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Old 11-06-2003, 04:45 PM   #1
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Cool (Un)Official "Mama's Family" Episode Guide

If, at any time, you're wondering about a particular episode, who guested in it or whatever, this is the most helpful episode guide I know of. If you see an episode on here that doesn't have a lot of info about that episode, don't fret. I'll be working on it as soon as I get the time. Here is the episode guide, broken up into seasons for every post.

Season One
January 22, 1983 - May 7, 1983

Vint and the Kids Move In

This originally aired as the first episode and is the fourth episode aired now in syndication.

Original Airdate: January 22, 1983
Special Guests: Betty White starring as Ellen Jackson.

Mama rushes her younger sister, Fran, to finish eating so they can get to a sale at the mall. Fran's boss calls, so Fran must go down to her workplace, which is for a newspaper, and re-edit her stories. Thelma is upset because she can't drive and has no way to get to the sale. Vinton, Thelma's only son, drops by the house and announces that he has lost his home and is hoping that he, his daughter Sonia, and his son Buzz, can stay with Mama until he gets back on his feet. Mama allows it to happen. Vint gets the basement, Buzz gets the attic, and Sonia gets Fran's writing studio because she refuses to sleep on the couch. Fran is outraged by this and is even more upset when Sonia stumbles upon Fran's book that she is working on because it is an invasion of her privacy. Thelma had no idea that Fran was actually writing in her studio. Fran made a decision of moving out because she couldn't take it anymore but then changes her mind and decides to stay after all.

For Better or For Worse

This originally aired as the second episode and is the fifth episode aired now in syndication.

Original Airdate: January 29, 1983
Special Guests: None in this episode.

Vinton and Naomi are reunited after many years of not seeing each other since high school. He and Naomi because quite close and Vint tells her that he had a big crush on her in high school. After coming home from the Bigger Jigger, Naomi and Vint go down to the basement to look at Vint's collection of TV Guides. Naomi remarks on how cute Mr. Ed is because that was her favorite show. They end up sleeping together and the next day when Mama and Fran are in the kitchen, Naomi attempts to sneak out and is seen by Mama. She goes into an uproar and is raged at Vint. Later, Naomi asks Vint to come with her to Arizona to run a trailer park because the job wants a husband and wife. Naomi had just sold her house, which was right next door to Mama. Vint agrees and lets everyone know that he and Naomi plan on getting married and moving to Arizona. Mama is so shocked that she tells them that they can have the wedding at her house. At the end of the episode, Thelma asks Fran how she could let her tell Vint and Naomi that they could have the wedding at her house.

The Wedding, Part One

This originally aired as the third episode and is the sixth episode aired now in syndication.

Original Airdate: February 5, 1983
Special Guests: Betty White starring as Ellen Jackson and Carol Burnett as Eunice Higgins.

Vint and Buzz go to a bachelor party in celebration of Vint's impending marriage to Naomi. Meanwhile, Fran, Ellen, Sonia and Mama are decorating the living room when Naomi arrives with a bottle of wine (which Ellen claims is cheap). They get drunk and learn that Ellen's husband, Bruce, is cheating on her with his secretary, Peggy.

Everyone acts shocked but thought that all along and try to convince Ellen that she is wrong. She phones his office and is surprised that Bruce answers and says that Peggy is a saint for letting Bruce keep her there that late and that she would wait up for him. Ellen remarks that the only thing that could ruin this day is if Eunice showed up. The ladies start taking about how Eunice wants to sing at the wedding and all agree it would be a total disaster.

Eunice arrives through the back, overhears this and becomes upset. She tells Ellen about Bruce's cheating and Ellen blames the ladies for lying to her about her husband. Vint arrives home drunk with Buzz just as the whole gang starts fighting.

The Wedding, Part Two

This originally aired as the fourth episode and is the seventh episode aired now in syndication. This is also the only episode ever to feature the ENTIRE NBC cast during its NBC run.

Original Airdate: February 12, 1983
Special Guests: Betty White starring as Ellen Jackson, Carol Burnett as Eunice Higgins, Harvey Korman as Ed Higgins, Dorothy Van as Aunt Effie and Earl Boen as Reverend Meachum.

The day of the wedding is at hand, and Vint and Naomi are ready to tie the knot. While Eunice still wants to sing her solo, she first asks Vint who says she'll have to talk to Naomi about it. Mama then gives Vint his daddy's ring as a wedding present. Problem is, Eunice thinks it's her ring, because their daddy always wanted her to have it. While Naomi is getting ready, she shows Eunice the ring, saying it's something blue and she is going to wear it around her neck.

Vint and Naomi say their vows and Eunice, who is already upset at Mama for giving her ring away and has had a few too many beers, prepares to sing her solo in front of the whole crowd. She starts yelling at Mama half way through her solo about the ring and Mama yells back and it turns into a free-for-all, with Eunice insulting everyone and Ed eventually has to carry Eunice out.

Later, Mama and Fran sit on the couch, and enjoy the peace and quiet that they now have. Vint (who decided to take the kids after all), Naomi, and the kids have left for Arizona. But the peace doesn't last long because just then, they walk back into the house, saying that the whole thing was a scam, and they lost all their money. They'll have to move back in with Mama again.

Family Feud

This originally aired as the fifth episode.

Original Airdate: February 19, 1983
Special Guests: Richard Dawson as himself, Bernard Behrens as Webster Van Courtland, Georgann Johnson as Bunny Van Courtland, Bonnie Urseth as Muffy Van Courtland, Gene Wood as The Announcer, Betty White as Ellen Jackson, Todd Thompson as Binky Van Courtland and Tina Payne as Tiffany “Tiffy“ Van Courtland.

Vinton gets an idea of taking the family (everyone except Sonia) onto Family Feud, so that they can have a chance at winning $10,000 and has selected each person for different reasons: Buzz (the teenage heartthrob), Naomi (the beauty), Mama (the sweet old lady), and Ellen and Vint as the brains of the family and can win the money on their own. Ellen disagrees and says that she is the only one that is smart enough to win the money (meaning that Vint is dumb). Everyone takes a while to convince Mama to go, but she finally gives in. The opposing family is the very snooty Van Courtlands, who win the first round. Vint ends up winning the second match-up and decide to play in order to take the lead. After a short break, the point values are doubled and the Van Courtlands win the face-off and almost win the game, but Mama gets one last chance to steal. The survey question was "What do you wind up?". The Harpers are telling Mama to answer with "A mechanical tin man (toy)", but she says "A letter," and they lose their chance at $10,000. Back at home, everyone is ready to watch themselves on Family Feud and ask Mama to join them. She refuses, saying that she doesn't want to see herself making a fool of herself and makes a wish to Carl, her deceased husband, to make something happen in order to stop the showing of Family Feud and at that very instant, there is a power failure and the whole block is left without power.


This originally aired as the sixth episode and is the eighth episode aired now in syndication.

Original Airdate: February 26, 1983
Special Guests: Carol Burnett as Eunice Higgins, Harvey Korman as Ed Higgins, Yvonne Wilder as Scarlet Mae Dubois, Brad Trumbull as Larry and Joe Pryor as The Waiter.

Mama, Vint and Ed throw Eunice a surprise birthday party at the Bigger Jigger. Eunice was hoping for the Babylonian Roof Gardens (Ed told Eunice they were going to eat out there) and gets mad when she ends up at the Bigger Jigger instead. The birthday party soon turns ugly as Vint mentions Duke Reeves (who has a poster on the bar announcing his run for Congress), who came to the house one day a long time ago with flowers, wanting to take Eunice out for a soda. But Mama turned him down and sent him away. Eunice starts making a huge scene about Duke being the only man she's ever loved.

The argument continues, so the men make excuses to leave. Vint goes to pick up Naomi and Ed goes to read the restroom walls in the mens‘ restroom. The argument soon escalates into an all out fight, and Eunice ends up punching a cop out and Mama whacks another with her pocket book. Mama and Eunice eventually end up in jail. Scarlet, a hooker, arrives soon after they do and their fighting soon gets on her nerves and she tries to mediate a truce.

Scarlet tells them about her Mama and how she hated her every day, until she died and how she wished she was still alive. Mama and Eunice make up just as Ed comes to bail them out. On the way out, Ed greets his old friend, Scarlet.

Mama Gets a Job

This originally aired as the seventh episode.

Original Airdate: March 5, 1983
Special Guests: John Sylvester-White as Mr. Herbert Vogelman, Mina Kolb as The Clerk, Pitt Herbert as Mr. Brennan and Eba Reiss Merin as Mrs. Brennan.

Mama is complaining about not having done anything with her life, so Naomi suggests she get a job. The next day, Mama heads down to the employment agency, and after freaking out taking the entry test, she has to go through an interview. The clerk says Mama doesn't have much of a chance of getting a job, until she remembers Raytown Travel is looking for a new secretary. Mama takes the job and starts that Saturday.

Mr. Vogelman, Mama's new boss, gives her a quick tour of her duties and leaves as Mama sets up her desk for the day. First, she has trouble with the phone. She isn’t able to get anyone to answer whenever she picked up (she had to push a button that lit up). Finally, once she got that down, an elderly couple came in, wanting to book a trip to Tahiti. But then the entire Harper family calls. They’re apparently having a crisis involving Buzz's missing shoes and Sonya locking herself in the bathroom. Pretty soon, Mama starts being rude to everyone, and Mr. Vogelman decides she's just not the right person for the job so he fires her.

Double Standard

This originally aired as the eighth episode.

Original Airdate: March 12, 1983
Special Guests: Steve Nevil as Michael Skinner.

Buzz and Sonia are getting ready for the their high school's Homecoming dance. Vint tells the kids they both have to be in by midnight. Both complain, but Sonia (who's older) doesn't understand why she has the same curfew as Buzz. Vint says it's because she's a girl. Later, Vint tells Buzz to take an extra hour if he wants, which really upsets Sonia when she finds out. She tells Vint that she might not be back on time and then storms out with her date.

Vint, Mama and Fran are sitting up waiting to see if Sonia will be home on time. Buzz comes home an hour before midnight, saying that his date thought he was a jerk and dumped him for a football player. Just as Vint is getting worried about Sonia not arriving yet, Sonia shows up, still pissed. She screams at Vint again and storms off again into the kitchen. Mama follows Sonia into the kitchen and finds out that Sonia had to come home because her date also had a curfew of midnight.

Mama‘s Boyfriend

This originally aired as the ninth episode.

Original Airdate: March 19, 1983
Special Guests: William Windom as Woody Miller.

Mama is all dressed when Fran gets back from the store and she asks Mama, "Who died?". Sonia coms in a bit later and asks the same question. Mama finally tells them she has a date with an old beau she hasn't seen in 40-some years. Much to the family's objections, Mama goes out with her old beau.

After staying out most of the night on their first date and having such a great time, Woody asks Thelma to go up to the lake with him like they did 40 years ago. She accepts, to everyone's surprise. The family protests, most notably Vint, but Mama goes with Woody anyway.

When they reach the cabin, Mama gets nervous and starts an argument much like she did 40 years ago. After discussing the situation over a beer, they both decide they made the right decision so long ago and end up coming home earlier than either had planned.

Fran‘s Dress

This originally aired as the 10th episode and is the third episode aired now in syndication.

Original Airdate: March 26, 1983
Special Guests: Betty White as Ellen Jackson.

Vint, who has a bowling tournament, wants Mama to wash and iron his shirt and have dinner ready early. Fran, who has an awards banquet that night, asks Mama to iron the dress she plans to wear to the banquet. Ellen comes by to pick Mama up and has to remind her of the her appointment she has. So, Mama is in a rush to get to her hair appointment and burns a hole in Fran's dress when she tries to iron it.

Ellen and Mama end up going to Neidermeyer's so they can find the same dress. After finding it and having to pay $55 for it, they get home and Fran comes home early and tries it on. Vint then comes in and finds out Mama not only didn't fix dinner early, she also didn't iron his lucky yellow shirt.

As for Fran's dress, it turns out it's the wrong dress and it looks almost nothing like the other one. Fran throws a fit and she and Mama have a huge fight. In the end, Fran decides to wear another dress instead.

Alien Marriage

This originally aired as the 11th episode and is the second episode aired now in syndication. The episodes are, however, shown out of order because Vinton is already married to Naomi by this point.

Original Airdate: April 2, 1983
Special Guests: Geoffrey Lewis as Claude Cainmaker, Luis Avalos as Mr. Costa and Jeannie Linero as Zenada.

Claude has come up with another hair brained scheme. At the Bigger Jigger, he tells Vint that he has a good deal and that Vint could make $1600 (Claude will make $400 for a finders’ fee) for marrying a girl from Portugal who needs her green card to stay in the country. The family finds out by accident when Mr. Costa and Zenada drop by for an unannounced visit. It seems that Zenada will have to stay with the family for a few days to make it look like a real marriage, which Mama is flat-out refusing to let her do.

Mama is outside hanging her laundry when Naomi comes over to complain about the sap from Mama’s tree falling on her car. When Mama tells her about their marriage, Naomi tells Mama how illegal it is and how she saw it on “60 Minutes.” According to her, Vint could get a felony for false marriage if he goes through with it.

Claude and the bride-to-be stop by to drop off her roll-away bed and a few other things. When Mama starts screaming and tells everybody what Naomi told her, Vint begins to realize that it wasn’t such a good deal, and he decides not to go along with it. He tells Claude and Mr. Costa that they should find someone else to do the job instead.

Positive Thinking

This originally aired as the 12th episode.

Original Airdate: April 30, 1983
Special Guests: Carol Burnett as Eunice Higgins, Harvey Korman as Ed Higgins, Gloria DeHaven as Sally, Robin Bach as The Director and Hugh Douglas as Arthur Brewster.

Eunice is telling Mama how much her life sucks while at the same moment making everyone else's life a living hell. Buzz comes in and tells Mama about how he just made the debate team after listening to a positive thinking tape he brought at the mall. Eunice and Mama both shrug it off as a load of bunk. Later on, Eunice gets home from doing errands and Ed hollers to Eunice that he wants his supper. She starts listening to the tape while she starts dinner and becomes interested in it.

The next day, Eunice shows up at Mama's house with presents and a new outlook. She gives Vint the old movie reels of their childhood and Naomi gets the ear rings she's been admiring. Eunice then announces she got a role in a play at the Pepper Pot Playhouse. Problem is, her rehearsal schedule conflicts with a sale that she was going to take Mama to. So, she invites Mama to go with her and go to the sale afterwards.

Eunice plays Sadie, a small but important part, according to her. With Mama sitting by, they make a run through of Eunice's lines. The director pulls over the play's star, Sally, and they have a private conversation in where they decide to give most of Eunice's lines to her. Mama tells Eunice she's getting pushed around and how she shouldn't take it, so Eunice makes a huge scene over it and quits.

Mama‘s Silver

This originally aired as the 13th episode and is the first episode shown now in syndication.

Original Airdate: May 7, 1983
Special Guests: Geoffrey Lewis as Claude Cainmaker and Betty White as Ellen Jackson.

Mama is going on about Vint's friend Claude, being a good-for-nothing bum when Ellen comes in to return Mama's silver. Mama wants Vint to put it up on a high shelf in her close immediately, so that no one will steal it. However, he gets a call from Claude, who needs a favor. Claude explains to Vint that he got in a bar fight and he got thrown into jail and needs $250 for his bail. Vint catches Ellen before she leaves and asks her for $250, but she refuses. So he has an idea and pawns Mama's silver to get the money.

The next morning, Mama goes to her closet to put some stuff away. She discovers her box of silver is gone. She wakes Vint up and he confesses he took it and pawned it. Mama blows her top and tells Vint to get her silver back, or else. Vint explains to her why he needed the money, and that only gets her angrier.

In the midst of the screaming match, Vint decides to move out. He goes to the basement to pack his stuff, but Mama couldn't stand to see him go, so she calls him back upstairs. After a couple of minutes of discussion, they finally make peace in their own way, at least for a few moments.
Cheers behind the couch!

Last edited by PZelda; 11-07-2003 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 11-06-2003, 05:08 PM   #2
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Season Two
September 29, 1983 - April 7, 1984

Flaming Forties

Original Airdate: September 29, 1983
Special Guests: Marc Vaughter as Punker #1 and Brendan Kinkade as Punker #2.

Buzz and Sonia are the organizers of a dance to raise funds to build a new gym at their high school. They get an idea after finding some of Mama's old stuff from the attic and hearing her stories about the gym, and that it was used as the Raytown U.S.O during the Second World War. They wanted to use Mama's stuff and have a 40's theme for the dance, but the other members of the committee decided they would rather have a punk rock theme instead and hire a hot new band called Medication.

Mama is disappointed and lets them take her stuff to be sold at the junk sale that the kids were organizing. Only after talking to Fran, does she realize how much her stuff really means to her. So, she and Fran hurry to the gym to try and save her stuff from getting sold off. However, when they get there, everybody founds out that the band, Medication, has been arrested yet again and won‘t be able to play. It is up to Mama and Fran to save Buzz’s and Sonia’s dance, so they kick it into high gear with the dances they were originally practicing for the dance. They‘re a major hit and everybody has an awesome time, and best of all, Mama‘s stuff didn‘t get sold off.

The Return of Leonard Oates

Original Airdate: October 13, 1983
Special Guests: Jerry Reed as Leonard Oates.

Naomi's second husband, Leonard Oates, returns to Raytown after three years. He is now a wealthy man and dubbed The Worm King because of his popular mail-order worm business. He has returned to Raytown with the intention of taking Naomi back to Tallahassee with him.

