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List of Designing Women episodes

The following is an episode list for the CBS sitcom Designing Women. The series began airing on September 29, 1986 and the final episode aired on May 24, 1993. During its seven-year run, 163 Designing Women episodes were produced. In addition, a Designing Women reunion show featuring the cast members aired in 2003.

A "Best of Designing Women" DVD was released on September 2, 2003, but individual seasons have yet to be released on DVD. As of 2008, the show is still rerun regularly in syndication.

The key episodes list features significant and well-remembered episodes. The full episode list is arranged in the order the episodes were broadcast.

The Best of Designing Women DVD

1 disc, 5 episodes
Episode # Airdate Title Overview
1 September 29, 1986 "Designing Women (Pilot)" Suzanne visits a new gynecologist who is Mary Jo's ex-husband, Ted, and an uproar is created when she announces she is dating him.

26 October 5, 1987 "Killing All the Right People" Kendall Dobbs, a friend of the women of Sugarbaker's and fellow decorator, announces to the women that he is dying of AIDS and wants them to design his funeral. The news gets Mary Jo fired up at a PTA debate on birth control.

44 March 28, 1988 "Reservations for Eight" A romantic ski weekend turns into a battle of the sexes when an avalanche sidelines the Sugarbaker ladies and their boyfriends.

49 December 12, 1988 "Big Haas and Little Falsie" Mary Jo contemplates breast enlargement surgery after receiving an inheritance from her uncle with the stipulation that she must spend it on something frivolous.

77 December 11, 1989 "They Shoot Fat Women, Don't They?" Fat is discussed as a feminist issue when Suzanne endures cruel jokes about her weight at her high school reunion. Anthony enlists Julia and Mary Jo to join him in a two-day fast to focus attention on world hunger.

Key episodes

Episode # Airdate Title Overview
26 October 5, 1987 "Killing All the Right People" Kendall Dobbs, a friend of the women of Sugarbaker's and fellow decorator, announces to the women that he is dying of AIDS and wants them to design his funeral. The news gets Mary Jo fired up at a PTA debate on birth control.

Full episode list

Season 1 (1986–1987)

22 episodes
Episode # Airdate Title Overview
1 September 29, 1986 "Designing Women (Pilot)" Suzanne visits a new gynecologist who is Mary Jo's ex-husband, Ted, and an uproar is created when she announces she is dating him.

2 October 6, 1986 "The Beauty Contest" Charlene sponsors Mary Jo's daughter, Claudia, in the Miss Pre-Teen Atlanta contest, and despite her depression over her own upcoming 30th birthday, Suzanne coaches Claudia on how to walk and smile.

3 October 20, 1986 "A Big Affair" Suzanne's small dinner party, planned to impress an important client, goes awry before it begins when she arranges a date between a very large man and a reluctant Charlene.

4 October 27, 1986 "Julia's Son" Julia's nineteen-year-old son, Payne, is bringing his girlfriend home from college for a visit, and Julia wants everything to be perfect. Payne then presents his girl, Primmy, who is tall, attractive, and forty-one years old.

5 November 3, 1986 "Mary Jo's First Date" Julia hopes an IRS auditor doesn't remember where he met her before, while Mary Jo reluctantly re-enters the dating circuit for the first time since breaking up with Ted.
  • Director: Jack Shea
  • Writer(s): Cheryl Gard

6 November 17, 1986 "Design House" Suzanne is tired of her image as a bimbo at Sugarbaker's, so Julia assigns her to do the decorating of their next project. Unfortunately, the house burns to the ground while Suzanne is working on it.
  • Director: Jack Shea
  • Writer(s): Joan Brooker and Nancy Eddo

7 November 24, 1986 "Perky's Visit" Perky Sugarbaker, Julia and Suzanne's mother, in her only appearance on Designing Women, brings her friend Bernice to have Thanksgiving dinner with the women of Sugarbaker's and their ex-con handyman, Anthony.

8 December 4, 1986 "I Do, I Don't" After a perfect evening (and some champagne), Julia and her beau, Reese, decide to get married on a lark. The next morning, they both regret the decision.
  • Director: Jack Shea
  • Writer(s): Emily Marshall

9 December 4, 1986 "The IT Men" When Charlene's boyfriend, Mason, takes a job in Japan, she finds herself attracted to another man, who happens to be married to a Sugarbaker & Associates client.
  • Director: Jack Shea
  • Writer(s): Emily Marshall

10 December 18, 1986 "The Slumber Party" Suzanne tells Charlene, Julia, and Mary Jo that when she tried to fire her maid, the maid put a voodoo death curse on her. Meanwhile, Mary Jo asks the women to help with her daughter Claudia's slumber party.

