The Cosby Show - Season 5

NBC (ended 1992)




Episode Guide

  • 12/8/88
    Clair discovers that the dress that she wants to wear to an upcoming benefit no longer fits. Her designer friend estimates that she would have to lose five pounds in the next six days to fit comfortably into the dress. She wants to keep her quest to lose weight a secret from Cliff, but he overhears her discussing it with her friend. Clair signs up for an exercise class, where the demanding instructor belittles the students--especially Clair. She realizes that Emma's criticism is exactly what she needs, and decides to hire her as her personal trainer for the week. Clair suffers severe leg cramps in the middle of the night. Cliff cooks a fabulous Mexican meal for the sole purpose of tempting Clair and getting on her nerves. She resists the urge to break her diet. However, she nearly lets her hunger get the better of her a few days later. She stops herself from eating the leftovers when Cliff comes home early from the hospital. On the night of the benefit, Clair tricks Cliff into believing that she failed to lose the weight. She then stuns him by emerging from their room in the dress.moreless
  • 10/27/88
    Cliff and Clair go to Sondra and Elvin's apartment for dinner. They are disgusted by the brown water, jammed windows, and major plumbing and electrical problems. Sondra and Elvin, however, cheerfully announce their plans to make a "room" for the baby by putting up a screen in the corner. Cliff and Clair order them to call the landlord, who shows up quickly after Clair has Elvin tell him that she is an attorney. He quickly has someone page him so that he can leave without having to do any repairs or answer any questions. Cliff and Clair insist that a child should not be raised in such conditions. They offer the Tibideauxs some money to help find a better place, but they angrily refuse. Anna reminds Cliff that he was just as stubborn as Sondra when he was her age. Denise visits Sondra and Elvin and convinces them that a move would be in the baby's best interests. They agree to borrow some money from Cliff and Clair, and Theo finds a listing for an affordable apartment that isn't a dump. A newlywed couple takes the old apartment and inquires about the furniture. Cliff offers it to them for ten dollars.moreless
  • The Birth (2)
    Episode 7
    Cliff and Clair await the birth with Anna and Russell and Elvin's parents. Mr. and Mrs. Tibideaux lament the fact that Elvin cannot afford everything he needs for the baby because of his decision to not attend medical school. Everyone is shocked to learn that Sondra has given birth to twins--a boy and a girl. She and Elvin wanted it to be a surprise. They name the kids Nelson and Winnie. Elvin announces that he was so amazed by the births that he has decided to go to medical school. Sondra thanks Cliff for being such a good father to her, and hopes to follow his example by raising her kids well. Clair has a hard time adjusting to the fact that she is a grandmother. She and Mrs. Tibideaux suggest that they should instead be called "mother: the sequel." Justine becomes annoyed when Theo tries to impress Julia by offering to cook dinner for his parents. As he and Howard prepare the meal, Howard gets Theo to admit his attraction to Julia. Howard doesn't seem upset, but Theo is concerned to learn that intelligence is the quality that Julia finds most attractive. Howard baffles Theo by revealing that Julia wants to commit to him, but he isn't ready.moreless
  • The Birth (1)
    Episode 6
    Sondra and Elvin come by the house for a visit. Elvin is certain that Sondra is about to go into labor, while she insists that he is overreacting. She tells Clair that Elvin has rushed her to the hospital three times, only to be told that it was a false alarm each time. However, she has another contraction in the kitchen, and Cliff declares that it is time for her to go to the hospital. Elvin begins to panic and initially drives off without her. Sondra and Elvin ask Cliff and Clair to stay home, but they begin to go crazy as they await news. They decide to go to the hospital, and Sondra and Elvin are grateful. Elvin begins to hyperventilate, while Cliff forgets that Sondra is not his patient and instinctively takes over. Clair asks the men to go into the waiting area. Cliff tries to calm Elvin until it is time for him to rejoin Sondra for the delivery. Meanwhile, Theo and Justine study at the house with Howard, a brilliant student from their philosophy class. Howard's girlfriend, Julia, joins the group. Justine notes that Theo seems attracted to her. Kenny hangs out with the foursome while waiting for Rudy. Julia and Justine decry the lack of women in the field of philosophy. They discuss society's attitudes toward women, and are disgusted to find that Kenny already has very sexist views.moreless
