Diff'rent Strokes

 (327)
6.619797+
Diff'rent Strokes began an eight-year run across two networks in 1978, making stars out of its young lead actors Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges and Dana Plato. The diminuitive Coleman's catchphrase "Whatchu talkin' about, Willis?" became the show's trademark. The story of a pair of African-American brothers adopted by a widowed millionaire, the comedy followed the misadventures of the boys and their n
Starring
Conrad BainTodd BridgesDixie Carter
Genres
DramaKidsComedy
Subtitles
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  1. 1. Ep 1- Movin' In
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    January 1 1978
    26min
    7+
    Millionaire Phillip Drummond takes in two Harlem orphans.
  2. 2. Ep 2 - The Social Worker
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    January 1 1978
    25min
    7+
    A social worker checks up on the adoptees in the Drummond home.
  3. 3. Ep 3 - Mother's Last Visit
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    January 1 1978
    25min
    7+
    Drummond is paid a surprise visit by his status-conscious mother.
  4. 4. Ep 4 - The Spanking
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    January 1 1978
    25min
    7+
    Drummond must decide how to discipline Arnold for tossing water bombs off the balcony.
  5. 5. Ep 5 - Prep School
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    January 1 1978
    26min
    7+
    Drummond wants to send the kids to his boyhood prep school.
  6. 6. Ep 6 - Goodbye, Dolly
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    January 1 1978
    26min
    7+
    The ratty doll Arnold sleeps with is accidentally sold.
  7. 7. Ep 7 - The Trial
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    January 1 1978
    26min
    7+
    Drummond's teachings about justice backfire when he must give Arnold a fair trial for his misdeeds.
  8. 8. Ep 8 - The Fight
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    January 1 1979
    25min
    7+
    A bully's after Arnold and Willis wants him to fight back, while Drummond wants peace talks.
  9. 9. Ep 9 - The Club Meeting
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    January 1 1979
    25min
    7+
    The boys show off their new home to their old friends.
  10. 10. Ep 10 - The Woman
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    January 1 1979
    25min
    7+
    Arnold, Willis and Kimberly are out to foil Drummond's plan to marry a widow.
  11. 11. Ep 11 - No Time For Arnold
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    January 1 1979
    26min
    7+
    Feeling ignored, Arnold feigns bed-wetting to attract attention.
  12. 12. Ep 12 - The Relative
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    January 1 1979
    25min
    7+
    The boys' cousin Muriel arrives, and she's as broke as she is likable.
  13. 13. Ep 13 - The Tutor
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    January 1 1979
    25min
    7+
    Basketball-team captain Willis gets some bad news: get better grades or quit the team.
  14. 14. Ep 14 - The New Landlord
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    January 1 1979
    24min
    7+
    The new landlord decides to evict families with preteens.
  15. 15. Ep 15 - Willis' Privacy
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    January 1 1979
    26min
    7+
    Willis' demand for privacy sparks a feud with Arnold.
  16. 16. Ep 16 - Xmas Special, Part 1
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    January 1 1978
    28min
    7+
    The Drummond family recalls past events on their first Christmas with Willis and Arnold. Part 1 of 2.
  17. 17. Ep 17 - Xmas Special, Part 2
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    January 1 1978
    22min
    7+
    Conclusion. More recollections of past events by the Drummonds.
  18. 18. Ep 18 - Mrs. Garrettt's Crisis
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    January 1 1979
    25min
    7+
    A reunion with successful friends convinces Mrs. Garrett of her own failure.
  19. 19. Ep 19 - The Job
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    January 1 1979
    26min
    7+
    A frantic Willis keeps up pretenses after he's fired the first day on a job.
  20. 20. Ep 20 - Getting Involved
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    January 1 1979
    26min
    7+
    Arnold perseveres in an uphill struggle to bring a holdup man to justice.
  21. 21. Ep 21 - The Trip, Part 1
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    January 1 1979
    29min
    7+
    Drummond and his brood journey to Oregon to see his latest acquisition - the radio station where an old Army buddy holds forth. Part 1 of 2.
  22. 22. Ep 22 - The Trip, Part 2
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    January 1 1979
    22min
    7+
    Conclusion. Drummond and his brood visit his newly purchased radio station and an old Army buddy.
  23. 23. Ep 23 - Willi's Birthday
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    January 1 1979
    25min
    7+
    Willis has a special birthday request: a party back in his Harlem neighborhood with his old buddies.
  24. 24. Ep 24 - The Girls School
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    January 1 1979
    24min
    7+
    Mrs. Garrett finds teen pandemonium when she visits Kimberly's school.

