Diff'rent Strokes

Watch Diff'rent Strokes

  • TV-PG
  • 1978
  • 8 Seasons
  • 6.6  (9,929)

Diff'rent Strokes is a sitcom that takes place in Manhattan; it is the story of Arnold (Gary Coleman) and Willis Jackson (Todd Bridges), two African-American children from Harlem that go to live with wealthy, widowed Phillip Drummond (Conrad Bain) and his daughter Kimberly (Dana Plato) in their upscale Park Avenue penthouse following the death of their mother who was the Drummond's housekeeper. The first season of the show primarily dealt with the adjustments of two young African-American boys living with white, upper-class Mr. Drummond. The boys eventually were adopted by him, took his last name and began referring to him as dad and Kimberly as their sister. Maggie McKinney (Dixie Carter) and her son, Sam (Danny Cooksey) joined the Drummond household late in the show's run when she and Mr. Drummond married. Along with being funny Diff'rent Strokes also tackled serious social issues such as child sexual abuse, racism, and the use of illegal drugs. The race issue was talked about frequently on the show; the Drummonds, often had to deal with peoples confused looks when Arnold and Willis were introduced to friends of Kimberly and associates of Mr. Drummond. The topic of illegal drug abuse offered an episode that featured first lady, Nancy Reagan who discussed her Just Say No anti-drug program. No matter what the topic of the episode, at some point Arnold would say his tag line, "What you talkin' bout, Willis?" which was sure to bring laughter and lighten the mood. Full of wholesome, family entertainment, the sit-com offers laughter when dealing life lessons. Diff'rent Strokes had a successful television run 1978-1986, it was broadcast on ABC from 1978-1985 and moved to ABC their final season 1985-1986.

