The Best Episodes of The Greatest American Hero

Last Updated: Nov 11, 2018

A special-ed teacher, an FBI agent, and a UFO? That's right, you've guessed it -- The Greatest American Hero. This show was first aired in 1981, and was both a comedy and a drama. A special "power suit" that only works on him is given to the teacher by the aliens, and he is paired up with the gumshoe FBI agent who keeps them both busy with his scenarios. The suit of "unearthly powers" gives the power of strength, flight, invisibilty, flames, telekenesis, vision of events without being there, protection from bullets and fire (if he remembers to cover his head!), and some others that he must figure out as well because; HE LOST THE INSTRUCTIONS THAT CAME WITH THE SUIT!

Live at Eleven

#1 - Live at Eleven

Season 3 - Episode 7

An Aging TV anchorman plans to retire in grand style. He hires a band of mercenaries to sabotage a nuclear plant, hoping that his coverage of the event can launch a Presidential campaign. Ralph must stop the plant from exploding, but the saboteurs, now dying of radiation poisoning, are determined to succeed.

star 8.75
4 votes
Directors: Arnold Laven
Writers: Babs Greyhosky
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Just Another Three-Ring Circus

#2 - Just Another Three-Ring Circus

Season 2 - Episode 12

Ralph takes a job at the circus as a human cannonball while trying to help Bill bust a crime ring that involves a phony dating service.

star 8.56
9 votes
Directors: Chuck Bowman
Writers: Stephen J. Cannell
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Vanity, Says the Preacher

#3 - Vanity, Says the Preacher

Season 3 - Episode 13

It seems that 30 years ago Bill helped some revolutionaries overthrow a corrupt regime in an unnamed Central American country, where he is now regarded as a hero. But now Bill's old revolutionary compadres have turned up, and they soon kidnap him and try to get him to help lead another revolution.

star 8.50
4 votes
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The Shock Will Kill You

#4 - The Shock Will Kill You

Season 2 - Episode 13

A space shuttle is about to crash, and only Ralph can save it. He does so, but ends up supermagnetized, perhaps permanently. Worst of all, a strange creature aboard the shuttle heads towards Los Angeles, electricuting all who get in its way.

star 8.44
9 votes
Writers: Stephen J. Cannell
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Space Ranger

#5 - Space Ranger

Season 3 - Episode 8

One of Ralph's students invents a radio telescope capable of decoding Russian satellite messages. The KGB tries to steal his system. When that maneuver fails, they decide to kill him before he can share his discovery with the CIA.

star 8.33
3 votes
Directors: Ivan Dixon
Writers: Rudolph Borchert
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Wizards and Warlocks

#6 - Wizards and Warlocks

Season 3 - Episode 10

King Abu Al-Fahad asks Ralph and Bill to help find his son, Prince Aha, who was kidnapped by Middle Eastern terrorists while playing a Dungeons and Dragonsesque game, Wizards and Warlocks. Their search leads them from Aha's college campus -- where they meet Aha's Keeper of the Clock, Joey Margolis -- to the game's author himself, Norman Fackler.

star 8.25
4 votes
Directors: Bruce Kessler
Writers: Shel Willens
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The Greatest American Hero (2)

#7 - The Greatest American Hero (2)

Season 1 - Episode 2

Ralph is paired up with FBI agent Bill Maxwell, who has his own ideas as to how Ralph should use his suit.

star 8.23
44 votes
Directors: Rod Holcomb
Writers: Stephen J. Cannell
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Dreams

#8 - Dreams

Season 2 - Episode 17

An act of kindness backfires when Ralph uses the suit to help a coworker with a personal project. This leads his other co-workers to take daring chances for their own shots at success. Soon, he must don the super suit not only to prevent them from ruining their lives, but also to save Bill from a vengeful, recently paroled killer.

star 8.22
9 votes
Directors: Bruce Kessler
Writers: Stephen J. Cannell
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Now You See It

#9 - Now You See It

Season 2 - Episode 10

While practicing flying in the desert with Bill, Ralph gets a vision of a plane crash. It's the suit showing it to him, and Bill can only see it when he touches Ralph. They rush to the scene to find no plane, and figure out that it must be something that hasn't happened yet, and they're supposed to prevent it. We come to find out that Pam is on that plane, and it's been hijacked. To make matters worse, the plane has an experimental cloaking device that makes it invisible to radar, and the Air Force would rather shoot it down than have the plane in enemy hands.

star 8.17
12 votes
Writers: Patrick Burke Hasburgh
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The Price is Right

#10 - The Price is Right

Season 3 - Episode 2

It's football season again, and time for Ralph's high school reunion. Ralph's old friend and star pro quarterback named Price Cobb is the focus of the party, but is being forced to throw a game for the return of his wife who was kidnapped. Our heros find her, but Price is injured during the game. Ralph must go out and win the game with the suit on to prevent the villans from winning the bets placed against Price's team.

star 8.14
7 votes
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The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

#11 - The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Season 2 - Episode 15

Ralph and Bill hunt for the sea creature ""Carrie"" in the Bermuda Triangle thinking that the monster may be responsible for all of the boats that disappear there. They undercover a stolen boat ring, and never find the creature.

star 8.13
8 votes
Directors: Sidney Hayers
Writers: Frank Lupo
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It's All Downhill from Here

#12 - It's All Downhill from Here

Season 2 - Episode 16

Ralph skis like a pro with the suit on, and stands in at the Olympics for a Russian skiier so the man can defect to America, and hand over top secret information that he stole.

star 8.11
9 votes
Directors: Sidney Hayers
Writers: Patrick Burke Hasburgh
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Divorce Venusian Style

