The BEST Episodes of The Partridge Family
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Sep 29, 2020
Network: ABC (US)
In 1970, the Partridge Family was among the top-selling recording acts, not to mention one of the top-rated TV shows of its time. Either way, it made David Cassidy a successful teen idol until the show's cancellation in 1974. The Partridge Family consisted of Shirley Partridge (keyboards, vocals) and her five kids: Keith (lead vocalist and guitar), Laurie (keyboards, vocals), Danny (bass guitar, vocals), Chris (drums), and Tracy (tambourine). Rounding out the cast was their manager, Reuben Kincaid.
#1 - For Sale by Owner
Season 3 - Episode 13 - Aired Dec 29, 1972
The Partridge house just doesn't seem big enough â€“ they need more bathrooms and just more room in general! Reuben takes Shirley to look at a new, larger house. The Partridge house is home to her, so Shirley doesn't really want to move, but all the kids are very anxious to. They put their house up for sale, with Reuben acting as real estate agent. After a week without even one """"looker,"""" Reuben and Danny cook up a scheme for """"open house"""" with the Partridge Family. The open house is like a carnival â€“ hundreds of people show up. As the family overhears various disparaging remarks about their home from the visitors, they begin to realize just how much the house means to them. Just as the kids tell Shirley that they don't want to move either, Reuben arrives with the news that he's sold the house. When the buyers, Mr. and Mrs. Sharp come to look the house over, the kids sabotage the plumbing, the doors and the windows to make it seem like the house is falling apart. They confess that they
#2 - Each Dawn I Diet
Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 6, 1972
Because he wants to take Gloria Hickey to a swimming party, Danny suddenly becomes self-conscious about being overweight. At the end of his first week of dieting, not only has he not lost any weight, he has gained four pounds â€“ he could not resist the temptation of a few candy bars and tacos, just as """"energy food."""" Reuben tells Danny that he is too young to have enough will-power to diet in order to shame Danny into continuing his effort. But his plan backfires as Danny challenges him to a contest which involves Reuben's breaking the cigarette habit for as long as Danny diets. While Reuben is feeling withdrawal symptoms, Danny is fantasizing about chocolate cake. Shirley decides that both Danny and Reuben should turn to the other members of the family at any time for added incentive if they feel themselves giving in to temptation. This plan fails miserably because no one is getting any sleep, and Shirley's new tactic is to present Danny with a bowl of chocolates and Reuben with a pac
#3 - Reuben Kincaid Lives
Season 4 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 13, 1973
Shirley decides the family's been too hard on Reuben lately and they have to start appreciating him a little more. They decide to give him a surprise birthday party and invite his mother. Reuben can't understand why everyone is being so nice to him, even Danny. When he tries to bribe Danny to see what's going on, Danny just says they are appreciating him. Reuben tells the family he believes he's dying, that's why they are being nice to him. There was something in his annual physical that the doctors didn't tell him about and they know the truth. Shirley just about convinces him he's being foolish when Reuben's mother walks in. Now he's convinced he's going to kick the bucket. No amount of talking can change Reuben's mind and he begins to prepare for the hereafter. The family, meanwhile, goes ahead with the plans for the party, hoping that will jar him into realizing the truth. Shirley tricks Reuben into going to the restaurant where the party will be held, and everyone is there, includ
#4 - Where Do Mermaids Go?
Season 2 - Episode 14 - Aired Dec 31, 1971
Reuben and the Partridges stop off for a picnic on the way home as they unwind after several weeks on the road. At the picnic spot they meet Jenny, a free spirit, just traveling around and doing her thing. The Partridges strike up a friendship with Jenny and she goes home with them and stays for a few days. Jenny, however, is really very wealthy and before she hits the road again she leaves the Partridge family a bank book containing one million dollars! The kids are thrilled with this unexpected windfall but Shirley is skeptical and wants to return the gift. Shirley calls the police to have them find Jenny. In the meantime, the family is having a hard time handling their new wealth. The Partridges go back to their picnic spot and find Jenny there. They give back the money and return to their normal lifestyle.
