Mama's Family

Weekdays at 6 PM

eastern (on most MeTV stations) Remind Me
Starring Vicki Lawrence as Thelma "Mama" Harper and spun off from 'The Carol Burnett Show,' 'Mama's Family' revolves around the wacky misadventures of the Harper family. Always at the center of the trouble and confusion is the dysfunctional family's matriarch, Mama—a quick-tempered, sharp-tongued 65-year-old widow. Despite her abrasive and wisecracking ways, Mama's warm heart is evident in her dealings with eccentric family members, who are often in need of a roof over their heads or simply a little tough love.

Next Airings

  • 7/23 6:00PMFangs Alot, Mama
    "Vint wants to join a secret society."
  • 7/24 6:00PMThe Best Policy
    "Mama and Iola think Naomi is trying to kill Vint for insurance money when Vint suffers a series household accidents after Naomi takes out a large life insurance policy on him."
  • 7/25 6:00PMAfter the Fall
    "Mama brings Aunt Effie home for the cure after Effie falls off the roof and remains in a trance-like state."
*available in most MeTV markets

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Episode Guide

Season 1
  • Season 1
  • Season 2
  • Season 3
  • Season 4
  • Season 5
  • Season 6

Ep 1: Vint and the Kids Move In

Mama reluctantly agrees to let her son, Vint, and his two children move in after they are evicted from their apartment. This creates problems for Fran, and she eventually threatens to move out. Aired: 1/22/1983

Ep 2: For Better of for Worse

After Naomi spends the night in the basement with Vint, Mama tries to break up the relationship. But the two decide to get married instead and plan to have the ceremony in the Harper home. Aired: 1/29/1983

Ep 3: The Wedding: Part 1

With Vint out at a bachelor party the night before his wedding, the ladies have the house to themselves. They are all having a good time until Naomi starts a rumor that Ellen's husband is having an affair with his secretary. Aired: 2/5/1983

Ep 4: The Wedding: Part 2

Having survived Vint and Naomi's wedding, Mama's peace is disturbed when the married couple return, announcing that they've been swindled out of their housing investment and need to move back in. Aired: 2/12/1983

Ep 5: Family Feud

Vint and Naomi convince Mama to participate in a television game show, promising to use any winnings on a house downpayment. Aired: 2/19/1983

Ep 6: Cell Mates

When the family goes out to celebrate Eunice's birthday, a fight between Mama and Eunice ends with both of them getting arrested. Aired: 2/26/1983

Ep 7: Mama Gets a Job

Despondent and feeling old and useless, Mama takes Naomi's advice and gets a job at a travel agency. Aired: 3/5/1983

Ep 8: Double Standard

Sonia becomes upset when she discovers that Vint is allowing Buzz to say out later than her on the night of the homecoming dance because he is a boy. Aired: 3/12/1983

Ep 9: Mama's Boyfriend

When Mama and old flame Woody Miller decide to spend a romantic weekend at a lakeside cabin, Aunt Fran is left in charge of the household. Aired: 3/19/1983

Ep 10: Fran's Dress

When Mama accidentally burns a hole in the dress Fran is planning to wear that evening, she and Ellen rush out to a department store with hopes of replacing the garment. Aired: 3/26/1983

Ep 11: Alien Marriage

Vint schemes to make money by pretending to be married to a girl from Portugal in need of a green card—until Mama catches wind of the plan. Aired: 4/2/1983

Ep 12: Positive Thinking

After listening to tapes on positive thinking, Eunice becomes a changed woman, even securing a part in a play. But when the director cuts all of her lines, she starts to feel her old nature creeping back. Aired: 4/30/1983

Ep 13: Mama's Silver

When Vint's troublemaking friend is thrown in jail, he hocks Mama's silver to bail his buddy out. But when Mama discovers this, Vint ends up on the streets. Aired: 5/7/1983

Ep 1: Flaming Forties

While helping the kids settle on a theme for their school dance, Mama becomes nostalgic as she looks through her old clothing from the '40s. Deciding to go punk rather than nostalgic, the school committee plans to sell off Mama's old clothing to raise money. Aired: 9/29/1983

