The BEST Episodes of Grace Under Fire

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Sep 13, 2020

Network: ABC (US)

After divorcing her abusive, alcoholic husband and recovering from her own alcoholism, Grace tries to rebuild her life and protect her children from making the same mistakes. Against this serious backdrop, this show is actually a comedy, finding humor in the relationships between Grace and her co-workers at the oil refinery, her neighbors Wade and Nadine, and Russel Norton, the bachelor pharmacist.

Road to Nowhere

#1 - Road to Nowhere

Season 4 - Episode 7 - Aired Nov 6, 1996

Jimmy's back in town to stay, and, on Grace's recommendation, he gets a job at the refinery, but his first day is a disaster, and Nadine and Wade say she shouldn't jeopardize her job for someone who used to treat her so badly; Grace, however, says that Jimmy's a different person than he was when they were married and he deserves to make a fresh start. Quentin goes to Jimmy for advice on dating, and he suggests that Quentin go on a practice date with a friend before asking out the girl he really likes. Grace goes to the motel where Jimmy's staying and finds Jean there with her son. Jimmy's depressed and thinks he'll lose his job (in reality, Grace's co-workers have been sabotaging him as revenge for the way he used to treat Grace) but he says he'll never leave his kids again. Jean reproaches Grace for all the "lies" she told about Jimmy abusing her, but Jimmy makes Jean face the fact that the things Grace said were true. And Grace is livid when she hears about Jimmy's advice to Quentin,

star 9.10
10 votes
Directors: John Bowab
Writers: Donald Beck
A Car and a Kiss

#2 - A Car and a Kiss

Season 1 - Episode 22 - Aired May 25, 1994

Grace's car is on its last legs and she goes shopping for a replacement. A neighbor is irate when she catches Libby kissing her son.

star 9.00
8 votes
Directors: Michael Lessac
Writers: Bill Masters, Lee Aronsohn
A Holly, Jolly Christmas

#3 - A Holly, Jolly Christmas

Season 4 - Episode 12 - Aired Dec 18, 1996

Holiday festivities are underway in the Kelly household with Jean making her famous punch loaf to Grace's dismay and Jimmy's delight. Floyd is so much in the holiday spirit that he's giving away the entire inventory at the pharmacy, and an exasperated Russell decides to get rid of him by sending him on a cruise. Grace gets suspicious of Quentin's mellow mood and at first thinks that he's been drinking beer with his friends. When it dawns on her that he's been smoking pot, she fears that she's about to see him repeating all her teenage mistakes and decides that "tough love" is the only way to handle the situation.

star 9.00
9 votes
Directors: John Bowab
Writers: Ric Swartzlander
Matthew's Old Lady

#4 - Matthew's Old Lady

Season 4 - Episode 13 - Aired Jan 8, 1997

When Matthew shows up at Grace's and announces he's about to marry Joan, a woman old enough to be his mother who also happens to be pregnant, Grace tries to keep her cool, especially when Matthew tells her his adoptive mother has no objections. But when Grace speaks to Emily, she learns that the only reason she didn't object was that Matthew seemed so adamant about marrying this woman. As the wedding day gets nearer, Joan confesses to Grace that although she definitely wants the baby, she doesn't want to marry Matthew in spite of how determined he seems to go through with the marriage. When Grace confronts Matthew about Joan's feelings, Matthew says he wants to marry Joan because he won't abandon this child. Grace understands that Matthew feels on some level that he himself was abandoned by her, and she tells him that he can still be very much a part of the baby's life without marrying the baby's mother.

