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Charges in Charge is a sitcom that revolves around a 19 year old college student named Charles played by Scott Baio. Charles who attends the fictional Copeland College on New Brunswick, New Jersey, finds himself as a live in babysitter for the Pembroke family in exchange for room and board. Charles finds himself in charge of three children Lila, Douglas, and Jason.

The Pembroke family gets transferred to Seattle and Charles finds himself living with a new family who is leasing the house. Charles is hesitant at first to take care of the new family. The Powell family is made up of two girls, one boy, the mother and a retired grandfather. The father is in the Navy and is away most of the time. Charles eventually comes to care for the family and decided to stay in the house and take care of the children.

5 Seasons, 126 Episodes
October 3, 1984
Cast: Scott Baio
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Charles in Charge Full Episode Guide

  • Jamie is invited to New Mexico to visit her cousin Amanda, but she would rather stay at home, so Sarah goes in her place. Sarah meets Amanda and her family for the first time, including Nikki and the foreign exchange student who is staying with the family. Sarah and Nikki soon discover that Sarah's cousins never talk seriously to each other, and they don't sit down together at the dinner table at the same time. The parents are preoccupied with their careers and never seem to be around to give their children advice. Nikki decides he is going to bring the family closer together.

  • The Powell children are tired of having to go places with their grandfather, so they get Charles to convince Walter to take a history class at the college where Charles is an assistant teacher. The next day, Walter shows up for class and listens to Charles lecture on World War II, correcting Charles on his facts, then informs the class he will give them private lessons. Now that Walter has found a new interest, the Powell children feel they are being ignored because Walter has no time for them.

  • While Charles is working at the diner, Frankie Romano, a salesman, stops in to sell his 'Dog-O-Matic,' a device that turns food into the shape of a hot dog. Moments later, Lillian arrives and rushes into Frankie's arms. She tells Charles that they almost married years ago, but he introduced her to his best friend instead, who was Charles' father. Charles is upset that Frankie and Lillian are spending so much time together.

  • While Charles is studying for finals, Lillian tells him that she is going on vacation and Aunt Vanessa will be taking care of the diner. Charles starts feeling that he is under too much pressure with finals, plus taking care of the Powells and looking after Aunt Vanessa and the diner. Moments later, Adam accidentally opens a door and hits Charles on the head, knocking him out cold. When Charles comes to, he is his alter ego "Chaz."

  • Jamie is dating Todd Gordon, captain of the school's football team, to increase her chances of getting elected Homecoming Queen, and Sarah tells her that is a shallow reason for dating someone. Once Todd discovers Jamie's intentions, he ends their relationship. Jamie worries that everyone thinks she is superficial, so Charles asks his girlfriend Karen to give Jamie "culture lessons".

  • Jamie is given the option of writing a civics paper or running for a class office. She opts to run for student body president, so she can do away with school rules. Sarah asks Charles for advice on how to save the school from Jamie, and he suggests she should either run against Jamie or lower her scholastic goals. So Sarah decides to run for the presidency also. On election day, the competition begins to heat up, and Jamie enlists Buddy as her campaign manager.

  • Charles has to find a job that will pay quick cash to buy a computer, so he and Buddy volunteer to participate in E.S.P. testing. At the test center, Buddy surprisingly gets every test correct, and Charles begins to believe that Buddy really does have E.S.P. Buddy predicts a woman will come into Charles' life, and shortly thereafter Charles meets Lily Stevens. Soon everything Buddy predicts begins to come true. The next day, Buddy warns Charles that he had a vision that Lily's father wants to shoot him!

  • Charles and Buddy have a Psychology paper to write and Buddy decides to get information first hand by talking with Dr. Clay at the Psychiatric Hospital. Charles drops Buddy off with intentions to pick him up later. After Buddy's talk with Dr. Clay about his research on Abnormal Psychology, Dr. Clay decides to admit him for observation. A frantic phone call from Buddy sends Charles to the hospital to get him released. At the sanity hearing with Psychiatrist Willard, Charles unexpectedly gets admitted to the hospital while Buddy gets released.

