The BEST Episodes of Packed to the Rafters

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Dec 31, 2019

Network: Seven Network

Centres around Dave and Julie Rafter and their three children Rachel, Ben and Nathan. On the eve of their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary the couple thinks that they are finally about to have the house to themselves. But home is a very welcome refuge for their children and when unforeseen problems loom, they return like a boomerang.

Playing a Googly

#1 - Playing a Googly

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 2, 2008

An unemployed Dave struggles to regain his manhood and position in the family, landing himself in hospital. When life keeps bowling Dave a series of problematic googlies, the question becomes: how will he play them? An overprotective Dave breaks a promise to his daughter and is brutally attacked. Rachel struggles with the aftermath of leaving her abusive boyfriend Daniel — and her own secret turmoil. Narrated by Dave, this episode focuses on Dave dealing with the reality of sudden employment and a house that has been unexpectedly inundated with family members — each bringing with them a dark secret. He processes it all through a cricketing metaphor — that of the googly — that devious curve-ball that life can throw at you, catching you off-guard.

star 9.11
46 votes
Directors: Anthony Ellis
Writers: Chris Martin-Jones
Packed to the Rafters

#2 - Packed to the Rafters

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Aug 26, 2008

Happily married couple, Julie and Dave Rafter are over the moon when Ben, their last child, finally decides to leave home. After raising three kids, the couple are free! It's a chance for them to do what they want, when they want and on their own terms. However, less than 48 hours after Ben moves next door, all dreams of freedom are completely upended — their three kids think being with their parents is a lot more comfortable than being out on their own, and they're returning with the same sure instinct of homing pigeons.

star 9.02
47 votes
Writers: Anthony Ellis
Rewriting History

#3 - Rewriting History

Season 5 - Episode 22 - Aired Apr 16, 2013

As Dave and Julie's 30th wedding anniversary approaches, thoughts naturally turn to family and history. But Julie's view of the past is rocked by a surprise admission from Ted. Meanwhile, Julie also assumes their celebration will be a small affair, but little does she realise, Ben and Nathan have returned for the occasion! Coby is finding it hard to adjust to life in Remand, hiding his pain behind a veneer of black humour. Can he rise to Dave's challenge and put the time to good use?

star 8.88
8 votes
What's in a Name?

#4 - What's in a Name?

Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired Aug 18, 2009

The stray mutt which Ben and Melissa found a week ago still has no name, despite all their efforts. If Carbo has his way, the dog may not be around long enough to need a name. After barking all day and night and chewing his mum’s shoes, Carbo delivers an ultimatum to his housemates – find the dog’s owner or it’s off to the pound. Meanwhile, the dog seems to have developed an obsession with Dave. Dave’s instinct is to back away from the dog’s affection – but it’s the all night howling which triggers a deeply subconscious reaction in Dave. He begins to have a recurring dream – one he had many times as a child – of a dog barking and scratching at a closed door. But is it just a dream or a distant and traumatic memory from his own childhood? A week into Trish’s stay in the Rafter house, Julie pleads with her boss Don to give Trish a job. He agrees but the plan backfires when Trish spends more time flirting with Don than she does working. Worse still, Trish unthinkingly reveals Julie’s pregnancy – information Julie was deliberately withholding. Jake is determined to show Rachel they could be in a relationship which is more than physical. Rachel isn’t convinced but agrees to go along to Ladies Day at his rugby club. Plunging headfirst into Jake’s world, will Rachel like what she sees?

star 8.76
38 votes
Endings and Beginnings

#5 - Endings and Beginnings

Season 4 - Episode 22 - Aired Mar 20, 2012

Ben and Emma are both nervously looking forward to their first date. When Carbo and Retta return from the honeymoon from hell, Ben and Emma head out to a restaurant and enjoy a perfect evening.

star 8.67
6 votes
Got What It Takes

#6 - Got What It Takes

Season 5 - Episode 19 - Aired Mar 19, 2013

Dave is determined to take his business to the next level, beginning with his new contract with Duncan. But when Duncan's wandering eye puts him on a collision course with Coby, does Dave have what it takes to stop the impact? Meanwhile, Frankie's not impressed with Coby's seeming lack of maturity, starting with his inability to let go of his rage over Duncan's pass at her. How much more will Frankie be able to put up with?

