List of The Cosby Show episodes

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The list of episodes for the NBC television sitcom, The Cosby Show. The series aired from September 20, 1984 to April 30, 1992 with 202 episodes produced and aired, spanning eight seasons.

Series overview[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired
Season premiere Season finale
1 24 September 20, 1984 May 9, 1985
2 25 September 26, 1985 May 15, 1986
3 25 September 25, 1986 May 7, 1987
4 24 September 24, 1987 April 28, 1988
5 26 October 6, 1988 May 11, 1989
6 27 September 21, 1989 May 3, 1990
7 26 September 20, 1990 May 2, 1991
8 25 September 19, 1991 April 30, 1992

Season 1 (1984–85)[edit]

  • This season's opening credits features the Huxtable family playing sports in Central Park. Two versions of the show's theme song are used in this sequence. A long version of the show's theme is heard in the second and another episode, but a shortened version with a few bars taken out and with a different, though similar, style is used for the rest of the season. The show's theme, titled "Kiss Me", was composed by Stu Gardner and Bill Cosby.
  • Sabrina LeBeauf appears in four episodes.
No. in
season
No. in
series
Title Director Writer(s) Original air date Production
code
1 1 "Pilot"
"Theo's Economic Lesson"
Jay Sandrich Ed. Weinberger and Michael Leeson September 20, 1984 0101

When Theo brings home a poor report card, but claims he does not need good grades to get a job. So Cliff gives him an economics lesson with Monopoly money. Much to Cliff's dismay, Denise goes on a date with Rafael, an older man who is a former merchant marine. Cliff and Clair's plans for a quiet night are ruined when Vanessa and Rudy can't sleep, with Rudy claiming the wolf man was growling in her closet.

Note: In 1996, TV Guide included this episode as part of its "100 Most Memorable Moments in TV History", ranking it # 31. 
2 2 "Goodbye Mr. Fish" Jay Sandrich Earl Pomerantz September 27, 1984 0102
When Rudy's goldfish dies, Cliff struggles over how to break the bad news to her. Cliff wants to hold a formal funeral in the bathroom, but the rest of the family has other ideas about the proper site for the "memorial." 
3 3 "Bad Dreams" Jay Sandrich John Markus October 4, 1984 0103
Cliff forbids ten-year-old Vanessa to see a scary movie; though he allows older brother Theo to go. Vanessa sneaks out to see the movie anyway, but soon regrets it when she begins having nightmares. Now she insists on sleeping with Cliff and Clair, but she quickly overstays her welcome. 
4 4 "Is That My Boy?" Jay Sandrich John Markus October 11, 1984 0105
Cliff is thrilled that Theo will continue the Huxtable tradition as a member of the football team. And he can hardly control his joy when his son asks to see some of his old football moves. But his delight turns to disappointment when he sees that Theo has no moves of his own. 
5 5 "A Shirt Story" Jay Sandrich John Markus October 18, 1984 0108

Theo's plans to impress his date by wearing an expensive designer shirt are ruined when Cliff forces him to return the extravagant purchase. But Denise comes to the rescue when she offers to make Theo an exact copy for a third of the price.

Notes: Guest appearance by Kadeem Hardison, who years later would portray Dwayne Wayne on the Cosby Show spinoff, A Different World. The name "Gordon Gartrelle" was taken from a staff member, who eventually became a writer/producer for The Cosby Show during the final two seasons of the series. 
6 6 "Breaking With Tradition" Jay Sandrich Earl Pomerantz October 25, 1984 0106

Denise wants to attend Princeton like her older sister, Sondra. But Grandpa Russell wants her to attend Hillman, to uphold a family tradition. Cliff explains to his father the prestige of attending a highly regarded school like Princeton, until the elder Huxtable points out that Hillman produced a highly regarded doctor... Cliff.

Note: Russell mentions that the only reason Cliff attended Hillman was because of Clair going, but in a later episode from the fourth season, Clair reveals to Vanessa and Rudy that Cliff was at Hillman while she was in high school. This is also the first appearance of Earle Hyman as Russell Huxtable. 
7 7 "One More Time" Jay Sandrich Earl Pomerantz November 1, 1984 0107

When Clair baby sits for a newborn baby, she yearns to have another child of her own. Cliff, however, does not think it is such a good idea. In an effort to change Clair's mind, he introduces her to Mrs. Burke, a patient of his who is expecting child number 13. But Cliff's plan backfires when Clair is struck by how good Mrs. Burke looks.

Note: This is the first appearance of Ethel Ayler as Carrie Hanks, Clair's mother. 
8 8 "Play It Again, Vanessa" Jay Sandrich Jerry Ross November 8, 1984 0109

With her music recital three days away, Vanessa cannot play a note on the clarinet. So Cliff arranges for her music teacher to give her private lessons. Jazz great Dizzy Gillespie guest stars as Vanessa's music teacher who tries to give her a crash course in the clarinet.

Guest star: Dizzy Gillespie as Mr. Hampton, Vanessa's music teacher 
9 9 "How Ugly Is He?" Jay Sandrich John Markus November 15, 1984 0110
Dr. Cliff Huxtable and his wife, Clair, a lawyer, invite daughter Denise's bright new boyfriend to dinner. But the outspoken fellow soon wears out his welcome when he criticizes the medical and legal professions.Kristoff St. John plays boyfriend David. 
10 10 "Bonjour, Sondra" Jay Sandrich Jerry Ross & Michael Loman November 22, 1984 0111

Excited that the whole family will be together for Thanksgiving, Cliff anxiously waits for Sondra's arrival home from Princeton. But instead of celebrating, Sondra spends the holiday trying to persuade her parents to let her go to Paris for the summer.

Note: This is the first appearance of Sabrina LeBeauf in the role of Sondra Huxtable. 
11 11 "Knight to Night"
"You're Not a Mother Night"
Jay Sandrich Karyl Geld Miller & Korby Siamis December 6, 1984 0104
When Cliff Huxtable realizes that Clair is overstressed at home and in the office, he treats her to a night in a deluxe, first-class, spare-no-expense room at the Biltmore Hotel. Back at home, Denise is left to watch over the younger kids. 
12 12 "Rudy's Sick" Jay Sandrich Matt Williams December 13, 1984 0113
Rudy is sick, and Clair must go to an important interview, so Cliff stays home to watch her. Unfortunately, Cliff soon discovers that being a doctor has not fully prepared him to take care of a sick child. 
13 13 "Father's Day" Jay Sandrich John Markus & Elliot Shoenman December 20, 1984 0112
Cliff gives the children a lecture on the importance of picking their father a suitable gift instead of the neon ties and yo-yos they usually buy him. The kids take his advice to heart and plan a special Father's Day for their dad six months early. 
14 14 "Independence Day" Jay Sandrich Matt Robinson January 10, 1985 0114

While staying at a friend's house for a weekend, Theo has his ear pierced to prove his independence. When the ear becomes infected, Theo is forced to show Cliff the earring and accept his punishment – a lecture from Grandpa.

Note: This episode marks the first appearance of Clarice Taylor as Anna Huxtable. 
15 15 "Physician of the Year" Jay Sandrich John Markus January 17, 1985 0115

Cliff is chosen to be honored with a very prestigious award: "Physician of the Year." But on the night of the awards banquet,Cliff is delayed in the hospital delivery room. So a proud Theo accepts the award for his father.Sheldon Leonard guest stars as Cliff's boss.

Guest star: Aleta Mitchell as Mrs. Randall, Elisa de la Roche as Nurse 
16 16 "Jitterbug Break" Jay Sandrich Matt Williams January 31, 1985 0116

To warm up for his night out with Clair and their friends, Cliff shows off a few of his dance moves in the living room. Denise claims her father's footwork is old-fashioned and boring, and that break-dancing is the superior art form. To show Denise and her friends what dancing is really about, Cliff invites his friends Ralph and Marie over to teach the teenagers how to jitterbug.

Guest stars: Blair Underwood as Denise's boyfriend (uncredited), Judith Jamison as Marie, Donald McKayle as Ralph, Gerard Cooper as Guy, Christine Langner as Girl 
17 17 "Theo and the Joint" Jay Sandrich John Markus February 7, 1985 0117

Cliff and Clair are concerned when they find a marijuana cigarette in Theo's schoolbook. Theo is upset that someone has planted the joint in his book, so he goes out of his way to find the culprit who set him up.

Guest star: Iman as Mrs. Montgomery, one of Cliff's patients 
18 18 "Vanessa's New Class" Jay Sandrich Matt Williams & Carmen Finestra February 14, 1985 0118

Vanessa is confident that her science project will bring her the usual top honors she expects, until she discovers that the other students in her new advanced-placement class are much more competitive than she thought.

Guest stars: William Christian as Mr. Robertson; the first appearance of Pam Potillo as Vanessa's friend Janet Meisner 
19 19 "Clair's Case" Jay Sandrich Winifred Hervey February 21, 1985 0119

After Sondra is ripped off by a conniving auto mechanic, an incensed Clair goes to court to right the wrong. While Clair is preparing her court case, Cliff plays family chef and cooks up some rather bizarre concoctions for dinner – leaving the kids hungering for Mom's cooking.

Guest stars: David Langston Smyrl as the man in court, Shawn Elliott as Mr. Wilson, Alan North as Judge

Note: This is the only episode where Clair Huxtable is seen in a courtroom
20 20 "Back to the Track, Jack" Jay Sandrich Matt Robinson February 28, 1985 0120

Cliff is excited to join his former teammates from Hillman College in a grudge match against Norton University, until he discovers he is 25 years out of shape. Josh Culbreath, 1956 Olympic bronze medalist, guest stars as Sanford B. "Tailwind" Turner, the only man ever to beat Cliff "Combustible" Huxtable.

Guest stars: Al Freeman, Jr. as Coach Ernie Scott, 1956 Olympic medalist, Dhamiri Abayomi as Himself 
21 21 "The Younger Woman" Jay Sandrich John Markus March 14, 1985 0121

Clair is excited to learn that Cliff's widower friend, Mike has a new woman in her life and invites the couple over for dinner. But Clair is shocked to discover that the beautiful Nikki is the same age as her oldest daughter.

Guest stars: Terry Farrell as Nicki Phillips, Robert King as Dr. Mike Newcomb 
22 22 "The Slumber Party" Jay Sandrich Carmen Finestra March 28, 1985 0122

While Clair is away at a seminar, an imaginative and exhausted Cliff dreams up ways to entertain the children, including that old standby – the bucking-horse ride. But only Grandpa Huxtable is able to tame the troops. When Rudy complains she has no one to play with, Cliff allows her to have a friend or two sleep over. But the modest gathering soon turns into a rollicking slumber party for eight.

Guest stars: First appearance of Peter Costa as Peter, the Huxtables' neighbor, Earle Hyman as Russell, Alicia Keys (billed under her given name of Alicia Cook)

Note: The show opened with a brief voiceover from Keshia Knight-Pulliam explaining that this episode was meant specifically for kids. 
23 23 "Mr. Quiet" Jay Sandrich Emily Tracy May 2, 1985 0125

Theo finds a battered young boy at the playground of the Keystone Community Center and takes him to the Center's director, Tony Castillo, played by guest star Tony Orlando. Cliff, Theo and Tony try to help the boy but get no response. Tony, however, senses there is something special about the child and remains patient and determined to win him over.

Guest stars: Alexis Cruz as Enrique Tarron, Ada Maris as Selena Cruz, Angela Bassett as Mrs. Mitchell, Lisa Mordente as Expectant Mother #1

Note: This episode was a backdoor pilot for a proposed spin-off series featuring Tony Orlando's character and the community center, which never came to fruition. Also, the first episode in which Clair is shown to be fluent in Spanish. 
24 24 "Cliff's Birthday" Jay Sandrich Elliot Shoenman & John Markus May 9, 1985 0124

While Cliff snoops around trying to discover his special birthday surprise, a clever Clair has arranged for the Huxtable family to see legendary performer Lena Horne. Cliff is beside himself when Lena Home dedicates a song to him and invites the family to her dressing room after the show.

Guest stars: Lena Horne as herself, Clarence Williams III as Clarence Thornehill, Sabrina LeBeauf as Sondra 

Season 2 (1985–86)[edit]

For this season, the opening credits changed from the Huxtables in the park to a gray room with the cast dancing. The song was changed for the first time keeping the show's theme signature and featured a sort of jazz tone. Each cast member, in descending age of their characters, dances alongside Cosby as his/her name is shown in the credits. Bill Cosby is seen at the end of the credits "dancing" to the music as the production credits appear and at the end, he quickly turns his head and looks into the camera before the sequence fades to black. Two versions of this theme were also used. Much like the season one theme, both versions of season two's theme song were completely different in sound than the other. The long version featured more of a synth beat than the short. Midway through the season, following her marriage to NBC sportscaster Ahmad Rashād, Phylicia Ayers-Allen's name in the opening credits is changed to "Phylicia Rashād". Producer Caryn Sneider's (who also got married) credit was also changed to read "Produced by Caryn Sneider Mandabach."

No. in
season
No. in
series
Title Director Writer(s) Original air date Production
code
1 25 "First Day of School" Jay Sandrich John Markus & Elliot Shoenman September 26, 1985 0201
An ecstatic Cliff and Clair are the only happy Huxtables when summer vacation ends and school bells ring for the kids. High school senior Denise looks forward to a revitalized social life without her braces. Boys and make-up are the major concerns for Vanessa, who is anxiously awaiting her first day of junior high. Theo contemplates a year of agony when he gets the most difficult math teacher in the school. And Rudy does not want to return to school after she is teased by a bully in her first-grade class. 
2 26 "The Juicer" Jay Sandrich Matt Williams October 3, 1985 0204
Cliff buys a new juicer and gives strict instructions to Rudy and her friend Peter not to touch it. When Vanessa gets a phone call and Rudy and Peter are left alone, they proceed to the kitchen and try to make peanut butter and jelly juice with the new contraption. Theo and Denise, who are casually eating at the kitchen table, will not help clean the mess, but have plenty of parenting advice for an angry Cliff. 
3 27 "Happy Anniversary" Jay Sandrich Elliot Shoenman October 10, 1985 0203

Cliff arranges a surprise European cruise for his parents, and the family chips in and arranges to have an oil painting made of the elder couple from a photo of them as newlyweds. But, despite the elaborate gifts, Grandma and Grandpa are most impressed with the children's home-cooked dinner, followed by a rousing lip-sync rendition of Ray Charles classic, Night Time Is The Right Time, featuring the whole Huxtable family.

