The WORST Episodes of Diff'rent Strokes
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Sep 21, 2021
1980s sitcom staple centered around millionaire widower Phillip Drummond, daughter Kimberly, and adopted sons Arnold and Willis.
#1 - Beauty is in the Eye of Arnold
Season 7 - Episode 21 - Aired Mar 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."
#2 - Sam's Missing (1)
Season 8 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 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.
#3 - The Reporter
Season 5 - Episode 22 - Aired Mar 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.
#4 - Undercover Lover
Season 7 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 20, 1984
Willis becomes the middleman in a police effort to halt use and trafficking of drugs at his high school.
#5 - Arnold Faces Fatality (a.k.a.) The Will (a.k.a.) Drummond's Will
Season 2 - Episode 25 - Aired Mar 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.
#6 - The Squealer
Season 2 - Episode 26 - Aired Mar 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.
#7 - Assert Yourself
Season 6 - Episode 9 - Aired Dec 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.
#8 - The Gymnasts
Season 7 - Episode 10 - Aired Dec 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.
#9 - Tonsils
Season 7 - Episode 11 - Aired Dec 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.
#10 - Arnold's Songbird
Season 7 - Episode 12 - Aired Dec 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.
#11 - Baseball Blues
Season 7 - Episode 13 - Aired Jan 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.
#12 - Russian Embassy
Season 7 - Episode 18 - Aired Feb 9, 1985
When Arnold's rocket for his school project is accidentally set off and lands atop the Russian Embassy, the state department is led to suspect the Drummond's participation is foul play.
#13 - It's My Party and I'll Cry if I Want To
Season 8 - Episode 11 - Aired Dec 13, 1985
Drummond has "insured" that Sam will have an unforgettable birthday party by arranging for a local television personality to be the main attraction, until the swash-buckling "Captain Jack" steals the show and the birthday boy jumps ship.
#14 - Sam's Big Brother
Season 8 - Episode 14 - Aired Jan 24, 1986
Arnold's preoccupation with girls and school leaves younger brother Sam alone and bored until Willis steps in, takes over as "big bro" and causes a row when Arnold decides to fight back for the title.
#15 - Lifestyles of the Poor and Unknown
Season 8 - Episode 16 - Aired Feb 7, 1986
Sam's contempt for a classmate who incessantly insults and badgers him is pacified when he learns that the boy is an orphan who's jealous of Sam's "perfect" family life.
#18 - Crime Story (Part 2) (a.k.a.) Crime in the Schools
Season 4 - Episode 18 - Aired Mar 18, 1982
Arnold doesn't know when to leave well enough alone after Willis comes to his rescue, he gets himself involved in an "undercover" scheme to capture the "punks" at school who have been harassing him.
#19 - Willis Goes to College
Season 8 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 18, 1985
Willis takes a big step when he leave home for college, but fears his initiation to dorm life is only one of the freshman experiences he may not be ready to handle.
#20 - Arnold's Job
Season 8 - Episode 6 - Aired Oct 25, 1985
Arnold's dream of becoming an "overnight" success as a photo-journalist run headlong into reality when he gets his first job on a local newspaper.
#21 - Short But Sweet
Season 4 - Episode 25 - Aired May 13, 1982
Arnold feels shortchanged, he's growing older but he's not getting any taller and he's convinced that's the reason why he doesn't have a girlfriend.
#22 - A Haunting We Will Go
Season 7 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 29, 1984
When Arnold and Sam creep through the crevices of the neighborhood's haunted house they find the ghost boasts a bounty of surprises--the biggest being a love for people and contempt for war.
#23 - Arnold Saves the Squirrel
Season 7 - Episode 14 - Aired Jan 12, 1985
When Sam visits a taping of "The Sandy Squirrel Show" he is overcome by the news his favorite television idol is about to be cancelled, but it's big brother Arnold to the rescue as he rallies the Boy Scouts of Manhattan to demand the Squirrel be given a reprieve.
#24 - Stress? What Stress?
Season 4 - Episode 23 - Aired Apr 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."
#25 - Family on Ice
Season 5 - Episode 18 - Aired Feb 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.