  • Charles' childhood friends stay with him at the Powells' home, and they discover just how rude and obnoxious they can be. They invite him to go on a trip with them, but he would rather stay home because he still has to find out if he has been accepted as a part-time teacher. Opting to go on the trip, he arranges for Buddy to fill in for him, helping Sarah in the charity bike race as he had promised. One of Charles' buddies answers the phone, and pretending to be Charles, turns the teaching job down.

  • Sarah gets her first assignment for the city newspaper to interview rock star Samantha Steele. When Charles finds out, he convinces Sarah to conduct the interview at the Powells' home, hoping he can meet her. Charles finds himself falling head over heels for Samantha, and he asks her out that evening, only to discover their attraction is mutual. When Charles mentions to Samantha that he is being considered for an Ethics Scholarship from college, she asks him to be her road manager, assuming he is someone she can trust to handle her finances. But he is considering becoming her husband.

  • Adam has been picking up bad habits, so Buddy offers to give him some advice, even convincing Adam to invest his savings in the stock market as Buddy did. Charles feels that Adam listens to Buddy's advice because he gives him easy solutions, so he lets Adam learn the hard way by following Buddy's bad advice.

  • Lillian is holding a "Miss Yesterday CafĂ©" beauty contest at the diner; Buddy and Charles have been chosen to judge the pageant. Charles soon discovers that two of the girls he is dating, Valerie and Wendy, have entered the contest as well as Jamie and Sarah. Sarah's reason for entering is different from the other girls; she is planning to denounce publicly the open display of male chauvinism in beauty contests.

  • After a hummingbird's beak nearly misses entering his ear and puncturing his brain, Buddy sees his life passing before him. Deciding this is a "sign" from a higher power, Buddy starts thinking about life and where he fits into the master plan. A worried Charles convinces Buddy to talk with Father Michaels for some professional advice, and father Michaels advises Buddy to find the answer through meditation. Buddy spends the next day at a monastery and discovers his calling is to become a priest.

  • When Jamie is offered the chance to finish high school at the 'Professional Performers School' in New York City, Walter agrees to give his permission if she finds a mature adult female to live with her. Soon after, Charles' Aunt Vanessa from New York City arrives for a visit. Vanessa and Jamie discover they enjoy each others company, so Jamie asks Vanessa to be her guardian in order to finish high school in the city. Aunt Vanessa volunteers immediately. Being a man of honor, Walter has to agree to let Jamie go, but he gives Charles the task of changing Jamie's mind since Charles and his aunt are responsible for Jamie's decision.

  • When Jamie and Sarah meet Charles' new girlfriend, Darlene, they are more than perplexed to see that she looks identical to Buddy's new girlfriend, Marlene, whom they met earlier at the diner. Meanwhile, Charles and Buddy are both excited about introducing each other to their new girlfriends and plan a double date for the following night. When Marlene arrives for the date, Sarah, in a panicked effort to get her out of the boys' view, has Marlene wait in the basement. After being told the whereabouts of Marlene, Jamie is stunned to answer the door and find Darlene, Marlene's apparent twin. Despite her own confusion, Jamie has Darlene wait in the kitchen. By coincidence, Charles unknowingly ends up in the basement with Buddy's girl, while Buddy meets Charles' new love in the kitchen.

  • Charles moves into Buddy's dorm room for a few days because the Powell's house is being fumigated. When Buddy's father Clarence (guest star Lewis Arquette) arrives with his suitcases, he explains that he has quit his job and wants to visit with his son for a while. Buddy assumes his parents have broken up because they never travel without each other. That night at the diner, Charles counsels Buddy to have a talk with his father, but Buddy confides that he and his father have never been able to communicate.

  • Charles buys a digital electronic organizer to put his life in order. It is to tell him what to do, when to do it and is never supposed to fail. Lillian and each of the Powell children make demands on Charles' time. He makes promises to all of them, keeping all of the information stored in the organizer and devising a schedule that supposedly enables him to handle everything that is needed of him. Eventually, Charles takes on more than he can handle and in spite of the organizer, he loses control.