Ep 2: The Return of Leonard Oates

Working at the cash register of Food Circus, Naomi is confronted by her second husband, Len Oates. Len is wealthy and determined to win his ex-wife back. Aired: 10/13/1983

Ep 3: Country Club

Ellen's news that she's been named "Woman of the Year" by the Raytown Country Club doesn't interest the family until they all receive invitations to the awards dinner. Once there, the Harpers end up disrupting the formal affair. Aired: 10/20/1983

Ep 4: Naomi and the Stork

When Naomi announces she may be pregnant, she and Vint, living in the basement, request a room upstairs. It's not long before the family is fighting over which room the couple will get. Aired: 10/27/1983

Ep 5: Rashomama

When Mama is hospitalized after a jam-making accident, Vint tries to determine what really happened by listening to Naomi, Ellen and Eunice's account of the incident. Aired: 11/3/1983

Ep 6: Obscene Call

Naomi feels her privacy has been invaded when she begins receiving obscene phone calls. Turning to the family for support, she is angered when they suggest that the way she carries herself has led to the calls. Aired: 11/3/1983

Ep 7: Ellen's Boyfriend

Ellen's attempts to keep her relationship with a younger man secret fail when the family stumbles upon the couple in a restaurant. Aired: 11/17/1983

Ep 8: Aunt Gert Rides Again

After visiting Gert in the nursing home on her birthday, Mama expresses shock at how much her aunt has slowed down. She decides to return later to revitalize Gert with a wild party. Aired: 12/1/1983

Ep 9: Amateur Night

After Vint wins a talent contest, he changes his name to "Vinnie Vegas" and sets his sights on becoming an entertainer. Aired: 12/8/1983

Ep 10: Mama Who Came to Dinner

Naomi talks Mama into letting her use the house for a dinner party, but when Mama suffers a back spasm the occasion is jeopardized. Aired: 12/22/1983

Ep 11: Mama Learns to Drive

Fed up with having to chauffeur Mama all over town, the family decides to teach her to drive. But when Mama finally gets her license, the family is too afraid to let her use their cars! Aired: 1/7/1984

Ep 12: Blackbelt Mama

After being mugged while waiting for a bus, Mama decides to join Naomi, Fran and Sonia in a self-defense class. Aired: 1/14/1984

Ep 13: Mama Buys a Car

Though she has her driver's license, Mama is frustrated because she doesn't have a car. A visit to the dealership of an oily used car salesman lands her behind the wheel of the "perfect" car. Aired: 1/21/1984

Ep 14: Supermarket Mama

When Mama becomes a consultant at the Food Circus, Naomi feels incompetent and pressures her to quit. Aired: 2/4/1984

Ep 15: No Room at the Inn

On their first wedding anniversary, Vint plans to take Naomi to the Wandering Hearts Hotel for the honeymoon they never had. That is, until Mama shows up. Aired: 2/11/1984

Ep 16: Mama for Mayor: Part 1

Mama attracts media attention when she has a confrontation with Mayor Tutwiller at a press conference. Fed up with his unpopular policies, Mama declares her candidacy. Aired: 2/18/1984

Ep 17: Mama for Mayor: Part 2

Upon taking office as mayor, Mama begins to lose control of the town. Faced with a call for her resignation, Mama turns to the former mayor for help. Aired: 2/25/1984

Ep 18: Harper Versus Harper

Naomi's feud with Mama lands the two in court when Mama breaks Naomi's vacuum cleaner. The judge has an impossible time keeping order and holds both parties in contempt. Aired: 3/10/1984

Ep 19: Mama's Birthday

The family can't understand why Mama dislikes celebrating her birthday. Helping her clean out the attic later that day, Buzz finally pries the story out of her. Aired: 3/17/1984

Ep 20: Mama Cries Uncle

The sudden appearance of Carl's nomadic brother, Roy, excites everyone but Mama. Although she seems upset that Roy is popular with the rest of the family, she finally admits her affection for him. Aired: 3/24/1984

Ep 21: Dear Aunt Fran

Aunt Fran is temporarily given the responsibility of writing an advice column in the local newspaper. Unfortunately, she doesn't have any good advice and comes to rely on Mama to supply material. Aired: 3/31/1984