Diff'rent Strokes
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Seasons
The Front Page
19. The Front Page
March 7, 1986
Arnold's feature story about his high school football team threatens to turn into a controversial expose for the school newspaper when he witnesses team members buying steroids.
The Photo Club
18. The Photo Club
February 28, 1986
Arnold is disgruntled over being partnered with archenemy Lisa in photography class but his frustration soars when the two are accidentally locked together in the basement darkroom.
The Big Bribe
17. The Big Bribe
February 21, 1986
A date with a gorgeous girl has Arnold walking on a cloud, until he learns she was bribed by Willis to go out with him.
Lifestyles of the Poor and Unknown
16. Lifestyles of the Poor and Unknown
February 7, 1986
Sam's contempt for a classmate who incessantly insults and badgers him is pacified when he learns that the boy is an orphan who's jealous of Sam's "perfect" family life.
Arnold's Tangled Web
15. Arnold's Tangled Web
January 31, 1986
To prevent Drummond from seeing his "F" in geometry, Arnold arranges to have Drummond's signature forged on his report on his report card, but the scheme backfires when Drummond insists on a personal inspection of Arnold's grades.
Sam's Big Brother
14. Sam's Big Brother
January 24, 1986
Arnold's preoccupation with girls and school leaves younger brother Sam alone and bored until Willis steps in, takes over as "big bro" and causes a row when Arnold decides to fight back for the title.
Bulimia
13. Bulimia
January 17, 1986
Arnold suspects that Kimberly has an eating disorder when his slender sister is secretly gorging himself, but not gaining any weight. Arnold seeks Drummond's help in confronting Kimberly with her problem and the family comes together to help her fight the eating disorder, bulimia.
Arnold's Initiation
12. Arnold's Initiation
January 10, 1986
Arnold's initiation into the "cool" club at school jeopardizes his friendship with the mildly-retarded dishwasher at the Hamburger Hangar, after a prank Arnold "must" pull causes the man to lose his job.
It's My Party and I'll Cry if I Want To
11. It's My Party and I'll Cry if I Want To
December 13, 1985
Drummond has "insured" that Sam will have an unforgettable birthday party by arranging for a local television personality to be the main attraction, until the swash-buckling "Captain Jack" steals the show and the birthday boy jumps ship.
Arnold's Bad Rep
10. Arnold's Bad Rep
December 6, 1985
Arnold succumbs to peer pressure and boasts he went "all the way" with his girlfriend, but his lie puts him in a more awkward position once the girl finds out about his claim to fame.
Speak No Evil
9. Speak No Evil
November 29, 1985
Father and son are feuding over First Amendment rights when an outraged Arnold objects to a white supremacy organization speaking at his high school and a discerning Drummond can't support Arnold's fury on the basis of the American right to free speech.
So You Want to Be a Rock Star
8. So You Want to Be a Rock Star
November 15, 1985
A music instructor "backs up" Arnold after he claims to be an expert sax player in order to impress a girl.
A Tale of Two Teachers
7. A Tale of Two Teachers
November 8, 1985
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar guest stars as a high school English teacher who gives Arnold a "classic" punishment for "goofing off" in class and the freshman quickly learns his lesson when his penace is teaching "A Tale of Two Cities" to his rowdy classmates.
Arnold's Job
6. Arnold's Job
October 25, 1985
Arnold's dream of becoming an "overnight" success as a photo-journalist run headlong into reality when he gets his first job on a local newspaper.
Willis Goes to College
5. Willis Goes to College
October 18, 1985
Willis takes a big step when he leave home for college, but fears his initiation to dorm life is only one of the freshman experiences he may not be ready to handle.
Love on the Run
4. Love on the Run
October 11, 1985
Sam and Arnold fear that the time their parents are spending apart is a symptom of an ailing marriage and the boys attempt to give them a dose of romance, hoping it will be the cure that will keep them from divorce.
Bully for Arnold
3. Bully for Arnold
October 4, 1985
Guarding the school bully's girlfriend, Ramona, seems like a simple task to Arnold, until his natural Jackson "charm" creates some problems, Ramona falls head over heels for him and Herman, the bully, wants to rearrange his face.
Sam's Missing
2. Sam's Missing
September 27, 1985
The Drummonds, desperate to get Sam back, go on the news to try and advertise to get Sam back. In the meantime Sam risks everything to tell the Drummonds where he is.
Sam's Missing
1. Sam's Missing
September 27, 1985
A family whose little boy died, forces the father to kidnap Sam, who is shopping for some snacks in a grocery store. After the kidnapping, the man threatens to kill Sam's parents if he attempts in any way to escape.
Ep 171 - Love On The Run
171. Ep 171 - Love On The Run
January 1, 1985
Mr. Drummond and Maggie are too busy to spend time together, which has Sam worried that their marriage may be in trouble. So he and Arnold put together a romantic evening for the two of them.
Ep 172 - Bully For Arnold
172. Ep 172 - Bully For Arnold
January 1, 1985
A tough guy wants Arnold to take care of his girlfriend while he is away, but the girl develops feelings for Arnold.
Ep 173 - Arnold's Job
173. Ep 173 - Arnold's Job
January 1, 1985
Arnold hopes to become a photojournalist and ends up getting a job at a newspaper, but he becomes disillusioned when he's asked to run errands instead of taking pictures.
Ep 174 - Sam's Missing, Part 1
174. Ep 174 - Sam's Missing, Part 1
January 1, 1985
A father who suffers the loss of one of his sons decides to kidnap Sam to replace him. Part 1 of 2.
Ep 176 - It's My Party & I'll Cry If I Want To
176. Ep 176 - It's My Party & I'll Cry If I Want To
January 1, 1985
Sam manages to get a popular children's show host for his birthday party, but is disappointed when his friends are more interested in the guest than in him.
Ep 177 - Willis Goes To College
177. Ep 177 - Willis Goes To College
January 1, 1985
Willis has a hard time adjusting to college, so he decides to drop out. However, he changes his mind when he finds out he's not the only one having trouble adjusting.
Ep 178- A Tale Of Two Teachers
178. Ep 178- A Tale Of Two Teachers
January 1, 1985
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar returns as Arnold's teacher and has Arnold take over teaching the class for one day. Arnold isn't thrilled about the assignment at first, but after reading the assigned book, he gets excited.
Ep 179 - Speak No Evil
179. Ep 179 - Speak No Evil
January 1, 1985
Arnold and his friends find out that a racist group will be speaking on campus, so they decide to interrupt their assembly by throwing rotten food at them. When Mr. Drummond find out, he objects to Arnold's behavior.
Ep 180 - So You Want To Be A Rock
180. Ep 180 - So You Want To Be A Rock
January 1, 1985
Arnold tries to learn the saxophone to impress a girl, but is so bad that his friends try to kick him out of their group.
Ep 181 - Bulimia
181. Ep 181 - Bulimia
January 1, 1985
Arnold gets blamed when food starts disappearing from the house, but he soon discovers that Kimberly, who has developed bulimia, is the culprit.
Ep 182 - Arnold's Bad Rep
182. Ep 182 - Arnold's Bad Rep
January 1, 1985
Arnold tells his friends that he has had sex with a girl, which leads to her deciding to have sex for real - which Arnold isn't ready for.
Ep 183 - Arnold's Initiation
183. Ep 183 - Arnold's Initiation
January 1, 1985
Arnold pulls a prank at the local burger place in order to get into a club, but his prank causes a mentally challenged worker to get fired, so Arnold tries to make things right.
Ep 184 - Sam's Big Brother
184. Ep 184 - Sam's Big Brother
January 1, 1985
Sam begins to hang out with Willis a lot more than with Arnold, making Arnold feel left out.
Ep 185 - Arnold's Tangled Web
185. Ep 185 - Arnold's Tangled Web
January 1, 1986
Arnold enlists a hustler to help him conceal a poor grade from Drummond, but the ruse becomes increasingly tricky to maintain.
Ep 186 - Lifestyle Of The Poor And Unknown
186. Ep 186 - Lifestyle Of The Poor And Unknown
January 1, 1986
Sam gets into a fight at Hamburger Hanger with a kid who constantly picks on him. Sam later discovers the bully is a foster child and is very jealous of what Sam has.
Ep 187 - The Big Bribe
187. Ep 187 - The Big Bribe
January 1, 1986
Willis gets the sister of one of his old girlfriends to go out with Arnold by giving her concert tickets. When Arnold finds out he is angry at what Willis did, but turns out the girl likes Arnold for real.
Ep 188- The Photo Club
188. Ep 188- The Photo Club
January 1, 1986
Arnold and Lisa get stuck working together on a school assignment, and get locked in their school's darkroom. This leads to the two of them coming to an understanding about their adversarial relationship.
Ep 189- The Front Page
189. Ep 189- The Front Page
January 1, 1986
Arnold finds out that several athletes at school are using anabolic steroids, so he goes undercover to expose the full story.
Diff'rent Strokes
Diff'rent Strokes

