• May 26, 2024

Casts from Cosby Show They so pretty

The Essential Episodes of The Cosby Show

Bill Cosby was a household name for decades before The Cosby Show premiered on NBC 30 years ago today. Following the Brooklyn-based Huxtable family, The Cosby Show dramatically changed the sitcom game in the early ’80s and depicted the African-American experience in a new light on TV. Cosby starred as Cliff Huxtable and Phylicia Rashad as his wife, Clair, playing a lawyer and doctor, respectively, with five kids: Sandra, Denise, Theo, Vanessa, and Rudy. Throughout the eight-season run, the family grew; they gained in-laws, grandchildren, and other extended family members, but the Huxtables were always a tightly knit clan and remained in the hearts of American audiences.

To celebrate the show’s 30th anniversary, here’s a run-down of the series’ ten best episodes.

Season 1, Episode 5: “A Shirt Story”

The Cosby Show A Shirt Story
Photo: NBC

When Theo brings home a $95 Gordon Gartrell shirt, Cliff, understandably, loses it. “No 14 year-old boy should have a $95 shirt unless he is on stage with his four brothers,” he says before insisting that Clair return the shirt. Denise, making an attempt to be a good big sister, offers to make Theo a cheaper knock-off version. Of course, she’s not a very accomplished seamstress, and the shirt turns out to be a disaster. [Watch on Hulu Plus]


Season 2, Episode 3: “Happy Anniversary”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSvGdfOfLFw]Featuring perhaps one of the most memorable moments of the entire series (as well as one of the most iconic TV moments ever), the Huxtables celebrate Cliff’s parents’ anniversary with a rousing performance to Ray Charles’ “Night Time Is the Right Time” complete with stair-dancing and Rudy’s hilarious lip-syncing. [Watch on Hulu Plus]


Season 2, Episode 22: “Theo’s Holiday”

Cliff and Clair decide to teach Theo a lesson about money management and what it’s like to be out in the Real World by setting up an extensive role-playing game that the whole family can partake in. (Man, even their lessons were fun!) In a sort of real life Monopoly, Theo realizes how difficult it is to be out on his own, managing both his funds and his responsibilities — as well as going head-to-head with a ruthless banker, Mrs. Griswold (played by Rudy). [Watch on Hulu Plus]


Season 6, Episode 23: “Off To See The Wretched”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYpVzc3qunE]When Vanessa sneaks off to Baltimore with her friends to see The Wretched (obviously Vanessa is the Huxtable daughter who would get into metal, right?), Clair rips her a new one in what turns out to be a master class in parental scolding. [Watch on Hulu Plus]


Season 2, Episode 11: “Denise’s Friend”

The Cosby Show Denise's Friend
Photo: NBC

Denise’s friend (played by a young Stacey Dash) comes to Dr. Huxtable for a medical problem she can’t tell her parents about. Concerned that the kids would feel uncomfortable coming to them in a similar situation, Cliff and Clair make them promise to be honest and open with them. The Huxtable parents often tricked their kids, and it was a nice chance to see the tables turned when Denise tells Cliff and Clair that she spent the night at a boy’s house to test just how much they trust her. [Watch on Hulu Plus]


Season 6, Episode 3: “I’m ‘In’ With the ‘In’ Crowd”

The Cosby Show I'm In With the In Crowd
Photo: NBC

Vanessa’s friend hosts a party and pretty soon the liquor is flowing, and the group of teens make the unfortunate move to play a drinking game called The Alphabet Game. Needless to say, Vanessa loses the game — and gets pretty drunk. To teach her a lesson (because they are always teaching lessons), Cliff and Clair force a very hungover Vanessa to play the Alphabet game with them — and Rudy — much to Vanessa’s disgust. [Watch on Hulu Plus]


Season 7, Episode 11: “Clair’s Liberation”

The Cosby Show Clair's Liberation
Photo: NBC

When Clair announces that she’s beginning menopause, Theo, Vanessa, and Cousin Pam bend over backwards to keep her comfortable should she experience hot flashes, mood swings, or memory loss. At first Clair is offended, but then she decides to take advantage of their concern and go balls-out crazy all over them. [Watch on Hulu Plus]


Season 2, Episode 18: “A Touch of Wonder”

The Cosby Show A Touch of Wonder
Photo: NBC

The Cosby Show never shied away from stunt-casting — famous musicians, in particularly, regularly turned up on the show as themselves. This episode might be the most famous of those, in which the Huxtables meet Stevie Wonder after his entourage crashes into Denise’s car. [Watch on Hulu Plus]


Season 1, Episode 14: “Independence Day”

The Cosby Show Independence Day
Photo: NBC

While spending the night at a friend’s house, Theo makes a bold move: he lets his friend’s sister pierce his ear. Naturally, he tries to hide his new earring from his family, which doesn’t work too well. [Watch on Hulu Plus]


Season 6, Episode 14: “Cliff’s Nightmare”

The Cosby Show Cliff's Nightmare
Photo: NBC

For those of us who didn’t grow up watching The Muppet Show and only saw the Disney-ish movies, this episode was the first glimpse at the darker side of the puppets, who turned up in a nightmare Cliff has after he eats a sausage sandwich right before bed.

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