The NBC sitcom Family Ties aired from September 22, 1982 to May 14, 1989 with a total of 176 episodes produced.

Series overview

SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedRankRating
First airedLast aired
122September 22, 1982 (1982-09-22)April 4, 1983 (1983-04-04)56[1]N/A
222September 28, 1983 (1983-09-28)May 10, 1984 (1984-05-10)4216.0 [2]
324September 20, 1984 (1984-09-20)March 28, 1985 (1985-03-28)522.1
FilmSeptember 23, 1985 (1985-09-23)N/AN/A
424September 26, 1985 (1985-09-26)May 1, 1986 (1986-05-01)230.0
530September 25, 1986 (1986-09-25)August 13, 1987 (1987-08-13)232.7
628September 13, 1987 (1987-09-13)May 1, 1988 (1988-05-01)1717.3
726October 30, 1988 (1988-10-30)May 14, 1989 (1989-05-14)3514.5 [3]


Season 1 (1982–83)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
11"Pilot"Asaad KeladaGary David GoldbergSeptember 22, 1982 (1982-09-22)001
Father and son clash when Steven demands that Alex not accompany his new girlfriend to an elitist, restricted country club.
22"Not With My Sister You Don't"Tony MordenteLloyd GarverSeptember 29, 1982 (1982-09-29)004
With Steven and Elyse away for the weekend, Alex hosts a wild party and worries over Mallory going off with one of his womanizing friends.
33"I Know Jennifer's Boyfriend"Michael ZinbergGary David GoldbergOctober 6, 1982 (1982-10-06)003
Because she is friends with a nerdy boy, Jennifer is teased at school. To stop the teasing, she decides not to be friends with him any more.
44"Summer of '82"Tony MordenteMichael J. WeithornOctober 27, 1982 (1982-10-27)007
At 17 years old, Alex loses his virginity to a college girl (Amy Steel), but is heartbroken when he finds her the next day with another guy named Pete (John Putch).
55"I Never Killed for My Father"Dick MartinKimberly HillNovember 3, 1982 (1982-11-03)008
Steven's father (John Randolph) arrives for a visit, and announces that he is going to die.
66"Give Your Uncle Arthur a Kiss"Will MackenzieLloyd Garver & Gary David GoldbergNovember 10, 1982 (1982-11-10)012
When a family friend, "Uncle Arthur", visits the Keatons, he comes on to Mallory and tries to kiss her against her will. Shocked, Mallory goes to Alex for advice.
77"Big Brother is Watching"Alan BergmannRuth BennettNovember 17, 1982 (1982-11-17)013
As the new editor of the school paper, Alex learns of an algebra test cheating scandal in which Mallory is involved.
88"No Nukes Is Good Nukes"Frank BonnerRuth BennettNovember 24, 1982 (1982-11-24)009
Steven and Elyse are arrested on Thanksgiving while protesting nuclear arms, leaving the kids in the hands of Elyse's parents (Dick Sargent and Priscilla Morrill).
99"Death of a Grocer"Will MackenzieMichael J. WeithornDecember 1, 1982 (1982-12-01)011

Alex quits his job at a local grocery store to earn more at a bigger store, but he doesn't enjoy the new job.

Note: This episode marks the debut of Marc Price in the recurring role of Skippy Handleman.
1010"Have Gun, Will Unravel"Alan BergmannRuth BennettDecember 8, 1982 (1982-12-08)006
After their house is broken into, Steven and Elyse debate buying a gun to protect their home.
1111"A Christmas Story"Will MackenzieJoanne PagliaroDecember 15, 1982 (1982-12-15)014
Snowed in for Christmas, Elyse and Steven remember the kids' births in flashbacks: Alex was born in Africa, Mallory was delivered by a crazy doctor and Jennifer was born during the 1972 presidential election.
1212"Oops"Tony MordenteJoanne PagliaroDecember 22, 1982 (1982-12-22)005
One of Mallory's friends reveals that she is pregnant and asks Elyse for advice.
1313"Sherry Baby"Tony MordenteBarbara HallJanuary 12, 1983 (1983-01-12)015
Mallory convinces Alex to go out with a sorority girl, hoping that the girl will invite Mallory to join, but soon learns the girl was only using her to get to Alex.
1414"The Fugitive, Part 1"Will MackenzieMichael J. WeithornJanuary 19, 1983 (1983-01-19)016
Elyse's brother Ned (Tom Hanks), a successful Fortune 500 executive, visits. But his long-held secret brings the FBI to the Keatons' doorstep.
1515"The Fugitive, Part 2"Will MackenzieMichael J. WeithornJanuary 26, 1983 (1983-01-26)017
To save hundreds of jobs, Ned stole millions from his company. Now wanted by the FBI, Ned gets Alex involved in his escape plan.
1616"Margin of Error"Tony MordenteMichael RussnowFebruary 9, 1983 (1983-02-09)018
In a school project, Alex proves he's a stock market wizard. However, things take a dip when the aspiring day trader starts secretly buying and selling with Mom and Dad's money.
1717"French Lessons"Tony MordenteRuth BennettFebruary 16, 1983 (1983-02-16)019
Mallory goes out with her French tutor, Jeff, who seeks out romantic advice from Alex. Meanwhile, Steven tries to beat Alex in chess.
1818"I Gotta Be Ming"Sam WeismanDouglas WymanFebruary 23, 1983 (1983-02-23)020
While Elyse raises money for an immigrant education program, Alex tries to help by mentoring a Vietnamese boy named Ming.
1919"Suzanne Takes You Down"Will MackenzieRuth BennettMarch 16, 1983 (1983-03-16)010
Elyse offers her friend Suzanne a job as her assistant, but Suzanne isn't up to the task.
2020"The Fifth Wheel"Andrew McCulloughRuth Bennett & Michael J. WeithornMarch 28, 1983 (1983-03-28)022
Jennifer decides she's tired of being treated as a burden by her family and runs away.
2121"Stage Fright"Sam WeismanRuth Bennett & Michael J. WeithornApril 4, 1983 (1983-04-04)021
Alex's school quiz team is forced to find a replacement for a sick teammate, and in an act of desperation, Alex trains Mallory to fill the spot.
2222"Elyse D'Arc"Michael ZinbergMichael J. WeithornApril 11, 1983 (1983-04-11)002
Steven and Elyse clash when Elyse's busy schedule keeps them from spending time together.

Season 2 (1983–84)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
231"Tender is the Knight"Sam WeismanRuth BennettSeptember 28, 1983 (1983-09-28)023

Alex must contend with a childhood sweetheart (Talia Balsam) staying at the house, who is unlike any girl he's met—or liked—before.