Ep 22: A Grave Mistake

Mama discovers her husband's been buried in the wrong spot and that she's been visiting another man's grave. Anxious over the mistake, she refuses to visit again until she receives a sign that he forgives her. Aired: 4/7/1984

Ep 1: Farewell, Frannie

When Fran dies, Mama is set on giving her sister the perfect sendoff. Aired: 9/27/1986

Ep 2: Where There's a Will

Mama has to keep her temper under control for two weeks if she wants to collect on Fran's will. Aired: 10/4/1986

Ep 3: Best Medicine

A feud between Mama and Ellen rages—until she learns Ellen is in the hospital. Aired: 10/11/1986

Ep 4: National Mama

Mama's dreams predict winning horses at the races. Aired: 10/18/1986

Ep 5: Soup to Nuts

Vint judges a chili cook-off between Mama, Naomi and Iola. Aired: 10/25/1986

Ep 6: Mama and Dr. Brothers

Dr. Joyce Brothers helps Naomi when she needs advice about sex. Aired: 11/1/1986

Ep 7: Cat's Meow

Iola has her dead cat freeze-dried. Aired: 11/8/1986

Ep 8: The Love Letter

A love letter meant for Naomi mistakenly ends up in the hands of both Mama and Iola, leading to complications for all. Aired: 11/15/1986

Ep 9: An Ill Wind

A tornado on Thanksgiving Day traps the Harper family, Iola and Effie in the basement. Aired: 11/22/1986

Ep 10: Steal One, Pearl Two

All fingers point to Bubba when Iola's pearl necklace is stolen. Aired: 11/29/1986

Ep 11: Where There's Smoke

Mama is running for president of the Church Ladies League, but things go terribly wrong when Bubba harbors a buddy—who's escaped from reform school—in his room. Aired: 12/6/1986

Ep 12: Fly Naomi

Naomi wants to be a flight attendant. Aired: 12/13/1986

Ep 13: Santa Mama

Mama fills in for Vint as a mall Santa. Aired: 12/20/1986

Ep 14: Desperately Seeking Anyone

The date whom Mama and Naomi find for Iola is more interested in Mama. Aired: 1/10/1987

Ep 15: Porn Again

Mama finds a dirty magazine under Bubba's bed. Aired: 1/17/1987

Ep 16: Have It Mama's Way

Mama and Bubba get a job at the same fast-food restaurant. Aired: 1/24/1987

Ep 17: Birthright

An anonymous letter convinces Vint that he's adopted. Aired: 1/31/1987

Ep 18: Grandma U.S.A.

Mama competes in the Grandma USA contest. Aired: 2/7/1987

Ep 19: Buck Private Bubba

Wanting to impress his girlfriend, Bubba enlists in the Army. Aired: 2/14/1987

Ep 20: Mama's Cousin

Mama's well-traveled and longwinded Cousin Lydia comes to visit. Aired: 2/21/1987

Ep 21: Mama with the Golden Arm

Mama is a contender in an arm-wrestling competition. Aired: 2/28/1987

Ep 22: It Takes Two to Watusi

Naomi's divorced friend, Luann, falls for Bubba when he's a stand-in for a blind date. Aired: 3/7/1987

Ep 23: Fangs Alot, Mama

Vint wants to join a secret society. Aired: 3/14/1987

Ep 24: The Best Policy

After Naomi takes out a large life insurance policy on Vint, Mama and Iola think Naomi is trying to kill Vint for insurance money when he suffers a series of household accidents. Aired: 3/21/1987

Ep 25: After the Fall

After Aunt Effie falls off the roof, she is stuck in a trance-like state. Aired: 3/28/1987

Ep 1: Educating Mama

When Bubba enrolls in night school, the family convinces Mama to join him and earn her high school equivalency diploma. Aired: 9/26/1987

Ep 2: Zirconias Are a Girl's Best Friend

When Mama becomes hooked on television shopping, the family tries to rid her of the addiction with a hysterical form of aversion therapy. Aired: 10/3/1987

Ep 3: The Key to the Crime

When Vint is accused of being a serial burglar after a break-in at the Harper house, Mama and Iola set out to prove his innocence and catch the real criminal. Aired: 10/10/1987

