The BEST Episodes of Step by Step

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Jan 26, 2020

Network: ABC (US)

Set in Port Washington, Wisconsin, Frank Lambert, a divorced contractor with 3 children, sons J.T. and Brendan and daughter Al, impulsively marries Carol Foster, a widowed beautician who also has 3 children, daughters Dana and Karen and son Mark. Both were residents of Port Washington, but met while vacationing separately in Jamaica. Their children are surprised and angered when they learn of the marriage. Stories depicted typical situations of a new blended family, their differences causing arguments and resentments between them, but the family eventually growing to tolerate and develop loyalty to one another

Rules of the House

#1 - Rules of the House

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 4, 1991

Noticing a certain lack of discipline about her new stepchildren, Carol sets about creating order by instituting a few rules -- which so infuriate Al that she threatens to go live with Grandmother in Milwaukee. The rule that really upsets Frank's kids is Carol's control of the television viewing time: everyone is allowed to watch no more than six hours of television per week. Everyone is given 12 tickets, and each is good for viewing one half hour of television. When Frank has run out of tickets but desperately wants to watch the World Series, he persuades Carol to lighten up a little.

star 8.32
91 votes
Can't Buy Me Love

#2 - Can't Buy Me Love

Season 7 - Episode 6 - Aired Oct 24, 1997

Karen and Dana are given invitations to pledge to a sorority, DTZ, known for their vanity and airheadedness. This seems to be a natural fit for Karen and seems to have no stipulations. Dana finds out, however, that they really want her (and her GPA) to join and will only let Karen join if she agrees. Frank does not have a job or any prospects of jobs. An acquaintance of Carol's from high school is building a new complex and Carol invites him over to try to convince him to allow Frank to work on it. He gives Frank a job but tries to pursue Carol. When he crosses the line, Frank quits, kicks him out of the house, and informs him what he can do with the gift.

star 8.22
9 votes
Directors: William Bickley
Writers: Robin J. Stein
Virgin Territory

#3 - Virgin Territory

Season 2 - Episode 10 - Aired Nov 20, 1992

J.T and Cody score dates with two pretty sisters. After the date the sisters really want the boys to come home with them. Cody wanted to save his virginity till he found the "" Dudette of his dreams"". So J.T gets mad at him because Cody blew off his date making J.T's date mad too.

star 8.03
33 votes
Directors: Judy Askins
Writers: Julia Newton
The Kissing Game

#4 - The Kissing Game

Season 6 - Episode 23 - Aired Aug 8, 1997

JT, Al, and Dana are having problems finding some privacy, when JT comes up with the idea to use Carol's new salon as a place for privacy. He, also, sells the key to some friends for the same purpose. They all want the salon at once though, so they end up just having a party. Carol tries to set up Jean-Luc with Julie. Jean-Luc messes up the barbeque and their clothes. He even sets his pants on fire. When he changes into Frank's clothes, He and Frank have a talk and Jean-Luc realizes if he wants to find the perfect one (like Carol is for Frank), he has to try. Frank and Carol go to get some take out while Jean-Luc and Julie stay and get to know each other. The restaurant Frank and Carol go to, happens to be right next to the salon, where they find a big party.

star 8.00
9 votes
Directors: Patrick Duffy
Writers: Shelly Landau
Growing up is Hard to Do

#5 - Growing up is Hard to Do

Season 4 - Episode 7 - Aired Nov 4, 1994

Al has a date with Kevin Philips,so she seeks advice from her step-sisters.Dana tells her she needs to stand up to him and make sure he doesn't push her around.While Karen's advice is completely opposite,saying that the only way Kevin will like her is if she agrees with everything he says.Al decides unwisely to take Karen's advice.The date doesn't go fairly well,but Kevin says he doesn't want to see Al again,as he thought she was more of an independent thinker. Meanwhile, Dana and Cody try to out compete each other in college

star 7.95
19 votes
Directors: Richard Correll
Writers: Maria A. Brown
Goodbye, Mr. Chip

#6 - Goodbye, Mr. Chip

Season 7 - Episode 9 - Aired Dec 5, 1997

Karen's boyfriend Chip takes Carol's advice to get some backbone and stand up to Karen, but he surprises everyone when breaks up with her. Karen is furious with her mother for interfering. In the meantime, Dana has better luck helping JT and Rich with a relationship problem of their own, with the use of her straight A in psychology - and sock puppets.

