Episode Guide

The episodes are indexed by production number, but ordered by original broadcast date (with one exception). Confused? So am I.

See also: continuity notes.

Anyone in possession of a copy of any of these episodes is hereby abjectly begged to contact me. I also welcome feedback about my choices of which shots and bits of dialogue to use, quality of pictures or transcription, etc.

1st Season (Spring 1976)

0. Pilot episode, a.k.a. The Best Years (03/09/76)
Nancy walks in on Jeff with another woman; Buddy overhears something Kate says about her, and goes berserk.

3. Monday Is Forever (03/16/76)
Kate has to wait until Monday to find out whether she has cancer; Buddy and her friend Laura Richardson (Kim Richards) have until Monday, when the latter's family is scheduled to move to Detroit.

2. A Special Kind Of Loving (03/23/76)
Willie meets, and starts spending lots of time with, Salina -- leading to a tiff with Buddy, right when she needs him to help conquer her fear of diving. Howard Hesseman: Salina's health-food cafe boss.

4. A Right and Proper Goodbye (03/30/76)
Kate's mother comes for one last visit.

1. Thursday's Child (04/06/76)
As Timmy Jr.'s christening approaches, the whole family (especially Buddy, who stubbornly refuses to take part) relives the painful memories of Timmy Sr.'s death.

5. Point Of Departure (04/13/76)
Doug resents Willie's attitude towards work, the universe, and everything; a string of burglaries sweeps through the neighborhood. Vic Tayback: local cop.

2nd Season (1976-1977)

6. Coming Apart (10/06/76)
Buddy gets a job at a bakery, and introduces Willie to her boss, "Big Al"; Nancy gets involved with Peter, while she's finalizing her divorce from Jeff -- despite the latter's pleas for a reconciliation.

7. Such Sweet Sorrow (10/19/76)
Salina drops by, at a time when Willie is having problems with Alex; Doug is offered a great job in New York.

10. Home Movie (10/26/76)
Willie drives everyone crazy by following them around and filming them; Buddy has difficulty with a school assignment -- writing a speech on the topic of "How I intend to leave my mark on the world"; Kate runs into a former roommate, who has become a successful author.

9. Coming Of Age (11/09/76)
Buddy officially reaches puberty; Nancy is caught between Kate's resentment of her thoughtlessness, Peter's proposal of marriage, and a come-on from a complete stranger (Tommy Lee Jones).

12. Jury Duty - part I (11/16/76)
Kate gets picked to be on a jury in a murder case; Buddy meets T.J. and trains for a skateboarding competition. Fred Stuthman: judge.

13. Jury Duty - part II (11/23/76)
Kate is subjected to widespread abuse for being the lone holdout; Buddy captures first prize, T.J.'s heart, and (for good measure) the real killer.

14. The Cradle Will Fall (11/30/76)
Buddy completes her orthodontal treatment; Salina returns to town once again, only to be plunged into a custody battle with her daughter's father; Kate finds out that Elaine's husband is cheating on her.

15. Skeleton In the Closet (12/07/76)
When Doug's sister Emily comes to visit, he has trouble facing the fact that she's an alcoholic; Buddy tries to help an old lady she sees shoplifting at a supermarket.

17. On the First Day Of Christmas, a.k.a. The Christmas Story (12/21/76)
Doug is suspicious when his father introduces his new, and much younger, girlfriend; Nancy and Jeff have a fight over who gets Timmy over Christmas.

8. Rites Of Friendship (12/28/76)
A friend of Willie's comes out of the closet; Buddy, after getting invited to the "Junior Jump" by a popular boy, asks Nancy to teach her to dance.

11. An Eye To the Future (01/04/77)
Buddy (as "Diamond In the Rough") gets heavily into the CB scene; Kate decides to go back to college; Doug does a stint on the bench. James Woods: piano prof.

18. Lovers and Strangers (01/11/77)
Willie gets cradle-robbed by a visiting movie director, and takes it much too seriously; Doug gets a dog as a birthday present.

16. Return Engagement (01/18/77)
Doug hears from a woman he once had an affair with; Willie and Buddy go on a biking trip.