Note: In 1997, TV Guide ranked this episode number 54 on its '100 Greatest Episodes of All Time' list.[1] 
4 28 "Cliff in Love" Jay Sandrich John Markus October 17, 1985 0205

Sondra's smitten with her boyfriend, Elvin, who is not always reliable. But Cliff prefers a different guy for her, Daryl, a pre-med student, who he thinks would make a great addition to the family. When Sondra and Elvin have another fight, she spitefully makes a date with Daryl, while Cliff coaches the would-be suitor on how to win her heart.

Note: This is the first appearance of Geoffrey Owens as Elvin. Joseph C. Phillips appears as Daryl (Phillips joins the cast in season 6 as Denise's new husband, Navy Lt. Martin Kendall). 
5 29 "Theo and the Older Woman" Jay Sandrich Carmen Finestra October 24, 1985 0202

In exchange for helping older sister Denise with her school project, Theo wants Denise to introduce him to her gorgeous friend, Suzanne. Theo immediately sets out to impress the sexy 17-year-old. Cliff is amused and Denise is distraught when the love-struck Theo dazzles Suzanne with tales of sophistication in an effort to win a date with her. But Theo's bubble bursts when Suzanne's burly boyfriend shows up at the Huxtable home.

Guest stars: Robin Givens as Suzanne and Blair Underwood as Mark 
6 30 "Halloween" Jay Sandrich Elliot Shoenman October 31, 1985 0206

As Halloween approaches, the Huxtables make elaborate preparations and look forward to dressing up in outlandish costumes. Vanessa spends most of her Halloween party trying to mask her true feelings for Robert, whom all the girls think is the coolest boy in the seventh grade.

Guest stars: Akili Prince as Scott; the first appearance of Dondre Whitfield as Robert 
7 31 "Rudy Suits Up" Jay Sandrich Gary Kott November 7, 1985 0208
Clair goes from overprotective mom to football fanatic when Rudy Sweet Feet Huxtable becomes the star of her pee-wee football team. Cliff is delighted that his daughter will follow in his footsteps on the football field, and cons a wary Clair into going to see her play. Clair is swept off her feet by Rudy's play. 
8 32 "Denise Drives" Jay Sandrich Carmen Finestra November 14, 1985 0207
Denise is determined to spend her savings on the first car she sees, and balks when her father forbids her to buy an expensive lemon. But the bargain-conscious Cliff becomes a wheeler-dealer when the family handyman, Mr. Lucas, offers to sell Denise his aunt's old car. Also, Cliff informs a middle-aged couple that they are going to have a baby, which comes as a shock to them, as they already have a five-year-old grandson! David Langston Smyrl as Mr. Lucas. 
9 33 "Clair's Sister" Jay Sandrich Elliot Shoenman & John Markus November 21, 1985 0209

The Huxtable family is thrilled when Clair's sister, Sara, announces her engagement. Legendary jazz vocalist, Joe Williams, plays Clair's father, Al, who refuses to sing at his younger daughter's wedding unless Clair sings with him. Clair and her mom, Carrie, join forces to teach Sara a little something about marriage while Grandpa Al and Cliff chide the groom-to-be about the role of a husband.

Guest stars: Mario Van Peebles as Garvin; the first appearance of Joe Williams as Clair's father Al Hanks 
10 34 "Clair's Toe" Jay Sandrich Matt Williams December 5, 1985 0211
Clair buys a pair of beautiful new shoes and challenges Cliff to a smoothness contest – to decide who has the most style. Unfortunately, when Clair breaks her toe, she cannot fit her bandaged foot into her stylish new shoes. What is more, she refuses any help from Cliff – determined to prove she can function as a lawyer, wife and mother of five, in spite of her broken toe. 
11 35 "Denise's Friend" Jay Sandrich John Markus December 12, 1985 0213

Denise's friend, Michelle, thinks she has a medical problem and wants to keep it from parents, so she asks Cliff for advice. This leads Cliff and Clair to question whether their children would come to them with their problems or seek outside help. They hold a family forum to make sure their children know the lines of communication are always open. But the children pose some hypothetical questions which give their parents pause.

Guest stars: Stacey Dash as Michelle, Denise's friend

Note: This episode won the 1986 Emmy for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series.[2] 
12 36 "Mrs. Westlake" Jay Sandrich Elliot Shoenman January 2, 1986 0210

When Cliff invites his math teacher, Mrs. Westlake, and her husband to dinner, Theo prepares himself for what promises to be the worst night of his life. But Theo is shocked and his parents are surprised when the prim and proper Dragon Lady turns out to be a beautiful and charming woman.

Guest stars: Sonia Braga as Mrs. Westlake 
13 37 "The Auction" Jay Sandrich Gary Kott January 9, 1986 0214

While leafing through a catalog, Clair sees that a painting by her great uncle is for sale at an auction. She remembers her childhood when the painting hung in her grandmother's house, but was later sold to pay medical bills. Although the estimated price for the painting is very high, Clair is determined to bring it back into the family. John Marion, head of Sotheby's, the prestigious New York auction house, guest stars as the auctioneer.

Note: The painting used in the episode is Funeral Procession by Ellis Wilson 
14 38 "Vanessa's Bad Grade" Jay Sandrich Ross Brown January 16, 1986 0212

Vanessa, a straight A student, finds that her grades suffer when she studies with Robert, a classmate that she has a crush on. With a big school dance coming up, she is afraid to show her parents a bad test grade fearing they will keep her home. The night of the dance, Vanessa wears Denise's new sweater without her sister's permission, causing an all-out brawl between the two.

Note: An excerpt from Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech is featured at the end of the episode—originally aired four days before the first observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a U.S. federal holiday. 
15 39 "Theo and Cockroach" Jay Sandrich Thad Mumford January 30, 1986 0215

With an exam on William Shakespeare's Macbeth less than two days away, Theo and his friend Cockroach scheme to pass the test without reading the play. Meanwhile, the Huxtables enjoy some new-fallen snow by having a snowball fight, and Cliff takes Rudy sleigh riding.

Notes: Phylicia Ayers-Allen changes her professional name to Phylicia Rashād, after marrying NBC sportscaster Ahmad Rashād. This is the first appearance of Carl Anthony Payne II as Cockroach. 
16 40 "The Dentist" Jay Sandrich Elliot Shoenman February 2, 1986 0216

The Huxtable family dentist, Dr. Burns, helps Rudy's friend, Peter, overcome his fears of dentists with his zany style of dentistry. And Peter is not the only patient persuaded by Dr. Burns to jump into the chair as Cliff gets a checkup of his own.

Guest appearance: Danny Kaye as Dr. Burns, dentist

Note: This was a special Sunday telecast instead of the usual Thursday timeslot to lead into NBC's airing of the mini-series Peter the Great
17 41 "Play It Again, Russell" Jay Sandrich John Markus February 13, 1986 0217

Cliff convinces his father, Russell, a former professional musician, to come out of retirement and play with his old band, The Jazz Caravan, in an old-fashioned jam session. Since his retirement, Russell thinks he is not the musician he used to be. But Cliff and his mother, Anna, use reverse psychology to convince him to blow the trombone with his pals once again.

Guest appearances: jazz musicians Tito Puente, Art Blakey, Percy Heath, Jimmy Heath, Tommy Flanagan, Eric Gale, Joe Wilder, Carlos Valdes ("Patato"), Bootsie Barnes, and Jimmy Oliver. Slide Hampton provided the audio track for Russell's trombone solos. 
18 42 "A Touch of Wonder" Jay Sandrich Mattt Williams February 20, 1986 0218
Denise and Theo are thrilled when they are involved in a minor car accident with a limousine whose only passenger is superstar singer/songwriter Stevie Wonder. Wonder feels so bad about the accident that he invites the whole Huxtable family to a recording session. Clair teams up with Wonder and the rest of the family to sing Wonder's hit song, I Just Called to Say I Love You. 
19 43 "Full House" Jay Sandrich Gary Kott February 27, 1986 0219
After a week of delivering babies at all hours of the morning, an exhausted Cliff tries in vain to find some peace and quiet at home. Sondra and Elvin are arguing in the dining room. Eddie and Denise are watching MTV in the living room. Theo and Cockroach inspect their lack of facial hair, in the hallway; Vanessa and Robert are studying in the kitchen. And Rudy and Rae play in the master bedroom. A frustrated Cliff gives up and retreats to his office. 
20 44 "Close to Home" Jay Sandrich Carmen Finestra March 13, 1986 0220
It is an average day for the Huxtables: Denise teases Clair on her lopsided work of art after the two return from pottery class, and Cliff talks Theo and Cockroach into writing an educational rap song for a class assignment. But when Cliff's friend Dan (guest star Samuel E. Wright) confides about his troubles at home, Cliff is reminded that average days are not to be taken for granted. 
21 45 "An Early Spring" Jay Sandrich Matt Williams March 20, 1986 0222
Mrs. Westlake's plan to give a tough math test to Theo's class is interrupted when the pregnant teacher goes into labor unexpectedly and seeks the services of Dr. Huxtable to deliver the baby. Also, Cliff tries in vain to teach Rudy to ride a bicycle while Vanessa seeks advice from Denise on every teenager's nightmare: pimples. 
22 46 "Theo's Holiday" Jay Sandrich John Markus & Carmen Finestra & Matt Williams April 3, 1986 0221

A cocky Theo is sure that in a few years he will easily land a job as a fashion model and have a great car, apartment and plenty of spending money. So the Huxtables stage an elaborate scheme to prove to him that living on your own is not what it is cracked up to be. Theo's lesson in reality starts when the Huxtable home is converted into the Real World Apartments with Cliff as the strictly business landlord, Harley Weewax; Clair as the restaurant owner, Millie Farquar; Denise as the shrewd head of a modeling agency; Vanessa as her gum-cracking receptionist, and Rudy as the hard-nosed bank loan officer, Mrs. Griswald.

Note: Cliff wears a cap that says Magnum P.I., referencing The Cosby Show surpassing Magnum P.I as the number one show on Thursday nights, eventually becoming the number one show in prime time during the same season. 
23 47 "The Card Game" Jay Sandrich Matt Robinson April 10, 1986 0224

Cliff's pinochle partner becomes ill and cannot play in their monthly match against Russell and his partner, Homer. So Cliff teams up with his rather stuffy former English teacher, Professor Bennington Foster, who proves to be a formidable pinochle player. Russell tries to stretch the rules to beat his son, unaware that Cliff's fine and upstanding partner has a few tricks of his own. Meanwhile, love is in the air when Theo sends away for a $19.95 genuine diamond ring for his new girlfriend, Tanya.

Guest star: Roscoe Lee Browne as Dr. Foster 
24 48 "Off to the Races" Jay Sandrich Matt Williams May 8, 1986 0225

Cliff Combustible Huxtable is thrilled when his former college track rival, Colonel Sanford B. Tailwind Turner, invites him to run the prestigious anchor leg of a charity relay race in the Penn Relays track meet. He is flattered to be asked to join the four-man mile relay, and is even more excited to discover that his formerly fleet-footed opponent, Charlie Stevenson, is now fat. But Cliff does not realize he is in for the surprise of a lifetime.

Notes: Portions were filmed at the Penn Relays, held in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania's Franklin Field.

Special guest appearances: Valerie Brisco-Hooks, Bill Cosby's real wife, Camille Cosby (uncredited) 
25 49 "Denise's Decision" Jay Sandrich Matt Robinson May 15, 1986 0223
Cliff and his father are among the Huxtables who cannot keep their opinions to themselves when Denise is faced with the difficult decision of which college to attend. Although Denise cannot decide if she wants to go away to school, Cliff and Russell try to persuade her to attend their alma mater in North Carolina. Theo is worried about losing out on Denise's car if she goes away, and Vanessa already has plans for her sister's room. 

Season 3 (1986–87)[edit]

  • This season's opening sequence featured the cast dancing to Latin jazz in a gray/blue room. Once again, Bill Cosby is seen at the end of the credits dancing to the music as the production credits appear and at the end, he quickly turns his head and looks into the camera before the sequence fades to black. Two versions of this theme were used. However, the season three theme's long version had some parts cut, instead of a differently composed version of that theme.
  • Phylicia Rashād was pregnant throughout much of this season, so the crew hid her stomach for most of the season, using such devices as staging the character standing behind the kitchen counter or lying in bed under the covers.
No. in
season
No. in
series
Title Directors Writer(s) Original air date Production
code
1 50 "Bring 'Em Back Alive" Jay Sandrich Matt Williams September 25, 1986 0301
Havoc erupts in the Huxtable home when Rudy spots a snake in the basement and Cliff "Bring ‘Em Back Alive" Huxtable is determined to catch the slithery serpent. The Huxtables rest easier when Theo assures them that the snake cannot climb out of the basement. But their relief is short-lived when an hysterical Clair discovers the snake in her bedroom. 
2 51 "Food for Thought" Jay Sandrich John Markus October 2, 1986 0302
After a friend has a mild heart attack, Cliff struggles with his cravings when Clair insists he cut down on fried and fatty foods. Also, the Huxtables help Denise prepare to leave for her freshman year at Hillman College. 
3 52 "Golden Anniversary" Jay Sandrich Carmen Finestra October 9, 1986 0303

The whole Huxtable family joins together to make Grandma and Grandpa Huxtable's 50th Wedding anniversary a special evening. Cliff arranges for The Count Basie Orchestra, led by Frank Forster, to perform its famous "April in Paris" and his parents' favorite piece, "Shiny Stockings." The Huxtables perform another spirited lip-sync, as they did for the grandparents' 49th, this time to James Brown's "I Got the Feelin'."

Guest stars: Frank Foster and the Count Basie Orchestra 
4 53 "Man Talk" Jay Sandrich John Markus October 16, 1986 0305
Theo and friends are supposed to be studying for their college entrance exams but instead the conversation keeps turning to girls. In particular, Theo cannot decide if he should stay with his current girlfriend, Tanya, or ask out a new girl at school. Meanwhile, Cliff dons the wardrobe of a perfect English gentleman and joins Rudy for a spot of tea. 
5 54 "Mother, May I?" Jay Sandrich Susan Fales October 23, 1986 0304
Cliff and Clair have their hands full with Vanessa, after the rebellious teenager ignores their order not to wear make-up – and comes home from school with the evidence all over her face. Also, after learning about fire safety in school, Theo urges his father to examine the smoke alarms in their home and arranges for a family fire drill. 
6 55 "The March" Tony Singletary Gary Kott October 30, 1986 0306

When Theo receives a mediocre grade on a history paper that he thought he aced, his grandparents give him some insight on how to improve his grades. When both Cliff's and Clair's parents come to the Huxtable home for dinner, Theo learns that the subject of his history paper, the Civil Rights March in Washington D.C., was a remarkable event that deeply touched the lives of his parents and grandparents.

