Mama's Family - Season 3

NBC (ended 1990)


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Episode Guide

  • Farewell Frannie
    Farewell Frannie
    Episode 1
    Mama's sister, Frannie, has just passed away, and even if she can't bring herself to tell how Frannie actually died (it was by inhaling a tooth pick in the ladies room at the Bigger Jigger). Mama is never the less determined to give her late sister something she never had, a "perfect day". But things soon turn from perfect to terrible as one disaster after another strikes. First Mama finds out Don and Loraine won't be there and of course Buzz and Sonya won't either (for unexplained reasons) and Ed and Eunice have moved to Florida (a blessing). Then Ellen calls and says she's got something more pressing business and can't make it either. Later, as the the family gets home from the funeral, we find out Vint forgot to shut the hearse door, resulting in the coffin flying out of the hearse and down the on-ramp to the free way. The house is a mess and they believe they've been robbed, but it is soon revealed that Eunice and Ed's son Bubba (just out of reform school) has arrived after finding his old home locked up. Mama has to tell him, Ed and Eunice moved to Florida and he has to stay with her, because he's on probation and can't leave the state. Also much to the aggravation of Vint and Naomi, Mama gives Bubba, Fran's old room.moreless
  • Where There's a Will
    Mama finds Frannie's dairy when she goes to get Bubba for breakfast. Inside is a note telling Mama to call the executor of her will, Larwin P. Finstadler. When Mr. Finstadler arrives he informs Mama that Fran was worth $35,000. Fran's will stipulated 10% of that would go to the "Ray of Hope Home for Wayward Girls". But the other $31,500 was to be split evenly between Mama, and Vint and Naomi. Only one stipulation stands between Mama and the money, she has to keep from losing her temper for a period of two weeks and it's totally on her honor. So for the next two weeks Vint and Naomi wait on her hand and foot, trying to keep her from getting upset. Including paying Bubba $10 to do his homework and doing the dishes and most of the other housework. While they begin to bicker among themselves, Mama relaxes and takes it easy. On the last day, Mr. Finstadler arrives, and Mama comes back from the Beauty Spot in a terrible mood. Her car was smashed up and the guy left a note just to fool the witnesses into thinking he was leaving his name and address. Then she sat in paint waiting for the bus, destroying her new dress. Mr. Finstadler says the dress doesn't suit her anyway and she tells him off and throws him out. So the entire estate goes to the "Ray of Hope Home for Wayward Girls".moreless
  • Best Medicine
    Best Medicine
    Episode 3
    The family is in the middle of a game of scrabble when Ellen stops by with a gift for Mama and to attempt to once again apologize for missing her Aunt Fran's funeral. Mama refuses to forgive her and throws her out. Later, Naomi comes in and says she heard that Ellen was in the hospital about to under go surgery. With that, Mama drags the rest of the family to the hospital to visit her. The visit soon turns very uncomfortable for Ellen as Mama begins yelling at the family for one and then another. Not able to stand it any longer, Ellen calls for the nurse and orders her to throw the family out and post an armed guard at the door. Mama finally sends everyone home, but sneaks back in herself and stays with Ellen through the night. Mama and Ellen soon forgive one another for all the years of fighting and Ellen finally reveals to Mama why she is the hospital in the first place, she's having a fanny tuck. Mama then makes some revelations of her own, when she says out of all her kids, she always loved Ellen best.moreless
  • National Mama
    National Mama
    Episode 4
    When Mama's dreams start providing the names of winning horses, the family figures they're in the money.
