Diff'rent Strokes (1978–1986)

TV Series  -   -  Comedy | Family
6.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.7/10 from 5,096 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 15 critic

The misadventures of a rich Manhattan family who adopted the children of their late African American maid.

0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 29 titles
created 11 Nov 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 28 Mar 2013
 
a list of 26 titles
created 01 Apr 2013
 
a list of 46 titles
created 12 Apr 2013
 
a list of 45 titles
created 28 Apr 2013
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Diff'rent Strokes (1978–1986)

Diff'rent Strokes (1978–1986) on IMDb 6.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Diff'rent Strokes.

User Polls

Episodes

Seasons


Years



8   7   6   5   4   3   2   1  
1986   1985   1984   1983   … See all »
2 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Kid with the 200 I.Q. (TV Movie 1983)
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

A very intelligent teenager is sent to college where he meets his roommate, a popular jock. Therefore, he must learn to adapt to adult life, wild parties, and romance.

Director: Leslie H. Martinson
Stars: Gary Coleman, Robert Guillaume, Kari Michaelsen
Silver Spoons (1982–1987)
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Ricky Stratton is a spoiled rich kid who lives the life that many kids dream of, but he still suffers from the problems that many teens do.

Stars: Ricky Schroder, Erin Gray, Joel Higgins
Family Ties (1982–1989)
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Chronicles liberal ex-hippies Steven and Elyse Keaton, their conservative son Alex, daughters Mallory and Jennifer, and later, youngest child Andrew.

Stars: Michael J. Fox, Michael Gross, Meredith Baxter
Growing Pains (1985–1992)
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The misadventures of a family with a home business father and a journalist mother.

Stars: Alan Thicke, Joanna Kerns, Kirk Cameron
Punky Brewster (1984–1988)
Family | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Punky Brewster is a show about a girl named Penelope "Punky" Brewster. She is abandoned with her dog, Brandon, in a supermarket by her mother. She doesn't want to stay in an orphanage, and ... See full summary »

Stars: Soleil Moon Frye, George Gaynes, Cherie Johnson
Webster (1983–1989)
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

The post-retirement season is suddenly disrupted for football player George Papadapolis and his wife Katherine when Webster, the orphaned son of a former teammate, moves in. Laughter -- and life lessons -- in every episode.

Stars: Susan Clark, Alex Karras, Emmanuel Lewis
The Brady Bunch (1969–1974)
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The misadventures of a large family united when two widowed people married.

Stars: Robert Reed, Florence Henderson, Ann B. Davis
The Cosby Show (1984–1992)
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The goings-on in the life of a successful African American family.

Stars: Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad, Keshia Knight Pulliam
Charles in Charge (1984–1990)
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Charles, a college student, moves in with the Powell family as the housekeeper, baby-sitter, and friend to the children. Along with his best friend, Buddy, Charles attempts to manage his ... See full summary »

Stars: Scott Baio, Willie Aames, Nicole Eggert
Gilligan's Island (1964–1967)
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Seven men and women are stranded on an uncharted island following a torrential storm.

Stars: Bob Denver, Alan Hale Jr., Jim Backus
Laverne & Shirley (1976–1983)
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The misadventures of two single women in the 1950's and '60's.

Stars: Penny Marshall, Cindy Williams, David L. Lander
Mr. Belvedere (1985–1990)
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The humourous adventures of an English housekeeper working for an American family.

Stars: Christopher Hewett, Ilene Graff, Brice Beckham
Edit

Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Philip Drummond / ... (181 episodes, 1978-1986)
...
 Arnold Jackson (176 episodes, 1978-1986)
...
 Willis Jackson (161 episodes, 1978-1986)
...
 Kimberly Drummond (134 episodes, 1978-1986)
Edit