Note: First episode featuring a bearded Steven Keaton which he will keep for the remainder of the series. Michael Gross had grown the beard between seasons 1 and 2 while appearing in a Broadway production.
242"The Homecoming"Sam WeismanDouglas WymanOctober 12, 1983 (1983-10-12)027
Mallory's boyfriend Jeff returns to Columbus and confesses to Alex that he hates Princeton, and is willing to do anything to get out of it—even ask Mallory to go steady with him.
253"The Harder They Fall"Sam WeismanRich ReinhartOctober 19, 1983 (1983-10-19)026
Parent/Teacher Conferences at Alex and Mallory's school become interesting when both Steven and Elyse contend with a rude, insufferable teacher (Edward Edwards), whom Elyse punches for insulting her. Alex is upset when he finds out about it, particularly since a college recommendation hangs in the balance. To make matters worse when Steven tries to apologize to the teacher on Elyse's behalf, his insults cause Steven to punch him out.
264"This Year's Model"John PasquinSusan Borowitz & Richard RaskindOctober 26, 1983 (1983-10-26)032
Mallory enters herself and Elyse in a mother/daughter modeling contest but ends up regretting it when they win and Elyse steals her thunder.
275"Not An Affair to Remember"Sam WeismanRuth Bennett & Gary David GoldbergNovember 2, 1983 (1983-11-02)029
Steven's fidelity is put to the test when he learns that Stacy (Judith Light), an employee at the TV station, has a crush on him.
286"Speed Trap"Sam WeismanMichael J. WeithornNovember 9, 1983 (1983-11-09)025
Obsessed with getting good grades to earn a college scholarship, Alex begins taking amphetamines so he can stay up late studying.
297"Sweet Lorraine"Sam WeismanAlan UgerNovember 16, 1983 (1983-11-16)031
Working at the school radio station, Alex sets himself up a blind date with a fellow music enthusiast (Carolyn Seymour), who turns out to be twice his age.
308"Batter Up"Sam WeismanLisa A. BannickNovember 30, 1983 (1983-11-30)028
Alex, the coach of Jennifer's peewee softball team, pushes his own sister too hard. It is up to Steven and Elyse to show Alex that being a coach is about more than winning and "doing what the coach says".
319"A Keaton Christmas Carol"Will MackenzieStory by : Robert Caplain
Teleplay by : Rich Reinhart
December 14, 1983 (1983-12-14)037
Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" is adapted to the Keatons as a Scrooge-like Alex is enlightened of the meaning of the Christmas season by the Ghosts of Christmas Past (Jennifer) and Future (Mallory).
3210"To Snatch a Keith"Sam WeismanAlan UgerDecember 21, 1983 (1983-12-21)024
When family friends Richard (James Sutorius) and his son Keith (David Faustino) come for a visit, it is known that Richard has gone through a divorce. Upon arrival, Richard reveals that his ex-wife Cynthia (Donna McKechnie), is moving to California and taking Keith with her. Despondent when Cynthia is about to leave with Keith, Richard takes his son. Steven has to meet Richard at a bar to convince him that not only is taking Keith illegal, it's wrong to take "prisoners" in his "war" against Cynthia.
3311"Birthday Boy"Will MackenzieMichael J. WeithornJanuary 5, 1984 (1984-01-05)033

Alex's friends Neil (John Putch) and Doug (Crispin Glover) want to take him to West Virginia, where the drinking age is 18, for his birthday, but Elyse is opposed to this plan.

Notes: Michael J. Fox and Crispin Glover would later star in Back to the Future together. John Putch also previously guest starred in the episode "Summer of '82" as the character Pete.
3412"Go Tigers"Will MackenzieMichael J. WeithornJanuary 12, 1984 (1984-01-12)036
Alex travels to Princeton University for a critical, yet coveted, admissions interview. At the same time, Mallory—who has accompanied Alex—learns that her old boyfriend, Jeff, has a new girlfriend and neglected to tell her. Mallory becomes so emotional that she interrupts Alex's interview. Alex is left to decide what is more important: family or college.
3513""M" is for the Many Things"Will MackenzieLisa A. BannickJanuary 19, 1984 (1984-01-19)038
Elyse is shocked by her soon-to-be-divorced mother's quick and free-spirited plunge into the singles world.
3614"Say Uncle"Will MackenzieRuth BennettJanuary 26, 1984 (1984-01-26)039
Elyse's brother Ned (Tom Hanks) returns, hoping to put his life back on track by getting a job at the TV station. But after they learn that Ned blew the job interview by going in drunk, Steven, Elyse, and Alex try to convince him he has an alcohol problem.
3715"Ladies' Man"John PasquinAlan UgerFebruary 2, 1984 (1984-02-02)040
Alex's attraction to a classmate, Deena Marx (Tracy Nelson) leads him to join the ERA movement, much to his parents' surprise. However, Alex soon learns that it's not a good idea to lie about what he believes in just to impress a girl.
3816"Ready or Not"Lee ShallatRuth Bennett & Michael J. WeithornFebruary 9, 1984 (1984-02-09)041
Mallory turns to Alex for advice when her new boyfriend tries pressuring her into having sex.
3917"Double Date"Will MackenzieDouglas WymanFebruary 16, 1984 (1984-02-16)044
Alex unwittingly makes two dates, Rachel Miller (Daphne Zuniga) and Jocelyn Clark (Jami Gertz) to the senior prom. He then has to figure a way out of this mess by escorting both girls to the big dance ... without telling the other.
4018"Lady Sings the Blues"Andrew McCulloughAlan Uger & Michael J. WeithornFebruary 23, 1984 (1984-02-23)042
Elyse's emotions run the gamut as she prepares to revive her folk singing career at the local nightclub.
4119"Baby Boy Doe"Will MackenzieRuth Bennett & Alan UgerMarch 8, 1984 (1984-03-08)045
Skippy finds out he is adopted and asks for the Keatons' help to find his birth mother.
4220"The Graduate"Will MackenzieRuth Bennett & Lloyd GarverMarch 15, 1984 (1984-03-15)043
Alex's sexist views are put to the test when he learns that he will be his class' salutatorian ... and that his girlfriend Rachel, will be the valedictorian.
4321"Diary of a Young Girl"Sam WeismanRuth BennettMay 3, 1984 (1984-05-03)034
Jennifer fears the worst when she goes in for a tonsillectomy. In the first of several flashback episodes, Jennifer recalls past encounters with each of her family members and how they were resolved.
4422"Working At It"Sam WeismanLloyd GarverMay 10, 1984 (1984-05-10)030
Elyse struggles to juggle a new job and home life, which leads to further family problems.

Season 3 (1984–85)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
451"The Gambler"Will MackenzieAlan Uger & Michael J. WeithornSeptember 20, 1984 (1984-09-20)046
During an architects' convention in Atlantic City, Elyse succumbs to the lures of gambling.
462"Here We Go Again"Will MackenzieRuth Bennett & Alan UgerSeptember 27, 1984 (1984-09-27)047
Elyse contacts her doctor when she feels ill, and discovers she is pregnant again. The family all feel strongly against it at first, until they realize how good it could be.
473"Little Man on Campus"John PasquinMichael J. WeithornOctober 4, 1984 (1984-10-04)050

Alex enters college as a freshman and finds out there is more to college than being smart when faced with a difficult professor.

