Charles in Charge

The WORST episodes of Charles in Charge

Every episode of Charles in Charge ever, ranked from worst to best by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The worst episodes of Charles in Charge!

Charles, a college student, moves in with the Powell family as the housekeeper, baby-sitter, and friend to the children. Along with his best friend, Buddy, Charles attempts to manage his life, especially college and girls, as well as tend to the family.

Last Updated: 6/3/2022Network: CBS
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Discipline
star
2.87
40 votes

#1 - Discipline

Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired 11/21/1984

Stan Pembroke comes home expecting Jill to be dressed and ready to go to the Vice Presidents reception but the Pembroke home has suddenly turned into "Little Crisis Central". Lila and Douglas brought home grades from school that they are not very happy about. Even Charles and Buddy are grumbling about too much homework and too much pressure. Jill feels that she cannot just walk out of the house and leave the children without at least talking about their individual problems, but Stan maintains that he has confidence in Charles --Charles has his trust and he will resolve the problems, whatever they are! That is why Charles and Douglas have to go to Doug's school and Charles has to face the boy's teacher. A stunned Charles meets an absolutely gorgeous and fashionably dressed young woman - Ms. Susan McCoy. It turns out that she is also very knowledgeable. And during their meeting the other Pembroke children drop in, they are able to benefit from the valuable lesson.

Directors: Alan Rafkin
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Trick or Treat
star
2.92
40 votes

#2 - Trick or Treat

Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired 11/28/1984

In Charles estimation, Diana Marks is a classy lady, and she has agreed to go on a Halloween date with Buddy. They had only talked with each other for a few minutes and suddenly Buddy is worried that Diana won't like him when they have to spend the evening together at the annual Halloween party given by a classmate. Buddy doesn't want to disappoint her, and he is worried that she might consider his costume not original enough. Charles is trying to be a good friend and agrees to meet Diana at the student union before the date. Charles approaches Diana, drops a book in front of her, and she picks it up and hands it to Charles with a smile. Gwendolyn witnesses the exchange by chance and is shocked and concerned. At that moment Buddy comes by and tries to explain what is going on. From then on things get a little confusing. At the end though, the evening might still turn out alright for Charles and Buddy. After all, this is Halloween -- Douglas explains -- it is a special night.

Directors: Alan Rafkin
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Slumber Party
star
3.14
42 votes

#3 - Slumber Party

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired 11/14/1984

Charles and Gwendolyn had a fight over something rather trivial, and suddenly he feels he doesn't want to deal with the whole WOMEN issue. He's had it with women! He looks around the Pembroke house and realizes that Lila is having all her girlfriends over for a slumber party. He is trapped in the house full of women, and although Buddy drops in and has agreed to stay with him, they are outnumbered. When he and Buddy finally escape to his room to be alone, they find that they are not alone there either.

Directors: Alan Rafkin
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Another Saturday Night
star
3.18
44 votes

#4 - Another Saturday Night

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired 10/17/1984

Mr. and Mrs. Pembroke are spending the evening out and Charles is baby-sitting. He is busy preparing for Gwendolyn's visit, with whom he plans to study. Buddy shows up unexpectedly and wants to go to The Lamplight with him to look at girls. After all that is what guys should be doing on a Saturday night.. Gwendolyn is enraged when she finds out that Charles occasionally hangs out there with his friends. Buddy and she argue heatedly and it just makes matters worse. Meanwhile the children Lila, Jason, and Douglas are also home on a Saturday night. They are watching special election results, which unfortunately do not turn out as expected, and Michael Jackson's appearance at the victory party is canceled. When Mr. and Mrs. Pembroke come home, they help calm things down a bit. Charles realizes that Gwendolyn is very sensitive and not perfect after all, and Buddy is also a special friend who makes the college years fun!

Directors: Tony Singletary
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Cousin Elliott
star
3.25
44 votes

#5 - Cousin Elliott

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired 11/7/1984

Charles comes home triumphant from a softball game. He is so happy with life, his job, school...Lila is getting ready for a survival trip to which Douglas was hoping to go also, all hidden in her duffel bag. Unexpectedly cousin Elliot shows up at the Pembroke house. His ideas of how to deal with children, what is permissible and what is not, does not necessarily coincide with Charles' opinions. The children drink coffee, overeat on ice cream to the point of stomach aches, Elliot even plans to take Lila - who is only fourteen years old - to a dark, smoky night club. Charles is undecided. Should he step in and stop all the "fun" or should he not get involved at all? His friend Buddy had told him that blood is thicker than water, and Elliot is family. In the end, Charles does put his foot down, and to his amazement finds out that Mr. and Mrs. Pembroke were just letting him go through this experience by himself, since they knew all along how things were going to end.

