The Partridge Family - Season 3

ABC (ended 1974)




Episode Guide

  • Me and My Shadow
    Episode 25
    The Partridges play a game of hide-and-seek with a famous mystery writer, who will donate $25,000 to charity if they can elude him for 24 hours.
  • 3/16/73
    The Partridges try to coax a wealthy recluse out of his shell and back out into the real world.
  • 3/16/73
    Laurie is chosen to be campaign manager for Phyllis Goldberg, who is a candidate for the school presidency. Unfortunately, Phyllis, an intelligent but very timid girl, will have to compete for this chosen position with Keith, who is without a doubt the more popular of the two. Overly assured that he will win because of his personal charm and magnetism, Keith is rather surprised to learn from Danny, the official pollster, that although he is far ahead, his strongest support comes from the students to whom he spoke during music and woodshop. This is significant, for these students could not really hear his speech, and judged him solely on his popularity. Keith's lack of awareness of school problems becomes quite evident when Phyllis challenges him to a debate, after which Danny informs him that the school is equally divided between the two candidates. Keith seriously considers dropping out of the race because he is afraid of losing. Instead, he throws his support to the Goldberg camp by telling students that Phyllis' qualifications are far superior to his, which he sincerely believes. But Keith has far underestimated his own popularity, for he still manages to win the election. Phyllis is a good sport about losing, and is satisfied with having made so many new friends during the campaign.moreless
  • The Selling of the Partridges
    Keith uses his popularity to campaign for school president, but realizes that he knows nothing about politics or the issues facing the school.
  • 3/2/73
    Danny's friend shows him how easy it is to shoplift, but Danny ends up with something besides a stolen yo-yo in his pocket: a guilty conscience.
  • 3/2/73
    All havoc breaks loose when Shirley bays a cuckoo clock for $29 at Bartlet's Department Store. It seems Bartlet's has recently installed a computer to handle all their accounts. When Shirley receives her computerized bill for the clock, it reads $290 instead of $29. She goes down to the store to straighten things out with Mr. Atwater. Atwater apologizes and instructs the computer operator, Tom, to program the 1984-Z to move the decimal point and correct the bill to read $29. (Tom is quite impressed with Laurie.) The decimal point is moved -- the wrong way! Shirley's bill is now $2,900. The computer has sent bad-risk notices to other companies, ruining the Partridge's credit rating. It has also had a collection agency pick up the check from the family's last engagement. Shirley again goes to Bartlet's; things are quite out of hand, While she's seeing the manager, Laurie leads a picket line outside the store. When they arrive home, the collection agency has repossessed all their furniture. More promises from Atwater don't satisfy the kids. They form a conspiracy. While Laurie flirts with Tom and gets him to desert his post at the computer, Danny distracts Atwater and Keith tinkers with the computer. Shirley soon receives a check for $50,000! When Atwater rushes over to get the check back, the Partridges tease him a little but finally return it. When everything is straightened out, Shirley realizes that the cuckoo clock does not work.moreless
  • Forgive Us Our Debts
    Shirley gets more than she bargained for after she is overcharged for a clock at the department store and the family's credit rating is ruined.
  • Keith's graduation and the Partridge's big summer tour are both in jeopardy when begins failing his sex education class.
  • 2/9/73
    Reuben arranges for the Partridge family to make a TV commercial for Erwin Tully, owner of a large take-out chicken outfit. Up until now "Uncle Erwin" has been making all his own commercials, very corny ones complete with chicken costumes. His sales have dropped and he feels he needs a new image.

    The family films the commercial -- the setting is a picnic; all the kids are playing and enjoying Uncle Erwin's chicken. Everyone is very pleased with the ad, everyone but Erwin! He feels something is missing – chicken suits! The Partridges are 100% against it but are forced by a contract to make another commercial. They try to make it as bad as possible, hoping Erwin won't like it and use the first one. He loves it.