Note: This is the first episode in the series not to be directed by Jay Sandrich. 
7 56 "Theo's Flight" Tony Singletary Gary Kott November 6, 1986 0307

Theo wants to take flying lessons after he is impressed by a guest speaker at his school – a World War II fighter pilot. When Theo asks Cliff's permission to fly, Cliff jokingly reminds his son of all the other professions he has considered in his young life. Meanwhile, a bossy Rudy introduces the family to her first boyfriend, a boy she clearly has wrapped around her finger.

Note: This is the first appearance of Deon Richmond as Kenny, a.k.a. "Bud". 
8 57 "Vanessa's Rich" Tony Singletary Margaret Beddow Hatch November 13, 1986 0308

When Vanessa invites two friends over to visit, they see the large, well-furnished Huxtable home and report back to the other kids at school that Vanessa is a rich girl... and decide she must be stuck up. Angered and insulted, Vanessa gets into a fist fight to defend her reputation.

Guest star: Essence Atkins 
9 58 "Denise Gets a D" Jay Sandrich Matt Geller November 20, 1986 0309

Denise is sure her English paper deserved an "A" but discovers the difference between high school and college when her Professor gives her a "D." When she comes home from college for the weekend, Denise must explain to her parents why her grades are faltering. Also, when Clair takes to her bed with a pinched nerve, Theo helps out with the family chores – much to Cliff's amazement.

Guest star: Rosalind Cash as Dr. Hughes

Note: The episode is preceded by a 30-second anti-drug public service announcement featuring Bill Cosby. 
10 59 "A Girl and Her Dog" Jay Sandrich Chris Auer December 4, 1986 0312
While Clair is away, Cliff takes care of the family, which now includes a lost puppy that Rudy found. Cliff agrees to keep the dog until the weekend, when the family flies to Washington, DC to meet Clair. Meanwhile, Vanessa sulks and mopes around the house because he family's trip falls on the same weekend as her friend's big party. But Cliff insists that Vanessa go with the rest of the family. 
11 60 "War Stories" Jay Sandrich Matt Robinson December 11, 1986 0310
When Cliff's father and his old Army buddies join Cliff in a pinochle game, Cliff is frustrated because the older men keep talking about the Army and will not let Cliff get in a word about his days in the Navy. Cliff becomes further exasperated when his father pulls one of his notorious pinochle hoaxes, with Cliff as the victim. Also, Vanessa is excited about her date with Tyrone, until she decides she also wants to date another boy. 
12 61 "Cliff in Charge" Jay Sandrich Matt Williams December 18, 1986 0311
When Clair and her mother-in-law go to Hillman College to visit Denise, Cliff and his father, Russell, are left in charge of the kids. Russell is pleasantly surprised to see first-hand what a good father Cliff is. Needless to say, all does not go smoothly when Clair is away: Russell helps out when Theo has girl problems; Rudy has a spat with her "boyfriend" Kenny; the sidewalk outside the Huxtable home is in dire need of repair; and a tired Cliff is summoned to deliver two babies. 
13 62 "Monster Man Huxtable" Jay Sandrich Gary Kott January 8, 1987 0313
Sondra and Elvin visit the family on their way to the theater, just as Theo "Monster Man" Huxtable practices for a big wrestling match. When Elvin volunteers to teach Theo some expert wrestling moves, he has to break it to Sondra that he will not be able to go to the theater with her. The family, thinking Elvin's decision will lead to one of Sondra and Elvin's infamous fights, is shocked when Sondra readily agrees that Elvin should do whatever he feels like doing. 
14 63 "Rudy Spends the Night" Jay Sandrich Carmen Finestra January 15, 1987 0314
Grandpa and Grandma Huxtable go all-out to entertain Rudy when the youngster spends the night at their home. Meanwhile, with Cliff and Theo left alone in the house, Cliff decides to hold the first meeting of the Huxtable Men's Club. But their plans are thwarted when Theo has a surprise visitor – the girl of his dreams, Lana Herman. 
15 64 "Say Hello to a Good Buy" Tony Singletary John Markus & Carmen Finestra & Matt Williams January 22, 1987 0315

A thrifty Cliff pretends to be a man of meager means when he shops for a new car. But his attempt to hustle the salesman fails when a window shopper recognizes the disguised Cliff as Dr. Huxtable. Meanwhile, Rudy cuts pictures out of a book for a school project, unaware that she is destroying Cliff's prized encyclopedia collection.

Guest stars: Gilbert Gottfried and Sinbad

Note: Watched by almost 65 million viewers when it originally aired, it is the highest-rated episode of the series. 
16 65 "Denise Gets an Opinion" Tony Singletary Gary Kott February 5, 1987 0316
Denise impatiently waits at home for her blind date, but is confused when Cliff leaves with the boy she thought she was to meet. And when Vanessa's ex-boyfriend, Robert, comes over and finds her in the company of two other guys, the lovesick teenager begs Cliff to help him win Vanessa back. 
17 66 "Calling Doctor Huxtable" Jay Sandrich Chris Auer February 12, 1987 0317

It is a labor crisis when Cliff is called to the hospital to deliver three babies. Meanwhile Vanessa unsuccessfully tries to keep her girlfriend from smoking while she is in the Huxtable home.

Guest stars: Malinda Williams and Patricia Richardson 
18 67 "You Only Hurt the One You Love" Jay Sandrich John Markus & Carmen Finestra February 19, 1987 0318

When Theo and Rudy play wildly in the house, Vanessa warns them that someone is bound to get hurt. Theo does not listen, though, and Rudy ends up with a bruise on her face. If Cliff and Clair find out how Rudy got hurt, Theo will be in big trouble. Theo's not talking – but what about Rudy and Vanessa?

Guest star: Rita Moreno 
19 68 "The Shower" Jay Sandrich Matt Williams February 26, 1987 0319

Clair and Denise attend a bridal shower for Denise's girlfriend. And, while the mood is festive, Denise confides in her mother that she is worried for her friend, who is marrying at a young age and is pregnant. Also, Clair banishes Cliff and Theo after they try to crash the affair.

Guest star: Lela Rochon 
20 69 "Cliff's 50th Birthday" Carl Lauten & Regge Life Gary Kott March 12, 1987 0320

The Huxtable family and friends celebrate Cliff's 50th Birthday. Denise and Sondra come home from college to join the festivities and try to make Cliff feel young by pointing out things that are older than Dad. Clair throws a lavish dinner party for Cliff's 50th Birthday; but despite the happy occasion, she cannot conceal her dislike for one of the guests – a friend of Cliff's who divorced a friend of hers.

Guest star: Gates McFadden (credited as "Cheryl McFadden") 
21 70 "I Know That You Know" Jay Sandrich John Markus & Carmen Finestra & Matt Williams March 19, 1987 0321
Theo receives a package of practical jokes in the mail and succeeds in fooling Clair, Vanessa and Rudy. But Theo's gags cannot fool Cliff and he brags that he is too clever to be tricked. Later, when Cliff is out, Sondra and Elvin visit the family to announce their engagement. The Huxtables decide to use the exciting news to play an elaborate joke on Cliff. 
22 71 "The Andalusian Flu" Jay Sandrich Janet Leahy April 2, 1987 0322
When Cliff and Clair are both bedridden with the flu, Theo volunteers, to the surprise of his parents, to run the household. Theo's plan to delegate the duties to the troops – namely, Vanessa and Rudy – backfires when his sisters realize that they are doing all the work. 
23 72 "Bald and Beautiful" Tony Singletary Gary Kott April 9, 1987 0324

Cliff and Clair look forward to a visit from their old friends, Scott and Jill Kelly – played by gueststars Robert Culp and Ann Reinking. Clair knows how foolish Cliff and Scott act when they are together, though, and gives Cliff a warning. The two pranksters must promise to behave themselves and act like grown men – not silly boys – when the foursome dine at a fancy restaurant. Also, Theo and Cockroach contemplate shaving their heads so they can appear in a new hot music video.

Note: Guest star Robert Culp was Bill Cosby's co-star in the 1960s TV series I Spy
24 73 "Planning Parenthood" Jay Sandrich Elizabeth Hailey & Oliver Hailey April 30, 1987 0326
Cliff treats Rudy and her friends to fine dining at an expensive restaurant, but discovers, much to his chagrin, that fine food is wasted on the young. Also, Clair, her sister Sarah and friends discuss the trials and tribulations of combining a career with motherhood. 
25 74 "Hillman" Jay Sandrich Matt Robinson May 7, 1987 0325

Cliff, Clair and Russell Huxtable visit their alma mater, Hillman College, with the whole family. The college, which Denise now attends, is paying tribute to President Zachariah J. Haynes on the occasion of his retirement. Clair sings "All Good Things Will Be Added Unto You" with the Hillman choir.

Guest stars: Joe Seneca and Gloria Foster

Note: Filmed at Spelman College in Atlanta. The episode serves as a backdoor pilot for the spinoff series A Different World, which premiered next season. 

Season 4 (1987–88)[edit]

This season's opening sequence features the cast dancing happily to vocal funk/jazz. The vocals were sung by Bobby McFerrin. Bill Cosby is seen at the end of the credits dancing to the music as the producer credits appear and at the end, he quickly turns his head, takes off his top hat and looks into the camera before the sequence cuts to black. Unlike the first three seasons, the opening credits featured the cast wearing some formal '30s-style clothing with Bill Cosby wearing a top hat and tails, Tempestt Bledsoe wearing a Navy uniform similar to what performers would wear when performing to the troops in the USO. Malcolm-Jamal Warner wore a business suit and is seen looking at his watch then starts tapping his feet, etc. Geoffrey Owens (Elvin Tibideaux) is introduced to the regular cast by Cosby leading him into Sabrina LeBeauf's credit scene, symbolizing Heathcliff Huxtable "giving away" his daughter Sondra to her new husband. Before the producer credits appear, Bill Cosby is briefly seen holding a picture of Lisa Bonet (Denise). Bonet does not appear as a regular this season, having departed for the spinoff series, A Different World.

No. in
season
No. in
series
Title Director Writer(s) Original air date Production
code
1 75 "Call of the Wild" Jay Sandrich Gary Kott September 24, 1987 0402

Sondra and Elvin shock Cliff and Clair when they return from their honeymoon camping trip with a surprising announcement. The newlyweds have decided to give up their respective career paths to open a camping store in Brooklyn!

Note: Geoffrey Owens (as Elvin) becomes a regular cast member. 
2 76 "Theogate" Jay Sandrich John Markus October 1, 1987 0401

Theo is on the hot seat when he comes home late from a cross-country meet and makes the Huxtable family miss the opening curtain of Vanessa's school play. Cliff and Clair suspect that Theo is not telling the whole truth about his tardiness, so a Huxtable family court is convened, with Vanessa as the judge, Clair as the prosecutor, Cockroach as Theo's defense attorney, Rudy, Kenny and Peter as the jury, and Cliff as the surprise witness.

Note: Bill Cosby and Keshia Knight Pulliam appeared on the episode of A Different World which aired later that evening. 
3 77 "It Ain't Easy Being Green" Carl Lauten & Regge Life John Markus & Carmen Finestra October 8, 1987 0408
Rudy plays her parents against each other to get her way and learns what can happen when you do not follow the rules. Meanwhile, Cliff tries to get the Sanitation Department to pick up his old water heater, and Vanessa's friend, Robert, seeks some advice on girls from Cliff and Theo. 
4 78 "Cliff's Mistake" Carl Lauten & Regge Life Janet Leahy October 15, 1987 0405

When a neighbor asks Cliff to return his prized power drill, Cliff promises to return it later that day. But Cliff then spends the day frantically searching the house, realizing he has no idea where he put the drill. Also, Theo and Vanessa help Rudy prepare a haunted house for her Halloween party.

Note: This is the first appearance of Wallace Shawn as Jeffrey Engels. 
5 79 "Shakespeare" Jay Sandrich Matt Robinson October 22, 1987 0323

Roscoe Lee Browne and Christopher Plummer guest-star as college professors who help Theo and Cockroach study Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar." Also, Denise visits for the weekend, and Cliff insists upon barbecuing, even though it is freezing outside.

Guest stars: Lisa Bonet, Christopher Plummer, Roscoe Lee Browne

Note: This episode was originally produced for season three. 
6 80 "That's Not What I Said" Jay Sandrich Carmen Finestra October 29, 1987 0403
When Theo runs into trouble and ends up at the police station, Cliff and Clair discover how easy it is to take out their anger and frustration on each other. Everyone in the family notices Cliff and Clair's arguing, especially Theo, who hopes his parents will forget to punish him. 
7 81 "Autumn Gifts" Carl Lauten & Regge Life Matt Williams November 5, 1987 0404

Cliff and his father, Russell, pay a visit to the Huxtables' neighbor, Mrs. Hickson (Eileen Heckart). Also, Sondra and Elvin have an unusual promotional idea for their wilderness store.

Note: Bill Cosby and Keshia Knight Pulliam appeared on the episode of A Different World which aired later that evening. 
8/9 82/83 "Looking Back" Jay Sandrich John Markus & Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott November 12, 1987 0413
When Elvin drops by the Huxtable home after another fight with Sondra, the whole family shares some of the classic moments in Huxtable history. The Huxtables take Elvin through some family highlights, including the funeral for Rudy's goldfish, Theo's pierced ear, the slumber party, and Grandpa and Grandma Huxtable's 49th wedding anniversary. 
10 84 "Where's Rudy?" Tony Singletary Gary Kott November 19, 1987 0409

The Huxtable family goes to the mall to cheer Clair's entry in a winter squash contest (Louis Nye guest stars as a rival entrant.) Cliff encourages Theo, Vanessa and Rudy to support their mother's accomplishments, but they see a visit to the mall as a chance to pursue their own interests. And while they’re supposed to be looking after their younger sister, Theo and Vanessa become distracted and Rudy is soon lost in the mall.

Note: Earle Hyman (Russell) appeared on the episode of A Different World which aired later that evening. 
11 85 "Dance Mania" Tony Singletary Matt Williams December 3, 1987 0410

When Clair gives Theo a pair of tickets to the taping of a television dance show, he invites Cockroach to go with him. But later he must make a difficult decision when only one of them can be admitted to the studio. Meanwhile, confronted with the realization that he is the only Huxtable who does not know "new math," Cliff agrees to take lessons from Vanessa.

Note: This is the first appearances of Troy Winbush as Denny and Adam Sandler as Smitty, and the final appearance of Carl Anthony Payne II as Cockroach. Bill Cosby appeared on the episode of A Different World which aired later that evening. 
12 86 "The Locker Room" Jay Sandrich Janet Leahy December 10, 1987 0406
Theo enjoys "locker room talk" with his buddies at school, but when one of them asks Vanessa on a date, Theo becomes concerned about his sister's reputation. Meanwhile, Rudy (a.k.a. "The Great Rudini") stumps Cliff with a magic trick. 
13 87 "The Show Must Go On" Jay Sandrich John Markus & Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott December 17, 1987 0414

Cliff has his hands full when he takes Rudy and her friends to see a vaudeville show and none of the kids finds the performers very funny.

