Welcome Back, Kotter

ABC (ended 1979)
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  • Episode Guide
  • S 4 : Ep 23

    The Breadwinners

    Aired 6/8/79

  • S 4 : Ep 22

    I'm Okay, But You're Not

    Aired 6/1/79

  • S 4 : Ep 21

    Oo-Oo, I Do (2)

    Aired 5/25/79

  • S 4 : Ep 20

    Oo-Oo, I Do (1)

    Aired 5/25/79

  • S 4 : Ep 19

    The Gang Show

    Aired 3/17/79

  • Cast & Crew
  • John Travolta

    Vinnie Barbarino

  • Marcia Strassman

    Julie Kotter

  • Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs

    Freddie "Boom-Boom" Washington

  • Gabriel Kaplan

    Gabe Kotter

  • Ron Palillo

    Arnold Horshack

  • Photos (1)
  • show Description
  • Gabe Kotter, formerly a Sweathog, returns to James Buchanan High as a teacher and is assigned the remedial class to which he once belonged. Mr. Kotter is an involved and caring teacher, which one would have to be in dealing with a certain four students in his class, who end up in trouble on a regular basis -- lady's man Vinnie Barbarino, the always cool Freddie "Boom-Boom" Washington, the tough Juan (Luis Pedro Phillipo de Huevos) Epstein, and the sheepish Arnold Dingfelder Horshack. Welcome Back, Kotter was based on Gabe Kaplan's own high school experiences with redmedial education and a teacher who cared dearly for her students. Changes on the show. Gabe Kaplan left the series in the third season. He hadn't expected the show to run as long as it had. Kotter was made Vice-Principal, and thus was seen considerably less. John Travolta, of course, found his own place as a celebrity, leaving the show around the same time Gabe Kaplan did (returning every so often as a "special guest star"). The replacement for Barbarino was Beau, who didn't help things much. By now the show had essentially lost its two biggest stars. Theme song. "Welcome Back" by John Sebastian: opening credits Welcome back, your dreams were your ticket out. Welcome back to that same old place that you laughed about. Well, the names have all changed since you hung around. But those dreams have remained and they've turned around. Who'd have thought they'd lead ya (who'd have thought they'd lead ya) Back here where we need ya (back here where we need ya)? Yeah, we tease him a lot 'cause we've got him on the spot, welcome back. Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back. Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back. end credits The second verse of the full song plays partially over the end credits. It goes as thus: Welcome back, we always could spot a friend. Welcome back, and I smile when I think how you must have been. And I know what a scene you were learnin' in. Was there something that made you come back again? And what could ever lead ya (what could ever lead ya) Back here where we need ya (back here where we need ya)? Yeah, we tease him a lot 'cause we've got him on the spot, welcome back. Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back. Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back. Catchphrases. Welcome Back, Kotter was a breeding ground for memorable catch phrases. If you have one that's been overlooked, feel free to contact the editor. Gabe Kotter: "Hey, Julie, wanna hear a joke?" (or similar dialogue) Vinnie Barbarino: "What? Where?" "I'm so confused!" "Ooookay, fine." "I said a ba-ba-ba-ba-Barbarino..." Freddie "Boom-Boom" Washington: "Hi there." "I don't happen to have it...handy." Juan Epstein: "Signed, Epstein's mother." Arnold Horshack: "Ooh! Ooh, ooh!" "Hello. How are ya? I'm Arnold Horshack." "Very impressive, Mr. Kotter!" "Be brave, little soldier." (or "buckaroo") ...and a very distinctive laugh. DVD? Welcome Back, Kotter has yet to be released properly on either video or dvd. Be sure to visit TVShowsonDVD to vote for Welcome Back, Kotter on dvd (you will have to register for free in order to vote).moreless

  • Top Contributor
  • fireballil

    User Score: 798

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  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (287)

    • Alex: (to Kotter) In your socks with a pound of lox!

    • Freddie: This coat was worn at the famous Lincoln-Douglas debate. Kotter: This coat was worn at the famous Lincoln-Douglas debate? Freddie: I wore this coat when my father, Lincoln, beat the daylights out of my brother, Douglas!