11 January 1, 1987 "New Year's Daze" On New Year's Eve, the women of Sugarbaker's are ready to have a fun night on the town. Charlene keeps the identity of her date a secret until a news flash reports that he is the subject of a massive manhunt.

12 February 1, 1987 "Old Spouses Never Die: Part 1" Mary Jo is ruminating about her ex-husband's interference in her life. The women distrust Charlene's doctor's cavalier attitude toward the lump he found in her breast.

13 February 1, 1987 "Old Spouses Never Die: Part 2" See summary of previous episode.

14 February 8, 1987 "Monette" Monette, an old schoolmate of Charlene's, buys Chadwick mansion and asks Sugarbaker's to redecorate. At first, the women are excited about the lucrative job, but the assignment is not what they expected.

15 February 15, 1987 "And Justice for Paul" Suzanne has a client who wants period furniture on a very tight budget. The women of Sugarbaker's, with the help of Charlene's new boyfriend, find antique furniture at bargain prices but later discover that it was stolen furniture.
  • Director: Jack Shea
  • Writer(s): Trish Vrandenburg

16 February 22, 1987 "Reese's Friend" Julia and Suzanne are preoccupied with a disagreement over the theme for the annual country club fund-raiser until Reese appears with a gorgeous young woman on his arm, explaining that she is a new attorney in his law firm.

17 March 16, 1987 "Nashville Bound" Charlene gets exciting news that her entire family, including all ten of her brothers and sisters, will be visiting her at the same time, but it is overshadowed when a Nashville producer discovers her.

18 March 23, 1987 "Oh, Suzannah" While in Reese's office to sign legal papers, Suzanne suddenly volunteers to foster a Vietnamese boat child, Li Sing, for four weeks, at which point she'll go to her adoptive home. Suzanne becomes attached to Li Sing quickly and has a hard time letting go.

19 April 6, 1987 "Mary Jo's Dad Dates Charlene" Mary Jo becomes protective when her divorced father comes to Atlanta for a visit and dances cheek-to-cheek with Charlene.

20 April 13, 1987 "Seams from a Marriage" Anthony enters the shop wearing a huge cowboy hat, and is proceeded by Mary Jo, who is wearing the same clothes she had on the day before, leaving everyone clamoring for an explanation.
  • Director: Jack Shea
  • Writer(s): E. Jack Kaplan

21 May 4, 1987 "Grand Slam, Thank You Ma'am" Suzanne is desperate for revenge after her baseball player ex-husband, Jack Dent, writes in his autobiography that he had a lot of groupie action during his career.

22 May 11, 1987 "Bachelor Suite" Mary Jo finds herself the target of sexual harassment when she takes a decorating job with a wealthy client, Hence Winchester.

Season 2 (1987–1988)

22 episodes
Episode # Airdate Title Overview
23 September 14, 1987 "101 Ways to Decorate a Gas Station" A grungy gas-station owner wins free interior decoration from Sugarbaker & Associates. Charlene consults a psychic about her future.

24 September 21, 1987 "Ted Remarries" Mary Jo has a hard time handling her children being spoiled by her ex-husband's new wife.

25 September 28, 1987 "Anthony Jr." Anthony goes overboard trying to impress his girlfriend's wealthy parents until an uninvited dinner guest informs him he is the father of her child.

26 October 5, 1987 "Killing All the Right People" Kendall Dobbs, a friend of the women of Sugarbaker's and fellow decorator, announces to the women that he is dying of AIDS and wants them to design his funeral. The news gets Mary Jo fired up at a PTA debate on birth control.

27 October 19, 1987 "Half an Air Bubble Off" When Sugarbaker's acquires an eccentric client with bizarre decorating requests, the women play matchmakers by pairing him with their off-beat friend, Bernice Clifton.

28 October 26, 1987 "Dash Goff, the Writer" Suzanne's novelist husband visits, and she discovers he has writer's block and is contemplating suicide.