star 8.91
11 votes
Writers: David Nichols
Redeeming Jimmy

#5 - Redeeming Jimmy

Season 4 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 13, 1996

Jimmy's back in town to stay, and, on Grace's recommendation, he gets a job at the refinery, but his first day is a disaster, and Nadine and Wade say she shouldn't jeopardize her job for someone who used to treat her so badly; Grace, however, says that Jimmy's a different person than he was when they were married and he deserves to make a fresh start. Quentin goes to Jimmy for advice on dating, and he suggests that Quentin go on a practice date with a friend before asking out the girl he really likes. Grace goes to the motel where Jimmy's staying and finds Jean there with her son. Jimmy's depressed and thinks he'll lose his job (in reality, Grace's co-workers have been sabotaging him as revenge for the way he used to treat Grace) but he says he'll never leave his kids again. Jean reproaches Grace for all the "lies" she told about Jimmy abusing her, but Jimmy makes Jean face the fact that the things Grace said were true. And Grace is livid when she hears about Jimmy's advice to Quentin,

star 8.90
10 votes
Directors: John Bowab
Writers: Stevie Ray Fromstein
Rob vs. Jimmy

#6 - Rob vs. Jimmy

Season 4 - Episode 24 - Aired May 6, 1997

star 8.90
10 votes
Directors: Ron Moseley
Writers: Bryan Moore
A River Runs Through Him

#7 - A River Runs Through Him

Season 5 - Episode 5 - Aired Dec 23, 1997

Jean is upset, complaining that the new bridge will cut off Emmet's (grave) view of the river, so Grace suggests that she move the grave site. Jimmy and Quentin attempt to do that and Russell takes Dot to the gambling boat, but won't gamble.

star 8.90
10 votes
Directors: David Trainer
Writers: Paul J. Raley
Love Thy Neighbor

#8 - Love Thy Neighbor

Season 3 - Episode 18 - Aired Feb 21, 1996

The new Afro-American neighbors are coming for dinner.

star 8.89
9 votes
Directors: John Bowab
Writers: Geoffrey Miller
Good Neighbor Sam

#9 - Good Neighbor Sam

Season 3 - Episode 15 - Aired Jan 24, 1996

A neighbor's son starts hanging out at Grace's house and she finds he is escaping from a 'perfect' mother. Meanwhile, Wade discovers his name has been engraved on a veterans' memorial.

star 8.83
12 votes
Directors: Michael Lessac
Writers: Ric Swartzlander
Positively Hateful

#10 - Positively Hateful

Season 3 - Episode 16 - Aired Feb 7, 1996

When the nasty janitor is about to be fired for being HIV+, Grace is reluctant to help him. Rick instructs Quentin on how to behave on his first date.

star 8.83
12 votes
Directors: Michael Lessac
Writers: Tim Doyle
Birthin' Babies

#11 - Birthin' Babies

Season 4 - Episode 18 - Aired Feb 19, 1997

Grace brings Rob home to meet her kids just as Nadine announces that the baby's on it's way; Wade's off on an undercover assignment so Grace has to take her to the hospital, leaving Rob alone with Libby and Patrick. Grace and Nadine reminisce about how Nadine was always around when Grace delivered all her kids. Grace flashes back to how Jimmy stole hundreds of dollars worth of toys as presents for Quentin and is caught by the police and how she had to take baby Quentin to the county jail so his dad could see him for the first time. Grace and Nadine arrive at the hospital, and Wade is still nowhere to be found; Grace takes over as Nadine's Lamaze coach. Grace flashes back to when Libby was born and Nadine took her to the hospital because Jimmy wanted to go hunting. Grace tries to coach Nadine, who's in great pain, as Grace remembers when Patrick was born, and again it's Nadine who's with her, not Jimmy. On the way to the delivery room Nadine says she's changed her mind about having this

star 8.83
12 votes
Directors: David Trainer
Writers: Donald Beck
Movin' on Down

#12 - Movin' on Down

Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 20, 1995

Downsizing becomes a problem for Grace as she discovers that her job was not eliminated but usurped by her boss.

star 8.82
11 votes
Directors: Michael Lessac
Writers: Miriam Trogdon
Pregnant Pause

#13 - Pregnant Pause

Season 3 - Episode 19 - Aired Feb 28, 1996

Nadine has some big news for Grace.

star 8.82
11 votes
Directors: Alan Myerson
Writers: Donald Beck
Grace's New Job

#14 - Grace's New Job

Season 4 - Episode 25 - Aired May 7, 1997

Grace gets a new job at an advertising company and shockingly, her misery brings something new and improved.

