Welcome Back, Kotter

Season 1 Episode 15

The Sit-In

Aired Unknown Jan 13, 1976 on ABC

Episode Recap

Prologue: Gabe is running late, but he has time to tell Julie about his Uncle Bernie who was always late because his Aunt Elaine was always complaining about him. She told Bernie she would dance on his grave and Bernie would say, 'I'm gonna be buried at sea, let her dance!'
Part One: Woodman tells Gabe that the Sweathogs will be having a food fight at lunch and Gabe tells him they would not do that without telling him first. Just then, the whole class comes in in various costumes. Woodman tells him to stop it or else he will tell the unemployment office he never worked at Buchanan. The class says they are going to have the food fight to protest having liver every Wednesday. Gabe tells them there are better ways to get their demands heard, like a petition. The kids are cynical, but Gabe tells them they have a chance to make history. They agree, but Woodman comes back and tells them no, that they have to eat the liver like everyone else.  Gabe asks if that will stop them, and they all say yes. Gabe then tells about his classmate Bonzo Maretti, who sat in the middle of an intersection to get a stoplight there where they all played stickball. The kids agree, but they quickly get bored and decide not to keep going. Gabe lets them go, but tells them that the founding fathers would not cop out. This gets them to stay and they start singing '99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.'
Part Two: Arnold is down to 12 bottles of beer. Gabe tells the kids that their parents will let them stay over. Juan walks around and he and Gabe do their Groucho and Chico routine. Arnold keeps saying, 'Reasoner,' because he misses Harry Reasoner and the news because he always has supper with the news. They all want to get food and come back but Gabe says no. Julie comes by with blankets and her tuna casserole, which is not exactly what the kids want. She also starts the beer song, and the kids groan. Gabe says everyone should go to sleep. Vinnie says he sleeps in the nude, but Gabe doesn't believe him. The boys and girls are separated, but when Vinnie wants to go to the girls' side, Gabe says no. He has the lights in the room and the hall turned off and this scares Arnold, who wants his teddy. He asks for Julie, and Gabe says, 'You can't have my teddy, either.' The hall light is left on and before everyone goes to sleep, Vinnie prays, a discussion starts on what everyone thinks God is like. Arnold says He is short, and has a good laugh. Vernajean says that 'she' can do anything. Juan says he's tough and fair, like John Wayne with a white beard. Vinnie says he's a sharp dresser, good looking, 'and, of course, Italian.' Freddie says instead of harps, God's backed by a jazz rhythm section, with 'a piano, a bass guitar, and a drummer with a good right foot.' Julie says God is love and He'd love her tuna casserole. Gabe says He used to be at Ebbets Field, but that God is everywhere with the possible exception of Juan's gym locker. The next morning, Woodman walks in the room to see everyone asleep. He tells them that the contract for liver has three more years to run, and no one cares if the Sweathogs protest. But then, several of the 'real students,' including Todd and Judy, come in. Judy says they are the first wave and more are coming to join the protest. Woodman then says he will work out a trade with the principal of New Utrecht High School for their chipped beef. The kids celebrate their winning, but Arnold says they should wake up Vinnie. Gabe wakes him up the way his mother woke him up: first sweet words, then yelling. Gabe says they won: 'Today, Woodman's liver! Tomorrow, my wife's tuna casserole!'
Epilogue: Gabe tells Julie, who's holding a basket of folded laundry, about his uncle Jack, who was afraid to fly. His wife, Rose, took him up in a World War II plane to get over it. Jack keeps moaning, so the pilot says if he keeps quiet, he won't be charged for the flight. He keeps quiet and when the flight is over, the pilot says he didn't think he could do it. Jack says he thought about saying something when Rose fell out. Julie pushes the basket to him.