The Best Episodes of 3rd Rock from the Sun
Last Updated: Apr 4, 2019
3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN is an inspired half-hour comedy series farcically dealing with the human condition set in the fictional city of Rutherford, Ohio. This gentle-hearted series stars John Lithgow as the High Commander of an investigative team sent to Earth on a mission to learn everything about humans and their so-called advanced civilization. Described by its producers as "Carl Sagan meets the Marx Brothers," 3rd Rock has a clever, distinct point of view seen through the extraterrestrial team who has no other worldly powers except absolute truthfulness.
#1 - Just Your Average Dick
Season 3 - Episode 22
John Cleese puts his zaniness to good use in a two-part guest shot as a new professor who's even nuttier than Dick. And smarter. He's hotshot Dr. Liam Neesam, and he's a little too good at everything he does. He makes his first appearance in Part 1, as Albright (Curtin) is getting fed up with the fact that Dick -- and the rest of the Solomons, for that matter -- are ""weird."" ""It's like being around the Addams Family,"" she moans. So Dick sets out to make his brood ""average,"" and succeeds so completely that Albright finds him boring. Enter the off-kilter Dr. Neesam, who she thinks is kind of charming.
#2 - Dick's Giant Headache (2)
Season 4 - Episode 24
Reeling in the aftermath of his demotion, Dick has to get used to taking orders from everyone else in the crew -- even Harry -- a humiliating experience that makes it difficult for him to perform sexually. Even though she didn't want to believe the family's taunts about the reasons for her promotion, Sally finally realizes Stone only made her High Commander because of her looks. Stone makes a pass at Albright, who declines and tells Dick, who's psyched that Stone's changed his mind about Mary. Stone goes to the prom with Tommy and Alissa, where a drunken Stone dumps a punchbowl over Alissa's head, then serenades the promgoers -- including a bedazzled Vicki, who decided it was finally time to attend her junior prom -- with ""Close To You."" In the high school hallway, Stone encounters Vicki and ""beams"" her up to his ""bachelor pod"" for some lovin'. The next morning, Vicki turns up pregnant, and her pregnancy develops to full term in a matter of moments. Stone, who had been planning to make
#3 - Dick vs. Strudwick
Season 4 - Episode 21
Dick's faculty nemesis, Dr. Vincent Strudwick, writes a physics book that's hailed as a work of genius. When Dick realizes that writing a better book would expose him as a superior alien being, he seeks another means of getting even, finally seizing on Strudwick's displeasure at learning that his teenage daughter Alissa is dating dreaded Solomon spawn Tommy. Dick manipulates Alissa to cause trouble between her and her father, and the conflict comes to a head at the taping of a TV panel show about Strudwick's book, which erupts into Jerry Springer-style fisticuffs. Meanwhile, Sally and Don, feeling ""lonely"" since their breakup, find themselves succumbing to ""ex sex."" Also, once Albright befriends a group of misfit Nobel laureates who are in town to hail the publication of Strudwick's book, she can't shake them -- they've imprinted on her like a litter of helpless kittens.
#4 - Dick and the Other Guy
Season 3 - Episode 23
Dick has a rival for the title of Pendelton's nuttiest professor -- and a rival for Albright's affections -- with the arrival of the mysterious Dr. Liam Neesam. Meanwhile, Sally feels that she's losing her touch with men after Don seems to lose interest in her.
#5 - When Aliens Camp
Season 3 - Episode 25
Dick takes the family camping as a mission bonding activity. At the campsite, the family and Mary all become angry with Dick -- the family because he lies about bringing Mary along after he tells them it's ""family only,"" and Mary because he tells her the family doesn't mind she's coming along. After they all cast him out, Dick goes off by himself and attempts to form a new society with a troop of Beaver Scouts he encounters. The Solomons assume Dick is lost and set out to find him. They (especially Sally, who resents her command being usurped) initially reject Mary's offers of help in finding Dick... until they realize she knows a lot more about the outdoors than they do.