More details

Directors
Herbert Kenwith
Supporting actors
Mary Jo CatlettRosalind ChaoGary ColemanDanny CookseyDody GoodmanJason HerveyJanet JacksonMary Ann MobleySteven MondDana PlatoCharlotte RaeShaver RossNikki SwaseyLe TariNedra Volz
Season year
1979
Network
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT, INC.
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Other formats

Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

327 global ratings

  1. 89% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 6% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 4% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 0% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 1% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

JGCReviewed in the United States on April 4, 2005
5.0 out of 5 stars
everybody's got a special kind of story, everybody finds a way to shine, it don't matter that you got not a lot, so what
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'Diff'rent Strokes' was my favorite show growing up because it was extremely funny and all of the characters were very likable and interesting. I haven't seen the series since it was on Nick at Nite & TV Land, a few years ago. It's unfortunate that it is no longer on TV. But I was very glad to pick up this DVD set of the first season. It includes twenty-four, full and uncut episodes (more than most sitcoms) from the 1978 - 1979 season.

Here's all the episodes included in this set with the original air dates:

Movin' In (November 3, 1978)
Millionaire Philip Drummond ('Maude' star Conrad Bain) welcomes 8-year-old Arnold Jackson (Gary Coleman) and his 13-year-old brother Willis (Todd Bridges) into his New York penthouse. Mr. Drummond tries to make his new sons feel at home with the help of his daughter, Kimberly (played by the late Dana Plato) and his housekeeper (future 'Facts Of Life' star Charlotte Rae) Mrs. Garrett. Arnold also utters his trademark catch-phrase, "whatchya talkin' about Willis" for the first time in this episode.

The Social Worker (November 10, 1978)
Arnold's big ears cause him to misinterpret Drummond's conversation with Mrs. Garrett. And, Arnold convinces Willis that Mr. Drummond doesn't want them around. It's all cleared up though when their new family comes to pick them up.

Mother's Last Visit (November 17, 1978)
The title of this episode should be 'Mother's Only Visit' because this is the only time Mr. Drummond's busybody mother makes an appearance. When Grandma Drummond finds out about her two adopted grandsons she faints in front of them prompting the boys to tell Drummond that she isn't happy to have them around.

Prep School (November 24, 1978)
When Mr. Drummond tries to get Arnold and Willis into his former prep school it turns out to be a valuable lesson in bigotry.

The Spanking (December 1, 1978)
Arnold is extra mischievous in this episode when he drops a homemade water balloon from the penthouse balcony on the apartment handyman. Mr. Drummond decides to give Arnold a spanking but resists when Willis convinces Drummond that his big brother should do it. Willis quickly learns that it isn't easy dishing out punishment.

Goodbye Dolly (December 8, 1978)
Arnold flips out when Kimberly sells his favorite stuffed doll at a charity event. Mr. Drummond enlists the help of a P. I. to track down Arnold's furry friend.

The Trial (December 15, 1978)
Willis sets up Arnold to take the rap so that he can prove to Drummond that fair trials are hard to come by. This episode is a total 'Brady Bunch' rip-off, but in my opinion 'Diff'rent Strokes' got it better because it was funnier and more believable.

Retrospective (1) (December 29, 1978)
This is a flashback episode with the boys and Mr. Drummond and Kimberly and Mrs. Garrett. The opening credits for this episode are different, it shows Arnold and Willis' bedroom with the 'Diff'rent Strokes' logo and the theme song is shorter. Originally aired as a one hour episode.

Retrospective (2) (December 29, 1978)
This is second half of the retrospective episode. The opening credits for this episode are the standard opening credits.

The Fight (January 5, 1979)
Poor Arnold gets a black eye when he tries to go up against The Gooch at the insistence of Willis. Fans of 'Diff'rent Strokes' will recall The Gooch as the bully who Arnold mentions many tims throughout the series (Carmella finally beats him up) but he is never actually seen.