#5 - A Penny for His Thoughts
Season 3 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 13, 1972
In the middle of the night a Hells' Angel-type named Snake zooms up on his motorcycle and rings the Partridges' doorbell. Irritated at being awakened, Shirley and the rest of the family feel obligated to listen to his friend of Laurie's tale of woe. He wants to commit suicide because after breaking all convention by proposing to his girlfriend Penny, she has the audacity to hang up on him. When Shirley realizes that Snake's proposal took place over the phone, she patiently explains to him that a marriage proposal, being the most important event in a girl's life, should not take place over a telephone. She suggests that he dress in a tie and jacket and go to propose in person. But Penny again refuses, for she feels that Snake is making fun of her by having donned such fancy clothes. Laurie goes to visit Penny and tells her that Snake will kill himself if she does not accept his proposal. Finally convinced that Snake truly loves her, Penny rushes to the Partridge house, where he has temp
#6 - Swiss Family Partridge
Season 3 - Episode 9 - Aired Nov 10, 1972
After a few weeks on the road, the kids are overjoyed to hear that Shirley and Reuben have arranged for the family to spend a weekend in the mountains near Lake Tahoe. But as soon as they enter the cabin, which has no heat or electricity, the skies open and buckets of rain come pouring down. Fated to at least a few hours of being inside, the kids realize that there is no television with which they can plug the electrical musical equipment. Boredom takes over, and when they hear over the transistor radio that the rain will continue for at least another five days, everyone, including Shirley and Reuben, begins to panic. In fact, they feel doomed to die. All the melodramatics prove unnecessary, however, and a forest ranger knocks on the door, in the process of checking the area to see if anyone is in trouble. With his help the Partridges are able to leave, and once again they find themselves in the warmth and security of their own living room.
#7 - Whatever Happened to Keith Partridge?
Season 3 - Episode 11 - Aired Nov 24, 1972
After a show the Partridge Family is approaching by a talent scout who informs them that Keith would be perfect for a part in a new movie and he wants Keith to take a screen test. Reuben and Shirley coach Keith and the family all act out the characters in the script to help him learn his lines. He will play a baby-faced gangster. A week later the whole family goes off to Hollywood for the test. A very nervous Keith manages the part well and is notified a few days later that he got the part. Keith is being treated like a great Hollywood star by everyone in town. The family has planned a surprise party for him the night before he leaves to make the movie. That afternoon Reuben tells Keith that World Pictures has decided against starring an 'unknown', so he has lost the part. When Keith finally brings himself to tell Shirley the news, he is unknowingly walking into the surprise party. When everyone cries for a speech, Keith explains what has happened. The party is a good one despite the b
#8 - The Eleven-Year Itch
Season 3 - Episode 18 - Aired Feb 2, 1973
When an old friend, a romantic interest of Shirley's, Richard Lawrence, comes to town he brings his 11-year-old daughter, Julie. Julie is a Partridge fan and everyone teases Keith, being sure Julie will be groveling at his feet during the visit. When the Lawrences arrive, it seems that Julie's affections are not lavished on Keith, but on Danny! Julie spends all her time following Danny, while Danny spends all his time trying to hide from her. When Shirley tries to tell Richard that Julie is a bit too aggressive and Danny is not ready for this, Richard reacts like a wounded father. Laurie and Keith ask Danny to be nice to Julie for just a few days, in order not to ruin Shirley and Richard's relationship. Danny reluctantly agrees, and when he tries it, he finds he really does like Julie. When he gives in to a sudden urge to kiss her, Julie reacts by giving him a black eye! This doesn't make any sense at all to Danny so he goes to the """"older folks"""" for an explanation. When Keith and Lau
#9 - Heartbreak Keith
Season 4 - Episode 9 - Aired Nov 10, 1973
Keith enrolls in a Sociology class in college and discovers one of his favorite subjects, a beautiful girl, 23-years-old, Dory Kimmel. He maneuvers his way into working on a class project with her. After a study session with Dory at the Partridge home, Keith announces to his mother that he's finally found true love in an older woman, Dory. As their work together continues, Keith becomes completely infatuated and believes that Dory feels the same way about him. But he's totally stunned when he learns Dory is married. An unhappy Keith confides to his mother that he thinks Dory is going to leave her husband for him. When Shirley confronts Dory with this bit of news, it's Dory's turn to be stunned. She likes Keith as a friend but she's truly in love with her husband. She has to find a way to tell him the truth without hurting his feelings. Dory finally decides to invite Keith over for dinner to meet her husband and see how happy they are; Keith arrives for the dinner, expecting Dory's husb
#10 - Miss Partridge, Teacher
Season 4 - Episode 18 - Aired Feb 23, 1974
Laurie Partridge is appointed student-teacher of Miss Halstead's 7th grade English class, which includes her brother, Danny. Danny takes an apple to school for his new teacher, but after experiencing Laurie's strictness, he eats it himself. Laurie is concerned when Miss Halstead informs her that unless Danny does better, he'll have to repeat the class in summer school â€“ and the Partridges are scheduled for a summer tour. But, in Laurie's harsh judgment, Danny's grades do not improve, despite the fact that he submits a piece of work that actually had been written by Ernest Hemingway at a time when Hemingway was a high school student.