19. "Mirror, Mirror On the Wall..." (02/01/77)
A daughter whom Elaine gave up for adoption years ago finds her, through Kate; Willie is intrigued by a pretty client at the photo studio where he works.

20. Someone's Watching (02/08/77)
A series of anonymous gifts eventually makes Nancy feel threatened; Buddy's motor-mouth school-project partner uses the Lawrences as his surrogate family.

22. A Safe House (02/15/77)
A former friend of Willie's, now an outlaw, gives him a call; Buddy thinks she has a great scoop for the school paper.

21. Best Friends (02/22/77)
Nancy attends her high-school reunion, meeting the guy she dumped to marry Jeff; T.J. asks Buddy to a formal dance, causing a rift with Audrey.

23. Taking Chances - part I (03/01/77)
When Doug loses his sight after getting hit by a car, opinions are divided as to whether he should undergo an operation that could either restore it, or kill him; in the meantime, Willie has second thoughts about having quit his job. John Harkins: Willie's photo-shop boss.

24. Taking Chances - part II (03/08/77)
After spending an eternity as a blind man whose youngest daughter despises him, Doug finally musters up the courage to have the operation -- and, of course, all's well.

25. Comings and Goings (03/22/77)
Willie and Salina decide to live together; Sylvia Maitland uses the Lawrences' house as a refuge after a fight with her husband.

26. ... More Things In Heaven and Earth (03/29/77)
Kate is shaken by what a supposed psychic says about her long-missing aunt; Nancy lands a prestigious legal assignment, and suspects her looks are the reason.

27. An Endangered Species (05/03/77)
A recently-divorced friend wants to hang out with Kate; Nancy gets upset when a classmate asks to use her place for an affair with a married man.

3rd Season (1977-1978)

33. Acts Of Love - part I (09/13/77)
While Nancy and Buddy prepare for their parents' 25th wedding-anniversary party, Willie meets, and falls in love with, a physics student named Lizzy -- who, as he soon finds out, has radiation sickness.

34. Acts Of Love - part II (09/20/77)
Lizzy dies, but not before Willie convinces her to marry him first.

28. The First Time (09/27/77)
Kate unhappily contemplates her 49th birthday; T.J. asks Buddy to go steady with him, but she's not sure.

29. Change Of Heart (10/04/77)
Nancy is jealous of Jeff's new fiancée; Buddy, of T.J.'s admiration for another girl's sexy song-and-dance act.

35. Annie Laurie (10/25/77)
Doug gets propositioned by a female lawyer (Linda Lavin).

32. "We Love You, Miss Jessup" (11/01/77)
Buddy's English teacher gets outed; Willie suspects Nancy of being a home-wrecker.

36. Little Brother (11/08/77)
Willie fails to understand a black thing; Buddy develops an interest in genealogy.

37. Childhood's End (11/15/77)
Buddy's friend Laura returns for a visit, and -- guess what? -- she, too, is now an alkie; a friend of Doug's, a divorced father, is apprehensive about seeing his kids again.

39. A Tale Out Of Season (11/22/77)
Doug's colleague and protégé turns out to be a child-beater; Nancy finds a puppy; Buddy finally gets into the Thanksgiving spirit.

40. Labors Of Love (11/29/77)
Buddy, upset by a lack of attention from T.J., tries to make him jealous by hanging out with a geek; Willie catches the eye of his cute über-boss.

30. A Child Is Given (12/13/77)
At Christmas-time, Timmy Jr. falls seriously ill.

38. More Than Friends (01/03/78)
Nancy hits it off with Willie's former writing teacher, but things get awkward when he pans Willie's script.

44. Princess In the Tower (01/10/78)
Kate, slightly sick of family life, checks out a model apartment in a brand-new high-rise condo -- and gets trapped overnight, along with a very pregnant younger woman; Buddy has the bright idea of dyeing her hair blonde.

43. Echoes Of Love (01/17/78)
Willie can't stop reminiscing about Lizzy, so he hooks up with her former roommate; Audrey is depressed because her parents are splitting up, and angry that Doug is representing her mother in the divorce.

