The BEST Episodes of Mama's Family

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: May 27, 2020

Network: NBC

Mama's Family mined humor from a squabbling family in the Midwestern blue collar suburb of Raytown. The noisy clan was headed by "Mama" Thelma, a buxom, gray-haired widow with sharp opinions and a sharper tongue who shared her small house with her high-strung sister Fran, a journalist for a local paper. Mama's lazy, dimwitted son, Vint, a locksmith by trade, moved in at the start of the series with his troublesome teenage children, Buzz and Sonja, after his wife run off to become a Las Vegas show-girl. Much to Mama's disgust, Vint soon took up with the flirtatious neighbor Naomi. The two where married in early 1983, and Naomi moved in too. Further uproar was caused by the periodic visits from Mama's two married daughter's, the foul mouthed Eunice and the snobbish Ellen. Ed was Eunice's Dolt of a husband. In the Fall of 86 Mama's Family returned to TV in first-run syndication. Fran had recently passed (Rue McClanahan was now starring in The Golden Girls) and Ed and Eunice had moved to Florida, leaving behind their son Bubba as he finishes his time in Juvenile Hall and forcing him to move in. Meanwhile, neighbor Iola Boylen makes the house's acquaintance and becomes a regular visitor with her unique charm.

Found Money

#1 - Found Money

Season 5 - Episode 6 - Aired Dec 10, 1988

When Mama tries to use the bank's ATM, it malfunctions and gives her $800, and she is unsure whether to keep it or give it back to the bank.

star 8.42
19 votes
Directors: Dave Powers
Writers: Rick Hawkins
Take My Mama, Please!

#2 - Take My Mama, Please!

Season 6 - Episode 9 - Aired Nov 18, 1989

After heckling a stand-up comedian at the Bigger Jigger, Mama accepts a challenge to do a routine of her own.

star 8.20
10 votes
Directors: Dave Powers
Writers: Jim Geoghan
The Love Letter

#3 - The Love Letter

Season 3 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 15, 1986

After a love test with disappointing results, Vint convinces Bubba to write Naomi a love letter. When Iola finds the misplaced letter, a scene of mistaken love occurs.

star 8.19
26 votes
Directors: Dave Powers
Writers: Jim Evering
Flounder's Day

#4 - Flounder's Day

Season 4 - Episode 6 - Aired Oct 31, 1987

After being unfairly beat out 50 years ago, Mama finally has a chance to sing in the annual Founder's Day festival when an audition is held to find a new singer of the town anthem "Raytown, O Raytown"

star 8.13
16 votes
Directors: Dave Powers
Writers: Neil Lebowitz
Mama Takes Stock

#5 - Mama Takes Stock

Season 6 - Episode 11 - Aired Dec 2, 1989

Vinton learns that he is about to lose his job because Kwik Keys is being shut down by the new owners, a corporation called Bernice. When Bubba discovers that an old stock certificate Mama owns is now ten shares of Bernice, she sets out to save Vinton's job.

star 8.12
17 votes
Directors: Dave Powers
Writers: Neil Lebowitz
Look Who's Breathing

#6 - Look Who's Breathing

Season 6 - Episode 18 - Aired Feb 10, 1990

Naomi and Vinton are taking a childbirth class. When Vint is called in to work, Mama has to go to class with Naomi instead of going to the Bingo Bonanza with Iola, so an impatient Mama creates chaos by trying to speed things along and offering her own perspective on the "miracle of birth".

star 8.08
13 votes
Directors: Dave Powers
Writers: Dale Phillips
Naomi and the Stork

#7 - Naomi and the Stork

Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 27, 1983

Everyone fears that Naomi is pregnant after Mama administers Aunt Ida's Tater Masher Test with positive results.

star 8.07
41 votes
Writers: Katherine Green
Bubba's House Band

#8 - Bubba's House Band

Season 6 - Episode 10 - Aired Nov 25, 1989

Bubba books a band called The Bonecrushers for homecoming, and tells the family that the band will be staying with them. They turn out to be an all-female heavy metal band, and Mama must rein them in.

star 8.06
17 votes
Directors: Dave Powers
Writers: Manny Basanese
Guess Who's Going to Dinner

#9 - Guess Who's Going to Dinner

Season 6 - Episode 17 - Aired Feb 3, 1990

Vint wins a Mother's Day dinner for two at a North African (Moroccan) restaurant called Abdul's Garden of Eating. As a result, Mama and Naomi fight over which of them Vinton should take.

star 8.06
17 votes
Directors: Dave Powers
Writers: Bill Braunstein, Sydney Blake
Mama's Cousin

#10 - Mama's Cousin

Season 3 - Episode 20 - Aired Feb 21, 1987

Mama's worldly cousin (Vicki Lawrence in a dual role) annoys Mama with her neverending stories.

star 8.05
19 votes
Directors: Dave Powers
Writers: Rick Hawkins
An Ill Wind

#11 - An Ill Wind

Season 3 - Episode 9 - Aired Nov 22, 1986

Mama, Bubba, Vinton, Naomi, Iola, and Aunt Effie go for cover in the basement when an unexpected tornado passes by Raytown at Thanksgiving..