    Erwin is going to preview his new commercial at a convention for all his franchise owners. Shirley realizes everyone there will hate the ad. So, when the conventioneers assume the commercial is a joke and ask for the "real one", Shirley saves the day by having the first ad ready to be shown.moreless
  • 2/2/73
    When an old friend, a romantic interest of Shirley's, Richard Lawrence, comes to town he brings his 11-year-old daughter, Julie. Julie is a Partridge fan and everyone teases Keith, being sure Julie will be groveling at his feet during the visit. When the Lawrences arrive, it seems that Julie's affections are not lavished on Keith, but on Danny!

    Julie spends all her time following Danny, while Danny spends all his time trying to hide from her. When Shirley tries to tell Richard that Julie is a bit too aggressive and Danny is not ready for this, Richard reacts like a wounded father. Laurie and Keith ask Danny to be nice to Julie for just a few days, in order not to ruin Shirley and Richard's relationship.

    Danny reluctantly agrees, and when he tries it, he finds he really does like Julie. When he gives in to a sudden urge to kiss her, Julie reacts by giving him a black eye! This doesn't make any sense at all to Danny so he goes to the "older folks" for an explanation. When Keith and Laurie try to give him advice they end up arguing with each other, so Danny goes to Shirley and Richard. They tell him they honestly can't explain it, but since it's between Danny and Julie he should try talking to her.

    Julie and Danny go to the ice cream parlor for a chat. They end up the best of friends and promise to write to each other when Julie leaves.moreless
  • 1/26/73
    One season before The Brady Bunch went to Kings Island, The Partridge Family does a gig there.

    Keith falls in love with the park director. When Keith asked her out on a date, he finds that Danny asked first. So Danny humiliates Keith by taking him on all the fast scary rides on their date!

    Shirley found out what happened and was mad at Danny!

    Keith has a talk with Danny saying that she's 20 years older than him. And when gets ready to ask her out to a movie, she has a date, Chris!moreless
  • 1/19/73
    At school Cindy Brown, the principal's daughter, is in a rush and asks Laurie to drop an envelope into the match teacher's mailbox for her. Just as Laurie is depositing the envelope, the math teacher grabs her arm – the envelope contains a stolen copy of the math test. Laurie refuses to tell where she got the test from; she is sure Cindy will tell them herself.

    The school is divided – half of the kids carry signs reading "Expel Laurie"; others signs to "Free Laurie". Laurie is ordered to appear for trial before a student court. Keith and Danny play "Perry Mason", acting as Laurie's defense.

    Laurie has confided to her mother that Cindy is the culprit – being the principal's daughter, she is under too much pressure to get good grades. Shirley waits, but finally right before the trial she goes to see Cindy's father. He realizes that Cindy is the guilty one but Shirley convinces him not to stop the trial, but to give Cindy a chance to confess on her own, which she does at the student trial.moreless
  • The Partridge Family discovers that during the night someone has entered their house and burglarized their TV, radio and stereo. As a gift Reuben has a burglar alarm installed in the Partridge home. It has sensor pads in various places under the carpeting – one step on a sensor and the house is filled with a heart-stopping, loud, clanging bell.

    While the Partridges are trying to adjust to the alarm and remember to turn it off when they are in the house, the neighbors are getting more furious each time it is set off accidentally. Petitions are being signed asking that the alarm be removed.