Storyline

Phillip Drummond, a widowed Manhattan millionaire and president of the mega-firm Trans Allied Inc., adopts two orphaned black brothers from Harlem 8-year-old Arnold and 12-year-old Willis. Drummond had made a promise to their dying mother, his housekeeper that he would care for the boys after she passes on; their father had died years earlier. The boys, whom Drummond always introduced as his two sons, went from rags to riches literally overnight. At first, Willis was a bit skeptical of their new-found wealth, but eventually, both he and Arnold felt right at home in their new-found surroundings. Also part of the family were Drummond's beautiful daughter, 13-year-old Kimberly; and his current housekeeper, Edna Garrett. As the years passed, Mrs. Garrett left to become house-mother at the Eastland School for Girls; she was replaced by the cantankerous Adelaide Brubaker and still later, charming Pearl Gallagher. Arnold's friends, Dudley and Robbie (and later, Charlie); Willis' girlfriend, ... Written by Brian Rathjen <briguy_52732@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Family

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 November 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

45 Minutes from Harlem  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (189 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Conrad Bain was the only cast member to appear in every episode. See more »

Quotes

Kimberly Drummond: Well, well, if it isn't Sleeping Beauty.
Willis Jackson: You mean Sleeping Ugly.
Arnold Jackson: I owe you an insult!
See more »

Connections

Edited into Tupac: Resurrection (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Diff'rent Strokes
(Theme Song)
Written by Alan Thicke, Al Burton and Gloria Loring
Performed by Alan Thicke
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Diff'rent Strokes Was An 80s US Sitcom Classic
23 August 2007 | by (London, England, UK) – See all my reviews

Diff'rent Strokes was and still is regarded by many as not just one of the most successful sitcoms in TV history but one of the very few, which succeeded due to the multi-racial cast of Conrad Bain as Philip/Mr Drummond, Dana Plato as Kimberley, Todd Bridges as Willis, and the lovable scamp, Gary Coleman as Arnold Jackson. The performances given by the main leads in Diff'rent Strokes was great, particularly Conrad's as the strict but fair, Mr Drummond. Mrs Edna Garrett played by Charlotte Rae was funny, charming and witty and a great addition to the cast. But the star of the show was Coleman as Arnold and his famous catchphrase 'whatcha talking'about Willis?'.

Even though it was a sitcom, the show wasn't afraid of tackling and addressing social and controversial issues such as child molestation, racism, bulimia, class division and sex for example. The writing was funny but also sharp, witty and clever. Arnold has arguably the best and funnier lines out of all the characters, although Philip isn't that far off either.

He was one of the reasons why Diff'rent Strokes was such a huge success story, as Coleman's comic timing was almost spot-on. The cutesy factor that accompanies his cheeky and somewhat mischievous persona as Arnold was a huge incentive on his part.

There have been many sitcoms past and present, which centred around youngsters as the main protagonists, but whilst most of them have tried they have failed, mainly because one of the reasons for this is that those shows do not possess a central character as humorous, as versatile as Arnold and of whom has a personality of which viewers can fall in love with straight away.

Diff'rent Strokes didn't have just one but three child characters in Kimberly, Willis and Arnold. The concept was original and addressed the issue of child adoption in a straight-to-the-point manner but at the same time combine laughs with clean cut jokes, good gags and great humour. It's such a shame though that the notoriety of the show, in regards to the child performers was always brought up; likewise Coleman's own brushes with the law and surprising fall from grace, Todd's battle with drugs, and the rather unfortunate and well documented demise of Dana and her subsequent death during the late 90s, slightly tarnished the mainstream success, as well as history of Diff'rent Strokes. Next year in 2008, it will be the 30th anniversary of Diff'rent Strokes, since its debut in 1978.

All in all though, this was a great little sitcom, starring a little guy with a big heart played by Coleman which was destined to be a big hit, which it was and one that captured millions of audiences hearts, worldwide.


9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Webster versus Diff'rent Strokes rerunwatcher
Isn't it weird that people just rang their doorbell? EmilyTheDramaQueen
Conrad Bain Dead At 89 mikelutton35
Jumped the shark grievousangel09
Does anyone find it ironic that... chihuahuaboydh-724-612855
Edna Garrett chihuahuaboydh-724-612855
Discuss Diff'rent Strokes (1978) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page