Diff'rent Strokes

The WORST episodes of Diff'rent Strokes

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

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

Last Updated: 6/4/2022Network: ABC (US)
Share:
Hall Monitor
star
4.00
2 votes

#1 - Hall Monitor

Season 5 - Episode 19 - Aired 2/26/1983

Arnold's good intentions backfire when his efforts to help his handicapped friend Kathy adjust to life in public school cost him the esteem of his classmates and the friendship of pals Dudley and Robbie.

Directors: Gerren Keith
The Cricket
star
4.67
3 votes

#2 - The Cricket

Season 5 - Episode 20 - Aired 3/5/1983

To try to curb Arnold's run of bad luck, Drummond gives him a pet cricket, but the Japanese "good luck charm" brings nothing but sleepless nights and dreams of "pesticide" to the rest of the household.

Directors: Gerren Keith
Family on Ice
star
5.00
4 votes

#3 - Family on Ice

Season 5 - Episode 18 - Aired 2/19/1983

Kimberly is overjoyed when Olympic Gold Medalist Dorothy Hamill sees great promise in her as a competitive figure skater, but she's even more astounded when Drummond agrees to let her leave the New York "nest" to train full time with the award-winning skater... in Los Angeles.

Directors: Gerren Keith
The Reporter
star
5.00
6 votes

#4 - The Reporter

Season 5 - Episode 22 - Aired 3/19/1983

Determined to prove he didn't fabricate a story about drug abuse in his grade school just to win a journalism contest, Arnold takes his article to the New York City newspaper sponsoring the competition, and when they run his story on the front page, Arnold receives some unexpected more support from First Lady Nancy Reagan.

Directors: Gerren Keith
Beauty is in the Eye of Arnold
star
5.25
4 votes

#5 - Beauty is in the Eye of Arnold

Season 7 - Episode 21 - Aired 3/2/1985

Arnold is faced with a dilemma when his friends insist he take a cute cheerleader to the dance instead of the girl Arnold really likes who they consider an "ugly duckling."

Directors: Selig Frank
Almost American
star
5.29
7 votes

#6 - Almost American

Season 3 - Episode 20 - Aired 4/1/1981

Arnold's dejection at being grounded for a "D" on a history test turns to inspiration after an immigrant studying for naturalization introduces him to another perspective on America.

Sam's Missing (1)
star
5.33
6 votes

#7 - Sam's Missing (1)

Season 8 - Episode 1 - Aired 9/27/1985

A family whose little boy died, forces the father to kidnap Sam, who is shopping for some snacks in a grocery store. After the kidnapping, the man threatens to kill Sam's parents if he attempts in any way to escape.

Directors: Gerren Keith
Stress? What Stress?
star
5.50
6 votes

#8 - Stress? What Stress?

Season 4 - Episode 23 - Aired 4/22/1982

Stress is diagnosed as the cause of hard-working Drummond's frequent attacks of pain, but suddenly young, healthy and "normal" Willis learns that he, too, is a prime candidate for the same debilitating "attacks."

Directors: Gerren Keith
Independent Woman
star
5.50
4 votes

#9 - Independent Woman

Season 5 - Episode 15 - Aired 1/22/1983

A new job and a handsome new boss add up to trouble for an innocent Kimberly when her new employer starts displaying a more than casual interest in her -- hoping that his "special attention" will help land him a position within Drummond's prestigious company.

Directors: Gerren Keith
A Case of Overexposure (a.k.a.) Overexposure
star
5.57
7 votes

#10 - A Case of Overexposure (a.k.a.) Overexposure

Season 5 - Episode 8 - Aired 11/20/1982

Arnold must face the bare facts -- his chances of winning a prestigious school election seem desperately slim, thanks to an "overexposed" candid campaign photo taken by sister Kimberly.

Directors: Gerren Keith
Burial Ground
star
5.60
10 votes

#11 - Burial Ground

Season 4 - Episode 9 - Aired 1/7/1982

Drummond's company may destroy what could be an ancient Indian burial ground.

Undercover Lover
star
5.83
6 votes

#12 - Undercover Lover

Season 7 - Episode 4 - Aired 10/20/1984

Willis becomes the middleman in a police effort to halt use and trafficking of drugs at his high school.

