List of Welcome Back, Kotter episodes

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Welcome Back, Kotter is an American television sitcom that originally aired on the ABC network from September 9, 1975 to June 8, 1979.

The show stars comedian Gabe Kaplan as the title character Gabe Kotter, a wise-cracking teacher who returns to his high school alma mater — the fictional James Buchanan High in Brooklyn, New York — to teach an often unruly group of remedial wiseguys known as the "Sweathogs" (the nickname reflecting the fact that the remedial classes were held on the very top floor of the high school). The school's principal was perpetually absent, while the uptight vice principal dismissed the Sweathogs as worthless hoodlums and only expected Kotter to attempt to control them until they inevitably dropped out.

Ninety-five episodes were produced during Welcome Back, Kotter's four-year run. The show's producers did not know for certain that the show would be cancelled after the 1978–79 season. Kotter has no official finale with the long-awaited graduation for the Sweathogs. Instead, the last original episode dealt with a feud that ensues when Washington (Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs) gets an after-school job Epstein (Robert Hegyes) felt was rightly his.

Series overview[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 22 September 9, 1975 February 26, 1976
2 23 September 23, 1976 March 3, 1977
3 27 September 10, 1977 May 18, 1978
4 23 September 11, 1978 June 8, 1979


Season 1 (1975–1976)[edit]

No. in
No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1 1 "The Great Debate" Bob LaHendro Rick Mittleman September 9, 1975 (1975-09-09)

The Sweathogs debate Mr. Welles's (James Woods) class after continual putdowns, with the debate topic involving student aggression.