star 8.00
37 votes
Directors: Dave Powers
Writers: Rick Hawkins
Mama and Dr. Brothers

#12 - Mama and Dr. Brothers

Season 3 - Episode 6 - Aired Nov 1, 1986

When Dr. Joyce Brothers comes to town, Naomi calls in to talk about her bedroom problems with Vint. Dr. Brothers blames it on Mama, which doesn't sit well.

star 8.00
29 votes
Directors: Dave Powers
Writers: Ann Elder, Tom Perew
Birthright

#13 - Birthright

Season 3 - Episode 17 - Aired Jan 31, 1987

An anonymous letter convinces Vint that he's adopted, so he sets out to find his biological mother.

star 8.00
18 votes
Directors: Dave Powers
Writers: Dorothy Van
Teacher's Pet

#14 - Teacher's Pet

Season 4 - Episode 7 - Aired Nov 7, 1987

Mama is smitten with her night school teacher, but she does not know how to get his attention... so she turns to Iola and Naomi for help.

star 8.00
16 votes
Directors: Dave Powers
Writers: Rick Hawkins
Mama Goes Hawaiian (2)

#15 - Mama Goes Hawaiian (2)

Season 4 - Episode 21 - Aired Feb 27, 1988

Vinton plays a round of golf with three men who mistakenly believe that he is a stock market insider, and his "advice" actually causes them to triple their money. To thank him, they invite him and his family to a farewell party given by their corporate boss - the "beach bum" Mama has been trying to avoid.

star 8.00
12 votes
Directors: Dave Powers
Writers: Rick Hawkins
Bedtime for Bubba

#16 - Bedtime for Bubba

Season 5 - Episode 9 - Aired Jan 14, 1989

Mama suspects that Bubba and his female classmate are doing more than studying together, and she is determined to prove it.

star 8.00
18 votes
Directors: Dave Powers
Writers: Rick Hawkins
The Big Nap

#17 - The Big Nap

Season 6 - Episode 15 - Aired Jan 20, 1990

After watching detective movies on TV for a week, and hearing that Iola's mother is missing, Mama dreams that she is a film noir-style detective hired to find her client's mother.

star 8.00
13 votes
Directors: Dave Powers
Writers: Manny Basanese
The Mama Who Came to Dinner

#18 - The Mama Who Came to Dinner

Season 2 - Episode 10 - Aired Dec 22, 1983

Vint and Naomi look forward to having their friends over for a dinner party. When Mama's back goes out, however, they are forced to hold the party with her laying on the floor in the middle of the room.

star 7.97
30 votes
Writers: Liz Sage, Rick Hawkins
The Key to the Crime

#19 - The Key to the Crime

Season 4 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 10, 1987

A burglar known as the Courteous Crook is robbing and subsequently cleaning homes all over Raytown. When Vinton is accused of being the Crook, Mama and Iola set out to find the real culprit.

star 7.95
22 votes
Directors: Dave Powers
Writers: Dorothy Van
There's No Place Like...No Place

#20 - There's No Place Like...No Place

Season 5 - Episode 18 - Aired Mar 25, 1989

When the police arrest people at a rally for the homeless, Mama is mistakenly arrested for vagrancy and thrown in jail.

star 7.95
19 votes
Directors: Dave Powers
Writers: Dorothy Van
Child's Play

#21 - Child's Play

Season 4 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 14, 1987

Reverend and Mrs. Meechum ask Mama to look after their unruly grandson, Eugene, for the day. However, the little monster proves to be very difficult to handle, even for disciplinarian Mama.

star 7.94
18 votes
Directors: Dave Powers
Writers: Danny Kallis
Many Unhappy Returns

#22 - Many Unhappy Returns

Season 5 - Episode 5 - Aired Dec 3, 1988

Vinton's boss, Mr. Carstairs, asks Vint to hold a $200 diamond bracelet for him; it is an anniversary present for Mrs. Carstairs. Confusion ensues when Mama finds it, thinking it is her birthday present.

star 7.94
16 votes
Directors: Dave Powers
Writers: Bill Braunstein, Sydney Blake
Psycho Pheno-Mama

#23 - Psycho Pheno-Mama

Season 6 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 11, 1989

Vinton and Naomi persuade Mama to have a psychic called "Madame Rita" give everyone readings. At first, Mama is surprised by the psychic's ability, but later sets out to expose the phony medium.

star 7.93
15 votes
Directors: Dave Powers
Writers: Jim Evering
War of the Roses

#24 - War of the Roses

Season 6 - Episode 12 - Aired Dec 9, 1989

Mama and Iola are preparing for the Crystal Thorn flower contest, and Iola is angry to find that Mama's flowers have cross-pollinated with one of hers, producing a pink-and-white hybrid. At first neither of them wants it, but when floral expert Mayjune Beasley tells Mama that it could win the award, both Iola and Mama claim ownership.

star 7.93
15 votes
Directors: Dave Powers
Writers: Dale Phillips
Mama's Medicine Show

#25 - Mama's Medicine Show

Season 6 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 23, 1989

After reading about how much it costs to raise a child, Vint and Naomi decide to start a business selling bottles of Mama's mother-in-law's "miracle tonic."

star 7.92
24 votes
Directors: Dave Powers
Writers: Jim Evering