  • Day of the Locusts
    Episode 25
    Sondra comes down with strep throat. Clair is appalled to learn that Cliff simply told her to wear a mask around the twins. She fears that the babies will get sick, and calls on Elvin's mother to accompany her to the Tibideauxs' apartment and get the kids out of harm's way. They try to convince Sondra to rest, and she finally agrees that it is a good idea for them to take the babies. However, Elvin comes home and gets her worked up by suggesting that Clair and Francine were just looking for an excuse to spend more time with their grandkids. Sondra becomes hysterical and forces Elvin to drive her to her parents' house, where she accosts Cliff and Theo. She starts ranting and raving, before taking off again in search of the kids. Clair and Francine bring the babies to the house after taking them to the mall and the hair salon. Sondra returns and accosts them. She has Elvin collect the kids, and warns the grandmothers never to attempt such a stunt again. Cliff teases Clair about the incident.moreless
  • 10/6/88
    Theo prepares to move into the dorms as he begins his freshman year at NYU. He is puzzled by the fact that he never received his dorm assignment. Cliff discovers that Theo forgot to send in the application. They try desperately to find him a place in one of the dorms. Moments before she is scheduled to leave for Hillman, Denise announces that she has dropped out of school. She fears that Cliff will throw her out of the house, and he becomes angry that she would make such an assumption. Clair actually agrees that college probably isn't right for Denise. However, she is perturbed when Denise says that she didn't look for a job over the summer because it was her vacation. Sondra and Elvin are expecting a baby. They offer Denise a job at their store, but she turns them down because she only wants to work in the fashion or entertainment industries. She later gets a job as receptionist for a record label. Theo approaches his parents with a stupid idea about renting a condo near the university for over $400,000 per year. Cliff concludes that the children want to take over the house. He tells Clair that they should flee and never return.moreless
  • A Room With No View
    Episode 23
    Vanessa and Rudy are banished to the basement after too much fighting.
  • The Lost Weekend
    Episode 15
    Cliff and Clair plan to spend the weekend in the Poconos. Vanessa stays with Janet, while Rudy goes to her grandparents' house with Kenny. Howard and Denny learn that Theo will have the place to himself, and convince him to throw a party. The three guys and their dates are supposed to be the only guests, but several other friends manage to finagle invitations. Theo is left without a date to his own party when Justine comes down with the flu. More and more people show up, and the party quickly gets out of control. The guests eat all of the food and trash the house. Theo meets a girl and tries to find a place to talk, only to discover that partygoers have taken over his parents' bedroom. He becomes angry and kicks everyone out. Theo, Howard and Denny try to clean up the mess and repair the damaged items, but there are many things that can't be fixed. Theo immediately tells his parents the truth about the party. Cliff drags Theo out of the house and tries to force him to drop out of school and join the army. He eventually settles on making him work at a mission every morning.moreless
  • 12/1/88
    Vanessa, Janet and Kara record a music video of "The Loco-Motion" at a local store. They name themselves The Lipsticks and plan to re-record the video for entry in a contest at a television station. The winning group could receive a record contract. The girls realize that they dance well but are not great singers. They sign up for vocal lessons, but become bored when the teacher puts them through a series of exercises instead of letting them dive into the song. They decide that they can win on their dance moves and costuming and just have their voices fixed in the studio. They perform for Cliff and Clair, who are horrified when Vanessa comes downstairs in a neon sports bra and lycra shorts. Clair also dislikes Kara and Janet's outfits, and thinks their dance moves are too suggestive. She discovers that Vanessa stuffed her bra and goes on a very long rant. The girls later attend a performance by their teacher, Ms. Woods, and are very impressed. Cliff and Theo pick up Russell and Anna's mail while they are out of town. They learn that Russell won a sweepstakes, and Clair must take extreme measures to keep them from opening the envelope. Cliff has a major letdown when he finds that Russell has only won a toaster.moreless
