Good Times (1974–1979)
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A Friend in Need 

A house party at the Evans' apartment takes an unexpected turn when J.J.'s down-on-his-luck buddy tries to commit suicide.


Gerren Keith


Eric Monte (created by), Mike Evans (created by) (as Michael Evans) | 3 more credits »

On Disc

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Episode cast overview:
Esther Rolle ... Florida Evans (credit only)
Ja'net DuBois ... Willona Woods (as Ja'net Du Bois)
Ralph Carter ... Michael Evans
BernNadette Stanis ... Thelma Evans (as Bern Nadette Stanis)
Jimmie Walker ... James 'J.J.' Evans, Jr.
Ralph Wilcox Ralph Wilcox ... Robert Simpson
Ta-Ronce Allen Ta-Ronce Allen ... Yvonne
Debbi Morgan ... Ellen
Rana Ford Rana Ford ... Marcia
Jeff Hollis Jeff Hollis ... Cool Dude (as Jeffrey Hollis)


With Florida out of town, J.J., Thelma and Michael throw a wild party inside the apartment. One of the party guests is Robert, an old high school friend of J.J.'s who is very depressed because things aren't going right in his life. A high school basketball star with dreams of college superstardom, Robert was cut from the team. He failed his college courses and was forced to flunk out. Then, Robert runs into his old high school girlfriend in the living room and finds out she's dating someone else. Robert goes over the edge and locks himself in the bathroom, where he ingests a bottle of sleeping pills, hoping to kill himself. Michael is able to open the door in time, and while he and Thelma wait for an ambulance, J.J. frantically tries to keep Robert awake in an effort to save his buddy's life. In the end, J.J. is totally exhausted, but succeeds, and Robert thanks him for helping him realize life is worth living and the obstacles he's currently facing - no basketball career, his poor ... Written by Brian Rathjen <>

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Release Date:

2 February 1977 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Tandem Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


References The Brady Bunch (1969) See more »


Good Times
Music by Dave Grusin
Lyrics by Alan Bergman & Marilyn Bergman
Performed by James Gilstrap and Blinky (as Blinky Williams)
See more »

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User Reviews

JJ and the attempted suicide
21 December 2016 | by kevin olzakSee all my reviews

"A Friend in Need" shows that the series could still produce a serious episode along the lines of previous classics. With Florida away the offspring will play, throwing a party with music and refreshments but without adult supervision. The surprise guest is basketball star Robert Simpson (Ralph Wilcox), whose outlook on life has taken a downward spiral since he flunked out of school and was cut from the team the week before. He confides in JJ and doesn't want anyone else to know the truth, but when his girlfriend Ellen (Debbi Morgan) shows up with another date it's too much for him to have lost both his girl and his athletic dream. After the last guest leaves, Robert is found locked in the bathroom, having swallowed an entire bottle of pills in a desperate suicide attempt. Michael knows that the way to help such a case is to keep the victim alert and moving, while JJ has the answer to make him throw up: "Thelma, cook something!" The serious transformation of JJ found the perfect vehicle with this episode, one of the best from this fourth season. This was the second and final appearance of Ta-Ronce Allen as Michael's girlfriend Yvonne, introduced in "Michael's Great Romance."

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