As Naomi battles with the decision of what to do, she gives Mama a permanent, but she leaves the solution in too long and when they take everything out of Mama’s hair, she ends up looking like a “huge Q-tip.” During that time, Leonard comes in and tells Naomi that he will be waiting for her at noon at the Bigger Jigger for her decision. This conversation makes Naomi upset and she has a sit-down with Fran, who tells Naomi that “she has to live with herself.”

Mama has to follow Naomi so that Naomi can finish fixing her hair, and Vint follows so he can hear Naomi’s decision. At the Bigger Jigger, Leonard makes Naomi choose. In the end, Naomi chooses Vint and her current new life over Leonard because she says Vint trusts her.

Country Club

Original Airdate: October 20, 1983
Special Guests: Allen Oppenheimer as Mayor Tutwiller and Betty White as Ellen Jackson.

Ellen shows up and announces she's been given the "Woman of the Year" award, and that there is a banquet at the Raytown Country Club that night to honor her. But, what she doesn't know is that Mayor Tutwiller has invited Mama and the family along as a surprise for Ellen.

In a side plot, Vint thinks Mama's lost his bowling ball after she says she put it in a "safe place". As expected, the family arrives at the country club and Ellen is absolutely mortified. They, of course embarrass her with the way they act. Vint eventually finds his bowling ball, which was in his pickup all along.

Finally, after dinner (with Mama complaining that it wasn't done), Mayor Tutwiller starts the ceremony by letting Mama say a few words. It turns out to be more than a few words as she goes on to tell stories about Ellen and Vint’s childhood and calling Ellen her "3rd favorite child". In the end, Mama was a major hit.

Naomi and the Stork

Original Airdate: October 27, 1983
Special Guests: Don Keller as The Doctor.

Naomi is ailing and all the signs point to her being pregnant. Mama is the first to discover that fact after administering her "Aunt Ida's Potato Masher Test" and Naomi passing it. Naomi is hesitant to tell Vint, because he wanted to wait to start their family until they get their own place. Mama accidentally spills the beans to Buzz and Sonia, who think it's great. However, Fran is worried how they can manage having another person in the house.

Vint's surprisingly favorable reaction to the news prompts a discussion as to where the new baby will be sleeping. A screaming match results between everybody because no one wants to give up their room.

Naomi, wanting to make sure she is pregnant, makes an appointment. The doctor runs some tests and tells her to wait. One by one, the family arrives at the doctor's office. Mama was the first to arrive. Vint followed behind a bit later, with Buzz and Sonia arriving shortly thereafter. Fran is the final one to arrive. All of them have ideas on what they should do for the baby. Mama settles it by saying the baby is going to bunk with her. Unfortunately, Naomi finds out it was just a false alarm (“Hormones”, they say) and she isn’t pregnant after all.


Original Airdate: November 3, 1983
Special Guests: Betty White as Ellen Jackson and Carol Burnett as Eunice Higgins.

The story starts in the hospital. Vint appears with Naomi, Ellen, and Eunice standing in the middle of the lobby. All of them look worried. As Vint asks for the story, Naomi is the first one to tell him the story of what happened in the kitchen that day.

Mama and the ladies were in the kitchen making gooseberry jam. Naomi was being the perfect daughter-in-law, Ellen was helping out a little bit, and Eunice comes barging into the house late, claiming that her car broke down and that she was almost run over out on Route 5. Ellen said that she was out on Route 5 getting the berries, and that she didn't see Eunice at all. However, Eunice thinks differently, and they start to argue. At that moment, the gooseberries start to stick to the pot, so Mama says, "Sweetie, get that pot for me", all three run to get the pot and start to fight over it. They tell Naomi to butt out, and they continue fighting. As they are swinging it around, they accidentally smack Mama in the face with it and knock her out cold.

The next one to tell the story is Ellen. She told Vint that Naomi gave Mama sugar packets from dirty hotels she‘d been to. Meanwhile, Eunice still almost gets run over and lets everyone know about it. After that, when Mama said to get the pot, Ellen and Eunice were the ones to fight over it. However, Naomi comes over to them, thinking they are playing a game, and Ellen butts out. Eunice and Naomi smack Mama in the face this time.

The last one to tell this story is Eunice. She walks into the kitchen in a great mood, even though she was almost killed by a lady in a black Cadillac. It turned out to be Ellen, and Ellen was telling Eunice she wouldn’t be so lucky the next time. Ellen somehow got a hold of a tiara and was going around telling everybody that she was the queen. Naomi is a ditz in this one (So, what‘s new?). Naomi and Ellen are the ones that smack Mama in the face with the pot.

After they get back to the house, they are all in the kitchen, eating the jam. Mama asks for Vint to hand her the pot. He fetches it and tells her to catch it, and she gets smacked in the face again.

The Obscene Phone Call

Original Airdate: November 10, 1983
Special Guests: Ted Ziegler as Sam.

Mama finds Naomi at the Food Circus being overly nice. Naomi explains to Mama that she is trying to win the Food Circus Friendly Employee of the Month. Naomi wins Friendly Employee of the Month and gets her picture put on a poster in the front of the store.

Naomi soon arrives home to celebrate and receives an obscene phone call from a man. This man calls back several times, even asking for Naomi by name when Vint answers the phone. Mama and Fran soon come to the conclusion that it is all Naomi's fault, because of the way she dresses and walks, not to mention her efforts at work to be voted Friendly Employee of the Month.

This all changes when Naomi leaves for work and the man calls back. Not getting Naomi, he talks the same way to Mama, then Fran and even Vint. They realize he'll talk to anyone that way and it isn’t Naomi's fault at all. They all head down to Food Circus to apologize and it ends on a happy note.

Ellen‘s Boyfriend

Original Airdate: November 17, 1983
Special Guests: Gary Hudson as Glen and Betty White as Ellen Jackson.

Mama won't let anyone leave because Ellen (who recently divorced her husband Bruce) is on the way over for another one of her European slide shows. This is the fourth time this week she's been over and everyone is bored out of their minds, including Mama. But when Ellen shows up, she says she can't stay because she has a meeting with a new club she just recently joined called "Quitters and Losers". Meanwhile, Vint is involved in a contest at work, where the winner gets a dinner for four at a very expensive restaurant.

It turns out that Ellen is actually dating a man who is much younger than her. He's invited her to eat out at the ShayRay for dinner. Only problem is, Vint won that contest at work and the prize is a dinner for four at ShayRay's. That's where they run into Ellen and the family finally meet her new boyfriend, Glen. After hearing one too many of Mama's rude comments, Glen gets up to leave and wants Ellen to go with him, but Mama makes her stay. Later at home, Ellen angrily confronts Mama over her childish actions at dinner. Mama admits she was wrong and says it was just that she was raised in a different time. Ellen forgives her and leaves to find Glen.

Gert Rides Again

Note: This is the most sought-after episode, as TBS no longer airs this one anymore.

Original Airdate: December 1, 1983
Special Guests: Imogene Coca as Gert Corey, Jack Gilford as Alvin Thompson and Barbara Stuart as The Nurse.

Mama's cousin Gert was once a spirited woman, but time in an old folks’ home has left her lifeless.

Amateur Night

Original Airdate: December 8, 1983
Special Guests: Bobby Ramsen as Buck.

Mama, Fran and Naomi take Vint to the Bigger Jigger to try and cheer him up over not getting a promotion at Kwik Keys. Naomi convinces Vint to do his Fred Astire (sp?) routine for the Jigger's talent show. She rushes home to get his costume and sheet music and arrives back to find him nervous and about to quit. After some urging from Naomi, he goes on and is a smash hit. He wins the contest, gets the $100 prize and is invited back for the Saturday night show.

However, Vint lets the little success go to his head. He goes out, buys a new jumpsuit and changes his stage name to "Vinnie Vegas". He even goes so far as to change his routine to something entirely different. Mama and Fran both refuse to go, and after he tells Naomi to act like one of his groupies and not his wife, she refuses too. However, Mama, Fran and Naomi soon realize how big a flop he is going to be and they rush to the Bigger Jigger to stop him from doing his new act.

They arrive just in time and Mama pulls him into the men's bathroom, which fills up quickly with people and Mama has everyone introduce themselves. She has one of the men watch the door while she talks to Vint. She tells him a sob story and convinces him if he goes on, he'll make an idiot out of himself. He agrees and decides not to go on. Not that he could anyway, because the door handle broke off and everybody got locked in the bathroom.

The Mama Who Came to Dinner

Original Airdate: December 22, 1983
Special Guests: Bridget Hanley as Nita Peterson, John Edwards as Butch Peterson, James Staley as Roy Ortell, Michole Mecurio as Mar‘Sue Ortell.

Mama and Fran are putting green stamps into Mama books when Vint and Naomi come in from an evening with their friends. They are complaining about not being able to invite anyone over. Fran mentions having a party for their friends here. Mama agrees to cook the dinner and take Buzz and Sonia, along with Fran, to the movies for the night, to leave Vint and Naomi alone.

Fran and Mama battle over what movie to see. Mama won and her choice was to go see “E.T.” Just as they are about to leave, Mama bends over to pick something up and she starts getting horrible back spasms. The family has to help her to the floor as she can't move now. She tells Fran and the kids to go on ahead and she'll meet them if her back gets better. Vint and Naomi's friends arrive moments later and the party begins.

Mama is the center of attention as everyone listens to her story during dinner (which is served on Naomi's new dinner trays that she got with Mama’s green stamps). They end up feeding her from on the floor. Mama tells Mar'Sue that Naomi said she was a snob and her husband was sponging off her family's wealth. After that little tidbit got out, the party ended after only an hour and 15 minutes.

Mama Learns to Drive

Original Airdate: January 7, 1984
Special Guests: Gary Allen as The Clerk and Betty White as Ellen Jackson.

Mama is desperate to go to the mall and pick up this blue hat she saw and adored, but no one will drive her. Fran suggests Mama learn how to drive and she refuses, saying she's too old to learn a new trick like that. After Mama leaves, the family goes about planning who will teach her. It comes down to Vint, who decides to teach Mama about keys first, since he's a locksmith. Buzz and Sonia are up next to help Mama learn the rules of the road, which doesn't go any better than Vint's lesson.

Mama finally begs Fran into driving her to the mall, but Fran makes Mama drive instead. However, it turns into a disaster as they get stuck in a traffic accident and Mama gets out and leaves. Ellen, thinking she can teach her, takes Mama to the mall parking lot (empty on Sundays) and tries to teach her. Mama ends up crashing Ellen's car into the planter in the center of the lot.

Mama thinks she'll never be able to learn how to drive until she gets a call from the store about the blue hat she wanted. They tell Mama if she doesn't want it within the next 45 minutes, they are going to sell it to somebody else. Mama borrows Fran's car and drives to the mall, where she gets her hat and heads over to the DMV to get her temporary drivers’ permit.

Black Belt Mama

Original Airdate: January 14, 1984
Special Guests: Marshall Teague as Chuck.

Naomi gets home from her self-defense class all fired up. She tells Fran and Sonia about her instructor (young and very handsome) and how fun it is, so they both decide to go next time. Mama refuses to go, saying it's a waste of time and there's no need for it, although she's scared to go to her bingo games.

Naomi, Sonya and Fran head to their karate class and Mama to her bingo game. However, Mama never makes it to bingo because she is mugged while waiting for the bus. She gets home, still shaking violently and clutching her purse strap. Mama quickly decides she will join the ladies’ karate class, where Naomi is the star pupil, and Sonia is madly in love with Chuck, the instructor. Mama finds it tough to fit in.

A while later, Mama returns to the same bus stop where she meets an elderly lady. Mama begins telling the lady about the classes and how she was mugged. The same mugger tries to attacks again, but he turns his back to take the other woman’s purse. Mama gets a good whack at his head and knocks him out cold, because her new purse is loaded with a lightweight iron.

Mama Buys a Car

Original Airdate: January 21, 1984
Special Guests: Fred Willard as Willie Potts and Robert Rockwell as Oscar Babcock.

Mama decides to buy herself a car after her Meals on Wheels job fails because she can't find a ride. She takes the thousand dollars she’d been saving and goes shopping for an used car. She sees an advertisement in the newspaper for "Willie Potts’s Used Cars." Vint says he used to know himm, because he used to live just down the block. Mama remembers that Willie used to love her oatmeal cookies, so in hopes of getting a deal, she bakes him a bagful.

Once Mama and Vint arrive at the lot, Willie acts as though he doesn't remember them at all. He offers to paint any car on the lot blue for Mama when she says she wants a blue car. She absolutely refuses that offer, saying it HAS to be born blue. She finally finds one to her liking, talks Willie down from the initial price of $1500 dollars to her maximum price of $1000. She drives home with her new car to show it off to the rest of her family. Unfortunately, the car turns out to be a real lemon and when Mama returns to Willie’s lot, he refuses to refund her money.

So Mama walks in on an important meeting with Willie and the head of Ray Corp, Oscar Babcock, who was planning to buy a whole fleet of cars from Willie, and yells at Willie, demanding a full refund or else. Hearing this, Oscar makes Willie give Mama a full refund before he'll sign the contract. However, Oscar changes his mind about buying the fleet of cars and walks out with Mama.


Original Airdate: February 4, 1984
Special Guests: Kelley Wright as Rita, Squire Fridell as Frank Palmer, Lyla Graham as Mavis and Ted Zeigler as Sam.

After shopping at Food Circus for over 40 years, Thelma knows more about the store than its manager. After hearing some of her "old-fashioned horse sense", Mr. Palmer hires her for the store as a customer consultant. Her job is to give people advice on what to buy. Her new post in the store is right next to Naomi’s counter, the express lane.

It doesn't take long for Naomi to complain about being Mama so close. She says it's distracting her from her work. So, Mr. Palmer comes upon the idea that Mama should know everything about how the store runs, starting with Naomi teaching her how to be a checker.

Mama's first test turns into a fiasco, when she can't get the hang of ringing things up. After that, she gets her first customers. It goes smoothly at first, but things soon turn sour when Mama has to look up the price for a special and it takes her forever. After a continuing stream of more problems and the register going crazy, Mama decides to quit, mid-customer.

No Room at the Inn

Original Airdate: February 11, 1984
Special Guests: None in this episode.

It is Vint and Naomi's first wedding anniversary and Vint prepares by reserving two days and one night at a kinky hotel out of town. Meanwhile, Buzz and Sonia want to have a coed slumber party, but Mama refuses, saying it'll be girls only. Shortly before Vint and Naomi leave for their honeymoon, Aunt Effie calls to say she's fallen and can't get up, and asks Thelma to come out and help. Mama hitches a ride with the honeymooners and puts Fran in charge of the slumber party.

Later, as they are finally alone at the motel, Naomi is dressed as a matadorette and Vint is dressed as a bull. Suddenly, there's a knock at the door. It's Mama, saying Effie wasn't hurt and all she wanted was someone to do her bidding, so she left and hitched a ride with a trucker to the hotel. Since she has no way home and there were no available rooms at the motel, she has to stay with them.

Mama ends up not being able to sleep on either the rollaway bed or the water bed, so she decides to watch TV for a while. She turns on the TV and soon discovers she’s watching a porn flick and forces Vint and Naomi to bring her home. They come home to a house completely full of teenage girls. Sonia tells Mama that she invited a friend, who in turn, invited the entire pep squad.

Mama for Mayor, Part One

Original Airdate: February 18, 1984
Special Guests: Allen Oppenheimer as Mayor Calvin Tutwiller, Troy Evans as The Local Announcer, Stanley Grover as The Network Announcer, Lonna Montrose as Betty Ahem, Brad Trumbull as Ed Sumac, Marian Mercer as Felicia and Betty White as Ellen Jackson.

Ellen talks Mama into having Mayor Tutwiller's reelection press conference at her house. Once Tutwiller’s press conference begins, he starts his speech. He talks about how the Raytown senior citizens are being treated and he promises them great things. Mama keeps butting in, saying things like “What have YOU ever done?” and “Hurry up, we don’t have very long to live!”. The mayor has heard enough smart-ass remarks from Mama and he gets into a shouting match with her and challenges her to run for mayor herself.

The whole thing makes local news, and news crews appear the next morning outside her house. She has a few unkind things to say about the mayor, before Ellen arrives and says she's not running. However, Mama decides to run against Mayor Tutwiller.

Tutwiller challenges Mama to a face-to-face debate on KRAY TV. He wants to squash her chances of winning by making her look unprepared. In the end, Ellen (who was with Tutwiller, as they were dating at the time) leaves, claiming she needs to make a phone call (she‘s lying).

On election night, Mama and the whole family gather around the TV to see the results. She trails early on. As the night wears on, the family members all fall asleep, one by one. At the end, Mama falls asleep just before they announce she won the election.

Mama for Mayor, Part Two

Original Airdate: February 25, 1984
Special Guests: Allen Oppenheimer as Mayor Calvin Tutwiller, Troy Evans as The Local Announcer, Lonna Montrose as Betty Ahem, Brad Trumbull as Ed Sumac, Marian Mercer as Felicia and Betty White as Ellen Jackson.

Mama and the whole family attend the inauguration ceremony as the mayor prepares to swear Mama in as the new mayor of Raytown. Vint interrupts by trying, in vain, to take a picture several times, thus upsetting the (former) mayor and making him leave.

Mama takes over as mayor and it soon becomes clear she is very unprepared for the job. Her first council meeting turns into a free-for-all, with Mama being unable to make a decision or knowing exactly what she was supposed to do.