#11 - I Can Get it for You Retail
Season 2 - Episode 11 - Aired Nov 26, 1971
When Shirley favorably comments on a mink coat, Danny decides to buy it for her birthday. Discovering that the girls in school are anxious for Keith Partridge souvenirs, Danny enlists Chris' aid and they start collecting a variety of Keith's belongings to sell. These are to help pay for Shirley's mink coat. After a week of constantly losing things, Keith thinks he is going crazy. The final blow comes when Danny and Chris wait until Keith is asleep and cut off a large patch of hair. Shirley puts two and two together and she and the family interrupt Danny and Chris as they are auctioning off their """"wares."""" Shirley makes them give back all the money and return the balance of Keith's possessions. This partly results in Shirley receiving a mink rabbit's foot for her birthday instead of a mink coat.
#12 - Guess Who's Coming to Drive?
Season 2 - Episode 12 - Aired Dec 10, 1971
Reuben brings the schedule for the Partridge Family summer tour and Shirley does not like the prospect of driving for two months. They decide to hire a driver. Most of the people who answer the ad are lousy drivers... until Johnny Burnhardt comes along. He helps them fix the bus and then is interviewed by the family. They tell him he's hired. Danny begins to notice that Johnny is doing some strange things on the road. He makes lots of phone calls, looking around to see that no one is watching. Then, he runs into a guy he knows at a gas station and takes money from him. Danny suspects that he is a floating bookie. One day, while Danny is spying... behind his glasses and false nose... he learns that Johnny is having coffee with the local parole officer. Danny tells Shirley who then confronts Johnny. Johnny admits that he is on parole for armed robbery and he must check in with the parole officer in every city. The following day, Danny picks up a newspaper and reads about a bank robbery.
#13 - Don't Bring Your Guns to Town, Santa
Season 2 - Episode 13 - Aired Dec 17, 1971
As the Partridge family is driving home from Las Vegas on Christmas Eve, the bus breaks down. To their dismay, they discover they are in a ghost town in the middle of the desert. Charlie, an old prospector, comes up to them leading his burro. He tells them that there is a garage 12 miles away, but it is closed. Keith and Reuben stay to try to fix the bus and the rest of the family go to Charlie's cabin. When Chris and Tracy complain that they will miss Christmas, Charlie tells them a story about the ghost town 100 years ago. In the fantasy, the two is now clean and new and there are many people. Charlie explains that the town had a beautiful, shiny silver bell which people came for miles to see and which brought Santa Claus to the town each year. Keith becomes the singing Sheriff Swell, Laurie is the school marm and Shirley is saloon mistress Belle. Everything is fine and happy one year until the day before Christmas when Mean Sidney (Reuben) comes to town and steals the bell so that S
#14 - I Am a Curious Partridge
Season 2 - Episode 18 - Aired Jan 28, 1972
Danny draws the ire of his brother and mother after writing provocative but false pieces about them for a local magazine.
#15 - Trial of Partridge One
Season 3 - Episode 16 - Aired Jan 19, 1973
At school Cindy Brown, the principal's daughter, is in a rush and asks Laurie to drop an envelope into the match teacher's mailbox for her. Just as Laurie is depositing the envelope, the math teacher grabs her arm â€“ the envelope contains a stolen copy of the math test. Laurie refuses to tell where she got the test from; she is sure Cindy will tell them herself. The school is divided â€“ half of the kids carry signs reading """"Expel Laurie;"""" others signs to """"Free Laurie."""" Laurie is ordered to appear for trial before a student court. Keith and Danny play """"Perry Mason,"""" acting as Laurie's defense. Laurie has confided to her mother that Cindy is the culprit â€“ being the principal's daughter, she is under too much pressure to get good grades. Shirley waits, but finally right before the trial she goes to see Cindy's father. He realizes that Cindy is the guilty one but Shirley convinces him not to stop the trial, but to give Cindy a chance to confess on her own, which she does at the student
#16 - None But the Lonely
Season 4 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 22, 1973
Keith wants a date with Dina, the new girl in school, but Laurie tells him she has warned Dina about his reputation and the new girl won't go out with him. Furious, Keith comes up with a scheme. He writes a letter to Laurie's ""advice to teenagers"" column in the local paper, saying he's new in town and wants to make friends, and singing it Onely (the capital L on his typewriter doesn't work). He hopes Laurie will arrange a date between Onely and Dina. The scheme is about to work when Laurie discovers the missing L on Keith's typewriter and realizes who Onely really is. With help from Shirley and Reuben, she convinces Keith that she thinks the letter writer is unbalanced. She then completes her revenge by arranging a date between Onely and Dina, whom she has filled in on Keith's original scheme. When Keith meets Dina, Laurie is with her and the whole story comes out. Keith apologizes and Dina, flattered, accepts a date for the next evening.