    • Kotter: Just think of a debate as sort of a, um, rumble with words. Vinnie: You mean like, 'Up your nose with a garden hose?'

    • Kotter: (seeing the mural)What do you call this anyway, Moonlight Over Garbage?

    • Vinnie: (to Todd) Off my case, potato face!

    • Vinnie: You scratch my back, I scratch yours. Kotter: I can't do that. You see, my wife has an exclusive on my entire body. She'd be disturbed if I came home with a pre-scratched back.

    • Kotter: Do I look like Miss Fishbeck, the art teacher? Epstein: Only around the moustache.

    • Gabe: I'm too young to be making my father's noise!

    Show More Quotes

    Notes (35)

    • As with most pilots, there are things in this episode that would be re-adjusted later. The classroom is arranged differently, and the Sweathogs are a bit one-dimensional. Arnold only speaks when Vinnie tells him to speak. The cast is older than the characters they are portraying, and that's aparant, but highly forgettable.

    • Original Australian airdate: Tuesday, October 12th, 1976 7.30pm

    • Vinnie names Bonzo Meretti; this was actually an old classmate of Gabe's, who he sometimes refers to on the show.

    • The play the class performs is entitled "Come Back, Little Arnold"...this is also the title of episode 92 of the series.

    • Miles Oliver is played by Jerry Rannow, a frequent writer for the show.

    • Guest star Pat Morita appears as Taro "Mr. T" Takahashi in this episode to attract the attention of viewers for his series, Mr. T and Tina.

    • Star Robert Hegyes has stated this is his favorite episode.

    • Guest star Dinah Manoff would work with John Travolta again in 1978 when they both appeared in the movie version of Grease.

    Show More Notes

    Trivia (7)

    • The school shown is New Urecht High School, where Gabe Kaplan was a student.

    • Washington mentions Moo Goo Gai grits.  This same joke is in "The Best Policy" episode of Mama's Family.

    • If all students voted in the election, the total numbers of students at Buchanan must be 381 as Mr. Kotter breaks the numbers down.

    • In the first scene, Juan mentions a chicken he rescued. However, among the animals that he gives to the Kotters, there's no sign of a chicken.

    • Jerry Rannow's character is listed as Miles Oliver in the closing credits, but he calls himself Oliver Miles in the episode.

    • This episode reveals Murray's first name to be Wilbur.

    • With this episode, Horshack is the first Sweathog to get married.

    Show More Trivia

    Allusions (14)

    • The episode title is a play on the title of Ken Kesey's 1962 novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, adapted into a 1975 movie of the same name.

    • The episode title is a play on the musical West Side Story.

    • The episode title is a play on James Hilton's 1933 novel Goodbye, Mr. Chips, since adapted for the screen multiple times.

    • Horshack explains one of Baba Bebe's sayings is, "when it's right, you know it," which Mr. Kotter immediately recognizes as being from TV. It was a phrase used in advertisements for Schlitz beer.

    • The episode title is a play on Fyodor Dostoevsky's 1866 novel Crime and Punishment.

    • The episode title and plot elements refer to Sidney Lumet's 1976 movie Network.

    • When Carvelli brings out his term papers, he says "Your category was social studies for $20. Hmmm, that sounds like a game show, don't it?" Juan later replies, "Sure! I'll take Paul Lynde to block!" This refers to the orignal version of The Hollywood Squares, which aired on NBC from 1966–81. This version included Paul Lynde in the center square, and contestants often used him to block.

    • The episode title is a play on James Hilton's 1934 novel Goodbye, Mr. Chips, since adapted for the screen several times.

    Show More Allusions
  • Fan Reviews (25)
  • WBK: Seasons 1&2 are good, 3&4 not so much

    By imsoconfused, Aug 11, 2014

  • was one of the best shows on tv

    By cleveley, Feb 01, 2013

  • Not a good show

    By tjtalman, Dec 18, 2005

  • An enjoyable show that has, sadly, lost its luster for me in the new century...

    By BatJane, Feb 19, 2011

  • The best thing this show had going was its theme song.

    By FlyGirl79, Jul 24, 2007

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