The Cosby Show

One of the most popular sitcoms in the 1980s, running from 1984-1992. This is how pretty much every episode went for the main character:

Just The Facts

  1. Told the story of the obstetrician, Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable, his attorney wife Claire, and his 5 children. In the pilot, his name was Clifford Huxtable, but was not wacky enough.
  2. Took place in a section of Brooklyn Heights, New York where virtually no one else lived.
  3. Touched upon issues every family faces, such as death, learning disabilities, dating, and eloping with a naval officer while living abroad ater dropping out of college and then adopting his daughter.
  4. One of the series of Bill Cosby comeddy programs, which along with The Cosby Show included The Bill Cosby Show, The New Bill Cosby Show, Cosby, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, making him the Comedy version of George Foreman.

Meet the Huxtables

Heathcliff Huxtable

Dr. Heathcliff (Cliff) Huxtable (Bill Cosby) is the father of the Huxtable family. Along with his love of hoagies, jazz, and colorful sweaters, he is the classic bumbling sitcom father, except with a Ph.D. He tended to discipline his children alternating between slow head turns, blank faces, incoherent babbling, while occasionally including an important lesson.

Claire Huxtable

Claire Huxtable (Phylicia Rashad) is Cliff's wife and the mother. She runs the house, keeping her children in line, either by staring them down and yelling or by making Cliff do it. She is considered to be one of the best sitcom housewives, by being able to have a successful career, have decent control over her family, and to have avoided the sitcom cliche' of an attractive woman being married to a fat man. Or maybe he is fat (the sweaters make it hard to tell).

Sondra Huxtable

Sondra Huxtable Tibideaux (Sabrina LaBeuf) is the eldest Huxtable child, who came into existence at age 20 midway through the first season because a family with only four children was not nearly as interesting as a family with four children and an uninteresting adult daughter. She was a law student with a slightly effeminate husband, Elvin and a set of twins, Winnie and Nelson.

Denise Huxtable Kendall (Lisa Bonet) is the second oldest of the Huxtable family. She is the rebellious one, as you can tell from her hair, which is usually either in dreadlocks or the hair seen below, reminiscent of Beetlejuice.

Denise Huxtable Beetlejuice


She was eventually sent off to Hillman, a fictional college, where she got her own spin-off show, "A Different World." Her character was then kicked off that show after one season when Lisa Bonet became pregnant with her husband Lenny Kravitz. Denise later dropped out of college and married a naval officer named Martin, who had a daughter Olivia.

Theo Huxtable

Theo Huxtable (Malcolm-Jamal Warner) was the only male Huxtable child and the third eldest. Theo was probably the most realistic and likeable character on the show. He struggled in school, which was later attributed to Dyslexia, and often got into trouble, constantly attributed to being a teenager. The final episode of the series focuses on Theo's graduation from NYU, where he studied teaching.

Vanessa Huxtable

Vanessa Huxtable (Tempestt Bledsoe) was the fourth eldest Huxtable child and the least likeable. Vanessa started off as the annoying little sister who would always fight spy on her siblings, but later developed into a rebellious teenager. By this point, a Vanessa-centered episode would consist of 10 minutes of her doing something terrible, her parents immediately finding out, and the remainder of the episode of her repeatedly saying, "I'm sorry," while her parents give her a reasonable punishment and tell her to shut up. She went to Lincoln University and became engaged to Dabnis Brickey, which prompted a three episode arc of her repeatedly saying, "I'm sorry," while her parents tell her to shut up and then later liking Dabnis more than her. She then broke up with Dabnis.

Rudy Huxtable

Rudy Huxtable (Keisha Knight Pulliam) was the youngest Huxtable child. For the majority of the series, she was the cute one, who really had no problems unless they were adorable ones. She was usually accompanied by her sexist friend Kenny who she renamed "Bud." Oddly enough, he put up with this for several seasons, making him the first pussy-whipped chauvinist. She was a teenager by the end of the series, which destroyed her cute factor, bringing us to...

Olivia Kendall

Olivia Kendall, (Raven Symone) Denise's stepdaughter who fulfilled Rudy's cuteness role and really didn't do much else. Her mother decided she would not be a good mother because of her young age, so she left Olivia with the father, Martin, who was a naval officer in Africa. Clearly, a battleship in pirate-infested African waters is a better place to raise a daughter than a house with a mother in her twenties.

Pam Tucker (Erika Alexander) was Claire's inner-city cousin (slightly younger than Vanessa) who moved in with the Huxtables when her mother moved to California to help out Pam's sick grandmother. She basically was meant to fill the void of characters when the producers realized that they had sent away Denise (Singapore) and Vanessa (college) and no longer had any female characters that weren't greeted with an "Awwww." Most of her episodes were about adapting to the new lifestyle, her squawky friends, or birth control. She was essentially Will from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air- having moved in with her rich relatives from the inner city, had trouble adjusting to the strict giudelines, and later becomes close to the family- except Will was well-liked and entertaining.