Note: First appearances of Judy Borden (Helaine Lembeck), Todd Ludlow (Dennis Bowen), and Rosalie "Hotsy" Totsy (Debralee Scott).
2 2 "Basket Case" Bob LaHendro Jerry Ross September 16, 1975 (1975-09-16)
Freddie is certain he's a basketball star in the making, so he thinks he doesn't have to pass his classes.
3 3 "Welcome Back" James Komack Peter Meyerson September 23, 1975 (1975-09-23)
Pilot episode: Gabe is introduced to the Sweathogs on his first day as a teacher. In frustration, he quits, but the Sweathogs visit him at home and convince him to return.
4 4 "Whodunit?" Bob LaHendro Jewel Jaffe & Jerry Rannow September 30, 1975 (1975-09-30)
Rosalie Totsy claims one of the Sweathogs got her pregnant as an effort to change her reputation.
5 5 "The Election" Bob LaHendro Eric Cohen & Tiffany York October 7, 1975 (1975-10-07)
Vinnie runs for student body president, but his campaign is a disaster, despite Gabe's efforts.
6 6 "No More Mr. Nice Guy" Bob LaHendro George Yanok October 14, 1975 (1975-10-14)
Gabe convinces Mr. Woodman to teach war history for a day after being accused of stealing his favorite yellow chalk.
7 7 "Classroom Marriage" Bob LaHendro William Raynor & Myles Wilder October 21, 1975 (1975-10-21)
Vernajean and Freddie decide to get married so they can stay together, but the Sweathogs convince them otherwise.
8 8 "One of Our Sweathogs Is Missing" Bob LaHendro Marilyn Miller October 28, 1975 (1975-10-28)
Epstein gets in a fight with Todd Ludlow after insulting his date; Epstein loses and runs away for a couple of days.
9 9 "Mr. Kotter, Teacher" Bob LaHendro Jewel Jaffe & Jerry Rannow November 4, 1975 (1975-11-04)
Mr. Woodman accuses Gabe of not following standard teaching procedures because he isn't teaching from the standard textbook. The Sweathogs come to his defense in front of the school board.
10 10 "The Reunion" Bob LaHendro George Yanok November 18, 1975 (1975-11-18)
Gabe isn't happy about an old "perfect" schoolmate and his "perfect" wife visiting him.
11 11 "Barbarino's Girl" Bob LaHendro Eric Cohen November 25, 1975 (1975-11-25)
Judy tutors Vinnie, and they start liking each other. The Sweathogs start cracking jokes, but Vinnie stands up for her.
12 12 "California Dreamin'" Bob LaHendro Michael Weinberger December 2, 1975 (1975-12-02)
A new student (Bambi) pretends to be a surfer girl and distracts all the Sweathogs.
13 13 "Arrividerci, Arnold" Bob LaHendro Jewel Jaffe & Jerry Rannow December 16, 1975 (1975-12-16)
Woodman promotes Horshack out of the Sweathogs, but he gets let back in after Gabe and the class convince him otherwise.
14 14 "The Longest Weekend" Bob LaHendro Carl Kleinschmitt January 6, 1976 (1976-01-06)
Julie goes away on a ski trip to Vermont with a recently divorced friend. Gabe is lonely and prepares to visit her, but is interrupted when she comes home early.
15 15 "The Sit-In" Bob LaHendro William Bickley & Michael Warren January 13, 1976 (1976-01-13)
The Sweathogs protest the cafeteria's liver by planning a food fight, but Gabe convinces them to have a sit-in as an alternate method of protesting.
16 16 "Follow The Leader: Part 1" Bob LaHendro Jewel Jaffe & Jerry Rannow January 20, 1976 (1976-01-20)
The class votes to make Freddie the new Sweathog leader, which causes Vinnie to quit school. Julie is jealous of Gabe's attention to the Sweathogs, and goes to stay at a hotel.
17 17 "Follow The Leader: Part 2" Bob LaHendro Jewel Jaffe & Jerry Rannow January 22, 1976 (1976-01-22)
The Sweathogs tire of Freddie as their leader, and Gabe convinces Vinnie to return to school. Julie forgives Gabe and moves back home.
18 18 "Dr. Epstein, I Presume" Bob LaHendro George Yanok January 29, 1976 (1976-01-29)
Epstein wants to become a veterinarian, but is discouraged by his guidance counselor since his grades don't show that he can.
19 19 "One Flu Over The Cuckoo's Nest" Bob LaHendro Eric Cohen February 5, 1976 (1976-02-05)
After a flu epidemic hits, Gabe combines the few remaining healthy students into one class.
20 20 "The Telethon" Bob LaHendro Pat Proft & Bo Kaprall February 12, 1976 (1976-02-12)
The Sweathogs put on a telethon to raise $700 for new supplies so they can continue to have a class.
21 21 "Kotter Makes Good" Bob LaHendro George Yanok February 19, 1976 (1976-02-19)
Gabe volunteers to take tests with the Sweathogs after Mr. Woodman can't find his senior exams. The records are found, but Gabe takes the tests anyway.
22 22 "Father Vinnie" Bob LaHendro Eric Cohen February 26, 1976 (1976-02-26)
Vinnie's dying grandmother wants him to become a priest. Vinnie tries, but gives it up when he has to stop dating.

Season 2 (1976–1977)[edit]

