The Cosby Show

Season 8 Episode 1

With This Ring?

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Sep 19, 1991 on NBC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Vanessa stuns her parents by suddenly announcing that she is engaged. She has been engaged for six months, and has known her fiancé for a year without mentioning him to her family. She reveals that he is a maintenance man at her school named Dabnis Brickey. Vanessa brings Dabnis inside to meet Cliff and Clair. They are surprised to discover that he is in his late twenties. They reluctantly invite him to the family dinner that night, and are put off when he mentions his past relationships with several women. The conversation grows so uncomfortable that most of the family is ordered out of the dining room. Clair confronts Vanessa and demands to know why she kept her relationship with Dabnis a secret for so long. She believes that her daughter is in over her head, but Vanessa insists that she is really in love. Cliff assures Dabnis that they are not snobs; they would dislike him regardless of his profession. Cliff seems to reconsider his attitude after Dabnis reveals that he owns his own home--meaning that he and Vanessa would never move into the Huxtable house.moreless

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  • Vanessa announces her engagement.

    Of all the daughters, they thought that Vanessa would be the one to really walk the straight and narrow. She'd already proven them wrong with the "Alphabet game" and the "Off to See the Wretched" episodes. However, no one thought she'd get engaged and say nothing for 6 months!

    The look of total shock on Cliff and Clair's faces was priceless, almost as shocking as Denise's marriage announcement. Cliff's analogy of the engagement announcement to presenting a well cooked & expensive steak dinner served on a garbage can lid was the absolute best.

    This episode was one of the show's all time best.moreless
William Thomas Jr.

William Thomas Jr.

Dabnis Brickey

Recurring Role

Jessica Vaughn

Jessica Vaughn

Winnie Tibideaux

Recurring Role

Gary Leroi Gray

Gary Leroi Gray

Nelson Tibideaux (as Gary Gray)

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Goof: Elvin has to sit on a stool at the dinning room table and remarks that they are all out of chairs, but when Clair and Vanessa go into the kitchen to talk, there is an empty chair sitting by the kitchen table.

    • Cliff and Clair refer to Vanessa as "the girl who wasn't gonna give us any trouble." Well, what about the time that Vanessa got drunk and the time she snuck off to Baltimore with her friends? Sounds like trouble to me.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Cliff: You, uh, probably come from a very fine, fine family with great morals and whatnot, and our daughter, regardless of what she has done, comes from what we feel is a great family also. And, you'll just have to forgive us because we just don't like you.
      Dabnis: I'm sorry...
      Cliff: Well, no no no no, it's not for you to be sorry because, see, you are not to blame. See, if you want to blame anybody, blame Vanessa. What I'm trying to say is, I don't want you to leave this house saying that we don't like you because you are a maintenance man, or in charge of maintenance, or whatever. I mean, you could right now, sitting there, be a banker and we would not like you AT ALL.
      (Dabnis and Vanessa look crestfallen)
      Cliff: It's the way have a favorite food?
      Dabnis: Yes, sir, what you had here was fine. I especially enjoyed the fish sticks.
      Cliff: No, forget the fish sticks. Do you have a favorite food, something you really LOVE?
      Dabnis: Oh yeah, on occasion, I enjoy a nice, juicy steak.
      Cliff: Steak! Steak, there you go! You got a steak. Just imagine you got a porterhouse and no white lines in it at all. Now, what would you like to go along with it?
      Dabnis: Uh, some crispy potatoes!
      Cliff: No problem! Now, you got mushrooms, you like your mushrooms.
      Dabnis: Yes, sir.
      Cliff: You can smell it, can't you? Smell the potatoes?
      Dabnis: Yes, sir!
      Cliff: Smell the mushrooms!
      Dabnis: Yes, sir!
      Cliff: Sauteed!
      Dabnis: Yes, sir!
      Cliff: MMM, boy! Huh?
      Dabnis: Yes, sir!
      Cliff: All right, now, I'm going to present it to you, right? I go over now...I don't get a plate, I take the garbage can lid, and I turn it upside down! After taking it off the garbage can, I take your steak, your potatoes, your sauteed mushrooms, and I give it to you! Not too appetizing, is it? It's in the presentation. THAT'S how she brought you over here, "on a garbage can lid"!

    • Clair: Why was this hiding in the back of the freezer?
      Cliff: Well, dear, I have nothing to do with that. I mean, if it was all the way in the back, obviously it's old. Look at it. It's got freezer fur all over it.
      Clair: No, it doesn't. And it expires in three weeks.
      Cliff: See? That's what you know. That is not...that's the price of it!
      Clair: So this container of ice cream costs 10-dash-91 dollars?
      Cliff: Dear, I don't regulate the dairy product prices.

    • Vanessa: I'm serious. I'm engaged.
      Cliff: To be what?
      Vanessa: To be married!
      Elvin, Sondra, and Rudy: Whoa.
      Clair: Vanessa, we sent you to the store for bread.
      Cliff: What happened? Did the guy at the checkout counter propose to you?

    • Clair: How long have you known this man?
      Vanessa: A year, if you're gonna count.
      Clair: (coldly) We're gonna count.

    • Clair (to Dabnis, coldly) We've tried to raise five children in this house. What exactly are you trying to do?

    • Vanessa: I got engaged.
      Clair: That's nice. But you forgot the tomatoes.
      Vanessa: No, I mean engaged, like in marriage.
      Clair: Engaged to do what?

    • Clair: (about Vanessa) She was the one who wasn't going to give us any trouble. All those years of community service, straight A's. We've been set up by that goody-two shoes.

  • NOTES (7)

    • In this episode, Clair combines the both of the full names of Cliff that have been used on the show into Heathclifford. ("Why has this ice cream been hidden in the back of the freezer for so long, Heathclifford?")

    • The doorbell becomes a running gag this season. Cliff keeps trying to fix it, but without success; in nearly every episode, it malfunctions in a different way when someone rings it.

    • Theo wears glasses in this set of opening credits, but not in any episodes.

    • The cast now dances to drum/trumpet performed by Lester Bowie. They dance in front of a replica of the mural in Harlem, NY used in the beginning of the 7th season. The scenes of Bonet and Phillips in the opening sequence were removed. After the controversy from last season, the producers gave recognition to the painters of the original mural in the closing credits. The logo for The Cosby Show appears as if it is handwritten, possibly to match the mural.

    • Lisa Bonet and Joseph C. Phillips left the show. The story goes that Denise and Martin left for Singapore where Martin was stationed. It was against the rules for Olivia to come, so she had to stay behind with Cliff and Clair.

    • Erika Alexander does not appear in this episode. She now re-appears in the opening credits.

    • Yet again, there are new child actors playing the parts of Winnie and Nelson: Gary Gray and Jessica Vaughn.


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