  • The Physical
    Episode 2
    After a weekend eating binge, Cliff hopes to flush out his system before his upcoming physical. The doctor tells him that he is in pretty good shape, but has very high cholesterol. Cliff admits that he has a tendency to overindulge in high-fat foods. Clair promises to help him stick to a more reasonable diet to help him lower his cholesterol before his next blood test. Denise commits many mistakes on her new job, but complains that she doesn't receive any credit when she does something right. She goes to her boss and demands some respect, as well as a promotion. He fires her. While drowning her sorrows at a pizza parlor, she gets a job as a waitress. She is confident that this will somehow pave the way for her big break.moreless
  • 1/5/89
    Vanessa shows up late for dinner several days in a row, and gives an excuse about working with a school committee. She claims that she needs to go over to Kara's house to help her study; but confesses to Theo that she has a date with her boyfriend, Jeremy. Vanessa asks Rudy to cover for her if she misses curfew. However, Clair sees through Rudy's lie and gets her to come clean. Vanessa becomes uncomfortable as she and Jeremy kiss in his car and asks to go home. However, Jeremy pressures her into staying by questioning her commitment to the relationship. Cliff and Clair wait up for Vanessa, and ground her for a month. Much to her horror, Cliff insists on calling Jeremy over to the house for a talk. Vanessa irritates her parents by repeatedly yelling down to Jeremy from her room. Clair explains her point of view to Jeremy, who apologizes for his behavior. Cliff then takes him into the kitchen to make sure that nothing happened with Vanessa. Jeremy assures him that they only kissed. Cliff gets Jeremy to realize that he would not defy his own parents, and thus was wrong to expect Vanessa to disobey the Huxtables.moreless
  • Theo's Women
    Episode 21
    Justine's friend Delores asks her to fill in for her at work. Justine is reluctant to break her date with Theo, but he assures her that it is okay. After Justine leaves, Theo helps a girl named Jade with a temperamental vending machine. She is a theater major, and is upset because her scene partner failed to show up to run lines. Theo agrees to help her out, but she complains about his lack of acting ability. She encourages him to show his emotions, and he ends up kissing her. Justine and Delores walk in to see them making out on a couch in the dorm lounge. Justine is devastated, and is especially upset that Theo would make a fool of her by betraying her in public. She storms off in tears and refuses to take Theo's calls. Vanessa catches Jeremy with his arm around another girl and declares that their relationship is through. She is upset when Theo (because of his own situation) seems to sympathize with Jeremy. Theo seeks advice from Cliff, who tries to teach him the proper way to beg. Theo publicly pleads with Justine for forgivness, but she doesn't want to hear him out. To make matters worse for him, Jade says that she was only acting when she kissed him--and doesn't remember his name.moreless
  • 2/9/89
    Rudy and her friends have a video-watching party. They are annoyed because Cliff always forces them to watch "Old Yeller" and "Treasure Island." When Cliff leaves the room, Kenny slips in a copy of a comedy called "The Gross-Out Gang." Clair comes home early and is offended. She stops the kids from watching. Rudy is upset that she has to follow so many rules, while Vanessa can even stay out late on school nights. She presents a list of her grievances to her parents. Clair is very impressed, and she and Cliff agree to rescind one of the rules. They tell Rudy that she can stay up as late as she wants, but must get up in time for school. Rudy stays up half the night and winds up tired and cranky at school, leading to complaints from her teacher. Rudy reveals to Vanessa that Kenny told her that the family is just setting her up to fail. Cliff tells Rudy that he is going to stay up all night and watch movies with her. Determined to prove herself, Rudy shows up in the living room as scheduled. However, she immediately falls asleep.moreless
