The BEST Episodes of Good Times

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Aug 22, 2020

Network: CBS

The Evans family scratches and survives in their tough South Side Chicago ghetto. Esther Rolle and John Amos star as parents Florida and James, with "dyn-o-mite" breakout comedy star Jimmie Walker as J.J., the oldest of the three Evans children.

Thelma's Scholarship

#1 - Thelma's Scholarship

Season 2 - Episode 23 - Aired Mar 11, 1975

Thelma has a chance at winning a scholarship to an exclusive boarding school in Michigan. However, even before she knows she won, a snobby girl from a fraternity comes around wanting Thelma to join and quickly discovers they just want her because she's black.

star 8.52
44 votes
Directors: Herbert Kenwith
Writers: Dick Bensfield, Perry Grant
Crosstown Buses Run All Day, Doodah, Doodah

#2 - Crosstown Buses Run All Day, Doodah, Doodah

Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 1, 1974

To avoid being bused to a white neighborhood, Michael forges his parents' names on a questionnaire.

star 8.50
56 votes
Directors: Herbert Kenwith
Writers: John Baskin, Roger Shulman
Evans Versus Davis

#3 - Evans Versus Davis

Season 4 - Episode 6 - Aired Oct 27, 1976

When J.J. refuses to speak on Alderman Davis' behalf at a fundraiser, the family is threatened with eviction.

star 8.50
12 votes
Writers: Coslough Johnson, Sid Dorfman
The Encyclopedia Hustle

#4 - The Encyclopedia Hustle

Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired Oct 29, 1974

An encyclopedia salesman is the last person James wants to see when he comes home from work. However, he softens when he learns the man is blind. This leads James to sign a contract and reads the fine print only after the man leaves.

star 8.50
46 votes
Directors: Herbert Kenwith
Writers: Bob Shayne, Eric Cohen
Florida and Carl

#5 - Florida and Carl

Season 4 - Episode 20 - Aired Feb 23, 1977

A reluctant Florida agrees to go out with Carl, but the date doesn't go as planned.

star 8.50
8 votes
Directors: Gerren Keith
Writers: John Baskin, Roger Shulman
The Family Gun

#6 - The Family Gun

Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 16, 1975

James brings a gun home to protect his family.

star 8.34
58 votes
Directors: Herbert Kenwith
Writers: Bob Peete
The Big Move (Part 2)

#7 - The Big Move (Part 2)

Season 4 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 29, 1976

Florida's stoic reaction to James' death has the kids upset by her lack of emotion.

star 8.28
25 votes
Directors: Gerren Keith
Writers: Bill Davenport, Lou Derman
The I.Q. Test

#8 - The I.Q. Test

Season 2 - Episode 7 - Aired Oct 22, 1974

Michael, one of the brightest boys in his class, comes home with the news that he scored the lowest out of his whole class on an I.Q. test.

star 8.26
58 votes
Directors: Herbert Kenwith
Writers: Jay Moriarty, Mike Milligan
J.J. Becomes a Man (Part 1)

#9 - J.J. Becomes a Man (Part 1)

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 17, 1974

After his birthday party, J.J. is arrested on suspicion of robbing a liquor store.

star 8.25
61 votes
Directors: Herbert Kenwith
Writers: Jack Elinson, Norman Paul
Too Old Blues

#10 - Too Old Blues

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Feb 8, 1974

When James misses out on a good job because of his age, the family's celebration party turns sour.

star 8.24
135 votes
Writers: Bob Peete
Michael Gets Suspended

#11 - Michael Gets Suspended

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired Mar 8, 1974

Michael is suspended from school after proclaiming that George Washington was a racist.

star 8.23
84 votes
Florida Flips

#12 - Florida Flips

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 10, 1974

Florida's strange behavior has everyone wondering what the problem might be.