No. in
No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
23 1 "Career Day" Bill Hobin Eric Cohen September 23, 1976 (1976-09-23)
Gabe is offered a job by a wealthy Asian, but decides teaching is more important than lots of money.
24 2 "Inherit The Halibut" Bill Hobin Neil Rosen & George Tricker September 30, 1976 (1976-09-30)
The Sweathogs accuse Freddie (the class treasurer) of stealing some money to buy himself a new bike, and put him on trial.
25 3 "Sweatside Story" Bill Persky Eric Cohen October 7, 1976 (1976-10-07)
The Sweathogs try to form their own gang in response to a scare from another gang. Gabe, Arnold, and Mr. Woodman act tough enough to scare both gangs out of any violent activity. (The title is a takeoff on West Side Story.)
26 4 "The Fight" Bob LaHendro Jewel Jaffe & Jerry Rannow October 21, 1976 (1976-10-21)
Vinnie forgets to do Freddie's "show and tell" homework as promised, causing the Sweathogs to have a fight.
27 5 "The Museum" Bill Davis Bob Shayne October 28, 1976 (1976-10-28)
The Sweathogs go on a field trip to a museum and meet its mysterious, superstitious curator (John Astin). In the process, they all get locked in a tomb of a mummy which supposedly holds a curse.
28 6 "Gabe Under Pressure" Jay Sandrich George Yanok November 4, 1976 (1976-11-04)
Gabe has a stomach pain, but is afraid to get a physical at the free clinic.
29 7 "Sweathog, Nebraska Style" Bob LaHendro George Yanok November 11, 1976 (1976-11-11)
Julie's sister Jenny from Nebraska makes a surprise visit. Much to Julie's dismay, Jenny goes out with Epstein, but dumps him after getting a call from her ex-boyfriend.
30 8 "Sadie Hawkins Day" Bob LaHendro Steven Clements & Joyce Gittlin November 18, 1976 (1976-11-18)
All of the Sweathogs have dates for the Sadie Hawkins dance except Vinnie, due to his insensitivity, so he attends alone. (Note: A then unknown Dinah Manoff guest stars on this episode. She would meet up with John Travolta again for 1978's Grease.)
31 9 "Hello, Ms. Chips" Bob LaHendro Royce D. Applegate & Ira Miller December 2, 1976 (1976-12-02)
A new student teacher, Ms. Wright (Valerie Curtin) tries to teach the Sweathogs, with some difficulty.
32 10 "Horshack vs. Carvelli" Bob LaHendro Garry Shandling December 9, 1976 (1976-12-09)
Horshack wants to fight Carvelli in the upcoming boxing match.
33 11 "Sweathog Clinic for the Cure of Smoking" Bob LaHendro Eric Cohen & Steve Hayden December 16, 1976 (1976-12-16)
Gabe and Mr. Woodman catch Epstein smoking; Gabe and the Sweathogs help him to quit.
34 12 "Hark, the Sweatkings" Bob LaHendro Nick Arnold & Peter Meyerson December 23, 1976 (1976-12-23)
The Sweathogs want to help a homeless man after hearing his life story.
35 13 "A Love Story" James Komack & Gary Shimokawa Jewel Jaffe & Jerry Rannow December 30, 1976 (1976-12-30)
Epstein's sister Carmen (Lisa Mordente) joins the Sweathogs, but he threatens to kill anyone who lays a hand on her.
36 14 "Caruso's Way" Bob LaHendro Jim Parker January 6, 1977 (1977-01-06)
Mr. Caruso (Scott Brady) slaps Vinnie during gym class, and is late for his next class. Caruso refuses to apologize, despite Vinnie's apology, and challenges him to an arm-wrestling match.
37 15 "Sweatgate Scandal" Bob LaHendro Eric Cohen January 13, 1977 (1977-01-13)
After a break-in at Principal Lazarus' office, the Sweathogs decide to investigate while working on the school newspaper.
38 16 "Kotter and Son" Bob LaHendro Nick Arnold & Peter Meyerson January 20, 1977 (1977-01-20)
Gabe's father (Harold J. Stone), convinced that Gabe is in the wrong career, comes for a visit and observes him with the Sweathogs.
39 17 "Chicken à la Kotter" Bob LaHendro Raymond Siller January 27, 1977 (1977-01-27)
Gabe cannot afford a root canal, so he works a night job as Captain Chicken to pay for it; Julie thinks he's having an affair.
40 18 "Has Anyone Seen Arnold?" Bob LaHendro Nick Arnold & Peter Meyerson February 3, 1977 (1977-02-03)
Horshack goes missing, and Vinnie takes his place as the lead in the school play, Cyrano de Bergerac. Part 1 of 2.
41 19 "There Goes Number 5" James Komack & Bob LaHendro Jewel Jaffe & Jerry Rannow February 3, 1977 (1977-02-03)
The reason for Horshack's absence turns out to be the death of his fifth father. Horshack takes on the responsibility of providing for his mother and siblings, and gets a part-time job with his uncle. Conclusion.
42 20 "The Littlest Sweathog" Bob LaHendro Eric Cohen February 10, 1977 (1977-02-10)
Gabe and Julie find out that she's pregnant.
43 21 "Radio Free Freddie" Bob LaHendro Peter Meyerson, Neil Rosen & George Yanok February 17, 1977 (1977-02-17)
The Sweathogs are invited to go on the air at a local radio station. Freddie goes on after the other three decline, and becomes an instant success, but risks losing his friends. George Carlin and Fred Grandy guest star.
44 22 "I'm Having Their Baby" Bob LaHendro Neil Rosen & George Tricker February 24, 1977 (1977-02-24)
While Gabe is away at a teacher's convention, the Sweathogs try to help Julie with her pregnancy, but make her even more uncomfortable in the process.
45 23 "I Wonder Who's Kissing Gabe Now" Bob LaHendro Nick Arnold & Peter Meyerson March 3, 1977 (1977-03-03)
The art teacher tells Gabe she is in love with him and kisses him, despite his resistance. Gabe tells Julie but forgets to mention the kiss. Epstein backs up Gabe's story.