star 8.60
10 votes
Great Expectations

#7 - Great Expectations

Season 5 - Episode 2 - Aired Apr 24, 2012

With an expanding business, new premises and a new employee, Dave has high hopes indeed. But it seems what Dave considers chivalry, Frankie considers sexism. Coby too is having trouble adjusting to his new workmate. But is his disapproval masking deeper feelings? Despite his increasingly close relationship with Emma, Ben still hasnt invited her to stay the night - another bridge to cross in his grieving process for Mel. But an unexpected event helps to give him a push.But in the morning Ben doesnt feel the peace he was hoping for, prompting him to come up with a new solution.

star 8.50
6 votes
Filling the Void

#8 - Filling the Void

Season 5 - Episode 13 - Aired Feb 12, 2013

Julie tries to find ways to fill the void left by her absent kids, while the calamitous return of Alex sees Jake’s life fuller than ever before...

star 8.50
6 votes
That Heady Rush

#9 - That Heady Rush

Season 5 - Episode 18 - Aired Mar 12, 2013

Frankie is caught up in that heady rush a new relationship brings. She seems to be coping pretty well. But can she contain the tsunami that is Coby? Dave is riding a heady rush of his own when Duncan offers the Rafter Electrical team a big contract. But celebratory drinks take a sour turn, and Frankie's forced to rebuff a drunken pass. She assumes it's over and done with. Little does she know, the moment will come back to haunt her.

star 8.50
8 votes
Life's Surprises

#10 - Life's Surprises

Season 5 - Episode 12 - Aired Feb 5, 2013

Julie thinks about life's surprises after she receives two big ones. Nathan returns back home unannounced and is taken out by the elated family for a noisy family lunch. Nathan has big news and drops not just one, but two bombshells. Ben knows he's not over Mel and needs time to heal.

star 8.43
7 votes
Free to Choose

#11 - Free to Choose

Season 5 - Episode 21 - Aired Apr 9, 2013

Julie’s main preoccupation is Ted, who is still reeling from recently having briefly not recognised Cooper

star 8.40
10 votes
Sweet Sorrow

#12 - Sweet Sorrow

Season 4 - Episode 7 - Aired Aug 23, 2011

Rachel's doubts are intensified as she visits Jake to invite him to her farewell dinner. One thing leads to another and the invitation inevitably turns into a moment of good-bye passion. With Rachel now confused, Nathan convinces her she's made the right decision and she'll regret it forever if she doesn't go. Dave's father, Tom, announces his parole has come through and he's looking forward to spending more time with the family. Rachel tearfully farewells her family and sets off overseas, but Jake takes off in pursuit, determined to catch her, resulting in an emotional roadside exchange between the two lovers.

star 8.38
8 votes
Swimming in the Gene Pool

#13 - Swimming in the Gene Pool

Season 4 - Episode 11 - Aired Sep 20, 2011

Grace tells her sons Jake and Alex that she's engaged, and both boys are happy for her until they find out that she has never actually divorced their father. Things become complicated when Grace meets with her ex-husband, as Alex is adamant he never wants to see his father again but Jake's curiosity is restless. Tom is recovering in hospital when he gets a visit from his granddaughter, Bree, but Coby is less than thrilled with the arrival of his feisty sister. Tom encourages them to make amends, but Coby struggles to mend bridges with his sister.