#17 - Hate Thy Neighbor
Season 4 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 15, 1973
Noise pollution is the issue as the musical Partridges face professional ruin in the fourth-season opener. Seems the new next-door neighbor doesn't dig pop music and has installed a new kind of sound barrier-the law! This episode introduces regular Ricky Segall as the neighbors' four year old son. (1/2 hour)
#18 - My Heart Belongs to a Two-Car Garage
Season 2 - Episode 19 - Aired Feb 4, 1972
The Partridge Family awakes one morning to find they have an unexpected visitor: Nicholas Pushkin, or, as he is otherwise known, Puskin the Magnificent. Nicholas is a jack of all trades; master chef, master carpenter, master artist, etc. Nicholas has decided to offer his services to a typical middle-class American family and two Partridges are that lucky family. The family likes Nicholas well enough but he seems to break just as many things as he fixes. In his sincere desire to be helpful, Nicholas paints the garage door while the Partridges are away on a concert date. It may sound innocent, but Pushkin the Magnificent has painted a scantily clad young lady on the garage door and although Nicholas is an accomplished artist, the location of the work is a cause for much embarrassment. As it turns out, Nicholas may not be the greatest of carpenters, but he is a recognized artist. The local museum purchases the garage door for a large sum so Shirley is able to buy a new garage door and Pus
#19 - The Mod Father
Season 3 - Episode 7 - Aired Oct 27, 1972
Grandma and Grandpa come to the Partridge house having rediscovered themselves, or so they think, through an experience with an encounter group. In an effort to share what they lerned with Shirley and the kids, the grandparents provoke them all into expressing their hostility toward each other so that their pent-up feelings will be brought out into the open. When the kids start arguing bitterly, Shirley is forced to tactfully suggest to her parents that they are interfering with her family life, and they leave. A few days later a tearful Grandma comes knocking on the Partridges' front door, explaining that she and Grandpa had been too honest with each other, for he had said that their marriage had no zip to it. Grandpa later arrives and they consider first getting a divorce and then living together as a means of revitalizing the marriage. Instead, they take Shirley's suggestion to pretend that they are divorced, and then go out with other people.
#20 - Aspirin at 7, Dinner at 8
Season 3 - Episode 14 - Aired Jan 5, 1973
By coincidence, Shirley meets a doctor whom she once dated, named Bernie Applebaum. Trapped into accepting a date with him for the following evening, they go to a fine French restaurant. But Bernie allows her to eat only plain lambchops, carrots, and buttermilk â€“ the rest is too high in cholesterol. The doctor is evidently very wrapped up in his vocation, for the following night, he takes Shirley to the hospital cafeteria for an after-concert dinner. Shirley finds herself in the embarrassing position of having to tell Bernie that she's really not interested in him without hurting his feelings. Her plans to do this are complicated when the doctor brings his mother to visit the Partridge household. However, the enthusiasm of the two members of the Applebaum family does not diminish even when the kids try to help out their mother by misbehaving. Later, Bernie approaches Shirley with what he feels will be terribly upsetting news â€“ that he can't marry her because he enjoys the swinging bach
#21 - For Whom the Bell Tolls . . . and Tolls . . . and Tolls
Season 3 - Episode 15 - Aired Jan 12, 1973
The Partridge Family discovers that during the night someone has entered their house and burglarized their TV, radio and stereo. As a gift Reuben has a burglar alarm installed in the Partridge home. It has sensor pads in various places under the carpeting â€“ one step on a sensor and the house is filled with a heart-stopping, loud, clanging bell. While the Partridges are trying to adjust to the alarm and remember to turn it off when they are in the house, the neighbors are getting more furious each time it is set off accidentally. Petitions are being signed asking that the alarm be removed. When Shirley goes to the garage to shut off another """"false alarm"""" she finds Morris Dinkler, an escaped-con who holds the Partridge family and Reuben hostage. He purposely chose their house because of the alarm, knowing that new alarms are frequently set off by accident and after awhile the police don't bother to come. Everyone assumes the bulge in Morris' pocket, which he refers to as """"Big Bertha,""