  • Soup to Nuts
    Soup to Nuts
    Episode 5
    Mama is the editor of the years church bazaar cookbook, in it she plans to use her own recipe for Chili. Iola objects thinking it should be hers that Mama uses. Soon Naomi too throws her hat in the ring, saying she makes the best Chili. So the three decide to have to a chili cook-off with the winner getting her recipe in the cookbook. Vint, being stuck in the middle of this brewing argument, is choosen, against his will, as the judge of the contest. All three have identical supplies, with Mama and Iola also have identical ingredients. While Naomi's chili is far different from the other two as it includes two giant cans of store bought chili, plus beer, cheetos and several other items not usually associated with chili. Each bringing back a certain memory from one of her ex-husbands or boyfriends. Each bowl is lettered as the contest begins and Vint decides the 'B' bowl is the best, which belongs to Iola, and she runs home to show her father and dare her mother to throw it out again. As soon as she is gone though, Mama and Naomi force Vint to make his real decision, but instead, he dumps both bowls together, saying it's got to be the best chili ever, but after just one bite he starts gagging. Prompting Mama to say "Vint that better be Naomi's half your gaggin on."moreless
  • Mama and Dr. Brothers
    Vint and Naomi are having trouble in the bedroom, while Vint is afraid he's gonna lose his job, with Kwik Keys being taken over by a large corporation. Mama and Iola soon discover exactly what it is when they turn on Good Morning Raytown, and special guest Dr. Joyce Brothers agrees to take a few phone calls live on-air. The first one is from a woman, with a husband named Clint (who works at Kwik Keys), she says her husband's having trouble performing lately. Mama figures out rather quickly that it's Naomi talking about Vint's and her problems. Dr. Brothers says their problem might have to do with stress at work, or it could be stress from living with an inlaw. Later, after taking phone calls all day from people about the show, Mama questions Naomi about it, and Vint arrives home soon afterwards and is in a foul mood. To solve the situation Mama rushes to the airport with Vint and Naomi to catch Dr. Brothers before she leaves for Tulsa. Joyce suggests Vint and Naomi take a trip to get away from everything in an attempt to liven up the marriage. They then rush off to make the reservations for a weekend in Hinkley.moreless
  • Cat's Meow
    Cat's Meow
    Episode 7
    Iola is distraught when her cat Midnight dies,although everyone else is thankful,noting that the cat was as mean as a rattlesnake. But Iola refuses to let go and nothing can console her---until she decides to have it freeze-dried.She goes all out and buys a model that meows when you pet it.She leaves it with Mama for a while and Mama takes it out to the front porch and leaves it. That's where Vint falls on it as he, Naomi and Bubba are bringing in a trunk they just bought from the police surplus. Thinking they killed the cat, they bury it,and go into to open the trunk.Which has a hole on the side of it and is the home of a Mama cat and her kittens.One of which looks just like Iola's former pet.Who adopts it immediately.moreless
  • The Love Letter
    The Love Letter
    Episode 8
    Naomi is giving Bubba and Vint a love test to see how romantic they are, from the latest issue Lady's Circle.As it turns out Vint is a "cold fish" and Bubba is a "Red Hot Romeo". So Vint decides to try and be more romantic and talks Bubba into writing her a love letter.

    Vint puts it in her make up case, but Bubba moves it to her purse while Naomi watches.Thinking Bubba wrote it to her she begins to worry. Slipping it into the Lady's Circle, which is where Iola finds it,thinking Vint wrote it her. She then leaves it accidentally on George's clipboard while he working on Mama's refrigerator.

    Iola shows up minutes later ready to claim Vint as her own, while Naomi tries to explain to Bubba,and Mama is freaked out thinking George is after her. Soon enough it is revealed though that the where the letter came from.moreless
  • An Ill Wind
    An Ill Wind
    Episode 9
    In this Thanksgiving episode, Mama, Bubba, Vinton, Naomi, Iola, and Aunt Effie (Dorothy Van) all go for cover in the basement when an unexpected tornado passes by Raytown.