42. See Saw (01/24/78)
Kate volunteers to help a moody (and arithmetic-obsessed) young patient at the Braille institute; Willie works on installing Timmy's new bed; Buddy leaves for a week-end of skiing with T.J. and his parents.

41. Lifeline (01/31/78)
Nancy plays hot-line operator when her classmate attempts suicide, to get back at her married boyfriend for breaking up her; Buddy baby-sits a whiny kid (absurdly, Quinn Cummings).

46. ... And Baby Makes Three (02/07/78)
Nancy and Jeff aren't sure whether to get back together; Buddy is disgusted that Audrey has fallen for the cheap ploys of the school Casanova.

49. Crossing Over (02/14/78)
Willie has an appointment with a big-shot film producer (Richard Masur), on the eve of his 21st birthday; then, he and Doug make friends with a stripper.

45. The Covenant (02/21/78)
Doug and his father attend to some unfinished business; Nancy has a miscarriage.

50. A Friend Of the Family's (02/28/78)
A somewhat unscrupulous former friend of Willie's drops by; Buddy needs driving lessons; Kate and Doug consider taking separate vacations.

31. Fear Of Shadows (05/02/78)
Kate has a recurring nightmare about running over a little boy; Buddy gets a pet raccoon.

48. Sleeping Gypsy (05/09/78)
Everyone at school dislikes Buddy's bohemian friend (Dinah Manoff, in an Empty Nest rehearsal); Kate gives Doug a plaid jacket he doesn't much care for.

47. Counterpoint (05/16/78)
Kate has to go back and repeat a class she flunked the previous semester, and gets picked on by a snobby professor (William Daniels); Doug contemplates early retirement after his tennis partner has a heart attack.

4th Season (1978-1979)

51. Starting Over (09/21/78)
Annie's sole surviving relative dumps her into the Lawrences' lap -- where she doesn't feel quite comfortable, at first.

52. All For Love (09/28/78)
Zack tells Buddy that unless she sleeps with him, he will have to satisfy his manly needs with another girl (Lisa Whelchel); Doug thinks of buying a flashy sports car.

53. Changes (10/12/78)
Nancy is all set to re-marry Jeff; Annie, heretofore known as "Annie Cooper," decides to add "Lawrence" to her name; Buddy, ever the traditionalist, is bothered by it all.

54. Magic (10/19/78)
Kate, in the hospital for a physical, meets a burned-out former rock star (Annie Potts); Annie needs Doug's help to impress her classmates with magic tricks. Charlotte Rae: nurse.

55. Just Friends (11/09/78)
Willie considers an affair with a married woman (Kim Cattrall) he met in a writing class; Nancy, sick of living in a "fishbowl," decides to move out of the guest-house and into an apartment of her own.

61. Generations (11/23/78)
When the Lawrences visit the family farm, Kate confronts her mother's ghost, while Buddy flirts with a local yokel.

56. Expectations (12/07/78)
Nancy's new boss pressures her to sleep with him; Buddy tries out for the cheerleading squad.

65. Gifts (12/21/78)
Annie, who still misses her parents, can't relate to the Lawrences' holiday cheer, and decides to run away until Christmas is over; Willie runs into his old barber, who is about to close up shop for good.

57. The Friend's Affair (01/04/79)
A colleague and friend of Doug's is cheating on his wife; Annie suspects a next-door neighbor of having murdered his.

60. Exits and Entrances (01/11/79)
After Buddy stars in a high-school play (Shaw's Saint Joan), her interest in acting is strongly encouraged by a friend of Kate's, a professional actress; Annie gets a telemarketing job to pay for a new bike.

66. Moment Of Truth (01/18/79)
Doug is threatened by a man (Paul Shenar, who later played Kristy's father in Dream Lover) he once helped put in jail; Buddy and Audrey have a fight about who copied from whom on an algebra test.

67. Malicious Mischief (01/25/79)
Nancy considers a marriage proposal from Timmy's daycare provider (her then-husband, David Birney) -- until he gets accused of child abuse; Willie falls in love with a cat.

