The BEST Episodes of Mama's Family
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Nov 8, 2020
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.
#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.
#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.
#3 - 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"
#4 - 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.
#5 - 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.
#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".
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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..
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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."