  • Steal One, Pearl Two
    Bubba wants to borrow $200 to buy a new drum set, while Iola's upset that she can't get her jewelry box open to put her pearls away, so she brings the box over for Vint to open. When he can't, Bubba quickly borrows a bobby pin and opens it easily. Iola heads home only to return a few minutes later in search of her beloved pearls, which have mysteriously disappeared. Iola is quick to accuse Bubba, who comes in with a brand new drum set, claiming he borrowed them from a friend of a friend who's name he forgets. Pretneding to defend Bubba, Mama throws Iola out. Now convinced, she too accuses Bubba. Feeling betrayed by his own family Bubba attempts to run away from home. She finds him at the "Rayhound" station and tells him the story of what happened when Eunice tried ran away (she only made it across the river to Bump). Saying she believes him now, Bubba decides to come home. In the end they find the pearls, where they had been all along, stuck to the back of a pillow on the couch.moreless
  • Where's There's Smoke
    Mama desperately wants to be named President of the Church Ladies League, but the decision is made solely by Reverend Meechum. So Mama invites the Reverend and Alberta Meechum to dinner. It's just then that Bubba sees in the newspaper that one of his former inmates at Juvenile Hall has escaped.She arrives in Raytown and climbs up to Bubba's window and demands he get her some food. When Mama comes to check and see if he is ready for the dinner, Bonita hides in the closet until she leaves. The Reverend and Alberta arrive early, and they soon set down to dinner. As they are saying grace, Mama sees Bonita outside the kitchen window and panics. The doorbell rings and it's Bonita who walks right in, sits down and starts eating. Mama tries to pass her off as her swedish exchange student, but the ruse comes undone as Vint exposes her, and Alberta throws a fit. Prompting Mama to tell her off. Vint and Bubba talk Bonita into going back to Juvey to finish her sentence and Reverend Meechum says he has decided to name Mama the President of the Church Ladies League after what he saw tonight.moreless
  • Fly Naomi
    Fly Naomi
    Episode 12
    Unhappy with the rut she's gotten into, Naomi decides to make a change and arrives home with the news that, after seeing an ad in the paper, she's decided to attend school to train as a flight attendant. Vint gets upset because she didn't ask him first. While, Bubba joins the debate team to be near a girl he likes. Naomi aces her first exam, which only serves to make Vint more upset. With a growing rift between Vint and Naomi, Iola tries to make her move and asks Vint to have ice cream with her one night. What Vint views as innocent, Mama see clearly as Iola trying to get her claws into Vint and tells him so in no uncertain terms. Naomi tries to get everyone in the family to help her train for that night's big test, but the only one who will is Mama. Who quickly proceeds to drive her nuts. Later, Bubba annouces he's been kicked off the debate team for not knowing the Electoral College had nothing to do with electricty. Just as the family gets excited about all the free flights they'll get as the family of a flight attendant, Naomi dashes their hopes by failing her simulated test.moreless
  • Santa Mama
    Santa Mama
    Episode 13
    Vinton is chosen to play Santa @ the Raytown Mall. However, with too much practice, he loses his voice! So Mama fills in the last second as Santa Claus. She deals with many brats, but was touched by a little girl who wanted tools for her unemployed daddy. Mama's also upset that her star's missing (the one her husband made for her on their 1st Christmas).moreless
  • Desperately Seeking Anyone
    Mama and Naomi's plan to find a date for Iola backfires when the date is more interested in Mama.
