Happy Days: Season 5, Episode 18

Richie Almost Dies (31 Jan. 1978)

TV Episode  |  TV-G  |   |  Comedy, Family, Music
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What begins as a humorous escapade with a motorcycle turns into a tragic vigil for the Cunninghams and their friends. Richie purchases a motorcycle from Fonzie, but Howard angrily refuses ... See full summary »



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Episode credited cast:
Ralph Malph (as Donny Most)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lynda Goodfriend ...
Robert Patten ...
Suzi Quatro ...


What begins as a humorous escapade with a motorcycle turns into a tragic vigil for the Cunninghams and their friends. Richie purchases a motorcycle from Fonzie, but Howard angrily refuses to let him keep it, leading to a deliberately petulant tantrum from Richie to embarrass his father. Fonzie, however, convinces Howard that the bike is safe and that Richie wears proper safety gear, so Howard reluctantly relents. Richie takes Lori Beth with him one day while Fonzie out out and Chachi is repairing a truck rented by Postie, Ralph, and Al. Chachi gets the truck running and the gang is ecstatic, but their happiness disintegrates when an injured Lori Beth runs into the garage begging for help because of a savage crash that has caught her and Richie. Later at the hospital the doctor can only tell Howard and Marion that Richie was fortunate he was wearing his helmet, but that he may never regain consciousness. While the family go home and are greeted by their friends (Leather offers a ... Written by Michael Daly; Brian Rathjen <briguy_52732@yahoo.com>

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Comedy | Family | Music




Release Date:

31 January 1978 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Arthur 'Fonzie' Fonzarelli: [to Richie] How ya doing, Red? They wouldn't let me stay before, but I'm here now. Chachi says hello, hello... he loves working at that garage you know... you can't do this, a lot of people counting on you, you know, Mother, Father, Joanie, Ralph, Potsie, you can't go yet, you got a whole lifetime ahead of you. I mean you didn't even make the editor of that college paper, there's a lot of crummy journalism around, you gotta make it all straight, they need you. I need ya! You're my best friend, ...
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Written and performed by Suzi Quatro
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User Reviews

One of the better 'sentimental' episodes of "Happy Days"
17 September 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Happy Days" did attempt some serious shows once in awhile, but usually they were cringe-worthy. Possibly in an attempt to let break-out star Henry Winkler stretch his acting muscles, they actually let his character Fonzie go blind in one episode. Although tragedy strikes Richie in this fifth-season show (via a motorcycle accident), once again it is pal Fonzie who gets to do all the emoting--praying and grieving at Richie's hospital bedside. The sequence which worked for me was a montage of happy family memories set to a tune sang and played on the piano by Leather Tuscadero (Suzi Quatro). The song was not listed in the credits for this episode, nor did it end up on any of real-life rocker Quatro's records, but it is hauntingly sung and, when coupled with the clips, very emotional. But, not to worry, the episode ends happily, with a rather unsubtle warning to kids that cycles can be dangerous...if you're not Arthur Fonzerelli, that is.

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