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The Cosby Show

Season 1 Episode 5

A Shirt Story

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Oct 18, 1984 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
63 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Cliff forces Theo to return an expensive designer shirt, so Theo agrees to let Denise try to make a copy of the pricey duds.

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  • You can tell a lot about a man by the clothes he wears -- then again, maybe not.

    The Shirt Story was a fabulous episode. Even now each time I see it I laugh just like the first time. It’s classic. Everyone can relate to high priced products bearing the name of some fancy designer – and the millions of kids that want them. It was funny to watch how Cliff and Clair – even though you know they could have afforded it, wanted Theo to stay grounded and realize that $95 is absolutely too much to pay for one shirt that is to be warn by a high school student.

    And it only got better once Denise offered her assistance to make an exact replica. Her design was anything but a Gordon Gartelle, and that alone was outrageous.

Kadeem Hardison

Kadeem Hardison

Phillip Washington

Guest Star

Cassandra Murray

Cassandra Murray

Melissa James

Guest Star

Sonia Bailey

Sonia Bailey


Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • During the second-to-last scene, Cliff reminds Theo about Theo giving Cliff a big yellow tie that lights up for Father's Day. This tie would surface during the episode "Father's Day".

    • Goof: When asked about the $95 Theo said that if he lived to be 90 years old that would be like a dollar a day. On this episode Theo is 14 years old as stated by Cliff. If Theo wanted to equate his age to the value of the shirt he would need to live to 109 years old.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Claire: Denise, are you making Theo a shirt?
      Denise: (excited) Look out, Gordon Gartrell.
      Claire: Well, Denise, honey, shirts are not that easy to make.
      Denise: I have a flare for designing. Remember that party dress I made?
      Claire: Who made?
      Denise: I made.
      Claire: Who put the zipper in it?
      Denise: Well, there are no zippers in shirts.
      Cliff: There's no sleeves on a party dress, either.

    • Claire: (to Denise) It's just that you have this habit of starting things with all this excitement and when the going gets rough, you quit.
      Denise: Like what?
      Claire: Ice skating.
      Cliff: Guitar.
      Claire: Skiing.
      Cliff: Tennis.
      Claire: Ballet.
      Cliff: Yoga.
      Claire: Pottery.
      Denise: Well, that's just seven. Can't you guys think of any more?
      Cliff: We're just talking about how much it costs.

    • Cliff: (to Theo) Now, you take $30 and get yourself a nice $30 shirt.
      Theo: Could you make it $35?
      Cliff: I could make it NOTHING.
      Theo: Mom?
      Claire: I'd grab it.
      Theo: (takes the money) You guys are ruining my life. (Cliff tries to take the money back) But I don't mind!

    • Cliff: (to Theo) I'll give you $30.
      Theo: Thirty?!
      Cliff: Alright, then... FIVE!
      Theo: Dad, for $30, I can't even get a Gordon Gartrell tie.
      Cliff: Well, what are you? A personal friend of this man?

    • Cliff: It's a one of a kind original design. You make the shirt and burn the pattern.

    • Cliff (straight-faced, after laughing uncontrollably at Theo's shirt): That's a good looking shirt, man.

    • (Theo complaining about his shirt)
      Theo: Look at these sleeves! My arms are the same length, why aren't my sleeves? The collar's all crazy and it's ten sizes too big!
      Denise: Well, maybe if you tucked it in a little.
      Theo (through gritted teeth): It's tucked into my socks!

    • Cliff (again in response): No 14-year-old boy should have a $95 shirt unless he's on stage with his 4 brothers.

    • Cliff (in response to Theo buying an expensive shirt): I don't have a $95 shirt, and I have a JOB.

  • NOTES (3)


    • 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.