Guest stars: Bill Irwin, vaudeville performer Carl Ballantine ("The Great Ballantine"), and Cosby Show writer Carmen Finestra portrays stand-up comedian Andy Witherspoon. 
14 88 "Bookworm" Jay Sandrich Janet Leahy January 7, 1988 0411

Clair is afraid Cliff will embarrass her at her book club meeting by pretending he read the book being discussed. Cliff insists he will finish the book on time, but Clair thinks he will try to fake his way through. Also, Sondra and Elvin entertain their first overnight guests – Vanessa, Rudy and Theo.

Guest stars: Angela Bassett and S. Epatha Merkerson 
15 89 "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" Carl Lauten & Chuck Vinson Teleplay: John Markus & Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott
Story: Chris Auer and John Markus & Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott
January 14, 1988 0407
When she is assigned the violin instead of the cymbals, Rudy thinks her teacher hates her and decides not to cooperate, so Cliff and Clair are summoned to meet with Rudy's teacher. Meanwhile, Kenny and Vanessa believe Theo is psychic. 
16 90 "The Visit" Regge Life John Markus & Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott January 21, 1988 0416
Theo is uncomfortable visiting his friend Jake, who is hospitalized with cancer. Jack loves seeing his friends and all except Theo have visited him. The late philanthropist Armand Hammer appears in the role of Mr. Lindquist, Jake's grandfather, who is active in raising money for cancer research. Back at the Huxtable home, Elvin tries to get along without Sondra, who has gone to Boston for the weekend to visit her college friends. 
17 91 "The Drum Major" Regge Life Matt Robinson February 4, 1988 0412

Vanessa prepares an impressive audition, hoping to become her school's first female drum major. Cliff and Russell Huxtable share some laughs, and some of Cliff's three-day chili, with Russell's old friend Slim Claxton, a xylophonist who is in town to play at a jazz club with his trio.

Guest star: Dub Taylor as Slim 
18 92 "Waterworks" Tony Singletary Janet Leahy February 11, 1988 0417
When Theo discovers a leaking pipe in his parents' bathroom, he and Clair try to prevent Cliff from making the repairs himself. While Cliff searches the house for his sledge hammer to knock through the wall, Clair quickly hires some college friends of Sondra who have started a plumbing company 
19 93 "Once Upon a Time" Tony Singletary John Markus & Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott February 18, 1988 0415
Rudy writes a fairy tale but falls asleep while reading it to Cliff and Clair. While sleeping, Rudy's fairy tale comes to life in her dreams – with her family and friends in starring roles. 
20 94 "Petanque" Regge Life Matt Williams February 25, 1988 0418

The air is thick with competition as Cliff and his friend James Harmon go head to head in Petanque, a French outdoor bowling game. Clair and Nicole Harmon laugh over their husband's competitiveness, but the men take the competition very seriously.

Note: This is the first appearance of Sullivan Walker as Dr. James Harmon. 
21 95 "Trust Me" Jay Sandrich John Markus & Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott March 3, 1988 0420

When Clair's friend Diane fears her marriage is in trouble, she goes to Clair for help. Meanwhile, Cliff takes a mini-vacation at home.

Guest stars: Meg Foster as Dyan and Joe Fabiani as Richard 
22 96 "Home for the Weekend" Tony Singletary John Markus & Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott March 17, 1988 0421
The Huxtable family rediscovers what it is like to have a daughter visiting from college when Denise comes home from Hillman. Lisa Bonet appears as Denise. 
23 97 "The Prom" Tony Singletary Janet Leahy March 24, 1988 0422

Theo Huxtable and his friends are determined to treat their dates to the best prom night money can buy. Meanwhile, at home, Vanessa and Rudy help Cliff give Clair the prom she never had.

Notes: This is the first appearance of Michelle Thomas as Justine. Phylicia Rashād appeared on the episode of A Different World which aired later that evening. 
24 98 "Gone Fishin'" Tony Singletary John Markus & Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott April 28, 1988 0419
When Theo accidentally catches a corpse while fishing with Cliff, the Huxtables discover how media attention can affect the family. 

Season 5 (1988–89)[edit]

The opening sequence in this season features the cast dancing on a veranda in Caribbean-style clothing, to music written by James DePreist, and performed by the Oregon Symphony Orchestra. This opening credit sequence, choreographed by Geoffrey Holder, is the only one during the series' entire run that featured the whole cast dancing together. There is only one version of the theme used for this season, much like in season four. There is no closing theme version of this orchestration of the theme, instead a funk/jazz version of the theme was used as the closing theme this season.

No. in
season
No. in
series
Title Director Writer(s) Original air date Production
code
1 99 "Together Again and Again" Jay Sandrich Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott & John Markus October 6, 1988 0501

With Denise returning to college for her sophomore year and Theo moving into on-campus accommodations, Cliff and Clair's goal of zero children living at home by the year 2000 begins to look attainable. But they receive a severe setback when Denise decides to drop out of Hillman and Theo forgets to mail in his check to reserve a dormitory room at NYU. Fearing that their nest will never be emptied, a melancholy Cliff proposes that he and Clair leave the house, let the children have it and, unlike General MacArthur, never return.

Guest star: Lisa Bonet as Denise 
2 100 "The Physical" Jay Sandrich Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott & John Markus October 13, 1988 0502

Cliff follows up his "lost weekend" food binge with a day of emergency fasting for his annual blood test and physical. Despite his yeoman performance on the treadmill, the results indicate that his overindulgence in hoagies, chocolate soda and strawberry cheesecake must cease. Meanwhile, Denise is not fazed in the least by her firing from the record company. She picks herself up, dusts herself off, orders a large cheese pie – and then gets hired on as a waitress in the pizza parlor!

Guest star: John Amos as Dr. Bradley Herbert, Jr. and Lisa Bonet as Denise 
3 101 "Rudy's All-Nighter" Tony Singletary Janet Leahy October 20, 1988 0505
Theo gets a "D" on his first freshman English composition and worries that he is not "college material." When he rewrites it, using simple words to communicate his feelings rather than fancy ones to impress his professor, things improve dramatically. Rudy's friend Carolyn sleeps over, but their late-night fighting disrupts Cliff's sleep – and jeopardize his sanity. The girls soon discover that making up is not hard to do, especially when you are really sleepy! 
4 102 "Move It"
"The Baby Game"
Tony Singletary Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott & John Markus October 27, 1988 0503

The meal: burnt veal a la shoe leather, charred yet raw potatoes and brown tap water. The ambiance: rickety furniture, a tuba serenade from above, an exploding microwave oven and a trick window. With their first grandchild about to be born into this environment, Cliff and Clair find dinner at Elvin and Sondra's a most harrowing experience. Their only hope is to persuade the stubborn pair to swallow their pride and accept some help in securing a new, larger and, most important, safer apartment.

Note: Lisa Bonet as Denise 
5 103 "Out of Brooklyn" Tony Singletary Carmen Finestra & John Markus November 3, 1988 0504

Vanessa falls victim to a rumor circulating around school that her boyfriend Roy has broken off their romance. Rudy offers Vanessa some sisterly advice: be really tough, remember that the woman is the boss and do not forget to tell him off! As her anxiety builds and her confidence deteriorates, Vanessa becomes increasingly clumsy, much to the chagrin of everyone in her path. Meanwhile, Denise's prospective employer, a photojournalist who is preparing a book on the pygmy tribes, persuades Cliff and Clair to allow Denise to accompany her to Africa.

Note: This is Lisa Bonet's last appearance of season five and the first appearance of Elizabeth Narvaez as Kara. 
6/7 104/105 "The Birth" Tony Singletary Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott & John Markus November 10, 1988 0506

Bedlam erupts in the Huxtable kitchen when Sondra goes into labor. In his confusion, Elvin drives off to the hospital without her. Everyone gathers in the hospital waiting room to hear the surprise news – Sondra has delivered twins! Meanwhile, Theo has second thoughts about his girlfriend, Justine, when he meets Julia (guest star Naomi Campbell), the beautiful co-ed who is dating his friend Howard.

Guest stars: Deon Richmond as Kenny, Michelle Thomas as Justine, Naomi Campbell as Julia, and the first appearance of Reno Wilson as Howard 
8 106 "Cyranoise de Bergington" Carl Lauten & Chuck Vinson Gary Kott & John Markus November 17, 1988 0507
Theo's friend Howard breaks up with the beautiful Julia. Theo sees this as an opportunity to date her himself, even though he is already dating Justine. To make sure Julia likes him, he asks his friend Denny to put in a good word for him. Although Julia falls for Denny, Theo is not discouraged and decides to try his luck anyway. His two-timing plans fall through, however, when Justine finds out and warns Julia. Both ladies drop Theo the same day, leaving Cliff to piece together his son's shattered ego. 
9 107 "How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?" Tony Singletary Janet Leahy November 24, 1988 0508

When Vanessa and her two friends make a demo video of "The Locomotion" at a local department store, visions of MTV stardom dance in their heads. Cliff and Clair tactfully suggest that some singing lessons might be in order, so the girls seek out a teacher (guest star Betty Carter). But learning to sing is a time-consuming step that they decide to bypass in favor of selecting hip, new outfits. The Lipsticks' career is brought to a grinding halt, however, when Cliff and Clair get an eyeful of their suggestive gyrations and skimpy costumes.

Guest star: Betty Carter 
10 108 "If the Dress Fits, Wear It" Jay Sandrich Carmen Finestra & John Markus December 8, 1988 0509

Debbie Allen guest stars as an exercise instructor known as "The Bonecrusher" – the woman whom Clair hopes will help her fit into her new evening gown. Clair throws herself into the workouts, but her efforts are undermined by a mischievous Cliff. It seems he is so upset that she has not told him about her plan to lose five pounds in a week that he will pull every underhanded trick in his book to "test" her willpower – including the ultimate temptation: guacamole and corn chips!

Guest stars: Debbie Allen, voice-over by Ahmad Rashād—Phylicia Rashād's husband 
11 109 "Is There a Hamster in the House?" Tony Singletary Mark St. Germain December 15, 1988 0510
Cliff bends his iron rule against pets in the house when he lets Rudy "baby-sit" her friend's hamster. When the little fellow develops a bad cold, Cliff and Rudy take him to the veterinary hospital's emergency room. There they witness a wee hours parade of strange animals with even stranger maladies. Despite all efforts, the hamster dies, prompting Cliff to finally tell the truth about his anti-pet stand. It seems when he was a boy, he sat on his pet finch, Charlie. And although he did not kill him, the resultant trauma (for both boy and bird) brought Cliff's penchant for pets to a complete end. 
12 110 "Truth or Consequences" Tony Singletary Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott & John Markus January 5, 1989 0512
Vanessa's new boyfriend, Jeremy, wants to see more of her, so she sneaks out to meet him, lying to Cliff and Clair in the process. When they find out, Vanessa's grounded for a month and Jeremy is invited into the kitchen for a man to man talk with Cliff. The conversation becomes a hilarious inquisition when Cliff uses a pair of apples, designated "Jeremy" and "Vanessa," to discern just how close the two of them were when they were parked in Jeremy's car! 
13 111 "Cliff Babysits" Tony Singletary Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott & John Markus January 12, 1989 0511

Babymania grips the Huxtable household, with Elvin videotaping every waking moment of his children's lives. When Russell shows up with eight tickets to a Michael Jackson concert, Sondra convinces the paranoid papa that it is okay to leave the twins with "strangers" like Clair and Cliff for a few hours. Clair gets called away suddenly on a case, leaving Cliff to act as sole baby-sitter. Eventually, caring for two infants takes its toll, and Clair returns to find three slumbering cherubs in the living room.

Note: Bill Cosby's actual brother James died of the same illness of rheumatic fever at the age of six. 
14 112 "Mrs. Huxtable Goes to Kindergarten" Carl Lauten & Chuck Vinson Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott & John Markus January 26, 1989 0514

Clair's television career gets off to a rousing start when she is invited to be a guest panelist on a Sunday morning current events talk show. She is a big hit with the producers, but cannot stand the three insufferable chauvinists on the panel with her. Meanwhile, poor Cliff is suffering prewithdrawal pains; Clair has purchased a beautiful new sofa for the living room and his favorite old sofa and chair are to be banished from the house. In a moving finale, Cliff bids a sentimental farewell to his "old friends."

Guest star: Austin Pendleton 
15 113 "The Lost Weekend" Tony Singletary Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott & John Markus February 2, 1989 0513

Cliff and Clair take a well-earned break from kids and chores, depositing Rudy at Grandma's, dropping Vanessa at a friend's house and heading for the Poconos. That leaves Theo alone in the house for the weekend. When his friends hear about it, they organized a party. But, somehow, the "intimate gathering" of close friends turns into an open house for hundreds, most of them strangers. The house is soon trashed, leaving Theo to face the wrath of Cliff, who wonders why there is "no place in America to get rid of your kid."

Note: This is the first appearance of Alex Ruiz as Lou. Cameo appearance by Joie Lee. Phylicia Rashād (Clair), Malcolm-Jamal Warner (Theo), Tempestt Bledsoe (Vanessa), and Elizabeth Narvaez (Kara) appeared on the episode of A Different World which aired later that evening. 
16 114 "No Way, Baby" Tony Singletary Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott & John Markus February 6, 1989 0517

Cliff tracks down the only living relative of his unmarried patient, who is about to deliver her first child. Her grandfather, a 67-year old former boxer named Ray Palomino is reluctant to get involved because he is afraid that his secret (an inability to read or write) will be discovered. But thanks to an emotional delivery room meeting with his lovely granddaughter, some prodding from Cliff and a waiting room encounter with a retired English teacher who offers to coach him, the ex-fighter vows to make a "comeback."

Guest stars: Sammy Davis, Jr. and Arnold Stang 
17 115 "Can I Say Something, Please?" Tony Singletary Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott & John Markus February 9, 1989 0516

Time marches on, but some things never change. Cliff rents his favorite children's movies for Rudy's party, but Rudy prefers more contemporary titles . Rudy patiently explains the facts of life, "It's a New Age. Dad – get with it!" and asks for permission to go to bed when she feels like it, instead of at 9:30. Crafty Cliff agrees, knowing full well that Rudy's enthusiasm for staying awake all night will wane in a week. She actually lasts four days, but not without first seeing (and borrowing hard-boiled dialogue from) every late night 1930s gangster movie on the tube.