    When Shirley goes to the garage to shut off another "false alarm" she finds Morris Dinkler, an escaped-con who holds the Partridge family and Reuben hostage. He purposely chose their house because of the alarm, knowing that new alarms are frequently set off by accident and after awhile the police don't bother to come. Everyone assumes the bulge in Morris' pocket, which he refers to as "Big Bertha" is a gun; it turns out to be a harmonica! Morris is really quite a nice guy who had a bad break. He only had four months until his parole when he was taken along as hostage by escaping prisoners. He is convinced the police won't believe him. In order to set a good example for the younger kids, Morris turns himself in to the police with the promise of help from the Partridges. When he surrenders, Morris learns that the police know he was innocent as far as the break-out was concerned.moreless
  • 1/5/73
    By coincidence, Shirley meets a doctor whom she once dated, named Bernie Applebaum. Trapped into accepting a date with him for the following evening, they go to a fine French restaurant. But Bernie allows her to eat only plain lambchops, carrots, and buttermilk – the rest is too high in cholesterol. The doctor is evidently very wrapped up in his vocation, for the following night, he takes Shirley to the hospital cafeteria for an after-concert dinner. Shirley finds herself in the embarrassing position of having to tell Bernie that she's really not interested in him without hurting his feelings. Her plans to do this are complicated when the doctor brings his mother to visit the Partridge household. However, the enthusiasm of the two members of the Applebaum family does not diminish even when the kids try to help out their mother by misbehaving. Later, Bernie approaches Shirley with what he feels will be terribly upsetting news – that he can't marry her because he enjoys the swinging bachelor life too much, and because he's too involved in being a doctor! Shirley hides her delight and tells Bernie that she'll try to get over it... somehow.moreless
  • For Sale by Owner
    Episode 13
    The Partridge house just doesn't seem big enough – they need more bathrooms and just more room in general! Reuben takes Shirley to look at a new, larger house. The Partridge house is home to her, so Shirley doesn't really want to move, but all the kids are very anxious to. They put their house up for sale, with Reuben acting as real estate agent. After a week without even one "looker" Reuben and Danny cook up a scheme for "open house" with the Partridge Family.

    The open house is like a carnival – hundreds of people show up. As the family overhears various disparaging remarks about their home from the visitors, they begin to realize just how much the house means to them. Just as the kids tell Shirley that they don't want to move either, Reuben arrives with the news that he's sold the house.

    When the buyers, Mr. and Mrs. Sharp come to look the house over, the kids sabotage the plumbing, the doors and the windows to make it seem like the house is falling apart. They confess that they did it because they don't want to move, but the Sharps still want the house and they've signed the papers.

    With two weeks to move, they learn that someone else bought the new house, so if Reuben can't manage to get it, they have nowhere to go. The Sharps arrive with the news that they don't want the house – everyone sees through their reasons and realizes that they'd feel bad if the kids had to move against their will. Reuben ruins the happy moment with the news that he has managed to buy the other house. He makes a deal with the owner to release them from the contract if the Partridge family will entertain at his son's birthday party; so the Partridges get to keep their home after all.moreless
  • Nag, Nag, Nag
    Episode 12
    Danny wins a raffle. First prize is an expensive Italian race car, but Danny isn't that lucky, he wins second prize – F. Scott Fitzgerald, a race horse! Will Fowler has trained the horse since birth and tells the Partridges that he would like to continue working with F. Scott. Shirley is finally convinced to give racing a try. F. Scott will be entered in the race at the San Pueblo County Fair where the Partridge Family will be performing anyway. The horse is working out well and a young Latin jockey is hired to ride him in the race. A few days before the race, Will calls with the bad news that F. Scott has insomnia – he hasn't slept in four days. If this continues, he will never make the race. Danny tries hypnotism, Keith tries singing the horse to sleep – nothing works. It is learned that F. Scott's groom, Homer Peck, usually sleeps in the barn and plays Glenn Miller songs on his tape recorder. About the same time that F. Scott had stopped sleeping, Homer's tape recorder had broken and he had won enough money to stay elsewhere. Keith manages to fix the tape recorder and as soon as ""Moonlight Serenade"" begins to play the horse falls asleep. Before the race Danny gives the horse a pep talk, threatening him with a picture of a plow horse. At the start of the race, F. Scott falls back to last position, but he manages to gain and wins by a length. Danny's dreams of winning the Kentucky Derby are dashed when he learns that at four years of age F. Scott is too old for the Derby – a horse must be under three to enter.moreless
  • 11/24/72
    After a show the Partridge Family is approaching by a talent scout who informs them that Keith would be perfect for a part in a new movie and he wants Keith to take a screen test. Reuben and Shirley coach Keith and the family all act out the characters in the script to help him learn his lines. He will play a baby-faced gangster. A week later the whole family goes off to Hollywood for the test. A very nervous Keith manages the part well and is notified a few days later that he got the part.