The Club Meeting (January 12, 1979)
Willis invites his friends from his former neighborhood over to show off.

The Woman (January 19, 1979)
Drummond's intention to marry a widow doesn't sit well with his children. They scheme to make his proposal a disaster.

No Time for Arnold (January 26, 1979)
Arnold has a new attention-seeking device that is sure to get the attention of everyone in his household. He starts 'wetting' the bed only until he is revealed to be a phony that only is seeking a little attention from his family.

The Relative (February 2, 1979)
LaWanda Page claims to be Willis and Arnold's cousin who overstays her welcome in their penthouse apartment.

The Tutor (February 9, 1979)
Mr. Drummond hires a tutor for Arnold and Willis who doesn't do his job very well.

The New Landlord (February 16, 1979)
The kids hatch a scheme to try to persuade the new landlord to allow the family to keep their penthouse.

Willis' Privacy (February 23, 1979)
Another 'Brady Bunch' rip-off...Willis is sick of Arnold so he divides his room in half only to realize how much he really loves his bother.

Mrs. Garrett's Crisis (March 2, 1979)
Unfulfilled with her life Mrs. Garrett makes an important decision regarding her future.

The Job (a.k.a.) Willis' Job (March 16, 1979)
In order to earn the money to buy disco skates, and to prove a point to Drummond, Willis gets a job...but is fired on his first day!

The Trip (1) (March 30, 1979)
The casts of 'Diff'rent Strokes' and 'Hello, Larry' get together in a special, hilarious hour in which Phillip Drummond realizes that the purchase of a Portland radio station could mean the loss of a job for his old friend Larry Alder.

The Trip (2) (March 30, 1979)
The casts of 'Diff'rent Strokes' and 'Hello, Larry' get together in a special, hilarious hour in which Phillip Drummond realizes that the purchase of a Portland radio station could mean the loss of a job for his old friend Larry Alder.

Getting Involved (April 6, 1979)
When Arnold is witness to a hold up, the robber tries to ensure that the youngster will not identify him.

Willis' Birthday (April 13, 1979)
At first Willis is disapointed to learn that his family has forgotten his birthday. But, he soon discovers that not only has his family remembered but they have planned a party in his old neighborhood in Harlem.

The Girls School (a.k.a.) Garrett's Girls (May 4, 1979)
This is the original pilot of what was to become 'The Facts Of Life.' Mrs. Garrett visits Kimberly's school (East Lake, in 'The Facts Of Life' called East Land) and has a run-in with the school's pushy principal. Also introduced are future 'The Facts Of Life' costars: Nancy, Sue Ann, Tootie, and stuck-up Blair.

I can't wait for Season Two of 'Diff'rent Strokes' to be released on DVD. I also can't wait for 'The Facts Of Life' to make its DVD debut! Both are classic sitcoms that are greatly missed.
93 people found this helpful
Cosmic-SurfReviewed in the United States on March 28, 2011
5.0 out of 5 stars
Even better than the first time!
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What do you get when you combine superb comedic timing, charm, charisma and that 'special something' one is either born with or not, but no one can give you? Gary Coleman. I must confess that when I sat down to watch Diff'rent Strokes, after not having seen the show for over 20+ years, I did not expect it to have stood the passage of time. Other shows, such as Laverne & Shirley, while clever, nostalgic and funny, fail to do so as well as this series. I originally rented the DVD's, but after I watched a couple of shows, I flat out bought it! It was even better than the first time!

After I watched the first episode of Diff'rent Strokes, I was hooked. The writing was excellent and the acting, particularly Coleman, Bridges and Rae's, superb. I must admit that it got a little hard watching Dana Plato looking at one of the cameras every so often, but eventually she got the hang of it. If you think that an entire episode - about 30 pages of script, give or take - usually rested on Coleman (barely 10 years old) and Bridges' shoulders, the show is even more awe inspiring. I just could not wait to watch more of Coleman's charm and humor delivery with every episode. Indeed, we lost an incredible talent with his passing. The cast's great chemistry is also truly palpable and it is easy to believe these people truly liked each other.