Guest voice-over: Ed McMahon 
18 116 "The Dead End Kids Meet Dr. Lotus" Tony Singletary Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott & John Markus February 16, 1989 0515

Theo wants the freedom to date other women, but when his girlfriend Justine shows up at the college hangout with another guy, Theo's attitude turns her off. He tries turning to a voodoo expert, Dr. Lotus, for help in removing Scott from the picture, but he cannot afford the doctor's hefty fee. When Theo asks Dad for the money, Cliff has a much better (and cheaper) idea. He applies an old (and unbelievably messy) Huxtable family concoction to Theo's hands and face that is guaranteed to get Justine back – and teach Theo a valuable lesson.

Guest stars: Moses Gunn and Harold Perrineau 
19 117 "The Boys of Winter" Tony Singletary Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott & John Markus February 23, 1989 0519

Cliff proudly introduces Elvin and Theo to his former basketball coach. The boys ask the coach why Cliff is so "sour on basketball." The coach is intrigued, but Cliff will not tell him – until Clair pulls out a videotape of his last "game." This charity game at the hospital between a team of male doctors and a team of female lab technicians shows Cliff at his winded, flat-footed worst on the court and at his most underhanded and devious between whistles. Guest star Nancy lieberman-Cline heads the women's team, while Walt Hazzard, Dave DeBusschere and Senator Bill Bradley lead the men. Later, Rudy and Vanessa admire an athletic Cliff in an old photo album and Cliff and Clair reminisce about his "glory days."

Guest stars: U.S. Senator and former NBA basketball player Bill Bradley 
20 118 "It Comes and It Goes" Jay Sandrich Gary Kott & John Markus March 9, 1989 0518
Elvin comes home from med school to find an exhausted and snappish Sondra complaining about her life and his insensitivity. They bundle up the babies and head for the Huxtables, for dinner and an evening of stimulating "adult conversation." But when they arrive, baby talk, Elvin's medical school tribulations and Russell's report of Elvis having been seen in the local mall are the main subjects, leaving a morose and unhappy Sondra to wonder when (if ever) it will be "her turn" again. 
21 119 "Theo's Women" Tony Singletary Mark St. Germain March 16, 1989 0520

When Rudy interferes with Theo and Justine's chocolate mousse-making in the kitchen, Theo complains to Cliff that they are constantly being interrupted and are never alone. Cliff suggests that Theo take Justine to a long foreign film with subtitles if he really wants to be alone with her. When they cannot find one, Justine decides to work to pick up extra money and Theo agrees to help a beautiful drama student rehearse a play. But he gets carried away during a love scene and Justine breaks off their romance. Cliff advises Theo to beg, plead and then "go to the next level" if he wants to get her back. But even Theo's howling like a dog and groveling at her feet fails to change Justine's mind.

Note: This is the first appearance of Vanessa A. Williams as Jade. 
22 120 "Birthday Blues" Jay Sandrich Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott March 30, 1989 0521

The kids launch Clair's 46th birthday with a candle in her morning grapefruit and a litany of references to how good she "still" looks. Cliff continues the assault with a description of how 50 is "right around the corner" and with a big sign that wishes her an (oops) "Happy 64th Birthday." Guest star Plácido Domingo provides one bright spot as he sings "Bésame Mucho" to her, but later, she must sit through an irreverent serenade from Cliff and a family "tribute" called "When Mom Was My Age." The final indignity: Cliff tempts her to abandon her diet for not one but three calorie-laden whipped cream cakes. Overwhelmed at last, Clair plunges hungrily into one of the cakes – without a fork!

Guest star: Plácido Domingo 
23 121 "A Room With No View" Tony Singletary Gary Kott & John Markus April 13, 1989 0522
Cliff enjoyment of the warm spring air and the music of birds chirping is interrupted by the sounds of Vanessa and Rudy's non-stop bickering. Moments later, the slamming of bedroom doors upstairs cause a partial ceiling collapse on top of Cliff's head. Disgusted with the behavior of his two youngest children, Cliff banishes Vanessa and Rudy from their cozy bedrooms and relocates them to the basement. They are allowed to come upstairs for meals, to use the bathroom and, if they behave well, watch television with their parents. Otherwise, they are destined to remain in each other's company in the basement until they learn to get along...or get their own apartment! 
24 122 "What He Did for Love" Carl Lauten & Chuck Vinson Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott & John Markus April 27, 1989 0523
When Theo's friend Denny finds an expensive watch on the street, Theo and the gang suggest he give it to Jade, his new high-class girlfriend, to impress her. It works like a charm until the police show up and reveal that the watch was stolen days earlier. When Jade refuses to give up this "symbol of Denny's love," the police haul her into the station for questioning. Denny is forced to admit that he found the watch and Jade dumps him so Denny, Theo and the gang find themselves dateless on Saturday night. They take refuge in the Huxtable basement, pretending to be having a good time without their women, until Cliff's rambling non-sequiturs finally drive them out into the night. 
25 123 "Day of the Locusts" Chuck Vinson Carmen Finestra & John Markus May 4, 1989 0524
When Sondra gets strep throat, Clair and Elvin's mother, Francine, remove the babies from the apartment, under the pretext of protecting them from Sondra's germs. In reality, the babies are protected because both Sondra and Elvin are wearing surgical masks, but Clair and Francine cannot resist an opportunity to have their grandchildren all to themselves. At first, Sondra's grateful. But later, high fever and Elvin's thoughtless comments about "letting our mothers take our Babies" send Sondra into an escalating spiral of suspicion and revenge. When she finally tracks them down, Clair and Francine experience the full onslaught of Hurricane Sondra. 
26 124 "57 Varieties" Chuck Vinson Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott & John Markus May 11, 1989 0525
Theo wants to go to Egypt for an archaeological dig. 

Season 6 (1989–90)[edit]

In the opening sequence for seasons 6 and 7, the cast danced on a stage whose backdrop displayed the marquee of the Apollo Theater in Harlem. A classical jazz arrangement, featuring Craig Handy on saxophone, was used for the theme, which sounds very similar to "Shotgun" by Junior Walker and the All-Stars. When the credits ended, instead of looking at the camera, Cosby walked off the stage and commented, "This is the best elevator music I've ever heard!" This line was cut out of the credits when they were re-used the following year.

No. in
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Title Director Writer(s) Original air date Production
code
1 125 "Denise: The Saga Continues" Tony Singletary Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott & John Markus September 21, 1989 0601

Denise surprises Cliff and Clair by returning home a week early from Africa. But even more surprising – she brings with her a new husband, naval officer Martin Kendall, and his 3-year-old daughter, Olivia. In typical Denise style, she is not only neglected to tell her parents about her marriage, she is never even told them about Martin's existence! And it does not take Cliff long to figure out where the newlyweds will be living until Martin's naval housing is approved: the Huxtable Inn, of course.

Note: Joseph C. Phillips and Raven-Symoné join the cast as Martin and Olivia Kendall. This is the last appearance of Peter Costa as Peter. 
2 126 "Surf's Up" Tony Singletary Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott & John Markus September 28, 1989 0602

Cliff"s story about how he and his roommates cleaned their floors in college inspires Theo and his buddies to strap soapy sponges to their butts and slide across the kitchen floor. Unfortunately, their landlord (who lives directly beneath them) is not amused by their ingenuity – he is too busy cleaning up the water damage! Theo and his friends are evicted, spurring Cliff into immediate action to have them reinstated (lest Theo be forced to return to the Huxtable's already overflowing abode).

Guest star: Anthony Quinn, the first appearance of Keith Diamond as Danny 
3 127 "I'm 'In' With the 'In' Crowd" Tony Singletary Carmen Finestra, Gary Kott & John Markus October 5, 1989 0603

Vanessa and her girlfriends are asking for trouble when they play the alphabet game with a bottle of Scotch. Vanessa chug-a-lugs her way to a miserable night of sickness and through a nasty hangover the next day. But Cliff and Clair decide to hammer the lesson home even further. They devise an alphabet game of their own that includes Rudy, four shot glasses, a bottle of booze and a confused and extremely reluctant Vanessa.

Guest appearance: Bill Cosby's real-life daughter Ensa Cosby, upon whom the character Vanessa is loosely based. 
4 128 "Denise Kendall: Navy Wife" Tony Singletary Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott & John Markus October 12, 1989 0605
Denise and Martin visit the Rhode Island naval base where they are expecting to be housed. There is just one little hitch: Denise has neglected to confirm the reservation for the housing. And although the Navy puts the Kendalls on a waiting list, for the next six months they will have to stay right where they are – in Cliff and Clair's overcrowded home! Meanwhile, Cliff"s desperate attempts to explain what he does for a living to Olivia meet with her polite but firm rebuttal: "doctors don't deliver babies," she informs him, "the stork does!" 
5 129 "Theo's Gift" Jay Sandrich Mark St. Germain October 19, 1989 0604
Theo proudly answers all of Cliff's questions as Theo practices for an upcoming mythology exam. But when he scores low on a test where he knew all the answers but could not always understand the questions, Cliff and Clair take him to a learning specialist who confirms Theo's dyslexia. And although Theo's diagnosed condition is manageable, his and Vanessa's litany of accusations (about Theo's years of suffering parental criticism for laziness and bad study habits) proves to be totally unbearable for Cliff and Clair. 
6 130 "Denise Kendall: Babysitter" Tony Singletary Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott & John Markus October 26, 1989 0606
Sondra and Elvin get a well-deserved night out when an overconfident Denise boasts that caring for two children should be as easy as looking after one. So the marathon begins! It is Denise and Olivia versus Winnie and Nelson. And after a long evening of twin mayhem, complicated by a recurring local blackout, the exhausted competitors wind up on the Huxtable's doorstep. Cliff and Clair wisely retreat to the basement for a good night's sleep. 
7 131 "Shall We Dance?" Jay Sandrich Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott & John Markus November 2, 1989 0607

Even after raising three daughters, Cliff"s in over his head when Rudy reports her first "boy trouble." Clarence, the boy she likes, likes her. But his friends taunt him about it, so he treats Rudy badly to quiet them. Clarence and Rudy's relationship quickly deteriorates from a love match to teasing, name-calling and a knock-down, drag-out fight. Cliff tries to give Rudy his facts-of-life speech (the one about boys being like helicopters and girls being like geraniums). But at the school dance, the wise Mrs. McGee pairs Rudy and Clarence and they mend fences all on their own!

Guest star: Elaine Stritch

Note: Phylicia Rashād, Lisa Bonet, Joseph C. Phillips and Raven-Symoné appeared on the episode of A Different World which aired later that evening. 
8 132 "The Day the Spores Landed" Neema Barnette Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott & John Markus November 9, 1989 0608

Cliff's ingestion of a sausage hero immediately before bedtime brings on a dream in which spores contaminate the US. water supply (except in New Jersey) and impregnate thousands of men, including Cliff, Elvin and Martin. Theo, the only unwed mother-to-be, soon joins them. They commiserate and console each other, but their solace is short-lived. Contractions send them all to the hospital and into the most bizarre delivery room scene in television history!

Guest voice-over: NBC News correspondent John Palmer 
9 133 "Cliff's Wet Adventure" Jay Sandrich Carmen Finestra & John Markus November 16, 1989 0610
When Martin's ex-wife Paula calls Olivia from the airport after her departure is delayed, Denise impulsively invites the woman she has never met to join the Huxtables for Thanksgiving dinner. Amid the spying of curious family members and acute nervousness from Martin, Denise gets a chance to have an enlightening conversation with the woman whose child she is raising, and with whom she has more than a little in common! 
10 134 "Grampy and Nu-Nu Visit the Huxtables" Tony Singletary Gary Kott & John Markus November 30, 1989 0609
Chocoholics Cliff and Olivia do a hatchet job on the cake that Clair's baked for Denise's in-laws (Moses Gunn and Nancy Wilson), extracting a large circle from its middle. The two culprits quickly cover up their defacement of the dessert but to no avail – Clair discovers the icing over the hole they have stuffed with paper towels! Meanwhile, Denise frets over her upcoming meeting with the woman who has reportedly said to Martin about Denise, "I can't stand her." When Clair asks Lorraine, Martin's mother, to clarify the remark, it becomes clear that Martin's the culprit here. And it is three against one when Denise, Clair and Lorraine give Martin a hard time for being so hard of hearing! 
11 135 "Cliff la Douce" Jay Sandrich Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott December 7, 1989 0611
Clair's in Washington on a case and Cliff's in charge – but just barely. Vanessa pulls the wool almost far enough over his eyes to get away with going to a college party. And when Rudy follows Cliff's advice on how to deal with her on-again, off-again friends, she succeeds in alienating all of them. Cliff remains determined to handle the household on his own. But when he gets into trouble with Rudy's teacher for ghost-writing Rudy's history composition, he is finally forced to call Clair for advice! 
12 136 "Getting to Know You" Tony Singletary Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott & John Markus December 14, 1989 0612
Martin and Cliff spend some time together and develop a new, warm appreciation for each other. When Cliff confesses his secret regret about not having given Denise away at her wedding, Martin stages an informal ceremony in the Huxtable's living room so Cliff can see his wish come true. Elsewhere, Elvin slowly warms up to his elf s makeup and costume for a Christmas show at the hospital. And Denise tries to explain what Santa Claus looks like to a suspicious and highly skeptical Olivia, who counters with "If Santa Claus has a little bit of everyone inside him, is that why he's so fat?" 
13 137 "Elvin Pays for Dinner" Jay Sandrich Gary Kott & John Markus January 4, 1990 0613
Sondra decides to stay home to work on her law school application, happily forfeiting a chance to go out to dinner with Elvin, his old college chum Judy and Judy's sister. Elvin gallantly offers to stay home with Sondra, but she insists that he go. However, when he pays for her dinner, Sondra's so miffed, she refuses to speak to him! Later, Cliff explains the workings of a woman's mind to his son-in-law: Elvin is supposed to be psychic, of course – when Sondra said "go," she really meant "stay" and when she said "yes," she really meant "no!" 
14 138 "Cliff's Nightmare" Tony Singletary Teleplay by: Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott & John Markus
Story by: Jeff Lewis & Bill Prady
January 11, 1990 0526

Cliff's late-night eating habits finally bite back, with a vengeance! His nightmare is filled with such Muppet characters as overstuffed talking sandwiches, back-talking refrigerator denizens and a bloodthirsty mob of creatures in the operating theater of Cliff's hospital. It seems that Cliff is scheduled to perform a delicate operation for their viewing pleasure, but he somehow winds up on the table as the patient, before waking up safe and sound in his own bed.

