Happy Days: Season 11, Episode 14

The Spirit Is Willing (24 Apr. 1984)

TV Episode  |  TV-G  |   |  Comedy, Family, Music
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Fonzie begins restoring a wrecked 1955 Chevrolet convertible, unaware it comes with more than just broken seats, a broken engine and a rusted shell. It comes with a beautiful young woman, to whom there's more than meets the eye.



(created by) (as Garry K. Marshall) ,
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Episode cast overview:
Tommy (as Kevin Sullivan)
Nancy Haley
Patti Karr ...


While Fonzie is working late at the garage to restore a wrecked 1955 Chevrolet convertible, a beautiful young woman named Nancy Haley walks in. Nancy explains she is stranded and needs a ride home. Fonzie obliges, and when he returns to her house a few days later is met by the puzzled woman. She explains that Nancy doesn't live there, but that the couple who lived there previously had a daughter who was killed in a car accident about 10 years earlier and that the family had since moved away. Fonzie goes to the Cunninghams to get an explanation, but they just laugh at him. Later, at the garage, Nancy returns and asks Fonzie to take her for a ride in the newly restored car. He agrees, but the car soon stalls on a set of railroad tracks. Fonzie is unable to get the car restarted and there's a train approaching. However, Nancy is in no hurry to let Fonzie escape the car. Just as the train strikes the car, Fonzie wakes up in his rusted car shell and realizes he was only dreaming. He ... Written by Brian Rathjen <briguy_52732@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

car | ghost | dream sequence | See All (3) »


Comedy | Family | Music




Release Date:

24 April 1984 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title is based on the expression: "The spirit is willing, but the mind is weak." See more »


The locomotives approaching Fonzie's car in 1955 is an Amtrak F40PH. Amtrak was not formed until 1971 and the F40PH was not built until 1976. See more »


References Rebel Without a Cause (1955) See more »

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User Reviews

Oh wow! This episode is amazing!
27 May 2012 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

"Happy Days" was one of my favorite TV shows but I haven't really watched it that much in syndication over recent years. This evening, by chance, I happened to tune in to this episode and was absolutely mesmerized. Considering that this episode was produced toward the end of this show, when it was on the wane, its high quality is particularly surprising Basically the premise of the episode is this. Fonzie drags Chachi and another friend of his out of the movie theater to show them the wrecked 1955 convertible he is trying to restore. After finding his friends unappreciative of his latest venture, Fonzie reprimands them and expresses his nostalgia for 1955 before dismissing his friends and sitting in the car and soaking up the atmosphere. Then a beautiful young woman named Nancy Hayes walks into the frame and Fonzie is smitten. But all is not what they seem and things start getting very strange indeed...

The writers of this episode, presumably more acclimatized to writing comedy, have ventured into another genre altogether in this episode and they do it very well. The plot unfolds flawlessly, the script (apart from one or two continuity gaffes and errors) is intriguing and engaging and the dialogue and interaction between the characters very well done. Additionally the way in which horror, intrigue, spookiness, comedy, drama and suspense are so effectively combined into one episode is amazing. It's kind of Hitchcock meets 1950s-era sitcom and the ambiance and charm of the whole episode makes for great viewing and makes it a masterpiece The cast play their roles well as usual (although Fonzie seems slightly out of character at one or two points) but Alexa Hamilton is amazing in her role as Nancy Hayes. She gives her character the depth, dimension and mystery that really makes it come to life and greatly enhances the effectiveness of the plot.

A really standout episode from a great series

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