List of What's Happening!! episodes

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Below is a list of episodes from What's Happening!!, a sitcom that aired on ABC from 1976 to 1979.

Series overview[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 21 August 5, 1976 (1976-08-05) March 31, 1977 (1977-03-31)
2 22 September 22, 1977 (1977-09-22) May 11, 1978 (1978-05-11)
3 22 September 21, 1978 (1978-09-21) April 28, 1979 (1979-04-28)


Season 1 (1976–1977)[edit]

No. in
No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1 1 "The Runaway" Dennis Steinmetz Alan Eisenstock & Larry Mintz August 5, 1976 (1976-08-05)
Mama tells Roger to sacrifice a party to babysit his sister Dee because Mama got called in to work. But Roger hires Millie, an elderly neighbor, to babysit Dee while he goes on to the party. Mama later returns home to pick up Dee so that Roger can go to the party; but she finds Dee there alone with a sleeping Millie, and takes Dee with her. When Roger and his friends, Dwayne and Rerun, return home to find Dee gone, they panic, thinking she has run away.
2 2 "The Birthday Present" Bud Yorkin Saul Turteltaub & Bernie Orenstein August 12, 1976 (1976-08-12)
Roger needs money to buy Mama a birthday present (a blouse), so he wins it in a dice game. When Mama finds out Roger was gambling, she takes his winnings (the money needed to buy Mama the blouse). Later, after leaving the department store an IOU; Roger, Dwayne, and Rerun try to sneak the blouse out of the store and get caught. After being released back into Mama's custody, Dwayne and Rerun swipes Roger's winnings from Mama's purse and buys the blouse for Roger.
3 3 "When Daddy Comes Marching Home" Jack Shea Dawn Aldredge & Marion C. Freeman August 19, 1976 (1976-08-19)
After deserting Roger and Dee as little children, their father returns to town and begins to visit regularly.
4 4 "My Three Tons" Alan Rafkin Alan Eisenstock & Larry Mintz August 26, 1976 (1976-08-26)
Rerun auditions for a dance group, but Dwayne finds out he is hired only so they can make fun of his obesity. However, the joke is on them after Mama devises a plan to teach them a lesson.
5 5 "Saturday's Hero" Mark Warren Alan Eisenstock & Larry Mintz November 13, 1976 (1976-11-13)
Rerun becomes a football star, which turns him into an egotistical snob--especially after the admiration bestowed upon him by the cheerleaders. However, it all comes crashing down when he finds out he cannot play due to failing grades.
6 6 "The Burger Queen" Dick Harwood Saul Turteltaub & Bernie Orenstein November 20, 1976 (1976-11-20)
When Mama is away visiting an ill relative, Roger enters Dee in an audition to become a spokesperson for a fast food chain called Bridgeburgers, but the audition winds up a disaster.
7 7 "Speak for Yourself, Dwayne" Hal Alexander Fred S. Fox & Seaman Jacobs November 27, 1976 (1976-11-27)
Dwayne falls for Nancy, a new girl in school, but is too shy to talk to her; so he gets Roger to talk to her on his behalf. However this turns into a bad mistake for Dwayne because this leads to Roger falling for Nancy. As a result, Roger is left with guilt and one angry friend.
8 8 "Shirley's Date" Anthony Chickey Bob Illes & James R. Stein December 4, 1976 (1976-12-04)
Raj has sold a kid's story to a children's magazine, and to celebrate he throws a party. However, Shirley is reluctant to come because she doesn't want to show up without a date.
9 9 "A Christmas Story" Hal Alexander Saul Turteltaub & Bernie Orenstein December 11, 1976 (1976-12-11)
Roger and Dee think their mother is working on Christmas Day so they spend it with their father, who recently entered their lives. After a ruined Christmas dinner due to their father's girlfriend's inability to cook, they wind up all having dinner together with Mother.
10 10 "Puppy Love" Mark Warren Bill Richmond & Gene Perret December 30, 1976 (1976-12-30)
Roger is tutoring Patrice Williams in exchange for one of the puppies that her dog Susie is soon to have. However, confusion and chaos erupts in the Thomas household when Dee overhears a conversation between Roger, Dwayne, and Rerun which leads her to believe Roger has gotten a girl pregnant.
11 11 "The Maid Did It" Mark Warren Marty Farrell January 6, 1977 (1977-01-06)
Mama is fired from her job as a maid after her boss, Mrs. Turner, falsely accuses her of stealing a diamond ring, but justice prevails when Roger discovers that Mr. Turner is using the ring to fund his gambling.
12 12 "The Incomplete Shakespeare" Dick Harwood Mort Scharfman January 13, 1977 (1977-01-13)
Roger is trying to break into the writing business.
13 13 "The Hospital Stay" Mark Warren Alan Eisenstock & Larry Mintz January 20, 1977 (1977-01-20)
Dee helps a dying man reunite with his estranged daughter who married a white man.
14 14 "The Sunday Father" Mark Warren Bob Illes & James R. Stein January 27, 1977 (1977-01-27)
After being "expelled" (actually suspended) from school for bad behavior in class, Roger soft-soaps his father into coming to the school for the conference instead of his mother because Roger knows his father cannot punish him.
15 15 "The Firing Squad" Mark Warren Rick Mittleman February 10, 1977 (1977-02-10)
Shirley gets fired for arguing with business associate of her boss Rob. As a result, everyone boycotts the soda shop.
16 16 "The Boarder" Mark Warren Alan Eisenstock & Larry Mintz February 17, 1977 (1977-02-17)
When the Thomas family has financial problems, Roger and Dee's father moves in and pays rent to help out, pretending not to know their plight.
17 17 "Dwayne's Dilemma" Dick Harwood Jerry Ross February 24, 1977 (1977-02-24)
Dwayne is dating a girl who recently broke up with an abusive boyfriend.
18 18 "The Tickets" Mark Warren Richard Baer March 3, 1977 (1977-03-03)
Roger has two tickets for a Stevie Wonder concert but wants to take both Dwayne and Rerun, so they try to scalp the tickets and they get arrested.
19 19 "What's Wrong with Raj?" Mark Warren Gene Farmer March 10, 1977 (1977-03-10)
Dee is always snooping in Roger's journal; so in order to teach Dee a lesson, Mama and Roger trick her into thinking that Roger is really sick when he fakes an illness involving memory loss.
20 20 "Nice Guys Finish Last" Mark Warren Carol Gary March 24, 1977 (1977-03-24)