star 8.82
11 votes
Directors: David Trainer
Writers: Sid Youngers
Matthew, Come Home

#15 - Matthew, Come Home

Season 2 - Episode 19 - Aired Feb 28, 1995

Grace introduces her first son to her other kids, but it doesn't go well.

star 8.80
10 votes
Mr. Mullen's Opus

#16 - Mr. Mullen's Opus

Season 3 - Episode 22 - Aired Apr 3, 1996

While working for a crisis hot-line, Grace encounters the nasty janitor, Mullens, again and he hasn't improved.

star 8.80
10 votes
Directors: Gary Halvorson
Writers: Stevie Ray Fromstein
Jimmy Moves On

#17 - Jimmy Moves On

Season 4 - Episode 20 - Aired Mar 12, 1997

star 8.80
10 votes
Directors: David Trainer
Writers: Geoffrey Miller
Grace Tests Out

#18 - Grace Tests Out

Season 4 - Episode 11 - Aired Dec 4, 1996

With Grace at work all day and taking college classes at night, the kids are a little resentful that she's away so much and let Grace know it, and when she learns that the refinery will no longer pay for her classes it's the last straw. She knows she has no way to pay for her education, so when she learns that she can take a proficiency test to get many of the credits she needs, she's faced with a dilemma. She's scheduled to work the day of the test, and no one can switch with her, so it's her education or her dead-end job. Her co-workers remind her that she really needs her job--her children are depending on her, but the kids say they'll support whatever decision she makes. Grace actually shows up for work the day of the test, but a conversation with her boss, John Shirley, convinces her that she has do what she knows is the right thing and quit her job.

star 8.78
9 votes
Directors: John Bowab
Writers: Sid Youngers
Thanks for Nothing

#19 - Thanks for Nothing

Season 3 - Episode 9 - Aired Nov 22, 1995

Grace is annoyed by the friendliness of Rick and Jean, whose husband has gone fishing, at the Thanksgiving feast.

star 8.75
12 votes
Directors: Jack O'Brien
Writers: Pat Bullard
Dating Buddies

#20 - Dating Buddies

Season 4 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 23, 1996

Grace and Russell are so bored with their lives that they decide to go out on a pretend date. Grace and the guys at the refinery learn that they've been fired and rehired as independent contractors which means they'll get no benefits. The guys decide to stage a group protest on the decision; they don't get their benefits back, but they do get free coffee. On her pretend date, Grace meets Rob, a very attractive man who she thinks would be great for cheap, meaningless sex, and agrees to go out with him, but when he comes to pick her up she discovers he's far too intelligent to use as a sex object, so they just go for coffee. And Wade and Nadine go back to the lakeside cottage where they spent their honeymoon, but all they do is go fishing.

star 8.75
12 votes
Directors: John Bowab
Writers: Matt Berry
Pills

#21 - Pills

Season 4 - Episode 16 - Aired Feb 5, 1997

Russell thinks all his friends are being disloyal because they're shopping at the new chain store pharmacy that's opened in the neighborhood. Libby is so involved in planning her birthday party that it's become an obsession, while Quentin is so eager to get a driver's license that he's letting Wade, Russell and even Jean give him driving lessons. Grace's back problems have gotten so bad that even Stevie Ray at the bar notices that she's in pain. She's taking more and more pills and is falling asleep so much that at one point Libby has trouble getting her to wake up. Nadine, Wade, Russell and Jean do a sort of intervention, and Grace reacts angrily and defensively. But when she realizes that Jake, the guy at the bar who's supported her in her pill consumption, is not a shoe salesman as she thought but really a drug dealer, she's so disgusted that she calls Jimmy and tells him she has a problem. Jimmy is completely supportive and promises to be there for her as she works through her prob

star 8.73
11 votes
Directors: Alan Myerson
Writers: Stevie Ray Fromstein
Waiting for Peugeot