  • 12/15/88
    Caroline convinces Cliff to let Rudy watch her hamster, Darren, for the night while she is at her grandmother's house. Vanessa becomes upset and assumes that Cliff will eventually let Rudy get her own hamster. The kids believe that Cliff dislikes animals, but he claims that he fears that the kids will not be able to take care of pets properly. With some prompting from Theo, he reveals that he once sat on his pet bird Charlie. He survived, but never trusted Cliff again. Rudy is concerned when Darren becomes ill. Cliff thinks that Darren is okay, but later begins to worry. They take the hamster to the clinic and pay for X-rays, but it dies during the exam. Cliff buys a new hamster for Caroline and tries to pass it off as Darren. Caroline isn't fooled, but takes the news in stride. She says that the same thing happens every time someone else looks after her hamster. Russell tries to ease Cliff's guilt about his bird by telling him that his mother also had an accident with Charlie. She inadvertently put him in the washing machine, and he crashed into the walls after she revived him with brandy.moreless
  • Cliff Babysits
    Episode 13
    Russell gets eight tickets to the sold-out Michael Jackson concert from a friend. They are one ticket short of being able to take the whole family, so Clair suggests that she and Cliff babysit and let Sondra and Elvin go to the show. Kenny takes the extra ticket. Elvin is afraid to leave the twins for an evening, but Sondra convinces him that they need to get out. Kenny becomes jealous when Rudy pays extra attention to her appearance in the hopes of attracting Michael. Kenny accuses her of failing to recognize that Kenny is the "real thing," and vows to leave her for Whitney Houston. Clair has to go to work to deal with an emergency after another lawyer becomes ill, leaving Cliff alone with Nelson and Winnie. He tries his best to keep them entertained. He tells them a story about his brother, James Theodore Huxtable, who died of rheumatic fever at the age of seven.moreless
  • Out of Brooklyn
    Episode 5
    Denise continues to run through various jobs because of her screw-ups. She finally finds a job that she likes, but wants to quit after meeting a photographer. Denise tells Cliff and Clair that she wants to go to Africa and serve as the woman's assistant as she completes a photo essay about pygmies. Cliff and Clair are extremely skeptical, especially after hearing about the rugged living conditions. Denise does not back down, even claiming that she has no problem with eating bugs. Cliff and Clair decide to let her go on the trip. Vanessa falls into a funk after a rumor passes through school that her boyfriend, Roy, has been telling people that they have broken up. Vanessa becomes very clumsy as she deals with her depression, and is angry that Roy could not even call her to officially break up. He finally calls, but reveals that he is happy and never said anything about wanting to break up.moreless
  • Birthday Blues
    Episode 22
    Clair celebrates her 46th birthday. She becomes annoyed when everyone patronizingly tells her that she "still" looks good. Theo, Vanessa and Rudy dress up in old clothes and put together a skit describing the way things were when Clair was each of their ages. Clair's friend's husband serenades her in Spanish before the two couples go to lunch together. After Clair refuses to eat dessert, Cliff tries to tempt her by bringing a bunch of cakes home.moreless
  • 3/9/89
    Sondra grows frustrated with staying home to care for the twins all day while Elvin is at medical school. She notes that he only spends a few minutes with them at night before leaving the room to study. Although she is exhausted, Sondra wants to keep a dinner date at her parents' house because she longs for adult conversation. Everyone ignores her as they coo over the babies or ask Elvin about medical school. Elvin tries to change the topic to get Sondra included in the conversation, to no avail. However, Clair, Mrs. Tibideaux and Anna notice Sondra's mood and encourage her to have some dessert and express what is bothering her. They can all sympathize with her plight, and realize that she has things even tougher because she has twins. She vents about Elvin's lack of sensitivity, and vows to be just as rude when he cares for the kids while she is in law school. Cliff realizes that the women are getting worked up about something, and blames Elvin. The men try to give him tips on helping out without appearing to question Sondra's judgment. Cliff tells a story about taking Sondra and Denise fishing because Clair needed a break. Clair tells the same story, but learns from Anna that Cliff left the girls at her house all weekend. Everyone is appalled by his behavior, and Sondra comes to appreciate Elvin.moreless