Dee allows her pen pal from prison to visit thinking she was paroled, but actually she is still a fugitive and she and her boyfriend take Dee hostage.

Guest Star: Vernee Watson-Johnson as Judy Crane
21 21 "From Here to Maternity" Mark Warren Rick Mittleman March 31, 1977 (1977-03-31)
Shirley's sister comes to visit, umarried and six months pregnant.

Season 2 (1977–1978)[edit]

No. in
No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
22 1 "Rerun Gets Married" Mark Warren Bruce Howard September 22, 1977 (1977-09-22)
Rerun attempts to marry an illegal alien (Irene Cara) so she can stay in the country.
23 2 "It's All in Your Head" Mark Warren Alan Eisenstock & Larry Mintz September 29, 1977 (1977-09-29)
Dee's visit to a school psychologist (Tim Reid) for a friend's problem is misinterpreted, and Dee's family is suddenly extremely nice to her. She then takes advantage, and when they find out the truth, Mama informs Dee that she has a surprise for her and then tricks her into doing chores before the surprise is revealed to be punishment.
24 3 "Trial and Error" Lee Bernhardi Rick Mittleman October 6, 1977 (1977-10-06)
Roger wrecks his work bicycle after running into a moving car.
25 4 "Raj Goes to Press" Mark Warren David Pollock October 13, 1977 (1977-10-13)
After Miss Collins rejects an article written by Roger in the school newspaper denouncing surprise tests, Roger resigns and he, Dwayne, and Rerun begin an "underground" newspaper of their own. Coincidentally, while working on their new project, Dwayne inadvertently notices a surprise test in Miss Collins' desk drawer while getting a stapler for their newspaper. The guys then write an article revealing when the surprise test is going to be.
26 5 "Nothing Personal" Mark Warren Alan Eisenstock & Larry Mintz October 20, 1977 (1977-10-20)
Shirley is hired for a highly skilled professional job only because she is black.
27 6 "If I'm Elected" Lee Bernhardi Winston Moss October 27, 1977 (1977-10-27)

Dwayne is helping his father campaign for election to city councilman. Meanwhile, he gets very upset when his uncle is suddenly fired as campaign manager.