star 7.89
9 votes
S.A.T. Blues

#7 - S.A.T. Blues

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 18, 1992

Dana goes to take her SATs,and guess who shows up out of now where,Cody. He explains that every week he does something new (one week he ate nothing but peaches). Dana does good (92nd percentile), but Cody does better. Dana insists that they both take it again. This time Dana does even better than Cody did the 1st time, yet Cody beat her again. Cody is afraid, ""they"" will make him be a brain surgeon, although at the end he decides to give college a try, and Dana decides she doesn't always have to be perfect.

star 7.87
38 votes
Directors: Joel Zwick
Writers: Matt Ember
Someone to Watch Over Me

#8 - Someone to Watch Over Me

Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 6, 1992

Carol is going out of town, leaving Frank in charge. Dana is upset about that, but manages to convince Frank to let her go on a date with ""Mike the Mover"" who Frank knows happens to have a bad reputation. After finally letting them,he gets scared and decides to follow,with Cody in tow.He climbs a tree above Mike's car in and attempt to hear what they are saying.But the limb breaks and he literally drops in on them. Later, however, Mike proves to be what Frank thought as he puts the moves on Dana in the living room,and while Dana proves to be trustworthy. JT borrows Frank's truck to go to the mall, by agreeing to wash and wax it. Frank gives J.T. 15 bucks to buy some expensive wax. But JT buys some that costs a dollar and pays Brendan to do it, but the wax strips the paint. Just as Frank is restoring his car, JT brakes the window with a baseball.

star 7.84
31 votes
Directors: Jeff Ganz
Writers: Bob Rosenfarb
We're in the Money

#9 - We're in the Money

Season 7 - Episode 18 - Aired Jun 19, 1998

After traveling around the world for a year, Cody returns. He bought gifts for the family, including some magic necklace for J.T., that makes him attractive to woman. Unfortunately, J.T. can't accept the gift since he is dating Sam. He also gives Frank and Carol a huge check and they have a dispute on how to spend the money. Frank decides to buy himself a leather chair and Carol gets furious and they get into a big arguement.

star 7.80
15 votes
Directors: Richard Correll
Writers: Brian Bird
The Psychic

#10 - The Psychic

Season 2 - Episode 22 - Aired Apr 30, 1993

Karen is angry at JT for putting her baby picture in the school year book. While Frank and Carol get a new Snooze-O-Matic adjustable bed.

star 7.79
24 votes
Directors: Joel Zwick
Writers: Julia Newton
Goin' to the Chapel

#11 - Goin' to the Chapel

Season 7 - Episode 12 - Aired Jan 16, 1998

When Carol forbids Dana from having sex before marriage, Dana decides to elope with Rich. Meanwhile, J.T. pretends to be a fitness fanatic to impress a sexy aerobics instructor.

star 7.78
9 votes
Directors: Joel Zwick
Writers: Fred Rubin
Aloha (1)

#12 - Aloha (1)

Season 2 - Episode 18 - Aired Feb 19, 1993

The whole family wins a trip to Hawaii and Cody decides to buy a ticket to go with them. Carol irritates everyone by trying to tour EVERYTHING. When they convince Carol to loosen the reigns, Dana meets the man of her dreams, JT finds the girl of his dreams but can't seem to meet her, Cody finds a bottle with a message and goes in search of a lost treasure, and Al, Brendan, and Mark enter a sand castle building contest. Dana's rich dream man soon proposes to her with a six carat solataire in a Tiffany setting.While Carol flips out and demands Dana say no,she considers her option.

star 7.75
28 votes
Directors: Richard Correll
Writers: Howard Adler, Robert Griffard
Down and Out in Port Washington

#13 - Down and Out in Port Washington

Season 3 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 12, 1993

Lucille is in the shop being repaired so Cody stays in the Lambert living room. After Cody does his wash in the kitchen and loses his ant farm on the couch, the family is ready for him to move back into his van. Lucille, however, dies on the greaserack. Frank and Carol are relieved, however, when Cody tells them he is ready to be out as well. He decides to move into a stationary Lucille reasoning that many people live perfectly normal lives in non-moving structures. At the same time, Karen is interested in a guy who volunteers at a homeless shelter so she goes there one Saturday. He takes his girlfriend out, though, and Karen ends up spending a whole day at the shelter for ""nothing."" After a heart-to-heart with Carol, Karen decides that she needs to adjust her priorities.

