Diff'rent Strokes

The BEST episodes of Diff'rent Strokes

Every episode of Diff'rent Strokes ever, ranked from best to worst by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The best episodes of Diff'rent Strokes!

1980s sitcom staple centered around millionaire widower Phillip Drummond, daughter Kimberly, and adopted sons Arnold and Willis.

Last Updated: 11/22/2022Network:ABC (US)
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Poor Drummond
star
10.00
7 votes

#1 - Poor Drummond

Season 2 - Episode 18 - Aired 1/23/1980

A crucially important business deal keeps Mr. Drummond on edge and Arnold and Willis wondering whether they pack for a California vacation or move back to Harlem.

Watch Now:Amazon
The Election
star
9.67
9 votes

#2 - The Election

Season 2 - Episode 16 - Aired 1/9/1980

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."

Writer: Ed Jurist
Watch Now:Amazon
The Slumber Party
star
9.50
8 votes

#3 - The Slumber Party

Season 2 - Episode 24 - Aired 3/12/1980

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.

Directors: Gerren Keith
Watch Now:Amazon
The Trip (2)
star
9.36
11 votes

#4 - The Trip (2)

Season 1 - Episode 21 - Aired 3/30/1979

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.

Directors: Doug Rogers
Writer: Woody Kling
Watch Now:Amazon
Arnold's Hero (a.k.a.) The Hero
star
9.08
13 votes

#5 - Arnold's Hero (a.k.a.) The Hero

Season 2 - Episode 7 - Aired 10/24/1979

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.

Willis' Birthday
star
9.06
16 votes

#6 - Willis' Birthday

Season 1 - Episode 23 - Aired 4/13/1979

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.

Directors: Herbert Kenwith
Writer: Michael Moye
Watch Now:Amazon
Mrs. Garrett's Crisis
star
8.94
18 votes

#7 - Mrs. Garrett's Crisis

Season 1 - Episode 18 - Aired 3/2/1979

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.

Watch Now:Amazon
The Bicycle Man (1)
star
8.89
9 votes

#8 - The Bicycle Man (1)

Season 5 - Episode 16 - Aired 2/5/1983

Unaware that he's being lured into the carefully crafted trap of a child molester, Arnold eagerly agrees to perform a simple task in return for an overly generous reward from a "friendly" neighborhood merchant.

Directors: Gerren Keith
Writer: Blake Hunter
Watch Now:Amazon
Willis' Privacy
star
8.89
18 votes

#9 - Willis' Privacy

Season 1 - Episode 17 - Aired 2/23/1979

To get rid of his pesky little brother, Willis divides the bedroom in half and spends more time at his friend's house.

Directors: Herbert Kenwith
Watch Now:Amazon
Getting Involved
star
8.88
17 votes

#10 - Getting Involved

Season 1 - Episode 22 - Aired 4/6/1979

When Arnold is witness to a hold up, the robber tries to ensure that the youngster will not identify him.

Watch Now:Amazon
A Growing Problem
star
8.87
8 votes

#11 - A Growing Problem

Season 5 - Episode 13 - Aired 1/8/1983

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.

Directors: Gerren Keith
Writer: Ed Jurist
Watch Now:Amazon
The Bicycle Man (2)
star
8.78
9 votes

#12 - The Bicycle Man (2)

Season 5 - Episode 17 - Aired 2/12/1983

Arnold and Dudley's "friendship" with a local merchant reaches a dangerous turning point when, unbeknownst to the boys, the man, who is actually a child molester, is about to make his move.

Directors: Gerren Keith
Writer: Blake Hunter
Watch Now:Amazon
The New Landlord
star
8.75
20 votes

#13 - The New Landlord

Season 1 - Episode 16 - Aired 2/16/1979

The kids devise a scheme hoping to make Arnold convince the new landlord to let the family keep the penthouse.

Directors: Herbert Kenwith
Watch Now:Amazon
In the Swim
star
8.67
9 votes

#14 - In the Swim

Season 5 - Episode 2 - Aired 10/9/1982

Willis is completely supportive of Kimberly's transfer into his public school, until his sister's "innocent" actions begin getting him into hot water.

Writer: Blake Hunter
Watch Now:Amazon
The Job (a.k.a.) Willis' Job
star
8.58
19 votes

#15 - The Job (a.k.a.) Willis' Job

Season 1 - Episode 19 - Aired 3/16/1979

In order to earn the money to buy disco skates, and to prove a point to Mr. Drummond, Willis gets a job...but is fired on his first working day.

The Dog Story (a.k.a.) A Dog Story
star
8.54
13 votes

#16 - The Dog Story (a.k.a.) A Dog Story

Season 2 - Episode 15 - Aired 12/19/1979

Arnold saves a dog's life, is bitten and then the dog is needed to save Arnold. The Drummond household members frantically search for the ungrateful canine, while Arnold faces a series of rabies shots or death.

The Older Woman
star
8.50
8 votes

#17 - The Older Woman

Season 5 - Episode 7 - Aired 11/13/1982

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.

Directors: Gerren Keith
Watch Now:Amazon
Return of the Gooch
star
8.43
7 votes

#18 - Return of the Gooch

Season 2 - Episode 20 - Aired 2/6/1980

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.

Watch Now:Amazon
The Music Man
star
8.33
6 votes

#19 - The Music Man

Season 4 - Episode 24 - Aired 5/6/1982

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.

Directors: Gerren Keith
Writer: Larry Rhine
Watch Now:Amazon
The Club Meeting
star
8.27
51 votes

#20 - The Club Meeting

Season 1 - Episode 11 - Aired 1/12/1979

Willis invites his neighborhood club from Harlem to visit, but things get out of hand when he tries to impress them with his new wealth.

Directors: Herbert Kenwith
Watch Now:Amazon
Fire
star
8.20
10 votes

#21 - Fire

Season 4 - Episode 14 - Aired 2/11/1982

A fire traps Drummond and his family in their penthouse and has him "working" overtime trying to protect them without letting on that there's anything wrong.

Directors: Gerren Keith
Writer: Jill Gordon
Watch Now:Amazon
Growing Up
star
8.18
11 votes

#22 - Growing Up

Season 4 - Episode 1 - Aired 10/29/1981

His friends' stories of their sexual exploits convince Willis it's time he became a man, so now he must convince his girlfriend Charlene.

Directors: Gerren Keith
Watch Now:Amazon
The Car
star
8.11
9 votes

#23 - The Car

Season 4 - Episode 16 - Aired 2/25/1982

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.

Directors: Gerren Keith
Watch Now:Amazon
The Adoption (1)
star
8.10
10 votes

#24 - The Adoption (1)

Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired 10/31/1979

The Drummond family celebrates the day Arnold and Willis are supposed to be officially adopted until the visit of a "relative" leaves their plans in jeopardy. Whitman Mayo guest stars as Jethro Simpson, who sees his way to go from junk to jewels in a last will and testament leaving a fortune to Willis and Arnold.

Directors: Gerren Keith
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Health Club
star
8.09
11 votes

#25 - Health Club

Season 4 - Episode 8 - Aired 12/17/1981

Arnold and Willis discover that Drummond's health club, which has just named him the recipient of an award, excludes minorities from membership.

Watch Now:Amazon

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