Note: Roger, Rerun, and Dee do not appear in this episode.
28 7 "The Play's the Big Thing" Ron Richards Saul Turteltaub & Bernie Orenstein November 3, 1977 (1977-11-03)
Roger is in a dilemma when, out of pity, he uses Rerun as the main character in a skit Roger wrote for their theatre arts class when their teacher's friend, a TV producer whom Roger tries to impress with his skit, visits to see the class projects. As expected, with Rerun cast as the main character, the presentation of the skit turns into disaster.
29 8 "Give Me Odds" Mark Warren Alan Eisenstock & Larry Mintz November 10, 1977 (1977-11-10)
Dwayne is in a lucky streak with a "system" he came up with to make bets on football games. This leads Rerun to pass along Dwayne's tips to his brother-in-law Ike, a compulsive gambler, who bets $500 (his and his wife's vacation money) on a game in which Dwayne picks the underdog to win. It is only after the bet is locked in that everyone discovers just what kind of wacky system Dwayne uses.
30 9 "Bill Gets Married" Dick Harwood Carol Gary November 17, 1977 (1977-11-17)
Bill has become serious with his latest girlfriend and announces that they plan on getting married. Almost everyone is happy for the couple, including Mama who even lets them have the ceremony in her house. However, it is Dee who refuses to accept their marriage and refuses to be the flower girl in the wedding.
31 10 "Mama, the School Girl" Mark Warren Barbara Berkowitz November 24, 1977 (1977-11-24)
Mama takes a night history course at Roger's school and even gets his teacher, Miss Collins. A classmate takes an instant liking to Mama and she falls head over heels for him, unaware that he is only using her to write his term paper for him.
32 11 "One Strike and You're Out" Mark Warren Rick Mittleman December 8, 1977 (1977-12-08)
Rerun being fired from the supermarket is the last straw for Raj, who rallies the rest of the workers to take some action against their boss Mr. Pronson. However, when the staff goes on strike, Raj finds himself in a jam, since Mama has lost her job and the family now has no source of income.
33 12 "The Testimonial" Mark Warren Nicholas DeMarco December 15, 1977 (1977-12-15)
Miss Collins is being honored for 25 years of teaching and this prompts Raj to play a trick on her after she gives him detention for being tardy. However, he soon finds his trick is totally inappropriate and sets out to right his wrong.
34 13 "Black and White Blues" Mark Warren Teleplay: William Bickley, Jr.
Story: Bill Richmond & Gene Perret
December 22, 1977 (1977-12-22)
While watching a football game at the Thomas house, their black-and-white TV set (supposedly) malfunctions and Rerun suggests that they "borrow" a new color television set that is being offered as a prize at a church raffle. However, once they get the TV set to the Thomas' house, Rerun and Dwayne accidentally drop it. When that set fails, they think they broke it--until Dee tries to vacuum the floor and the vacuum keeps malfunctioning. It turns out that the wall outlet is defective, and Dee goes to the church raffle to try to inform Roger that the television is not broken, but Roger does not listen to her.
35 14 "Going, Going, Gong" Mark Warren Alan Eisenstock & Larry Mintz January 5, 1978 (1978-01-05)

Raj has become the manager of a kid's song and dance group, and believes that they are so good that they may have a chance to get on The Gong Show. However, once at tryouts, Raj discovers he has some competition from Rerun.