29 November 9, 1987 "Heart Attacks" Julia's boyfriend, Reese, suffers a heart attack while arm-wrestling a law-school classmate.

30 November 16, 1987 "Cruising" When the Sugarbaker ladies go on a cruise, Mary Jo and Suzanne are pursued by the same man.

31 November 23, 1987 "I'll Be Seeing You" Charlene has a dream involving WWII. Soon, a handsome Army colonel appears at the Sugarbaker's shop.

32 December 7, 1987 "Stranded" While Charlene, Julia, and Mary Jo get the flu on a trip to St. Louis, a snowstorm forces Suzanne and Anthony to share a motel room in Tennessee.

33 December 14, 1987 "Howard the Date" Out of pity, the women take a nerdy acquaintance of Mary Jo's out on a group date when he proves dateless for their high school reunion. Things take a turn, however, when Howard, formerly the nerd, develops an obnoxious ego as he brags about how he handles his "four women."

34 December 21, 1987 "I'll Be Home For Christmas" Charlene and Anthony hire a Santa to outsmart Mary Jo's disbelieving son on Christmas Eve.

35 January 4, 1988 "Great Expectations" Anthony is dismayed when an old prison cellmate arrives at Sugarbaker's to talk with him about a business proposition.

36 January 11, 1988 "Second Time Around" Julia talks with Bill after he dumps Charlene because he is still grieving the loss of his first wife.

37 January 18, 1988 "Oh, Brother" Julia and Suzanne disagree on how to handle the arrival of their half-brother, a recently discharged mental patient with hopes of becoming a stand-up comedian.

38 January 25, 1988 "There's Some Black People Coming to Dinner" Mary Jo gives Claudia permission to go to a school dance with a black boy, contrary to his father's wishes.

39 February 1, 1988 "The Return of Ray Don" Suzanne is broke and faces stiff fines for back taxes, so after trying to charm Ray Don at the IRS, she sells off her possessions and considers marriage to wealthy elderly man, Wilmont Oliver.

40 February 8, 1988 "High Rollers" Suzanne takes off to Atlantic City with Charlene and Anthony in hopes of winning enough money to pay off debts by employing Anthony's gambling expertise.

41 February 15, 1988 "The Incredibly Elite Bona Fide Blue-Blood Beaumont Driving Club" Suzanne and Julia clash over a posh club's offer of membership when Suzanne discovers discrimination in the club's bylaws.

42 February 22, 1988 "How Great Thou Art" Julia is chosen to sing at a Baptist convention, but she worries about a high note in the arrangement of "How Great Thou Art". Charlene is upset when she discovers her minister is against allowing women to preach.

43 March 21, 1988 "Ted-Bare" On the brink of marrying a young woman, Ted begins to appreciate ex-wife Mary Jo's maturity, but his sudden attentiveness makes everyone else suspicious.

44 March 28, 1988 "Reservations for Eight" A romantic ski weekend turns into a battle of the sexes when an avalanche sidelines the Sugarbaker ladies and their boyfriends.

Season 3 (1988–1989)

22 episodes
Episode # Airdate Title Overview
45 November 14, 1988 "Reservations for 12, Plus Ursula" A voluptuous maid disrupts a romantic Thanksgiving at the beach.

46 November 21, 1988 "The Candidate" Julia's opinionated nature seems to work against her in a run for a seat on the local board of commissioners.

47 November 28, 1988 "E.P., Phone Home" Julia has VIP tickets to Graceland and is touched by a trucker's story of how Elvis Presley influenced his life.

48 December 5, 1988 "Getting Married and Eating Dirt" Bernice Clifton asks the women of Sugarbaker's to be her wedding attendants when she receives a marriage proposal from a man who has an odd habit of proposing to every woman he meets.

49 December 12, 1988 "Big Haas and Little Falsie" Mary Jo contemplates getting breast implants after receiving an inheritance from her uncle with the stipulation she must spend the money on something frivolous.

50 December 19, 1988 "Hard Hats and Lovers" Suzanne convinces Charlene that Bill will have a wandering eye if he doesn't date more before they get serious. The ladies get revenge on city construction workers across the street by telling their wives and mothers about the sexist comments they've been making.

51 January 2, 1989 "Curtains" Striking laborers from a textile factory protest outside Sugarbaker's. The Sugarbaker women desperately need curtains finished for a hotel job, so they decide to go to the factory and finish them on their own. After working for a while, they realize what terrible conditions the laborers had.