Pretty soon, the whole town is in an uproar. First, there is a garbage strike and a transit walkout after Mama suggests they drop every individual senior citizen off at their doorsteps. Plus, the Boy Scouts are mad at her, and others are calling for her resignation.

Ellen hears about the mess on the radio when she is sleeping in bed with Tutwiller, so she and (former mayor) Tutwiller come to the rescue. Tutwiller sends a pound of chocolates to the Boy Scouts and settles both the garbage and transit strikes. Mama realizes she doesn't have what it takes to be mayor so she turns over her post to him. She tells the council she has more pressing family matters and is turning her job over to Mayor Tutwiller.

Harper Versus Harper

Original Airdate: March 10, 1984
Special Guests: Michael Constantine as The Judge.

It all begins with Naomi trying to fix breakfast for Mama’s family but Mama dumps it out, saying nobody in their right mind would eat the stuff Naomi attempts to cook. Naomi starts complaining about never being able to do anything for her husband and step-kids, saying Mama is always cleaning and cooking and won't let her do anything.

Mama's vacuum cleaner breaks before all of this occurs, so Vint says she can borrow Naomi's brand-new cleaner that Vint got for her as a wedding present. Naomi comes in while Mama is using it and starts complaining about how nothing is ever hers. Just then, the vacuum starts making funny noises, smokes and catches on fire, destroying part of Mama’s carpet. When Vint and Buzz turn over the vacuum to examine the damage, they found that Mama had run over one of Naomi’s sets of keys and it’d gotten stuck. Naomi and Mama start fighting and agree to go to a small claims court to settle matters.

They have Judge W.E. Packard oversee the case, which ends in a free-for-all when Mama and Naomi both call witnesses, including Vint being called twice (once by each). In the end, the Judge finds Mama and Naomi both in contempt of court and fines them $100 each and also orders them to pay their own damages.

Mama‘s Birthday

Original Airdate: March 17, 1984
Special Guests: Vicki Lawrence as the voice of Grandma Crowley, David Friedman as Little Vint, Tanya Fenmore as Little Eunice, Amy O‘Neill as Little Ellen, Betty White as Ellen Jackson, Ritchard Brinckley as Bert Wembly, Debra Duggan as Florence, Annie O‘Donnell as Ruth, Carol Burnett as the voice of Eunice and Harvey Korman as the voice of Carl Harper.

It's Mama's birthday and she doesn't want anything. No cake, no party, and no presents. She only wants one thing, everyone to help her clean out the attic. She thinks they could get it done in a couple of hours if everyone pitched in. However, Vint, Sonya, Ellen, and Naomi all come up with some silly excuses to get out of it. Buzz is the only one who can't think of one so he agrees to help Mama.

While they are cleaning, Buzz asks Mama to tell him about her 30th birthday party. In a flashback, we see a younger Mama and the kids as she is getting ready for her birthday party. She thinks Carl is going to get a big promotion at work, so she orders a 19 cubic feet deep freeze by telephone. Grandma Crowley calls soon thereafter to say she can't make Mama's birthday cake.

Carl comes in and announces he didn't get the promotion, right as they deliver the deep freeze. Mama has to use a fruitcake as her cake, topped by Vint's present of a paper heart. Mama soon finds out that Carl didn't accept the promotion when Burt Wembly stops by to thank Carl for turning it down, and to bring him a box of cigars as thanks. After that happens, Mama goes into the bathroom, yells at Carl and throws the cigars at him, one by one. Buzz and Mama finish in the attic, just in time to walk down to her surprise birthday party. She finally got that deep freeze she’d always wanted, 30 years later.

Later that night, Mama walks back downstairs, still in shock that she really got her deep freeze and that it wasn't a dream at all. She pulls up the piano bench to the bathroom door and has a heart to heart with Carl. All of a sudden, the toilet flushes, and we know that Carl has just wished her a happy birthday in his own way.

Mama Cries Uncle

Original Airdate: March 24, 1984
Special Guests: Murray Hamilton as Uncle Roy Harper.

Mama's long-lost brother-in-law Roy Harper shows up on her doorstep on Carl's birthday. What Roy doesn’t know is that his brother has been dead for 11 years. Vint, against Mama's wishes, asks Uncle Roy to stay with them for a while.

As a side plot, Sonia has entered the Miss Rayteen beauty pageant. Naomi, Ellen and Mama are helping her get ready. Uncle Roy sits Sonia down and tells her the story of how he saw Princess Grace at the White House and how beautiful she was and how she has the same smile. He also tells Sonia that Grace had on a very simple white dress, white gloves and earrings and that she absolutely dazzled everybody, so Sonia shouldn’t try to be TOO pretty. Just keep it low-key and Sonia will be sure to be crowned Miss Rayteen. Roy is right and Sonia wins the pageant.

Roy also encourages Vint to pursue his dream of being a fireman, even going as far to get Vint an application for the Raytown Fire Department.

Lastly, as Roy is leaving, he tells Mama how her elbows remind him of Dorothy Lamure's and that they are what attracted Carl to her, and he says he wishes he had seen her first. They hug but he leaves before anything really happens. Mama notices Roy has accidentally left his cooler behind and hopes he‘ll be back to pick it up.

Ask Aunt Fran

Original Airdate: March 31, 1984
Special Guests: Conrad Janis as Dwight Nettles.

Fran gets a fill-in job as an advice columnist. She keeps trying to answer the letters she gets, but she can’t think of any advice, so she begins coming to Mama for help. Soon, Fran's editor takes notice of her rising popularity and Buzz sits both ladies down, advising Mama should be getting some of the money Fran is now earning. Fran refuses, saying she is planning to slowly stop using Mama's “home-spun” advice and add some psychological insights in her latest article.

Fran has a date that night with her editor, Dwight Nettles, who loves the advice she’s been giving but can't understand why she kept including all the psychological babble, which he edited out, in her latest article. He also has a problem, and he needs her advice on it, which is why he wanted to see her tonight. He says "his friend" has just hired a new woman at work and has the hots for her, even though he is married. “His friend” wants to know what to do and how to deal with it.

Fran doesn’t have a clue how to answer that question, so she sneaks away from the table and calls Mama from the pay phone to beg for her advice. She makes Fran agree to give her 50% of the money she's earning before giving her any advice. Fran explains, and Mama recognizes right away that Mr. Nettles is referring to himself and Fran. Mama’s advice to Fran is to tell him to take a few more meals at home and he wouldn't need to eat out. Fran tells Dwight what Mama told her and quits her job on top of that, because she thinks Dwight is a creep.

A Grave Mistake

Note: this was the last NBC episode ever aired. They aired reruns through the summer of 1985, and returned to the airwaves in June 1986 in syndication and with a new cast.

Original Airdate: April 7, 1984
Special Guests: Cliff Osmond as Mr. Pratt, Steve Nevil as Michael and Betty White as Ellen Jackson.

It starts out with Mama not being able to get anyone to go with her to Carl's grave, so she ends up going by herself, as usual. After sitting down and having a long talk with Carl, Mama notices that the grave next to Carl that was supposed to be reserved for her, has another woman’s name on the gravestone. She panics and rushes home to tell everybody of her discovery.

Ellen arrives an hour late, as usual, to take Mama to the cemetery just as Mama comes in and tells everyone what she's just discovered. Fran and Mama head back to the cemetery to get things cleared up. They discover that Carl's gravestone was accidentally placed two plots down. That makes Mama feel like she's been cheating on Carl all those years and says he has to send her a gift to let her know it's okay and that he forgives her.

Sonia goes out on a date with a loser named Michael, who ends up flirting with a sophomore cheerleader who likes him. Sonia dumps him, goes home and refuses to come out of her room. Michael shows up with flowers as his apology to Sonia. When Sonia refuses to come down to talk to him, he gives the flowers to Mama. She starts sneezing nonstop and takes it as Carl's sign that everything's alright, because he would only give her flowers she was allergic to.
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Season Three
June 6, 1986 - January 16, 1987

Soup to Nuts

Original Airdate: June 6, 1986
Special Guests: None in this episode.

Mama is the editor of the annual church bazaar cookbook. She is planning to use her own recipe for chili. Iola objects to that, thinking it should be hers that Mama should be using. Naomi takes the opportunity to say she makes the best chili and that HER recipe should be in the cookbook instead. They argue but then come to a solution. They decide to have to a chili cook-off with the winner getting her recipe in the cookbook. Vint is the one stuck in the middle of this argument, so against his will, he is voted as the judge of this cook-off.

All three have identical kitchen utensils. Mama and Iola both have identical ingredients (with minor differences - Mama has whole bay leaves from the bag and Iola has canned bay leaves), but Naomi's ingredients are far different. Hers includes two giant cans of store-bought chili, plus beer, Cheeto’s and several other items not usually associated with chili. Naomi says it brings back a certain memory from each one of her ex-husbands.

Each bowl is lettered as the contest begins and Vint decides Bowl “B” is the best, which belongs to Iola, so she grabs her bowl and runs home to show her father and dare her mother to throw it out again (Earlier, Iola had told Mama a story about when she was in Girl Scouts and needed her Merit Badge, so she made chili, ran upstairs to tell her father she’d made chili, and when she got back to serve it, it was all gone because her mother had dumped all of it down the sink). However, as soon as she is gone, Mama and Naomi both force Vint to make his real decision. Instead of doing so, he dumps the contents of Bowl “A” (Mama’s bowl) into Bow “C” (Naomi’s bowl), saying it would be the best chili ever. However, after just one bite, he starts gagging, saying both bowls of chili tastes awful together.

Farewell, Fran

Original Airdate: June 13, 1986
Special Guests: Earl Boen as Reverend Meechum, Brent Spiner as Mr. Conroy and Dorothy Van as Aunt Effie.

Mama's sister, Fran, has just passed away, and she is grief-stricken over this. Mama just can't bring herself to tell the others in her family how Fran actually died (it was by inhaling a toothpick in the ladies’ room at the Bigger Jigger, but there‘s more to the story than just this). Mama is never the less determined to give her late sister something she never had, a "perfect day". But things soon turn from perfect to terrible as one disaster after another strikes.

First, Mama finds out Don and Loraine won't be there and of course, Buzz and Sonia won't either (for unexplained reasons) and Ed and Eunice have moved to Florida (a blessing to Mama). Then, Ellen calls and says she has more pressing business and can't make it, either. Later, as the family gets home from the funeral, we find out Vint forgot to shut the hearse door, resulting in the coffin flying out of the hearse and down the on-ramp onto the freeway.

The house is a mess and they believe they've been robbed, but it turns out that Eunice and Ed's son Bubba (just completed his sentence at juvenile hall) has arrived after finding his old home locked up. Mama is the one to tell him Ed and Eunice moved to Florida and he has to stay with her because he's on probation and can't leave the state. Also, much to the aggravation of Vint and Naomi, Mama gives Bubba Fran's old room.

When There‘s a Will

Original Airdate: June 20, 1986
Special Guests: Ralph Manza as Larwin P. Finstadler.

Mama finds Fran's dairy in Bubba’s dresser when she goes to get Bubba for breakfast. Inside is a note telling Mama to call the executor of her will, Larwin P. Finstadler. When Mr. Finstadler arrives, he informs Mama that Fran was worth $35,000. Fran's will stipulated 10% of that would go to the "Ray of Hope Home for Wayward Girls". But the other $31,500 was to be split evenly between Mama, and Vint and Naomi. Only one stipulation stands between Mama and the money, she has to keep from losing her temper for a period of two weeks and it's totally on her honor.

So for the next two weeks, Vint and Naomi wait on her hand and foot, trying to keep her from getting upset, a few of which included paying Bubba $10 to do his homework, doing the dishes and most of the other housework. While they begin to bicker among themselves, Mama relaxes and takes it easy.

On the last day, Mr. Finstadler arrives, and Mama comes back from the Beauty Spot in a terrible mood. Her car was smashed up and the guy left a note just to fool the witnesses into thinking he was leaving his name and address. Then she sat in paint waiting for the bus, destroying her new dress. Mr. Finstadler says the dress doesn't suit her anyway and she tells him off and throws him out. So the entire estate goes to the "Ray of Hope Home for Wayward Girls".

National Mama

Original Airdate: June 27, 1986
Special Guests: Gil Stratton as The Announcer.

Vint, Naomi and Bubba head out to RayDowns for a day at the races. All of them have plans on which horses to bet on and each with a different system for selecting the horses. While they are making their picks, Mama tells them about a dream she had had the night before. Vint decides to pick the horse that matches what happened in Mama's dream. Surprisingly, Vint's horse comes in first place and he ends up winning a hundred picks on a 25 to 1 shot and it's all because of Mama's dream.

Knowing she was sleeping when they got home, the family gets Mama to relay what happened in the her last dream and even though she thinks it's a waste of her time, she does it anyway and they find a horse again that matches the dream in the 4th race the next day. After some trouble getting the race on the radio, they finally pick it up right as Mama's pick crosses the finish line and makes them a winner again.

Now convinced she can pick winners Mama can't seem to get to sleep that night. The family is heavily counting on her picks for the exacta the next day. After watching movies all night, Mama dozes off at the kitchen table as the rest of the family gets up for breakfast. She tells them about her dream when they wake her, and they rush off to place their bets. As it turns out, Mama's dream did give them the winners and in the correct order, but they focused on the wrong part and end up losing everything.

Best Medicine

Original Airdate: July 4, 1986
Special Guests: Susan Barnes as The Nurse and Betty White as Ellen Jackson.

The family is in the middle of a game of Scrabble when Ellen stops by with a gift for Mama and to attempt to once again apologize for missing her Aunt Fran's funeral. Mama refuses to forgive her and throws her out. Later, Naomi comes in and says she heard that Ellen was in the hospital just about to undergo surgery. With that, Mama drags the rest of the family to the hospital to visit her.

The visit soon turns very uncomfortable for Ellen as Mama begins yelling at the family for one reason or the other. Not able to stand it any longer, Ellen calls for the nurse and orders her to throw the family out and post an armed guard at the door. Mama finally sends everyone home, but sneaks back in herself and stays with Ellen through the night.

Mama and Ellen soon forgive one another for all the years of fighting and Ellen finally reveals to Mama why she is the hospital in the first place, she's having a fanny tuck. Mama then makes some revelations of her own, when she says out of all her kids, she always loved Ellen best.

Fly Naomi

Original Airdate: July 18, 1986
Special Guests: None in this episode.

Unhappy with the rut she's gotten into, Naomi decides to make a change and arrives home with the news that, after seeing an advertisement in the paper, she's decided to attend school to train as a flight attendant. Vint gets upset because she didn't ask him first. Meanwhile, Bubba joins the debate team to be near a girl he has a crush on.

Naomi aces her first exam, which only serves to make Vint more upset. With a growing rift between Vint and Naomi, Iola tries to make her move and asks Vint to have ice cream with her one night. What Vint views as innocent, Mama see clearly as Iola trying to get her claws into Vint and tells him so in no uncertain terms.

Naomi tries to get everyone in the family to help her train for that night's big test, but the only one who will is Mama. Who quickly proceeds to drive her nuts. Later, Bubba announces he's been kicked off the debate team for not knowing the Electoral College had nothing to do with electricity. Just as the family gets excited about all the free flights they'll get as the family of a flight attendant, Naomi dashes their hopes by arriving home and announcing she failed her simulated test.

Cat‘s Meow

Original Airdate: August 1, 1986
Special Guests: None in this episode.

Iola is distraught when her cat Midnight dies, although everyone else is thankful, noting that the cat was as mean as a rattlesnake. However, Iola refuses to let go and nothing can console her, until she decides to have it freeze-dried. She goes all out and buys a model that meows when you pet it. She leaves it with Mama for a while, so Iola can prepare her mother for the news. Mama, absolutely refusing to keep the freeze dried furball in the same house as her, takes it out to the front porch and leaves it at the top of the steps.

Vint, Naomi and Bubba all come home from trunk-hunting with a trunk. Vint was the one walking backwards, so when they carry the trunk up the front steps, Vint falls on it. Thinking they killed Midnight, they panic and bury it in the backyard before Mama finds out. After they are done, they go back inside to open the locked trunk. Iola soon arrives to retrieve her cat and finds out it has accidentally been destroyed and that Vint, Naomi and Bubba think they killed it.

Iola demands they pay for the cost to have Midnight restored. None of them have any money, so they all agree to split what's inside the trunk. Iola notices the trunk has a hole on the side of it, so they pop the lock and discover it is the home of a mom cat and three of her kittens, one of which looks just like Iola's former pet. Iola adopts it immediately and names it “Sunshine“.

An Ill Wind

Original Airdate: August 8, 1986
Special Guests: Dorothy Van as Aunt Effie.

Mama needs help preparing Thanksgiving dinner, so she wakes Naomi and Vint up. Mama puts Naomi right to work on drying the dishes, while Vint goes to pick up Aunt Effie and Iola (who's invited to dinner) arrives to help. While Naomi is working on the dishes, a storm starts coming in and a sudden clap of thunder makes Naomi drop Mama’s gravy boat she was drying. It breaks cleanly in half, and Naomi goes down to the basement to hide the evidence.

Bubba leaves just after this incident occurs because he has to be in a Thanksgiving play as part of his punishment from juvenile hall. Shortly after, Vint arrives with Effie and her god-awful rum balls, and they announce that a tornado is headed for Raytown. At this very moment, a tree crashes through the dining room window, making everyone head for the basement to seek shelter. The back door blows open shortly after that and the ironing board (which was by the door) falls against the basement door and traps them.