  • Porn Again
    Porn Again
    Episode 15
    Mama is appalled when she finds a girlie magazine named Casanova under Bubba's bed while cleaning. She firsts wants to know were Bubba could get such a magazine. It soon comes out that Naomi, who wasn't paying much attention, sold it to him a few days before at Food Circus. Thinking something needs to be done, Iola has the idea to boycott Food Circus until they stop selling magazine's like that. Iola, Mama, Aunt Effie and Pearl form MOP (Mothers Opposing Pornography), and set out to picket in front of Food Circus, much to the dismay of Naomi. Who insists they go home. First Pearl breaks ranks for a tuna offer and then Effie needs to use the bathroom, and finally Iola leaves when the store offers Triple Coupons. Just as it seems all hope is lost, the media arrives and they end up getting on the National news. Continuing the fight, the quartet are busy planning their next move, when they get a call from Hollywood about a movie offer. Naomi comes in, wanting to negotiate, Mama plays hard ball refusing to give in unless her demands are met, until she's reminded this will be good for the movie. The manager of Food Circus agrees to move the magazines behind the counter, with only the titles showing in exchange for the strike being called off and MOP agrees.moreless
  • Have it Mama's Way
    Have it Mama's Way
    Episode 16
    Iola shows up to announce the Church Ladies League is setting up a trip to Hawaii. The vacation will run $900 per person, which would wipe out Mama's savings. While Naomi wants her and Vint to go, but it would costs them twice as much. Vint wants to use the money on a "new" used pick-up truck, the pick-up of his dreams. Which results in a fight between them. Meanwhile,Bubba is about apply for a job at a burger joint, when Mama sees his application and forces him to re-write it. After the manager tells Bubba he's had a lot of applicants, Mama (trying to get Bubba a job) talks her way into a job at the restaurant. Both end up getting a job and start on the same morning. Mama firsts starts out being nice and too slow for the Manager's liking (Bubba had already waited on 4 customer's to Mama's one), she then goes for speed and is too rude for his liking, so he tells her he'll give her one more chance. That's when the family comes in with Iola. Naomi goes over to Bubba, and Iola wants lunch instead of breakfast, so Mama gets fed up and throws a huge fit, and gets herself fired.moreless
  • Birthright
    Episode 17
    An anonymous letter convinces Vint that he's adopted, so he sets out to find his biological mother.
  • Grandma USA
    Grandma USA
    Episode 18
    Mama is surprised to learn she was entered in the Grandma USA contest by Bubba. She is at first reluctant to compete, but changes her mind when she finds out the grand prize is a dream kitchen, complete with a self cleaning oven. Vint then starts to wonder why they would select Mama over all the other entries, Bubba says it's because he sent in Naomi's picture instead of Mama's. A fact this is only discovered after they are greeted by the host, Raytown personality Eddie Edwards, and he thinks Noami is entering. After considering his options, Edwards agrees to let Mama compete instead, thinking it might be a novelty to have someone in the pageant who really looks like a Grandma. Which, as it turns out, none of the other's certainly don't. For the talent competition, Mama sings a song her daddy taught her when she was young, so she could sing to his buddies at the Jigger (now the Bigger Jigger). Mama makes the final three, but ends up finishing second in the final vote. A result she doesn't take well, as she takes over the show and demands a recount.moreless
  • Buck Private Bubba
    Buck Private Bubba
    Episode 19
    Vint's former Army Sargent come to town on a recruiting trip and he and Vint go out for a night of beers. Meeting Bubba a little later, Sarge remarks what a fine soldier he'd make. Of course, has no real interest in joining up, until he gets dumped by his girlfriend. Taking some advice from the Sargent he enlists in the military. Problem is, the break up doesn't take. Bubba soon regrets his enlistment when his girlfriend comes back to apologize and they get back together. Already having signed the papers, he prepares to leave for basic training. That is until Mama discovers a loop hole in the Army handbook she looks through with Iola. Just as Bubba is about to take the oath of allegiance, Mama rushes in and breaks the news that Bubba can't join the army because he's a convicted felon.moreless
  • Mama's Cousin
    Mama's Cousin
    Episode 20
    Mama's worldly cousin (Vicki Lawrence in a dual role) annoys Mama with her neverending stories.
  • Mama with the Golden Arm
    Mama emerges as a contender in an arm-wrestling competition.