Directors: Gerren Keith
Green Hair
star
5.86
7 votes

#13 - Green Hair

Season 4 - Episode 20 - Aired 4/1/1982

An adamant Drummond ignores sister Sophia's pleas to get involved in a group effort to combat air pollution, until Kimberly becomes victimized by the unnatural phenomenon.

Directors: Gerren Keith
Room for One More
star
5.89
9 votes

#14 - Room for One More

Season 3 - Episode 21 - Aired 5/6/1981

Dudley, fearing his foster father's lost job means he's headed back to the orphanage, cons Arnold into getting Drummond to consider adopting him into their family.

Directors: Gerren Keith
Arnold Faces Fatality (a.k.a.) The Will (a.k.a.) Drummond's Will
star
6.00
2 votes

#15 - Arnold Faces Fatality (a.k.a.) The Will (a.k.a.) Drummond's Will

Season 2 - Episode 25 - Aired 3/19/1980

Arnold fears that his loved ones are checking out of his life when he stumbles upon Drummond's will and then uncovers the fact that his goldfish has given up the ghost.

Directors: Gerren Keith
The Squealer
star
6.00
2 votes

#16 - The Squealer

Season 2 - Episode 26 - Aired 3/26/1980

Willis seeks comradeship as a member of the Tarantulas, a street gang, but finds only deceit as he gets caught in a web of misplace loyalties. Willis allows himself to be arrested rather than "squeal" on his fellow-gang members by telling the truth.

Hello, Daddy
star
6.00
6 votes

#17 - Hello, Daddy

Season 4 - Episode 10 - Aired 1/14/1982

Does Drummond have a third son? There's a young man at the door who thinks so.

Directors: Gerren Keith
Cyrano De Jackson
star
6.00
6 votes

#18 - Cyrano De Jackson

Season 5 - Episode 3 - Aired 10/16/1982

Arnold's on the outs with his best friend Dudley after he innocently offers to help his bashful buddy win the heart of a young lady -- who falls for Arnold instead.

Directors: Gerren Keith
The Peacemaker
star
6.00
7 votes

#19 - The Peacemaker

Season 5 - Episode 5 - Aired 10/30/1982

Willis' personal safety is in jeopardy when his noble attempt to mediate a feud between rival gangs backfires, forcing him to take a drastic step to insure his protection -- purchasing a handgun.

Directors: Gerren Keith
Push Comes to Shove
star
6.00
5 votes

#20 - Push Comes to Shove

Season 5 - Episode 10 - Aired 12/4/1982

Arnold's unexpected confrontation with the new building manager's son leads to a chilling series of events that could get the entire Drummond family evicted.

Directors: Gerren Keith
Assert Yourself
star
6.00
2 votes

#21 - Assert Yourself

Season 6 - Episode 9 - Aired 12/10/1983

Arnold turns a pal into an opponent when he resigns as Dudley's campaign manager and declares his own candiacy for class president.

Directors: Gerren Keith
The Gymnasts
star
6.00
33 votes

#22 - The Gymnasts

Season 7 - Episode 10 - Aired 12/1/1984

Drummond's surprise meant to encourage an Olympic hopeful felled by a tragic accident backfires when the young man instead becomes embittered at meeting the 1984 Men's Olympic Gold Medal-winning Gymnastics Team until Willis and Sam take on the challenge of setting things right.

Directors: Gerren Keith
Tonsils
star
6.00
3 votes

#23 - Tonsils

Season 7 - Episode 11 - Aired 12/8/1984

Drummond is a tower of strength for Sam as he prepares to have his tonsils removed, but what will happen when Drummond finds out he is to be Sam's roommate while having some "minor" knee surgery.

Directors: Mel Ferber
Arnold's Songbird
star
6.00
3 votes

#24 - Arnold's Songbird

Season 7 - Episode 12 - Aired 12/15/1984

In order to be elected the entertainment chairman for a school charity fundraiser, Arnold promises to get a celebrity but when it's time to deliver, he's forced to look to his nemesis Carmella for help, hoping she can save the day.

Directors: Gerren Keith
Baseball Blues
star
6.00
3 votes

#25 - Baseball Blues

Season 7 - Episode 13 - Aired 1/5/1985

Sam persuades a reluctant Mr. Drummond to become the coach of his bad news baseball team and then regrets it after he winds up on the bench.

Directors: Gerren Keith

Want to see the rest of the rankings?

Episode Ninja is a small business run by one person.
Pro memberships help fund servers and new feature development!