The Cosby Show

The BEST episodes of The Cosby Show

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Dr. Heathcliff "Cliff" Huxtable was an OBGYN (obstetrician/gynecologist), and his wife Clair was a successful attorney. They had five children: Sondra, Denise, Theo, Vanessa and Rudy. Sondra was rarely seen during the first season because she was away at Princeton. She became a regular character in the second season, and was usually seen with her on-again off-again beau, Elvin. They eventually married and had twins; but not before stunning their families by announcing the fact that Elvin was dropping out of medical school to open a camping store, and Sondra was dropping out of law school to help her husband in his endeavor. Denise was the "unique" child, the black sheep of the family. She had her own way of doing things, right down to the style of clothing she wore. After graduating high school, she left for Hillman College in 1986 (a year later, this would become the setting for the spin-off A Different World), but returned two years later with news that she was dropping ou

Last Updated: 5/11/2022Network: NBC
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Say Hello to a Good Buy
star
8.81
339 votes

#1 - Say Hello to a Good Buy

Season 3 - Episode 15 - Aired 1/22/1987

Cliff buys a new car. Rudy cuts some animal pictures out of Cliff's expensive books for school. Guest appearance by Sinbad, who would later portray Walter Oakes on the Cosby Show spinoff, A Different World. Watched by almost 65 million viewers when it originally aired, "Say Hello to a Good Buy" was the series' highest rated episode.

Directors: Tony Singletary
Watch Now:Amazon
Denise: The Saga Continues
star
8.72
229 votes

#2 - Denise: The Saga Continues

Season 6 - Episode 1 - Aired 9/21/1989

Denise returns from Africa, with a new husband and stepdaughter in tow. Joseph C. Phillips and Raven-Symoné join the cast as Martin and Olivia Kendall. Last appearance of Peter Costa as Peter.

Directors: Tony Singletary
Watch Now:Amazon
The Last Barbecue
star
8.65
167 votes

#3 - The Last Barbecue

Season 7 - Episode 3 - Aired 10/4/1990

The Huxtable family erupts in a battle of the sexes after Theo suggests having a stripper at Martin's post-wedding bachelor party.

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Call of the Wild
star
8.63
248 votes

#4 - Call of the Wild

Season 4 - Episode 1 - Aired 9/24/1987

The newlywed Sondra and Elvin return from their honeymoon with shocking news for Cliff and Clair: they want to abandon their dreams of being a lawyer and doctor and open an outdoorsman's "wilderness store." Geoffrey Owens (Elvin) becoms a regular cast member.

Watch Now:Amazon
And So We Commence (1)
star
8.51
171 votes

#5 - And So We Commence (1)

Season 8 - Episode 24 - Aired 4/30/1992

Theo prepares to graduate from New York University.

Directors: Jay Sandrich
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Day of the Locusts
star
8.36
150 votes

#6 - Day of the Locusts

Season 5 - Episode 25 - Aired 5/4/1989

Sondra comes down with strep throat, prompting her mother Clair and Elvin's mother Francine to "steal" the babies.

Directors: Chuck Vinson
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And So We Commence (2)
star
8.36
160 votes

#7 - And So We Commence (2)

Season 8 - Episode 25 - Aired 4/30/1992

Theo graduates from NYU, Denise reveals that she is pregnant and Olivia leaves to join Denise and Martin in Singapore.

Directors: Jay Sandrich
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I Know That You Know
star
8.34
252 votes

#8 - I Know That You Know

Season 3 - Episode 21 - Aired 3/19/1987

When Sondra and Elvin announce their engagement, Clair and the children use the news to play a practical joke on Cliff, who launches a counter-offensive of his own. Geoffrey Owens as Elvin.

Watch Now:Amazon
Father's Day
star
8.30
263 votes

#9 - Father's Day

Season 1 - Episode 13 - Aired 12/20/1984

Cliff complains about the poor quality of his annual Father's Day gifts. He challenges the children to find some better presents for a December Father's Day. They give him thoughtful-if not quite attractive-presents.

Directors: Jay Sandrich
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Theo and the Kids (2)
star
8.29
196 votes

#10 - Theo and the Kids (2)

Season 7 - Episode 26 - Aired 5/2/1991

Theo continues his attempts to help Stanley and the other children at the community center.

Directors: John Bowab
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Cliff in Love
star
8.22
260 votes

#11 - Cliff in Love

Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired 10/17/1985

Sondra breaks up with her boyfriend Elvin and is depressed, taking it out on the family. Cliff and Clair aren't exactly unhappy; they find Elvin rather annoying. Later, he appears at the house with flowers and tries to apologize. While there, he offers some of his sexist rhetoric to Clair, who quickly becomes annoyed. First appearance of Geoffrey Owens as Elvin. Joseph C. Phillips appears as Daryl (Phillips joins the cast in Season 6 as Denise's new husband, Navy Lt. Martin Kendall)

Directors: Jay Sandrich
Watch Now:Amazon
Theo and the Kids (1)
star
8.22
196 votes

#12 - Theo and the Kids (1)

Season 7 - Episode 25 - Aired 4/25/1991

Theo, who is majoring in pediatric psychology, begins an internship as a junior counselor at the community center; he soon suspects that one of the children there is dyslexic. First appearances of Merlin Santana as Stanley and Eugene Byrd as Eugene.