#22 - Bedknobs and Drumsticks
Season 3 - Episode 19 - Aired Feb 9, 1973
Reuben arranges for the Partridge family to make a TV commercial for Erwin Tully, owner of a large take-out chicken outfit. Up until now """"Uncle Erwin"""" has been making all his own commercials, very corny ones complete with chicken costumes. His sales have dropped and he feels he needs a new image. The family films the commercial -- the setting is a picnic; all the kids are playing and enjoying Uncle Erwin's chicken. Everyone is very pleased with the ad, everyone but Erwin! He feels something is missing â€“ chicken suits! The Partrides are 100% against it but are forced by a contract to make another commercial. They try to make it as bad as possible, hoping Erwin won't like it and use the first one. He loves it. Erwin is going to preview his new commercial at a convention for all his franchise owners. Shirley realizes everyone there will hate the ad. So, when the conventioneers assume the commercial is a joke and ask for the """"real one,"""" Shirley saves the day by having the first ad read
#23 - Me and My Shadow
Season 3 - Episode 25 - Aired Mar 23, 1973
The Partridge Family attend a lecture by Mike Rezo, a famous mystery writer. After the lecture they meet him and the discussion leads to the fact that everyone but Rezo feels that his stories are more fantasy than true to life. Rezo believes that using human nature and logic anything is possible. In order to prove his point, Rezo offers the Partridges a deal they can't refuse. He will give them a two-hour head start and then begin looking for them; if he can't locate them within 24 hours, he will donate $25,000 to their favorite charity. The next morning the chase begins. No matter where they go, Rezo and his agent, Lazaar Hannibal, seem to turn up. The family pretends to leave their house and drive around for an hour before returning to the house â€“ thinking that's the last place he'd look. When they get out of the car Rezo is waiting. They try getting lost in a crowd, hiding in an apartment of a friend of Reuben's, even the local """"lovers' lane,"""" always to find Rezo waiting. Shirley
#24 - Home is Where the Heart Was
Season 2 - Episode 15 - Aired Jan 7, 1972
Chris and Tracy have left the kitchen in a mess and Shirley scolds them. Chris suggests to Tracy that they ought to run away... and Shirley says they should wait till morning after a good night's sleep. After rehearsal the next day, Chris and Tracy pick up a few prize possessions and announce they are going to run away. Shirley tells them they had better pack a suitcase as they'll need a change of clothes and a jacket for the night. She is convinced that they will get only as far as half a block, stop into a neighbor's house for brownies and come back. However, the kids leave the neighbor's house and go to Reuben's apartment by taxi. There is chaos as Chris lets in a sheepdog which gives Reuben hives and Tracy overflows the bubblebath. As Reuben's luck would have it, Bonnie Kleinschmitt shows up that night with a bottle of champagne and plans to stay with Reuben. When she sees the kids, Reuben tells her to give him a hour, and they will be gone. She leaves and Reuben starts to play bla
#25 - Promise Her Anything, But Give Her a Punch
Season 2 - Episode 21 - Aired Feb 18, 1972
Danny is in love for the first time... with an 11-year-old girl named Gloria Hickey. He thinks he hates her and constantly hits her with mudballs and his fist, but his family sees that he has a big crush on her. When Gloria visits the Partridge family to sell them cookies, Danny buys 12 boxes for $1 apiece. After he is teased, Danny runs up to his room and Shirley goes up to talk to him. Danny confesses he gets a yearning whenever he sees Gloria â€“ an overwhelming desire to run up and grab her and punch her in the arm. Shirley assures him that he is perfectly normal. Danny wants to ask Gloria to the 6th grade dance and tries to seek advice from Keith and Laurie. He's really afraid to make the move. Just then, Gloria rings the doorbell and Danny dashes away. She has come over to ask a Partridge to the dance... but unfortunately not Danny. It seems she is in love with Keith. Danny learns the truth and makes life miserable for Keith, the """"housewrecker."""" First he kicks Keith in the shins,