star 8.33
9 votes
Centre of the Universe

#14 - Centre of the Universe

Season 6 - Episode 11 - Aired Jul 2, 2013

Julie and Dave knuckle down to the stressful task of buying a house in Sydney on a tight budget. After thirty years in the same house, they discover they are out of their depth when it comes to real estate. Julie is also struggling with the fact that Ted (MICHAEL CATON) is having difficulty settling into life at the nursing home, and she seems to be the problem. After some advice from Eleanor (FIONA SPENCE), Julie makes the difficult decision to give Ted space to adjust to his new surroundings. It’s yet another reminder that she is no longer the hub of her family’s world, and the realization is both unsettling and liberating. But one thing is crystal clear – Julie and Dave will always be the centre of each other’s world. The return of Ben rattles Emma (ZOE CRAMOND) and Buzz (BEN MINGAY). Emma worries that seeing Ben will stir up old feelings. And when it becomes apparent that Ben still holds a candle for Emma, could the old flames of romance be rekindled? Nathan’s (ANGUS McLAREN) cheered by Sammy’s reappearance in his life. Sammy extends a personal invitation from Trish (SARAH CHADWICK) to a party, where they discover Trish has been very much changed by her time spent in a self-improvement cult! But amongst the fun, Nathan receives news that ex-wife Saskia wants to see baby Edward. Worried about the future, Nathan’s sure of one thing – he’s not going to give up his son without a fight. Coby’s released from prison and his presence has a huge impact on Frankie (BROOKE SATCHWELL) – something that doesn’t escape Matt’s (JACOB ALLAN) attention. He makes a selfless decision, allowing Frankie and Coby to fall into bed together. All’s well until Frankie freaks out. Can she overcome her insecurities enough to be with Coby?

star 8.33
9 votes
Writers: Marieke Hardy
Role Reversals

#15 - Role Reversals

Season 6 - Episode 9 - Aired Jun 18, 2013

Ted is forced to acknowledge that he's becoming a danger to himself and others.

star 8.29
7 votes
Don't Know What You've Got 'Til It's Gone

#16 - Don't Know What You've Got 'Til It's Gone

Season 1 - Episode 22 - Aired Mar 24, 2009

Last week saw a huge surprise bestowed on Dave and Julie. With three grown up kids, and the youngest being born 21 years ago, just how will Dave and Julie cope? What with the nappies, school runs and the lack of sleep and time; let alone the actual delivery? Dave and Julie have some serious life changing decisions to make, that not only have ramifications for themselves as individuals and a couple, but may shake the very foundation of the family.

star 8.27
11 votes
The Great Escape

#17 - The Great Escape

Season 5 - Episode 7 - Aired May 29, 2012

Ben is being driven quietly crazy by the baby-obsessed Carbo and Retta. Feeling edged out of the world they are creating, Emma suggests that the two of them get out of town for a few days, a large step forward in their relationship for Ben. But once you've found escape, the trouble comes returning from it. After being romantically shunned by Frankie, Coby does his best to avoid her at work. However, when the awkwardness becomes too much to bear, Frankie makes a proposal. Meanwhile, Julie begins life as the 'new kid' at the local newspaper and her new lease on life inspires Dave to move forward with his own business plans, leading to frustrations between the couple. Will venturing into a new future drive a wedge between Dave and Julie?

star 8.25
8 votes
Nativity Play

#18 - Nativity Play

Season 2 - Episode 22 - Aired Nov 24, 2009

Julie faces her greatest challenge yet – the birth of her fourth and final child without husband Dave at her side. After Dave leaves for his vasectomy, Julie begins to have contractions, and though she thinks they’re probably Braxton Hicks, Melissa and Ben insist on getting her to a hospital. Once in hospital, Julie’s obstetrician Sandra Marsh observes that the signs of labour have disappeared – but now that Julie is in hospital, she’s not allowed to leave until she gives birth. Julie reluctantly gives in – and tells Ben not to worry Dave as he will undoubtedly call them once his procedure is over. However Julie’s labour pains start up again – this time for real. Ben leaves frantic voice messages for Dave, realising they don’t know the name of the clinic where his vasectomy is taking place. Will Dave make it to the hospital in time? Meanwhile, Jake invites her to lunch with his family – at his mother’s Grace’s insistence. When Rachel expresses surprise, Jake admits that he has told Grace that she is going to be in his life long term. Rachel is taken aback – what kind of commitment is Jake talking about? However, the family lunch takes a dark turn when Jake begins to fit, collapsing on the floor. Meanwhile, Nathan surprises Sammy with a cheque for $14,000. He took some spare chips back to the casino and won – enough for them to pay off the remainder of their debt and put down bond on an apartment. They’re finally able to move out of the Rafter house. Despite their good fortune, Nathan can’t help but think what he and Sammy could do if they had more money – maybe even put down a deposit on a place. So instead of taking the cheque to the bank…Nathan heads back to the casino. Will he come up trumps or lose the lot?

