The Cosby Show

NBC (ended 1992)
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2,216 votes
  • show Description
  • Dr. Heathcliff "Cliff" Huxtable was an OBGYN (obstetrician/gynecologist), and his wife Clair was a successful attorney. They had five children: Sondra, Denise, Theo, Vanessa and Rudy. Sondra was rarely seen during the first season because she was away at Princeton. She became a regular character in the second season, and was usually seen with her on-again off-again beau, Elvin. They eventually married and had twins; but not before stunning their families by announcing the fact that Elvin was dropping out of medical school to open a camping store, and Sondra was dropping out of law school to help her husband in his endeavor. Denise was the "unique" child, the black sheep of the family. She had her own way of doing things, right down to the style of clothing she wore. After graduating high school, she left for Hillman College in 1986 (a year later, this would become the setting for the spin-off A Different World), but returned two years later with news that she was dropping out. She eventually decided to become a photographer's assistant, and left for Africa for a year. When she returned, she had yet another bombshell: she had become a wife and mother while over in Africa. She married a navy man, Martin; who had a child, Olivia, from a previous marriage. During the final season, Denise travelled with Martin as he was stationed in Asia. Olivia stayed behind with Cliff and Clair. Theo, Vanessa and Rudy were probably the most popular of the five kids, due to the fact that they were seen more often then Sondra and Denise. Most of the stories revolved around the three youngest children. Stories dealt mainly with dating and school life, as well as Cliff's never-ending fear that his children would never leave home. In the final episode, Theo graduated from college. The Cosby Show was for the late '80s what Dallas was for the early eighties. Dallas was the number one show during most of the early eighties; but then situation comedies bumped all prime-time soaps down. The Cosby Show proved to be fierce competition, becoming the number one show from 1985-1990. In fact, in 8 years it never dropped below the top 20. NBC Broadcast History September 1984-June 1992----Thursdays----8:00 p.m. July 1992-September 1992----Thursdays----8:30 p.m. Nielsen Ratings: (Top 30 or Better) #3 in the 1984-1985 Season #1 in the 1985-1986 Season #1 in the 1986-1987 Season #1 in the 1987-1988 Season #1 in the 1988-1989 Season #1 in the 1989-1990 Season #5 in the 1990-1991 Season #18 in the 1991-1992 Season The most watched Cosby Show episode ever was "Say Hello to a Good Buy" which aired on January 22, 1987. The episode received a 41.3 rating, 56 share, and was seen by 64,980,000 viewers. Watch The Cosby Show on TBS. Weekdays at 1pm & 1:30pm The Cosby Show is also being shown in syndication, check local listings.moreless

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  • Episode Guide
  • S 8 : Ep 26

    The Cosby Show: A Look Back

    Aired 5/19/02

  • S 8 : Ep 25

    And So We Commence (2)

    Aired 4/30/92

  • S 8 : Ep 24

    And So We Commence (1)

    Aired 4/30/92

  • S 8 : Ep 23

    Some Gifts Aren't Deductible

    Aired 4/23/92

  • S 8 : Ep 22

    You Can't Stop the Music

    Aired 3/26/92

  • Cast & Crew
  • Bill Cosby

    Dr. Heathcliff "Cliff" Huxtable

  • Phylicia Rashad

    Clair Olivia Hanks Huxtable

  • Sabrina Le Beauf

    Sondra Huxtable Tibideaux (seasons 2 - 8, recurring previously)

  • Lisa Bonet

    Denise Huxtable Kendall (seasons 1 - 3, 6 - 7, recurring seasons 4 - 5)

  • Malcolm-Jamal Warner

    Theodore Aloysius "Theo" Huxtable

  • Photos (7)
  • Top Contributor
  • TrickMeNot

    User Score: 1446


  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (467)

    • Clair: New rule in this house starting now! Nobody's to touch anybody anywhere with anything for the rest of their lives!

    • Cliff: I love you son. Theo: Yeah Dad, I know. Cliff: Yeah, and maybe your mother loves you too.

    • Vanessa: Dad, Denise pushed us out of the bathroom, so the soap's in Rudy's eyes and she wouldn't let me rinse out the shampoo like Mom said and now Rudy might be blinded for life! If she is, can we get a dog?

    • Cliff (eyeing Theo's messy room): Hard to get good help around here these days.

    • Cliff: Theo, your mother asked me to come up here and kill you.

    • Cliff: Come here... Come HEEERE. Here, here, here. You see, there is there, and this is here. Come HERE!

    • Cliff: Clair, did you tell Denise she could go out tonight? Clair: Yes, I did. Cliff: Have you seen the boy? Clair: Yes, I have. Cliff: How ugly is he?

    • Cliff (answering knock on bedroom door): Who is it? (Vanessa and Rudy enter.) Cliff: No, no, no. Who is it does not mean you come in. I say 'Who is it?' and you say who it is. (Vanessa and Rudy go back out and knock.) Cliff: Who is it? Vanessa: Who it is!

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    Notes (397)

    • Phylicia Rashad was credited as Phylicia Ayres-Allen for the first two seasons of the series.