52 January 9, 1989 "The Wilderness Experience" Bernice Clifton buys herself and the women a trip to a wilderness survival course where their leadership skills are tested.

53 January 16, 1989 "Tyrone" Anthony acts as a mentor to a troubled youth named Tyrone. The boy appears congenial and begins helping Anthony with unloading goods at Sugarbaker's, but soon betrays Anthony and the women's trust by robbing a store. Anthony visits Tyrone at Juvenile hall and shares a story about his own past.

54 January 23, 1989 "Mr. Bailey" A recently-deceased client leaves millions of dollars as well as Sugarbaker's prepaid designing services to her cat, Mr. Bailey, and the women must find a way to honor the woman's wishes. Her home is filled with odd possessions, and the ladies assume the woman was crazy, but a delivery man enlightens them about the belongings and Mr. Bailey's famous past.

55 February 13, 1989 "The Naked Truth" Julia sends Mary Jo, Charlene, and Anthony to visit a new client, but they are shocked to find that, unbeknown to Julia, the client lives in a nudist camp. Julia and Suzanne's two nieces visit them at work and stay over at their homes, and they discover that the nieces have nearly identically personalities to Julia and Suzanne.[Note: Guest stars Dixie Carter's real life daughters, Ginna and Mary Dixie.]

56 February 20, 1989 "The Junies" Charlene, trying to help out a friend, becomes a part-time saleswoman for "Lady June" cleaning products. Soon, she doesn't need or want the job anymore, but other workers pressure her into staying. Julia decides the job is similar to a cult and decides to rescue Charlene. Meanwhile, Anthony's junior college is trying to get students more involved with pride events like homecoming, and Anthony is strangely nominated as his school's homecoming queen.

57 February 27, 1989 "One Sees, the Other Doesn't" Suzanne returns from a week-long stay at a spa where she spent $2,000 and is upset when the other women say she looks the same. She proclaims that any man would appreciate her radiance. The next man who enters Sugarbaker's & Associates is a client who Suzanne doesn't know is blind, and she tries to show off for him. The other women introduce him as Danny Hedgecock, which he amusedly follows with "...Blind Guy". Suzanne is relieved to find out she's not losing her touch. She's soon surprised to discover that the man—a rich, intelligent humanitarian—is attracted to her. She and the other women have a hard time accepting that anyone is attracted to her personality. Mary Jo struggles to figure out how to design the man's house, since she can't show him samples and sketches.
  • Guest star(s): Tom Sullivan
  • Director: Ron Troutman
  • Writer(s): Pamela Norris

58 March 6, 1989 "Odell" Charlene's brother Odell visits with important news: he's marrying the daughter of a longtime rival of their family. Soon, the father of both teens show up at Sugarbaker's and begin fighting. Bernice asks Anthony to be her partner in a dance contest.

59 March 13, 1989 "Full Moon" The women share their most embarrassing moments after Julia accidentally moons the audience at a fashion show. Mary Jo is suddenly afraid that her 16-year-old daughter, Claudia, might have sex with her boyfriend and decides to spy on her. Suzanne asks Anthony to stay over at her house for the night because she's afraid of her neighbors who keep threatening to shoot her pet pig.

60 March 20, 1989 "Ms. Meal Ticket" Just as J.D. moves in with Mary Jo, he loses his job. Enjoying himself while waiting to find work, Mary Jo becomes afraid that J.D. will be dependent on her and never work again, which sparks a fight and J.D. leaves. A psychic whom Charlene consults with ends up talking to Mary Jo and helping her come to grips with her real fears about the situation.

61 March 27, 1989 "The Engagement" When Charlene, now happily engaged, goes to meet her in-laws, she's terrified that she won't be good enough for Bill's mother. She regularly calls Julia on the phone to question her about etiquette. After breaking up with J.D., Mary Jo gets asked out by a younger man and ends up at a keg party.

62 April 10, 1989 "Come on and Marry Me, Bill" The ladies throw a party with all of Charlene's relatives to celebrate her wedding which will take place the next day. Bill heads to his stag party where he reluctantly watches a Latin exotic dancer and ends up handcuffed to her. The dancer, unfortunately, has forgotten to bring the key to the handcuffs, and soon Charlene becomes worried about what is going on when Bill doesn't answer the phone.

