The WORST Episodes of A Different World

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Jan 9, 2022

Network: NBC

In this spin-off from the popular sitcom The Cosby Show, Denise Huxtable enters her sophomore year at Hillman, alma mater of her parents and grandfather, where she moves into Gilbert Hall and shares a dorm room with 26-year-old Jaleesa Vinson and talkative new roommate Maggie Lauten. Also included in the first season cast were obnoxious and extremely wealthy dormmate Whitley Gilbert, ladies' man Dwayne Wayne and dorm director Stevie Rallen. Lettie Bostic later replaced Stevie as the new dorm director. At the end of the first season, Denise would return home (and to The Cosby Show) after dropping out of college. In the fall of 1988, new students Freddie Brooks and Kim Reese entered Hillman College. Freddie was a "hippie-child" who developed a crush on Dwayne; and Kim, an aspiring med student, became Whitley's new roommate. Giving Dwayne a hard time was his math professor, Col. Bradford Taylor. Also, Ron Johnson and Walter Oakes became regulars in the second season after appearing o

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Clair's Last Stand

#1 - Clair's Last Stand

Season 1 - Episode 19 - Aired Mar 24, 1988

Maggie and Denise plan a summer vacation in Greece. Denise realizes that her parents may not allow her to go, let alone agree to finance the trip, because of her terrible grades. She plans to soften up her mother during a weekend visit. Clair arrives at Hillman on her own after Denise fails to pick her up on time, and Lettie unwittingly fills her in on the trip. Clair refuses to let Denise go to Greece. She and Cliff have decided to make Denise get a summer job, in the hopes that she might take her education seriously if she helps finance it. Denise believes that her parents consider her worthless, but Clair eases her mind. Jaleesa decides to join Maggie in Greece. Whitley fears that she will have to spend her birthday alone after Millie bails on her because of plans with Ron. She does not realize that Millie and Ron have thrown together a surprise party.

star 6.00
7 votes
Directors: Tony Singletary
Writers: Thad Mumford
To Tell the Truth (1)

#2 - To Tell the Truth (1)

Season 5 - Episode 9 - Aired Nov 14, 1991

Whitley panics about wedding preparations--particularly the upcoming engagement party, in which her parents are to see each other for the first time since their divorce. She complains about everything and acts very demanding toward Dwayne. Dwayne admits to Ron that he isn't sure if he is ready to get married. Dwayne accidentally spills a drink on Whitley during a faculty party, and she screams at him and runs out. He spends the rest of the evening talking with a charming science professor from Avery. Although Ron warns that he is throwing everything away, Dwayne goes out to dinner with the woman, claiming that they are only friends. Kim goes to the restaurant with some classmates and sees Dwayne and Lisa holding hands. Kim confronts Dwayne, but promises to keep the information a secret. Dwayne confesses the truth to Whitley. Freddie becomes romantically involved with Shazza, who she insists has changed since a summer pilgrimage to Africa. She tries to hide the relationship from Kim, wh

star 6.00
4 votes
Directors: Debbie Allen
Writers: Yvette Lee Bowser
Lean on Me

#3 - Lean on Me

Season 6 - Episode 19 - Aired May 27, 1993

Col. Taylor recommends that Dwayne apply for a summer job with Kinishewa. Dwayne follows Col. Taylor's suggestion by inviting the company vice president over for dinner (for an interview in a less formal setting). Dwayne and Whitley are stunned when the man's assistant, Kinu, arrives in his place. Although Kinu seems friendly and gracious, Whitley warns Dwayne that she is out for revenge. Dwayne comes to agree with Whitley after Kinu informs him that another applicant received the job. Kinu angrily points out that she is also married, and outlines the qualifications of the man who was hired. Dwayne realizes that he was not the best candidate for the job, and has a very hard time dealing with the disappointment. Whitley assures him that she still believes in him.

star 6.00
6 votes
Great X-Pectations

#4 - Great X-Pectations

Season 6 - Episode 25 - Aired Jul 9, 1993

Dean Davenport gives her students an assignment to write a dialogue detailing what might have been said during the only meeting between Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Terrell and Charmaine show up late for an appointment with their friends. They reveal that a pickup truck full of guys harassed Charmaine, then tried to run them off the road after they retaliated. Charmaine files a police report, while Terrell becomes obsessed with proving his manhood. Dean Davenport discovers that Terrell has brought a gun to class with him. She announces that she is expelling him. Dwayne asks her to reconsider because Terrell is such a fine student, but takes him to task for his behavior. Terrell shows up to class so that he and Dorian can complete their assignment. He plays the role of Dr. King and speaks of the need to seek change through education rather than violence. The dean is impressed and decides to let him stay in school, provided that he keeps his grades up and completes a communi

star 6.00
5 votes
Directors: Glynn Turman
Writers: Jeanette Collins, Mimi Friedman
Three Girls Three