Note: Michael McGuire as 'Professor Bronski' and Timothy Busfield as 'Doug' appear as guest stars in this episode.
484"Love Thy Neighbor"Will MackenzieStory by : Rich Reinhart
Teleplay by : Alan Uger & Michael J. Weithorn
October 11, 1984 (1984-10-11)054

Jennifer looks forward to hanging out with Scott again when he returns to Columbus for a visit, but is disappointed to learn that he is more interested in Mallory than her.

Note: This is the first episode that Meredith Baxter does not appear in due to her pregnancy.
495"Keaton and Son"Will MackenzieLissa LevinOctober 18, 1984 (1984-10-18)052

Steven is excited to have Alex working with him and begins planning their future together, but Alex tries to convince his dad that he has other goals.

Note: Second episode that Meredith Baxter does not appear in due to her pregnancy.
506"Fabric Smarts"Will MackenzieLloyd GarverOctober 25, 1984 (1984-10-25)048
Mallory is enjoying working at a fashion boutique, but she is so caught up in it her grades begin to slip.
517"Hotline Fever"John PasquinMarc LawrenceNovember 1, 1984 (1984-11-01)055

Alex and an old school rival, James Jarret (Jeffrey Joseph), are teamed to man Leland's suicide hotline. They have to put their differences aside when a young man calls the hotline, threatening to kill himself.

Note: Third episode that Meredith Baxter does not appear in due to her pregnancy.
528"4 Rms Ocn Vu"Lee ShallatAlan Uger & Lawrence UgerNovember 8, 1984 (1984-11-08)057

While Steven and Elyse are away for the weekend, Mallory drives the car into a light-pole. In need of quick cash for repairs, Alex rents out the house to guests for a big University Homecoming Game. The plan works only too well; he and his sisters end up double- and triple-booking every room in the house, earning enough money to fix a dozen cars. (Earl Boen appears in this episode as 'Ed Barker', the head of a family searching for a room among many other numerous arriving guests) But when Steven comes home early, hospitality at "Keaton Manor" comes to a (literally) screeching halt.

Note: Fourth episode that Meredith Baxter does not appear in due to her pregnancy.
539"Best Man"John PasquinAlan UgerNovember 15, 1984 (1984-11-15)051

Alex worries that he's losing his best friend when Doug announces that he intends to marry his girlfriend, and the resulting friction between them threatens to make Alex's fears come true.

Note: Lily Mariye guest stars in this episode as Eleanor, to whom Doug (Timothy Busfield) wants to wed. Also Tate Donovan appears as 'Clancy' one of Alex & Doug's poker friends.
5410"Lost Weekend"Will MackenzieRuth Bennett & Michael J. WeithornNovember 22, 1984 (1984-11-22)049
Steven and Elyse plan a special last weekend before the baby arrives, but their kids have other ideas.
5511"Don't Kiss Me, I'm Only the Messenger"Will MackenzieRuth BennettNovember 29, 1984 (1984-11-29)053

Skippy falls at first-sight for Mallory's friend 'Jane' but being unable to speak to her, asks Alex for his help instead. Alex agrees to help him out, only to find out that Jane has been attracted to Alex since she first saw him in first grade.

Note: Michelle Meyrink guest star in this episode as 'Jane', Mallory's friend, and Skippy's latest infatuation.
5612"Help Wanted"Will MackenzieRuth Bennett & Michael J. WeithornDecember 6, 1984 (1984-12-06)056

As Elyse's pregnancy enters its final trimester, Alex hires a housekeeper named Karen Nicholson (Geena Davis) to take care of the housework without consulting Steven. Karen soon proves to be ditzy and incompetent, but that doesn't stop Alex and the family, falling for her. (Robert Costanzo and Anne Ramsey are the other guest stars in this episode as the other candidates to be hired as the Keaton's new housekeeper)

Note: Fifth episode that Meredith Baxter does not appear in due to her pregnancy.
5713"Karen II, Alex 0"Lee ShallatLloyd Garver & Michael J. WeithornDecember 13, 1984 (1984-12-13)058

Alex, wanting to get into Leland's Alpha Phi Epsilon fraternity, tries to talk Karen (Geena Davis) into accompanying him to a fraternity event after his date cancels. Karen balks at first, but later decides to go. She tries to have a good time, until she runs into an old flame. (Robert Pine and Christopher Rydell are guest stars in this episode)

Note: Sixth episode that Meredith Baxter does not appear in due to her pregnancy.
5814"Oh Donna"Will MackenzieAlan UgerJanuary 3, 1985 (1985-01-03)060

Alex is a stand-in at a Lamaze class for a pregnant, single, college coeds. Alex's natural over-enthusiasm gets the best of him as he envisions nurturing a relationship with a girl named Donna (Isabelle Walker) and her unborn child, and leading it into marriage and a family. It takes Elyse to set him straight ... and even alert him to the possibility that Donna may not want to keep the baby.

Note: David Paymer & Julie Fulton appear as couple 'Larry & 'Suzie Harris' as guest stars in this episode. Also Jack Blessing & Karlene Crockett appear as couple 'Leonard & Marge' expecting twins.
5915"Auntie Up"John PasquinLawrence H. LevyJanuary 10, 1985 (1985-01-10)059

Mallory's beloved Aunt Trudy (Edith Atwater) suffers a fatal heart attack. Mallory falls into a deep depression, but matters are compounded when the family brushes her off to tend to what they feel are more important matters.

Note: Seventh episode that Meredith Baxter does not appear in due to her pregnancy.
6016"Philadelphia Story"Will MackenzieMichael J. WeithornJanuary 17, 1985 (1985-01-17)061

While doing a term paper for history class on colonial times, Alex suffers from some cold and falls asleep. In a dream, Alex becomes a Philadelphia stable boy who, with his friend Skipford (Marc Price in character as Skippy), experience the events leading to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Michael Gross doubles as a Steven Keaton-inspired Thomas Jefferson.

Note: James Cromwell as 'John Hancock' and Ben Piazza as both 'John Adams' and 'Ed Nelson' appear as guest stars in this episode.
6117"Birth of a Keaton, Part 1"Will MackenzieLloyd GarverJanuary 24, 1985 (1985-01-24)062

It's Pledge Week again at Steven's TV station but Alex, Mallory and Jennifer are not very enthusiastic about it this year. But after Steven is called home to deal with plumbing problems, Elyse performs on-air...and then goes into labor.