On another note, I wonder if a show like this would make it today, considering the incredible amount of political correctness on TV these days, plus the high racial tension (on both sides) we're experiencing. What I am treasuring about this show is the raw honesty and tact with which racism is handled. Because of it, I think it can make anyone color blind. In fact, I wish this show would be on right now...we need it!

If there is only one thing more astounding than Coleman's talent here it is that SONY would follow it's usual MO and pull the plug on further DVD releases of Diff'rent Strokes, as it seems to do with a high percentage of its TV of DVD releases. This show is truly superb and deserves to see a full release. One would hope that eventually SONY would get their act together, stop using the consumer as a guinea pig and show a little more respect. This said, do not let SONY's moronic behavior deter you and get the two available seasons. It is truly a magnificent experience.

UPDATE: 'Shout! Factory' has picked up this series and is scheduling the release for the rest of the seasons! Shout! is known, thankfully, for making up for SONY's lack of consumer awareness.
4 people found this helpful
Joseph Haggard Jr.Reviewed in the United States on July 14, 2008
5.0 out of 5 stars
Diff'rent Strokes - Season One
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"Diff'rent Strokes" was one of my favorite TV shows from my childhood. Here was a comedy show that I would constantly watch with my friends and family members. And why not? It was a sitcom that the whole family could enjoy. Not to mention it was a very funny show. So I decided to take a little trip down memory lane and watch the entire first season of "Diff'rent Strokes" on DVD, and it still holds up well 30 years after it debuted on NBC.

The premise: wealthy widower Philip Drummond agrees to honor the dying wish of his black housekeeper (a widow) and take care of her two sons Arnold and Willis Jackson. He brings the two boys from Harlem to live in his luxurious penthouse apartment with him, his daughter Kimberly, and their new housekeeper Mrs. Garrett. What follows during the course of season one is the wonderful bond that this family creates. In the very first episode, older boy Willis (13 years old) is not too pleased to be living away from Harlem. But as the first season progresses, he and his younger brother Arnold (8 years old) begin to really like living with their new family.

There are many touching moments throughout the first season of "Diff'rent Strokes" as well as a lot of funny moments. There are many episodes that I liked, but my personal favorites were: Episode #5 - "The Spanking", where Arnold gets in trouble for dropping water bombs off the 30th floor balcony and Mr. Drummond thinks that a spanking is the best form of punishment; Episode #12 - "The Woman", in which Arnold, Willis, and Kimberly try to ruin Mr. Drummond's plans to propose to his new girlfriend who isn't quite the nice lady they though she was; Episode #22 - "Getting Involved", which puts Arnold in a tight spot after witnessing a robbery and becoming the prime target of the robber; and Episode #23 - "Willis's Birthday", where the entire clan go to Harlem to celebrate Willis's 14th birthday. But all-in-all, there was rarely a disappointing moment during the first season of "Diff'rent Strokes".

The cast of "Diff'rent Strokes" was a very good one. Conrad Bain, who had just come off of six years on the hit Bea Arthur series "Maude" (where he was hilarious as Dr. Arthur Harmon), was wonderful as Philip Drummond. Here's a very good actor who starred on back-to-back hit sitcoms, then seemed to disappear from the scene after "Diff'rent Strokes" was cancelled in 1986 after eight years on the tube. The only acting projects that I saw Bain in after "Diff'rent Strokes" ended its run was a supporting role in the short-lived George C. Scott 1987-1988 sitcom "Mr. President" (which aired on the Fox network back when it was a brand new network airing opposite network heavyweights CBS, NBC, and ABC), and a very small role as Meryl Streep's grandfather in the 1990 Mike Nichols film "Postcards from the Edge". But since then I haven't seen him in anything else. As good as Bain was, he wasn't the main star of "Diff'rent Strokes". That honor belonged to Gary Coleman, who played the wisecracking Arnold. Here was an actor who went on the steal scene after scene and in the process got the biggest laughs on the show. He also provided the show's now famous catchphrase: "Whatchoo talkin' bout?" All of that is evident in season one. But lets not forget about the other actors: Todd Bridges and the late Dana Plato were also very good as Willis and Kimberly. And Charlotte Rae was terrific as Mrs. Garrett. Rae would move on to her own show, which was the "Diff'rent Strokes" spin-off "The Facts of Life". You can see the "Diff'rent Stokes"/"Facts of Life" connection with the final episode of season one titled "The Girls' School" (featuring a guest appearence by a very young Molly Ringwald, who went on to star in the first season of "The Facts of Life"). Just like "Diff'rent Strokes", "The Facts of Life" went on the become a big hit as well. The later seasons of "Diff'rent Strokes" would feature two different housekeepers, but I always thought Mrs. Garrett was the best housekeeper on this show. And Rae made the most out of that role (she was great on "The Facts of Life" as well).

