The Ghostbusters Episode of Diff'rent Strokes

Nick at Nite has reminded me that the Ghostbusters episode is the single worst episode of any popular TV sitcom EVER. Although most other episodes from the last couple of years of Diff’rent Strokes are also dreadfully bad, the Ghostbusters episode is in a class by itself. Next to the Ghostbusters episode, any other episode of Diff’rent Strokes (even from the horrible Sam McKinney era, the Nancy Reagan episode, etc.) looks like Seinfeld at its zenith by comparison. They need to burn all the tapes of this abominable episode, expose all the ashes to a powerful electromagnet, gather up all the ashes and send them to outer space in a rocket. In fact, the ashes should be placed on the next exploratory probe that will exit the solar system.

So, for those of us who are unfamiliar with this crapfest, what happens in the Ghostbuster episode?

So, you didn’t like it?

FTR, I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. I may have seen 5 episodes of that show in my life. What is the Ghostbuster episode?

I don’t remember this episode. Do the Ghostbusters actually appear on the show? Is it actually worse than the Mr. T episode?

FTR, I loved the Ghostbusters film, but this episode was a vile puddle of unspeakable suckdom.

SPOILER (like it matters):

Basically, IIRC, Arnold and Sam (?) are told about a scary old house that is haunted, so they go there and things float around and they pee themselves silly. They later go back there and somehow built packs for their backs and coverall attire like the Ghostbusters. I think they even fired nerf balls or something. They find out that a creepy dude was playing a trick on them just for his own sick pleasure. Then they later find out that the guy who supposedly haunts the place is still there (alive), but his “ghost” appears in a door and grows really big until the kids are covered in green slime. Somehow they convince the not-really-dead guy to be their friends (since he has none) and he goes out to dinner with them happily ever after. Bleargh!

Minor hijack.

There was, if not the worst episode, the creepiest episode, was when that Maytag Repairman dude (Gordon Jump) played a bicycle shop owner that sodomized Dudley. Arnold got away, but Mr Drummund could tell he was drunk. Arnold tells all, but too late for Dudley.

Dudley did not get sodomized. He only said that Gordon Jump “tried to touch me.”

that was the scariest episode of any series ever. He was getting them to pose for pictures and all, getting them to play tarzan.

I was one terrified kid after watching that.

And Mr. Horton (the wannabe molestor of Dudley) seemed so nice, though I started to get suspicious when he showed Dudley and Arnold some of his porno tapes and photos.

I think that episode was the creepiest one, but not the worst. At least that episode had a meaning (i.e. “Child Molestor” = Bad, IT’S BAD!!!). Diff’rent Strokes also took on some of the other big issues, with shocking episodes revealing that becoming a drug addict is bad, smoking is bad, and that a child getting into a car with an unknown adult is bad. In fact, they felt so strongly about “stranger danger”, they had two abduction episodes. (One with Arnold and Kimberly, another with Sam)

The thing that really galls me about the Ghostbusters episode is its utter pointlessness. There’s something about that episode that is just so sad and whorish–they’re grasping for straws to keep the ship afloat, trying to latch on to a pop culture phenomenon to assure America that Diff’rent Strokes was still relevant. They did this a lot in the last couple of years–the Mr. T episode, the Knight Rider episode, the breakdancing episode (with school principal Dick Sargent as a staunch opponent of breakdancing), Arnold wearing a Boy George T-Shirt, Mr. Drummond dressed up in the “Miami Vice” look.

I remember the child molestor episode. What I remember most is Gary Coleman’s “take” when the fluffy bunnies in the cartoon they’re watching take off their clothes.

I also remember an episode where Willis buys an ounce of weed to get in good with the older kids at school, (he’s too smart to smoke it himself, of course, but realizes the terrible thing he’s done when Arnold gets into the bag. :rolleyes: )

The “Ghostbusters” episode, indeed, sucked so much that the only thing I remember about it was my ears bleeding from the sudden drop in air-pressure.

Resolved: the “Ghostbusters” episode of “Gimme A Break” was worse than the “Ghostbusters” episode of “Diff’rent Strokes.”

Evidence: The GaB episode had Ray Parker, Jr. and whenever someone had to use the phone another person would say “Who Ya gonna call?” and then everyone would yell “GHOSTBUSTERS!”


Actually he did try it on his own. Arnold, Kimberly, and Willis’s lady friend (played by a young Janet Jackson) found out before Mr. Drummond shows up. Todd Bridges played a stoned person quite well, as if he had much experience already. The dialog was quite funny. Mr. Drummond takes the weed and walks off camera, then a toilet flushes.

I thought the scariest episode was when the crazy old woman dressed all in red came in and frightened all the kids with her mantra :“Say No To Drugs”! Eeeeeek!

D’oh! My memory is dim. (Has it really been about 20 years?)

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Off to Cafe Society.
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