Family Ties (TV Series 1982–1989) Poster


Episode List


Season 3

20 Sep. 1984
The Gambler
When ma Elyse has a convention speech in 'fascinating east coast resort' Atlantic City, she didn't plan to waste any time and money gambling, but brainiac Alex is dying to get his mathematical system tested and dad Steven makes sure they stay in a casino and play a few hands of blackjack. His luck runs out very soon, but Elyse has enough to win big with Alex's system. Of course casino lucks never lasts, yet when losing she's already hooked. When ma returns from her solo last run, she surprises the family with both results and conclusions...
27 Sep. 1984
Here We Go Again
Dad Steven was looking forward to a weekend camping with the kids, although only Jennifer volunteers to forgo urban comforts, Alex can't be bothered and Mallory can't live without, well, her whole room-content. Ma Elyse stays home, she's behind with work and feels miserable but just got a clean bill of health after a medical. Skippy turns up, having been invited for dinner by wicked Mallory and manages to stay for breakfast. Then her doctor rings with vital news she had presumed impossible: Elyse is as thrilled as surprised, but isn't looking forward to telling Steven...
4 Oct. 1984
Little Man on Campus
It's a new academic year for the three Keaton kids. The girls are flippant about it, as every year. High school star Alex makes his entry at prestigious Leland University, overconfident so he puts his foot in his mouth answering professor Ephraim Bronski's rhetorical question whether free speech is an absolute constitutional right. Alex trusts his elaborate paper will more then make up, only to find his plain mate Doug gets the A he expected, he his first-ever, ineffable F: traumatic enough to consider dropping out of college, or at least out of constitutional law. ...
11 Oct. 1984
Love Thy Neighbor
Jennifer is delighted at the return of Scotty, a neighborhood boy and her garden ball sports friend from a few years ago, who has meanwhile turned into a handsome 17 year-old, according to Mallory 'grown into his ears', but unfortunately Scott now seems irresistibly drawn to the dumb sister his horny age; this leaves Scotty's true friend Jen practically ignored and literally forgotten, but she won't take Alex's word for that just being cruel nature, so she intrudes on the couple's restaurant date... Meanwhile mother is eating like a bear and dad determined to pick and...
18 Oct. 1984
Keaton and Son
Alex wouldn't even considering working with dad Steven, a respected producer; at the local TV station, as it is non-profit, but when the last of Alex's applications with banks, his biotope, falls trough, he accepts to become a production assistant for lack of better. Dad is proud as a peacock and happy as a clam to show off his prodigy, he had annoyed the staff about him as very proud dads do for years. Yet when a bank can offer him a job after a medical emergency, Alex writes a letter of notice, which dad doesn't get round to read until after a documentary production...
25 Oct. 1984
Fabric Smarts
For once airhead Mallory impresses even Alex by being a really good salesperson in a clothes shop. When the Keaton parents decide her bad grades must mean she spends too much time on her job, she's ordered to quit it, but Jen challenges Alex to convince the oldies to give her another chance. Even though dad realizes they're being scammed by a master well above their class, they agree to a deal: she can keep working if she scores at least Bs on her next three tests. Alex decides to prevent his honorable victory becoming hollow by tutoring her, and succeeds with two ...
1 Nov. 1984
Hotline Fever
Alex must take a humanities course at college even though he doesn't want to, so he signs up for the student helpline. There he runs into James, an old enemy. When the duo get stuck at the station with their teacher, they are told they can lock up. Alex soon realizes that he's bitten off a little more than he can chew when a troubled teen calls in with thoughts of suicide.
8 Nov. 1984
4 Rms Ocn Vu
The parents are away for a few days, Alex is in charge but cares only for his date Monica, so he wants the girls out; Mallory 'drives' straight into a telephone pole, now they must come up with some $300 to pay for repairs. Alex decides to earn enough by renting out rooms with ocean views to traveling Leland sports game attendants, who certainly bid enough to make a profit on top. Skippy, who can't go home, is happy to stay as unpaid bellhop and sleeps on the floor like the girls, 'hotel manager' Alex gets the couch and can't resist to keep the sweet money flowing in....
15 Nov. 1984
Best Man
Alex always was extremely tight with goofy Doug, now a fellow student, but when Doug falls instantly in true love with Eleanor, he soon starts spending all his time with her and even lets her make his decisions. Alex tries in vain to tighten his family ties instead, to no avail, then to cement his poker boys gang, but that literally drives them away. When Doug announces they're getting married, Alex refuses to come instead of accepting the request to be Doug's best man. Everyone hopes Alex will reconsider, or is that to be the end of his best friendship?
22 Nov. 1984
Lost Weekend
The Keaton parents have high hopes for the weekend, one of their last chances to spend some quality time, each alone with the same-gender kids, before the baby is born, and prepare trips trough memory lane. Alex politely pretends some interest in dad's souvenir ball but eagerly throws a chess game in a minute as an excuse to run off to a potential girlfriend; even Skippy, now welcome, just wants a lift, absolutely no other help. The girls blatantly ignore ma Elyse's huge photo-book and run off no matter where from the log cabin she drove them to. Yet both oldies ...
29 Nov. 1984
Don't Kiss Me, I'm Only the Messenger