It was well worth it watching the first season of "Diff'rent Strokes". This is a great show to watch along with anybody. Whether your an adult or a kid and you're looking for a very funny family sitcom from the past to watch on DVD, "Diff'rent Strokes" would be a great choice. Plus the DVD feature a couple of great extras, which include a look back at the show and has interviews with three of the actors: Conrad Bain, Todd Bridges, and Charlotte Rae (as well as some of the crew members behind the show). Unfortunately, Gary Coleman is noticeably absent from the extras. It would have been great to see him in the DVD extras.
2 people found this helpful
Jason SchererReviewed in the United States on August 14, 2005
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Timeless T.V. Classic
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This tv show in my mind, will be remembered as my favorite all time tv show. I used to tape ths show off the tv all the time, & now that the show is on DVD, i can tape over those tapes! What i am mostly looking forward to on the DVD is seeing the full & uncut scenes that the tv stations omitted. What i hated about the tv stations is that when an episode comes on they put certain scenes in, when that episode comes on again @ another time, they cut some scenes out & put other scenes in. Also my other gripe is that Australia has not yet released this on dvd yet, a store in the city of Melbourne has it for the asking price of $69.95 on import, no way would i buy it for that price! that's $10 over double the price if you buy it from here. To summarise, a show that brings out the kid in me that i remember from my childhood.
One person found this helpful
melodiebeaverReviewed in the United States on April 5, 2022
4.0 out of 5 stars
It was good.
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I like the tv show at different strokes.
A. R SCOTTReviewed in the United States on September 2, 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars
CLASSIC TELEVISON @ IT'S FINEST!!!!!
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THIS WAS A GREAT T.V. SHOW AND I REALLY DID ENJOY IT I USED TO COME HOME FROM SCHOOL AND WATCH THIS SHOW EVERYDAY. I REMEMBER WHEN IT USED TO COME ON NBC. IT IS A SHAME HOW THE QUALITY OF TELEVISION AND RADIO IS SO BAD AND IS IN SUCH POOR TASTE THAT THE DEMAND OF CLASSIC TELEVISION IS IN DEMAND. THIS WAS A GREAT SHOW AND I REALLY DID ENJOY THE SHOW. I THOUGHT GARY WAS SO DARLING AND CUTE. AND TODD WAS ALWAYS A GREAT KID ACTOR. DANA PLATO DID A FINE JOB AS WELL. CHARLOTTE RAE DID A FINE JOB ALSO. THIS IS A FUN HEARTWARMING SHOW AND I WOULD RECOMMEND IT TO ANYONE WHO ENJOYS FAMILY FUN I REMEMBER WHEN GARY (ARNOLD ) HAD A GOLDFISH NAMED ABRAHAM . I REALLY DID ENJOY THIS SHOW AND I WOULD RECCOMEND ANYONE WHO ENJOYED THIS SHOW IN THE PAST TO PURCHASE THIS DVD.
3 people found this helpful
F. GolanReviewed in the United States on October 15, 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars
Diffrent Stroeks for Diffrent Folks!
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This Is One of The Best Shows Ever.

I Always Like to watch it,

Cus It's Funny.

It Brought to my Attanchion that is a seriuos Show,

But Funny One!

When I Saw it's on DVD i was Excited!

The Show Rules. There aren't much special features,

but hey, It's Not for The Features, it's for the Episodes, Right?

Buy It Now!

Arnold Rules all Things and Stuff!
One person found this helpful
Corinne SuellReviewed in the United States on July 23, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Different strokes is one of my favor show.
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I'm glad that this DVD was available for me to order. i received it on time, I like it, thank you.
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