Everyone is starving after a few hours, but fortunately Effie has her rum balls with her. Iola digs right in and has a little too much because then she passes out playing poker shortly after that. They continue to play cards for a few hours until Naomi goes to search for something and finds a hatchet. Vint is able to break through the door with the hatchet, move the ironing board and get out, just in time to for the turkey to finish cooking and to set the table.

Mama and Dr. Brothers

Original Airdate: August 15, 1986
Special Guests: Dr. Joyce Brothers as herself and Wayne Morton as Eddie Edwards.

Vint and Naomi are having trouble in the bedroom. Vint is afraid he is going lose his job because Kwik Keys is being taken over by a large corporation, and Naomi doesn’t understand why Vint is so stressed out (he won’t tell Naomi why). Mama and Iola soon discover exactly what it is when they turn on the TV to “Good Morning, Raytown“, and special guest Dr. Joyce Brothers agrees to take a few phone calls live on-air.

The first one is from a woman, with a husband named Clint (who works at Kwik Keys). She says her husband has been having trouble performing in bed lately. Mama figures out pretty quickly that it is actually Naomi talking about their problems. Dr. Brothers says their problem might have to do with stress at work, or it could be stress from living with an in-law. Later, after taking phone calls all day from people about the show, Mama questions Naomi about it, and Vint arrives home soon afterwards and is in a foul mood.

To solve the situation, Mama rushes to the airport with Vint and Naomi to catch Dr. Brothers before she leaves for Tulsa. Joyce suggests Vint and Naomi take a trip to get away from everything in an attempt to liven up the marriage. They then rush off to make the reservations for a weekend in Hinckley.

Steal One, Pearl Two

Original Airdate: August 22, 1986
Special Guests: Jack Dodson as Gus.

Bubba wants to borrow $200 to buy a new drum set. Iola is upset because she can't get her jewelry box open so she can put her pearls away. She brings the box over for Vint, the locksmith, to open. When he can't, Bubba quickly borrows a bobby pin from Iola and easily gets it opened. Iola heads home after that, only to return a few minutes later in search of her beloved pearls, which has mysteriously disappeared.

Iola is quick to accuse Bubba, who comes in with a brand new drum set, claiming he borrowed them from a friend of a friend whose name he forgets. Pretending to defend Bubba, Mama throws Iola out. Now convinced, she too accuses Bubba. Feeling betrayed by his own family, Bubba attempts to run away from home.

She finds him at the Rayhound bus station and tells him the story of what happened when Eunice tried to run away (Eunice only made it across the river to Bump). She tells Bubba that she believes him now, and that convinces Bubba to come home. In the end, they find the pearls stuck to the back of a pillow on the couch where they had been all along.

The Love Letter

Original Airdate: August 29, 1986
Special Guests: Bill Wiley as George.

Naomi is giving Bubba and Vint a love test to see how romantic they are from Iola’s latest issue of “Ladies Circle.” As it turns out, Vint is a "Cold Fish" and Bubba is a "Red Hot Romeo." Vint decides to try and be more romantic and talks Bubba into writing a love letter for Naomi.

Vint puts it in her makeup case, but Bubba moves it to her purse. Just then, Naomi comes down the stairs and watches as Bubba puts the note in her purse. Naomi thinks that Bubba wrote it to her and she begins to freak out, she slips it into Iola’s copy of “Ladies Circle.“ Iola comes in, picks up her copy and the note falls out. She thinks that Vint wrote it for her. She comes into the kitchen and accidentally leaves it under George's clipboard while he's working on Mama's refrigerator. George tells Mama to look at his clipboard (he knocked off a $15 charge), where Mama finds it and thinks it was George who wrote the letter.

Iola shows up minutes later, ready to claim Vint as her own. Naomi is trying to explain to Bubba, and Mama is freaked out, thinking George is after her. Soon enough, everybody stops talking as Vint explains everything. Problem solved!

Grandma USA

Original Airdate: September 26, 1986
Special Guests: Wayne Morton as Eddie Edwards, Betty Bunch as Contestant #1, Rosemarie Costellano as Contestant #2, Joy Claussen as Contestant #3, Nancy Marlow as Contestant #4, Pamela Morris as Contestant #5, Micki Varro as Contestant #6 and Francine York as Contestant #7.

Mama is surprised to learn she was entered in the Grandma USA contest by Bubba. She is reluctant to compete at first, but changes her mind when she finds out the grand prize is a dream kitchen, complete with a self-cleaning oven. Vint starts to wonder why they would select Mama out of all the other entries. Bubba tells Vint it's because he sent in Naomi's picture instead of Mama's.

Mama discovers that fact after they are greeted by the host, Raytown personality Eddie Edwards. He thinks Naomi is entering. They end up explaining to him what Bubba did. After considering his options, Edwards agrees to let Mama compete instead, thinking it might be a novelty to have someone in the pageant who really looks like a grandma. None of the others certainly don't look like grandmas.

For the talent competition, Mama sings a song her daddy taught her when she was young, so she could sing to his buddies at the Jigger (now the Bigger Jigger). Mama makes the final three, but ends up finishing second in the final vote. A result she doesn't take well, as she takes over the show and demands a recount.

When There‘s Smoke

Original Airdate: October 3, 1986
Special Guests: Earl Boen as Reverend Meechum, Yeardley Smith as Bonita Rokeke and Anne Haney as Alberta Meechum.

Mama desperately wants to be named President of the Church Ladies League, but the decision is made solely by Reverend Meechum. Mama invites the Reverend and Alberta Meechum to dinner. Just before dinner begins, Bubba sees in the newspaper that one of his former inmates (aka The Keek) at juvenile hall has escaped. She gets to Raytown and climbs up to Bubba's bedroom window and demands he get her some food, because she is STARVING.

When Mama comes to check and see if he is ready for the dinner, Bonita hides in the closet until she leaves. The Reverend and Alberta arrive early, and they sit down to dinner. When they are saying grace, Mama sees Bubba trying to shoo Bonita away from the window. She goes to the kitchen window, pulls down the blind and panics. The doorbell rings and it's Bonita who walks right in, sits down and starts eating.

Mama tries to pass her off as her Swedish exchange student, but the ruse comes undone as Vint exposes her, and Alberta throws a fit. That prompts Mama to tell her off. Vint and Bubba talk Bonita into going back to juvenile hall to finish her sentence and Reverend Meechum says he has decided to name Mama the President of the Church Ladies League after what he saw tonight.

Desperately Seeking Anyone

Original Airdate: October 10, 1986
Special Guests: Jack Manning as Ralph Washburn.

Iola rushes in, panicking after a man sits down beside her on the bus. Mama and Naomi, thinking exactly what she needs is a man, concoct a plan to find a date for Iola. So Naomi suggests they place an advertisement in the “Raytown Singles” paper. They have to decide how to make Iola sound exciting, which is neatly solved when Mama herself writes the advertisement for the paper.

They tell Iola what they did after placing the advertisement and she nearly faints upon hearing the news. Her advertisement only gets four replies, with only one being worth replying to, in Mama's opinion. Iola's mother refuses to let her go out with anyone, so Mama sets it up so Iola can borrow their house for her date while the rest of the family go bowling.

As the family is leaving, Iola begs Mama to stay and chaperone their date. The night gets off to a cold start as Iola spends most of the time sitting on the end of the couch, scared to death. Mama is just the life of the party, trying to get Iola to loosen up and tell Ralph that Iola isn‘t normally like that. After Mama has gone into the kitchen and Iola excuses herself to go to the bathroom, Ralph finds Mama dancing in the kitchen and coaxes her to join him. He soon makes a move on Mama, Iola comes into the kitchen and catches Ralph hugging Mama. Mama throws him out, upsetting Iola. Mama has to explain to Iola that he really wasn‘t the man for her.

Porn Again

Original Airdate: October 17, 1986
Special Guests: Dorothy Van as Aunt Effie, Helen Page Camp as Pearl and Joan McMurtney as Maggie.

Mama is appalled when she finds a girlie magazine named Casanova under Bubba's bed while cleaning. She wants to know where Bubba got such a magazine. It comes out that Naomi, who wasn't paying much attention, sold it to him a few days before at Food Circus. Thinking something needs to be done, Iola has the idea to boycott Food Circus until they stop selling magazines like that.

Iola, Mama, Aunt Effie and Pearl form MOP (Mothers Opposing Pornography), and set out to picket in front of Food Circus, much to the dismay of Naomi. Who insists they go home. First Pearl breaks ranks for a tuna offer and then Effie needs to use the bathroom, and finally Iola leaves when the store offers Triple Coupons. Just as it seems all hope is lost, the media arrives and they end up getting on the National news.

Continuing the fight, the quartet (named MOP) are busy planning their next move when they get a call from Hollywood about a TV movie offer. Naomi comes in wanting to negotiate, but Mama plays hardball, refusing to give in unless her demands are met. However, she is reminded this will be good for the movie. The manager of Food Circus agrees to move the magazines behind the counter with only the titles showing, in exchange for the strike being called off. MOP agrees, the decision is made and the director calls her back to let her know he will be making the TV movie after all.

Santa Mama

Original Airdate: October 24, 1986
Special Guests: George Fulton as Maynard, Myra Turley as Maynard‘s Mom, Marne Patterson as Dorrie and Christopher Burton as Chris.

Mama has the holiday blues and Vinton has been chosen to play Santa at the Raytown Mall. Bubba needs some money to buy a Christmas gift for his girlfriend, so Vint tells Bubba that he can take pictures of the kids on Santa’s lap (he’ll make one dollar per picture). Later on in the day, the men bring in the Christmas tree and when they are decorating, Mama can’t find the star that Carl made on their first Christmas together, so that makes her even more bummed.

The next day, everybody (including Iola) is at the mall to see Vint play Santa. There’s a holdup because of the traffic and the kids are getting impatient. Vint finally runs in, telling them that he practiced too much last night and lost his voice. Mama is forced to fill in at the last minute as Santa Claus. Along the way, she deals with many brats, but is touched by a little girl who wanted to have tools for her unemployed daddy. Mama is so touched by the little girl, that she goes out and gets tools for the little girl‘s daddy after she is done playing Santa. That blows Mama’s holiday blues right out the window, and she is even more overjoyed when she looks up at the Christmas tree and discovers Carl‘s star is sitting upon the top of the tree!

Have it Mama‘s Way

Original Airdate: October 31, 1986
Special Guests: William Frankfather as Lester, Glen Ash as Bud, Ben Hartigan as Pops and Lyndsey Fields as Sue.

Iola shows up to announce the Church Ladies League is setting up a trip to Hawaii. The vacation will run $900 per person, which would wipe out Mama's savings. Naomi wants to go with Vint, but it would cost them twice as much. Vint wants to use the money on a "new" used pick-up truck, the pick-up of his dreams, which results in an argument between them.

Meanwhile, Bubba is applying for a job at MacRay‘s, Mama drives him there so he can fill out his application. While Bubba is filling it out, Mama looks it over, changes a few things and forces him to re-write part of it. After the manager tells Bubba he's had a lot of applicants, Mama talks her way into a job at the restaurant, even though she didn‘t want the job in the first place. She was only there to get Bubba a job. Both end up getting a job and start on the same morning.

Mama firsts starts out being nice and too slow for the manager's liking (Bubba had already waited on four customer's to Mama's one), so he tells her to go faster. She goes for speed and is too rude for his liking, so she begs him for one more change. That's when the family comes in with Iola. Naomi goes over to Bubba, and Iola wants lunch instead of breakfast, so Mama gets fed up and throws a huge fit, and gets herself fired.


Original Airdate: November 7, 1986
Special Guests: Bibi Osterwald as Mrs. Minter.

Mama and Vint are preparing for the Church Ladies League Mother's Day luncheon, where they will be performing and Iola will be doing a poem she wrote. Naomi takes a break to go outside to check the mail. She finds an anonymous letter asking for information on the whereabouts of a long-lost son.

Vint soon becomes convinced it's him when he thinks about being one of only two boys on the block that were his age. He then hears Mama talking about how all her kids and her husband Carl where redheads, except Vint. He's more convinced than ever and decides to call the number included in the letter.

Vint turns up missing when it is time for dress rehearsal for the Mother's Day luncheon. We find out that he found the lady who sent the letter and brought her to the house. Where Mama reveals to Ms. Minter that Vint is just a bum and that he doesn't own anything, Ms. Minter starts to badmouth Vint and says she sent out two hundred letters for nothing. Mama tells Mrs. Minter off and throws her off her property.

Fangs Alot, Mama

Original Airdate: November 14, 1986
Special Guests: Lewis Arquette as Grand Viper and Brent Spiner as Billy Bob.

Naomi is worried sick because Vint is late in getting home and hasn't called yet. When he finally arrives, he announces he's been invited to join The Mystical Order of the Cobra, a local men’s club. He has to memorize the entire contents of the Cobra handbook, so he heads off to the basement to study alone.

Naomi is excited at first, but Mama tells her the story of a woman whose husband joined and ended up leaving her. Vint is soon having trouble learning everything he needs, so Bubba suggests he use crib notes. Bubba gives Mama the crib notes in an envelope to give to Vint. But Mama, not wanting Vint to make it in, trades the cards with her recipe cards.

Later, as Mama tells Iola what she did, Iola tells Mama what will happen if Vint doesn't get in. He'll be hissed out by the people in this group. So Mama, not wanting that to happen to Vint, rushes to the ceremony and sneaks in. She takes away Vint's crib notes after he misses his first two questions and they mistake the cards as hers and they hiss her out. In the end, Vint gets in after getting the last question correct.

Mama‘s Cousin

Original Airdate: November 21, 1986
Special Guests: Vicki Lawrence as Cousin Lydia.

Mama's worldly cousin (Vicki Lawrence in a dual role), Lydia, annoys Mama with her never ending stories.

Buck Private Bubba

Original Airdate: December 5, 1986
Special Guests: Donald May as Sergeant Gibbs, Heidi Helmer as Melanie Noble, Tim Conway, Jr. as Recruit #1 and Calvin Mason as Recruit #2.

After Bubba is dumped by his girlfriend (Melanie), he takes some advice from an old friend of Vint's from their army days and enlists in the army. He is soon regretting the move when Melanie comes back to apologize and they get back together. Bubba is stuck, but right as he is about to take the oath of allegiance, Mama rushes in and breaks the news that Bubba can't join the army because he's a convicted felon.

Mama With the Golden Arm

Original Airdate: December 12, 1986
Special Guests: Bill Kirchenbauer as Floyd, John Carroll Lynch as The Waiter, Kathleen Freeman as Big Joan and Nicholas Worth as Big John McCall.

Mama emerges as a contender in an arm-wrestling competition.

It Takes Two to Watusi

Original Airdate: December 19, 1986
Special Guests: Jennifer Richards as Luann Fayette.

Naomi's best friend Luann has recently divorced and Naomi wants to set her up with a friend of hers for a double date with Vint and her to play miniature golf. Before Luann ever arrives, her date calls to say he can't make it. Naomi then suggests Bubba could be a last minute stand-in. Mama nearly goes through the roof when she hears this and says NO! because she doesn’t want Bubba to be associating with the likes of Luann.

After a lengthy discussion, Mama gives in and lets Bubba decide for himself, while trying to lay a guilt trip on him. It fails miserably and the foursome is soon ready to leave, until Mama announces she's coming too, with her partner Iola. Mama and Iola win at mini-golf, and are ready for a game of Yahtzee, but Vint and Naomi refuse and go on to bed.

Mama goes on to bed herself as Bubba walks Luann to her car. She asks for a glass of water and he runs back inside to get it for her, but what he doesn't know is she followed him in and they soon end up making out. That makes Bubba drop and break the glass he had, waking up Mama. Mama comes down to check on him, and in that time, Luann gets away and an unknowing Mama feels she may have misjudged her.

After the Fall

Original Airdate: January 9, 1987
Special Guests: Dorothy Van as Aunt Effie.

Aunt Effie is in the hospital because she has fell after trying to re-shingle the roof of her house. Mama thinks she is just in shock and needs to be around the family. Meanwhile, Vint finds the puzzle of the Monitar and the Merimac at Kippur's Drug, the one he's been looking for. Because of that, nobody is in the mood to go to the hospital. Mama finds Effie in the gift shop with her gown wide open, standing in a daze. So, she decides to take her home and take care of Effie herself.

When the family finds out that Mama brought Effie home to take care of her, they're shocked. However, Mama believes that Effie CAN get well. Mama has two weeks to get Effie better, or she'll have to go back to the hospital. The next two weeks are not easy, and Mama is more patient with her than anyone ever thought she could be, while the family continues to work on the puzzle.

The weeks come to a close, and it appears Mama's plan has failed. However, on the last day, just before she is ready to leave, something happens. The family is busy yelling at Mama about wanting to keep Effie home, when Effie finds the last piece to Vint's puzzle and fits it in. After that, Effie finally talks, and the whole family is happy to have her back to normal again.

The Best Policy

Original Airdate: January 16, 1987
Special Guests: George McDaniel as Stony Hall.

Vint brings home a new electric blanket he got for signing up for a life insurance policy. A few minutes later, his insurance agent arrives for him to sign the papers. It turns out this gentleman is an old boyfriend of Naomi's, Stony Hall. Stony explains that the policy is worth $200,000 in case of accidental death and much to Mama's dismay, Vint announces that Naomi is his sole beneficiary.