While mother flies to a convention in Michigan, dad is in charge, even of the mouse-hunt, which scares Mallory and Alex while Jennifer is willing to help but understandably doubts success. Skippy drops by and is completely ignored as always by Mallory, whom the equally stupid, but sweet scorned kid has been following like a puppy for years, but considers his life suddenly found meaning when Jane, Mallory's latest friend, walks in. Seeing it's literal when Skippy asks him to talk to her as he can't find words with girls, Alex accepts to help him...
6 Dec. 1984
Help Wanted
Steven gets depressed from interviewing frightfully inept candidates as housekeeper-nanny for the baby, such as a child-hater ad an ex-con. Alex is impressed with Karen Nicholson, regardless of lack of any vaguely domestic experience, even hires her on his own. Even with help from Alex and his sisters, who quickly take to her too, she's a household failure bordering on disaster, yet nobody wants to fire her for 'just' wrecking the house till it just gets too much for dad...
13 Dec. 1984
Karen II, Alex 0
Alex is dead-set to be selected for the Alpha Phi Epsilon fraternity, snobs who fixate on prestige, power and money. He lies his way trough an initial interview with chapter officials Don Caruthers and Craig Duvall, but his trump card, a gorgeous though Mallory-dumb date for the party for preselected candidates, has to cancel. Clumsy housekeeper Karen, Alex's only alternative, says she can't tell him why, would like to help him but just can't. Seeing how badly disappointed he is, she turns up, but clearly knows dean Ian McCall, an alumnus, too well, leaves and ...
3 Jan. 1985
Oh, Donna
Elyse and Steven host a Lamaze class at their home. One woman who attends is not married and Alex becomes involved in helping her at the classes.
10 Jan. 1985
Auntie Up
Alex likes Mallory's favorite aunt Gertrude 'Trudy' Harris for one reason: the pair of airheads regularly go somewhere together, out of his way. After such trip, Trudy gets a heart attack, Skippy helps rush her to hospital but she doesn't survive. The Keatons hold her wake, but it gets a mixed crowd: Alex never canceled the garage sale. At the funeral, truly mournful Mallory makes a scene because the reverend's speech is fake, every detail wrong as he never met her...
17 Jan. 1985
Philadelphia Story
Alex has a cold but insists to work all night on his paper on the Declaration of Independence, after using it as an example to incite his dad Steven not to invoke inexperience to refuse appearing before Congress in Washington on the funding of PBS. Alex 'wakes up' in a dream as a Philadelphia stable boy, who hears with his uninterested mate 'Skipford', accidentally Thomas's neighbor-boy, Jefferson turning down John Adams' request to write the declaration, just because he would rather spend the night fluffing his wig, but Alex won't rest till he makes sure Thomas does ...
24 Jan. 1985
Birth of a Keaton: Part 1
The Keaton kids are utterly disgusted to have to participate every year in dad Steven's lame PBS telethon as his loving, fake-enthusiastic WKS-family, without ever having been asked, and don't hide it anymore. The parents think the asking is the problem, so Steven poses the open question- all three bail out instantly, Jennifer even without any excuse. After some prodding from adult strangers, who all enjoy Steven's colleagues' families' loyalty, even Alex ends up caving in- a good luck-card doesn't cure their guilt, so after Elyse volunteered to play guitar and sing, ...
31 Jan. 1985
Birth of a Keaton: Part 2
While everyone is at Steven's PBS station telethon, Steven is called home for plumbing issues. As Elyse sings for the telethon audience, she goes into labor. With snow storm complications, Elyse gives birth at the television station.
7 Feb. 1985
Cry Baby
Everybody else goes baby-crazy all the time, even Alex who can see the next Richard Nixon and Mickey Mantle rolled into one bassinet. Even losing her place in the center on family pictures makes Jen decide she hates 'rival' Andy and turns childish again, which Alex correctly calls regressive behavior. The kid has healthy longs, and a 'vocal volume' which keeps everybody awake, desperately trying to sing him to sleep. An attempt to make Jen the center of family attention again is professionally cried apart by Andy and baby-mania...
14 Feb. 1985
Don't Know Much About History...
Alex and fellow Leland student James Jarrett start up a joint tutoring business. Judging by the IQ of prospective tutees like William, who even needs to be told to go home, a fabulous market, but when both have an 'unprofessional' eye on Robin Green, the rivalry wrecks their cooperation as feared, apparently irreparably... Meanwhile Mallory wines dad has chosen a practical new car with more room for the baby but ugly 'like a fridge on wheels' and he bores everyone to tears with his reading the manual aloud.
21 Feb. 1985
Bringing Up Baby
Another row between Alex and Jen over the phone and another about Mallory abusing Alex's shirt make Steven and Elyse realize they desperately need more quality time. A restaurant dinner fails, neither can stop thinking about Andy and babies in general, she even burps the waiter...
7 Mar. 1985
Cold Storage
Alex wants to come along visiting grandma because she lives close to Lisa Tobin, Jennifer because she has cable TV. Elyse makes Steven first drop by for a 'reunion' with another couple which has twins, and gets more visitors with -to the others' regret- or without -to their own regret- crying babies. Mallory stayed home to work on a paper on the Louisiana Purchase (not about shopping, to her disappointment). Alex gave her permission to consult his 'archives' in the basement, but the trunk is too heavy, so Skippy comes down to help, but accidentally lets the door lock ...
28 Mar. 1985
Remembrances of Things Past
While at the family home to help their mother sell the house, Steven and his brother argue over childhood issues. As they argue, they also mellow.

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See also

Episode Cast | Rated Episodes (by date / vote)| TV Schedule

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