The Best Episodes of The Cosby Show

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

Call of the Wild

#1 - Call of the Wild

Season 4 - Episode 1

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.

star 8.66
61 votes
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Theo and the Joint

#2 - Theo and the Joint

Season 1 - Episode 17

Clair discovers a marijuana joint in one of Theo's school books. She and Cliff confront him about it, and accept his explanation—another boy slipped it in. Theo confronts the boy and brings him home to confess in order to remove any uncertainty from his parents about his telling the truth. Theo and the boy actually start to become friends. Stephen Thompson as Anthony Braxton, Iman as Mrs. Montgomery. Rudy says her full name in this episode, Rudith Lillian Huxtable.

star 8.58
51 votes
Directors: Jay Sandrich
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Theo and the Kids (2)

#3 - Theo and the Kids (2)

Season 7 - Episode 26

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

star 8.56
23 votes
Directors: John Bowab
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And So We Commence (Part 2)

#4 - And So We Commence (Part 2)

Season 8 - Episode 25

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

star 8.54
13 votes
Directors: Jay Sandrich
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Theo's Holiday

#5 - Theo's Holiday

Season 2 - Episode 22

After Theo claims that he'll have no problem making it in the "real world", the Huxtables convert their house in the "Real World Apartments" and teach him a lesson about the real world; i.e., needing employment and references to get an apartment, income to get a bank loan, having to pay for his meals, etc. Carl Anthony Payne II as Cockroach.

star 8.50
54 votes
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Grampy and Nu-Nu Visit the Huxtables

#6 - Grampy and Nu-Nu Visit the Huxtables

Season 6 - Episode 10

Martin's parents (Olivia's grandparents) come for a visit. Actor Moses Gunn and jazz singer Nancy Wilson guest star as Martin's parents.

star 8.50
28 votes
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Slumber Party

#7 - Slumber Party

Season 1 - Episode 22

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!

star 8.48
50 votes
Directors: Jay Sandrich
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Cliff in Love

#8 - Cliff in Love

Season 2 - Episode 4

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)

star 8.46
76 votes
Directors: Jay Sandrich
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And So We Commence (Part 1)

#9 - And So We Commence (Part 1)

Season 8 - Episode 24

Theo prepares to graduate from New York University.

star 8.42
24 votes
Directors: Jay Sandrich
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Isn't It Romantic?

#10 - Isn't It Romantic?

Season 6 - Episode 20

Cliff, Elvin and Martin secretly compete to determine who is the most romantic husband in the Huxtable family.

star 8.41
29 votes
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Theo's Gift

#11 - Theo's Gift

Season 6 - Episode 5

Theo is diagnosed with dyslexia, a learning disability which contributed to the academic problems he has had over the years. Michelle Thomas as Justine.

star 8.39
31 votes
Directors: Jay Sandrich
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Nightmare on Stigwood Avenue

#12 - Nightmare on Stigwood Avenue

Season 7 - Episode 22

Rudy has a nightmare about Olivia always getting her way.

star 8.39
15 votes
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The Birth (2)

#13 - The Birth (2)

Season 5 - Episode 7

Sondra gives birth to twins -- a boy and a girl -- who are named after Nelson Mandela and his then-wife Winnie. Elvin decides to return to medical school.

star 8.38
13 votes
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Theogate

#14 - Theogate

Season 4 - Episode 2

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.

star 8.38
45 votes
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Denise's Friend

#15 - Denise's Friend

Season 2 - Episode 11

Denise asks Cliff to talk to her friend, who has a medical problem. Cliff diagnoses the girl as having a mild bladder infection, but learns that she was wary of telling her parents without certainty. Cliff and Clair decide to show the kids that they can tell them anything, but the children quickly point out that their parents will just get angry. Cliff admits that anger is part of problems, but tells the children that no matter what, they will be loved.

star 8.38
45 votes
Directors: Jay Sandrich
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A Touch of Wonder

#16 - A Touch of Wonder

Season 2 - Episode 18

After his limo collides with Denise's car, Stevie Wonder (appearing as himself) invites the Huxtables to a recording session. Wonder performs "I Just Called to Say I Love You" with Clair and the family. Absent: Sabrina Le Beauf as Sondra Huxtable.

star 8.34
54 votes
Directors: Jay Sandrich
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It's Apparent to Everyone

#17 - It's Apparent to Everyone

Season 8 - Episode 6

Winnie and Nelson drive Cliff and Clair crazy while Elvin and Sondra wait to move into their new house.

star 8.34
21 votes
Directors: Neema Barnette
No Way, Baby

#18 - No Way, Baby

Season 5 - Episode 16

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.

star 8.33
21 votes
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Happy Anniversary

#19 - Happy Anniversary

Season 2 - Episode 3

For Russell and Anna's 49th wedding anniversary, the family commissions a portrait of the couple as newlyweds, and offers them a cruise to Europe. Later in the evening, the whole family performs Ray Charles' "Night Time Is the Right Time", with Theo, Rudy and Cliff each lip-synching a solo. Earle Hyman as Russell. Clarice Taylor as Anna.

star 8.31
86 votes
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Home for the Weekend

#20 - Home for the Weekend

Season 4 - Episode 22

Denise comes home from college, but seems to have more time for her friends than for the family.

star 8.30
23 votes
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Say Hello to a Good Buy

#21 - Say Hello to a Good Buy

Season 3 - Episode 15

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.

star 8.30
44 votes
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Two Is a Crowd

#22 - Two Is a Crowd

Season 8 - Episode 11

Vanessa and Dabnis have relationship problems, as do Rudy and Stanley.

star 8.28
21 votes
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Theo and the Older Woman

#23 - Theo and the Older Woman

Season 2 - Episode 5

When friend Suzanne accompanies Denise to observe the Huxtables' normal behavior, a smitten Theo behaves far from normally. Robin Givens as Suzanne. Blair Underwood as Mark.

star 8.27
59 votes
Directors: Jay Sandrich
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That's Not What I Said

#24 - That's Not What I Said

Season 4 - Episode 6

Cliff and Clair have a marital argument after Theo gets detained by police for riding in a car with an unlicensed driver.

star 8.26
34 votes
Directors: Jay Sandrich
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Planning Parenthood

#25 - Planning Parenthood

Season 3 - Episode 24

Clair's sister decides she wants to be a mother. Cliff takes Rudy and her friends out to eat at a fancy restaurant.

star 8.26
34 votes
Directors: Jay Sandrich
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