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#6 - Tom, Dick and Mary
Season 3 - Episode 10
Tommy tells Dick he'd really like to meet a woman closer to his real age, say someone like Angie Dickinson. Sally says it's time for her to go out and look for a real job. Dick thinks Harry's watching far too much television and orders him to give it up for a week. Tommy goes to Mary's to return her magnifying glass that Dick has broken, and Mary observes how immature Dick is. They start talking and are immediately engrossed in a discussion about the Aztecs. Their mutual attraction is obvious. Sally is hired as an assistant by Webber, a man who's very impressed by her appearance and couldn't care less about her lack of typing skills. Dick is wild with curiosity when Mary has a lunch date with a mystery man named Tom. August tries to resume her relationship with Tommy, but he tells her he's seeing someone. Tommy asks Dick if he's still interested in Mary, and Dick pretends he couldn't care less; Tommy couldn't be happier. Sally likes her new job, but she's already been advised that she
#7 - A Friend in Dick
Season 3 - Episode 8
Dick, friendless after his breakup with Albright, tries to shoehorn Officer Don into his life as best friend and constant companion... with mixed results. Sally shanghais the slickly popular dancer Peter Connelly (""King of the Jig"") to Johnny Foam's Cafe as a sacrificial lamb for her moody artist boyfriend Seth, and is horrified to learn that rather than the dark and tortured soul the fell for, Seth is a poseur... and a jig fan. Harry tries to get a job so he can buy Tommy some roller blades, but lacking the required diploma, he must first weather the indignities of night school.
#9 - Portrait of Tommy as an Old Man
Season 3 - Episode 18
Tommy, tired of having to handle all of the ""kid"" duties [when in reality he's the oldest member of the mission], decides to retire. After he spends some time at a retirement home, he changes his mind, realizing that a big part of what makes you old is acting -- and being treated - like your old. Dick, thinking that Mary is anguished because she never got a chance to fulfill her fantasy of becoming a torch singer, tries to help her to realize that dream. He learns that sometimes the choices we make between two career paths can be right on the money. In a moment of weakness, Officer Don steals a pair of Sally's panties, and makes a series of vain attempts to return them without being caught in the act.
#10 - Dick's Giant Headache (1)
Season 4 - Episode 23
The Big Giant Head announces his plans to visit the Solomons in person to chastise them for their poor mission performance. Dick tells Sally to move back in, orders Harry to stop trying to father a baby with Vicki, and tries to prepare Mary for the arrival of his old ""college chum,"" worrying privately that the supreme leader might not find her to have been a suitable use of his time. The family goes to the airport to meet the Big Giant Head (William Shatner), a drunken good-time charlie who's taken the name of ""Stone Phillips,"" and who, in short order, moves in and takes over their lives. Dick quickly loses favor with Stone, who's unimpressed both by his choice of girlfriend and his leadership skills. Stone is, however, quite taken by everything about Sally, especially the length of her legs and the shape of her torso, and decides to make her the High Commander instead of Dick. Meanwhile, Harry keeps trying to avoid Vicki, but eventually he tells her that they need to cool the baby thi
#11 - Fifteen Minutes of Dick
Season 2 - Episode 23
Sally becomes a pseudo celebrity when she beats up Mark Hamill in a restaurant, and Dick becomes jealous while Tommy's school life is affected by Sally's newfound fame. As Sally's assistant, Harry becomes obsessed with keeping Sally on top.
#14 - My Daddy's Little Girl
Season 3 - Episode 20
Albright's father walks out on his wife and into Sally's life, while Harry walks into Rutherford College's vacant radio studio and begins his career as a shock jock.
#15 - Hotel Dick
Season 2 - Episode 3
Aghast at the treatment of aliens in a hit science fiction movie, the Solomons attend a science fiction convention to try to set the record straight -- and Sally's first experience of hotels get her hooked on room service.
#16 - This Little Dick Went to Market
Season 5 - Episode 14
Dick decides that since the Solomons have come to Earth during the greatest bull market in history, he should get in on the action. But when Dick and Tommy realize they've only made a measly 35 percent on their investments, greed takes over and they take matters into their own hands. Meanwhile, Sally feels ""emasculated"" by (and Harry falls in lust with) Rutherford's newest rookie cop Janice -- the largest, strongest, toughest woman they've ever seen.