#22 - Waiting for Peugeot

Season 4 - Episode 17 - Aired Feb 12, 1997

Grace tells Quentin that he can't get a driver's license until he improves his grades just as Jimmy arrives driving a 1969 red GTO and announces that he bought the car for Quentin using Quentin's college fund to pay for it. Grace insists that Jimmy has to return the car and get the money back, but Jimmy suggests that maybe Quentin isn't really cut out for college. Quentin says he'll keep a straight A average if Grace will let him keep the car, but Grace won't hear of it. At the car lot Grace encounters Rob, a guy she's dated sporadically, and learns that he's the one that sold Jimmy the car; Rob agrees to resell the car, and Grace agrees to go out with him again. Rob tells Grace he hopes their relationship can move to another level, beyond a mere physical relationship to a committed one. Grace doesn't know how to respond; she tells Nadine she's not sure she wants anything more than what they already have--after all she doesn't have a great track record, but Rob is a smart, multi-facete

star 8.73
11 votes
Directors: David Trainer
Writers: Matt Berry
Finders Keepers

#23 - Finders Keepers

Season 5 - Episode 6 - Aired Dec 23, 1997

Libby wants to go to Washington on a class trip, but Grace can't afford to send her. A tornado has hit Victory and there has been much destruction: the church steeple blew off, and an armored car from the casino took a direct hit and money flew all over town. After the storm, Quentin finds a cloth bag by the house with two-hundred-thousand-dollars in it. Everyone has an idea about how they could use the money, but Grace makes it clear that they'll be returning it. The casino management calls a press conference to thank the Kellys for returning the money, but when Grace hands over the bag, twenty-thousand -dollars is missing. Grace is interrogated for hours. She's afraid Jimmy took the money, and Wade makes her furious by hinting that maybe she took it herself. But when Grace finds the missing money in the cookie jar, Jean confesses she took the money to help the church rebuild. As Grace returns the rest of the money, she cleverly tells a TV reporter that the casino has offered to pay f

star 8.73
11 votes
Directors: David Trainer
Writers: Ed Yeager
Riverboat Queen

#24 - Riverboat Queen

Season 5 - Episode 7 - Aired Dec 30, 1997

D.C. has a chance to bid on a hotel job for one of the biggest developers in the Midwest. Grace tells him he's going to have to make an extra effort to schmooze the guy and make him feel at ease, even though it isn't D.C.'s style. D.C. tells Grace she should join them for dinner. At dinner with Davis Walsh, the developer, things are a bit awkward, but Davis seems attracted to Grace. Davis is paged and excuses himself, and D.C. tells Grace she should play up to Davis for the sake of their getting the job. Grace immediately learns that it's actually D.C. that Davis is attracted to. When Davis again leave the table, Grace tells D.C. that he's the one who's going to have to do a little flirting. Russell has good feelings about his new relationship with Dot, who has agreed to a second date with him. At dinner with Russell, Dot tells him she likes being with him but wants things to move slowly. Russell agrees, but he's busted when a strolling hypnotist puts him under and he tells the whole r

star 8.73
11 votes
Directors: Jimmy Hampton
Writers: Nick LaRosa
Fall from Grace

#25 - Fall from Grace

Season 5 - Episode 12 - Aired Feb 3, 1998

At the construction site, Grace feels the resentment of her co-worker, Derrick, who wanted the job Grace has. Grace, who has asked D.C. for more responsibilities, is surprised when her old pal Vic from the oil refinery shows up and says he's desperate for a job. D.C. leaves the decision to Grace, who's on the spot because she knows that Vic is lazy. Feeling sorry for him, she tells him he can have the job, but warns him he can't let her down. Vic immediately begins to slack off and Derrick is smug that Grace has made a poor decision on hiring Vic. D.C. warns her that Vic better shape up or they'll both be out on the street, and points out that Vic is now up on a scaffold without a safety harness eating his lunch, even though lunch hour is long over. He tells Grace to go up and have Vic come down. Grace has vertigo but reluctantly goes after Vic. She orders him to put on a harness and come down and as he does, he falls to the ground and is rushed to the emergency room. Also, D.C. somewh

star 8.73
11 votes
Writers: Ben Gramin, Sonya Gay Bourn