Season 3 (1977–1978)[edit]

No. in
No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
46 1 "Sweathog Back to School Special" Bob Claver Nick Arnold & Peter Meyerson September 10, 1977 (1977-09-10)
The Sweathogs reminisce about the last two years as they start a new semester.
"And Baby Makes Four" Bob Claver Eric Cohen September 15, 1977 (1977-09-15)
The Sweathogs return to school as 11th graders, except for Vinnie. Julie goes into labor, and Woodman has to announce it over the school loudspeakers after Gabe threw him out of his classroom. Part 1 of 3.
While Julie is giving birth to twins, Vinnie tries to get Gabe to talk to Woodman about letting him back into the 11th grade. Part 2 of 3.
49 4 "The Visit" Bob Claver Gabriel Kaplan September 22, 1977 (1977-09-22)
Julie's parents come for an unexpected visit to see the twins, and Gabe has to sleep on the fire escape. The Sweathogs help Gabe get up the courage to ask them to leave. Conclusion
50 5 "Buddy, Can You Spare a Million?" Bob Claver Nick Arnold & Peter Meyerson September 29, 1977 (1977-09-29)
Gabe and Vinnie fight over prize money from a lottery ticket.
51 6 "Just Testing" Bob Claver Mike Barrie & Jim Mulholland October 6, 1977 (1977-10-06)
Gabe refuses to help Vinnie cram for the 12th grade entrance test, so he gets help from the Sweathogs.
52 7 "The Deprogramming of Arnold Horshack" Bob Claver Mike Barrie & Jim Mulholland October 13, 1977 (1977-10-13)
Horshack drops out of school to join a religious cult, and the others try to get him out of it.
53 8 "What a Move" Nick Havinga George Bloom & Beverly Bloomberg October 20, 1977 (1977-10-20)
Epstein finds a new apartment for the Kotters, but their stay is short-lived. Herb Edelman guest stars as Moe Epstein.
54 9 "A Novel Idea" Bob Claver Nick Arnold & Peter Meyerson October 27, 1977 (1977-10-27)
The characters in Mr. Woodman's new novel seem to be very similar to the Sweathogs.
55 10 "Barbarino in Love: Part 1" Bob Claver Nick Arnold & Peter Meyerson November 3, 1977 (1977-11-03)
Vinnie is supposed to be rehearsing for a talent show with the Sweathogs, but instead spends time with a girl who they are competing against.
56 11 "Barbarino in Love: Part 2" Bob Claver Steve Clements & Joyce Gittlin November 10, 1977 (1977-11-10)
Vinnie isn't sure if he wants to try to win the talent competition, or whether he should let his new girlfriend win.
57 12 "Kotter for Vice-Principal" Bob Claver Steve Clements & Joyce Gittlin November 17, 1977 (1977-11-17)
The Sweathogs try to get Gabe to become vice-principal. Gabe tells Woodman that he isn't interested, and later has a dream set in the year 2050.
58 13 "Swine and Punishment" Bob Claver Eric Cohen November 24, 1977 (1977-11-24)
Mr. Woodman suspects Freddie of cheating on a test.
59 14 "Epstein's Madonna" Bob Claver George Bloom & Beverly Bloomberg December 8, 1977 (1977-12-08)
