with a handsome symphony conductor.
|06||November 6, 1992||"Viva Las Vegas" (1)||After Vanessa calls off their wedding, Anthony joins the gang on a getaway to Las Vegas, where he nurses his broken heart in the company of a show stopping showgirl whom he impulsively weds.
|07||November 13, 1992||"Fools Rush In" (2)||BJ offers to help Anthony out of his perdicament after he awakens to discover he's married to Las Vegas showgirl Etienne.
|08||November 20, 1992||"Love Letters"||A steamy love letter from another woman is found in James' safe-deposit box and shatters B.J.'s image of her late husband as a faithful companion worthy of her trust, but the letter that her late husband's faithful companion was 36 years old. Meanwhile, reveling in the destruction of her old car, a symbol of her days as a suburban housewife, Mary Jo goes wild in a new red convertible.
|09||December 4, 1992||"The Vision Thing"||Etienne drives Anthony crazy trying to be the perfect wife.
|10||December 11, 1992||"Trial and Error"||Law student Anthony helps Mary Jo in court in a case involving her defective freezer.
|11||January 8, 1993||"Too Dumb to Date"||Mary Jo dates a handsome idiot, a to-die-for toyboy male model who seems to have few toys in the attic and little in common with her.
|12||January 15, 1993||"The Odyssey"||B.J.'s contribution to the Democratic Party gets the Sugarbaker crew invited to the Inaugural Ball, but the trip proves to be a party for no one, even Julia, who struggles to maintain a cheery disposition in the face of disaster as bad weather forces a change in plans.
|13||January 22, 1993||"Oh Dog, Poor Dog"||After eye surgery, Bernice overhears the gals talk of putting Mary Jo's dog out of its misery and figures they're planning her own mercy killing, so she barricades herself inside the storeroom. Meanwhile, Julia gets caught listening to a London phone line which plays tapes of Princess Diana's private conversations with her boyfriend.
|14||February 5, 1993||"Wedding Redux"||Anthony and Etienne renew their vows for Etienne's visiting parents and Anthony's grandmother at a ceremony at B.J.'s, where anything that could go wrong does.
|15||February 12, 1993||"Nude Julia, New York Morning"||While attending a gallery art show of a former teacher of Julia's, Mary Jo, Anthony, Carlene, B.J. and Julia discover a nude painting on display that he painted of Julia.
|16||March 5, 1993||"Sex, Lies and Bad Hair Days"||B.J.'s dating adventures take a turn for the worse on her birthday, when a bad-hair day and two miserable blind dates have her vowing to give up men, so Julia tries to cheer her up by getting her a date with a really nice fellow.
|17||March 12, 1993||"Shovel Off to Buffalo"||When the face of Elvis appears on her snow shovel, Mary Jo wants to get rid of it. Her neighbor sees it and when she tries to convince him its just a coincidence, he regains his hearing and believes she is a miracle worker. At the end of the episode the face on the shovel mysteriously disappears.
|18||April 2, 1993||"It's Not So Easy Being Green"||When Etienne's successful writer friend visits Anthony is jealous of the vivid past he shares with her. He tries to be gracious by throwing a signing party for him.
|19||April 30, 1993||"The Woman Who Came to Sugarbakers"||Julia's overbearing former school mistress visits and annoys everyone at Sugarbaker's. After Julia tells them she is only there because of ghostly instructions from her dead husband telling her to "Go to Julia", they decide to have a seance to try to force her to leave.
|20||May 7, 1993||"The Lying Game"||Carlene is confused by her new beau Eric's unusual habit of cross-dressing. To try to understand him, she begins cross-dressing.
|21||May 24, 1993||"Gone With a Whim" (1)||With Sugarbaker's in such bad financial shape, the ladies are grateful when B.J. gets them a job redecorating a house that resembles the great home from Gone with the Wind - until they find out that the new lady of the house plans to rip out the grand staircase and replace it with an elevator. To make matters worse, B.J. finds out that their client is trying to take over Poteet Industries and plans to give Sugarbaker's to his young bride Kiki - renaming it "Kikibaker's".
|22||May 24, 1993||"Gone With a Whim" (2)||With Julia continuing to fight to save the antebellum Kearney mansion, B.J. struggles to save Sugarbaker's and Poteet Industries from a takeover from the Kearneys. However, despite their efforts, Kiki Kearney announces her new plans for "Kikibaker's", Lester Kearney announces that the purchase of Poteet Industries is complete, and the modernizing of the mansion gets underway. Anthony and the women are fired for insubordination. Craig, a friend of Mary Jo's, stumbles on some embarrassing news about the Kearneys' illegal financial activities. Poteet Industries and Sugarbaker's are saved from the takeover. [Note: the series was canceled after this episode was filmed, making it the de facto series finale.]
|N/A||July 28, 2003||"The Designing Women Reunion"||Delta Burke, Dixie Carter, Annie Potts, Jean Smart and Meshach Taylor reunited to share behind-the-scenes memories from their time on the series. Topics included initial casting and favorite episodes. Clips from many episodes are played, as well as new interviews with additional cast members, crew members and others associated with the world of television.|