Following the announcement, Vint starts getting into accidents. First, he almost electrocutes himself while working on Naomi's hair dryer, while it is still plugged in. Second, he falls down the basement stairs, slipping on a bottle of Naomi's nail polish and spraining his ankle in the process. That gives Iola the idea that Naomi is trying to bump Vint off for the money. She becomes convinced, as does Mama, after Bubba spies Naomi and Stony eating at a Chinese restaurant with the insurance policy in hand.

Mama and Iola watch closely as Naomi fixes Vint a bowl of soup, and mixes in a mysterious powder. Thinking it's poison Naomi is mixing in, they rush to his defense. After stopping Vint from eating the soup, they began to smell gas and figure out it's coming from the heater, where the pilot light blew out. Naomi comes to the rescue and stops the rest of the gas from leaking out. At last, Naomi explains that they decided to not take the policy, because it cost way too much.
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Season Four
April 24, 1987 - January 15, 1988

Zirconias Are A Girl‘s Best Friend

Original Airdate: April 24, 1987
Special Guests: Mark Neely as Travis.

Vint is trying to pull Naomi away from the TV (she is really addicted to the KRAY Home Shopping Network Channel) so that they can go bowling. After a bit, Vint finally gets her to come with him. Mama thinks the KRAY HSN channel is silly at first, but after seeing a ring she likes at such a great price and then deciding to order the matching necklace, she quickly becomes hooked on it. Ordering any and everything she sees and refusing to miss a show. She becomes such a regular customer that the on-air host, Travis, knows her by name.

Vint, Naomi, Iola and Bubba take notice when the bill for Mama's credit card arrives and it's over $1500. Mama, of course, refuses to admit she has a problem and complains endlessly as the family boxes up all of her recent purchases to send them back. She holds out several items of jewelry, hoping to get to keep them. But gets caught when she sneaks down and tries to watch the HSN channel again, because the TV is rigged with an alarm.

The family and Iola then go about the task of breaking her shopping habit, it involves watching the show with her and whenever Mama goes for the phone to place a new order, they whack her in the head with a newspaper (much you would do a new puppy) and scream "NO". Prompting Mama to say "All I did was use the phone, I didn't make a mess." Safe to say, it worked out in the end.

Educating Mama

Original Airdate: May 1, 1987
Special Guests: John Ingle as Mr. Tucker, Gary Stratton as Buford and Cynthia Whitaker as Heather.

Bubba's teacher tells him he won't be graduating from high school unless he goes to night school to make up a course in English, which he did poorly in during the semester. After Mama makes a big stink about Bubba not graduating, the news comes out that Mama never finished high school either. So, she joins Bubba at night school to try and get her high school diploma.

But she is soon faced with the same problem she had 40 years ago. It seems the reason she quit in the first place was because the teacher wanted her to read "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne. When she couldn't get past the first page, he humiliated her in front of the entire class, so she left and never went back. When Mama goes back, it is the first book they are asked to read in class.

Iola comes over and Mama is once again struggling to get past the first page, but once she figures out it's all about sex and romance, she can't put it down, while Bubba and everybody else in class tries to slide by with Raynotes (Cliff’s Notes). As it turns out, Mama is the only one who actually read the book. Good news - Mama DOES graduate!

A Room With No View

Original Airdate: May 15, 1987
Special Guests: Grant Heslov as T-Boy and Beau Bishop as Dwayne.

Vint has a cold, and Naomi says it's because they have to sleep in the basement, which is a damp place and a perfect breeding ground for germs. Bubba is upset that Mama cleaned his room and misplaced his drumsticks. Mama also refuses to let his friends Dwayne and T-Boy, who he wants to form a band with, to even enter the house. Iola thinks everyone is unhappy, so she suggests they all air their grievances in front of each other.

After hearing everyone's complaints, Iola proposes a plan that the family can vote on. Vint and Naomi will switch rooms with Bubba. That seems to solve all the problems, now that Bubba can have his band and Vint and Naomi finally get the bedroom they've always wanted. However, Mama refuses until she's outvoted and is forced to go along with their wishes.

The switch doesn't work as well as planned though, with Mama being kept up all night by Naomi's heavy breathing and Bubba refusing to stop playing his loud music. It all comes to a head when Mama returns from a delightful day out to find the house in an uproar. Bubba is soon forced to stop playing his music and decides he no longer wants the basement if he can't have his band. Vint and Naomi agree, so everyone goes back to status quo.

The Key to the Crime

Original Airdate: May 22, 1987
Special Guests: Allan David Fox as Officer Sneed, Michael Cedar as Hobart and Rex Ryon as Packard.

The "Courteous Crook" is on the loose in Raytown and the police have no clue where he is. Because of that, Mama has all the locks in the house changed and goes to Kwik Keys to get her new keys copied for everybody. When Mama is there, she runs into a long line and wants to go right to the front. The other customers refuse, until a nice gentleman offers her his place in line and his pen to fill out the Key Club registration card.

A little later, as Mama, Iola and the family come back home from an evening on the town, they discover they've been hit by the "Courteous Crook", who did a really nice job on the grout in the downstairs bathroom. Mama phones the police and Officer Sneed arrives soon after to take a statement and make a list of what's missing. After Vint’s talks in detail about some of the locks, Sneed asks Vint to come downtown with him, where they arrest him and accuse him of being the "Courteous Crook". Mama and Iola become determined to find the real culprit. They begin to talk about the Mama's visit to Kuik Keys earlier, when Mama realizes who the crook really is. When they rush out, they are met by the crook himself. He was getting the addresses from the Key Club cards and all he had to do was find a locksmith dumb enough to make the keys for him. Mama and Iola crack the case and free Vint.

Gift Horse

Original Airdate: May 29, 1987
Special Guests: Amy Benedict as Margo, Flo Di Re as Peg, Michael E. Fairman as Joe and Ted Hayden as Harry.

The baseball game is about to go into extra innings and Vint, Naomi and Bubba are all glued to the set. Mama, on the other hand, wants to be glued to the set so she can watch the last part of a mini-series she is following. When Vint points out if Mama would buy them a VCR, she could be taping her program as they finish watching the game. After a little while, Iola brings over the latest of her gifts to thank Mama for watching her goldfish while she and her parents were out of town.

Tired of Iola's stupid gifts, the family comes up with a plan to get rid of the gifts and get the money for their new VCR at the same time. They decide to have a yard sale. Everything goes swimmingly as they easily earn enough money for the VCR and plus a little extra. However, everyone refuses to buy even one of Iola's "Homemade Horrors." Thinking they should hide the money, Vint stores it in one of Iola's un-sellable gifts for safe-keeping.

Iola and her parents arrive home sooner than expected and she finds her "hand-made treasures" for sale. She throws a fit and takes her gifts with her when she leaves. Realizing Iola has the money for their VCR now, the family is forced to invite her over to reconcile. In the end, they make up and then they get the VCR.

A Big Hand For Mama

Original Airdate: June 12, 1987
Special Guests: None in this episode.

Bubba wants to borrow Mama's car to go on a picnic with his girlfriend, Naomi wants to borrow Mama's sewing machine to make a new hostess gown and Vint wants 90 dollars to join the health club downtown. All of which Mama instantly says no to. Mama tells Bubba he's not going anywhere until he cleans out the garage like he promised weeks ago. Later, Mama and Iola leave to deliver flowers to the old folks’ home.

Bubba finishes cleaning out the garage and finds an old sampler of Grandma Crowley's that reads "It is better to give that to receive". Iola comes rushing to the house in a panic and tells everybody that Mama was just about to go into the courthouse when lightning struck the clock. The minute hand fell off and almost hit her. After this harrowing experience, Mama decides to turn over a new leaf, deciding it is better to give than to receive.

She first lets Bubba have her car for his date, and then lets Naomi borrow her sewing machine to work on her dress. Mama still doesn't have the 90 dollars Vint wants, but she does let him borrow $20 to buy some "Power Bands". Mama gives Iola her most prized recipe. However, everything goes wrong. Bubba’s date turns sour, the sewing machine ruins Naomi's dress and Vint nearly hangs himself with the power bands. They all lay the blame at Mama's feet.

Teacher‘s Pet

Original Airdate: June 19, 1987
Special Guests: Joseph Campanella as Allan Hanson and Amy Benedict as Amy Johnson.

Mama is completely flustered at breakfast. She isn’t able to remember anything or perform the simplest tasks, like giving Vint coffee instead of orange juice. When questioned, she says it's nothing, but soon starts going on about her new night school teacher, Mr. Hanson. She explains everything she doesn't like about him and how he thinks he knows everything. Naomi tells Mama that she may have a crush on her teacher.

Meanwhile, Bubba rushes off to ask one of his fellow students, Amy Johnson, to the big dance before someone else does. Iola, seeing the way Mama acts when anyone mentions Mr. Hanson, soon comes to the same conclusion Naomi did. Mama says that’s crazy, because she thought all that stuff was behind her years ago. Iola then suggests that Mama bake Mr. Hanson an apple pie to break the ice.

She spends more than an hour on the pie to get a fluffy crust, while neglecting her homework. Only then, does Mama find out Mr. Hanson is allergic to apples. Mama then takes some advice from Naomi on how to attract a man. But Mr. Hanson doesn't notice right off and Mama storms out. Bubba gets his date with Amy and is busy preparing. Later, Mr. Hanson shows up to apologize and asks Mama to the dance.

Child‘s Play

Original Airdate: June 26, 1987
Special Guests: Earl Boen as Reverend Meechum, Anne Haney as Alberta Meechum and Ryan Bollman as Eugene Meechum.

After the family acts like a bunch of hooligans in church, Reverend Meechum and his wife come by to ask Mama if she could watch little Eugene while they visited the shut-ins at the hospital. Of course, being the president of the Church Ladies League, she couldn’t say no. Eugene is no picnic to be with. First, when Thelma is making her stew, Eugene tells her that Papa always takes him to Burger Boy on Sundays. When Mama tells Eugene that he is having stew there with the family, he calls her fat. As soon as Mama leaves the kitchen, Eugene steals the bottle of hot sauce and plans to use it against the family.

While Mama and Naomi are fixing the table for lunch, Vint and Bubba are playing hide-and-go-seek with Eugene. Eugene comes into the dining room and tells them that the boys got tired of playing that, and he didn't know where they went to.

After that, Eugene compliments Naomi on how lovely her dress is, then he pinchs her butt. She told Eugene to keep his hands to himself, sit down and eat. Vint and Bubba come into the house all dirty and scummy. When they are asked what happened to them, they explain that Eugene locked them in the garage and that they had to break themselves out.

Mama is dusting when Eugene put a sign on her butt that says "Caution: Wide Load" on it. He is drawing at the table, and he draws a big picture of a farm scene. When Mama asks where he got such a big piece of paper, he reveals that he drew all over he good tablecloth.

When Eugene gets himself locked in the bathroom to hide from Mama, Iola comes over with a gift for him. It turns out to be a ball on a stick. Eugene doesn't like it, and he breaks the ball off. when Iola sees this, she breaks the toy in half and threatens to stab him with it. Just when Thelma thinks that the nightmare is over, Alberta explains that Lloyd was run over by a wheelchair at the hospital and that she needs to be with him. So, Thelma is asked to baby-sit Eugene overnight.

As Mama goes to bed, Eugene asks her if she will tell him a bedtime story. She does, and he falls asleep on her. Not wanting to wake him, she sleeps with him on the couch. Mama wakes up and finds herself tied up. Vint thinks that they are playing a game, so he thinks nothing about untying her. The Meechums arrive later and they finally untie her. Mama tells them about how bad he is, and how he deserves to be spanked. Alberta says that they do not believe in spanking, but Lloyd has a different idea. As the show closes, you can hear Lloyd spanking Eugene.

Flounder‘s Day

Original Airdate: July 3, 1987
Special Guests: Rod McCary as Clive Montaigne and Rio Hibler as Jane McCauley.

Thelma comes out with a wheelbarrow to see who wants to help her mulch the yard over the weekend, but everybody refuses because they all have plans for Founder’s Day. Vint will be riding on the cobra float, Naomi will be selling cotton candy by the waterfront, Iola is the stage manager for the outdoor pageant and Bubba is starring in the play as James A. Ray. Mama talks about how she just hates that day, because of her being beat out for the lead in the pageant 50 years ago.

The part she was beat out for is still sung by Verna Mae Ray. Mama tells them about how she could sing circles around her, but they picked Verna Mae because of the name value. Grandma Crowley always said her day would come. Just then, Iola comes in with bad news. She says that Verna Mae will not be able to sing this year. Mama asks why, and Iola says that she is dead.

Bubba suggests that the show must go on, and Iola says that she will hold an audition for anyone who wants to try out. Mama calls around to see if anyone wants to audition for the part. She makes the day on the day of choir practice, so none of the good singers can make it. The director of the play shows up for auditions, but Mama is clearly out sung by her only competition and ends up giving the part to her.

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Original Airdate: August 7, 1987
Special Guests: None in this episode.

Naomi and Vint want a separation, but neither can afford it.

I Do, I Don‘t

Original Airdate: August 14, 1987
Special Guests: Joseph Campanella as Allan Hanson and Amy Benedict as Amy Johnson.

The family along with Iola, Amy and Allan go to attend the wedding of Cousin Izzy and Ida Sue. This prompts Bubba, Mama and Iola to picture married life with their respective others, or their wannabe significant others.

Bubba first asks if Vint and Allan think it's to soon to give Amy his I.D. bracelet. He then begins to picture his life with Amy as a married couple. They've already got a set of twins, with a set of triplets on the way, not to mention Mama who has gone senile. This unsettling thought makes Bubba think twice about tying himself down so young. So he takes Amy home so she can wait for some other guy to call.

Next, Iola has a fantasy about what her life would be like if she married Vint. With her, a carbon copy of Naomi and vice versa, while Mama's a lush. Naomi stops by and Mama invites her to dinner, which is Vint and Iola's second wedding anniversary. Mama complains about being out of beer, so she sends Vint and Naomi on a beer run.

With Alan talking about his beloved ex-wife Rebecca, Mama has a spooky fantasy about being married to him. In it, it is their anniversary and he is trying his best to turn her into his ex-wife, with the aid of her own family and Iola.

Bed and Breakdown

Original Airdate: September 11, 1987
Special Guests: Dennis Robertson as Andrew Thornberry, Lois De Banzie as Rhoda Thornberry, Tom McCleister as Ernie Carruthers, Julie Tesh as Nancy Ann, Cheryl Pollak as Kim, Courtney Gebhart as Bobby Sue, Michelle Burkhart as Billy Joe and Sugar the Pig as Peggy Sue.

During breakfast, Vint mentions the Tri-State fair and how it's going to be the biggest ever. Naomi says the Chamber of Commerce has asked people to rent rooms in their homes, since all the hotels are filled. During all of this, Mama can't get the oven door to stay shut or even get it to work at all, which gives her the idea to rent a room in the house out to earn money for a new oven.

Problems arise when Mama, Bubba and lastly Naomi all book the room at the same time. Bubba refuses to tell the cheerleaders they can't stay and Naomi might lose her job if she tells her boss's nephew no. So it's decided since they have three rooms, the entire family will sleep in the living room as all the guests move in.

Trouble arises when everyone wants to sleep on the couch. Iola comes up on the idea of drawing to decide where everyone sleeps. Mama ends up in the hammock, which is difficult to get into and right as she is about to fall asleep, she gets interrupted again. This spirals into a huge mess, complete with Peggy Sue the Pig eating Miss Thornberry's prize-winning rose and Mr. Thornberry walking in on the cheerleaders. Everyone ends up checking out in the middle of the night.

Workman‘s Holiday

Original Airdate: September 18, 1987
Special Guests: None in this episode.

The church rummage sale is rolling around once again and Mama is cleaning out her attic to do her part. Mama refuses to give away a little handicraft she made for Vint when he was young, a pink bunny rabbit lunch box named Binky. Little does Mama know that it is a sore spot with Vint, and that he considers it a childhood trauma. They, of course, have vastly different memories of the lunch box.

When Vint forgets his lunch at home, Mama takes it to him in Binky, which causes Vint to freak out and catch his finger in the key grinder and pass out from the sight of his own blood. The resulting "tragedy" leaves Vint unable to work or do anything for himself. Mama decides it's time for him to go back to work and tells Vint's boss that he will be there to open up the store the next morning.

Vint refuses, saying after what he's been through, he may never go back to work. Iola tells Mama the only way to get Vint to go back to work is to restore his confidence. So, Mama drags Vint down to the store and gets him to show her how to use the key grinder, bragging the whole way. It works perfectly when Vint goes back to work the next day.

Mama‘s Girls

Original Airdate: September 25, 1987
Special Guests: Dorothy Van as Aunt Effie, Marguerite Hickey as Bambi, Earl Bullock as Hartley Scoggins, Betty Bunch as Belle Scoggins, Meg Brown as Mama‘s Girl #1, Gloria Larson as Mama‘s Girl #2, Frances Neal as Mama‘s Girl #3, Beverly Polcyn as Mama‘s Girl #4 and Patty Joy Neal as Mama‘s Girl #5.

Effie's doctor tells her she needs to start exercising more, so after an argument, she and Mama sign up for a tap class at the senior's center, only to find out they’re not allowed to sweat due to the insurance policy. So, Mama decides to lead her own class and then they start planning for a big show at the center.

The Shriners order 87 tickets, while Bubba and T-boy put up flyers all over the parking lot at the mall. However, Hartley Scoggins (from the insurance company) comes to the house to inform Mama she won't be having her show after all. That is, until Mama calls Hartley’s mother, who quickly sets him straight and he ends up talking the company into buying the sets and costumes, and they have their show after all.