Ep 4: Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

Finances not only cause Vint and Naomi to separate—but also force them to remain living at home with Mama. Aired: 10/17/1987

Ep 5: A Big Hand for Mama

When Mama is almost struck by lightning and nearly loses her life, she feels "reborn." The Harper family takes full advantage of her new attitude, but whether they can handle it or not remains to be seen. Aired: 10/24/1987

Ep 6: Flounder's Day

When Verna May Rae passes on, Mama finally has the opportunity to audition for the honor of singing "Raytown, O Raytown" on Founder's Day. Aired: 10/31/1987

Ep 7: Teacher's Pet

When her home cooking isn't enough to win over her crush, Mama turns to aping Naomi's seductive body language to attract his affections. Aired: 11/7/1987

Ep 8: Child's Play

The Harper family is asked to watch the grandson of the Reverend and Mrs. Meechum, an eight-year-old brat who pushes Mama over the edge. Aired: 11/14/1987

Ep 9: Mama Mania

When Naomi's partner in a women's tag team wrestling match is accidentally knocked unconscious by Mama, the pair have no choice but to battle the "Masked Mabels." Aired: 11/21/1987

Ep 10: Gift Horse

Mama's anger over Iola's being upset by the family selling her handicraft at a garage sale leads to Iola inadvertently being given the money collected at the sale. Aired: 11/28/1987

Ep 11: Workman's Holiday

Vint is so embarrassed when Mama brings his childhood lunchbox to work that he accidentally injures himself on the job. Aired: 12/5/1987

Ep 12: Mama Sees Red

The Harpers are chosen as the "typical American family" to be visited by Olga, a "typical Russian homemaker," who not only cleans their house inside and out, but also decides to stay. Aired: 12/12/1987

Ep 13: A Room with No View

When Mama forms a family council to vote on a bedroom switch, the results create havoc for the household. Aired: 12/19/1987

Ep 14: Sins of the Mother

Bubba comes home drunk, triggering painful memories in Mama regarding an embarrassing "drunken" incident with Eunice. Aired: 1/9/1988

Ep 15: A Friend Indeed

Mama is jealous that Iola is spending a lot of time with her new friend, Arlene, but soon learns that Arlene can hardly wait to rid herself of the clinging Iola. Aired: 1/16/1988

Ep 16: I Do, I Don't

After attending a big wedding, Bubba, Iola and Mama each fantasize what it would be like to be married. Aired: 1/23/1988

Ep 17: Mama Gets the Bird

When Mama's crazy old Uncle Oscar passes on, he leaves her his talking parrot, Captain Petey, who convinces the family that treasure is hidden somewhere in the house. Aired: 1/30/1988

Ep 18: Mama's Girls

To get Aunt Effie to exercise, Mama persuades her to join a tap dance class at the Senior Citizens Center—a class Mama soon teaches! Aired: 2/6/1988

Ep 19: Mama on Jeopardy!

Alex Trebek guest stars when Iola's crush on the Jeopardy! game show host turns into an adventure for the entire Harper family. Aired: 2/13/1988

Ep 20: Mama Goes Hawaiian: Part 1

An old Hawaiian custom rings true for Iola, Bubba and even Mama when a visit to Lover's Grotto brings them romance. Aired: 2/20/1988

Ep 21: Mama Goes Hawaiian: Part 2

Mama schemes to rid herself of Billy, the man she saved from drowning, and then goes sightseeing with Iola, Bubba and their new "true" loves. Aired: 2/27/1988

Ep 22: Bubba's Double Date

When Bubba's date for the prom cancels at the last minute, Mama fixes him up with Iola's shy, homely niece, Vernette. Aired: 3/5/1988

Ep 23: Bed and Breakdown

When the Tri-State fair comes to Raytown, Mama takes in weekend boarders in order to buy a new stove. But when she overbooks, the family winds up sleeping together in the same room. Aired: 3/12/1988

Ep 24: Naomi's Identity Crisis

When Naomi loses her memory, Mama takes advantage of her condition by molding her into the perfect housewife. Aired: 3/19/1988

Ep 25: Pomp and Circumstance

A disappointed Bubba refuses to go to his graduation when he learns his parents will not be there. And Mama, the valedictorian and speaker for the commencement, refuses to go without him. Aired: 3/26/1988