Note: Kene Holliday, Wolfman Jack, and Barbara Rhoades guest star as Gong Show judges.
36 15 "Dee's First Date" Mark Warren Joseph Neustein January 21, 1978 (1978-01-21)
Dee is going out on her first date with a boy whose sister Raj has made into the object of his affection. His plan is to buddy up to Dee's boyfriend to get close to his sister. However, he quickly finds he has another thing coming.
37 16 "Doobie or Not Doobie (Part 1)" Mark Warren Sally Wade January 28, 1978 (1978-01-28)
The Doobie Brothers are set to put on a concert at the guys' high school (which is also portrayed as the Doobies' alma mater), and Roger and Dwayne have Rerun get the tickets. However, by the time Rerun makes his way to the ticket booth, they are sold out. Later, two shady characters offer Rerun free tickets for front-row seats if he just tape-records the concert. It is only later that Rerun learns that they are bootleggers and they threaten Rerun, Roger, and Dwayne if they do not comply.
38 17 "Doobie or Not Doobie (Part 2)" Mark Warren Sally Wade February 4, 1978 (1978-02-04)
The bootleggers force the guys into tape recording the concert; but while everyone is dancing and jumping around, the tape recorder falls out from under Rerun's coat--right in full view of the Doobies. After some explanations, the guys and the Doobies set up a trap to catch the bootleggers.
39 18 "Rerun Sees the Light" Mark Warren Thad Mumford February 11, 1978 (1978-02-11)
Rerun encounters a strange woman on the street who goes by the name of Life-Is-Love and she lures him into attending one of her cult gatherings. Rerun enjoys his new-found faith and how it makes him feel, but Dwayne and Raj are a bit leery about a group that worships a head of lettuce named Ralph.
40 19 "Raj and the Older Woman" Mark Warren Sally Wade February 18, 1978 (1978-02-18)
When Raj goes down to a photographer to get his yearbook picture taken, he is instantly smitten with a beautiful model. Raj lies about his age and says he is 21 and a movie star, and the girl is instantly taken by him. That is, until she learns the truth.
41 20 "Diplomatic Immunity" Mark Warren Ted Bergman February 25, 1978 (1978-02-25)
Rerun borrows a car so the guys can get to a Lakers game, but after the game Rerun becomes the victim of a hit-and-run driver. Dee surprises everyone by coming forward with news that she was a witness and saw the driver, who turns out to be the son of a foreign diplomat.
42 21 "Shirley Is A Mother" Mark Warren Saul Turteltaub & Bernie Orenstein April 13, 1978 (1978-04-13)
With Mama out of town, Raj has Shirley babysit Dee, whose conversation with Shirley has her thinking about her past. Meanwhile, Raj and Rerun's graduation is approaching, but right at the last minute Rerun gets himself in trouble by cheating on a final exam--with help from Raj. Shirley, since she's filling in for Mama, is notified by the school of the guys' offense, which prompts her to give Rerun some guidance and ask Mrs. Collins to let Rerun retake the exam, which he passes, thereby allowing him to graduate.
43 22 "The Apartment" Mark Warren Thad Mumford May 11, 1978 (1978-05-11)

It's graduation day, and Raj gives a speech riddled with hints to Mama about his plans on moving into an apartment with Rerun, but after mulling over the proposition, Mama finally agrees to let him move out. However, Rerun and Raj quickly find themselves with little privacy when Mama, out of worry, constantly visits to see that everything is fine.

Note: This is Mabel King's last episode as a cast member. For the third season, her character of Mrs. Thomas (Mama) would be written out of the series as having moved in with an ill relative, while Shirley moves into the Thomas house with Dee.

Season 3 (1978–1979)[edit]