Mama Gets the Bird

Original Airdate: October 2, 1987
Special Guests: Karen Hartman as the voice of Petey.

A hot sticky day on the lake at Uncle Oscar's funeral finally comes to an end as the family and Iola arrive home. They start talking about how much of a success he was with his boat rental business out on RayLake. Naomi wonders aloud who will get the business now that Uncle Oscar is gone. Since his only other living relative was Cousin Cora and he hated her, Mama figures she's a shoo-in for the grand prize.

The family is all busy planning how they'll run the business when Mama gets home from the reading of the will. Mama reveals he left the business to Cora and gave her the bird, literally. His name was Captain Petey and he was Uncle Oscar's faithful sidekick. Little does the family know that he holds the keys to a treasure, Uncle Oscar's gold bars. He first gives them a clue in a rhythm and that sends the family running to take the house apart looking for gold.

After Mama and Iola tear up the kitchen and Bubba and Naomi search their rooms, they get another clue about the yard. As they run for the door, Vint announces he's already looked. A third clue prompts them to take the cage outside, and upon opening the door, Petey flies away. Thinking the whole thing was a wild goose chase, they toss the cage, only to get a letter a week after the funeral, saying it was the cage that was made of gold all along and it was worth $50,000.

Mama Mania

Original Airdate: October 9, 1987
Special Guests: Spice Williams as Didi Mason, Dee Boher as Mabel #1, Emily Dole as Mabel #2, Johnny Dark as The Ring Announcer and Stan Mazin as The Referee.

Mama's dinner is interrupted by Vint and Bubba leaving the table to watch wrestling on TV. Women's wrestling, no less. They are soon joined by Naomi and Iola, and of course, Mama. Naomi recognizes one of the girls in the match as one of her old high school friends and fellow cheerleaders. So, she calls her mother and invites her to dinner.

Didi arrives 45 minutes late and informs everyone that her partner was just put into traction and she might have to forfeit the upcoming match for the championship, until she talks Naomi into doing it.

At the arena, Mama starts mouthing off to the Bees’ opponents and gets in the ring with a bucket, which she accidentally hits Didi in the face with. So, Mama has to take her place. In the end, after nearly getting killed, Mama and Naomi win the match and the championship.

A Friend Indeed

Original Airdate: October 16, 1987
Special Guests: Mary Pat Gleason as Arlene Madison.

Iola spends all her time with a new friend.

Mama Sees Red

Original Airdate: October 23, 1987
Special Guests: Karen Hensel as Olga Strecknavitch and Ben Rawnsley as Warren Peters.

Mama and the family are busy playing a game of Pyramid, which she and Bubba win easily, when a knock comes at the door. It's a guy from the State Department who wants Mama to host a Russian exchange for one day as apart of “Project Heartland“. Mama finally agrees and they get ready to welcome her.

Olga arrives and immediately starts cleaning the house from top to bottom, which drives Mama nuts, because she had broken her back getting it ready in the first place. They finally convince Olga to take a break and Naomi gets the idea to give her a make-over. She is so pleased with it, she decides she looks too good to go back to Russia and she's going to live in America.

Wondering how they'll ever be able to explain to Mr. Peters that Olga won't be leaving, they decide to play another game of Pyramid, which soon turns into an all-out screaming match when it becomes clear Vint and Naomi are going to easily defeat Mama and her mismatched partner Olga. Fortunately, the screaming match changes Olga's mind and she decides to go home after all.

Pomp and Circumstance

Original Airdate: November 6, 1987
Special Guests: Joseph Campanella as Allan Hanson and Phyllis Franklin as the voice of Eunice.

Mama and Bubba finally graduate from high school together, but Bubba wants to skip the ceremony.

The Sins of the Mother

Original Airdate: November 13, 1987
Special Guests: Heather Karr as Young Eunice, Nikki Cox as Young Iola, Rich Kettley as Young Vint, Magda Harout as Eulalie Griswold and Charles Douglass as Duke Reeves.

Bubba comes in at 1:00AM from a post-game party and is drunk. Mama promptly grounds him for four weeks and then quickly makes it six as her anger boils over. Iola shows up and the reason for Mama's seemingly unreasonable anger is revealed.

When Eunice was Bubba's age, she begged Mama to get in the show at the church so that she could sing. The day of the event, Eunice's long-time crush Duke Reeves invites her to a picnic with the popular kids and tells Mama to bring the food.

This makes Eunice late for the show and when she does show up, she's drunk. Eunice and Mama end up getting in a huge fight in front of everyone and it ruins the day. Bubba then realizes why she was so hard on him and promises to never do it again. So, Mama lets Bubba go to his swim meet.

Bubba‘s Double Date

Original Airdate: November 20, 1987
Special Guests: Penelope Sudrow as Vernette and Karen Lyn Scott as Wanda Lynn.

Vint and Naomi are going to chaperone the annual prom, so Vint and Bubba are busy preparing for the big event. Meanwhile, Iola stops by to introduce her niece Vernette and to see if Mama has any books that need to be repaired. Vernette is completely speechless when she meets Bubba and develops an instant crush on him.

Bubba gets bad news when Wanda Lynn cancels at the last second. He tries in vain to find another date, even resorting to asking the “Borden girl from down the street“, who is only 14 but can't go anyway because she has to go to a family reunion. When Iola finds out, she suggests Bubba take Vernette to the prom with him. Mama agrees without even asking Bubba.

Bubba is wondering who Mama has gotten him for a date and is pleasantly surprised when Wanda Lynn calls and decides to go with him after all. Vernette arrives only to find out the bad news. Wanda Lynn demands that Bubba leave with her immediately. However, Bubba is worried about how Vernette feels. Bubba gets tired of Wanda Lynn’s actions and dumps her for Vernette instead.

Naomi‘s Identity Crisis

Original Airdate: December 4, 1987
Special Guests: None in this episode.

Mama complains about Naomi never doing anything around the house and to please her, Naomi heads for the kitchen to help her do the dishes. Before she reaches the kitchen door, Mama comes back through, accidentally hits her in the face, knocking her cold. When she wakes up, she can't remember anything or anyone, including her own husband.

Finding out it may be weeks or longer before she gets her memory back, Naomi goes to Mama for some advice on what she used to be like. Mama sensing an opportunity to lighten her own workload, explains to Naomi she used to be a whiz around the house and she loved to do the very things Mama hated most, like cleaning the toilet and waxing the laundry room floor.

After a few days, everyone begins to notice something is wrong and Mama is certainly the blame for Naomi's newfound love for housekeeping. An argument soon ensues and ends when Naomi is once again whacked by the same door that caused her amnesia in the first place. Only this time, it restores her memory and for the first time since being married, "She has a headache."

Mama on Jeopardy!

Original Airdate: December 11, 1987
Special Guests: Alex Trebek as himself, Johnny Gilbert as The Announcer, Isabel West as Cynthia Lane, Wil Albert as Ludlow Baxter, Bryan Byers as Fred, Roger Price as Mr. Herkle and Jill Wachholz as Cheryl.

When Iola hears that “Jeopardy!” is holding local auditions in Raytown, she drags Mama along instead of going to the white sale. Iola is more interested in meeting Alex Trebek, and as it turns out, Mama is the only one who could answer more than two questions correctly (both about Shakespeare) and they end up inviting her to appear on the show.

Her opponents on “Jeopardy!” quickly jump out to a huge lead and Mama has a hard time getting into the game. At the end of the “Double Jeopardy!” round, Mama lucks up and answers a thousand-dollar question right and then gets a Three Stooges question and manages to get herself “out of the hole” by $100 and is eligible to play “Final Jeopardy!”.

The “Final Jeopardy!” category is Shakespeare, but the question completely stumps her and the champion wins again! Mama thinks she is going home with Press-On Nails, but announcer Johnny Gilbert tells her she's won a trip for four to Hawaii. She kisses Alex, which makes Iola faint. Mama announces she's taking her worthless family with her to Hawaii.

Hawaii, Part One

Original Airdate: January 15, 1988
Special Guests: Barney Martin as Billy Field, Steve Peterson as Lars Johanssen, Alison Gleason as Lani, Yvonne Perry as Loraine and Don Nahaku as The Hotel Manager.

Mama and the family are packing to leave for Hawaii when Iola bursts in and announces she going too, now that she's sold her mother's mink coat. Once everybody gets to Hawaii, Iola has a huge list of things to do. The first thing on Iola’s list is 'Lover's Grotto'. Legend has it, if you toss a flower into the ocean, you will find your true love. Bubba and Iola both toss a single flower, while Mama tosses all of hers.

Iola meets her 'true love', Lars Johanssen, a cook aboard a tanker. They discover their plans for seeing all the sights are the same and decide to go together. Bubba meets his 'true love', Lani, a native who welcomes him to the island. Mama meets someone too, but he's not who he appears to be. Mama thinks he's a beach bum because he asks her for her drink and sandwich and won't leave her alone.

Meanwhile, Naomi is sunbathing and Vint is busy watching the girl next to them. Instead of putting sunscreen on her back as she had asked, he puts on bath gel instead, which results in Naomi getting severely sunburned head to toe and being confined to the hotel for the next few days.

Hawaii, Part Two

Original Airdate: January 15, 1988
Special Guests: Barney Martin as Billy Field, Steve Peterson as Lars Johanssen, Mike Ebner as Bud, Ed Ericson as Grant, Robert Witthans as Brandon, Alison Gleason as Lani, Yvonne Perry as Loraine, Fred Ball as Mr. Feldman and Cha Thompson as Mrs. Feldman.

Mama has grown tired of playing cards with Naomi in the hotel just to avoid Billy, so she gathers Bubba and Iola, along with their significant others, and they go searching for a hula lamp Mama is desperate to have. Roselle has the same one and has been bragging about hers for years.

Meanwhile, Vint leaves Naomi behind at the hotel and takes in a round of golf, where he meets three guys who mistake him for a market insider when he says his wife is a "Market Checker." He unknowingly gives them some advice and it triples their earnings in less than two hours.

Mama finally finds the hula lamp, but drops it as Billy surprises her from behind. It is then revealed Billy is really R.W. Fields, the owner of Field Corp. Thankful for all the help Vint has given them, R.W. invites Vint and the family to a farewell party.

Trying to figure out a way to get rid of Billy once and for all, Mama invites him to dinner to gently break it off. only to find out his real secret at the party. Bubba discovers his new flame isn’t even a native of Hawaii, but a native of New Jersey. Mama gets her Aloha Hula Lamp in the end, as Billy has it flown over from Las Vegas as a way to say goodbye.

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Season Five
September 23, 1988 - April 27, 1989

Baby Talk

Original Airdate: September 23, 1988
Special Guests: Tom Williams as The Baby Crier.

Vint and Naomi try to have a baby, but Mama tries to stick them with watching a friend‘s baby instead.

Ladies Choice

Original Airdate: September 30, 1988
Special Guests: Anne Haney as Alberta Meechum and Doris Hess as Lolly Perdue.

Mama battles Iola for the presidency of the Church Ladies League.

Naomi‘s New Position

Original Airdate: October 7, 1988
Special Guests: Jeff Silverman as Mr. Archie Woods.

Naomi is expecting a promotion and her boss is expecting more than Naomi is willing to give.

The Really Loud Family

Original Airdate: October 21, 1988
Special Guests: None in this episode.

Bubba films the Harper family for a school project.

Many Unhappy Returns

Original Airdate: October 28, 1988
Special Guests: None in this episode.

On Mama's birthday, she finds a gift that Vint’s boss wants him to hold on to for Naomi. Mama thinks it's for her after she reads the card and it says "to my darling mother", so she takes it back to the store and exchanges it, buying gifts for everyone in the process.

Found Money

Original Airdate: November 4, 1988
Special Guests: Bryan O‘Byrne as Mr. Guthrie, Shirley Prestia as Louise Kambeckl and Tom Williams as The Voice of the Teller Matic.

The mail is late, meaning Mama's pension check is late, so she has to wait around for the mailman. Mama finds out Iola had it the whole time and now it's too late to get to the bank to deposit it, so Iola suggests that Mama use the new Teller Matic instead of letting her checks for the bills bounce.

Mama deposits the check and asks for $20.00 cash, which the machine deducts from her account, but never gives to her, so she blasts it with her pocket book and it soon starts spitting out $800 worth in dollar bills.

Later at the dinner table, the family and Iola take part in Bubba's survey for his class and all disagree on what people should do with money they find. It soon comes out that the Teller Matic gave Mama $800 and suddenly everyone agrees that they should keep the money with everyone having ideas on how to spend it, but Mama decides to return to the bank the next day and put it in her account instead.

When Mama is there, she runs into the guy whose account the money was actually subtracted from and she returns the money without having to admit where it came from.

My Mama, Myself

Original Airdate: November 11, 1988
Special Guests: Vicki Lawrence as Grandma Crowley.

Mama is haunted by visions of her departed mother who was always trying to run her life.

Full House

Original Airdate: November 18, 1988
Special Guests: Tommy Bush as Walt Billings and Ray Young as “No Coat“ George.

Vint is wild when Mama joins his poker game and she proves to be an ace player.

Very Dirty Dancing

Original Airdate: December 2, 1988
Special Guests: Ron Joseph as Ramon Montenegro and Richard Morof as Chick Minnow.

Mama is sacked out on the couch after laser surgery to remove a corn from her toe. Bubba is waiting on Mama hand and foot when Vint and Naomi come in, dressed for a dance contest they are going to enter. Mama starts talking about her memories of the place where it's going to be held and everyone decides to go along with them as their cheering section.

Mama runs into an old friend, Ramon, and they decide to enter the contest against Vint and Naomi. Bubba and Iola enter the contest, also. Two of the final three are, of course, Vint/Naomi and Mama/Ramon. It comes down to drawing a name from a hat to determine which dance they have to do. In the end, Mama and Ramon win in an upset after doing the "Latin Sizzle" AKA Dirty Dancing.

Bedtime for Bubba

Original Airdate: December 16, 1988
Special Guests: Cathy Colvin as Toni Malone.

Mama is sitting up late waiting for Bubba when Vint and Noami come in and start telling her about the new bestseller book they just bought. From what they tell Mama, the book gives couples ideas on how to get pregnant more easily. One of them they like is doing “it” in different places.

Bubba finally comes in and introduces his new study buddy, Toni Malone. Mama flips and refuses to leave them alone until Bubba threatens to move into the college's coed dorm, which convinces Mama to go to bed.

The next morning, while cleaning Bubba's room, they find a black lace bra in the sheets. Mama thinks it is Toni's, so she tries to get Bubba to admit to it over dinner, but he doesn't. That gives Mama and Iola the idea to stitch bells to his mattress. That way, if Bubba and Toni ever decided to do something on his bed, they would be caught. When they are in the middle of the stitching job, they hear someone coming, so they hide in the closet.

It's Vint and Naomi, and as it is soon revealed, the bra was Naomi's and they were sleeping in Bubba's room the night before. Now Mama is convinced she can trust Bubba and the next time she happily goes to bed as he and Toni begin to study. As soon as Mama leaves the room, though, Bubba and Toni immediately start making out.

What a Dump

Original Airdate: December 23, 1988
Special Guests: Alan Oppenheimer as Mayor Tutwiller.

Mama plays host to the neighborhood block party, where Mayor Tutwiller is set to make a major announcement. Mama thinks he's going to award her the "Golden Troll" award for the best yard in Raytown. Instead, Tutwiller announces that the city council has voted to make Raylane the new city dump and they are going to buy all the houses on the block.

Mama refuses to move, even though everyone else is for it. Bubba plans to move into the dorm and Vint and Naomi find a newspaper ad for their dream house, which they will now be able to afford with the money they will be getting from the city for Mama’s house.

Meanwhile, Bubba is working on a history paper for class on the founder of Raytown, James A. Ray. It seems he can find plenty of facts about his life but nothing about his death, until he goes to City Hall for the records.

Mama is trying unsuccessfully to start a petition to save the house. As the day of demolition arrives, Bubba announces he found out that James A. Ray died at a house at 1 Old Decatur Road, the exact address of Mama's house before the street name was changed. Mayor Tutwiller is forced to name it an historical landmark in the end.

Mama Bell

Original Airdate: January 6, 1989
Special Guests: Hamilton Camp as the voice of Dr. Bishop and Purvis, Roz Witt as the voice of Theresa Parker and David Lodge as Dog Barker.

Mama forgets one of Bubba's phone messages but refuses to admit she needs to write them down, as she did earlier with Naomi. Iola suggests they get a answering machine. Mama refuses to buy one because they are so expensive, but then Iola says she has one they can use.

Meanwhile, Naomi brings a stray dog home and her and Vint try to find a home for it while trying to keep it hidden from Mama. They lock it up in the garage, where Mama keeps hearing it bark but they convince her she's losing her mind.

After intercepting a series of phone messages, Mama becomes convinced Naomi and Vint are sending her to live in a senior citizen center because she is going crazy. Everything is finally revealed, and the dog finds a home at the senior citizen center.

The Big Wheel

Original Airdate: January 13, 1989
Special Guests: Christopher Collins as Kevin McCary and Kevin Carr as Chad Parker.

The entire family is abuzz with lotto fever, except for Mama. She just wants Iola to get back with the cinnamon so they can start on the snickerdoodles for the church bake sale. Iola returns with a lottery ticket she bought with the change from Mama's money. Mama tries to pick her numbers and tells Iola can borrow her kids’ birthday dates to use as lotto numbers.