  • Walter falls in love with Julia Myers, a WW II buff, and invites her over to the Powell home for dinner to impress her with his war memorabilia. Unfortunately, he forgot that he ordered Charles to throw them out when he cleaned the house. To remedy the situation, Walter decides to borrow some replicas from his veteran group, the John Paul Jones Society -- he has an authentic-looking bomb, a Japanese sword and flag delivered to the house. At dinner that night, Charles joins Walter in impressing Julia with the war memorabilia. But after a while, Walter starts to feel guilty about lying and confesses the truth to Julia.

  • Walter Powell puts Charles in charge of hiding a pearl necklace from the children's mother until her birthday, but the task becomes more difficult with the arrival of Julie Mercer, the Powell's former babysitter. When Julie upstages Charles several times in front of the Powells, he begins to lose his confidence as caretaker of the household and keeper of the pearls. Buddy mentions that it appears Julie is plotting to get her old job back by making Charles look incompetent.

  • Each of the Powell children has a desired use for the basement that is being remodeled. However, Jamie is convinced that fate stepped in, and she will finally have her own bedroom. Walter Powell points out that the new basement will double as a recreation room and office for their mother. Meanwhile, Charles has his hands full with his nephew Anthony Swensen who takes shortcuts to get duties accomplished. When Adam realizes that his book report on Oliver Twist is due, Anthony obtains a copy of the musical "Oliver!" suggesting Adam write a report from the video cassette. Charles finds Jamie in his bedroom listening to music with Jeff. When he throws Jeff out, Jamie tells Charles that 'fate' doesn't want Charles in their home...and neither does she!

  • After a week away at tennis camp, Jamie appears to have gone through a complete personality change. The family is amazed at her unusual display of affection. The Powells discover that Jamie and her friend Kimberly have fallen under the spell of Abba-Khan (guest star Charles Nelson Reilly), a guru they met at camp. Buddy, who is familiar with the guru's practices, informs Charles that Abba-Khan is a fraud who attracts young people with his teachings about love so they can give him all their money.

  • When "Chaz" brings his new bride Tiffany home to meet the Powell family, they are convinced that there is something drastically wrong with him. Both Lillian and Walter are shocked by the news and concerned about the future of the marriage. Suspecting that there is something physically wrong with Charles, Buddy asks Nurse Bennet to examine him and then look for ways to extricate Charles from the marriage. Meanwhile, Tiffany pays Lillian a surprise visit to inform her that she wants out of the marriage because "Chaz" refuses to let her have a life of her own. Finally, Jamie and Sarah recall that just before Charles became "Chaz" they heard him say "ow" in the laundry room, supporting the theory that he might be suffering from temporary amnesia.

  • When Charles is kept after class to correct papers, Buddy volunteers to take Adam to the dentist. But in his typical irresponsible fashion, Buddy forgets. Charles feels let down by his best friend once too often, and decides it is time to end their friendship. The argument is temporarily forgotten when Charles finds out that Buddy has accidentally inhaled an angel fish while cleaning out his aquarium. Lodged in his windpipe, the fish has cut off his oxygen supply, and now Buddy lies unconscious in the hospital.

  • When Professor Bunt goes out of town to interview with his future brother-in-law for a teaching position at Harvard, he puts Charles in charge of entertaining his visiting sister Dodo (guest star Marcia Wallace) for the evening. Because he already has a commitment to Buddy, Charles talks Walter Powell, who never dates, into taking her out. Charles and Buddy return that night only to have Walter and Dodo announce that they are getting married.

  • Professor Krick gives Charles his first student teaching assignment, creating a history test that two of the college's star football players can pass. If they flunk the test, they get kicked off the team, and Charles gets kicked out of college. But rather than giving them a simpler test, Charles is determined to tutor the athletes until they can pass the same test the rest of the class will be taking. In the meantime, Lillian has bought an old diner and turned it into a 50's eatery called "The Yesterday Cafe." Although it looks very authentic, right down to the menus made from actual 50's newspapers, no one shows up for the grand opening, leaving everyone with doubts about the restaurant's succeeding.

  • Professor Flack asks Charles to lead a study group in English Literature and grade the class mid-term papers. Charles gives one student, Muffy, an A for her off-the-wall analysis of Moby Dick, but Prof. Flack, who dislikes her, tells Charles he must change her grade to a D or get kicked out of the department.

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