star 8.22
76 votes
Writers: Jack Elinson, Norman Paul
Springtime in the Ghetto

#13 - Springtime in the Ghetto

Season 1 - Episode 10 - Aired Apr 19, 1974

When Michael brings a local wino home, Florida's chances of being named as having the cleanest apartment in the projects are dimmed.

star 8.16
63 votes
Directors: Herbert Kenwith
Writers: Jack Elinson, Norman Paul
Black Jesus

#14 - Black Jesus

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Feb 15, 1974

J.J.'s painting of a black Jesus coincides with good fortune coming to each family member.

star 8.15
149 votes
Writers: John Donley, Kurt Taylor
The Visitor

#15 - The Visitor

Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired Apr 5, 1974

Michael's angry letter about the conditions in the ghetto prompts a visit from the city housing commission.

star 8.10
67 votes
J.J. in Trouble

#16 - J.J. in Trouble

Season 3 - Episode 21 - Aired Feb 3, 1976

After his ex-girlfriend tells him he has V.D., and embarrassed J.J. visits the local clinic.

star 8.08
13 votes
Directors: Herbert Kenwith
Writers: John Baskin, Roger Shulman
Michael's Great Romance

#17 - Michael's Great Romance

Season 4 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 20, 1976

With Michael's latest crush herself crushing on J.J., the brothers are at each others' throats.

star 8.00
10 votes
Writers: Gerren Keith
Florida's Night Out

#18 - Florida's Night Out

Season 4 - Episode 11 - Aired Dec 15, 1976

Florida meets a charming widower when Willona takes her out for the evening.

star 8.00
8 votes
Directors: Gerren Keith
Writers: Harriet Belkin, Norman Belkin
Willona's Dilemma

#19 - Willona's Dilemma

Season 3 - Episode 10 - Aired Nov 11, 1975

Willona fears her new relationship with a deaf man is moving too fast.

star 7.98
44 votes
Directors: Herbert Kenwith
Writers: John Baskin, Roger Shulman
The Lunch Money Ripoff

#20 - The Lunch Money Ripoff

Season 2 - Episode 24 - Aired Mar 18, 1975

A bully has been stealing Michael's lunches which prompts James to give him some tips on how to handle the situation. However, Michael surprises everyone with his own tactic, he invites the bully home for the weekend.

star 7.96
48 votes
Directors: Herbert Kenwith
Writers: John Baskin, Roger Shulman
The Family Tree

#21 - The Family Tree

Season 3 - Episode 15 - Aired Dec 23, 1975

Thelma discovers that James' father is alive and living in Chicago, but James is reluctant to see him.

star 7.93
15 votes
Directors: Herbert Kenwith
Writers: Bob Peete
The Houseguest

#22 - The Houseguest

Season 2 - Episode 20 - Aired Feb 18, 1975

A childhood friend of James' arrives for a visit and quickly his gambling problem becomes an Evans family problem when two hoods show up looking for him to pay off a $5000 debt.

star 7.93
42 votes
Directors: Herbert Kenwith
Writers: Elon Packard, Jack Elinson, John Fenton Murray, Norman Paul
The Debutante Ball

#23 - The Debutante Ball

Season 2 - Episode 18 - Aired Feb 4, 1975

J.J. is enchanted with his new girlfriend, Clarissa, and is all set to take her to a ritzy debutante ball. However, Clarissa has come to the Evans' apartment with some bad news, her parents won't let her go with J.J., citing that they think she's too good for him.

star 7.92
49 votes
Writers: Jack Elinson, Norman Paul
The Check Up

#24 - The Check Up

Season 1 - Episode 12 - Aired May 3, 1974

The Evanses become concerned about James's possible hypertension.

star 7.89
61 votes
Directors: Herbert Kenwith
Writers: John Donley, Kurt Taylor
Something Old, Something New

#25 - Something Old, Something New

Season 5 - Episode 21 - Aired Mar 13, 1978

James' father visits and proposes marriage to his neglected girlfriend.

star 7.86
7 votes
Directors: Gerren Keith
Writers: Sid Dorfman