#5 - Three Girls Three

Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired Nov 10, 1988

Whitley and Jaleesa team up for an audition to sing backup at an upcoming Gladys Knight concert on campus. They ask Angela, an aspiring opera singer, to join them. After Whitley and Jaleesa improve Angela's stage presence and teach her how to sing popular music, she turns into an insufferable diva. They throw her out of the group, but she forms her own trio and wins the audition. Whitley goes nuts and tries to attack Angela, embarrassing herself in front of Gladys Knight in the process. Jaleesa and Whitley realize they should have followed their instincts and tried out as a duo. They imagine what it might have been like to sing with Gladys. Meanwhile, Freddie tries to work up the nerve to ask Dwayne to the concert.

star 6.14
7 votes
Directors: Debbie Allen
Writers: Jeffrey Duteil
Sweet Charity

#6 - Sweet Charity

Season 3 - Episode 21 - Aired Mar 29, 1990

Walter learns that Kim is working all night at a funeral parlor to cover her expenses. He enlists the help of Whitley and Freddie to come up with a plan to help her out. Whitley and Freddie buy gifts for Kim and get everyone to stuff the tip jar at the Pit. Kim realizes what they are doing and becomes very angry, as she doesn't want to be a charity case. Mr. Gaines finally convinces her to overcome her pride and accept a loan from his wife and him, which she can pay off after becoming a doctor. A director approaches Ron and Dwayne at the basketball courts and asks them to appear in a vitamin commercial. They agree because they are having trouble paying the bills. The guys believe that they will receive fame and adulation, until they discover that they must play two-on-two against a pair of retired NBA all-stars.

star 6.17
6 votes
Directors: Neema Barnette
Writers: Margie Peters
Really Gross Anatomy

#7 - Really Gross Anatomy

Season 6 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 22, 1992

Ron becomes jealous when Freddie leaves for a weekend camping trip with Shazza. He decides to prepare a candlelight dinner for Kim. Kim has problems dissecting her first cadaver in anatomy class. She throws up on the professor. She is too depressed to eat Ron's dinner, but decides to sleep with him. Kim's partner, Spencer, helps restore her confidence. The professor marvels at her work. Spencer comes over to celebrate, interrupting Kim's romantic evening with Ron. Dwayne sees Whitley's weekend business trip as a chance to enjoy his freedom. However, he soon becomes desperate for companionship. Charmaine annoys Lena after getting a job at the Pit.

star 6.25
4 votes
Directors: Jasmine Guy
Writers: Scott Sanders
Home Is Where the Fire Is

#8 - Home Is Where the Fire Is

Season 5 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 3, 1991

A student's decision to drop out of school allows Lena to move into her own room, much to Whitley's relief. Whitley tries to dump all of the dorm duties onto resident assistant Kim. Kim discovers that Lena is cooking in her room. Before she can do anything about it, Kim has to go break up a fight. Lena sells her gumbo to the other students. She inadvertently starts a fire. The dean wants to suspend her, but Whitley and Kim come to her defense. Lena has to take a job at the Pit to pay for the fire damage to her room. Terrence moves back in with Jaleesa and Col. Taylor.

star 6.27
11 votes
Directors: Debbie Allen
Writers: Yvette Lee Bowser
To Have and Have Not

#9 - To Have and Have Not

Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 26, 1989

Walter convinces many of the students to volunteer at a community center. Whitley teaches ballet to the children and becomes friends with a young boy named Dion, who claims to be dirt poor. Whitley's wallet is stolen, and she is stunned to learn that Dion was the culprit. He exaggerated the extent of his poverty and took advantage of Whitley's kindness. Whitley does not want to return to the center, but Walter insists that the kids need a positive influence if they are to escape from the streets. Whitley continues with her teaching, and refuses to give up on Dion. Walter's duties keep him away from his bowling team, so Col. Taylor agrees to step in. When he turns out to be terrible, Mr. Gaines and the other team members try to find a way to oust him.

star 6.38
8 votes
Directors: Debbie Allen
Writers: Kevin Kelton
That's the Trouble With You All