No. in
No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
44 1 "Disco Dollar Disaster" Mark Warren Deborah Pastoria September 21, 1978 (1978-09-21)
A dance contest has Rerun scrambling to get enough money for the entrance fee and ending up having people buying shares in his prospective winnings. However, he finds himself facing stiff competition from a notorious disco dancer and the prospect of two thugs breaking his hands if he does not win.
45 2 "Shirley's Boyfriend" Mark Warren Tom Moore & Jeremy Stevens September 28, 1978 (1978-09-28)
Raj, Rerun and Dwayne learn how lonely Shirley's life is and decide that the best thing for her is a blind date with Ed Roberts. Things start getting serious between Shirley and Ed, but then Dee learns that Ed is married.
46 3 "Basketball Brain" Mark Warren Ted Bergman October 12, 1978 (1978-10-12)
Raj is coerced into tutoring a basketball star and gets plenty of encouragement thanks to a generous salary for doing so. However, Raj finds himself in trouble with tutoring Dee and Dwayne as well, and he has little time to do his own studying.
47 4 "The Creep Detective" Mark Warren Ted Bergman November 2, 1978 (1978-11-02)
Rerun and Raj are arrested after Rerun unknowingly stores stolen goods. Dee and Little Earl combine their efforts to save the guys.
48 5 "Shirley's Cookies" Mark Warren Ken Hecht November 9, 1978 (1978-11-09)
Shirley brings some homemade cookies into Rob's Place as a gift for Rerun and the guys, and they are so taken with how good they are that they suggest that she try selling them at Rob's. She decides to try it, but soon finds that her small business venture has attracted the likes of a con man who talks her into a long-term contract that is binding.
49 6 "The Landlady" Mark Warren Gerald Gardner & Dee Caruso November 16, 1978 (1978-11-16)
The rent is due for Raj and Rerun's apartment but they are short since Raj has not been able to find a job. When the landlady stops by to collect the rent, she takes Raj aside and tells him not to worry and then proceeds to give Raj signals that convince him that she's interested in him romantically. Raj soon begins acting more mature, since she's in her 30s and he's 19.
50 7 "Charge" Mark Warren Eric Lee Bowers November 23, 1978 (1978-11-23)
Rerun goes on a spending spree with a credit card he had obtained, buying everything in sight from new appliances and electronics to new furniture. He soon applies for more credit cards and continues to spend freely, unaware of the mountain of debt he is soon to incur. But he eventually realizes the debt he is getting into and takes out a loan with a local finance company to defray the debt, putting his and Roger's furniture and other belongings up as collateral. But when Rerun defaults on his loan payments, his and Roger's property gets repossessed. In order to make good on his debt and reclaim his and Roger's property, Rerun must sell everything he bought with the credit cards.
51 8 "Raj Moves Out" Mark Warren Marty Brill & Barry Meadow November 30, 1978 (1978-11-30)
Raj's study date with an attractive girl, Jean, goes awry thanks to Rerun's annoying presence. Thus, it is no surprise when Raj jumps at the chance to move in with Jean to get away from Rerun. However, Dee makes a shocking discovery; Jean has a distinct motive for the roommate proposal.
52 9 "No Clothes Make the Man" Mark Warren Sally Wade December 14, 1978 (1978-12-14)
Raj needs a job and gets one selling meat, but when he learns the company is a fraud and has been busted by the FBI, he begins searching for another one. He finally finds one that pays $35 an hour but involves posing nude for an art class.
53 10 "Positive Identification" Bill Foster Bill Box & Dick Westerschulte December 21, 1978 (1978-12-21)
The Christmas spirit has touched everyone except for a burglar who has just robbed Rerun and Raj's apartment. As he is getting away, Raj and Rerun inadvertently help him, leaving them with only a glimpse. Thus, when they are asked to pick the robber out of a line-up, Raj and Rerun just are not positive if they identified the right guy.
54 11 "Making Out" Mark Warren Joanne Pagliaro January 11, 1979 (1979-01-11)
Raj and Rerun each have a girl in their lives—April and Cindy—and finding free time to spend alone in the apartment is a challenge. Soon, it becomes a bet to see how far each one can go with each girl. Rerun ends up striking out with both of them, but Raj hits pay dirt with April, who happens to be the girl Rerun has his heart set on.
55 12 "Dee, the Cheerleader" Mark Warren Sally Wade January 25, 1979 (1979-01-25)
Dee has her heart set on joining the cheerleading squad, and while preparing she helps out her friend Julie who also want to be on the squad. With Dee being better than her, Julie does not think she has a chance; however, everyone is in for a shock when Julie is picked and Dee is not.