Guest stars: The Muppets, performed by Jerry Nelson, Dave Goelz, Richard Hunt, and Kevin Clash, voice-over by Cliff's friend Jeffery Engels (Wallace Shawn
15 139 "Denise Kendall: Singles Counselor" Tony Singletary Carmen Finestra & John Markus January 18, 1990 0614

When Denise's snappy repartee gives Vanessa the courage to approach handsome Elliott in a cafe, all looks promising. But later on, as Denise envisions a career as a single's counselor, Vanessa storms in to announce that Denise has ruined her life: Elliott already has a girlfriend named Shana! Elliott, a weakling who is attached to Shana but smitten with Vanessa, then shows up to ask Dr. Denise for her advice on how to handle the situation. Big mistake! Finally, Shana arrives to give Denise a piece of her mind. At that point, Denise decides it is time for her to permanently retire from the love business!

Guest star: Malinda Williams 
16 140 "The Birthday Party" Tony Singletary Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott & John Markus January 25, 1990 0615
Will cultures and tastes clash? Denise plans a healthful, fully organic menu for Olivia's birthday party. Cliff and Clair contend that kids expect chocolate cake and junk food – and will not settle for less. So they agree to offer the children both kinds of food and monitor which cake the kids actually prefer! During the day, Cliff is pressed into child-sitting and it takes all his ingenuity to keep the party going in light of such comments as "I've had matzos that tastes better than this!" 
17 141 "Not Everybody Loves the Blues" Chuck Vinson Mark St. Germain February 1, 1990 0616
Elvin and Theo catch blues great Riley Jackson (B.B. King) at a local club and Theo is blown away by his singing. Coincidentally, the next day, Jackson is at the Huxtable house when Theo drops by to rave about his "discovery" of this great singer. It seems that Jackson is an old friend of Grandpa Russell's and he has invited the whole Huxtable family to hear him play that night. Everyone but the jaded, world-weary Vanessa (who has grown sick and tired of the blues) is excited about the concert. But with the first few notes of "Baby, You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now," Vanessa's on her feet, begging for more! 
18 142 "Rudy's Walk on the Wild Side" Jay Sandrich Lore Kimbrough & Ehrich Van Lowe February 8, 1990 0617
Eagerness to purchase a T-shirt that lights up overshadows better judgment when Rudy "borrows" $2.30 from the money Clair's left on the counter to pay the dry cleaning bill. Rudy's attempts to replace the money before Clair finds it missing lead her further into misery and duplicity. Cliff finally adds it all up and pulls Rudy aside for a heart-to-heart talk. It yields some truths for both of them. Rudy realizes that she was wrong and must confess to Clair. And Cliff learns why Rudy was afraid to ask him for the money (she was afraid she would be subjected to his litany about the salary of coal miners in 1919)! 
19 143 "The Cosby Outtakes Show" Chuck Vinson Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott & John Markus February 12, 1990 0618

Phylicia Rashād, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Lisa Bonet, Tempestt Bledsoe, Keshia Knight Pulliam and Raven-Symoné host this special episode featuring bloopers from the past five seasons.

Note: Special appearance by Condola Phyleia Rashād (Phylicia Rashād's daughter). This episode was excluded from The Cosby Show regular syndication cycle, the episode however is included as a bonus feature in the Season 1 DVD set. The episode, however, is not included in the Season 6 DVD set. 
20 144 "Mr. Sandman" Tony Singletary Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott & John Markus February 15, 1990 0619
Rudy's down in the dumps because she has been partnered with the best male dancer in school for an upcoming show. Cliff and Clair intensify her tap dancing lessons in an effort to boost her confidence for the big day. But it is Cliff who is most inspired. Overconfident to the max, he pulls on a pair of taps and faces off against Rudy's teacher, the legendary Sandman Sims. The tapstepping marathon leaves Cliff beaten and bowed. Rudy, on the other hand, more than holds her own on the big night and shines beside her formidable partner. 
21 145 "Isn't It Romantic?" Tony Singletary Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott & John Markus February 22, 1990 0620
Theo throws Cliff, Elvin, and Martin a challenge they cannot ignore: prove that they are not living in "the marriage graveyard" (where Theo claims romances go to die)! Cliff devises a secret competition that will not only resurrect the romance in their lives but will determine which of the husbands is the most romantic. According to his plan, the reactions of their wives to some specially selected presents will be the barometer for determining "The Emperor of Romance.” But Olivia spills the beans to the women just before the big event, leaving the three wives to plot sweet revenge for being used as pawns in their husbands' macho game. 
22 146 "Theo's Dirty Laundry" Jay Sandrich Carmen Finestra & Gary Kott & John Markus March 15, 1990 0621

Theo and Justine take a big step without telling either set of parents, and it all comes out, literally, in the wash. When Cliff finds Justine's undergarments in Theo's wash load, Theo comes clean and admits that he and Justine have been living together ever since her roommate moved out. When Cliff and Clair refuse to support him unless he returns to his own apartment, Theo takes a bold and defiant stand. But level-headed Justine brings reality back into focus for Theo, and together they make a wise decision for their future.

Note: This is the last appearance of Michelle Thomas as Justine. 
23 147 "What's It All About?" Jay Sandrich Carmen Finestra & John Markus March 22, 1990 0622
Exhausted, overworked and with patience worn thin, Clair wonders if she has "anything left to give." Cliff insists that she get away for a few days and sends her off to a secluded cabin in the woods for some rest and relaxation. But the hideaway is hideous: drafty, cold and barely functional! Clair longs to come home to the relative comfort of noise and chaos in the Huxtable house. 
24 148 "Off to See the Wretched" Carl Lauten & Malcolm-Jamal Warner Mark St. Germain April 5, 1990 0623

Vanessa and her girlfriends display extraordinarily bad judgment when they lie and deceive their way into borrowing a car and making a trip to Baltimore to see a rock concert behind their parents' backs. The journey is disastrous: the car is stolen, a con artist cons them out of their concert tickets and a pickpocket takes all their travel money. But all pales in comparison to the reception that awaits Vanessa upon her return home – Hurricane Clair strikes with all the fury of a mother scorned! Meanwhile, Olivia tries to impress Cliff with some jokes.

Note: This episode marks Malcolm-Jamal Warner's Cosby Show directorial debut. 
25 149 "The Moves" Tony Singletary Mark St. Germain April 19, 1990 0624

Clair brings her friend and rival attorney, Bernice, home to visit while Cliff's entertaining their recently divorced neighbor, Jeffrey. Despite their physical disparity, Jeffrey and Bernice really hit it off. But Jeffrey is so self-conscious about his new toupee, he cannot concentrate on Bernice and blows what Cliff and Clair hoped might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Guest star: Mercedes Ruehl 
26 150 "Live and Learn" Tony Singletary Matt Robinson April 26, 1990 0625

Denise applies to a local college, only to be told that with her Hillman credits will not be accepted. She will have to enter as a freshman and need a tutor. She bemoans the fact that they will not give her credit for her "life experiences" – such as marriage and living at home with her parents. Always on the lookout for a shortcut to success, Denise is enthused when she hears Olivia's teacher using rap music to teach the children to count. But she is deflated again when she volunteers to become the teacher's apprentice and is turned down because she is without a college degree.

Guest stars: Max Roach and Suzzanne Douglass 
27 151 "The Storyteller" Carl Lauten Lore Kimbrough May 3, 1990 0626

Olivia cannot understand why she must go to church when God obviously wants her to go to the zoo with her friend. But after spending some time with Cliff's visiting great aunt Gramtee, Olivia decides that she would rather take part in the family's togetherness in church the next day. Mavis Staples leads the choir and church in a rousing song.

Guest star: Minnie Gentry and Mavis Staples

Note: Portions were filmed at St. James Presbyterian Church in Harlem, New York City. 

Season 7 (1990–91)[edit]

  • This season's credit sequence originally was to use a mural entitled "Street of Dreams," painted by inner-city youth from the Creative Arts Workshop in Harlem, for the opening credits. The producers wound up discarding the idea when their lawyers said that in order to use the mural they would have to get permission from all 63 young artists first. Instead, the show developed its own mural which combined some of the elements and used many of the colors of the actual one. The owners of the mural threatened to sue and denounced the show for ripping off the children. Carsey-Werner tried to negotiate a settlement with Creative Arts Workshop, but Bill Cosby decided to replace the theme with the season six's opening credits. Only four episodes featured the original opening credits, and only a few cities saw this version.[3] In all other areas in first-run and repeats as well as in syndication, only the replaced sequence was used. Lisa Bonet and Joseph C. Phillips were in the credits still but they only appeared in less than a handful of episodes during the season. New cast member Erika Alexander was featured in the original Season 7 sequence, but only her name and role is listed in the replacement sequence. The spoken phrase "This is the best elevator music I've ever heard!" was removed as well in the intro, except for one episode in 1991.
  • Throughout this season, Cosby was often seen wearing a small black button with the letters "SD Jr." – as a tribute to Sammy Davis, Jr., who died in May 1990.
No. in
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Title Director Writer(s) Original air date Production
code
1 152 "Same Time Next Year" Jay Sandrich Ehrich Van Lowe September 20, 1990 0701

Cliff and Clair look forward to reclaiming the house as another school year begins. Cliff pushes Vanessa out the door on her way to college, then rushes Rudy off to school. But Rudy's afraid that her prepubescent body will not measure up with the other sixth-graders. As Denise voices fears that Olivia's first day of pre-school will be traumatic, Olivia blithely announces "point me in the direction of that school and I'm outta here!" Finally, Cliff and Clair's peaceful afternoon is shattered when a weary Theo returns from his whirlwind, 17-day European tour to literally kiss their living room floor.

Note: In a scene prior to the opening credits, Olivia enters Cliff's bedroom wearing a Bart Simpson mask. It is a nod to Fox's decision to move The Simpsons to Thursdays at 8:00 pm Eastern/Pacific, presenting The Cosby Show with its first true ratings challenge. This is the only episode in the series that has a "cold open". 
2 153 "Bird in the Hand" Jay Sandrich Steve Kline & Bryan Winter September 27, 1990 0702
Cliff plans to attend an auction where he hopes to outbid his nemesis, Dr. Harmon, to add a rare Charlie Parker record to his jazz collection. Instead, he gets roped into helping out at Olivia's preschool. Undaunted, cagey Cliff arranges to bid by phone. But when Harmon drops out and a mysterious, late-bidding stranger challenges Cliff dollar for dollar, the auction gets fast and furious. 
3 154 "Last Barbecue" Ellen Falcon Bernie Kukoff & Janet Leahy October 4, 1990 0704
Theo's plan to hire a stripper for brother-in-law Martin's belated bachelor party sets off sparks in the Huxtable house and ignites a full-blown battle of the sexes. While the men consider the striptease "traditional," the women call it "archaic, demeaning and stupid." Even Grandma and Grandpa Huxtable get caught in the crossfire. But by the time the battle wanes and the smoke clears, its participants are lovey-dovey again. Is it the influence of reason or, as Cliff claims, the secret ingredient in his barbecue sauce? 
4 155 "Period of Adjustment" Ellen Falcon Gordon Gartrelle & Lore Kimbrough October 11, 1990 0703

Clair's teenage cousin Pam Tucker moves into the Huxtable home, triggering a period of adjustment for all concerned. Although she appreciates the upscale surroundings, Cliff and Clair's rules cramp her style. Weeknight parties are out, and Pam is already said yes to an invitation from her boyfriend Slide. She is sorely tempted to defy the Huxtables' curfew, willing to let the punishment fit the crime. But while testing the waters, she begins to appreciate the value of the curfew and the wisdom of its enforcers.

Notes: Erika Alexander joins the cast as Pam. This is the first appearances of Karen Malina White as Charmaine, Allen Payne as Lance, and Mushond Lee as Slide, Pam's friends. 
5 156 "It's All in the Game" Neema Barnette Janet Leahy & Bryan Winter October 18, 1990 0706
The Huxtables return from a romantic weekend in Vermont to find the household in chaos. Olivia has "cleaned" her crayons in the new washing machine; Vanessa has hit a parked vehicle with Cliff's car; Theo has appropriated various Huxtable household items for use in his own apartment. Obviously, it is time for one of Cliff's seminars on the hardships of being a parent. But the Huxtable offspring turn the tables to deliver a discourse of their own: a side-splitting expose of what it is like to be on the receiving end of one of Cliff's famous "talks." 
6 157 "Getting the Story" Ellen Falcon Teleplay by: Lore Kimbrough & Janet Leahy
Story by: Mark St. Germain
October 25, 1990 0705
Rudy and Kenny document Clair's job for a school video contest because Cliff's job is not "exciting enough." Their dreams of glory quickly fade as Clair's workday fails to deliver the hardened criminals, lurid details and sensational cases the young filmmakers anticipate. In desperation, they turn to Cliff. At the hospital, they con an expectant father into taping his son's birth and make plans to pass the footage off as their own. When Cliff intervenes, all seems lost. But the resourceful reporters realize they can pull victory from the jaws of defeat by simply documenting the truth. 
7/8 158/159 "Just Thinking About It" Jay Sandrich Bernie Kukoff & Ehrich Van Lowe November 1, 1990 0707-0708
Pam's boyfriend Slide wants to take their relationship to "the next level" but Pam has reservations. Cliff and Clair's advice strengthens Pam's resolve to take things at her own speed. But caught between his "homeys" and his hormones, Slide keeps pressing until Pam explodes in indignation. Still, she does not want to lose him to another girl. Meanwhile, Olivia introduces the family to Dwayne, an invisible Saint Bernard who becomes a most convenient scapegoat for all of Olivia's naughty escapades. Pam thinks she may be in love. And Slide's invitation for them to "get busy" is looking more and more acceptable. Clair tells Pam about an over-eager young suitor named Cliff who learned to respect teenage Clair's decision about the time and the place for intimacy. The little story gently reminds Pam that "if the man is good, he will wait." On the invisible dog front, the havoc wrought by Dwayne the Saint Bernard can no longer be overlooked. In fact, Cliff tells Olivia, Dwayne is now blaming Olivia for the mess! 
9 160 "The Infantry Has Landed (and They've Fallen Off the Roof)" John Bowab Gordon Gartrelle & Lore Kimbrough & Janet Leahy November 8, 1990 0712
Psychology major Theo prepares a personality profile on Cliff, who is so secretive, Theo dubs the syndrome "Fugitive Fantasy Fear." When Rudy gets her first period, the event elicits a spate of old wives tales from her girlfriends and a disagreement with Clair about how to celebrate Rudy's special "woman's day." Having already read a book on menstruation, Rudy is able to dispel her friends' outlandish claims. But, in a late night heart-to-heart talk with Clair, Rudy's real concerns about womanhood finally surface. 
10 161 "You Can Go Home Again" Oz Scott Lore Kimbrough & Steve Kline & Bernie Kukoff November 15, 1990 0709

Inspired by a rare weekend alone together in the Huxtable house, Denise and Martin pound the pavement in search of an affordable apartment. Rudy. tired of sharing sleeping space with Olivia, launches a determined campaign for their soon-to-be-vacated room. When Martin and Denise come home tired, frustrated and empty-handed, Theo tells them about a one-bedroom opportunity. However, where the ever-optimistic Denise sees minimalist charm and efficiency in the offbeat space, practical-minded Martin sees only a cramped trailer fit for a Munchkin. And when they get back home, they must face the terrible wrath of a still-roomless Rudy.