#10 - That's the Trouble With You All

Season 3 - Episode 17 - Aired Feb 22, 1990

Whitley plays matchmaker for Dwayne and a beautiful coed in the hopes of convincing him to move on. However, she becomes extremely jealous and tries to sabotage the couple's date. Dwayne and Whitley try to establish some ground rules in an attempt to save their friendship. Walter angers Jaleesa by claiming that women cannot play poker. He bets that she cannot teach Freddie how to play, while Jaleesa challenges him to turn novice Kobie into an accomplished player. Neither apprentice picks up the game, but Jaleesa literally beats the pants off of Walter.

star 6.43
7 votes
Directors: Neema Barnette
Writers: Thad Mumford
Some Enchanted Late Afternoon

#11 - Some Enchanted Late Afternoon

Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 27, 1988

Walter asks Jaleesa on a date. She refuses because she is involved in a long-distance relationship. She finally agrees to join him for dinner, with the stipulation that they are just friends. Jaleesa has a great time with Walter and even shares a slow dance with him. However, she still refuses to break up with her boyfriend. Dwayne and Ron start a wake-up service.

star 6.47
19 votes
Directors: Debbie Allen
Writers: Rob Edwards
Everything Must Change

#12 - Everything Must Change

Season 4 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 20, 1990

Whitley thrills her friends by announcing that she has finally decided that Dwayne is the right man for her. Although she answered his love letters during the summer, she chose not to send her replies because she wanted to leave him begging for more. When she goes to Dwayne's apartment to share her feelings, she discovers that he met someone during his summer in Japan. He introduces her to girlfriend Kinu, a beautiful Japanese American who attends nearby Avery College. In addition to her emotional turmoil, Whitley does not have a place to live because she lost her apartment by failing to pay the security deposit. Jaleesa reluctantly allows her to temporarily stay at her apartment (across the hall from Dwayne's). Whitley vows that she will not screw up if she gets another chance with Dwayne. Col. Taylor's son Terrence enrolls at Hillman. His overzealous behavior around women earns him the nickname "Pee Wee Hormone."

star 6.56
18 votes
Directors: Debbie Allen
Writers: Susan Fales
Tales From the Exam Zone

#13 - Tales From the Exam Zone

Season 4 - Episode 6 - Aired Oct 25, 1990

Walter narrates a Twilight Zone-style look at the students' struggles during midterms. Whitley must complete a report for her somewhat sadistic accounting professor by the following day. She struggles to find a quiet place to work after Jaleesa and a date kick her out of the apartment. Dwayne, working as a teaching assistant for Col. Taylor, cannot keep Terrence from skipping class. Col. Taylor discovers the truth, leaving Dwayne with just 24 hours to get Terrence ready for the midterm or lose his grad school recommendations. Freddie begins hearing voices that shake her confidence before her midterm in Professor Randolph's class.

star 6.57
7 votes
Directors: Debbie Allen
Writers: Alonzo B. Lamont
Perhaps Love

#14 - Perhaps Love

Season 3 - Episode 25 - Aired May 5, 1990

Dwayne is selected for Phi Beta Kappa, and his mother comes to town to watch his induction ceremony. Julian tells Whitley that he wants to ask her something important during their next lunch date, leading her to believe that he plans to propose. He instead asks her to spend the summer with him in Washington, D.C.; he will get her a secretarial job with his company. When Whitley insists on attending summer school and taking an internship, Julian accuses her of being sheltered. Whitley goes to Dwayne's apartment in search of advice, and mistakes Mrs. Wayne for a maid. Dwayne tries to cheer Whitley during a dinner party organized by his mother; he admits that Whitley is spoiled, but believes that Julian should give her some credit for setting her sights on a career. Mrs. Wayne warns her son that Whitley is trouble. Whitley gives Dwayne a gift and thanks him for always being so supportive. Mrs. Wayne asks her to join them at Dwayne's induction ceremony.

star 6.67
3 votes
Directors: Debbie Allen
Writers: Susan Fales
A Word in Edgewise

#15 - A Word in Edgewise

Season 4 - Episode 16 - Aired Feb 21, 1991

Matthew arranges for some friends from the National Theatre of the Deaf to perform for the children from the community center outreach program. Kim feels embarrassed by Matthew's free-spirited behavior, which she considers too silly. Matthew insists that his passion for acting is as great as Kim's devotion to medicine, and offers the opinion that art is just as important as science. Kim cares about Matthew, but is uncertain about their relationship. She observes Dwayne and Whitley's example and decides that they can learn to appreciate each other's differences. Everyone teases Whitley about her tendency to run off at the mouth. Dwayne bets that she cannot go a full day without speaking.

