The Cosby Show

Season 3 Episode 5

Mother, May I?

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Oct 23, 1986 on NBC
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Episode Summary

Vanessa tries to get away with wearing make-up even though Clair has forbidden her to wear it until she is 15. Theo drives the family crazy with his study of fire safety.

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Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby

Dr. Heathcliff "Cliff" Huxtable

Keshia Knight Pulliam

Keshia Knight Pulliam

Rudith Lillian "Rudy" Huxtable

Phylicia Rashad

Phylicia Rashad

Clair Olivia Hanks Huxtable

Malcolm-Jamal Warner

Malcolm-Jamal Warner

Theodore Aloysius "Theo" Huxtable

Tempestt Bledsoe

Tempestt Bledsoe

Vanessa Huxtable

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Clair: Cliff. (laughs) Cliff. (laughs)
      Cliff: Hi, how are you doing?
      Clair: I'm fine. (laughs)
      Cliff: What ya laughing at?
      Clair: Cliff, you are so beautiful.

    • Vanessa: I did it, I'm sorry and I should be punished.
      Cliff: We know it, we accept, and you will be.

    • (After Clair makes Vanessa take off her sunglasses)
      Clair: Mmm, mmm,mmm, mmm. It is amazing what you can find when a person takes off her sunglasses.
      Vanessa: Mom, I didn't mean to put on the make-up. But, all of a sudden all of this stuff was on my face. It was like temporary insanity!

  • NOTES (4)

    • In syndication, additional dialogue in the bathroom scene is cut out, and the commercial break comes earlier.

    • In Vanessa's room, there is a poster of pop superstar Whitney Houston. In 1984, Houston competed with Sabrina LeBeauf for the role of Sondra.

    • Phylicia Rahshad is pregnant in real life during this and the previous episode. You can see it in her face and her rather oversized clothing. Note how she clutches her briefcase blocking her tummy, and in the previous episode she was sending Denise a care package: a huge box that blocked her belly.

    • This was originally aired by NBC before Game 5 of the 1986 World Series in which the Boston Red Sox beat the New York Mets. The Mets won games 6 and 7 to win the Series; in Game 6 the Red Sox led with a strike to go but were tied on a wild pitch, then lost on the famous Bill Buckner error.