Note: John Hancock as 'Gus' and Ron Karabatsos as 'Bud' the plumber, appear both as guest stars in this episode.
6218"Birth of a Keaton, Part 2"Will MackenzieAlan Uger & Marc LawrenceJanuary 31, 1985 (1985-01-31)063

With Steven, Skippy, and the plumber stuck in the massive snowstorm, Elyse remains at the TV station in the final stages of labor.

Note: In addition to the aforementioned guest actors of the former episode, Shirley Prestia and William Cort as 'Dr.Witt', appear as guest stars in this second part of the episode.
6319"Cry Baby"Sam WeismanBruce David & Bruce HelfordFebruary 7, 1985 (1985-02-07)064
Newborn Andrew's arrival has been hard on the Keatons, with everyone going without sleep. Jennifer has taken the bundle of joy the hardest, eventually screaming that she hates Andrew and wishes he had never been born. Now the family have to decide how they can properly balance their time with Andrew and not alienate Jennifer. Finally realizing that she had done wrong, Jennifer apologises and ends up starting to get used to living with Andrew.
6420"Don't Know Much About History..."Sam WeismanMarc Lawrence & Michael J. WeithornFebruary 14, 1985 (1985-02-14)065
Rival tutors Alex & James (Jeffrey Joseph) both fall for an attractive coed (Nancy Everhard) they are tutoring. Their ill will toward one another explodes at a poetry reading, and they continue to verbally spar.
6521"Bringing Up Baby"Andrew McCulloughRich ReinhartFebruary 21, 1985 (1985-02-21)067

With two careers, three bickering children and one demanding baby, Steven and Elyse can't seem to find any time for each other. But when they do finally take the time for a quiet evening alone, they find out that they actually miss all of the chaos.

Note: Steven Peterman and Radha Delamarter appear in this episode as guest stars as the 'couple with a baby' in the restaurant.
6622"Cold Storage"Lee ShallatMarc LawrenceMarch 7, 1985 (1985-03-07)066

Skippy accidentally locks himself in the basement with Mallory while the rest of the Keatons are away visiting some of the acquaintances made at their past Lamaze classes. Mallory clashes at first over Skippy's unrequited feelings for her, but soon she realizes that, despite his quirks, he has been a kind and good friend to her.

Note: In this episode appear again as guest stars David Paymer & Julie Fulton as couple 'Larry & 'Suzie Harris' and Jack Blessing & Karlene Crockett as the couple with twins 'Leonard & Marge'.
6723"Remembrances of Things Past, Part 1"Sam WeismanGary David Goldberg & Alan UgerMarch 28, 1985 (1985-03-28)068
The Keatons visit Grandma, who has put her house up for sale now that Grandpa has died. But Steven's unresolved issues with his father continue to haunt him.
6824"Remembrances of Things Past, Part 2"Sam WeismanGary David Goldberg & Alan UgerMarch 28, 1985 (1985-03-28)069
Steven and his brother disagree about whether to accept the offer on their mother's house. Meanwhile, Steven visits his father's grave in order to make peace.

Film (1985)

The television film Family Ties Vacation aired two nights before the start of season four. The movie was later split into four individual episodes when the series entered syndication.

TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
Family Ties VacationWill MackenzieGary David Goldberg & Michael J. Weithorn & Alan Uger & Marc LawrenceSeptember 23, 1985 (1985-09-23)
The Keatons take a vacation to England where Alex takes classes at Oxford University, having won a summer scholarship. While Alex struggles with fitting in and Mallory falls for his dormatory roommate William Clive-Hopkins (John Moulder-Brown), the family gets mixed up in international intrigue.

Season 4 (1985–86)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
691"The Real Thing, Part 1"Will MackenzieMichael J. WeithornSeptember 26, 1985 (1985-09-26)074

College Sophomore Alex dates a cute freshman he spotted in the school catalogue, but ends up falling for her roommate, Ellen (Tracy Pollan), instead.

In 2009, TV Guide ranked this episode #76 on its list of the 100 Greatest Episodes.[4]
702"The Real Thing, Part 2"Will MackenzieMichael J. WeithornOctober 3, 1985 (1985-10-03)075
With encouragement from Elyse, Alex travels to Pennsylvania to tell Ellen how he feels, even though she has gone there to elope with her boyfriend.
713"Mr. Wrong"Will MackenzieAlan UgerOctober 17, 1985 (1985-10-17)073
Mallory brings home her new boyfriend, Nick Moore (Scott Valentine), who looks to be exactly the type of guy Steven and Elyse hoped their daughter wouldn't get involved with.
724"Designated Hitter"John PasquinStephen J. CurwickOctober 24, 1985 (1985-10-24)070
Jennifer defends her boyfriend (Noah Hathaway) from the attacks of a bully (Danny Nucci) with complications. In the subplot, Alex is devastated when Mallory scores higher than he does on an IQ test.
735"Don't Go Changin'"Asaad KeladaMarc LawrenceOctober 31, 1985 (1985-10-31)079
Alex tries to change his personality to impress Ellen's artsy & dancing friends. As a subplot, Steven balks at having to go to Elyse's book club meetings during football games.
746"The Old College Try"Barbara SchultzRuth BennettNovember 7, 1985 (1985-11-07)076
Mallory upsets Elyse when she announces that she is not going to college.
757"My Tutor"Sam WeismanJace RichdaleNovember 14, 1985 (1985-11-14)080
To help him with math, Alex hires a tutor who he later learns is a fourteen-year-old named Eugene (River Phoenix). Eugene then falls for the younger Jennifer. However, he soon realizes it's a mistake when Jennifer acts her age and embarrasses him at a party. The subplot has Steven working tirelessly on the family budget.
768"Mr. Right"Sam WeismanAlan UgerNovember 21, 1985 (1985-11-21)081
Nick decides that he wants to impress Steven and Elyse and enlists the help of Alex, who turns Nick into a clone of himself.
779"Just One Look"Andrew McCulloughStory by : Paul Wolff
Teleplay by : Gary David Goldberg & Michael J. Weithorn
December 5, 1985 (1985-12-05)082
Steven's old college buddy Richard Schofield (Robert Desiderio) comes to town. Steven then learns that Elyse and Richard were previously in a relationship, which sends him into a jealous rage.
7810"How Do You Sleep?"John PasquinMarc LawrenceDecember 12, 1985 (1985-12-12)083

Alex has trouble sleeping, and his problems affect the whole family, much to their displeasure.