star 6.67
9 votes
Directors: Debbie Allen
Writers: Glenn Berenbeim
Under One Roof

#16 - Under One Roof

Season 3 - Episode 11 - Aired Jan 4, 1990

Dean Hughes asks Whitley to spend the weekend at her house and co-host the annual freshman tea. Whitley considers this a great honor until Freddie is named the other co-host. Whitley hopes to convince Dean Hughes to send her to Europe as Hillman's student recruiter. The dean does not believe that Whitley possesses the necessary skill and discipline for this position. A hurt Whitley insults Freddie and tries to leave, but admits to the dean that she lacks direction. Dean Hughes cheers up the girls and manages to convince Whitley to relax a little. Ron allows a classmate to crash at the guys' place, and the man keeps coming up with reasons to stay. He keeps Dwayne and Ron happy by cooking, cleaning and fixing the toilet. Walter tells them that Earl is a scam artist who flunked out of school. Before they can confront him, Mr. Gaines hires Earl as the building superintendant.

star 6.75
4 votes
Directors: Debbie Allen
Writers: Kevin Kelton
The Dwayne Mutiny

#17 - The Dwayne Mutiny

Season 5 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 26, 1991

Dwayne gives his calculus class a graded quiz on the first day of the year, even though he hasn't taught them anything yet. He plans to give a test every day, and asks the students to sign contracts promising to work extra hours every week. Lena tears up her contract and leads a walk-out. Col. Taylor warns Dwayne that he will be fired unless he comes to a compromise with the students. Dwayne agrees to set more reasonable standards. He explains that he will hold high expectations because he wants the class to accomplish great things. Ron attends the funeral of a professor he didn't know in order to buy Washington Bullets season tickets from the widow. Dwayne infuriates Whitley by cutting into his share of their joint account for a ticket. Col. Taylor advises Jaleesa to set up her new temp agency at the house. Freddie asks for a job, but has trouble finding anything that meets her moral standards.

star 6.78
9 votes
Directors: Debbie Allen
Writers: Gary H. Miller
Getaway (2)

#18 - Getaway (2)

Season 3 - Episode 24 - Aired Apr 26, 1990

Julian shows up to surprise Whitley, who wants nothing to do with him. Dwayne and Ron dress like women to get past the drug dealers and onto the ferry. They arrive at the police station to discover that they accidentally brought Julian's bag instead of the one with the drugs and cash. Paul and Eric search the house, failing to recognize Dwayne and Ron (who are still disguised as "Diana" and "Rhonda"). They promise to return that night. The gang fears that the police will not make it in time because a storm has cancelled all ferry service. Kim, Freddie, Ron and Mandy head out in search of help. Whitley decides to sleep with Julian, but he doesn't think the timing is right. Dwayne hears the dealers coming and bursts into Whitley and Julian's room. Whitley gets into an argument with Dwayne after telling him that she is a virgin. As she opens the door to get him to leave, she gestures with a candlestick holder and cracks Eric over the head. The trio struggles with the men until Walter and

star 6.80
5 votes
Directors: Debbie Allen
Writers: Cheryl Gard
Advise and Descent

#19 - Advise and Descent

Season 1 - Episode 12 - Aired Jan 14, 1988

Denise volunteers for peer counseling duty during finals week. She proves to be a very good counselor, but uses the job as an excuse to put off a major history paper. Dwayne dislikes the head counselor, a laid-back surfer from California, because he suspects that he will put the moves on Denise. Whitley panics about an upcoming botany final; she had assumed that Millie's notes would be enough to carry her through the test. Dwayne and Ron express their discontent when the girls neglect their appearance while cramming for exams. The girls respond by holding an impromptu pageant in the dorm lounge to select "Miss Ugly America."

star 6.86
14 votes
Directors: Ellen Falcon
Writers: Cheryl Gard
If You Like Pilgrim Coladas