Directors: John Bowab
Watch Now:Amazon
Theogate
star
8.21
197 votes

#13 - Theogate

Season 4 - Episode 2 - Aired 10/1/1987

Theo and Cockroach come home unusually late from a track meet, and the Huxtables got a phone message earlier from the track coach. They both deny anything out of the ordinary happened, but attorney Clair knows better. A mock trial is held for Theo and Cockroach at the Huxtables' for Clair to get to the bottom of the situation. Carl Anthony Payne II as Cockroach. Bill Cosby and Keshia Knight Pulliam appear on the episode of A Different World which airs later that evening.

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Goodbye, Mr. Fish
star
8.19
354 votes

#14 - Goodbye, Mr. Fish

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired 9/27/1984

When Rudy's pet fish, Lamont, dies, Cliff tries to bring the family together for a funeral in the bathroom. The festivities end when Rudy gets bored and leaves to watch TV.

Directors: Jay Sandrich
Watch Now:Amazon
Breaking With Tradition
star
8.18
325 votes

#15 - Breaking With Tradition

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired 10/25/1984

Cliff's father, Russell, pays a visit and begins questioning Cliff about the kids' college choices. He asks Denise about Hillman, his and Cliff's alma mater. Denise is dead-set against it at first, until Russell tells her that the males outnumber the females there. First appearance of Earle Hyman as Russell Huxtable, Cliff's father.

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Pilot Presentation
star
8.18
636 votes

#16 - Pilot Presentation

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired 9/20/1984

Clair is furious when Theo brings home a report card with 4 D's. He tells Cliff that he has no intention of going to college, as he feels that he is destined to be a "regular person." Cliff uses Monopoly money to teach him about the economic realities that many blue-collar workers must face. He assures Theo that he only wants him to try his best. Cliff is alarmed to meet Denise's latest beau, a former merchant marine who once spent time in a Turkish prison.

Directors: Jay Sandrich
Watch Now:Amazon
Waterworks
star
8.16
148 votes

#17 - Waterworks

Season 4 - Episode 18 - Aired 2/11/1988

Clair tries to stop Cliff from fixing a leaky pipe by hiring a team of professionals: friends of Sondra and Elvin from Princeton.

Directors: Tony Singletary
Watch Now:Amazon
The Locker Room
star
8.14
181 votes

#18 - The Locker Room

Season 4 - Episode 12 - Aired 12/10/1987

Theo and his classmates brag about their dates with girls in the locker room, but Theo's mood changes when one of the guys goes out with Vanessa and brags about it the next day. Troy Winbush as Denny. Adam Sandler as Smitty.

Directors: Jay Sandrich
Watch Now:Amazon
The Getaway
star
8.13
141 votes

#19 - The Getaway

Season 8 - Episode 17 - Aired 2/6/1992

Sondra, Elvin and the twins finally move into their own house in New Jersey.

Directors: Chuck Vinson
Watch Now:Amazon
Independence Day
star
8.11
323 votes

#20 - Independence Day

Season 1 - Episode 14 - Aired 1/10/1985

Theo gets his ear pierced to impress a girl, but Denise thinks it might be infected. She is correct, and Theo must go to Cliff. Cliff hopes that Grandpa Huxtable will punish Theo, but the old man instead relates the story of how Cliff tried to slick back his hair to impress Clair, but ended up burning it off! Russell brags, and Anna reminds him of the time that he had a tattoo of her name placed on his chest, but ended up with a huge scar on his chest when he tried to remove it after Anna found out he was actually trying to impress another girl! First appearance of Clarice Taylor as Anna Huxtable, Cliff's mother.

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Denise Drives
star
8.04
231 votes

#21 - Denise Drives

Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired 11/14/1985

Denise wants to buy a car. She plans to use her savings to do so, but Cliff and Clair quickly point out flaws in her plan. The answer to everyone's problems comes from friend Mr. Lucas, who has an old car he is willing to sell. Denise proves herself a good driver, and the car is hers. David Langston Smyrl as Mr. Lucas.

Directors: Jay Sandrich
Watch Now:Amazon
Mrs. Westlake
star
8.02
235 votes

#22 - Mrs. Westlake

Season 2 - Episode 12 - Aired 1/2/1986

Theo's math teacher comes for dinner, to Theo's extreme consternation. He thinks she plans to tell his parents of a bad grade on a math test. To his surprise, Mrs. Westlake comes to dinner looking young, attractive, and even with a sense of humor; and she has a very good surprise! Mrs. Westlake also gives Theo his test-he actually gets an 89, and he proceeds to embrace her, much to his shock. Sonia Braga as Mrs. Westlake.

Directors: Jay Sandrich
Watch Now:Amazon
No Way, Baby
star
8.01
142 votes

#23 - No Way, Baby

Season 5 - Episode 16 - Aired 2/6/1989

Cliff tracks down the grandfather of one of his patients: an expectant teenage mother with no other family. Clair deduces that the charming man is illiterate. Guest appearance by Sammy Davis, Jr.

Directors: Tony Singletary
Watch Now:Amazon
Slumber Party
star
8.01
350 votes

#24 - Slumber Party

Season 1 - Episode 22 - Aired 3/28/1985

Rudy invites all of her friends over for a slumber party. It's Cliff's job to watch over them, and he demonstrates some unique games to wrangle the youngsters. In the end, Russell drops by and demonstrates the perfect way to deal with kids-bribe them!

Directors: Jay Sandrich
Watch Now:Amazon
Bonjour, Sondra
star
8.00
327 votes

#25 - Bonjour, Sondra

Season 1 - Episode 10 - Aired 11/22/1984

Sondra, the eldest Huxtable child makes her first appearance when she visits home for Thanksgiving. She plans on going to Paris for the summer, and hopes that her parents will support the decision.

Directors: Jay Sandrich