    Keith is being treated like a great Hollywood star by everyone in town. The family has planned a surprise party for him the night before he leaves to make the movie. That afternoon Reuben tells Keith that World Pictures has decided against starring an 'unknown', so he has lost the part. When Keith finally brings himself to tell Shirley the news, he is unknowingly walking into the surprise party. When everyone cries for a speech, Keith explains what has happened. The party is a good one despite the bad news and afterwards the family presents Keith with the "Partridge Award" for the best performance by an actor in an embarrassing situation.moreless
  • Ain't Love Grand
    Episode 10
    Laurie meets a former neighbor at the local tennis courts. His name is Greg Houser and he's grown up to be quite a handsome fellow. Laurie eagerly agrees to see him that evening to talk over old times and to catch up on new times. When Greg arrives to take Laurie out, the entire family is surprised to see that Greg is wearing a clerical collar. Laurie feels very uncomfortable with Greg now that she knows his occupation. Greg finally puts her at ease. He does this so successfully that later in the evening Laurie tells Shirley she is in love with Greg. Talk of marriage is in the air. Shirley has told Laurie that she should take time to be sure of her feelings for Greg. Laurie promises to do this, but she is going through all the motions or being in love. Laurie's preoccupation with Greg causes her to leave out a few words in a note she leaves her mother. From the way the note reads, it appears that Laurie has eloped with Greg. Shirley rushes to the church and discovers that Laurie is merely a witness to another couple's vows. Later, Laurie explains the parts she let out of the note. She also tells Shirley that she and Greg won't be thinking of marriage, at least until Laurie is finished with school. Laurie promises that when the time comes for marriage Shirley will be the first to know.moreless
  • 11/10/72
    After a few weeks on the road, the kids are overjoyed to hear that Shirley and Reuben have arranged for the family to spend a weekend in the mountains near Lake Tahoe. But as soon as they enter the cabin, which has no heat or electricity, the skies open and buckets of rain come pouring down. Fated to at least a few hours of being inside, the kids realize that there is no television with which they can plug the electrical musical equipment. Boredom takes over, and when they hear over the transistor radio that the rain will continue for at least another five days, everyone, including Shirley and Reuben, begins to panic. In fact, they feel doomed to die. All the melodramatics prove unnecessary, however, and a forest ranger knocks on the door, in the process of checking the area to see if anyone is in trouble. With his help the Partridges are able to leave, and once again they find themselves in the warmth and security of their own living room.moreless
  • A Likely Candidate
    Episode 8
    Keith is suddenly jolted out of his political apathy when Laurie takes him to a rally where Richard Lawrence, a candidate for Congressman, is speaking. Keith is so enthusiastic about the man that he decides to help Lawrence run his campaign. That night, Lawrence, who is handsome and charming besides being an excellent candidate, visits the Partridges to see if they will perform at a rally he is giving. All the kids notice that there is an immediate attraction between the politician and Shirley and, in fact, Richard invites their mother out to dinner that very night. Within a few days there is obviously a budding romance going on between Shirley and Richard, now known as ""Dick."" But Keith feels insecure about this, afraid he is going to lose his mother. Shirley dispells her son's jealousy by explaining to him that there are some times when she feels very lonely and wants a man's companionship. Although Richard later loses the election, he flatters Shirley by saying that losing has its advantages, for this way he will not have to go off to Washington and be separated from her.moreless
  • The Mod Father
    Episode 7
    Grandma and Grandpa come to the Partridge house having rediscovered themselves, or so they think, through an experience with an encounter group. In an effort to share what they learned with Shirley and the kids, the grandparents provoke them all into expressing their hostility toward each other so that their pent-up feelings will be brought out into the open. When the kids start arguing bitterly, Shirley is forced to tactfully suggest to her parents that they are interfering with her family life, and they leave.

