Mama's Family (TV Series 1983–1990) Poster

(1983–1990)

Episode List

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1983

22 Jan. 1983
Vint and the Kids Move In
Mama's in a hurry to get to the mall for a sale and tries to hurry Fran along to finish eating. But before that can happen Fran's boss at the newspaper calls. Telling her she has to come in and re-edit her latest story. Mama is obviously upset because she can't drive and has no way to get to the sale. Meanwhile Vinton, Mama's only son, drops by the house and announces that he and the kids have been evicted from their house. Now he's hoping that he, his daughter Sonja, and his son Buzz, can stay with Mama until he gets back on his feet. Against Fran's wishes Mama ...
 
29 Jan. 1983
For Better or Worse
Vinton skips out on supper to go to the Bigger Jigger, the local redneck hangout. Before he can leave, Naomi walks in with the news that she's sold her house and is leaving Raytown to manage a trailer park in Arizona. At the Bigger Jigger, Vint admits he's had a crush on Naomi since high school. Turns out she had a crush on him too. He invites her back to his "place" (Mama's basement) to see his TV Guide collection. That morphs into something else very quickly. The next morning, Naomi sneaks out of the cellar right past Mama and Fran. Mama sees her, puts one and one ...
 
5 Feb. 1983
The Wedding: Part 1
'Tis the night before Vint and Naomi's wedding, and the house is a-flurry with the women hanging decorations while Vint goes to his bachelor party (Buzz is sent along to keep Vint in one piece). Ellen arrives late and distressed over her husband's behavior. To cheer her up, Naomi starts pouring wine for herself, Ellen and Fran (Mama settles for beer), and all except Sonja (who's sent upstairs to bed) get roaring drunk. During the happy times, Naomi confides to Fran that Ellen's husband IS having an affair with his secretary. Fran tells Mama. Ellen, still in the dark, ...
 
12 Feb. 1983
The Wedding: Part 2
Vint and Naomi's wedding day arrives with everybody seemingly cooled down -- seemingly. Mama didn't have time to give Vint a wedding gift, so she takes her late husband's blue sapphire ring and gives Vint that to use as a wedding ring, with a stern warning not to let Eunice -- who's coveted the ring since childhood -- know about it. Vint, without telling Naomi, gives the ring to her to wear around her neck. Ellen arrives in a new Cadillac bought by her husband ("What did it cost him to get that?" "His secretary."). Ed and Eunice arrive, and Naomi asks Ed to give her ...
 
19 Feb. 1983
Family Feud
Vint's latest money-making scheme is to get on "Family Feud" (the nighttime syndicated edition) and win $10,000 in Fast Money. Somehow, he actually gets the Harper clan (including Ellen, but not Fran or Sonia) on the show, where they play against an obnoxious high-society family. Since the society family is as dimwitted as the Harpers, the game is tied going into the final round and the Harpers have a chance to win by stealing a survey on "Things You Wind Up" -- if they can come up with one answer. This episode features much more game play than most TV sitcoms set on ...
 
26 Feb. 1983
Cellmates
To Celebrate Eunice birthday, Vinton, Ed and Mama hold surprise party at the bigger jigger. It's does not go well and Eunice and mama ends up in jail and finds a way to work out their mother and daughter issues.
 
5 Mar. 1983
Mama Gets a Job
Mama's in a funk because she met one of her aunts, "who's three days older than God," but has a job. Mama's never worked outside the house in her life, so Vint and Naomi talk her into applying at an employment agency. Sure enough, she actually gets a position at the Raytown Travel Agency as a "mature" receptionist for travel agents, but it doesn't take long for her personality -- and frequent calls from home -- to get her into hot water.
 
12 Mar. 1983
Double Standard
Vint tells Buzz he can stay out an hour later than Sonja at the homecoming dance.
 
19 Mar. 1983
Mama's Boyfriend
Mama's old boyfriend comes into town and invites her to a cabin for the weekend. (This episode was a remake of a Family skit from the Carol Burnett Show.)
 
26 Mar. 1983
Fran's Dress
Fran is scheduled to cover a high-society function for her newspaper, and has bought a fancy (and expensive) dress for the occasion. Mama agrees to iron it out. The dress survives Mama taking a phone call and placing the iron down, but it doesn't survive Mama slamming the iron onto it during an argument with Ellen. Mama and Ellen band together to buy another dress which looks the same on the rack, but when Fran comes downstairs the dress is "gathered" in all the wrong places. Fran puts two and two together and accuses Mama of deliberately ruining her dress out of ...
 
2 Apr. 1983
Alien Marriage
Vinton Harper's scheming buddy Claude Cainmaker,talks Vint into a marriage scheme,involving a woman from Portugal who hasn't registered as a citizen. "Electric Company" alum Luis Avalos,plays her brother who has offered to pay both Vint and Claude for their participation. Since immigration checks up on marriages between U.S. citizens and people from other countries,Vint's bride to be has to be moved into Mama's house. Thelma (Mama) is outraged that her son is being taken for a fool and reminds him that "60 Minutes" did a show on how what he's doing is illegal and ...
 
