The Jeffersons is a classic sitcom. Airing on CBS, the show helped break ground on television. But nothing is perfect, here are its worst episodes.
The Jeffersons is an all-time classic sitcom. Airing on CBS between 1975 and 1985, The Jeffersons helped break new ground on primetime television by prominently featuring an interracial couple.
The show has roots in All in the Family, as George and Louise Jefferson were the neighbors of Archie and Edith Bunker. Owing to the success of the characters, they received their own spin-off, and The Jeffersons was born. It received critical acclaim not only for its humor and characters, but for touching on many taboo topics like racism, being transgender, and gun control.
That said, not all the episodes are stunners. These are the ten worst episodes of The Jeffersons, according to IMDb.
Jefferson Airplane – 7.1
Jefferson Airplane is the fifteenth episode of season three. The episode begins with Louise telling George that he needs to find a hobby to help himself relax.
Unfortunately, the hobby that George eventually takes an interest in is airplane flying. The rest of the episode follows George’s airplane shenanigans and the resulting stress that this causes Louise. However, it doesn’t seem like the fans took too kindly to this deviation in character, as it currently stands at 7.1/10 on IMDb. It’s the first of many.
Louise’s Friend – 7.1
Another episode from season three landing at a 7.1 is Louise’s Friend. This is the 20th episode of the season, and it didn’t exactly send it off in the best way possible. The story revolves around Louise and her new friend, a tall and handsome man that George instantly grows jealous of.
The storyline is certainly a little “been there done that,” even back in 1977 when this episode originally aired. Perhaps it is this predictability that has caused the episode to generate such a low rating.
The Expectant Father – 7.1
The dreaded 7.1 rating doesn’t return until season six’s The Expectant Father. Unlike the previous two episodes, this one does not concern either George or Louise. It mostly follows their son Lionel, the titular expectant father. Feeling overwhelmed with all the advice that is thrown his way, Lionel storms out of the apartment.
It’s a touching episode, particularly between father and son, but it wasn’t enough to generate high reviews from the fans.
The Jeffersons Go To Hawaii Part 3 – 7.1
“Vacation” episodes are always hit or miss. They can certainly be fun if done right, but otherwise, it just comes across as a lazy excuse to take the cast and crew on a vacation. Unfortunately, that seems to be the case with season seven’s The Jeffersons Go to Hawaii.
This is an extended episode that sees George and Louise traveling to Hawaii and encountering Tom and Helen. While there, George falls in love with the island and debates moving there permanently. It’s certainly a little bland and uninteresting, and it just comes across as another boring and lazy vacation escapade.
My Hero – 7.1
Coming not long after The Jeffersons Go to Hawaii is My Hero, the fifteenth episode of season seven. In this one, George is the titular “hero,” as he seemingly saved an elderly woman from a mugger.
However, he soon learns that the mugger is being released from jail and hires a bodyguard to protect himself. It’s perhaps a little too outlandish for a show typically reserved for grounded familial stories, and it seems like the viewers didn’t care for its slightly exaggerated nature.
Trading Places – 7.1
For Trading Places, we have to jump forward to season ten. Yet again, it seems like the viewers enjoyed two seasons in a row – in this case, seasons eight and nine – as not a single episode in those seasons fell below a 7.2.
But then we get to Trading Places, the fifteenth episode of season ten. As the title suggests, this is a typical “role reversal” story, as Louise imagines what it would be like if she and George swapped places. It’s a rote and cliché concept, but then again, this is the tenth season. There are only so many original stories you can pump out before veering into the tried and tiring.
And Up We Go – 7.1
And Up We Go is the twentieth episode of season eleven and serves as the fifth-last episode of the entire show. It’s not exactly the greatest note to leave the show on. The episode sees Louise and Helen going to a spa for the weekend and leaving behind their husbands at home.
Feeling bored and aimless without their wives, George and Tom decide to break the tedium by seeing how many times they can ride the elevator. It’s a pretty silly and childish concept to base an entire episode around and is reflected in the relatively poor reviews.
George And Louise In A Bind: Part 3 – 7.0
Breaking the dreaded 7.1 streak is season four’s George and Louise In a Bind: Part 3. This one begins like any other, as George and Louise get into a massive fight, resulting in Louise storming out of the house. However, a burglar attempts to rob the house while she is away and ties up George.
When she returns, the burglar ties her to George, and their forced closeness causes them to make up and reminisce about the good times. Yep, it’s a clip show! And now you understand why the rating is so low. Is there a clip show that hasn’t made the viewers roll their eyes in disappointment?
Jenny’s Opportunity – 7.0
Also coming in at a 7.0 is season three’s Jenny’s Opportunity. This episode tackles a hard and relatively complex subject between Jenny and Lionel. Jenny is given a scholarship to Oxford. Unfortunately, this means that she must leave her newlywed husband Lionel behind for three months.
Jenny wants to capture her moment, whereas Lionel feels that it isn’t right for newlyweds to be separated for an extended period of time so soon after their wedding. It doesn’t seem like the viewers care to participate in this debate, as the episode is tied for the second-lowest rating of the entire series. Behind only…
Once Upon A Time – 6.6
Coming in dead last is the season six finale, Once Upon a Time. And it’s not very hard to see why. In it, George babysits his granddaughter Jessica and lulls her to sleep with his own bizarre version of the King Arthur tale. In it, George takes the place of Arthur (becoming “King George”) and fights the evil Dark Knight Inflation, as he is currently worried about a loan.
Doing an episode like this takes an unbelievable amount of courage, but in the case of Once Upon a Time, it just didn’t pay off. The Jeffersons always performed better when it stuck to the more grounded and relatable stories.