    A few days later a tearful Grandma comes knocking on the Partridges' front door, explaining that she and Grandpa had been too honest with each other, for he had said that their marriage had no zip to it. Grandpa later arrives and they consider first getting a divorce and then living together as a means of revitalizing the marriage. Instead, they take Shirley's suggestion to pretend that they are divorced, and then go out with other people. Both Grandma and Grandpa get fixed up, but it is quite obvious that each of them is having a miserable time. What finally succeeds in giving their marriage a ""kick in the pants"" is the wedding ceremony that they arrange, complete with minister, flower girls and marriage vows.moreless
  • 10/20/72
    Shirley makes an appointment with Dr. Beecher, the school psychologist, who informs her that Danny's behavior in class is quite disruptive. In order to find out what is bothering him, Dr. Beecher suggests that Shirley be very permissive with her son, and watch closely how he handles his freedom. At home, Danny quickly takes advantage of Shirley's mysterious change of attitude. He is permitted to stay up late to watch the talk shows on TV, stay home from school, and force Keith's and Laurie's friends to focus their attention on him. Shirley returns to Dr. Beecher in desperation, for the other kids feel very hostile toward Danny. The doctor realizes that Danny badly wants to identify with the ""big kids"" – Laurie and Keith. To try to cure him of this she suggests giving Danny all the responsibilities that go along with being an adult. It takes going on a double date with Keith to erase all thoughts of being grown-up from Danny's mind. While Keith and his date sit around talking and making eyes at each other, what Danny and his friend Gloria really want to do is climb a tree and run races. The two younger kids are finally so bored that this is exactly what they do... even though it isn't ""mature."" At this point Danny realizes that he wants to hang on to his youth a little longer.moreless
  • 10/13/72
    In the middle of the night a Hells' Angel-type named Snake zooms up on his motorcycle and rings the Partridges' doorbell. Irritated at being awakened, Shirley and the rest of the family feel obligated to listen to his friend of Laurie's tale of woe. He wants to commit suicide because after breaking all convention by proposing to his girlfriend Penny, she has the audacity to hang up on him. When Shirley realizes that Snake's proposal took place over the phone, she patiently explains to him that a marriage proposal, being the most important event in a girl's life, should not take place over a telephone. She suggests that he dress in a tie and jacket and go to propose in person. But Penny again refuses, for she feels that Snake is making fun of her by having donned such fancy clothes. Laurie goes to visit Penny and tells her that Snake will kill himself if she does not accept his proposal. Finally convinced that Snake truly loves her, Penny rushes to the Partridge house, where he has temporarily taken residence, and falls into her lover's arms. Shirley generously offers to hold the ceremony at her house, where everything goes without a hitch... and afterwards the newlyweds mount their bikes and zoom off.moreless
  • Each Dawn I Diet
    Episode 4
    To prove who has the most willpower, Reuben and Danny have a contest to see who falls off the wagon first--Reuben has to quit smoking, and Danny has to stay on his diet.
  • 9/29/72
    Keith is chosen to be the escort of a visiting princess, but almost causes an international incident when she talks him into sneaking her away for a drive-in date.
  • 9/22/72
    Shirley is chosen as Mother of the Year by a magazine, and decides to take the entire family to the award ceremony in Sacramento. Unfortunately, the scenic route she has chosen for the trip turns out to be full of unpleasant surprises that test the worthiness of her receiving the award.moreless
  • As part of a contest, Keith and Laurie swap gender roles--Keith has to cook a spinach omelete, while Laurie works on the family car. It doesn't go quite the way Keith expected, and things get even worse when the school tough-guy hears about it.