Ep 1: Ladies Choice

Mama and Iola vie for the presidency of the Church Ladies League in a bitterly contested race. Aired: 11/5/1988

Ep 2: Baby Talk

When Vint and Naomi start to think about having a baby, Mama decides to show them what having a baby is really like by bringing over a neighbor's particularly loud child. Aired: 11/12/1988

Ep 3: Naomi's New Position

When Naomi's boss sexually harasses her, Mama marches down to the store and gives him a taste of his own medicine. Aired: 11/19/1988

Ep 4: Really Loud Family

When Bubba turns in an unflattering video of his family for a school project, Mama ends up excused from organizing a charity event she didn't even want to organize. Aired: 11/26/1988

Ep 5: Many Unhappy Returns

Mama puts Bubba in a bind with his boss when she returns a gift that wasn't meant for her and spends the money on presents for the family. Aired: 12/3/1988

Ep 6: Found Money

After an ATM error, Mama is given $800 from another person's account. Everyone in the family convinces her to keep it, but then she meets the man who lost the money. Aired: 12/10/1988

Ep 7: My Mama, Myself

Mama wrestles with the ghost of Grandma Crowley when she finds her mother's broach and realizes it could be worth serious money. Aired: 12/17/1988

Ep 8: Full House

Mama sits in on Vint's poker game when one of his friends cancels, sharing embarrassing stories about Vint's childhood and revealing what he does when bluffing. Aired: 1/7/1989

Ep 9: Bedtime for Bubba

Mama suspects Bubba and his new study partner, Toni Malone, are doing more than studying. Aired: 1/14/1989

Ep 10: What a Dump

Thinking her house is going to receive the award for most beautiful in Raytown, Mama is devastated to learn that the mayor plans to turn her street into the new town dump. Aired: 1/21/1989

Ep 11: Mama Bell

Vint and Naomi hide a stray dog in the garage and convince Mama she is going senile when she complains of hearing a dog barking. Aired: 1/28/1989

Ep 12: Very Dirty Dancing

When Mama enters a dance competition, nothing is going to stop her "Latin Sizzle" from winning. Aired: 2/4/1989

Ep 13: Mama's Layaway Plan

When Mama is one of only two people at cousin Ludie's funeral, she decides to spend funds meant for a family vacation and bowling competition to ensure a suitable funeral for herself. Aired: 2/11/1989

Ep 14: My Phony Valentine

When Mama claims to have a date for Valentine's Day, Iola hires an escort—and it's painfully obvious that he's an escort. Aired: 2/18/1989

Ep 15: Mama and the Big Wheel

When Iola buys a lottery ticket with Mama's change at the store, Mama doesn't care enough to keep the ticket—until Iola wins a chance to spin the lottery wheel for $2 million. Aired: 2/25/1989

Ep 16: More Power to You

When Mama refuses to pay the electric bill she is disputing, the electric company turns the power off—and the timing couldn't be worse. Aired: 3/4/1989

Ep 17: Mama in One

Mama finally gets the house to herself when everyone goes away for the weekend. But the peace and quiet is far from the paradise she expects. Aired: 3/11/1989

Ep 18: There's No Place Like… No Place

Mama accidentally leaves home without her identification, ending up arrested during a rally by the homeless. Aired: 3/25/1989

Ep 19: April Fools

On April Fools' Day, Mama gets the last laugh on the rest of the family when she pulls off the best practical joke ever. Aired: 4/1/1989

Ep 20: Reading the Riot Act

Mama starts a campaign to impeach poorly performing Church Lady League President Lolly Purdue, but has a change of heart when she learns a secret about Lolly. Aired: 4/15/1989

Ep 21: Taxing Situation

When the IRS knocks on Mama's door with a $250 tax refund, the agent soon realizes that Mama has been less than truthful on her tax return—and is going to owe back taxes, interest and penalties. Aired: 4/22/1989

Ep 22: Mama of Invention

When a con artist tries to swindle Vint, he doesn't count on Mama. She dons a wire, takes a bag of unmarked dollar bills and goes undercover for the local police. Aired: 5/6/1989