Note: This is the fifth episode of the sitcom where its opening title sequence got moved for after the first scene of the episode and not used as its opening sequence. (Not counting the cold opening sequences as follow up of episodes split in two)
7911"You've Got a Friend"John PasquinRuth BennettDecember 19, 1985 (1985-12-19)085
Alex and Mallory catch a young girl, Jessie (Martha Plimpton), stealing from the store where Mallory works, Mallory turns her in and then later decides to help the girl and befriend her. However, Jessie may not be ready to accept Mallory's offer.
8012"Nothing But a Man"Will MackenzieStory by : Jurgen M. Wolf
Teleplay by : Jean Kraynak Brinck
January 2, 1986 (1986-01-02)086
Steven gets a long awaited promotion at the TV station, but his long work hours cause him to miss dinners (and just about everything else) with the family, even private time with Elyse. Meanwhile, Alex is dismayed when the only toy Andy will play with is a doll Ellen gave him. (Robert Costanzo, George Coe and John Hancock are the guest stars in this episode)
8113"The Disciple"Will MackenzieRich ReinhartJanuary 9, 1986 (1986-01-09)089

Jennifer asks Alex for help with her social studies class oral report, but Alex's intellect takes over the whole assignment, so that Jennifer's school is very impressed with the finished project but Jennifer does not understand a word of it herself.

Note: David Wohl as lawyer 'Ralph Boswell' and Belita Moreno as Jennifer's teacher 'Mrs. Pedroza', appear as guest stars in this episode. Also Corey Feldman and Amy O'Neill appear as some of the students at Jennifer's school.
8214"Where's Poppa?"Will MackenzieSusan Borowitz & Marc LawrenceJanuary 16, 1986 (1986-01-16)090
Alex sets up a reunion with Ellen and her father, Franklin Reed (Ronny Cox), who was absent for most of Ellen's childhood.
8315"Fool for Love"Lee ShallatMarc LawrenceJanuary 23, 1986 (1986-01-23)091
Skippy refuses to let go of feelings for Mallory, despite her dating Nick. (Jerry Hardin appears as guest star in this episode as 'Mr.Bidney'.)
8416"Checkmate"Sam WeismanMichael J. WeithornJanuary 30, 1986 (1986-01-30)092

Alex competes in the Chess match finals against Russia's top player, Ivan Rozmirovich (Albert Macklin). However, things start to go awry when Alex figures out that his opponent is attempting to throw the match.

Note: Alex Henteloff as 'the Russian Coach' and Elsa Raven as 'Mildred Atkins' one of the juries, appear as guest stars in this episode.
8517"Engine Trouble"John PasquinRuth BennettFebruary 6, 1986 (1986-02-06)093
When Alex and Elyse have to walk home after the car breaks down, they decide they should take a class in mechanics, but Alex soon turns it into a battle of the sexes. Meanwhile, Steven continuously denies that he is ill, although it clearly shows.
8618"A Word to the Wise, Part 1"Will MackenzieSusan Borowitz & Marc LawrenceFebruary 13, 1986 (1986-02-13)087
As Alex and Ellen celebrate their six-month anniversary, the Keatons regale Ellen with stories about Alex's past schemes.
8719"A Word to the Wise, Part 2"Will MackenzieSusan Borowitz & Marc LawrenceFebruary 13, 1986 (1986-02-13)088
After Ellen hears many wild stories about Alex, Alex begins to wonder whether she still wants to be his girlfriend.
8820"Art Lover"Andrew McCulloughBruce HelfordFebruary 20, 1986 (1986-02-20)094
Mallory becomes suspicious when a wealthy and beautiful older woman (Christine Belford) takes a special interest in Nick's artistic creations.
8921"Teacher's Pet"John PasquinMarc LawrenceMarch 2, 1986 (1986-03-02)095
Alex gets a position as an assistant professor at the college and convinces Ellen to enroll in the class that he is teaching. In the subplot, Steven wants to enroll a too-young Andrew into preschool, which Elyse opposes.
9022"My Buddy"Sam WeismanAlan UgerMarch 6, 1986 (1986-03-06)096

Steven has to learn to accept that Jennifer is growing up. The only way he can get any time with her is to take her to her Sunflower Girls meeting, where he sticks out like a sore thumb. Meanwhile, Alex goes out early on a Saturday to fight a traffic ticket he feels he didn't deserve.

Note: Miriam Flynn in the role of 'Mrs. Carpenter' and Anne Marie McEvoy as 'Alice', appear as guest stars in this episode.
9123"Once in Love with Elyse"Sam WeismanMichael J. WeithornMay 1, 1986 (1986-05-01)097
Elyse must deal with Paul (Peter Scolari), a young architect associate who has fallen in love with her.
9224"Paper Chase"Sam WeismanSusan BorowitzMay 8, 1986 (1986-05-08)098

Mallory faces the possibility of not graduating high school unless she passes a tough final oral exam taken by 'Mrs. Hillman' (Gracie Harrison) her strict history teacher.

Note: This was the last episode featuring Tracy Pollan as Ellen Reed, although she will appear in the season 5 2-part episode "It's My Party", which was originally produced for Season 4.

Season 5 (1986–87)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
931"Be True to Your Preschool"Sam WeismanMarc LawrenceSeptember 25, 1986 (1986-09-25)100

Steven and Elyse enroll 3-year-old Andrew in preschool, but it soon becomes clear that Alex objects to the school's values of sharing and cooperation.