30 Apr. 1983
Positive Thinking
Eunice, in her 40s, feels neglected by her jerk of a husband Ed and that her life has amounted to very little. Vint's son Buzz, tells her about a tape called "The Power Of Positive Thinking". She's skeptical at first but after a few listens, she gets up the nerve to audition at the local playhouse for a small part in an upcoming show. Mama, while glad Eunice is trying to be more positive, realizes it's also making Eunice a doormat for others. Especially the people in the play, when all of Eunice's lines are given to another actress instead.
 
7 May 1983
Mama's Silver
Despite the fact that Vinton's friend Claude Cainmaker does nothing but lead to trouble for him,Vinton still remains his friend. Mama dislikes that he still associates with him,but Vinton wont listen to reason. Claude then calls Vinton from the local jail,where he needs Vint to come up with bail money.Enter Vint's sister Ellen (Betty White)who has just returned her mother's good silverware after borrowing it. He sneaks it out of the closet and down to the pawn shop to bail his buddy out but Mama discovers it gone! How will this effect her and Vinton's relationship?
 
29 Sep. 1983
Flaming Forties
Thelma,with Vinton's help,brings down some old clothes and keepsakes from the early 1940's (when she was in her early 20s.) These are meant for a rummage sale at the school but when Buzz & Sonja see these "artifacts" they get a great idea for school dance. Thanks to Thelma telling them about how the U.S.O in Raytown used to be at the school's gym,they decide to have a 1940s theme. Thelma get all fired up to help out. They get voted down by other students who want a punk rock group called Medication to perform instead. Thelma's down & out about it but,she's called to ...
 
13 Oct. 1983
The Return of Leonard Oates
Naomi's cheating 2nd husband, Leonard Oates returns to Raytown to try and win her back. He shows up at Food Circus (her workplace) with flowers in hand and telling her that he's rich now from breeding worms for fish bait. In the past Naomi has never been able to refuse Leonard because of his bold & charming ways. He wants her to leave Vinton (who doesn't realize what's going on yet) and re-marry him instead. She has a difficult decision to make but because of something Vinton says to her she's able to make her choice between the simple life or the rich man's wife.
 
20 Oct. 1983
Country Club
Ellen (Betty White)is a member of a high brow country club that has elected her to receive a "Woman Of The Year" award. Mayor Tutwiller is the master of ceremonies and,unaware of their relationship,has invited Thelma to say a few words on her daughter's behalf. Ellen is,as always,not to pleased about this,fearing the country club members' scrutiny. Thelma starts out okay but ends up embarrassing her Daughter with stories of her childhood and basically turning her speech into a "roast".
 
27 Oct. 1983
Naomi and the Stork
Naomi has been feeling out of sorts and believes she may be pregnant. Vint is happy,despite having wanted to wait until they had their own home. Everyone else is up in arms about who will give up their room for the baby's nursery. When the dust settles,everyone's actually,now,happy about the future new Harper baby but...Naomi comes back from the gynecologist with the news that she's not pregnant. Everyone is now let down and maybe even feeling guilty about how selfish they had been.
 
3 Nov. 1983
Rashomama
Naomi, Ellen, and Eunice give their own versions of Mama's accident.
 
10 Nov. 1983
Obscene Call
Naomi receives obscene phone calls and the whole family tries to figure out what to do about them.
 
17 Nov. 1983
Ellen's Boyfriend
Mama's oldest daughter Ellen (Betty White) is dating a young man 20 years her junior. She absolutely does not want the rest of the Harpers to meet him. Fearing their jokes and their judgment,especially Thelma's,she's able to hide him,until they all happen to wind up at the town's best restaurant at the same time.
 
1 Dec. 1983
Aunt Gert Rides Again
Mama discovers that her Aunt Gert's life at a retirement home is less than desirable. Gert's nurse is unsympathetic and rude and tends to treat the residents like helpless children. Mama sees how this has changed Gert from a firecracker of woman to a turtle in a shell. With Thelma's help Gert finds herself again.
 
8 Dec. 1983
Amateur Night
Vinton is a smash at the Bigger Jigger Bar & Grill's "Ametuer Night",with his dancing tribute to Fred Astaire. (Ken Berry is fluent in song and dance by the way). He's asked to come back and perform again and between the two gigs,gets too much advice,an overgrown ego and even buys a sequined jump suit! This looks like a job for Mama to get Vint back to reality!
 
22 Dec. 1983
The Mama Who Came to Dinner
Vint and Naomi decide to give a dinner party for their friends. However, minutes before the guests are due on the night of the party, Mama throws out her back and is unable to get up off the floor before they arrive.
 

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