Welcome Back, Kotter

Watch Welcome Back, Kotter

  • TV-PG
  • 1975
  • 4 Seasons
  • 7.1  (7,509)

Welcome Back, Kotter was a beloved sitcom that aired on ABC from 1975 to 1979. The show centered around Gabe Kotter, a wise-cracking teacher who returns to his alma mater, James Buchanan High School in Brooklyn, New York, to teach a class of underachievers known as the Sweat Hogs.

Gabe, played by Gabe Kaplan, is a former Sweat Hog himself, and he relates to these students in a way that no other teacher can. He uses humor and a no-nonsense approach to motivate his students and help them reach their full potential.

Marcia Strassman played Gabe's wife, Julie, who is supportive of her husband's unorthodox teaching methods. John Sylvester White played the school's principal, Mr. Woodman, who is often exasperated by Gabe's antics but ultimately sees the value in his approach.

The Sweat Hogs themselves were a diverse group of students, each with their own unique personality. Robert Hegyes played Juan Epstein, a lovable con-man who is always scheming. Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs played Freddie "Boom Boom" Washington, a cool cat with a big heart. Ron Palillo played Arnold Horshack, a nerdy student with a distinctive laugh. And then there was John Travolta, who played the motormouthed heartthrob Vinnie Barbarino, who was always trying to impress the ladies.

Together, Gabe and the Sweat Hogs navigated the ups and downs of high school life, from crushes and school dances to detention and academic struggles. The show was known for its humor and heart, and it was a hit with audiences of all ages.

One of the things that set Welcome Back, Kotter apart from other sitcoms of the era was its focus on working-class life. The show took place in a neighborhood that was often overlooked by mainstream culture, and it gave a voice to its characters in a way that was both honest and refreshing.

Another standout aspect of the show was its theme song, "Welcome Back" by John Sebastian. The song became an instant classic and is still recognizable to this day. It perfectly captures the spirit of the show: a celebration of the underdogs who find their way despite the odds.

Sadly, the show came to an end after four seasons due to creative differences between Gabe Kaplan and the show's producers. But its impact can still be felt today. It launched the careers of several young actors, including Travolta, and it remains a beloved part of television history.

In conclusion, Welcome Back, Kotter was a classic sitcom that combined humor, heart, and social commentary in a way that was both entertaining and meaningful. It gave a voice to characters who were often ignored by mainstream culture, and it showed that even the most unlikely heroes can make a difference.

Welcome Back, Kotter is a series that is currently running and has 4 seasons (95 episodes). The series first aired on September 9, 1975.

Welcome Back, Kotter
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The Breadwinners
23. The Breadwinners
June 8, 1979
Epstein goes to interview for a new job and discovers that it's already been taken -- by Washington.
I'm Okay, But You're Not
22. I'm Okay, But You're Not
June 1, 1979
Beau's sweet-talking to Mr. Woodman backfires when the guys accuse him of bad-mouthing them.
Oo, Oo, I Do  (2)
21. Oo, Oo, I Do (2)
May 25, 1979
Arnold gets upset when the other Sweathogs tease him about not being able to provide for Mary, and he vanishes. Mary finds him and convinces him not to worry, and the two get married.
Oo, Oo, I Do  (1)
20. Oo, Oo, I Do (1)
May 25, 1979
Arnold's relationship with Mary gets serious. Then he finds out he has to move and leave the school. Upset, Arnold decides to propose marriage to Mary. She accepts.
The Gang Show
19. The Gang Show
March 17, 1979
Freddie and Juan plan to do an act together for the upcoming talent contest, while Carvelli has some bribed judges up his sleeves. Arnold and Beau take over as judges, leaving Murray in the third spot.
The Sweat Smell of Success
18. The Sweat Smell of Success
March 3, 1979
Epstein is assigned to the school paper and changes it from a dull, lifeless weekly to a gossipy, sensationalist money-maker -- almost losing his friends in the process.
Come Back, Little Arnold
17. Come Back, Little Arnold
February 24, 1979
To get up his nerve with Mary, Carvelli offers Arnold liquor. He doesn't like the idea at first, but as time goes on, he becomes addicted to drinking; developing a scary and unlikable new personality that only turns Mary away.
The Goodbye Guy
16. The Goodbye Guy
February 10, 1979
Mr. Woodman's niece Kelly is babysitting for the Kotters when Juan drops by the apartment. The two abruptly fall in love and decide to move in together, but the romance begins to crumble when it seems that they can't respect one another's interests.
Barbarino's Baby
15. Barbarino's Baby
February 3, 1979
Vinnie is forced to deliver a baby in an elevator.
Bride and Gloom
14. Bride and Gloom
January 13, 1979
Barbarino's wedding is coming up very soon and he's getting cold feet.
A Winter's Coat Tail
13. A Winter's Coat Tail
December 16, 1978
Vinnie is saddened when his new coat is stolen.
A Little Fright Music
12. A Little Fright Music
December 2, 1978
The Sweathogs opt to change Mr. Woodman's tired old school song.
Frog Day Afternoon
11. Frog Day Afternoon
October 9, 1978
After Horshack refuses to disect a frog in class, his grade is in jeopardy.
Washington's Clone
10. Washington's Clone
November 11, 1978
A younger student begins to imitate Freddie, not much to Freddie's liking.
The Barbarino Blues
9. The Barbarino Blues
November 4, 1978
Vinnie becomes depressed when it seems that he has lost his way with women.
X-Rated Education
8. X-Rated Education
October 28, 1978
The gang is liable to get in trouble when the x-rated film Carvelli brought into school is accidentally mixed up with a film on sexual education.
Barbarino's Boo-Boo
7. Barbarino's Boo-Boo
October 21, 1978
When Mr. Woodman comes to Vinnie's hospital for an operation, Vinnie loses him and he and the other Sweathogs try to find him.
The Sweatmobile
6. The Sweatmobile
October 9, 1978
The Sweathogs remember how they tried to buy a used car from Vinnie's uncle.
Once Upon a Ledge
5. Once Upon a Ledge
October 2, 1978
A new girl at Buchanan High contemplates suicide after having a hard time making friends.
Don't Come Up and See Me Sometime
4. Don't Come Up and See Me Sometime
September 25, 1978
Vinnie throws the Sweathogs out of his new apartment.
Beau's Jest
3. Beau's Jest
September 18, 1978
With Barbarino now an ordlery at a hospital, the Sweathogs try to get jobs there, too. Meanwhile, Kotter tries to get the gang to return to school.
The Drop-Ins (2)
2. The Drop-Ins (2)
September 11, 1978
With Barbarino now an ordlery at a hospital, the Sweathogs try to get jobs there, too. Meanwhile, Kotter tries to get the gang to return to school.
The Drop-Ins (1)
1. The Drop-Ins (1)
September 11, 1978
Gabe announces that he is now the vice-principal and Mr. Woodman is the principal. The Sweathogs are pleased, until Gabe gets strict. After Vinnie visits the school to tell the gang he's dropped out, the other Sweathogs decide to follow in his footsteps.
Where to Watch Welcome Back, Kotter
Welcome Back, Kotter is available for streaming on the ABC website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Welcome Back, Kotter on demand at Amazon, Vudu, Microsoft Movies & TV, Google Play, Apple TV and Tubi TV.
  • Premiere Date
    September 9, 1975
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (7,509)