First appearance: Brian Bonsall as Andrew Keaton.
942"Starting Over"Steven RobmanAlan VejarOctober 2, 1986 (1986-10-02)103
Ellen breaks up with Alex in order to take a scholarship in Dancing she won at a prestigious Arts School in Paris, France. Distraught, Alex tries to cope with the breakup by re-entering the dating scene way too soon and meeting with 'Sharon' (Haviland Morris) a girl he never noticed before and who he tries to make look like Ellen as much as possible.
953"The Freshman and the Senior"Sam WeismanRuth Bennett & Marc LawrenceOctober 9, 1986 (1986-10-09)104
Mallory is teamed with 66-year-old Margaret Hollings (Julie Harris) on a college sociology project. Meanwhile, Alex is very interested to know what Steven and Elyse have written in their wills.
964"My Back Pages"Sam WeismanRuth BennettOctober 16, 1986 (1986-10-16)099
Steven's old college roommate comes for a visit and reveals he wants to re-launch their old magazine.
975"Beauty and the Bank"Asaad KeladaStephen J. CurwickOctober 30, 1986 (1986-10-30)105
Alex gets his dream job at the Harding Trust, only to find out his boss is an attractive woman named Rebecca Ryan (Melinda Culea). (Named on the episode credits as 'Debra Ryan')
986"Mrs. Wrong, Part 1"Sam WeismanAlan UgerNovember 6, 1986 (1986-11-06)101
Mallory is overwhelmed with all her obligations at school and at home, so she decides the best way to get out of them is to marry her boyfriend, Nick.
997"Mrs. Wrong, Part 2"Sam WeismanAlan UgerNovember 13, 1986 (1986-11-13)102
Nick and Mallory set out to elope, but not without waking everyone up. Now it's up to Alex to track them down at the justice of the peace.
1008"The Big Fix"John PasquinMichael J. WeithornNovember 17, 1986 (1986-11-17)084
Elyse plays matchmaker when she tries to fix up a lonely colleague with her neighbor's daughter Liz Obeck (Terry Farrell).
1019"My Brother's Keeper"Asaad KeladaSusan BorowitzNovember 20, 1986 (1986-11-20)107
Alex gets Skippy an interview with the Grant chapter of his fraternity, only to find out they plan to make Skippy the butt of a humiliating practical joke.
10210"High School Confidential"Mark W. TravisRuth BennettDecember 4, 1986 (1986-12-04)112
In order to teach an art class at the local youth center, Nick must get his high school diploma with help from Alex and Mallory.
10311"Paper Lion"Peter BaldwinWendy AaronDecember 11, 1986 (1986-12-11)106
Alex works on an important paper with his Economics professor, only to find out that their hypothesis is wrong. His professor goes ahead with plans to present the paper anyway.
10412"My Mother, My Friend"Lynn HamrickKate BoutilierDecember 18, 1986 (1986-12-18)113
Mallory brings home 'Allison' (Robin Morse) a friend studying an Architecture's major, and who has more in common with Elyse than Mallory herself. Mallory then becomes jealous of the attention her mom lavishes on the girl. Alex plays Scrabble with his game obsess Dad, Steven.
10513"Oh, Brother, Part 1"Sam WeismanAlan UgerJanuary 8, 1987 (1987-01-08)108
The Keatons are stunned when Uncle Rob visits and announces he's separated from his wife Maureen - and has already met someone else.
10614"Oh, Brother, Part 2"Sam WeismanAlan UgerJanuary 15, 1987 (1987-01-15)109
Rob's estranged wife Maureen shows up to tell the real story behind their separation. Although Rob stays single, he and Steve finally bond as brothers.
10715"Higher Love"Debbie AllenSusan BorowitzJanuary 22, 1987 (1987-01-22)116
Mallory begins to fall for the leader of her poetry group.
10816"Architect's Apprentice"Steven RobmanDavid Tyron KingJanuary 29, 1987 (1987-01-29)117
Nick convinces Steven to let him enter a contest to pick the sculpture for the newly remodelled lobby of WKS.
10917"A Tale of Two Cities, Part 1"Peter BaldwinMarc Lawrence & Alan UgerFebruary 5, 1987 (1987-02-05)114
While the Keaton kitchen gets remodelled, Alex and his boss, Rebecca, travel to Chicago for a conference, where they're forced to share a tiny room.
11018"A Tale of Two Cities, Part 2"Peter BaldwinMarc Lawrence & Alan UgerFebruary 12, 1987 (1987-02-12)115
Nervous about meeting her boss, Rebecca gets drunk and makes a fool of herself. Back at home, Steven refuses all help and wallpapers the kitchen himself.
11119"Battle of the Sexes, Part 1"Andrew McCullough & Sam WeismanStephen J. CurwickFebruary 19, 1987 (1987-02-19)110
Elyse, Mallory and Jennifer confront Steven and Alex after a disastrous dinner at a restaurant, and past incidents are recalled where gender played a role in their lives.
11220"Battle of the Sexes, Part 2"Andrew McCullough & Sam WeismanStephen J. CurwickFebruary 19, 1987 (1987-02-19)111
Alex continues to defend and debate his chauvinistic ways, citing Mallory's and Jennifer's past experiences. But in the end, they decide he's not so bad after all.
11321"Band on the Run"Andrew McCulloughSusan Borowitz & Marc LawrenceFebruary 26, 1987 (1987-02-26)118
Jennifer and her band, The Permanent Waves, try out for the homecoming dance at Leland College. They do so well Alex sees a chance to make money, and convinces them to let him be their manager.
11422"Keaton vs. Keaton"Sam WeismanStephen J. CurwickMarch 5, 1987 (1987-03-05)123
Alex and Mallory compete for a new $2,500 WKS scholarship.
11523"A, My Name is Alex, Part 1"Will MackenzieGary David Goldberg & Alan UgerMarch 12, 1987 (1987-03-12)119

When his friend Greg is killed in a car accident, Alex behaves erratically after the funeral. Eventually grief sets in, and he questions his own existence.

Notes: This two-part episode won the 1987 Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series. In 1997, TV Guide ranked this episode number 68 on its '100 Greatest Episodes of All Time' list.[5] [6]
11624"A, My Name is Alex, Part 2"Will MackenzieGary David Goldberg & Alan UgerMarch 12, 1987 (1987-03-12)120
Now in therapy to deal with Greg's death, Alex talks about many episodes from his childhood - and his true feelings about his family.
11725""D" is for Date"Sam WeismanSusan BorowitzMarch 20, 1987 (1987-03-20)122
Jennifer plays dumb in order to date a good-looking jock named Tim (Wil Wheaton).
11826"Love Me Do"Sam WeismanMarc LawrenceApril 30, 1987 (1987-04-30)121
Skippy falls in love with Amy, a friend of Mallory's. Meanwhile, Steven plans a surprise birthday party for Elyse.
11927"The Visit"Sam WeismanMarc Lawrence & Alan UgerMay 7, 1987 (1987-05-07)124

Elyse's sister Michelle, her obnoxious husband (Stuart Pankin), and their bratty children come for a visit.

Note: The obnoxious son is played by Jeff Cohen, who previously played the annoying kid with the clapping hands hat in the episode "4 Rms Ocn Vu".
12028"Matchmaker"Barbara SchultzBruce David & Bruce HelfordJuly 23, 1987 (1987-07-23)072
Mallory—having recently broken up with Rick (rather than Nick, this episode was filmed 2 years prior and breaks continuity)—comes home after yet another disastrous date. Alex, determined to get Mallory to forget Rick and find her a boyfriend, uses Jennifer's computer to snare the perfect guy. But how will Alex respond when Mallory doesn't like the guy the computer chooses for her?
12129"It's My Party, Part 1"Asaad KeladaSusan BorowitzAugust 6, 1987 (1987-08-06)077
It's Jennifer's birthday, so she decides to invite the trendiest girls in school to her party. However, when the party proves lame, the cool girls leave, and she leaves with them. This two-part episode breaks continuity.
12230"It's My Party, Part 2"Asaad KeladaSusan BorowitzAugust 13, 1987 (1987-08-13)078
Now part of the trendiest clique in school, Jennifer talks valleyspeak and spends all her time at the mall. However, when she's caught cutting class, she's grounded and misses out on going to a baseball game with the family.