Notes: This is Lisa Bonet's final performance as Denise (though she appears once more in this season's episode 24, "Cliff and Jake", which was originally produced for season six). 
11 162 "It's a Boy" Chuck Vinson Bernie Kukoff & Ehrich Van Lowe November 29, 1990 0710

Having broken up with Slide, Pam sets her sights on Aaron, a new student whose brains compassion and integrity are all top of the class. Meanwhile, Alfred, a nervous expectant father turns to Cliff for tips on how to play basketball with his future son. Alfred also gets some insights from Theo on how boys view their fathers when it comes to sports. And both Alfred and Cliff get an enlightening lesson from their wives. Finally, Olivia announces her intention of becoming a doctor as well as a professional football player.

Note: This is the first appearance of Seth Gilliam as Aaron. 
12 163 "Clair's Liberation" John Bowab Bernie Kukoff & Ehrich Van Lowe December 6, 1990 0713
Clair's announcement that she is beginning menopause triggers a series of bizarre misinterpretations of her behavior by her children. Since the kids expect the stereotypical indecision, mood swings, weeping and hot flashes, Cliff and Clair decide to give them all the melodrama they can possibly handle! Pam and Aaron grow closer as he demonstrates that some of the best things in life are free – like a moonlight tour of their historic neighborhood. 
13 164 "It's Your Move" Jay Sandrich Steve Kline & Bryan Winter December 13, 1990 0714

Bring on the hoagies, orange sodas and potato chips – it is playoff time. But Sondra upsets Elvin's football-watching plans by promising their help in moving two friends to a new apartment. Afraid he will miss the entire game, Elvin enlists the aid of "his brothers" Theo and Martin to hurry things along. In the day's most exciting match-up, Sondra and Nancy defend against the moving team's sneaky maneuvers and sloppy execution. In other football news, Clair demonstrates some impressive baton-twirling moves, while Olivia sticks to her original plan to become "Dr. Crusher, Middle Linebacker."

Note: Voice over by Ahmad Rashād 
14 165 "Theo's Final Final" Neema Barnette Elaine Arata January 3, 1991 0715

Theo is just one good grade away from the Dean's List. Fortified with devil's-food donuts and chocolate milk, he is determined to cram for tomorrow's Economics final. That is, until he lifts his head from the book in the college cafe and locks eyes with the girl of his dreams. A serious Economics recession begins; Theo escorts Cheryl to a party instead of hitting the books. Yet even while close dancing, his mind wanders to current indicators and the Gross National Product. Luckily, Cheryl's a girl who can add things up; she encourages him to go home and finish studying.

Guest stars: Vanessa A. Williams as Cheryl, Rachel True as Nicki and Michael Weatherly as Theo's roommate

Note: Vanessa A. Williams is the same actress who portrayed Jade in Season 5. 
15 166 "Attack of the Killer B's" Art Dielhenn Elaine Arata & Lore Kimbrough January 10, 1991 0717
Theo helps Pam improve her grades – so much so that she starts thinking about college. Unfortunately, her Ivy League dreams are dashed by the nightmare of how much it will cost to get there. Her classmates are no help either – jealous of her improving grades, undermine her growing confidence. At home, Olivia announces her intention to become President, certain that the highest office in the land will give her the power to create her own flag, eat turkey stuffed with french fries and stay up "real, real late." 
16 167 "Total Control" Jay Sandrich Bernie Kukoff & Ehrich Van Lowe January 31, 1991 0718

Basketball coach Ray Evans and his wife Alicia have devised the perfect game plan for the birth of their first child. Baby book in hand, the over-anxious couple prepares for any contingency. Their practice sessions run like clockwork. But when the first contractions begin, Ray falls apart! Worse, three hours into labor, a stressed-out Alicia turns on him – blaming Ray for "her condition." Crushed, Ray bails out. It takes a whole lot of coaching from Cliff to get him off the bench and back into the game!

Guest stars: John Ritter, as Coach Evans, and his future wife Amy Yasbeck

Note: This is the first episode in which none of the Huxtable children appear. Bill Cosby and Raven-Symone are the only regular cast members to appear in this episode. 
17 168 "Adventures in Babysitting" Oz Scott Steve Kline February 7, 1991 0719

When Cliff and Dr. Harmon ditch their wives to team up for the charity pinochle tournament, the rejected spouses decide to enter the tournament themselves. But when the wives defeat the defending champs, suddenly only Cliff and Jim stand between them and the coveted trophy. Meanwhile, with Rudy as baby-sitter, Olivia whines her way into staying up late and watching a horror movie. But when their overactive imaginations detect monsters in the house, the girls take extreme measures to protect themselves!

Guest star: Bern Nadette Stanis 
18 169 "27 and Still Cooking" Neema Barnette Gordon Gartrelle & Janet Leahy February 14, 1991 0716
Cliff has an elaborate 27th wedding anniversary surprise for Clair – a re-creation in the dining room of the tiny Caribbean restaurant where they ate during their honeymoon. He tracks down the original chef and orders a calypso band to entertain for the evening. But when the special day arrives, the chef, now a gourmet prima donna, balks at re-creating a menu from 27 years ago. The calypso band arrives two hours early. Theo, Pam and Rudy, the volunteer decoration committee, may yet uphold their reputation for not finishing what they start. And on top of everything, Cliff is coming down with a full-blown case of the flu! 
19 170 "The Return of the Clairettes" Neema Barnette Lisa Albert February 21, 1991 0720
Rudy plans to go to the movies with three girls and three boys. But her first date is jeopardized when the other two girls cancel. Clair offers to double date with Rudy and Scott, but that means Scott must face Cliff "The Interrogator." Meanwhile, a visit from Clair's old friend Kris (guest star Leslie Uggams) sparks an evening of songs and memories that leaves the husbands feeling left out. The boys find ample solace in the refrigerator until "The Clairettes" sashay into the kitchen and sing them the riot act. 
20 171 "No More Mr. Nice Guy" Jay Sandrich Steve Kline & Bryan Winter February 28, 1991 0711
With everyone else out of the house, Theo prepares for a romantic evening with his girlfriend, Cheryl. But his plans are thwarted by the Invasion of the Romance Snatchers! First, Denny and his girlfriend Ellen drop by in mid-spat. Then, Cliff and Clair return home, their ski weekend rained out. Grandma and Grandpa Huxtable drop by to borrow a table saw; and Elvin arrives to transport it to their house in his van. By the time Cheryl shows up, Theo's so confused he may need the rest of the evening to figure it all out. 
21 172 "Home Remedies" Jay Sandrich Mark St. Germain March 7, 1991 0722

Olivia, in bed with a cold and laryngitis, is miserable because she will not be able to sing at Grandma and Grandpa Huxtable's 55th wedding anniversary. Despite the exotic home remedies suggested by the steady stream of would-be "doctors" in the house, it is Cliff who actually saves the day by finding a way for Olivia to "voice" her feelings at the party. Meanwhile, longtime sweethearts Lance and Charmaine reminisce about the high points of their romance. But their fuzzy memories are no match for Aaron's total recall of even the most obscure events in his and Pam's four-month relationship.

Note: Olivia lip-synchs Koko Taylor's "I'm a Woman". 
22 173 "Nightmare on Stigwood Avenue" Carl Lauten & Malcolm-Jamal Warner Lore Kimbrough & Steve Kline March 21, 1991 0723
A special dream episode is a nightmare for Rudy, who canmot escape the evil plots of Olivia no matter which way she tosses and turns. As a "Supreme-ly" hip Greek chorus (Pam, Charmaine and Vanessa) comments on the action, Olivia demonstrates her uncanny ability to wrap the Huxtables around her little finger, undermine Rudy at every turn, and get anything she wants from adults with her shameless whining. Moreover, whereas Rudy cannot do anything right, Olivia can do no wrong. And Rudy seems to be the only person in the dream who can see through Olivia's blatant manipulations. 
23 174 "There's Still No Joy in Mudville" Carl Lauten Gordon Gartrelle & Matt Robinson April 4, 1991 0721

It is bowling-night-as-usual: Cliff's team loses; low bowler buys dinner; that is Cliff. During the post-game Chinese meal, Carleton and Dr. Harmon – two cricket-playing Caribbean natives – must endure a walk down baseball's memory lane led by former baseball greats (guest stars Frank Robinson and Joe Black). Revenge is sweet, though, as a late-night game in the middle of the Huxtable living room, separates the cricketeers from the boys of summer.

Guest star: Major League Baseball players Joe Black and Frank Robinson, voice-over by Ahmad Rashād

Note: This is the final appearance of Sullivan Walker as Dr. James Harmon. 
24 175 "Cliff and Jake" Jay Sandrich Mark St. Germain April 11, 1991 0627

Everyone tries to keep Cliff from hearing about the 50%-off sale at Jake's, his favorite appliance store. But their efforts are to no avail; Cliff already has set his sights on an electric sander. While at the store, Cliff hears Jake recount the story of the damages he had to pay to Stanley Rappaport, his former friend (and now worst enemy), for a traffic accident. It does not mean much to Cliff until Jake's daughter Cookie introduces Cliff to her fiance, Jonathan Rappaport, and begs Cliff to reconcile Jake with Jonathan's father...Stanley!

Guest stars: Red Buttons, E. G. Marshall and Audrey Landers.

Notes: This is the final appearance of Lisa Bonet as Denise. This episode was originally produced for season six. 
25 176 "Theo and the Kids: Part 1" John Bowab Bernie Kukoff & Ehrich Van Lowe April 25, 1991 0724

Theo begins his internship in psychology as a counselor at a local community center. His new charges test him immediately. Wise to their tricks because he used to pull them himself, Theo wins a few skirmishes, but then loses his cool. The next day, he is less concerned about his image and more interested in helping his kids. One student, Stanley, reminds him of himself when he was younger: defensive about his messy notebook, sloppy handwriting and slow reading speed. Theo suspects Stanley has a learning disability such as dyslexia. Now he tries to persuade Stanley to undergo testing.

Guest star: Lynne Thigpen

Notes: This is the first appearance of Merlin Santana as Stanley and Eugene Byrd as Eugene. This is the first and only two-part episode in which both parts of the episode premiered on separate nights and not back-to-back. 
26 177 "Theo and the Kids: Part 2" John Bowab Bernie Kukoff & Ehrich Van Lowe May 2, 1991 0725
As he grows more confident in his abilities and judgment, Theo's personal involvement with his students at the community center deepens. He is anxious to persuade Stanley to be tested for dyslexia; he is concerned about another boy who may have to leave the after-school program to earn extra money for his family. Theo's growing realization that he cannot help everyone in his care hits hard, but leaves him with a new sense of maturity and renewed confidence in his chosen vocation. 

Season 8 (1991–92)[edit]

  • The mural "Street of Dreams," painted by inner-city youth from the Creative Arts Workshop in Harlem, was finally used full-time in season eight. The cast now danced in the sequence to a Hip-Hop blend that featured Lester Bowie on trumpet. The scenes of Bonet and Phillips in the original opening sequence were removed. After the controversy from the previous season, the producers gave recognition to the painters of the original mural in the closing credits. Malcolm-Jamal Warner wore glasses in this set of opening credits, but not in any episodes. At the end of the sequence, like he did in other seasons, Cosby turns his head and looks into the camera. A few episodes from season seven used this opening, albeit with Lisa Bonet and Joseph C. Philips in the opening credits, and at the end of the sequence, Bill Cosby would walk off and say, "Yo, chill out! Don't put your face in the mud, Pally!".
  • The final episode "And So We Commence" features an extended sequence, with clips of each cast member dancing from the opening credits of every season (except season 1, which did not have dancing in the opening credits).
  • A running gag throughout this season involves the house's front doorbell, which malfunctions in a variety of bizarre ways despite Cliff's attempts to fix it.
No. in
season
No. in
series
Title Director Writer(s) Original air date Production
code
1 178 "With This Ring?" John Bowab Adriana Trigiani September 19, 1991 0801

Vanessa, home from college, announces, "I'm engaged." "To do what?" Cliff asks, dumbstruck. Vanessa then reveals her year-long relationship and six-month engagement to Dabnis, a college maintenance supervisor who is, by his own admission, "knocking on 30." Since Cliff and Clair did not know that Vanessa was even dating anyone, the news is a shock. Cliff and Clair take turns confronting their formerly level-headed daughter. Clair voices concern about how far apart Vanessa and Dabnis are in age, while Cliff questions Vanessa's "back door "presentation of both her relationship and her fiance.

Note: This is the first appearance of William Thomas, Jr. as Dabnis Brickey. 
2 179 "There's No Place Like This Home" John Bowab Gordon Gartrelle & Janet Leahy September 26, 1991 0802
On the eve of co-signing a loan that will enable Elvin and Sondra to purchase their own home, Cliff also reveals plans to build an extension on the house. Finally, Clair will have a room of her own, Cliff promises. But when Elvin and Sondra's closing is postponed indefinitely, they are left with no place to live except a "cheap motel... in the city... with your grandchildren." The Tibideaux's take Martin and Denise's old room, Olivia moves in with Rudy, and Cliff sadly puts aside his blueprints for the "Clair Hanks Huxtable Memorial Room." He cheers up considerably, though, when Clair suggests that they expand the Huxtable kitchen and include that window herb-garden Cliff's always wanted. 
3 180 "Particles in Motion" John Bowab Teleplay by: Adriana Trigiani
Story by: Adriana Trigiani & Linda M. Yearwood
October 3, 1991 0804

Expansion of the Huxtable kitchen begins; Theo faces his first parent-counselor night at the community center; and, much to Kenny's horror, Rudy encounters first love. Theo gears up for one-on-one conversations with his students' parents by rehearsing with Cliff and Clair. But nothing can prepare him for the more-than-passing interest one young mother takes in him! Meanwhile, it is love at first sight when Rudy meets Stanley, one of Theo's students. Sparks also fly between Stanley and Kenny after Kenny sabotages Rudy and Stanley's first date. As Rudy's oldest friend, Kenny always thought he would be Rudy's first love. And he is not about to give up without a fight.