  • It Takes Two to Watusi
    Naomi's best friend Luann has just been divorced and Naomi wants to set her up with a friend of her's for a double date with her and Vint to play miniature golf. But before Luann ever arrives, her date calls to say he can't make it. Naomi then suggests Bubba could be a last minute stand-in. Mama nearly goes through the roof and says no. Not wanting Bubba to associate with the likes of Luann. After a lengthy discussion, Mama gives in and let's Bubba decide for himself, while trying to lay a guilt trip on him. It's fails miserably and the foursome is soon ready to be off, until Mama announces she's coming too, with her partner Iola. Mama and Iola win the game of golf, and are ready for a game of Yahtzee, but Vint and Naomi refuse and go on to bed. Mama goes on to bed herself as Bubba walks Luann to her car, she asks for a glass of water and he runs back inside to get it for her, but what he doesn't know is she followed him in and they soon end up making out. Which makes Bubba drop and break a glass, alerting Mama, who comes down to check on him. Luann later gets away and an unknowing Mama feels she may have misjudged her.moreless
  • Fangs A Lot, Mama
    Fangs A Lot, Mama
    Episode 23
    Naomi is worried sick because Vint is late getting home and hasn't called.When he does arrive home,he announces he's been invited to join the The Mystical Order of the Cobra,a local Men's club.He has to memorize the entire contents of the Cobra hand book so he heads off to the basement to study,alone.

    Naomi is excited at first,but Mama tells her the story of a woman whose husband joined and soon ended up leaving her.Vint is soon having trouble learning everything he needs when,Bubba suggest he use crib notes,which he gives to Mama in an envelope to give to Vint.But Mama,not wanting Vint to make it in,changes the cards with her recipes.Iola helps Vint get ready for the induction crermony that night,by lending him,her father's old robe.

    Later as Mama tells what she did,Iola tells a story of what will happen if Vint doesn't get in,he'll be hissed out.So Mama, not wanting that to happen to Vint,rushes to the ceremony and sneaks in.She takes away Vint's crib cards after he misses his first two questions and they mistake the cards as her's and they hiss her out.In the end Vint gets in after getting the last question correct.moreless
  • The Best Policy
    The Best Policy
    Episode 24
    Vint brings home a new electric blanket he received for signing up for a life insurance policy. A few minutes later, his insurance agent arrives for him to sign the papers, and as it turns out it's an old boyfriend of Naomi's, Stony Hall. Stony explains that the policy is worth $200,000 in case of accidental death and much to Mama's dismay, Vint announces that Naomi is his sole beneficiary. Following the announcment, Vint starts having accidents. First, he almost electrocutes himself while working on Naomi's hair dryer (while it's still plugged in) and then falls down the basement stairs, slipping on a bottle of Naomi's nail polish and spraining his ankle in the process. This gives Iola the idea that Naomi is trying to bump Vint off for the money. She becomes convinced, as does Mama, after Bubba spies Naomi and Stony eating at a Chinese restaurant with the insurance policy in hand. Mama and Iola watch closely as Naomi fixes Vint a bowl of soup, and mixes in a mysterious powder, thinking it's poison they rush to his defense. After stopping him from eating the soup, they began to smell gas and assume it's coming from the heater. When the pilot light blows out, Naomi comes to the rescue and stops the gas. Then, at last, Naomi explains that they decided to not take the policy, simply because it was too expensive.moreless
  • After the Fall
    After the Fall
    Episode 25
    Aunt Effie is in the hospital, after she falls re-shingling the roof of her house. Mama thinks she's is just in shock, and needs to be around the family. Meanwhile, Vint finds the puzzle of the Monitar and the Merimac at Kippur's Drug, the one he's been looking for. So no one's in the mood to go to the hospital. Mama finds Effie in the gift shop with her gown wide open, standing in a daze. So, she decides to take her home and take care of her herself. When the family finds out that Mama brought Effie home to stay, they're shocked, but Thelma believes in Effie. She has 2 weeks to get her better, or she'll have to go back to the hospital. The next 2 weeks are not easy, and Thelma is more patient with her than anyone ever thought she could be. While the family continues to work on the puzzle. But, the weeks do come to a close, and it appears Mama's planned failed. But on the last day, just before she is ready to leave, something happens. The family is busy yelling at Thelma about wanting to keep Effie home, when Effie finds the last piece to Vint's puzzle and fits it in. After that, she finally talks, and the whole family is happy to have her back to normal again.moreless