Season 6 (1987–88)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
"The Last of the Red Hot Psychologists"Sam WeismanMarc LawrenceSeptember 13, 1987 (1987-09-13)126
Alex meets Lauren Miller (Courteney Cox), a psychology major at Leland College, and the two become friends ... then much more ... when Alex participates in Lauren's study of overachievers. Also, Andy goes to his first day of Kindergarten and Jennifer goes to her first day of high school.
1253"Dear Mallory"Sam WeismanAlan UgerSeptember 20, 1987 (1987-09-20)125
Mallory is hired as advice columnist for the Columbus Shopper's Guide.
1264"The Other Woman"Asaad KeladaSusan BorowitzSeptember 27, 1987 (1987-09-27)130
Andrew feels ignored when Alex begins spending time with Lauren at the expense of brotherly bonding sessions.
1275"Dream Date"Andrew McCulloughKatie FordOctober 4, 1987 (1987-10-04)129
Jennifer uses a nerdy boy who has a crush on her as a stepping stone to win the heart of a teen heartthrob.
1286"Super Mom"Matthew DiamondAlan UgerOctober 18, 1987 (1987-10-18)132
Elyse must choose between working on a prestigious architectural account or spending time with her family.
1297"Walking On Air"Andrew McCulloughKatie FordOctober 25, 1987 (1987-10-25)131
Steven gets a reluctant Mallory a new job at WKS. Meanwhile, Alex leads the rest of the family on a cereal-sponsored search contest for $5,000.
1308"Invasion of the Psychologist Snatchers"Matthew DiamondMarc LawrenceNovember 1, 1987 (1987-11-01)133
Alex becomes insecure of Lauren's visiting ex-boyfriend.
1319"The Way We Were"Will MackenzieGary David GoldbergNovember 8, 1987 (1987-11-08)128
The Keatons get a first-hand lesson on Alzheimer's disease when Aunt Rosemary (Barbara Barrie) comes to visit and behaves erractically.
13210"Mister Sister"Kent BatemanSusan BorowitzNovember 15, 1987 (1987-11-15)134
Nick gets a job as the janitor at Mallory's sorority house, which leads to friction between them. Meanwhile, Steven and Alex try to teach Andy basketball.
13311"Citizen Keaton"Sam WeismanSusan Borowitz & Marc LawrenceNovember 22, 1987 (1987-11-22)135
Mallory runs for student body president of Grant College, and Alex agrees to be her campaign manager.
13412"Father Time, Part 1"Sam WeismanAlan UgerNovember 29, 1987 (1987-11-29)136
Steven's newly-divorced brother Rob comes to visit with his son and troubled daughter, who is rebelling against her dad.
13513"Father Time, Part 2"Sam WeismanAlan UgerDecember 6, 1987 (1987-12-06)137
Steven's rebellious niece defies her father, and has the Keatons examining the meanings of marriage, divorce and parenthood.
"The American Family"Sam WeismanKatie FordDecember 13, 1987 (1987-12-13)138
Lauren does a term paper on the typical American family, culling memories from the Keatons on their past.
13816"Anniversary Waltz"Sam WeismanAlan UgerDecember 16, 1987 (1987-12-16)035
Steven and Elyse argue for a week about their upcoming 20th anniversary party, leading the kids to remind them of their love for each other. This episode breaks the continuity of the 6th season.
13917"Miracle in Columbus"Lynn HamrickRob OkunDecember 20, 1987 (1987-12-20)141
Alex gets a job as a mall Santa, where he finally gets the spirit of Christmas after he hears a young girl's wish for her father to come home.
14018"The Play's the Thing"Debbie AllenDiane DixonJanuary 10, 1988 (1988-01-10)140
Steven tries to stage a radical play he wrote in the '60's, but Elyse is reluctant to play the lead role.
14119"The Spirit of Columbus"Sam WeismanCharles J. SchlotterJanuary 17, 1988 (1988-01-17)143
Nick sells one of his sculptures and so Alex starts to believe that Nick's art is worth something. So he makes Nick make 35 more of them to sell.
14220"The Blues Brother"Matthew DiamondBurt PretluskyJanuary 24, 1988 (1988-01-24)142
Alex encourages former blues musician Eddie Dupree (Brownie McGhee) to come out of retirement.
14321"Read It and Weep, Part 1"Sam WeismanMarc Lawrence & Alan UgerFebruary 7, 1988 (1988-02-07)144
Defying her school's policy, Jennifer writes a book report on the banned book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
14422"Read It and Weep, Part 2"Sam WeismanMarc Lawrence & Alan UgerFebruary 14, 1988 (1988-02-14)145
Jennifer's punishment for reading "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" escalates into legal action.
14523"Quitting Time"Matthew DiamondSusan BorowitzFebruary 21, 1988 (1988-02-21)147
When Lauren quits work on her psychology thesis, Alex begins to find her less interesting.
14624"Spring Reminds Me"Matthew DiamondKatie FordFebruary 28, 1988 (1988-02-28)146
Evelyn Mitchum (Constance McCashin), a former neighbor and mother of Mallory's childhood best friend Rosalie, who had committed suicide, visits the Keatons and reveals that she still has difficulty coping. Meanwhile, Steven unearths his old kit of magic tricks and starts driving the family crazy with them.
14725"The Boys Next Door"Sam WeismanTrish VrandenbergMarch 6, 1988 (1988-03-06)148
Elyse's nerdy high school friend visits for a class reunion, hoping to rekindle their relationship.
14826"Sign of the Times"Asaad KeladaMatthew MonaherMarch 13, 1988 (1988-03-13)150
Andy becomes friends with a new student who is deaf. But when the other kids start teasing him, Andy decides not to talk.
14927"Return of the Native"John PasquinLloyd GarverMarch 20, 1988 (1988-03-20)071
Cousin June (Danielle von Zerneck) returns to the United States after three years abroad in England. She has lots to tell, but the entire family has stories of their own. This episode breaks the continuity of the 6th season.
15028"Father, Can You Spare a Dime?"Andrew McCulloughBen Cardinale & Peter SchreiderMay 1, 1988 (1988-05-01)149
Nick is hurting for money after he is rejected for a bank loan, but he doesn't think his estranged father (Dan Hedaya) is the right person to lend him money either. Joseph Gordon Levitt appears as one of the children in Nick's art class.