The night of the drawing, Bubba and Naomi have two tickets each while Vint spent his entire check on tickets. To everyone's surprise, Iola matches all 6 numbers and wins a chance to appear on “The Lotto Show.” That is, until Mama decides she wants her ticket back. Iola refuses and Vint announces he matched all of the numbers too (just not all on the same ticket). After a huge fight, Mama invites Iola back over and they convince her to share the ticket with them.

Mama is picked to spin the big wheel for a chance at two million dollars. It lands on the million slot, but as they start celebrating, it moves again and lands in the 200 dollar slot.

Mama‘s Layaway Plan

Original Airdate: January 20, 1989
Special Guests: Dorothy Van as Aunt Effie and Roy Stuart as Bradford Wellman.

Vint, Naomi and Bubba are preparing for the upcoming Bowl-A-Thon, hoping to beat the Huplanders, who have won eight years in a row. Mama returns with Aunt Effie from their cousin Ludie's funeral, where they where the only mourners. Deciding this won't happen to her, Mama begins to plan her own funeral, including spending the $1200 the family had saved for their Grand Canyon trip.

As Mama’s replacement on their team, the trio choose Iola because Mama refuses to go, saying it's too expensive. Soon after they leave though, Mama gets a shock from the lamp and passes out. Mama has a dream about her own funeral and how everyone walked out to go bowling.

She wakes up to find out that the family won the Bowl-A-Thon after the Huplanders had to forfeit. Mama decides they are going to the Grand Canyon next weekend.

My Phony Valentine

Original Airdate: January 27, 1989
Special Guests: Krista Errickson as Bunny Vanderhaus and David Sederholm as Mel.

It's Valentine's day and Naomi feels unloved and Vint buying her cheap stuff doesn't help. Mama and Iola are busy making hearts for the Valentine's Day banquet at the church. Naomi starts bugging Iola about not having a date, so Iola says she had one but turned it down. Mama hears this while getting some snacks and feels sorry for her, so she tells Iola that the movie they were going to watch tonight is off and she should get herself a date. Mama then comes up with the story that she too has a date.

Now Mama has to try and find a gentleman to go out with. Iola comes over later the afternoon and tells Mama that Roselle got a date from "Rent-A-Gent". So, feeling desperate, Mama calls "Rent-A-Gent" and gets a date herself. However, when he arrives, Mama finds out that he's a 30-something, not a 70-something like she had ordered. Apparently, they ran low on them this time of year.

Naomi and Bubba's dates are insulted when they find out that Mama got a heart-shaped box of chocolates and roses while they got cheap junk. Mama then sends her date home. Later that night, Iola comes in and tells Mama that she made the whole thing up because Naomi made her feel jealous. They sit together and agree from now on, they'll be more truthful with each other.

More Power to You

Original Airdate: February 10, 1989
Special Guests: Teddy Wilson as Gus.

Naomi and Vint rush in to get ready for the Food Circus awards banquet that night. Mama complains to the meter guy about her electric bill, saying it's always a certain price but this month it's $20 higher and she refuses to pay it. Bubba comes in, wanting $25 to rent a computer to do his paper on about Abraham Lincoln for History class.

Mama's attempts to try and sort out the problem with the power company fail, as she is continuously giving the runaround. After a final refusal by her to pay the bill, they cut off her electricity completely. Bubba loses his paper and Vint and Naomi have to get ready in the dark. Vint ends up dressing like a clown and Naomi looks worse.

With Iola's "Candles of the Holidays" collection lighting the house, Mama and the family sit down to dinner and she tells the story about the Ray river flood, which gives everyone the idea to have a sing-a-long. Iola ruins the mood when she reveals that Mama is the reason there's no power.

As it turns out, Bubba's paper turns out great and Naomi loses the award. Since Naomi didn't show up, it looked like she didn't care. The best news comes when the power company turns the power back on and admits there was a error in the billing. Of course, now they want Mama to pay a $50 reconnect fee.

Mama In One

Original Airdate: February 17, 1989
Special Guests: None in this episode.

Trying to update the church's phone directory is hard enough, but having to do it with everyone running in and out is impossible. Fortunately for Mama, her wishes of a quiet house are answered. First, Bubba announces that he is pledging a fraternity called "Sigma Alpha Pie" or "SAP" and will be away all weekend. Second, Iola asks Mama to watch her goldfish for the weekend while she takes her parents on a trip. Third, Vint gets a call and he and Naomi are invited to use a friend’s cabin all weekend.

Mama anticipates a few days of peace alone, but after finishing the update on the phone directory and realizing the TV is on the blink and not being able to read, she is bored to death. Mama is so bored that she starts talking to the goldfish and accidentally overfeeds him. Not to mention, reorganizing the kitchen is a complete failure when Mama ends up out on the front Porch literally singing in the rain.

Mama can't wait for the family to get back and she prepares a big turkey to welcome them home. However, Vint and Naomi go straight to bed in an attempt to recapture the magic of their weekend. Then Bubba, who has just become a "SAP", comes in and also goes to bed. He says he's tired and full from eating worms and other weird stuff. Lastly, Iola arrives to pick up her goldfish, but she can't stay because her mother got a rash and has to be rubbed down every twenty minutes, so after that, Mama is alone again.

April Fools

Original Airdate: February 24, 1989
Special Guests: None in this episode.

Mama gets back at her family for their April Fool‘s Day pranks.

There‘s No Place Like...No Place

Original Airdate: March 2, 1989
Special Guests: Gloria Dorson as Cora, Ray Young as JoJo, Alexander Folk as Mack, Myra Turley as The Bag Lady, Albert T. Berry as The Bum, Gregory Scott Cummins as The Vietnam Vet, Michelle Mann as Tillie and Kelley Wright as Tillie‘s Mother.

Bubba is off to a rally for the homeless, Mama and Iola are off to the Rayplex to watch Mel Gibson and Vint and Naomi are headed out to Route 5 to look at the new housing development. Mama gives Bubba $20 just in case he needs it and then he accidentally packs her wallet in his back pack and heads out. Mama notices this as she and Iola are leaving, so she has to head for the rally to get her wallet back, while Iola heads for the theatre.

However, Mama gets arrested along with the others at the rally and gets locked up, even though she tries to convince them she's not homeless. The phone is busy when she calls home, so she is out of luck. They throw Mama back into the cell, where she discovers that the people there are much like her. That includes her Cousin Cora, who lost her farm two years earlier and has been homeless ever since.

The rest of the family finds Bubba at home and wonder where Mama is. They finally head for the police station and find her locked up and refusing to leave, after the mayor decided to release everyone. Finally, after some arm twisting from Iola, the mayor agrees to call an emergency city council meeting and Reverend Meechum opens up the church basement as a temporary shelter. In the meantime, Cora moves in with Mama until she gets a place of her own.

Reading the Riot Act

Original Airdate: March 16, 1989
Special Guests: Marge Redmond as Lolly Purdue, Natalie Core as Inez and Patrika Dorbo as Florence.

Bubba and Vint are playing basketball out back when Mama comes out and starts talking about Lolly Purdue and how bad a job she is doing as the CCL President. Mama is also trying to avoid Lolly because she doesn't want to have to handwrite the thank-you notes Lolly wants. Little does Mama know, Iola has already agreed to do it.

Just as the CCL ladies are finishing, Lolly shows up with some bookmarks she wants put in the envelopes, even though they've already been sealed and stamped. That gives Mama and Iola the reason they need to try and impeach her, so they schedule a special meeting of the CCL's board. Lolly shows up unexpectedly, and Mama puts her to work in the kitchen.

As Iola and the other ladies move to the porch, then into her house, Mama makes a major discovery. Lolly can't read, so that's why she messed up the recipe and a number of other things. As Mama and Lolly began to talk, they decide to start a program for people who want to learn to read and write.

A Taxing Situation

Original Airdate: March 23, 1989
Special Guests: Richard McGonagle as Arthur Booth.

Vint and Naomi are doing their taxes while Bubba is working on Mama's. Vint and Naomi are using the long form and Mama is using the short form. Vint and Naomi figure out they'll get a $300 refund, while Bubba tells Mama she'll owe $250. That is, until Mama starts listing items she could deduct, Like pies she made for the bake sale and clothes she gave away for a rummage sale.

Mama thinks she is now going to get a refund, so she takes Iola shopping. When they get home, Bubba tells them an IRS agent stopped by and made an appointment to come by on Monday morning. Mama thinks she is going to get audited and after hearing all the horror stories of what can happen, she makes the family help out in a scheme to try and get sympathy.

The agent arrives and Mama offers him a piece of pie as Bubba comes to the door dressed as a Boy Scout, soon followed by Vint and Naomi taking up money for an overseas charity. The agent then reveals he's there to give Mama a refund for $250. That is, until Mama opens her big mouth and told the agent she hadn't declared all of her income, so now she has to re-file and pay extra interest and penalties for being late.

The Mama of Invention

Original Airdate: March 30, 1989
Special Guests: James Hampton as Keith Wheeler and Allan David Fox as Detective Sneed.

Iola meets a man that is interested in one of her inventions, the Invalid Flipper. Vint, Naomi and Bubba also have an invention of their own, called the Petlocks. When Mr. Wheeler arrives, he barely glances at Iola's invention. Keith notices Vint’s invention immediately and says he thinks it's a brilliant idea. Keith asks for 800 dollars in cash to start with, of which he will match with 800 of his own.

Mama is skeptical and refuses to let Vint have the money. That's when Detective Sneed shows up and drops the news that Wheeler is a con artist. Sneed enlists Mama and Iola in a plot to catch Wheeler red-handed. Sneed gives Mama 800 dollars in marked money and has her wear a wire to record the conversation.

Vint decides at the last minute that Mama is right, that the lock idea is dumb, so Mama has to talk him out of it. Wheeler arrives to pick up the money with Sneed parked across the street in an unmarked van. The men quickly agree on the deal, then Sneed bursts in to arrest Wheeler. Wheeler outsmarts them and pulls out a gun and tries to make a getaway, but he is captured by Iola and her Invalid Flipper.

Hate Thy Neighbor

Original Airdate: April 13, 1989
Special Guests: Jason Wingreen as Fred Gebhart and Heidi Kozak as Terri Gebhart.

Mama's sworn enemy and next door neighbor, Fred Gebhart, blows leaves back into Mama's yard, which starts a screaming match that has to be broken up by Iola. Mama then makes Bubba rake up the leaves. While Bubba is raking, he meets Fred's granddaughter, Terri, who just moved to Raytown. There is an instant attraction between them.

After only two dates, Bubba and Terri announce they are getting married, which makes both Fred and Mama insist they break up. Vint and Naomi think it's great and so does Iola. Bubba’s marriage becomes the topic of conversation and continues until Mama can't handle it anymore.

Fred comes to visit and they both realize that since they are going to be in-laws, they had better try to settle the feud. It is revealed that the whole feud had nothing to do with them, it was actually their spouses who did everything, so they “bury the hatchet.”

Just then, Bubba comes in to announce the engagement is off because he and Terri have differing opinions on where they should go on their honeymoon and it brings Mama and Fred into the fight and the feud starts all over again.

Dependence Day

Original Airdate: April 20, 1989
Special Guests: None in this episode.

Mama and Iola are preparing to go on a cruise down the Ray River on the Dixie Bell. The ladies got a special, a two-for-one deal and it was the only way they could go. Iola comes in and says her mother had another dizzy spell and she can't leave her, so Mama reminds her of a few of the times her mother has prevented her from doing stuff. An enpowered Iola runs home to confront her mother.

Iola returns minutes later with the news that she confronted her mother and said she was going to go on that cruise, no matter what. Iola’s mother responded to her plea for independence by throwing her out. Mama and the family reluctantly agree that Iola should stay with them until the cruise. However, this arrangement quickly turns sour.

Iola takes over Mama's kitchen and works nonstop from daylight until dawn, including vacuuming under Vint and Naomi's bed at 7:00 in the morning. Iola is also a terrible bunkmate, getting up to go to the bathroom constantly, opening the window and adding more covers.

Mama tries to make peace with Iola and her mother, but Iola refuses to go home. The family all decide to try and get Iola to leave by driving her nuts about dinner. The plan works out perfectly when Iola snaps and leaves, saying she'll gladly pay for Mama's ticket because she is going to take her mother instead.

Mama Makes Three

Original Airdate: April 27, 1989
Special Guests: Don Woodard as Dr. Richards.

Naomi announces that she can't get pregnant because Vint is “shooting blanks“, to say, so Iola suggests that they try and adopt a baby. Iola says she has a cousin who works for an adoption agency in Hinckley, so she sets up an interview for Naomi and Vint.

It goes well as they pass interview after interview easily until the final one. They and Mama have to meet with Dr. Richards, a family psychologist. They arrive at his office, already fighting over how Vint took the wrong route to Dr. Richards‘s office.

Dr. Richards ask Vint if his childhood was good but he's afraid to say anything with Mama there. Dr. Richards has to stand in front of Mama and Vint tells him that Mama never supports him in anything. That sets Mama off and she begins talking about her mother. Mama calls her mother a dragon and a few other things before Dr. Richards ends the session early.

Vint is very angry at Mama and threatens to move out when they find out they got turned down for adoption. Just then, Naomi comes in and says she has a second opinion and that she is pregnant.
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Season Six

September 18, 1989 - March 12, 1990

Mama‘s Medicine Show

Original Airdate: September 18, 1989
Special Guests: Anne Haney as Alberta Meechum.

Naomi and Vint read in a magazine that it will cost $168,000 to raise a kid, so they come up with a scheme to make some fast money. Just then, Bubba comes home feeling sick and Mama gives him some of her "Mother Harper's Tonic" and that gives Vint and Naomi an idea.

They could sell the tonic and make a fortune. The couple explain their idea to Mama, and Mama is all for it. Naomi goes to get some bottles from the recycling bin at Food Circus and they start bottling Mama‘s tonic. It sells quickly and everyone wants some, so Bubba takes it to his swim meet and Mama takes it with her to the Church Ladies League meeting.

Everyone at church samples some and it is a huge hit when all the ladies, including Mama and Iola, get up and start dancing like drunken fools. Alberta even tells Mama that she is going to nominate her for CCL Woman of the Year.

Bubba comes home and tells Vint and Naomi about what happened at the swim meet. His team lost every race and they had to send the tonic to get it analyzed. The results came back that it had 35% alcohol in it. Mama‘s tonic turns out to be a HUGE flop.

An Affair to Forget

Original Airdate: September 25, 1989
Special Guests: Teresa Gaszel as Heather.

Naomi is starting to feel the effects of being pregnant and wants to spend some quality time with Vint, who has to work late again. This is the fourth night in a row Vint has done this to Naomi. A discouraged Naomi tells Mama Vint hasn't touched her in four days.

Vint says he has to stay late to train his new assistant, who he neglects to mention is a buxom blonde bombshell. Mama begins to suspect Vint is doing more than just training her to run the store, so Mama and Iola make a little trip down to Kwik Keys to see what is REALLY going on.

Vint and Heather go into the storeroom to get supplies when Mama and Iola arrive. They hear some very suggestive dialogue coming from the storeroom and begin to think that Vint and Heather are doing it right here and there.

Right as they come out, Naomi walks in with a picnic for her and Vint. As Mama begins to panic, Heather recognizes her old friend Naomi. It turns out Heather is Luanne's sister, a good friend of Naomi's who appeared in an earlier episode.

Mr. Wrong

Original Airdate: September 25, 1989
Special Guests: Stuart Nisbet as Burt Cooper.

Naomi is so happy to be pregnant at last that she proclaims her life is complete. That gets Iola to thinking about her life and how she wants to have kids and a family someday. Mama thinks Iola is too picky and convinces her to go to some of the singles events in town, one of them being the hayride. The hayride is the last draw for Mama's plan to get Iola hitched. Iola comes back fuming, because apparently it was a ride for newlyweds and she got bumped off and had to walk the five miles home.

However, to everybody‘s surprise, Iola does find a man and they start dating, so Mama invites her and her new beau, Burt, to dinner. Before dinner, Iola tells Mama that Burt might ask her to marry him and she plans to say yes. Burt and Iola both arrive and Burt tries to impress everyone by telling his wild stories, but it doesn't work on Mama, who absolutely cannot stand him.

Mama brings up the subject of living with in-laws when Burt makes the mistake of saying he and Iola are going to send her mom and dad to a cheap retirement home. The cheaper, the better. Iola refuses, telling Burt there’s no way it‘s going to happen. Iola’s parents are spending their golden years in "Leisure Hell", and it‘s bad enough as it is. Burt calls Iola a pitiful old maid, and at that comment, Mama sprays Burt with whip cream and Iola tops it off with cherries.

Now Hear This

Original Airdate: October 9, 1989
Special Guests: None in this episode.

Vint installs an intercom so that they can monitor the baby once it is born. Although Mama wants nothing to do with it, she lets them do it anyway. One receiver goes out on the front porch, one each in the upstairs bathroom, the kitchen, the living room, and in the basement. After testing all the monitors to see if they all work fine, Vint, Bubba and Naomi all retire to the front porch to let Mama do her housekeeping.

They get an idea to spy on Mama and Iola in the kitchen. The ladies just happened to be talking about all three of them. Mama was telling Iola what she thinks of all of them and how much they annoy her. Bubba, according to Mama is a pre-Madonna, Vint acts like an overgrown kid and Naomi is a lazy slug. Getting upset at what they just heard, they begin to talk about Mama. Unbeknownst to them, she is listening in on them now.

A screaming match results at the dinner table when it comes out that Mama listened in on them on the porch, but then Mama finds out that Vint and Bubba and Naomi were also eavesdropping on Mama and Iola in the kitchen. After a few loud moments, they all decide that the whole intercom thing was a bad idea and Mama demands that Vint take it out.