    • When Cliff is talking to Denise's date, Clair comes down the stairs, mad at the kids and their bickering and she goes off yelling to them in Spanish something that translates to: "Don't tell me you won't because you will have to do it anyway!" Clair going off in Spanish when she got mad was intended to be a trait of her character. However, as the show gained shape this idea was discarded. Clair can be seen in later episodes speaking some Spanish, but only when talking to Hispanic characters ("Mr. Quiet") or when posing as a hispanic character on a hypothetical situation ("Particles in Motion"), but not because she gets mad.

    • During the first scene of all episodes of The Cosby Show, the producers, director, and writer are credited in the begining, with a shot of the house in the backrgound. For this episode only, these credits are during the final scene, before going into the ending sequence.

    • On the original broadcasts of each episode, there was a brief clip of the logo as well as a shot of Bill Cosby (from the opening sequence) when going into the commercial break. This is not shown in syndication, but can be seen in the collector's edition DVD set.

    • The setup for most episodes of The Cosby Show is 1/2 hour episodes divided in half by a commercial break. Some stations put commercials between the last scene of dialogue and the end credits (while seen in syndication).

    • The kitchen's island counters are combined in this episode.

    • At the end of each episode, the blue Carsey-Werner Logo and copyright is shown. For this episode it is shown during the montage, rather than the blue background.

    • The debut of The Cosby Show, in part because of Cliff's heart-to-heart with Theo, was named #70 on TV Guide/TV Land's "100 Most Memorable TV Moments" in December 2004.

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    Trivia (268)

    • In the first episode, the hall way is backwards from the rest of the series, the stairs are on the left in the pilot. Theo's room looks the same however its location changes to one room over in futrue episodes.

    • Another thing Cliff forgot to deduct from Theo's "Monopoly" salary: utilities (power, water, etc.) for his apartment in Manhattan or New Jersey.

    • One thing Cliff left out of Theo's "Expenses": gas and insurance for his car/motorbike. It is highly unlikely that $200 or $100 would cover a car/bike payment plus gas and insurance, even in 1984.

    • When this show was originally pitched, the Huxtables were intended to be a blue collar family. Cliff was supposed to be a chauffeur and Clair was supposed to be a housewife.

    • Goof:After Theo gives up an extra $100 for clothes, he is clearly holding $300 left in his hand. However when the camera switches back to Cliff, who asks how much is left, it switches back to Theo, who is only holding $200 left.

    • The nameplate outside Cliff's office says: "Clifford Huxtable, M.D." This continues for a few episodes until it is revealed that Cliff is short for "Heathcliff," not "Clifford." After this, the nameplate is seen from a distance--too far to be read by viewers.

    • In this episode, Vanessa refers to Theo as "Teddy" during the dining room scene and while on the stairs. Both Cliff and Claire call him "Theodore." There is no mention of the name used for the rest of the show, Theo.

    • Cliff deducts $50 from Theo's hypothetical monthly earnings for a motorcycle helmet. He'd need to buy a new one every month?

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    Allusions (36)

    • On "The Cosby Show: A Look Back" documentary, Tempestt Bledsoe says that she admires how this show had parents and children talking together, unlike most shows on at the time. The segment of Rudy and Clair in the box is shown right after that.

    • Episode Title: "A Shirt Story" This is a pun of the common literature category Short Story.

    • Cliff tells Theo that there is no way a fourteen year old should be wearing a shirt that cost 95 dollars unless he is on stage with his 4 brothers. He is talking about the popular 70's group Jackson 5 with Michael Jackson as a lead singer.

    • How Ugly Is He? The name of this episode is the name of one of Bill Cosby's comedy sketches. In addition, the pilot episode of "The Cosby Show" is referenced. In the pilot, Cliff asks Clair, "How ugly is he?", referring to Denise's boyfriend who is lurking out of Cliff's eyesight when Cliff asks the question.

    • Clair: David, Denise tells us you're really into theater. We enjoyed Dreamgirls very much.
      Dreamgirls was a Broadway musical originally produced in the early 1980s, profiling the rising career of a girls' singing group modeled after The Supremes. Phylicia Ayers-Allen-Rashad (Clair) was in the show as a member of the chorus and understudy for the lead role performed by Sheryl Lee Ralph.

    • The band name "The Walking Lemons" seems to be a reference to hit '80s rock band The Talking Heads.

    • Coach Scott tells Cliff that the "masters track meet" will be held at the Meadowlands. The Meadowlands is an sports district in East Rutherford, New Jersey, that includes an outdoor NFL football stadium (for the New York Jets and Giants) and an indoor facility primarily used for NBA basketball's New Jersey Nets. Since the clips of the race in this episode were indoors, it should be inferred that it was held in the basketball arena and had been converted for Track.

    • Clair and Cliff watch a TV football game between the Chicago Bears and the New York Giants. In real life, during the football season that this episode aired the Chicago Bears won the super bowl and they defeated the New York Giants in a playoff game.

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  • Fan Reviews (109)
  • I'm a Cosby kid at heart!

    By jazznae10, Nov 26, 2014

  • its a classic

    By sremnes, Oct 19, 2014

  • Can you do better?

    By kaycarebearba, Jan 02, 2014


    By T_VFan, Apr 30, 2012

  • This show is a PERFECT family show. And the reason why this show's so great Bill Cosby.

    By mnman, Dec 06, 2011