Guest star: Saundra Quarterman 
4 181 "Pam Applies to College" John Bowab Walter Allen Bennett, Jr. October 10, 1991 0803

While construction on the Huxtable kitchen progresses – despite Cliff's help, Pam laments her low grades. Now a senior, Pam wants to attend a college like Hillman with her best friend, Charmaine. Only two things are holding Pam back; her low GPA and her low SAT scores. Her guidance counselor advises her to apply to a community college. Then, Cliff casts doubt on her chances for acceptance at a major school. To Pam, it seems as if the whole world is against her; even her best friend will be leaving her.

Guest star: Richard Lawson as Mr. Bostic 
5 182 "Warning: A Double-Lit Candle Can Cause a Meltdown" Malcolm-Jamal Warner Walter Allen Bennett, Jr. October 17, 1991 0808

Rudy and two girlfriends don makeup and trendy clothes to crash "The Exchange," an "Over 16" dance club in New York City. Cliff and Clair overhear the plan and decide to let them go – with Pam, Lance and Charmaine as secret chaperones. Since the teen club is a big step down for them, the three mature high schoolers are praying that no one recognizes them. A would-be Romeo tries to hit on Rudy and her friends; Lance steers him away without blowing his cover. But when Pam wins a chance to dance with headline rapper J.T. Freeze, she completely loses her cool.

Guest stars: rapper Special Ed and actor/rapper Daryl "Chill" Mitchell 
6 183 "It's Apparent to Everyone" Neema Barnette Hugh O'Neill October 24, 1991 0805
With Elvin, Sondra and the twins living in the Huxtable home for several weeks, nerves have started to fray. When Cliff temporarily confines the twins in an overturned playpen while he vacuums up cookie crumbs, Sondra explodes, accusing him of cruelty. Tempers flare and recriminations fly between the four adults. "They'll only be here a few more days," Clair reminds him, until Sondra reveals that those few days may actually stretch into months, owing to a "little problem with escrow." When Cliff turns to Russell for help, his father is sympathetic, but firm. He will offer support, yes... lodging, no. 
7 184 "The Iceman Bricketh" Carl Lauten Courtney Flavin & Hugh O'Neill & Adriana Trigiani October 31, 1991 0807
Russell has heard from "reliable sources" that Vanessa is engaged. Unfortunately, those sources also report that Dabnis is a 45-year old janitor. Alarmed, Russell and Carrie confront Cliff and Clair, who confirm the engagement and try to set the record straight on Dabnis. But the anxious grandparents are not satisfied. So, on only his second visit to the home, Dabnis gets the third degree while Vanessa sweats it out in the kitchen. First, she is disconcerted by Cliff and Clair's new, positive attitude toward Dabnis. Then, Dabnis gets a resounding "thumbs up" from her grandparents. Suddenly, all the pressure is on Vanessa; she may actually have to set a wedding date! 
8 185 "Olivia's Field Trip" John Bowab Courtney Flavin November 7, 1991 0806

When Rudy entered junior high, Cliff thought he was finally done with field trips. Wrong. Olivia's class trip to the natural history museum lacks one chaperone; provided there is no singing on the bus, Cliff agrees. His fellow chaperone? Know-it-all neighbor Jeffrey Engels. Inside the museum, Jeffrey's high-brow explanations confuse the children. Cliff seizes the opportunity to impress them with his colorful storytelling; his description of the grizzly bear is so vivid, his young audience scatters in terror.

Guest star: Wallace Shawn as Jeffrey Engels 
9 186 "For Men Only" John Bowab Walter Allen Bennett, Jr. November 14, 1991 0809
Cliff leads a "For Men Only" guidance class at the community center, giving the boys some plain talk about living, working and surviving in the real world. Meanwhile, Russell's adventures in babysitting for Olivia include an eye-popping, ear-splitting indoctrination into the wild world of video games. Trying to wean Olivia from her addiction, Russell suggests a nice game of Pick-Up Sticks. "Load it up," Olivia directs. "It's not that kind of game," her he announces. Unimpressed by Russell's old-fashioned diversion, Olivia convinces him to give her pastime a try instead – and another videomaniac is born! 
10 187 "Olivia Comes Out of the Closet" John Bowab Kathleen McGhee-Anderson November 21, 1991 0812

Olivia is upset because Martin is leaving for the Orient. After extracting a promise that he will not leave without saying goodbye, Olivia hides herself in the living room closet, hoping to delay his departure indefinitely. The rest of the family prepares to welcome legendary African singer Miriam Makeba to the Huxtable home. But Ms. Makeba almost gets lost in the shuffle when Martin comes downstairs to leave, Olivia is nowhere to be found and the whole family abandons their honored guest to search for the six-year old!

Guest star: Miriam Makeba appears as herself

Note: This is the final appearance of Joseph C. Phillips as Martin. 
11 188 "Two Is a Crowd" Jay Sandrich Gordon Gartrelle & Janet Leahy December 5, 1991 0810
Kenny arrives to console Rudy, the word around school is that Rudy and Stanley are no longer dating. Kenny, Rudy's old friend, sees it as an opportunity to further his own chances. Trouble is, Stanley may not be as out-of-the-picture as Kenny thinks. Dabnis follows Vanessa to the Huxtable home, mightily confused about a note she left him that described her "returning to her roots." 
12 189 "Clair's Place" John Bowab Adriana Trigiani December 19, 1991 0813
`Tis the season in the Huxtable house – time to hang Christmas lights and bake Christmas cookies. But it will all have to happen without Clair. She is safely tucked away from noisy grandchildren, nosy husband and whiny children in the Clair Hanks Huxtable Room, complete with private phone and secret security code access. As Cliff endeavors to learn the six-digit code "in case of emergencies," Clair says she will have to think it over. Family members who usually rely on Clair for every little thing must fend for themselves. Inside her room, Clair "twists and shouts" to her heart's content. 
13 190 "Theo's Future" Jay Sandrich Teleplay by: Gordon Gartrelle & Janet Leahy & Hugh O'Neill
Story by: Hugh O'Neill
January 2, 1992 0814
Even with his job at the community center, making ends meet is still hard for Theo. So when Tim tells him about a corporate mixer, Theo's first in line at the buffet table. In between bites, he expresses his opinions about corporate image and employee management to corporate recruiters from a large soup company. Impressed, they offer to fly him to their San Francisco headquarters for an interview. "San Francisco will mean independence," reasons Theo. But as Theo packs, his young friend Eugene wonders how Theo could consider a job in San Francisco over graduate school and the community center. "You ain't choosin' no soup over me!" Eugene exclaims. 
14 191 "The Price Is Wrong" Malcolm-Jamal Warner Gordon Gartrelle & Janet Leahy January 9, 1992 0815
Pam, Lance and Charmaine discover that talk is cheap and action speaks volumes. When a group of senior citizens complain of the higher prices and poorer quality at the supermarket chain store in their neighborhood, Pam drives them to the chain's store a few blocks away where the conditions are better. But how, she wonders, can the neighborhood store get away with it? "They have no competition in the poorer neighborhoods," Russell explains. They can raise prices as high as they want." Incensed, Pam, Lance and Charmaine organize the seniors to protest; armed with thousands of pennies, they create a lethal-but-legal log jam at the checkout counter. 
15 192 "Bring Me the Lip Gloss of Deirdre Arpelle" John Bowab Courtney Flavin January 16, 1992 0816

Eager for extra cash, Pam fills in for Cliff's regular assistant. Everything is under control until Mrs. Minifield bypasses the hospital and arrives on Cliff's doorstep with contractions less than four minutes apart. Meanwhile, Kenny shows up to work on a school science project with Rudy and Stanley. Hoping to make Rudy jealous, Kenny has brought along his girlfriend of three days, Deirdre. Rudy sees right through Kenny's plan, and so does Deirdre. She dumps Kenny before the paste is dry on their model. Only then does he realize that he actually likes Deirdre.

Guest star: Ed Lover

Note: This is the first appearance of Gabrielle Carmouche as Deirdre. 
16 193 "Eat, Drink and Be Wary" Carl Lauten & Malcolm-Jamal Warner Jill Condon & Leslie Strain January 30, 1992 0726

Knowing Cliff's penchant for junk food, Clair searches Cliff's favorite hiding places for chips and cookies before she leaves for a business trip. All she finds are fruits, greens and other healthful items. "I've turned over a new leaf," promises Cliff. With the help of every condiment in the refrigerator, the girls manage to make palatable Cliff's dinner of boiled chicken, brown rice and steamed broccoli. Later, Sondra intercepts a late-night delivery of Buffalo chicken wings, pizza and ice cream. "Olivia," Cliff yells upstairs, "That food you ordered is here!" But as Cliff downs his last slice of pizza, Clair calls from Washington – and sees right through the telephone!

Guest star: Debbi Morgan 
17 194 "The Getaway" Chuck Vinson Hugh O'Neill February 6, 1992 0817

The boxes are packed, the moving van is loaded, but Cliff still has his doubts. "I've been burned before," he reminds Clair when she reports that Sondra, Elvin and the twins are ready to depart. While Elvin and Sondra supervise the unloading in New Jersey, Winnie and Nelson remain with Cliff, who would rather take a nap than look after the twins. A game of hide-and-seek ensues and Cliff knocks over the grandfather clock, breaking it. By the time Elvin returns, Cliff is not a happy camper. This may not be the best time for Elvin to explain to Cliff that now he and Sondra have moved to New Jersey, Elvin's family needs a second car – Cliff's station wagon!

Guest stars: NCAA basketball coaches Jim Valvano and Dick Vitale 
18 195 "Cliff Gets Jilted" John Bowab Stuart Silverman February 6, 1992 0818
When their boiler expires, Sondra and Elvin move their housewarming party to the Huxtable house. Russell arrives with gossip about Vanessa that may give the family even more to celebrate; supposedly, Vanessa and Dabnis have finally set a wedding date. Rumor has it wrong, however. Vanessa announces that she and Dabnis have mutually agreed to separate. Cliff, stunned and brokenhearted at the prospect of losing his home repair guru, briefly considers giving up Vanessa and keeping Dabnis. 
19 196 "Cliff and Theo Come Clean" John Bowab Adriana Trigiani February 13, 1992 0819

Preparing for a school project, Olivia seeks out a more reliable source after Cliff tells her a bunch of outrageous stories about himself at age six. Among other things, it seems that Cliff's first bicycle hangs in the Smithsonian next to the Spirit of St. Louis! Olivia brings Russell on as a consultant, who relates some interesting (and true) stories about the young Cliff that even Cliff has forgotten. Meanwhile, Theo's students at the community center thrash out the moral and ethical dilemma presented by their discovery of a monogrammed money clip containing $600 in cash.

Note: This is the last appearance of Eugene Byrd as Eugene. 
20 197 "Clair's Reunion" Carl Lauten & Anne-Louise Wallace Marcia L. Leslie February 20, 1992 0820

Clair hosts a group of Hillman College alumnae who have gathered to plan a testimonial for a much-loved professor. While trying to come up with a way to describe the colorful woman, Clair and her friends reminisce about their fun-filled college days. Meanwhile, Olivia persuades Cliff to get a "beauty makeover" in her new hair salon.

Guest stars: Margaret Avery, CCH Pounder, and Daphne Maxwell Reid 
21 198 "Rudy's Retreat" Carl Lauten & Maynard C. Virgil I Lisa S. Benjamin & Nina Combs February 27, 1992 0821

Parenting is the #1 topic of the day around the Huxtable home: Sondra and Elvin want to provide for the twins in their will. After seeing a lawyer to draw up a will, Sondra and Elvin narrow the field of candidates for guardianship of the twins. Will it be Cliff and Clair, or Theo? After Rudy oversteps her bounds and Clair reminds her who's in charge, Rudy turns sullen and surly. Cliff wonders what's bothering Rudy, besides the fact that she is 12 and her parents are always wrong. "It's the whole world," Rudy reveals. "It's everything."

Note: Karen Malina White and Allen Payne appear on an episode of A Different World which aired later that evening. In the fall of 1992, White became a regular cast member of that series. 
22 199 "You Can't Stop the Music" Alan Smithee Gardenia Gabrielle & Ben Gramin March 26, 1992 0811

Latin Jazz stars Mario Bauza and Willie Colon guest-star in this special musical episode. While Clair provides some last-minute legal aid for a public radio station, Cliff finds himself sitting in on a live radio broadcast with the famous performers. Meanwhile, Kenny gets his first job – babysitting Olivia.

Guest stars: Graciela, Willie Colón, and Mario Bauza and His Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra as themselves 
23 200 "Some Gifts Aren't Deductible" John Bowab Courtney Flavin April 23, 1992 0822

In her annual plea, Clair begs Cliff to just hand over his receipts and let her and the accountant thrash out the tax return. But Cliff wants to stake his claims first – to Elvin, Sondra, the twins, Olivia, and Cousin Pam as Huxtable dependents. Caught without an appropriate gift for Deirdre's birthday, Kenny tells her he has planned a party for her at the Huxtables. When Deirdre realizes the party is just a spur-of-the-moment cover-up, she dumps Kenny forever. Desperate Kenny appeals to Stanley for help. Stanley is highly motivated: unless he can convince Deirdre to take Kenny back, Rudy, Stanley and Kenny could become a threesome again.

Note: This is the last appearances of Merlin Santana as Stanley and Gabrielle Carmouche as Deirdre. The Uptown String Quartet performs James Brown's "I Feel Good". 
24/25 201/202 "And So We Commence" Jay Sandrich Courtney Flavin, Gordon Gartrelle, Janet Leahy & Hugh O'Neill April 30, 1992 0823-0824

Cliff invites a host of relatives and friends to celebrate Theo's graduation from NYU. And, despite a scarcity of tickets, Cliff just keeps on inviting people. Theo's protests fall on deaf ears. "If they ask me, they're coming," declares the proud father. Eight years of magic, love and laughter with the Huxtable family come to an end as Cliff's invitation list for Theo's graduation continues to grow. At the commencement ceremony, Cliff thinks back eight years to the day he used Monopoly money to illustrate the harsh realities of life to then-13-year-old Theo. By the time Cliff emerges from his reverie, Theo is already a graduate. Cliff and Clair dance cheek-to-cheek one last time in the Huxtable living room – and then dance off the set into television history. (This episode was immediately followed by a three-minute "thank you" tribute from NBC).

Note: The two-part series finale aired on the evening of day two of the 1992 Los Angeles Riots. Bill Cosby appeared on KNBC in an attempt to end hostilities, asking viewers to stop what they were doing and instead watch the series finale of the show. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ [TV Guide Book of Lists, Running Press, ISBN=0-7624-3007-1]
  2. ^ The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 1436. ISBN 0-345-45542-8. 
  3. ^ CHRONICLE – BILL COSBY has stopped using a mural designed for the opening credits of The Cosby Show. By Susan Heller Anderson Published: October 18, 1990, The New York Times

External links[edit]