Epstein creates a nude painting on the school wall... of Mrs. Kotter!
60 15 "A Sweathog Christmas Special" Mel Stuart Eric Cohen & Mel Stuart December 15, 1977 (1977-12-15)
The Sweathogs share Christmas memories as they help the Kotters trim their tree.
61 16 "Sweatwork" Bob Claver Eric Cohen December 22, 1977 (1977-12-22)
Horshack pushes for change to the school radio station, and gets some support along the way. Parody of Network.
62 17 "Meet Your New Teacher" Bob Claver Garry Ferrier & Aubrey Tadman January 5, 1978 (1978-01-05)
The Sweathogs' grades rise when they get tutored by a computer, but Gabe is afraid it will replace him.
63 18 "Angie" Alan Myerson Eric Cohen January 12, 1978 (1978-01-12)
A new student (Angie Grabowski) wants to join the Sweathogs, but is denied membership because she is a girl.
64 19 "Epstein's Term Paper" Bob Claver Eric Cohen January 19, 1978 (1978-01-19)
Epstein buys four term papers from Carvelli (Charles Fleischer) and the Sweathogs turn them in as their own, only to discover that Gabe wrote one of them 11 years earlier.
65 20 "There's No Business: Part 1" Bob Claver Gabriel Kaplan January 26, 1978 (1978-01-26)
The Sweathogs convince Gabe to pursue his dream as a stand-up comic. His imitations of them are a success, and he gives up teaching for a job at a nightclub.
66 21 "There's No Business: Part 2" Bob Claver George Bloom & Beverly Bloomberg February 2, 1978 (1978-02-02)
The Sweathogs and Mr. Woodman want Gabe to come back to teaching.
67 22 "What Goes Up" Jeff Bleckner Nick Arnold February 9, 1978 (1978-02-09)
Freddie becomes hooked on prescription painkillers, but the only thing that saves him is Epstein's "vitamin pills."
68 23 "Goodbye, Mr. Kripps" Bob Claver Garry Ferrier & Aubrey Tadman February 16, 1978 (1978-02-16)
Vinnie blames himself for his shop teacher's fatal heart attack, which came on while Mr. Kripps was yelling at him.
69 24 "Horshack and Madame X" Al Schwartz Peter Meyerson February 23, 1978 (1978-02-23)
Horshack keeps getting rejected by girls, and falls in love with Julie after she gave him comfort and advice.
70 25 "The Kiss" Bob Claver Max Wynne Goldenson & Peter Meyerson March 9, 1978 (1978-03-09)
Gabe's job is at risk after he is accused of kissing a girl who fainted, though he actually performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
71 26 "The Return of Hotsy Totsy" Bob Claver Gabriel Kaplan May 11, 1978 (1978-05-11)
The Sweathogs find former classmate Hotsy working at a strip club, and try to help her finish high school and get a better job.
72 27 "Class Encounters of the Carvelli Kind" Robert Hegyes George Bloom & Beverly Bloomberg May 18, 1978 (1978-05-18)
Carvelli and Murray are exchange students; Carvelli tells stories about aliens.

Season 4 (1978–1979)[edit]