#20 - If You Like Pilgrim Coladas

Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired Nov 17, 1988

Whitley and Kim stay at the dorm for Thanksgiving. Depressed by the thought of Thanksgiving dinner at the Pit, they decide to go out. Kim uses a fake ID to get them into a club. Whitley does not realize that the waiter served them non-alcoholic drinks; she ends up performing a number and dancing on the bar. Kim spots Col. Taylor in the crowd and tries to warn Whitley. Col. Taylor helps Whitley fight off an overzealous admirer. Although he confiscates Kim's fake ID, he doesn't report them to Lettie because he feels there is no harm in blowing off a little steam. Walter hopes to get closer to Jaleesa as he drives her home for Thanksgiving. His plans are thwarted when Freddie and Dwayne join them in the car, but Jaleesa later gives him the good news that she broke up with her boyfriend.

star 6.89
9 votes
Directors: Debbie Allen
Writers: Margie Peters
It Happened One Night

#21 - It Happened One Night

Season 2 - Episode 11 - Aired Jan 12, 1989

Kim refuses to take calls from Robert, and simply tells her friends that they had a fight. She confesses to Whitley that she may be pregnant. Whitley offers her complete support, and even sacrifices her car by loaning it to Freddie to prevent her from pestering Kim. Robert explains his predicament to Walter; he made the situation worse by suggesting that Kim get an abortion. Walter tells Robert to give Kim some space, but he sneaks into the girls' dorm with Dwayne. Robert apologizes for his initial reaction and asks Kim to marry him. They decide to wait until after her doctor's appointment before considering such a big step. Kim is relieved to learn that she is not pregnant, and endures a stern lecture from Lettie.

star 7.00
3 votes
Directors: Debbie Allen
Writers: Margie Peters, Susan Fales
The Thing About Women

#22 - The Thing About Women

Season 2 - Episode 17 - Aired Mar 9, 1989

Jaleesa accepts a dinner invitation from her ex-husband, Lamar. Walter pretends that he is okay with this, but is secretly jealous. All of the girls fawn over the handsome and suave Lamar when he arrives to pick up Jaleesa (including Whitley, who had been ranting about what a dog he was). Walter shows up to meet his competition, and is hurt when Jaleesa calls him a "friend." Lamar claims to be a changed man and seeks a reconciliation. Jaleesa is extremely wary; she storms out after he reveals that he is living with a woman, whom he hopes to dump for Jaleesa. Although Walter responds sarcastically to Jaleesa's apology, they later work out their differences.

star 7.00
3 votes
Directors: Debbie Allen
Writers: Rob Edwards
Citizen Wayne

#23 - Citizen Wayne

Season 2 - Episode 21 - Aired Apr 27, 1989

Dwayne runs for student council president. Although he has good ideas about scholarships and ways to fund student activities, no one will listen to him. They prefer the approach of his opponent, who only talks about parties. Rev. Jesse Jackson comes to the university for a lecture and stays with Col. Taylor. Ron tries to win votes by printing posters that imply that Dwayne has Rev. Jackson's endorsement. Dwayne apologizes to Rev. Jackson and plans to drop out of the race. Rev. Jackson encourages Dwayne to keep fighting; even if he loses, he can present his message to the students. Jaleesa and Kim struggle to find a present for Freddie's 18th birthday, but she seems to beat them to the punch on every gift idea.

star 7.00
2 votes
Directors: Debbie Allen
Writers: Daryl G. Nickens, Mike Scott
There's No Place Like Home

#24 - There's No Place Like Home

Season 2 - Episode 22 - Aired May 4, 1989

Dwayne and Ron plan to rent a beautiful apartment for the next school year. They can no longer afford the place after Ron's father cuts back on his allowance because of his slipping grades. They are forced to rent a dump that is managed by Velma Gaines. Dwayne and Ron throw a housewarming party and decide that their new apartment will work out. Walter looks forward to a summer of freedom, until Jaleesa announces that she has received a promotion and can visit more often than expected. They agree to spend time apart to "sow wild oats." Whitley plans to work at a museum all summer, but feels guilty because she would rather join her mother on a cruise. Dwayne encourages her to have fun, as there will be plenty of time to work and act responsibly in the future. Dwayne and Whitley begin to show an interest in each other.

star 7.00
4 votes
Directors: Debbie Allen
Writers: Lenore G. Bunt, Lynn Bunt
The Heat Is On

#25 - The Heat Is On

Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired Oct 12, 1989

Whitley has yet to take a basic math course that is required for graduation. She reluctantly enrolls in Col. Taylor's class, and he tries to help her overcome her fear of the subject. Dwayne and Ron clash over finances. Dwayne believes that Ron spends money too freely, while Ron accuses him of being a cheapskate.

star 7.00
6 votes
Directors: Debbie Allen
Writers: Susan Fales
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