The BEST Episodes of Diff'rent Strokes
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Oct 20, 2019
1980s sitcom staple centered around millionaire widower Phillip Drummond, daughter Kimberly.and black adopted sons Arnold and Willis.
#1 - The Older Woman
Season 5 - Episode 7
A false I.D. and a false bravado create real problems for Willis and a beautiful "older" woman when an evening on the town doesn't go quite as he had planned.
#3 - Have I Got a Girl for You
Season 4 - Episode 21
Aunt Sophia's matchmaking unites an unsuspecting Drummond with her "working-class" hairdresser, but a slip of Arnold's tongue ignites charges that Drummond is a snob, turning a "budding romance" into a roaring feud.
#5 - The Trip (2)
Season 1 - Episode 21
The stars of "Diff'rent Strokes" and "Hello, Larry" get together in a special, hilarious hour in which Phillip Drummond realizes that the purchase of a Portland radio station could mean the loss of a job for his old friend Larry Alder.
#6 - Father and Son Day
Season 2 - Episode 10
Willis' cut-throat competitiveness with another boy at his gym leads him to a decision that he will very much regret, especially after it hurts Mr. Drummond and gives Arnold the right to say "I told you so." Baseball great Reggie Jackson makes his acting debut playing a key, but unsuspecting role in Willis' questionable scheme.
#7 - Willis' Privacy
Season 1 - Episode 17
To get rid of his pesky little brother, Willis divides the bedroom in half and spends more time at his friend's house.
#9 - Return of the Gooch
Season 2 - Episode 20
The "Gooch" is back and this time he's terrorizing Arnold, but Arnold plans to be ready when the bully strikes. In building Arnold's confidence, Willis convinces him that his martial arts lesson has given him a "killer" foot.
#10 - Growing Up
Season 4 - Episode 1
His friends' stories of their sexual exploits convince Willis it's time he became a man, so now he must convince his girlfriend Charlene.
#11 - Kathy
Season 4 - Episode 13
Arnold and his friend Kathy face big challenges in their lives and each holds the key to overcoming the other's obstacles, but when Arnold takes the first step forward, their entire relationship takes a big step backwards.
#12 - The Squatter
Season 4 - Episode 15
Drummond learns the hard way that converting apartments into condominiums can mean hurting lots of innocent people when he becomes the unsuspecting "victim" of an eccentric tenant he's displacing.
#13 - Willis' Birthday
Season 1 - Episode 23
Willis is hurt when he thinks his family has forgotten his upcoming birthday. After dropping several unsubtle hints he discovers that not only has everyone remembered, but also his fondest wish has been granted -- a birthday party in his old Harlem neighborhood.
#14 - The Election
Season 2 - Episode 16
Drummond puts his convictions on the line to run for city council, and rooting him on are Arnold, Willis, Kimberly, and an "unexpected" new addition to the household. Nedra Volz plays Adelaide Brubaker, the small but sassy housekeeper who helps Drummond mobilize the family for a "win."
#15 - The Car
Season 4 - Episode 16
When his girlfriend plans on taking a drive with someone else, a careless Willis -- refusing to be outdone -- gets an idea for a real joy ride neither of them will forget.
#16 - B.M.O.C.
Season 4 - Episode 19
Willis' obsession with joining an "exclusive" high school club rocks the Drummond household and leaves several victims in its wake, including a shaken Arnold who takes his brother's "insensitive" actions to heart.
#17 - The Music Man
Season 4 - Episode 24
Willis sets what he's sure is a "cinch" audition for girlfriend Charlene to sing with his musical group, but his "big plane" hit a sour not when Arnold's intervention threatens to destroy both Charlene's chances with the group and her relationship with Willis.
#18 - A Growing Problem
Season 5 - Episode 13
At 16, Willis thinks he's man enough and old enough to "top" a few drinks with the guys, but Drummond's objections send Willis storming out of the house intent on proving his father wrong.
#19 - The Goat
Season 6 - Episode 2
Arnold's first day at junior high is emotionally devastating when he's shunned for not measuring up to the expectations that everyone had for Willis Jackson's brother, but Arnold devises a risky scheme that he feels certain will elevate his prestige.
#20 - Arnold's Hero (a.k.a.) The Hero
Season 2 - Episode 7
Arnold's wildest dream is realized when he comes face-to-knee with "The Champ" -- special guest star Muhammad Ali. When the meeting arranged by Mr. Drummond between Arnold and his idol, Muhammad Ali, falls through, Kimberly and Willis concoct a wild scheme to insure that Arnold's dream will come true.
#21 - Thanksgiving Crossover (2)
Season 2 - Episode 12
The Alders and the Drummonds are together again in New York, and Arnold, Willis and Kimberly plan a second Thanksgiving feast with friends Diane and Ruthie. But even the huge Drummond penthouse isn't big enough to hold the exploding tempers that threaten Phil and Larry's long-standing relationship, on a special one-hour episode featuring the stars of "Hello, Larry." Morgan and all the kids get caught up in the feud when Larry learns friendship doesn't necessarily make for good business.
#22 - The Slumber Party
Season 2 - Episode 24
Leaving Willis in charge of the house for Kimberly's slumber party is a mistake Mr. Drummond soon regrets as the ensuing chaos disrupts his own date with a lovely lady. The Facts of Life stars Mindy Cohn, Kim Fields, Julie Anne Haddock, and Molly Ringwald guest star.
#23 - The Woman
Season 1 - Episode 12
Mr. Drummond's intention to marry an attractive widow doesn't meet with his children's approval, and Arnold, Willis and Kimberly devise a scheme they hope will turn his "romantic" proposal into a disaster.
#24 - Mrs. Garrett's Crisis
Season 1 - Episode 18
When Mrs. Garrett decides her life as a housekeeper is unfulfilling, she ends up being a guest in the Drummond home, and then makes an important decision concerning the future.