star 8.17
6 votes
Lines of Communication

#19 - Lines of Communication

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired Sep 23, 2008

Ben finds himself in uncomfortable possession of a devastating secret which could blow his family apart, and with Dave's freelance career failing to take off, Julie makes a tough decision which tests the strength of their marriage. Julie is starting to feel the financial strain of the family's new living arrangements as Dave struggles to find work. Tempers flare when Dave buys a new van they can't afford without telling her. Eager to ease their money woes, Julie tells Dave a white lie she later regrets.

star 8.10
10 votes
Directors: Lynn Hegarty
Writers: Anthony Ellis
Having It All

#20 - Having It All

Season 1 - Episode 16 - Aired Feb 10, 2009

This week sees Rachel still trying to find her life's path. With much direction and focus she starts a new chapter in her life. Meanwhile, since finding a new business partner, Dave's life should have been made much easier – shouldn't it? Things just aren't going smoothly and instead it's all a bit of a struggle.

star 8.00
7 votes
In With The New

#21 - In With The New

Season 4 - Episode 2 - Aired Feb 15, 2011

It's a time for new beginnings as Dave learns the truth about underlying tensions between Ben and the recently returned Nathan and urges his sons to start afresh. As Council Clean-Up Days looms Dave gets the clean-out bug, chucking stuff out from the big and small sheds. He's distracted, however, by Nathan's return from the big road trip. Dave soon picks up on an underlying tension between Nathan and Ben, although neither brother is willing to admit to it. Nathan and Ben have a private talk, alluding to serious issues that took place on the road trip. Ben assures him he's a changed man since he came home and Nathan wants to believe him. But when Dave presses Ben for more information, a defensive Ben nearly steps into the path of an oncoming car. What happened on the road trip and why has it affected both brothers so badly? Jake and Coby head off for a rugby weekend and Rachel is left to enjoy the house alone. She can't help herself and launches into a major rearrangement of furniture to suit her taste. But when she finds the key to Coby's garage, her curiosity gets the better of her and taking a peek inside, is shocked by what she finds there. What is Coby hiding and will he be able to forgive Rachel for violating his privacy? Carbo meanwhile, is playing the supportive son as Rita, still shaken by her marriage breakup, puts Carbo and Retta to work tossing out all of Theo's possessions. She rallies for a short time, hoping Theo might come back to her, and asks Carbo and Retta to bring Theo's belongings back in again. But when, in a fit of sudden rage, she demands everything be tossed out once more, a physically and emotionally exhausted Carbo decides enough is enough - he's got to put his foot down and call an end to Rita's to-ing and fro-ing. But how?

star 8.00
8 votes
The Male Communication Handbook

#22 - The Male Communication Handbook

Season 4 - Episode 8 - Aired Aug 30, 2011

Dave relishes finally having a relationship with his dad, Tom, despite Julie's reservations about her recently paroled father-in-law. Julie raises concerns that Tom may not have reformed his crooked ways. Next door there is tension in the air between the boys, stemming from Carbo's hurt feelings at having not been asked to be a part of Nathan's fledgling car spares business. Meanwhile, Jake and Coby are surprised by the sudden reappearance of Alex, returned from New Zealand. Alex is cagey about what happened overseas, leaving Jake wondering what really happened over in New Zealand.

star 8.00
9 votes
From Little Things

#23 - From Little Things

Season 4 - Episode 9 - Aired Sep 6, 2011

The comic rivalry between Ted and Tom continues. Ted's convinced Tom isn't looking for work at all, instead sneaking off to spend time with an unknown lady friend.

star 8.00
7 votes
Small World

#24 - Small World

Season 4 - Episode 17 - Aired Feb 14, 2012

Coby is particularly gutted, secretly blaming himself for not being honest with the Rafters about Tom's part in the worksite robberies.

star 8.00
5 votes
Unwritten Rules

#25 - Unwritten Rules

Season 5 - Episode 8 - Aired Jun 5, 2012

When the rules of relationships are broken, who decides the punishment?

star 8.00
8 votes