No. in
No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
"The Drop-Ins" Norman Abbott George Bloom September 11, 1978 (1978-09-11)
The Sweathogs are upset when Gabe becomes vice-principal (therefore not spending enough time with them), and decide to drop out.
The Sweathogs decide to come back to school, after trying to get jobs at a hospital.
75 3 "Beau's Jest" Norman Abbott Earl Barret, Richard Hawkins & Liz Sage September 18, 1978 (1978-09-18)
A new student, Beau De Labarre (Stephen Shortridge), is trying to take attention away from the Sweathogs.
76 4 "Don't Come Up and See Me Sometime" Norman Abbott Gene Perret & Bill Richmond September 25, 1978 (1978-09-25)
Vinnie throws the Sweathogs out of his new apartment in order to get some privacy.
77 5 "Once Upon a Ledge" Norman Abbott Richard Hawkins & Liz Sage October 2, 1978 (1978-10-02)
Horshack is able to stop a student from committing suicide.
78 6 "The Sweatmobile" Norman Abbott Gene Perret & Bill Richmond October 9, 1978 (1978-10-09)
The Sweathogs' new car is wrecked during delivery.
79 7 "Barbarino's Boo-Boo" Norman Abbott Linda Morris & Vic Rauseo October 21, 1978 (1978-10-21)
Mr. Woodman goes to the hospital for surgery, and Vinnie misplaces him.
80 8 "X-Rated Education" Norman Abbott Bill Greer & Kathy Greer October 28, 1978 (1978-10-28)
The Sweathogs try to watch an X-rated film after it is accidentally switched with a sex education film.
81 9 "The Barbarino Blues" Norman Abbott Linda Morris & Vic Rauseo November 4, 1978 (1978-11-04)
Vinnie is depressed when the girl he wanted to break up with dumped him first.
82 10 "Washington's Clone" Norman Abbott Dinah Kirgo & Julie Kirgo November 11, 1978 (1978-11-11)
A younger student tries to impress the Sweathogs by imitating Freddie.
83 11 "Frog Day Afternoon" Norman Abbott Earl Barret, Richard Hawkins & Liz Sage November 25, 1978 (1978-11-25)
Horshack refuses to dissect a frog in biology class, which jeopardizes his grade.
84 12 "A Little Fright Music" Norman Abbott Earl Barret & George Bloom December 2, 1978 (1978-12-02)
The Sweathogs try to change Mr. Woodman's school song to a disco version.
85 13 "A Winter's Coat Tale" Norman Abbott Earl Barret & George Bloom December 16, 1978 (1978-12-16)
Vinnie's new coat is stolen by muggers.
86 14 "Bride and Gloom" Norman Abbott Earl Barret & George Bloom January 13, 1979 (1979-01-13)
Epstein asks Vinnie to marry his immigrant cousin so she can get citizenship.
87 15 "Barbarino's Baby" Norman Abbott Linda Morris & Vic Rauseo February 3, 1979 (1979-02-03)
Barbarino delivers a baby in an elevator.
88 16 "The Goodbye Guy" Norman Abbott Suzanne Gayle Harris, Rick Hawkins & Liz Sage February 10, 1979 (1979-02-10)
Epstein almost moves in with Mr. Woodman's niece (Georganne LaPiere) after falling in love with her, but the relationship falls apart.
89 17 "Come Back, Little Arnold" Norman Abbott Rick Hawkins & Liz Sage February 24, 1979 (1979-02-24)
Horshack develops a drinking problem, after drinking liquor to get up his nerve with Mary. However, his altered personality only drives her away. Della Reese guest stars.
90 18 "The Sweat Smell of Success" Norman Abbott Earl Barret & George Bloom March 3, 1979 (1979-03-03)
Epstein turns the school newspaper into a tabloid, and endangers his friendships in the process.
91 19 "The Gang Show" Norman Abbott Gene Perret & Bill Richmond March 17, 1979 (1979-03-17)
Epstein and Freddie enter a talent show. Carvelli has bribed some judges, but Horshack and Beau take over. (Episode title is a takeoff on The Gong Show.)
"Oo-Oo, I Do" Norman Abbott Gene Perret & Bill Richmond March 25, 1979 (1979-03-25)
Horshack proposes marriage to Mary after learning he has to move.
Horshack and Mary get married, despite the Sweathogs' teasing.
94 22 "I'm Okay, But You're Not" Norman Abbott Richard Hawkins & Liz Sage June 1, 1979 (1979-06-01)
Beau plays pranks on Mr. Woodman in order to redeem himself to the Sweathogs.
95 23 "The Breadwinners" Norman Abbott Linda Morris & Vic Rauseo June 8, 1979 (1979-06-08)
While Horshack adjusts to married life, Freddie gets the job that Epstein was going to interview for, resulting in a fight.


External links[edit]