star 7.75
24 votes
Directors: Patrick Duffy
Writers: Maria A. Brown
Prom Night

#14 - Prom Night

Season 3 - Episode 23 - Aired May 20, 1994

After a little bad luck, JT is deceitfully set up with a 13-year-old. Dana, on the other hand, was able to get a date with the just broken up, best looking guy in school. At the prom, however, Dana is dumped for his ex-girlfriend. Dana is heartbroken-- not only because she lost her date, but also because she must dance the spotlight dance (as Student Body President) all by herself. JT comes to console her and offers to dance with her. Although the two walk out insulting each other under their breath, they gain an appreciation for each other. Brendan belts a boy who cheated off his paper at school. Carol, feeling terrible, invites the boy and his family over. The situation is not reconciled when the boy's parents cheat at monopoly. In fact, after Carol hears them insult Frank and Brendan, Carol belts the boy's dad.

star 7.74
23 votes
Directors: Patrick Duffy
Writers: Julia Newton
Pretty Woman

#15 - Pretty Woman

Season 3 - Episode 17 - Aired Feb 18, 1994

Karen is having an interview at the mall for a jeans ad. The photographer is looking for a girl to promote the jeans ""with an attitude."" Al actually gets the job, which drives Karen crazy. Karen gets mad at Carol because she is not showing favoritism to her daughter (over her step-daughter). Carol is hurt and says that the whole Lambert/Foster family should be thought of as one family. Karen gets the point and is able to calm down Al with a ""family"" pep talk. Cody thinks he is the victim of some mysterious curse that makes him lucky at whatever he does, thus taking all the fun and excitement out of life. When Frank makes him play poker, the curse is re-activated. Cody wins $1,000 and a trip to the Bahamas, but breaks the curse by having an industrial accident in his van.

star 7.74
19 votes
Directors: William Bickley
Writers: Richard P. Halke
Forever Young

#16 - Forever Young

Season 5 - Episode 17 - Aired Feb 16, 1996

Frank and Carol go to a class with Lilly for parents of young kids. In this class they begin to feel they are too old for Lilly. They try to be ""young"" like some of the other parents. They go to a grunge club with the parents of another kid and they realize that they don't need to change their entire lifestyle for Lilly's sake. Rich and JT tell Dana that ""buds are thicker than babes."" Dana disagrees and challenges them, then she tries to get a friend, Brandy Hartman, to come between them. JT and Rich figure this out and end up trapping Dana into an embarrassing situation. Cody tries to make many strange greeting cards, including one that explodes for National Demolition Worker's Day.

star 7.72
18 votes
Directors: Joel Zwick
Writers: Brian Bird, John Wierick
Country Club

#17 - Country Club

Season 1 - Episode 19 - Aired Feb 28, 1992

A client of Carols' invites the family to spend a weekend at a Country Club. While Karen and Carol are extremely excited, Frank and Dana feel a country club is not for them. Cody gets a guided tour on a lawn chair of the country club; Al and Brendan make $60 playing pea in the cup with the rich kids; Karen finds four guys; Mark gives stock tips; Dana falls for the Country Club President's son; and Frank goes around fixing things. Because Dana is spending time with his son, the President recruits Frank to play on their scramble golf team. Dana becomes upset with Frank because he embarrasses her in front of her new beau. After frank leaves the President makes fun of his win for the team, Dana overhears and stands up for him. Dana and Frank grow to appreciate one another and are happy to find out that the President's snobbishness is not passed on to his son.

star 7.71
35 votes
Directors: John Tracy
Writers: Alan Mintz, Larry Eisenstock
Thirteen with a Bullet

#18 - Thirteen with a Bullet

Season 3 - Episode 15 - Aired Jan 28, 1994

It's Mark's 13th birthday.While frank introduces him to the fine art of shaving,and Carol arranges a real party for him with music and girls.One of the girls is a lovely girl named Marissa,with who Mark falls in love with.But he's soon brokenhearted as he finds out her feelings for him are not quite the same as what he thought. J.T. passes his mechanics exam.But Dana feels if he can do it so can she.So she challenges him to a bet,that she can do it.