#17 - The Thing That Wouldn't Die (2)
Season 6 - Episode 20
As a result of the manner in which Dick settled his dispute with Liam, the group is ordered home. Of course, there are always loose ends to tie up before a long space trip. Dick wants Mary to accompany them, and Sally decides to instill confidence in Don. They organize a farewell party, and Harry and Tommy decide to charge everything and not worry about being around to pay the bill. They even hire Elvis Costello to sing ""Fly Me to the Moon.""
#19 - The Physics of Being Dick
Season 3 - Episode 21
Dick demands that Sally and Harry go to work, so she signs on as Albright's research assistant and he gets a job tending bar. Then Dick decides on a career change for himself (he wants to be a cop) after a disastrous Career Day at Tommy's school.
#20 - Y2dicK
Season 4 - Episode 17
Dick, who's never figured out computers, decides it's time to get plugged in. He discovers e-mail and the internet, and withdraws completely from the physical world, relying on take-out food, chat rooms, and live video feeds, and shutting out people, fresh air, and sunlight. When Mary tries to drag him away, he knocks over a Big Gulp cup, shorting out his system. Venturing outside to find the fuse box, Dick realizes that his computer wasn't keeping him connected to the world -- it was keeping him separated. Sally and Tommy go to buy a new TV set, but the more they learn about the available technology, the less satisfied they are with each purchase they make, until they've upgraded themselves into near-bankruptcy. Sadder but wiser, they return their expensive audiovisual equipment to the store. Also, Harry's all for trying to have a baby with Vicki, until the whole medical-science part of it makes it impossible for him to get in the mood. He tells Vicki it's the natural way or no way, a
#21 - Two-Faced Dick
Season 4 - Episode 10
The Big Giant Head grants Sally's three-year-old request for a ""gender reassignment"" - and switches her body with Dick's. Meanwhile, Harry takes over Happy Doug's bar while Doug is on vacation. Responding to a three-year-old request from Sally that she be given a male body, the Big Giant Head switches Sally's body with Dick's. Each of them has to cope with all the thorny details of gender reassignment, including such specifics as how to deal with men's catcalls, and where to find cute shoes in Dick's size. Plus, each of them has to successfully maintain the other's romantic relationship. They each get as far as a kiss, but before things go any further, their request to switch back is granted, leaving them both far more knowledgeable about what it's like to be a member of the opposite sex. Also, vacationing Doug leaves Harry in charge of the bar, which turns ugly when some tough-looking bikers start hanging out there. Just when Harry and Tommy have decided that the bikers aren't such ba
#22 - Frankie Goes to Rutherford
Season 5 - Episode 19
Frank, a former student of Mary's, returns for a lecture series and makes Dick (unaware Frank is gay) jealous. When Frank confesses he has a secret, Dick jumps to the conclusion that Frank is also an alien, ""comes out"" to Frank, and is soon cavorting in Rutherford's finest gay bar while thinking it is a hangout for other covert aliens. Meanwhile, the other Solomons plan a bank robbery, but fall prey to mutual suspicion.
#23 - Mary Loves Scoochie (2)
Season 6 - Episode 18
Dick can't stop Mary from dating her secret admirer ""Scoochie"" (really alien Liam Neesam), even though he suspects Liam is only using her as part of his plot against all mankind. Meanwhile, the rest of the gang find the ""prequel"" to their favorite movie, Arthur 2.
#24 - Stuck with Dick
Season 3 - Episode 19
Dick wants to get back together with Mary, so he's in luck when they find themselves locked in the school library overnight. Meanwhile, Sally, Harry and Tommy search for Dick. Their first (and only) stop: Mary's house.
#25 - The Loud Solomon Family: A Dickumentary
Season 5 - Episode 9
Albright gets a grant to make a documentary about the Solomons, whom she admits she has been studying for the past four years and has concluded are ""the typical American family."" Taking this as the ultimate tribute to the success of their secret mission, Dick orders everyone to cooperate, but when the action begins, all sorts of dramatic revelations occur. To cover up their true secret, the aliens find themselves inventing escalating cover stories: Sally is really a lesbian, Tommy wets his bed (but only because Dick beats him), Harry is an alcoholic, and Dick -- well, Dick is a posturing, authoritarian fool. Who'd have thought it?