The misadventures of a wealthy Manhattan family who adopted the children of their late African American housekeeper from Harlem.
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1986   1985   1984   1983   1982   1981   … See all »
2 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Philip Drummond (181 episodes, 1978-1986)
...
 Arnold Jackson (179 episodes, 1978-1986)
...
 Willis Jackson (169 episodes, 1978-1986)
...
 Kimberly Drummond (140 episodes, 1978-1986)
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Storyline

Phillip Drummond, a widowed Manhattan millionaire and president of the mega-firm Trans Allied Inc., adopts two African American orphans 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 away; 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 rather skeptical of their newfound wealth, but eventually, both he and Arnold felt right at home in their newfound surroundings. Also part of the family were Drummond's beautiful daughter, 13-year-old Kimberly; and his no-nonsense housekeeper, Edna Garrett. As the years passed, Mrs. Garrett left to become housemother 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' ... Written by Brian Rathjen <briguy_52732@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Family

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Todd Bridges and Gary Coleman appeared on "The Surreal Life" together years later after "Diff'rent Strokes" wrapped. See more »

Quotes

Willis Jackson: [Mrs. Garrett catches the boys throwing punches] Uhhh, it's a new dance we're doing... It's called, ummm... The Punch Shuffle.
Edna Garrett: Now if Mr. Drummond catches you practicing fighting, you're gonna switch from the Punch Shuffle to the Bruised Bottom Blues!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dirty Work (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Diff'rent Strokes
(Theme Song)
Written by Alan Thicke, Al Burton and Gloria Loring
Performed by Alan Thicke
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One of the best older shows.
28 October 2001 | by See all my reviews

Since I wasn't around when the show originally aired, I have to catch it whenever I can on Nick at Nite or TV Land. And since TV Land just showed a 48 hour fandemonium marathon, I was able to catch a lot of episodes.

I absolutely love this show. The plot approach is different which works out great. The writing and quick comedy is terrific and the acting is one of a kind. The writing that was given to Gary Coleman was unbelievably hysterical, and being such a young kid at that time, he handled it so well. While I like the entire cast and think that they all did a nice job, I must say that I especially like Todd Bridges. I don't know, there's just something about him that you can't help but like.

This show like all shows has its moments where the plots could use some improvement but what show would it be if it didn't have its moments? Overall, the eight seasons are filled with the better episodes.

'Diff'rent Strokes' scared me a little during the seventh and eighth seasons when they hauled in Danny Cooksey and Dixie Carter/Mary Ann Mobley to join the Drummonds. I think that it would have been better off leaving the family as it was. Then again, the boys were getting older, they lost their afros, and Kimberly started to move on. So, it's kind of a tricky situation.

I would really like to see a reunion but it would be a little hard without the sadly missed Dana Plato. All in all, this show was an above average, very funny, good family get-together show. I know I'll keep watching whenever it's on!

(P.S. - The theme song is really addicting.)


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