56 13 "A Present for Dee" Lee Bernhardi Sally Wade February 9, 1979 (1979-02-09)
Dee's 14th birthday has Raj and the gang preparing a surprise birthday party. Dee quickly gets word of it, but is not without a surprise thanks to Little Earl's birthday gift. The atrocious necklace he gave her turns out to be stolen, and Dee is accused of shoplifting when she tries to exchange it.
57 14 "Dwayne's Dream" Mark Warren Joanne Pagliaro February 16, 1979 (1979-02-16)
Dwayne gets a new job in concessions at ball games, and the owner wants him to handle all of the games all over town. Dwayne quickly realizes the job could turn into a full-time employment and considers quitting school. However, he has serious doubts thanks to a talk from Raj and Rerun. This all leads to Dwayne having a crazy dream about the future.
58 15 "Shirley's Fired" Danny Simon Levi Taylor & David Tyree February 23, 1979 (1979-02-23)
Shirley has decided to ask Rob for a raise and he is shocked, but he also has a shock for her; he has decided to hire an additional waitress, Liz. However, her constant clumsiness gets on Shirley's nerves so much that she quits. Later, Shirley witnesses Liz skimming the till.
59 16 "Food Poisoning" Mark Warren Teleplay: Tom Moore & Jeremy Stevens
Story: Bruce Kalish & Philip John Taylor
March 2, 1979 (1979-03-02)
Rerun has one of Rob's hamburgers and suddenly becomes ill. He is taken to the hospital and it is assumed that he has food poisoning. Suddenly, Rob finds himself with no business since no one wants to take a chance eating his food. However, Rob has bigger problems on his hands when a greedy Rerun decides to sue Rob's place for $100,000. It turns out that Rerun does not have food poisoning, but appendicitis.
60 17 "The Eviction" Lee Bernhardi Teleplay: Joanne Pagliaro
Story: Cheryl Pelt
March 9, 1979 (1979-03-09)
Rerun and Raj have gotten a new landlord and he has been totally neglecting all of the repairs that are needed in the apartments. Fed up, Rerun calls a tenants' meeting and Raj is roped into handing the landlord a list a demands. However, things do not go quite as planned and the landlord evicts Raj and Rerun, which forces them to move into the Thomas household with Dee and Shirley.
61 18 "The Thomas Treasure" Joseph L. Scanlan Bill Box & Dick Westerschulte March 16, 1979 (1979-03-16)
After reading an article in a newspaper, Raj learns that Mama's house was once used as a hideout by some bank robbers and that they may have hidden some loot somewhere in it. This leads him, Rerun, Dee, Dwayne and Shirley on a mad search for the money. Meanwhile, they are all unaware the bank robbers are plotting to come back to claim their money.
62 19 "The Last Page" Mary Hardwick Sally Wade March 31, 1979 (1979-03-31)
The gang fantasizes about being television characters from famous ABC shows, such as Happy Days, Three's Company and Mork & Mindy.
63 20 "First Class Coach" Lee Bernhardi Tom Moore & Jeremy Stevens April 7, 1979 (1979-04-07)
Big Earl has been coaching Little Earl's basketball team and has been pushing the kids constantly to do their best, so when Big Earl gets an undercover assignment he must get a temporary coach and finds one in Dwayne. However, Dwayne proves to be the exact opposite of Big Earl and suddenly the team is finding themselves winning a game for a change. This leads the team to decide whether or not to keep Big Earl.
64 21 "Dwayne's Debate" Mark Warren Sally Wade April 21, 1979 (1979-04-21)
When another classmate drops out of a high school campaign, two attractive girls talk Dwayne into running. When the news reaches his dad's ears, Dwayne cannot even get a word in to tell him he does not want to run, but everyone convinces him that he would be perfect. However, the worst is yet to come, when Dwayne learns that there will be a debate between him and the other candidate.
65 22 "The Benefit Show" Mark Warren Joanne Pagliaro April 28, 1979 (1979-04-28)
A local teen center is in serious financial trouble and the gang tries to come up with a way to save it. They finally decide to put on a benefit show, and Rerun has someone in mind who will be sure to attract attention: Sammy Davis, Jr. Rerun does his best to get a hold of Sammy, but soon realizes he must announce that Sammy will not be coming to the benefit.

Home releases[edit]

DVD box set Company Release date
What's Happening!!: The Complete First Season Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment 2004·02·03
What's Happening!!: The Complete Second Season Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment 2004·10·05
What's Happening!!: The Complete Third Season Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2005·08·23
What's Happening: The Complete Series Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2008·06·10