#13 - Divorce Venusian Style

Season 3 - Episode 1

Bill and Ralph can't agree on anything, and keep fighting. Ralph decides to quit the partnership, and gives to suit to Bill. Ralph takes a bullet meant for Bill, and the aliens drive them to Palmdale for a meeting. The American Nazi Party gets their hands on the suit, and after the aliens give Ralph and Bill a tour around their old condemned planet; the pair is told to try harder of suffer the same fate as their old planet did. They also give them another instruction book and, now they have to get the suit back.

star 8.00
7 votes
Directors: Ivan Dixon
Writers: Patrick Burke Hasburgh
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It's Only Rock 'n Roll

#14 - It's Only Rock 'n Roll

Season 3 - Episode 11

Bill is called by the manager of a rock group that is aboard a plane threatened by a bomber, who has hidden a device set to explode if the plane descends below 1000 feet. Ralph flies into action, but matters escalate when Pam is kidnapped and a band of bikers threaten Bill's life.

star 8.00
4 votes
Writers: Babs Greyhosky
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Who's Woo in America

#15 - Who's Woo in America

Season 2 - Episode 21

Ralph's mother is re-marrying to a man who planted a much wanted micro-chip in her engagement ring.

star 8.00
5 votes
Directors: Bob Bender
Writers: Patrick Burke Hasburgh
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This is the One the Suit Was Meant For

#16 - This is the One the Suit Was Meant For

Season 3 - Episode 3

Pam has had enough and is convinced that as long as Ralph has the suit, there can be no relationship between them. Ralph promises her a week away from all the problems and the suit, and from Bill Maxwell. Ralph and Pam's vacation plans fall through so Bill sends them to a beautiful resort to get away from it all. Bill, of course, has alternate reasons to send them there than just being Mr. nice guy. Bill secretly tags along with the suit and convinces a very hesitant Ralph to hologram into a criminal ring that has stolen some very special government equipment, a spyplane to be exact, citing "This is the one the suit was meant for!" Ralph actually succeeds in foiling the plans of the criminals, leaves Bill to tidy up the mess, and gets back to Pam in time so as she doesn't even notice he's gone. All is well? Not so. With the suit still on, Ralph is hit on by a friends wife. Pam, of course, walks in on them. So not only does Pam catch Ralph in the arms of another woman, he is wearing the suit

star 8.00
5 votes
Directors: Ivan Dixon
Writers: Babs Greyhosky
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The Hand-Painted Thai

#17 - The Hand-Painted Thai

Season 2 - Episode 11

Years ago, prisoners of war were brainwashed to respond to a code phrase. Now, someone is using them to commit acts of sabotage. Bill and Ralph investigate, but Bill inadvertently falls under a hypnotic trance, leaving the heroics up to Ralph.

star 7.91
11 votes
Directors: Bruce Kessler
Writers: Frank Lupo, Stephen J. Cannell, Patrick Burke Hasburgh
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Plague

#18 - Plague

Season 2 - Episode 8

A psycho military cult leader tries to spread the small-pox virus.

star 7.89
9 votes
Directors: Arnold Laven
Writers: Rudolph Borchert
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A Chicken in Every Plot

#19 - A Chicken in Every Plot

Season 2 - Episode 14

Ron O'Neill, John Hancock, Thalmus Rasulala, Lincoln Kilpatrick Scenario: When an old FBI buddy invites Bill to his Caribbean retreat, Maxwell takes Ralph, Pam and the students along. Unfortunately, they find themselves involved in a voodoo plot to take over the island's government.

star 7.89
9 votes
Directors: Rod Holcomb
Writers: Danny Lee Cole, Jeff Ray
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There's Just No Accounting...

#20 - There's Just No Accounting...

Season 2 - Episode 18

Bill convinces the parents of a kidnap victim to pay the ransom, certain that Ralph can recover it when he saves their little girl. Ralph finds himself being audited by an overzealous IRS agent who's convinced he took the ransom money. Meanwhile, Ralph and Bill keep getting shot at in drive-by shootings, but by who?

star 7.86
7 votes
Directors: Ivan Dixon
Writers: Frank Lupo
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Train of Thought

#21 - Train of Thought

Season 2 - Episode 9

Ralph crashes head first into a train, and gets amnesia. Pam and Bill have to convince him that the suit really works.

star 7.82
11 votes
Writers: Frank Lupo
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Lilacs, Mr. Maxwell

#22 - Lilacs, Mr. Maxwell

Season 2 - Episode 22

Bill falls in love with a female FBI agent, and wants to tell her about the suit. She turns out to be a spy, and is ordered to kill him.

star 7.80
5 votes
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Captain Bellybuster and the Speed Factory

#23 - Captain Bellybuster and the Speed Factory

Season 2 - Episode 20

Bill recieves hot tips on a speed factory working out of a fast food chain, and a newspaper reporter publishes pictures of Ralph flying.

star 7.80
5 votes
Directors: Arnold Laven
Writers: Stephen J. Cannell, Frank Lupo
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Heaven is in Your Genes

#24 - Heaven is in Your Genes

Season 3 - Episode 6

A former Nazi genetic engineer fakes Bill's death to use him in an experiment, but Ralph realizes his friend is still alive. He flies off to rescue Bill and the evil doctor's other victims, but a genetic horror created in an earlier experiment waits to battle him.

star 7.67
6 votes
Writers: Patrick Burke Hasburgh
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Don't Mess Around with Jim

#25 - Don't Mess Around with Jim

Season 2 - Episode 3

Ralph and Bill are kidnapped by a tycoon that actually had his own suit given to him years ago by the aliens. The suit corrupted this man to use it for personal fortune, and he did not lose the instruction book. The aliens did not like the way he was using the suit, and they took it away from him.

star 7.63
19 votes
Writers: Stephen J. Cannell
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