Season 7 (1988–89)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
U.S. viewers
1511"It Happened One Night"Matthew DiamondMarc LawrenceOctober 30, 1988 (1988-10-30)15426.1[7]16.0/24[7]
Steven, Elyse, and Andy go camping and Jennifer, Alex, and Mallory stay home. After realizing they should have gone with them, Jennifer, Alex, Nick, and Mallory head to the campground. But the car breaks down in the middle of nowhere and they must camp outside.
1522"Designing Woman"Matthew DiamondKatie FordNovember 6, 1988 (1988-11-06)15521.0[8]13.5/19[8]
Mallory gets a job at a fashion designing store but finds out her co-worker is stealing her designs.
1533"Truckers"Andrew McCulloughShannon GaughanNovember 13, 1988 (1988-11-13)15625.6[9]15.1/21[9]
Alex feels neglected when Andy would rather spend time with Nick's nephew than with him.
1544"Beyond Therapy"Sam WeismanKatie FordNovember 27, 1988 (1988-11-27)15822.4[10]14.9/21[10]
Lauren encourages Alex to join a therapy group to express his feelings more.
1555"Heartstrings, Part 1"Sam WeismanAlan UgerDecember 4, 1988 (1988-12-04)15130.1[11]17.6/26[11]
The family pulls together after Steven has a heart attack and has to undergo heart surgery.
1566"Heartstrings, Part 2"Sam WeismanAlan UgerDecember 11, 1988 (1988-12-11)15227.7[12]16.2/24[12]
While Steven is in heart surgery, the family holds vigil at the hospital.
1577"Heartstrings, Part 3"Sam WeismanAlan UgerDecember 18, 1988 (1988-12-18)15321.7[13]13.0/20[13]
Steven returns home from the hospital and tries to adjust to new restrictions in his life.
1588"Basic Training"Sam WeismanSusan BorowitzJanuary 1, 1989 (1989-01-01)15721.8[14]12.8/20[14]
Desperately seeking direction in life, Skippy decides to enlist in the Army. But is the Army the best career path for him? Meanwhile, Steven is not allowed to eat fattening foods because of his recent heart attack.
1599"Deja Vu"Matthew DiamondSusan BorowitzJanuary 8, 1989 (1989-01-08)16026.5[15]16.2/23[15]
Jennifer starts dating Mallory's ex-boyfriend's younger brother, Josh. But when Mallory finds out that Josh wants to follow in his brother's footsteps, she thinks that he will dump Jennifer just like Jeff dumped her.
16010"Nick's Best Friend"Sam WeismanKatie FordJanuary 15, 1989 (1989-01-15)15922.3[16]13.4/20[16]
Nick is reunited with his old dog Scrapper after his mother moves into an apartment that does not allow pets. But after the dog is struck by a car and critically injured, Nick is forced to make a heart-wrenching decision.
16111"Get Me to the Living Room on Time"Sam WeismanMatthew MonaherJanuary 29, 1989 (1989-01-29)16125.9[17]15.4/23[17]
Andy becomes friends with two senior citizens at a retirement home, Joseph and Eva. Steven decides to make them the focus of his new documentary. While the documentary is being recorded, Joseph proposes to Eva, who accepts. But Joseph's son, David, does not approve of their marriage.
16212"The Job Not Taken"Andrew McCulloughMarc LawrenceFebruary 5, 1989 (1989-02-05)16226.4[18]15.2/22[18]
When Alex's friend, Paul Corman, gets Alex a job, Paul gets fired. Alex starts to feel guilty, so he quits.
16313"The Wrecker's Ball"Sam WeismanDouglas WymanFebruary 12, 1989 (1989-02-12)16321.8[19]13.3/20[19]
When the first building Elyse designed faces the wrecking ball, the entire family rallies behind her attempts to block the demolition.
16414"My Best Friend's Girl"Sam WeismanBruce HelfordFebruary 19, 1989 (1989-02-19)16521.4[20]12.8/19[20]
Lauren tries to play matchmaker for Skippy as a favor to Alex, but Skippy ends up falling in love with her. Steven and Elyse both think they can teach Jennifer to drive better, so they compete. Maura Tierney plays Skippy's lab partner.
16515"'Til Her Daddy Takes the T-Bird Away"Matthew DiamondSusan BorowitzFebruary 26, 1989 (1989-02-26)16622.0[21]13.3/20[21]
Mallory's plans to buy a car from Nick's father's used car lot are stalled when Steven refuses to co-sign her loan.
16616"Simon Says"Matthew DiamondKatie FordMarch 5, 1989 (1989-03-05)16427.4[22]16.8/25[22]
Jennifer and Simon get jobs at a fast food restaurant.
16717"All in the Neighborhood, Part 1"Matthew DiamondRuth BennettMarch 12, 1989 (1989-03-12)16723.2[23]14.2/21[23]
When their African-American friends move into the neighborhood, the Keatons are shocked and saddened to learn racism still exists among some of their neighbors.
16818"All in the Neighborhood, Part 2"Matthew DiamondRuth BennettMarch 19, 1989 (1989-03-19)16822.3[24]14.4/22[24]
After their new neighbors' home is vandalized, the Keatons continue to battle racism in their own backyard and rally to support their friends.
16919"They Can't Take That Away From Me, Part 1"Matthew DiamondMarc LawrenceApril 2, 1989 (1989-04-02)17118.0[25]11.8/19[25]
With Lauren away, Alex begins tutoring a young co-ed (Jane Adams) and starts to develop romantic feelings for her.
17020"They Can't Take That Away From Me, Part 2"Matthew DiamondMarc LawrenceApril 9, 1989 (1989-04-09)17122.6[26]13.5/21[26]
On the brink of graduation, Alex must choose between Lauren and a pretty music student who has captured his attention.
17121"Rain Forests Keep Falling on My Head"Rita RogersBruce HelfordApril 16, 1989 (1989-04-16)17317.6[27]11.3/19[27]
When Jennifer becomes obsessed with saving the environment, she makes everybody use things that are not a hazard. Steven and Elyse suggest she see the school counselor.
"Wrap Around the Clock"Matthew DiamondKatie FordApril 23, 1989 (1989-04-23)169
The Keatons look back on pleasant memories while filling in Andy's time capsule.
17424"Mr. Keaton Takes a Vacation"Sam WeismanShannon GaughanMay 7, 1989 (1989-05-07)17416.7[29]10.5/17[29]
Steven finally expresses his true feelings about Nick when he moves in with the family for a week.
"Alex Doesn't Live Here Anymore"Sam WeismanSusan Borowitz & Katie Ford & Marc Lawrence & Alan UgerMay 14, 1989 (1989-05-14)175

When Alex lands his dream job in New York, everyone (except Elyse) is delighted for him. At the end of the show, the cast and the show's creator Gary David Goldberg come out for a final curtain call.

Note: In 2011, the series finale was ranked #24 on the TV Guide Network special, TV's Most Unforgettable Finales.[30]


  1. ^ |1982-83 Ratings History|
  2. ^ |1983-84 Ratings History|
  3. ^ |1988-89 Ratings History|
  4. ^ "TV Guide's Top 100 Episodes". Rev/Views. Retrieved July 4, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ TV Guide Book of Lists. Running Press. 2007. pp. 186. ISBN 978-0-7624-3007-9.
  6. ^ "TV Guide's Top 100 Episodes". The Associated Press. Retrieved August 3, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
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  29. ^ a b "Nielsen ratings". Life. USA Today. May 10, 1989. p. 3D. ProQuest 306210811.
  30. ^ "TV's Most Unforgettable Finales" – Aired May 22, 2011 on TV Guide Network
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