Ep 23: Hate Thy Neighbor

When Bubba announces that he’s going to marry the daughter of Mama's hated neighbor, Mama is forced to make peace. But when the engagement is broken, the feud starts anew. Aired: 5/13/1989

Ep 24: Dependence Day

Iola declares her independence from her mother... and moves in with Mama. Now, the family unites with a single purpose: get Iola out of the house. Aired: 5/20/1989

Ep 25: And Mama Makes Three

Naomi and Vint decide to adopt a child. But when they—and Mama—meet with an adoption counselor, they are rejected by the adoption agency. Aired: 5/27/1989

Ep 1: Mama's Medicine Show

Hoping to raise money now that a baby is on the way, Naomi and Vint begin selling Mama's homemade tonic. Aired: 9/23/1989

Ep 2: An Affair to Forget

Mama and Naomi suspect Vint of more than a working relationship with his new beautiful, blonde trainee. Aired: 9/30/1989

Ep 3: Mr. Wrong

With Naomi pregnant, Iola starts to think she should be married, too. To everyone's surprise, she finds a boyfriend—but the relationship doesn't last through their first dinner with Mama! Aired: 10/7/1989

Ep 4: Now Hear This

When Vint installs baby-monitoring intercoms in the house, the Harpers begin eavesdropping on each other—and it isn't long before everyone is upset! Aired: 10/14/1989

Ep 5: Tri-State's Most Wanted

When Mama believes she's fallen for a wanted criminal, she decides to capture him herself. Aired: 10/21/1989

Ep 7: Mama Fights Back

After calling in to give advice, Mama gets her own radio show. Aired: 10/28/1989

Ep 6: A Blast from the Past

Thelma's high school reputation comes back to haunt her 50 years later. Aired: 11/4/1989

Ep 8: Psychic Pheno-Mama

The Harpers hire a psychic whose predictions all come true. That is, until Mama discovers that she is a fraud and plots revenge. Aired: 11/11/1989

Ep 9: Take My Mama, Please!

When Mama thinks she can do better than the comedian at the local dinner theater, she signs up for the open microphone night. And when the church congregation learns of it, she is forced to get serious about coming up with an act. Aired: 11/18/1989

Ep 10: Bubba's House Band

When Bubba arranges for heavy metal band Bonecrushers to play at the homecoming dance, he also arranges for them to stay at the Harper house for the night. Aired: 11/25/1989

Ep 11: Mama Takes Stock

Mama finds an old certificate for 10 shares of stock which is now worth a pretty penny and may be able to save Vint from getting laid off. Aired: 12/2/1989

Ep 12: War of the Roses

Vint and Naomi get in an argument, and Mama and Iola compete to grow the winning rose for the annual flower show. Aired: 12/9/1989

Ep 13: Mama Takes a Dive

After slipping on a role of pennies at the bank, a shady lawyer convinces Mama that she is badly injured and needs to sue. Aired: 12/16/1989

Ep 14: Mama Gets Goosed

When Mama's cousin gives the Harpers a live goose for Christmas dinner, Mama relives memories of her childhood while the rest of the family is horrified at the thought of killing their new pet. Aired: 12/23/1989

Ep 15: The Big Nap

Mama puts everything she's learned from old detective films to use in solving the case of Iola's missing mother. Aired: 1/20/1990

Ep 16: Pin-Up Mama

When Mama and Iola have the idea of using flyers to attract single men to the seniors mixer, a mixup involving Bubba's photography project, Melanie in a bikini and Mama's head causes a disaster. Aired: 1/27/1990

Ep 17: Guess Who's Coming To Dinner

An all-out family war between Mama and Naomi erupts when Vint wins an expensive Mother's Day dinner for two. Aired: 2/3/1990

Ep 18: Look Who's Breathing

When Mama substitutes for Vint at Naomi's Lamaze class, she relates her own experience of giving birth and scares everyone out of the room. Aired: 2/10/1990

Ep 19: There Is Nothing Like a Dame

Things quickly go from bad to worse when Mama hosts a backyard luncheon for a ladies social group she wants to join. Aired: 2/17/1990

Ep 20: Bye, Bye, Baby!

Vint and Naomi finally have a baby and Mama becomes a grandmother—but not before high drama. Aired: 2/24/1990