  • Rudy's All-Nighter
    Episode 3
    Theo is frustrated when he receives a D on his first paper in English composition, as well as many critical remarks from the professor. He must work all weekend to revise it. Rudy invites her friend Caroline to stay the night. Cliff becomes somewhat annoyed by the fact that Rudy's friends always expect him to be funny and perform certain characters. He pretends to be depressed, but then delights the girls with his "pirate" impression. Rudy and Caroline stay up extremely late and get on everyone's nerves with their obnoxious behavior. Caroline, the daughter of a newspaper editor, offers Theo tips for his paper. Caroline wakes up Cliff in the middle of the night and demands to go home after getting into an argument with Rudy. By the time Cliff has called her parents and is ready to drive her, they have already made up and gone to sleep. Cliff is left exhausted. Theo gets some feedback from his professor. He is surprised to hear that Cliff would be proud if he got a C on the paper, but Cliff feels that the fact that he is working is so hard is what is important. Theo vows that he will eventually get good grades.moreless
  • 1/26/89
    Clair buys a new couch, and tries to have the old one taken away to Sondra and Elvin's apartment while Cliff is busy with a patient. Cliff uncovers her plans and refuses to allow the movers to take the couch. Clair is asked to appear on a local television show that includes discussions of important historical issues. The other panelists are ill-prepared, constantly bicker, and refuse to take Clair's opinions seriously. When she produces evidence that exposes a mistake in one man's argument about the causes of the Great Depression, the men ignore her. The host calls for a commercial break and demands that she be removed from the show. The men only want her to discuss issues directly related to women or African-Americans, but she refuses to be stifled. The producer is thrilled by the show and asks Clair to be a regular. She turns down the offer because she doesn't want to wake up at 4:30 in the morning every week just to prove herself to foolish, petty men. She takes the family to church instead of watching the show on TV. Clair convinces Cliff to let go of the couch, and he actually asks for time alone to say goodbye to it.moreless
  • 2/16/89
    While Theo is at the cafe with some friends, Justine comes in with another guy. Howard, Denny and Lou tell him that they have seen Justine with Scott several times in the past few weeks. Theo confronts Scott, but Justine points out that he is the one who wanted to see other people. Theo becomes annoyed by Scott's comments and challenges him to a fight. He refuses, and an embarrassed Justine decides to leave with Scott. Theo's friends show him an ad for a doctor who promises that he can make someone go away. They go to see Dr. Lotus, only to learn that his spell costs $800. Theo tries to convince Cliff to lend him the money, but doesn't want to say why he needs it. After Theo explains, Cliff teaches him a foolproof method of getting rid of the guy (which Cliff's great-grandfather once used on him when another guy was hitting on Clair). He mixes a bunch of goo together and has Theo put it on his hands and face with a towel over his head, as though he is concocting some spell. He then has him repeat, "I will pay more attention to my woman." Theo follows his dad's advice and gives Justine a call.moreless
  • 57 Varieties
    Episode 26
    Theo wants to join his classmates on an archaeological dig in Egypt. However, he doesn't believe that his parents will give him the $1500 he needs for the trip. He spent all of his money repairing the damage caused by his unauthorized party and paying parking tickets. Howard and Lou try to convince the Huxtables that the trip will have a good influence on Theo and help him improve as a student. Cliff and Clair agree to consider the idea, but ask to talk to his professor so that they can learn more of the details. Professor Grayson eagerly agrees to this. During a discussion of the diverse ethnic backgrounds of the Egyptians, she encourages the students to guess her own heritage. Theo, Howard and Lou try to get Cliff to make a guess during the get-together with the professor. He fails miserably, even after she gives him several hints. Cliff and Clair agree to let Theo take the trip. Meanwhile, Clair tries to warn Kenny of the possible consequences of constantly repeating his brother's sexist opinions. However, he later gets into another war of words with Rudy.moreless