Directors: Alan Rafkin
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War
star
3.27
44 votes

#6 - War

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired 10/24/1984

The Wilsons would like to hire a young lady to take care of their children. Mrs. Pembroke suggests that she spend some time with Charles to see if she's up to it. Much to Charles' embarrassment, Jane (Meg Ryan) turns out to be a very pretty girl who has heard many great things about him. The kids do not usually manage to get into big fights. But because Jane believes that they should settle their differences their own way, things get completely out of hand. This time their fight escalates into clothes swiping, chemical warfare and mental torture. All this action is being taped by Lila who has a very important school assignment. When Mr. and Mrs. Pembroke return from their trip, they find Jane in the kitchen, thinking. She realizes that children are capable of much more than she ever dreamed possible and that a "normal job" would probably be a better idea.

Directors: Lee Lochhead
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Extracurricular Activity
star
3.98
54 votes

#7 - Extracurricular Activity

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired 10/10/1984

Charles is put in the awkward position of helping and encouraging Lila, Jason and Douglas to seek out new and exciting extracurricular activities. The end result is that Jason dreams of soccer stardom; Lila sees herself as a cheerleader; and Douglas eyes the school band specifically the triangle instrument. Jason returns home battered and bruised and not on the team, Lila does have the cheerleader personality, while Douglas made the school band and gets to play the triangle. Stan and Jill are upset at the frustration and humiliation Lila and Jason have gone through -- and Charles is asked to straighten out the situation. Meanwhile, Gwendolyn Pierce is trying to get Charles to join the college school play, and Buddy wants him to join the swim team. Charles sets Gwendolyn and Buddy aside and coaches Lila the technique of being an exuberant cheerleader. When she succeeds, she decides to remain with the student council. He learns that a school bully would not allow Jason to try out for

Directors: Tony Singletary
Watch Now:iTunes
Pilot
star
4.99
71 votes

#8 - Pilot

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired 10/3/1984

Scott Baio stars as Charles, a nineteen-year-old college student and live-in family helper to three energetic children on the pilot episode of MCA TV International's "CHARLES IN CHARGE." The story was written by series producer Michael Jacobs and directed by Alan Rafkin. Jill and Stan Pembroke are a working couple whose uncertain schedules propel them into hiring a nineteen-year-old college student, Charles, to move in and help them with their three children: Lila 14; Douglas, 12; and Jason, 10. It appears Charles has the perfect arrangement while he attends school and does some growing of his own with the helpful advice of his best friend, Buddy Lembeck. Charles becomes ecstatic when his dream girl, Gwendolyn Pierce, a campus beauty, accepts a date with him. However, Jill and Stan have to go out for the night, leaving Charles in charge. Buddy comes up with the perfect solution -- invite Gwendolyn to spend the evening at home with him and the children. She accepts and sends Charles int

Directors: Alan Rafkin
Watch Now:iTunes
Room at the Bottom
star
6.40
5 votes

#9 - Room at the Bottom

Season 4 - Episode 17 - Aired 7/1/1989

Walter remodels the basement.

Directors: Phil Ramuno
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Advice and Contempt
star
6.40
5 votes

#10 - Advice and Contempt

Season 5 - Episode 10 - Aired 3/3/1990

Jamie gets upset when she thinks Charles is trying to make her boyfriend stop seeing her.

Directors: Scott Baio
Watch Now:iTunes
Get Thee to a Nuttery
star
6.67
9 votes

#11 - Get Thee to a Nuttery

Season 5 - Episode 2 - Aired 1/6/1990

Buddy decides to become a priest after a near-death experience.

Directors: Scott Baio
Watch Now:iTunes
Daffy Doc
star
6.80
5 votes

#12 - Daffy Doc

Season 5 - Episode 11 - Aired 4/28/1990

Buddy enters a mental hospital to do research, but they make him a patient.