Trailer - 51 sec

Description

Diff'rent Strokes is a sitcom that takes place in Manhattan; it is the story of Arnold (Gary Coleman) and Willis Jackson (Todd Bridges), two African-American children from Harlem that go to live with wealthy, widowed Phillip Drummond (Conrad Bain) and his daughter Kimberly (Dana Plato) in their upscale Park Avenue penthouse following the death of their mother who was the Drummond's housekeeper.

The first season of the show primarily dealt with the adjustments of two young African-American boys living with white, upper-class Mr. Drummond. The boys eventually were adopted by him, took his last name and began referring to him as dad and Kimberly as their sister. Maggie McKinney (Dixie Carter) and her son, Sam (Danny Cooksey) joined the Drummond household late in the show's run when she and Mr. Drummond married.

Along with being funny Diff'rent Strokes also tackled serious social issues such as child sexual abuse, racism, and the use of illegal drugs. The race issue was talked about frequently on the show; the Drummonds, often had to deal with peoples confused looks when Arnold and Willis were introduced to friends of Kimberly and associates of Mr. Drummond. The topic of illegal drug abuse offered an episode that featured first lady, Nancy Reagan who discussed her Just Say No anti-drug program.

No matter what the topic of the episode, at some point Arnold would say his tag line, "What you talkin' bout, Willis?" which was sure to bring laughter and lighten the mood. Full of wholesome, family entertainment, the sit-com offers laughter when dealing life lessons.

Diff'rent Strokes had a successful television run 1978-1986, it was broadcast on ABC from 1978-1985 and moved to ABC their final season 1985-1986.

Diff'rent Strokes is a series that is currently running and has 8 seasons (347 episodes). The series first aired on November 3, 1978.

Where to Watch Diff'rent Strokes

Diff'rent Strokes is available for streaming on the The Minisode Network website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Diff'rent Strokes on demand at Amazon Prime.

  • Premiere Date
    November 3, 1978
  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (9,929)