star 7.71
21 votes
One Truck, Al Dente

#19 - One Truck, Al Dente

Season 4 - Episode 16 - Aired Feb 10, 1995

Al is learning to drive, but she gets into a predicament when JT lets her drive while Frank and Carol are away at the doctors. Meanwhile, Dana has her wisdom teeth removed, but the drugs get to her head.

star 7.71
21 votes
Directors: Howard Adler
Writers: Richard Correll, Richard Griffard
Future Shock

#20 - Future Shock

Season 6 - Episode 14 - Aired Jun 6, 1997

Rich and Dana go to a wedding with JT and Sam. They are teased and told that someday soon, they will be married. Dana, furthermore, does not even go up to try to catch the bouquet, but it lands on her lap anyway. They each have terrible visions about what that might entail and become very scared. They agree not more weddings for a while.

star 7.70
10 votes
Directors: Patrick Duffy
Writers: Casey Maxwell Clair
It Didn't Happen One Night

#21 - It Didn't Happen One Night

Season 6 - Episode 16 - Aired Jun 20, 1997

Frank orders the Maximum Sports Channel, and he and Rich spend so much time watching it that they ignore Carol and Dana. Jean-Luc gives the girls makeovers and helps the guys plan a romantic evening. All 4 of them enjoy the evening, and the vacant TV allows Jean-Luc to watch the sports channel, but he only gets confused. A guy named Kyle goes on a date with Al and unsuccesfully tries to take advantage of Al; however, Kyle tells everyone differently. This makes Al get a pile of phone messages from guys which causes Karen to get jealous. They solve their differences when Karen helps Al expose Kyle as a liar.

star 7.70
10 votes
Directors: Joel Zwick
Writers: Cary Okmin
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

#22 - Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Season 7 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 7, 1997

When Rich's former friend Cassie moves back to town, they enjoy playing billiards and video games together, so Dana asks J.T. to teach her how she can she can have fun like that with Rich. Meanwhile, Frank's con-man cousin Bert shows up.

star 7.70
10 votes
Directors: Patrick Duffy
Writers: Mindy Schneider
Too Many Santas

#23 - Too Many Santas

Season 7 - Episode 10 - Aired Dec 19, 1997

Lilly becomes disillusioned when she recognizes that it is J.T. portraying Santa Claus at the local department store. Meanwhile, J.T. pines for his former girlfriend Sam after finding a Christmas present that he bought for her back in July.

star 7.70
10 votes
Directors: Joel Zwick
Writers: Robin J. Stein
Just for Kicks

#24 - Just for Kicks

Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 8, 1991

Dana and Bernice want to go see their favorite folk singer at a local bar named Jake's. Carol gives her permission to go, but later finds out from Frank that Jake's has ""a two fight minimum."" Carol tries to tell Dana not to go, but Dana feels Frank is trying to control her life so she sneaks out anyway. Cody learns that Dana went to Jake's and rushes out to help her and gets there just in time. He beats up several punks and got some help from Frank who comes looking for her as well. Upon arriving back at home, Frank and Dana learn to appreciate one another through a revealing conversation on the troubles of a stepfather-stepdaughter relationship.

star 7.69
45 votes
Directors: Larry Mintz
Writers: Alan Eisenstock
Bad Girls

#25 - Bad Girls

Season 3 - Episode 13 - Aired Jan 7, 1994

The boys at school tell Al they do not want to play with a girl; Frank tells Al to try to get more friends that are girls. Al begins to hang around with the only girls who she feels will be her friends. Al starts to wear combat uniforms, skip class, and stay out past curfew. Frank overreacts and the two get into a big argument. When Al's friends get her to steal Cody's guitar, Cody hears them and lets her take it. Cody points out to both Frank and Al that their relationship is vital. Carol sees the TV set being temporarily out of order, as a great time to start a desperate attempt at ""Family Fun Time."" The only thing Carol is able to get them to enjoy doing together is leaving. In the end, the TV is fixed and the Lambert boys are watching Baywatch again.

star 7.68
22 votes
Directors: Richard Correll
Writers: Maria A. Brown