Directors: Robert Claver
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Judge Not Lest Ye Beheaded
star
6.86
7 votes

#13 - Judge Not Lest Ye Beheaded

Season 5 - Episode 6 - Aired 2/3/1990

Charles is the judge of a beauty pageant where Jamie, Sarah, and both of Charles' girlfriends are contestants.

Directors: Scott Baio
Watch Now:iTunes
Trade Off
star
7.00
6 votes

#14 - Trade Off

Season 2 - Episode 10 - Aired 3/7/1987

What happens when everyone in the Powell family wants something they-don't have, but someone else does? Why it's simple, trade it! Charles has just done a term paper on bartering and applies the principals of the age old subject to a burgeoning family crisis. You see Jamie wants Sarah's video camera, and Adam wants his term paper typed, and Grandpa Powell wants his car washed, and Mrs. Powell needs Charles for an extra night of baby-sitting, and . . . you get the idea. Before they're through, the family's in an uproar trading services, but a funny one, as always, when it's Charles in Charge!

Directors: Phil Ramuno
Watch Now:iTunes
Baby Doll
star
7.00
8 votes

#15 - Baby Doll

Season 2 - Episode 23 - Aired 6/6/1987

Charles and Lillian are throwing a big opening night party to introduce the new chef of Sid's Pizza Parlor. Entrusted with $900 for promotion, Charles and Buddy plan to hire a famous musical group and interior decorator for the night, until the money is lost. Jamie suggests to Charles that he hire three of her friends, Tammy Townsend, Jemma Bosch and Andrea Palmer, who have formed a band called Baby Doll, to perform as the opening night entertainment. Charles angers Jamie by offhandedly rejecting her idea. Concerned with fixing up the restaurant for the gala celebration, Charles also rejects Sarah and Adam's suggestion that they assist with decorating. In desperation at the last minute, Charles agrees to both offers, and Baby Doll and the decorations contribute to a successful opening.

Directors: Zane Buzby
Watch Now:iTunes
The Undergraduate
star
7.00
1 votes

#16 - The Undergraduate

Season 2 - Episode 26 - Aired 6/27/1987

Ellen's attractive, married cousin Joan Robinson (Kay Lenz) comes to visit and puts the whammy on Charles. She is very direct about what she wants and she wants Charles. Unfortunately, Walter finds them together in the living room in the middle of the night and comes down hard on Charles. It makes it difficult when Mrs. Robinson won't take "no" for an answer and puts Charles' job in jeopardy. While Charles is trying to work out the limits of an "off-limits" relationship, Buddy achieves hero status when he saves Paula Thackery (Julianne McNamara) from a crazed water gunner. Along with hero status, however, comes hero worship, which he isn't ready for from the young high schooner. So while Charles has a problem with an older woman, Buddy has trouble with a younger one. Buddy is more than willing to trade.

Directors: Phil Ramuno
Watch Now:iTunes
Ninny and the Professor
star
7.00
6 votes

#17 - Ninny and the Professor

Season 4 - Episode 2 - Aired 1/7/1989

Charles' professor disagrees with the grade he gives a student.

Directors: Doug Rogers
Watch Now:iTunes
Walter's War
star
7.00
6 votes

#18 - Walter's War

Season 4 - Episode 19 - Aired 9/9/1989

Walter tries to impress a woman with war souvenirs.

Directors: Robert Claver
Watch Now:iTunes
Out with the In Crowd
star
7.00
8 votes

#19 - Out with the In Crowd

Season 5 - Episode 4 - Aired 1/20/1990

Jamie tries to join an exclusive group of girls.

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Three Dates and a Walnut
star
7.11
9 votes

#20 - Three Dates and a Walnut

Season 5 - Episode 3 - Aired 1/13/1990

Walter makes plans with three women on the same night.