58. Sleeping Over (02/01/79)
Kate is offended when Willie has a fling with her younger, harp-playing friend (Shelley Long); Buddy is torn when she is invited to join a sorority, and Audrey isn't.

64. Disco Queen (02/08/79)
Buddy sneaks into a disco club, with the help of an older acquaintance, and finds it more than she bargained for; Annie has a date with a jock.

71. The Athlete (03/01/79)
Buddy, volunteering at a hospital, encounters a star high-school basketball player (Michael Biehn) who is there for a broken leg -- or so he thinks; Annie runs for class president against her nemesis, Emmy Sheldon.

62. The Competition (03/08/79)
Buddy blames herself when a fellow student commits suicide after losing to her in a history competition; Annie stumbles upon a novel cookie-selling strategy.

72. Ballerina (03/15/79)
Willie has a fling with a ballet dancer (Stephanie Zimbalist); Doug purchases a work-out set by mail-order.

63. Diversions (03/22/79)
Nancy, cramming for the bar exam, keeps getting distracted by her neighbor; Annie goes on a survivalist kick.

69. An Apple For the Teacher (03/30/79)
Kate's teaching career gets off to a rough start, when a student decides to continuously annoy her; Annie borrows Buddy's "lucky" ring to help during a spelling bee, and promptly loses it.

59. Prelude (04/20/79)
Buddy has a crush on her swimming instructor, much to Zack's displeasure; Kate is tempted to call an old boyfriend.

70. Going Straight (05/10/79)
Willie's humanitarian impulses are defeated by his boss' lechery; Doug overestimates his fix-it skills.

68. From Russia With Love (05/17/79)
Kate acts as escort to, and highly impresses, a visiting Ukrainian composer; Buddy and Annie play Monopoly to determine who gets Willie's old room.

5th Season (1979-1980)

75. Smarts (06/18/80)
Annie gets picked on by her classmates, for being too smart; Buddy, studying for her SATs, worries that she's not smart enough.

82. Thanksgiving (11/20/79)
Doug's father (Henry Fonda) starts showing his age.

77. 'Tis the Season (12/24/79)
A pre-Christmas argument with Willie nearly gives Doug a heart attack; Buddy invites her school's janitor (J. Pat O'Malley) to her house, where he quickly endears himself to everyone but Kate.

74. Jack Of Hearts (01/14/80)
Buddy and Nancy find themselves in a love triangle; Annie dabbles in the occult.

80. When the Bough Breaks (01/21/80)
Kate finds out she's pregnant; a friend of Buddy's, on vacation from her all-girls school, picks Willie as a seduction target.

83. Hard Times (01/28/80)
Buddy tries to help two friends of hers (Fredric Lehne, Helen Hunt) who are having relationship problems; Nancy's troubles at work affect Timmy's behavior.

78. Whispers (02/04/80)
Buddy's friendship with a teacher gives rise to rumors; Annie uses questionable tactics to get Willie to let her interview him for her school paper.

81. Play On Love (03/03/80)
Willie finds the director of his play more interesting than Rachel; Buddy insists on buying an old sports car, over Doug's objections.

76. Daylight Serenade (03/10/80)
Buddy has an ambiguous relationship with a nerdy schoolmate whom Kate is training for a piano audition; Nancy begs Annie to teach her how to rollerskate, so she can go to a party with a handsome fellow lawyer (Ted Danson).

84. Such a Fine Line (03/17/80)
A schoolboy (Michael J. Fox) has a crush on Kate; Jeff, now an in-over-his-head rock manager, blows into town with his band.

73. The Ties That Bind (06/04/80)
Elaine and Annie go through some abandonment issues.

79. Just Like Old Times, a.k.a. Severing Ties (06/11/80)
Buddy tries to make everyone think she didn't get into any of the schools she applied to; Doug wants Annie to share his obsession with baseball.

85. Letting Go (06/25/80)
Doug is upset when Buddy starts dating a 21-year-old; Annie is jealous of an old friend (Dana Plato) who has matured much faster than she has.

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