Tri-State‘s Most Wanted

Original Airdate: October 16, 1989
Special Guests: Robert Mandan as Leslie Lemoyne and Tom Egan as The Announcer.

Iola wants Mama to donate her sofa for the play Iola is producing at the Pepper Pot Playhouse. Mama refuses, until she meets the star of the play itself, a very good-looking New York actor named Leslie Lemoyne. After spending the afternoon eating cookies and drinking coffee, Mama and Leslie make a date for the night of the premiere. Mama promises him some real home cooking then.

After kicking out Vint and Naomi, Mama catches the end of the show, "Tri State's Most Wanted", and thinks the murderer that the program is looking for is Leslie. When Leslie arrives, Mama panics, ties him up and calls the police, who come over to arrest him.

This causes him to miss the play. Everyone comes home after the play bombs and wonders where Mama is. Finally, Mama and Leslie arrive home from the police station. Leslie had to explain to everybody that he was playing the part of the murderer in the re-enactment for the "Tri-State's Most Wanted" program. After that, Vint and Naomi decide to try and become bounty hunters after hearing about the $20,000 reward offered for the capture of fugitive Bobby "Tex" Snider.

Mama Fights Back

Original Airdate: October 23, 1989
Special Guests: Harry S. Murphy as Harrison Aldrich, Don Bovingloh as the voice of Chuck Puval and Sue Rihr as the voice of Evelyn and Ida.

Mama tries to return a blender to Raymart, but without proof of purchase, they refuse to take it back. Bubba suggests Mama call Chuck “The Shopper’s Pal” Duval, KRAY's consumer advocate. Chuck isn’t of any help to Mama, so she tells him a thing or two about how he isn’t helping anyone. They offer Mama the job after they fire Duval.

Bubba, Vint, Iola and Naomi act as Mama's crew, and the show quickly becomes a big hit. Mama, against Iola’s advice, decides to go after every business in Raytown and criticize everything about their products.

Iola does an expose on the donut industry, while Vint and Bubba act as judges. The men report that the Raytown shops finished last. After the last show, Mamas has plans of expanding the show, but the station manager has other ideas, one being - her show is canceled! They were losing money from her show because all the advertisers are pulling their ads.

A Blast From the Past

Original Airdate: October 30, 1989
Special Guests: Ted Hayden as Clayton Gibbons, Pat Crawford Brown as Joanne Mickley and Jerry Anderson as Frank Fillmore.

Mama gets an invitation in the mail to her 50th class reunion at her old high school. At first, she decided not to go to it. Naomi's catering career is getting off to a terrible start when she accidentally poisons Vint's fellow Cobras (see 1986-87 TV season for details). Fortunately for Naomi, she convinces the organizers of the reunion to let her cater their event.

Mama's reason for not wanting to go is revealed soon after she arrives. When Mama was in high school, she went on a date with Clayton Gibbons. When he ran out of gas on a country road, Mama wouldn't make out with him and twisted his arm until he finally left to get more gas put in. The next day, he makes up his own (untrue) version of the story and from then on, Mama was known as "Hot Pants".

Mama sets the record straight as soon as Clayton Gibbons arrives. Mama twists Clayton’s arm again until finally he tells the whole truth. Then Mama finally feels right at home and starts having fun. However, Naomi's catering career comes to a screeching halt when her food once again bombs.

Psycho Pheno-Mama

Original Airdate: November 6, 1989
Special Guests: Liz Torres as Madame Rita.

Naomi and Vint return from Luann's new mobile home out on Route 5, bragging about the psychic that was there. The rest of the family get to thinking, and they (including Iola) all pool their money to invite Madame Rita over to the house for a night.

Bubba wants to know if he and his girlfriend will get back together, Iola wants to know if her mother is really allergic to her new medication and Naomi has questions about the baby. Madame Rita goes into a trance and then the Duchess takes over. Carl is trying to contact Mama and they end up talking for about 20 minutes. However, Madame Rita comes out of her trance right as Carl is trying to tell Mama something, so they have to keep inviting the Duchess back.

A lot of Madame Rita's predictions have come true, which is making Mama very suspicious. Mama realizes most of the information could have come from the people who come into the beauty shop where Rita works. Vint then tells Mama that Madame Rita likes to listen to his stories and Mama figures out that's how Rita found out that Carl used to call Mama a special name. Mama pretends to go into a trance of her own to bust Madame Rita, who then confesses.

Take My Mama, Please!

Original Airdate: November 13, 1989
Special Guests: Danny Dayton as Shecky Lewis and Ron Pearson as Skip Foster.

Mama and the family, along with Iola, spend the night out at the Bigger Jigger, where they are having a special $4.99 rib-tickler night, hosted by Shecky Lewis. Mama calls Lewis a broken-down second-rate comic. Mama thinks she could do better than Lewis, so when Lewis challenges her, she accepts. Mama has to appear next Monday night at Open Mike Night.

Mama originally decides not to go, until she hears the entire congregation from her church will be there. Mama has to work up an act, so she buys an one-liner putdown joke book, turning down Bubba’s suggestion for imitations and Naomi’s suggestion to sing some lyrics. Mama decides to use the book and works up a good act by the time the show rolls around.

So good, in fact, the guy right before her uses the same jokes and scores a hit. Mama has to completely scrap her act and try to fake her way through, until she hits on the idea of telling about her family and their strange habits. Mama has the whole house laughing, and she is the queen!

Mama Takes Stock

Original Airdate: November 27, 1989
Special Guests: Dick Christie as Alex Chetwynd and S. Marc Jordan as B.D. Larson.

Mama is going through some old junk when she finds a stock certificate for ten shares of the Raytown Trolley Company, which Bubba wants to use for a class at the Raytown JC where he is studying the stock market. Vint is trying to get Kwik Keys in tiptop shape because the owner of Kwik Key’s parent company, Bernice Corporation, is coming in for an inspection. They may be planning to close the shop, so they can open an yogurt shop in its place instead.

Bubba informs Mama later that her shares aren't worthless after all, since the company was taken over and merged with several other companies and the end result is she now owns ten shares of Bernice stock. Upon finding out about Vint's impending unemployment, Mama gets some financial advice from Bubba's professor. Mama learns that an emergency board meeting can be called if there are ten shareholders present.

Mama gets some friends from the beauty parlor to help her and they convene the meeting right as B.D. Larson, the owner of Bernice Corp, and his flunky arrive at Kwik Keys. They let B.D. know that there are already three yogurt shops in Raytown and only one key shop. With that information, Mr. Larson tells Vint that the shop will stay open.

Bubba‘s House Band

Original Airdate: December 4, 1989
Special Guests: Lisa Michelson as Snake, Stacey Q as Ciji and Terrah as Mojo.

Mama, Vint, Naomi and Iola are preparing for the church carnival, where Vint will guess people's weight, Naomi will sell silhouettes of people's heads and Iola's project is the "Civil War Kitchen Cozy Collection". Poor Mama can't decide what kind of cake to make for her booth.

After a few hours of negotiating, Bubba finally signs a band for homecoming. They are called the "Bonecrushers" and Bubba, who didn't have enough money to pay for their hotel room, said they could stay with the family. The band arrives and everyone is shocked when they find out that they are three girls.

While Mama is cooking breakfast the next morning, one of the girls begins talking about her Gram-Gram and the candy cakes she sends to them while on the road. That gives Mama an idea for her booth, so they show Mama how to make the candy cake. It goes so well that they decide to help her, and they are soon working on a number to do in front of the booth at the church carnival.

Mama's cakes are a huge hit, and so is Iola's "Civil War Cozy Collection", but Vint only gets a hit when he guesses Roselle Huplander's weight. Naomi's is also a failure too, she didn’t sell a single silhouette.

War of the Roses

Original Airdate: December 18, 1989
Special Guests: Marte Boyle Scott as Mae June Weasley.

Mama is tending to what she hopes will be the winning entry in this year's flower show. Her "Herbert Hoover" is growing right next to Iola's "Dainty Bess". When Iola discovers that her flower is several different colors, meaning it's been cross-pollinated with Mama's, Iola gets mad, gives it to Mama and leaves.

Meanwhile, Vint and Naomi are off to spend the anniversary of their first date at the cafe on Route 5, but they return from the cafe in the middle of a fight. Apparently, Vint made a comment to the waitress about her being small and Naomi took it as an insult. To make up for it, Vint tries to write Naomi a poem, until Bubba advises him to get her a present instead.

Mama, wanting to get every advantage she can, tries to hint at Mae June, who hass won the flower show so many times, she is banned from entering. When Mae chooses Iola's flower as the real winner, Mama pretends it’s hers (actually it is now). Iola finds out and says she never gave it to Mama, and it erupts into a huge screaming match, only to find out Vint cut the flower off and gave it to Naomi as a gift.

Mama Takes a Dive

Original Airdate: January 3, 1990
Special Guests: Phil Rubenstein as Sam Travis and Judy Kain as Miss Small.

Mama needs money for a new oven, so Iola tells her she should go to the bank and get a loan. However, they turn her down and on the way out, Mama slips on a roll of pennies that a little boy was playing with and bruises her backside and her pride.

Vint, Naomi and Bubba all convince her to sue and they call Sam Small, a sleazy lawyer they saw on TV. He visits Mama and convinces her to sue for 3.2 million dollars after he determines her injuries are more severe than even she knows. To pull off the ruse, Mama ends up in a neck brace and sling. She does such a good job, she even convinces Iola that she is really hurt.

The bank sends an investigator to verify Mama's injuries are real. Vint buys and brings home Mama's new walker and Iola comes over to visit. Vint, Naomi and Bubba get Mama to walk a few steps for the investigator to try to convince her, when Iola walks in. She calls Thelma "Mother" as she tries to get her to sit down, which sets Mama off. Mama wants everyone to know she's not really hurt, so she starts dancing and blows the whole scam. Regardless, the bank offers her $5000 to clear up the matter, which Sam Travis promptly takes for his expenses.

Mama Gets Goosed

Original Airdate: January 10, 1990
Special Guests: None in this episode.

Christmas memories come flooding back to Mama when she receives a letter from her cousin who is sending Mama a present. Mama starts telling stories of what it was like when she was young and everyone decides to have an old-fashioned Christmas this year. When the present arrives, it's a goose, which is to be the main course for Christmas dinner.

Unfortunately for Mama, Vint, Naomi, Bubba and Iola befriend it, try to make a pet out of it and are dead set against killing it. Mama refuses to give in and continues to fatten it up. Christmas Eve draws near and time for the slaughter has come.

The family leaves, not wanting to be around for the kill and returns to find the table all set and dinner ready. As it turns out, Mama couldn't kill it and decided to fix a vegetarian meal instead, with the goose as the guest of honor.

Guess Who‘s Coming to Dinner

Original Airdate: January 17, 1990
Special Guests: Gino Conforty as Baba and Laurie Rose as Mesmera, the Belly Dancer.

Vint spends all his money on raffle tickets at the mall on a drawing for a new mini-van, but he ends up winning the 10th prize, a Mother's Day dinner for two at Abdul's, the most expensive restaurant in the mall. Mama and Naomi both think they should get to go, so Vint is faced with a difficult decision.

Both Naomi and Mama make plans with Vint to trick the other one into thinking they got other plans, so they can secretly meet him later at the restaurant. Mama pretends to go to church, while Naomi acts like she has to work. What they don't know is Vint gave them the coupons and couldn't bring himself to explain what had happened or to say no to either one of them.

Mama and Naomi both arrive at the restaurant, only to discover that Vint isn’t there. Vint sneaks in a minute later and asks the waiter to give them a note which explains everything. They realize how selfish they were being and decide to get the eight-course meal to go (which is against policy, but with Mama, they make an exception). They both end up enjoying the meal with Vint, Bubba and Iola.

The Big Nap

Original Airdate: February 1, 1990
Special Guests: None in this episode.

Mama refuses to cook dinner, so the family has to go out to eat again. Apparently, Mama is hooked on the detective films that Raytown has been running all week on the local channel. Mama’s passion for the classics soon leads to a caper all their own when Iola's mother disappears and the family and Iola go looking for her, while Mama stays at home to wait by the phone.

Mama falls asleep and dreams that she is a PI. Iola plays a client that needs to find her mother (Bubba, Vint and Naomi all play different roles), because her mother's recipes are worth millions. Mama starts to investigate and soon comes to the conclusion that there is nobody to be found. Iola reveals that it is true and says she was the one behind all the recipes and she wanted to be the one to get all the credit, so she made up the missing mother story.

Mama wakes up right as they are coming towards her in order to keep her quiet, after Iola agrees to cut them in if they do. Mama then finds out the family and Iola found her mother. Iola’s mother had followed the ice cream truck all the way down the block and didn't have the energy to get home, so she stopped in at the Donut Hut for some quick energy.

Pinup Mama

Original Airdate: February 8, 1990
Special Guests: Art Kassul as Wes, Bob Larkin as Ernie, Julianna McCarthy as Lucille and Melanie Tomlin as Lisa.

Mama and Iola are trying to figure out ways to get more men to come to the senior singles mixer. Naomi mentions making a flyer to do a little advertising. Mama and Iola think that's a great idea and go about making the flyer.

Bubba is taking pictures for his creative photography class, and Mama suggests he set up a shoot to take pictures of all of them. Iola explains why she is camera shy. Bubba gets everyone's pictures taken, including Melanie (a model he invited in secret) in a skimpy bathing suit.

Mama finally strikes upon the idea of putting her picture on the flyer. Bubba has Mama's head super-imposed on Melanie's body and wants to have it blown up into a poster as a joke. They both send Vint to RayPrint to get them done and he gets them mixed up.

Mama and Iola discover Vint's screw-up after they arrive at the mixer and the women are upset about it.All the men want to dance with Mama after seeing the flyer of her. It is finally revealed when Mama takes her coat off and reveals not all of the picture is really of her.

Look Who‘s Breathing

Original Airdate: February 15, 1990
Special Guests: Lynn Milgrim as Margaret Hedley, Patricia Alice Albrecht as Sally Bowers and F. Richards Ford as Ed Bowers.

Mama and Iola are busy preparing for bingo that night when Vint and Naomi come in, with Vint dressed like he's pregnant. It's all for a class he and Naomi are taking on transitional breathing, its gives the husband the feel of what it's like to be pregnant. Right as they are about to leave, Vint's boss at Kwik Keys calls and needs him to come out to the motel and help him out. With Vint not able to go, Naomi needs a new breathing coach, so after some begging and pleading from Naomi, Mama finally agrees to go with her and be her coach.

Mama, who is in a big hurry to get to bingo, tries to rush things along. It doesn’t work out because first the teacher is late. She had to attend the birth of a classmate. Then, they watch a long, boring movie, which Mama keeps fast forwarding to get through the dirty parts. As Mama is ready to leave, Naomi tells her it's time for the breathing exercises and this is the part she needs a coach for.

Not wanting to wait any longer, Mama decides to deliver some facts of her own about giving birth to the class, like her own breathing technique - a deep breath followed by a blood-curdling scream and repeat. This sends the class into a complete panic and Mama is soon asked to leave. Not in time to win her bingo jackpot though, because Roselle won it in the end.

There is Nothing Like the Dames

Original Airdate: March 5, 1990
Special Guests: Natalie Core as High Dame Pearso, Pamela Kosh as Dame Goode and Barbara Townsend as Dame Barth.

Vint and Naomi finally get their own place, but it's far from what Mama or the family had in mind - a run-down motor home. They plan to fix it up and move to the trailer park out on Route 5. Mama is planning a fancy luncheon to earn a spot in a high-standing social group and Bubba gets the lead in a play his fraternity is taking part in. However, Bubba's lead role forces him to dress like a girl, so he needs a dress and the whole works.

Mama decides to have the party in her backyard, The Dames arrive early, so Mama has to force Vint and Naomi to stay in the motor home. Mama tells the Dames she is going to fix it up and give it to charity. Mama then tells the Dames that Iola is her maid. However, things quickly go from bad to worse.

First, Mama’s planned dinner of BBQ chicken wings is frowned upon by the Dames, so Mama has to change it to meatloaf. Second, Vint and Naomi's trailer starts shaking and Mama fears the worst (Vint was actually trying to jimmy the leg back into the broken table). Third, Bubba shows up in his dress costume and says he forgot his purse. The Dames then call the family low-class and Mama throws them out, because she won’t put up with their snobbishness anymore.

Bye-Bye -- Baby!

Original Airdate: March 12, 1990
Special Guests: None in this FINAL episode.

In the series finale, Mama is trying to calm Naomi down, who freaks out when Vint leaves her to go to work. Mama tells her the story of how great Carl was when Vint was born. Mama’s actually just lying to make Naomi feel better. Mama then tells Iola the real story. Mama had to take the bus to the hospital when Carl refused to come out of the bathroom when she went into labor.

Naomi finally goes into labor, after seemingly being pregnant forever, but she refuses to go to the hospital until she can take her hot curlers with. Vint who gets home just then, goes to get the car, panics and smashes his pickup into Mama's car, then promptly passes out when Mama tells him to calm down.

Bubba and Iola show up a little later and hear baby cries coming from the trailer. As it turns out, Mama had to deliver the baby, and now they need to pick a name for the Harpers’ newest addition, a beautiful girl. Vint suggests they call it Thelma, but Naomi wants to name it Tiffany. They compromise and name it Tiffany Thelma. Mama, on the other hand, agrees with Vint for once.
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