The Cosby Show

Season 6 Episode 21

Theo's Dirty Laundry

0
Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Mar 15, 1990 on NBC
8.1
out of 10
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19 votes
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Episode Summary

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Cliff finds women's underwear in Theo's laundry. Clair does some sleuthing and soon discovers that Theo has moved in with Justine. Theo explains that Justine lost her roommate, and that he moved in so that she wouldn't lose the place. The rent is cheaper, so he has been putting the extra money from his parents into a bank account. Clair is furious that Theo has lied to them. She and Cliff declare that he is not allowed to live with his girlfriend because it will interfere with his education. Theo disagrees, and feels that the arrangement has been good for the couple. He says that they will find a way to make it on their own if their parents won't support them. Justine tells her parents the truth, and warns Theo that her father is angry with him. They try to come up with a plan to stay together, reasoning that they can get jobs and tranfer to a cheaper school upstate. They soon conclude that they are moving too fast, and decide to abide by their parents' wishes. When Theo returns home, Clair refuses to accept his apology and throws him out. She plans to take him back if he grovels, but worries when he doesn't return for several hours. They soon learn that Theo is staying with Justine's parents. They are not upset because her father wants to keep an eye on Theo. Inspired by a conversation with Paula, Denise announces plans to become a teacher and help children with learning disabilities. She tries to convince her parents that she is serious, and promises to move out soon. Clair dissuades her, noting that she will need help with Olivia if she wishes to go back to college. Cliff thinks that Clair is crazy to pass up the opportunity to get one of their kids out of the house.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Theo gets his comeuppance, and the Huxtables FINALLY take control of the house!

    8.5
    The one scene at the end when Theo returns with his stuff expecting to be taken back is a classic. You just have to admire Cliff and Clair's stolid and almost frighteningly cold refusal to allow Theo to skate by this time. This episode marked a major evolution for Theo's character. Earlier, he finally got the means to deal with his learning disability. Now, in a not-readily-apparent loving way, he's given the means to finally stand on his own two feet. But, why is there never any more mention of him living at Justine's parents' house? That in itself would be interesting to explore.moreless
Lisa Bonet

Lisa Bonet

Denise Huxtable Kendall (seasons 1 - 3, 6 - 7, recurring seasons 4 - 5)

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

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (2)

    • At the end of this episode, Theo moves in with Justine's family. You never hear this referred to again.

    • Theo says that he moved into Justine's apartment after her roommate left several months ago, indicating that she had been living in an apartment for a while (probably since at least the beginning of the school year). However, just a few episodes ago, in Not Everybody Loves the Blues, he said that she was living in a dorm.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • (Denise is frustrated that her mom doesn't seem to support her desire to go back to college.)
      Denise: Look at Paula, she's back in school, getting a degree!
      Clair: Of course, Paula's back in school, honey! You're married to Paula's husband, you're raising Paula's child!

    • (Complaining when Dad tells her how to do the laundry)
      Rudy: Aw, man! When I want to stay up late and watch TV, you say I'm just a kid. But when you have grunt work for me to do, then I'm mature!

    • (Cliff takes women's underwear out among Theo's laundry)
      Cliff: All of this isn't Theo's.
      Rudy: That's definitely not Theo's!
      Cliff: Is this yours?
      Rudy: That's not mine! I'm not that mature yet.

    • Clair: Do her parents have any idea that you're living together?
      Theo: Not yet. We were going to tell them the same time we told you.
      Cliff: Well, how were you going to do that? Leave your underwear in her laundry?

    • Theo: Living with Justine has been good for my study habits. I mean she helps me organize. You know, just because you guys give me money doesn't mean you can control my life. You know if you guys aren't gonna get behind us on this, then Justine and I will just have to figure out a way to do it on our own and live our own lives! (Leaves the house)
      Cliff: (To Clair) He told YOU!

    • Clair: When are you gonna get it, Theo? This is not about living with Justine. This is about doing something behind our backs and then lying to us about what it is you're doing! Theo: I'm sorry. Cliff: The other day, you said your mother and I were controlling you with our money and that you and Justine were gonna go live your own lives. Now, did you ever stop to think what would happen if we said, "no, you can't come back here"? Theo: No, I didn't. Clair: Of course you didn't. Because we're your SAFETY NET! You always do this, you go out into the world and you mess up. Why? You know we're always sittin' in this house waiting to take you BACK IN! It's always been that way. Theo: I know, Mom. Clair: You come BACK into this house, you listen to the speech we give, just like the one your father just gave, you go RIGHT BACK out into the world, you MESS UP, and you always get to come BACK into the house again! Well, honey, I'm sorry, I have had enough. I do NOT have the strength to give you the permission to come back into this house.

    • Cliff: "Lemme ask you a question; you had her outta here and then you reeeeeeeled her back in. WHY?"

    • Theo: Now, I know when I left here, it was under some strain, and we all said some things that we're sorry about.
      Clair: Not me.
      Theo: Okay, well...I know I said some things that I'm sorry about. But, I'm sure we're all big enough to forgive each other.
      Clair: Not me!

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