Directors: Scott Baio
Watch Now:iTunes
The Loan Arranger
star
7.13
8 votes

#21 - The Loan Arranger

Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired 1/31/1987

In the latest edition of "Charles In Charge," Charles is not in charge. In fact he is totally not in charge! it is a normal fact of collegiate life that boys who are studying important things for their future, often end up studying less important things for their future, namely girls! And sometimes when those studies take precedence over the other things they should be studying, they get into trouble. In other words, Charles has been goofing off, his grades have dropped, and poof, there goes his student loan. What to do? Well, there are the necessary confrontations with Mr. Willard, the loan officer at the bank, played hilariously by well-known political columnist Ben Stein, making his first TV appearance. First Mr. Willard turns down Charles, then he turns down Ellen Powell who's trying to help by taking a loan for Charles. Meanwhile Jamie is making a home movie of the Pilgrims' first Thanksgiving, for a class project, with Buddy as the director.

Directors: Robert Claver
Watch Now:iTunes
The Naked Truth
star
7.15
13 votes

#22 - The Naked Truth

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired 1/10/1987

Charles meets a new girl, Rebecca Stansbury (Signy Coleman), on campus who happens to be an art student. Never one to stint where romance is concerned, Charles learns about her favorite artist, even buys a print of one of his works. Then he really goes the distance and enrolls in her art class. But lo and behold, Rebecca does more than study art; she poses nude for the class. Charles is stunned, and so is little Adam who happened to go along with Charles to the class for the "cultural advantages." Now there's trouble with Ellen Powell , over Adam's early exposure to nudity, as well as trouble from Rebecca who thinks Charles was only out to ogle her fair white body. Buddy tries to help, trouble is, he isn't quite sure what the problem is. After all, this girl has a body that's a work of art itself. Will culture triumph? Indubitably, with "Charles in Charge".

Directors: Robert Claver
Watch Now:iTunes
A Fox in the Henhouse
star
7.17
6 votes

#23 - A Fox in the Henhouse

Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired 2/21/1987

The latest challenge to Charles' vivid imagination is a visit by an old shipmate of the absent Commander Powell. Since the good Commander is far away, serving in the Western Pacific for another six months, Lieutenant Matty Whiteford (Stephen Parr) comes to keep Ellen Powell and the kids company for a weekend. Unfortunately, company isn't all he tries to keep, and Charles doesn't like it. Charles confides to Walter (James Callahan), who being an old sea dog doesn't understand Charles' suspicions since a Naval officer is always honorable, etc. But when Charles and Walter are hospitalized overnight with a case of food poisoning brought on by tasting contaminated clams, Matty moves in. His campaign to capture Ellen Powell's affection is first subtlety slowed by the three kids and then abruptly terminated by Ellen's own left hook.

Directors: Zane Buzby
Watch Now:iTunes
A Date From Heck
star
7.17
6 votes

#24 - A Date From Heck

Season 2 - Episode 15 - Aired 4/11/1987

Count on Charles to date a girl who comes equipped with lovely eyes,a gorgeous body, and a set of huge parents, that accompany her on dates. Actually the beauteous Anna Grundov (Diane Franklin) is the thing dreams are made from - especially Charles' dreams. All he has to do is find a way to invite her to the Powell house and have the Powells invited elsewhere, all at the same time. Does it work? You know Charles. Buddy takes the family out to a concert, while Charles gets all set for a cuddly date with Anna. But when she arrives, Charles discovers that Mama Grundov and Poppa Grundov go along on Anna's dates and so does her hulking brother. They are from the Old Country, you see. If that's not bad enough, add a sudden thunderstorm so the Powells are rained out of their concert, and now we have, you guessed it - a large and unhappy crowd in the Powell home. But never fear, Charles will handle it.

Directors: Phil Ramuno
Watch Now:iTunes
U.F. OH, NO!
star
7.17
6 votes

#25 - U.F. OH, NO!

Season 2 - Episode 18 - Aired 5/2/1987

Adam thinks he's seen a UFO outside his window and his sisters are convinced they've seen an alien in the kitchen. Walter will have none of it and directs Charles to rid the children of such superstitious nonsense (which he says comes from "fuzzy thinking"), but when Charles sees a UFO too, he doesn't know what to believe. Then Walter sees one and becomes an instant convert, calling the local news crew to come out for an interview. In the meantime, Charles is so distraught that he even asks Buddy for advice. He accidentally finds out that the topic of Buddy's psychology term paper required the simulation of a UFO experience in a typical American household. Though Charles is angry, he is grateful that one mystery is solved. Later the kids find a guinea pig in the dryer - their "alien" - and another mystery is solved. There is one left...

Directors: Phil Ramuno
Watch Now:iTunes

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