  • 11/17/88
    Theo learns that Howard has broken up with Julia to devote more time to his studies. Howard knows that Theo wants to ask her out, and offers his blessing. Theo justifies his behavior by saying that his relationship with Justine is already in shambles. Theo is nervous about talking to Julia, so he has Denny approach her on his behalf. Theo is outraged when Julia ends up asking Denny for a date. Theo impatiently goes over to Julia's apartment and asks her out. He claims that he and Justine aren't seeing each other. Julia learns the truth from Justine, and neither woman will speak to Theo. Rudy asks Cliff for $31.05 to buy Clair a fake gold diamond necklace for her birthday. She promises to do chores in exchange for the money, but soon loses her enthusiasm. Cliff criticizes the job she has done. However, Clair sees Rudy working and lavishes her with praise because she thinks she is just trying to be helpful. Cliff eventually approves of Rudy's work and tells her that the debt is paid.moreless
  • The Boys of Winter
    Episode 19
    Cliff receives a visit from Bill Barry, who coached him on a youth city league team. When Cliff refuses to join Elvin, Theo, Howard and Lou in a backyard basketball game, Theo explains that his father recently had an experience that soured him on basketball. Cliff is tight-lipped about the incident, and refuses to even share the details with Coach Barry. When the coach and his wife come over for dinner, Clair produces a videotape of the game that left Cliff so upset. He and some doctors played a basketball game against a squad of much younger lab technicians--who all happen to be women. The women defeated Cliff's team soundly. Cliff had a few highlights, but struggled other times and was exhausted by the end of the game. The coach insists that he is proud of Cliff for giving such a good effort. Cliff tells Clair that he has no problem with losing to women, but is embarrassed by his poor physical condition. They reminisce about a game where he scored the winning basket as a 16-year-old, and agree that memories are the most important thing about sports.moreless
  • 4/27/89
    While walking down the street, Denny finds an expensive watch lying in the grass. He believes he should take it to the police, but his friends insist that he must give it to his girlfriend, Jade. She is very impressed. However, the police soon track her down and tell her that the watch meets the description of one that was reported stolen. She has to go to the station because she refuses to remove the watch and let them see the serial number. Denny is cleared of all charges because he has an alibi for the time of the theft, but must publicly tell Jade that he found the watch on the ground. She is appalled, and dumps him. Denny decides to seek Cliff's advice on how to win her back, but he only confuses Theo and Denny with a long, pointless story. The guys hang out in the basement because they have no dates. They decide to leave when Cliff shows up and starts in on another story.moreless
  • No Way, Baby
    Episode 16
    Cliff contacts Ray Palomino, the estranged grandfather of a young woman who is about to have a baby on her own. Ray has not seen any of his family for 18 years. However, Cliff asks him to come to the hospital to support Louisa because they have been unable to find any other family members. Ray does not have a lot of faith in Cliff's ability as a doctor. Louisa is very glad to see Ray, who also manages to charm the nurses. He wants to help care for his great-grandchild, but bristles when Cliff offers him some pamphlets about child-rearing. Clair listens to Cliff describe Ray's behavior, and opines that Ray doesn't know how to read or write. Cliff disagrees, as he feels that Ray is just a rude person. Cliff believes that he is right when Ray produces a list of relatives; but he claims to have lost his glasses when Clair asks him to read a name. He also doesn't know how to spell the name "Tom." Louisa gives birth to a baby boy. Ray tells Cliff that he is aware that the Huxtables know he is illiterate. He insists that he doesn't need to learn to read at his age. A man whom Ray befriended in the waiting room says that he is a former English teacher and offers to help him.moreless