The BEST Episodes of Packed to the Rafters
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Mar 24, 2020
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.
#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.
#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.
#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?
#4 - Packing Up the Rafters
Season 6 - Episode 12 - Aired Jul 2, 2013
Everyone makes a video diary to tell Julie and Dave how much they mean to them. Donna realises that she wants to be with the cook and they start a relationship. Eleanor tells Julie she will look after Ted and they will play Battleships. Sammy, Nathan and Ben all decide to raise baby Edward and move into their own unit. Coby and Frankie begin a relationship and together, with Matt, they continue Rafter Electrical. Matt gets signed onto a record label with the help of Molly Meldrum. Carbo gets a job as a manager at a car sales place and he and Retta get assurance that the baby they are expecting is perfectly healthy. Rachel and Jake are happy in New York together and Jake proposes to Rachel. After long consideration, Julie and Dave decide to take their kombi and go for a trip around Australia. We hope you're as happy as we have been. Love Dave and Julie Rafter
#5 - 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?
#6 - 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.
#7 - 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?
#8 - 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.
#9 - 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...
#10 - 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.
#11 - 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.
#12 - 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
#13 - 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.
#14 - 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.
#15 - 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?
#16 - 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.
#17 - 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.
#18 - 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?
#19 - 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?
#20 - A Good Husband
Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired Jul 13, 2010
Love is in the air, with Ben plagued with unexpected doubts about his ability in the sack, while a miscommunication between Dave and Julie in the bedroom department sends her into a frenzy of frustration. Ben's basking in the joys of married life when he hears those words every husband dreads - 'not tonight dear, I've got a headache'. Terrified the honeymoon is over, he embarks on a mission to sweep Melissa off her feet. But all of his attempts at rekindling romance are thwarted by Melissa's concern for Sammy, who seems to be spiralling deeper into depression. When Ben shelves his plans to come to Sammy's rescue, Melissa's reminded how amazing her husband is, and his compassion acts as the aphrodisiac he's been searching for. They hurry for the bedroom, only to find Carbo has organised a retro romantic surprise of his own - with unexpected results! Meanwhile Dave struggles with a sexual issue of a different kind - an embarrassing 'stirring' downstairs while on a job at the boat club. It's the result of months of enforced celibacy due to the new baby, coupled with a photo shoot of swimwear models. Julie's more than keen to resume intimacy but Dave seems strangely reticent. To Dave's embarrassment, Julie shares her frustration during a public outburst at a family luncheon, fuelled by a half- glass of wine. After a series of misunderstandings, Dave finally throws Julie on the bed in a rush of red-blooded abandon - the rest of the house can buy earplugs! While Ben and Dave grapple with the concept of being a good husband, Jake's wrestling with the idea of being a good son. He finally meets Grace's new boyfriend, Doug, and is determined to dislike him from the outset. Needing to escape the situation, Jake comes up with a surprising solution - one that delights Rachel!
#21 - 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.
#22 - Dodging the Issue
Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired Jul 7, 2009
Dave and Julie’s relationship comes under strain as Dave struggles with a series of betrayals. Julie is convinced that Warney is ripping off Dave’s business. But Dave is positive his mate is doing no such thing. Warney is able to explain away any discrepancies – and Dave’s loyalty to him is strengthened when he discovers they shared similar childhoods – Warney was adopted too. Meanwhile, Nathan’s easy working relationship with his father is tested when they do a job for Tim Connelly, a real estate agent who Nathan once interviewed with. Nathan’s work ethic impresses Tim and he surprises Nathan by offering him a job. Dave knows he should be thrilled for his son but he can’t help feeling betrayed and abandoned. Ben and Melissa are tentatively dating, but the arrival of a handsome new doctor – Luke Hanson sets Ben on a destructively jealous path. Melissa’s furious reaction makes Ben determined to win her back by becoming what she wants – an athletic, successful man. But his plans are cut short when he suffers what seems to be a heart attack. Ben’s emergency plus Dave’s feelings of abandonment force Dave to face up to his childhood. Deserted by his parents and adopted out at a young age, Julie suggests to Dave it’s time he discovers the truth about his past. But is he ready to find out?
#23 - Rest in Peace
Season 3 - Episode 21 - Aired Nov 9, 2010
The Rafter family say an emotional farewell to Melissa. Dave is determined to shelve his own battle with depression, but as tensions build, he finds himself exploding inappropriately in anger. Julie convinces Dave to go to counselling while Chel, who has not been around to witness the changes in him, returns home to comfort her son. Tom has a second agenda, and despite Coby's attempt to keep him at arm's length, Coby realises he can't escape his grandfather's reach that easily.
#24 - 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.
#25 - 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?