63 May 1, 1989 "The Women of Atlanta" Charlene and Mary Jo meet a photographer who wants to take pictures of them, along with Julia and Suzanne, for a magazine article focusing on the women of Atlanta and their occupations. Julia distrusts him from the beginning and after he has the women change into sexier outfits and strike suggestive poses, she becomes furious and kicks him out.

64 May 8, 1989 "Stand and Fight" A shaken Mary Jo comes to work and recounts to Anthony and the women how she was mugged. After she describes how she was too frightened to fight back against her attacker, Anthony gives her the name of a self-defense class at the community center where he sometimes volunteers. The four women all attend the class, but Mary Jo still struggles to fight. Later, alone in a parking garage, she's confronted by a stranger who touches her shoulder and she suddenly remembers what she was taught and yells at the man to back off. She proudly tells Julia of her victory, and a few minutes later, the man she fought off enters Sugarbaker's. It turns out he's actually D.B. LeBoof, a new client, who had recognized Mary Jo from a magazine picture.

65 May 15, 1989 "The Last Humorously-Dressed Bellboy in America" The women discover that Reggie Mac Dawson, the account who absconded with Suzanne's life savings, is working as bellboy/pianist in a hotel. Suzanne confronts him, demanding he return her money, but Reggie Mac instead spends what's left of the money by purchasing a circus for Suzanne.

66 May 22, 1989 "Julia Drives Over the First Amendment" A local newsstand begins displaying a large, smutty poster of a woman to advertise its pornographic magazines. Julia tires of seeing it on her way to work each morning and becomes so angry that she drives her car through it. The newsstand owner keeps putting sexy posters up, and Julia continues to drive through them. A lawsuit ensues, pitting Julia up against a very determined magazine publisher.

Season 4 (1989–1990)

28 episodes
Episode # Airdate Title Overview
67 September 18, 1989 "The Proxy Pig and Great Pretenders" Suzanne, desperate to mother something or someone since her beloved pet pig, Noel, ran away, ends up nursing Anthony back to health after he injures his back carrying her marble-top table down the stairs and his health insurance lapses. Belva McPherson, a rich, snobby acquaintance of Mary Jo's comes to town and, to impress her, Mary Jo claims that a mansion she's decorating is her own home.

68 September 25, 1989 "One Night with You" Julia discovers that Donald Stillman, a terminally-ill man who was a classmate of hers, has a last wish: to spend one night with Julia. She can't find his picture in her yearbook and has no memory of him at all. She dresses up, against Suzanne's advice, and meets with him at a restaurant, with no intention of going any further than dinner. Donald turns out to be a charming—albeit geeky—astronomer, and Julia finds herself attracted to him. She admits that she's already in a relationship, and they simply spend the night dancing.

69 October 2, 1989 "There She Is" While preparing for Charlene's baby shower, Charlene, Mary Jo and Julia are surprised by a visit from the Director of Pageants for Miss Georgia. While putting past voting information onto computers, an error was discovered and it turns out that Suzanne actually came in second place, not first. The women try to find a delicate way to break the news to Suzanne that she must relinquish the crown she won 15 years earlier, but in the end Suzanne believes everything will work out to her advantage. Her prediction comes true when, in the ceremony where the crown is set to change hands, the true Miss Georgia reveals that she slept with one of the judges to get a better score, and Suzanne keeps her crown.

70 October 16, 1989 "Nightmare from Hee Haw" The Sugarbaker women and their mates take a canoe trip in the Georgia backwoods, but while unwinding in a bar/diner later that night, some large countrymen get it set in their minds that they want to dance with the women and will do whatever it takes to make that happen.

71 October 23, 1989 "The Girlfriend" Anthony introduces his new girlfriend, Lita, to the women and they immediately dislike her. The women are desperate to get a remodeling job done when they must fire their handyman for slacking off. Anthony offers his services, and hires some of his ex-convict friends to help him. Anthony's eager to prove himself, but his friends cut corners with much of the material and Anthony would rather tell the truth to the women than do a shoddy job.

72 October 30, 1989 "The Rowdy Girls" While she is helping the Sugarbaker women choreograph a Supremes lip-synch routine, Charlene's favorite cousin inadvertently reveals that she is a victim of domestic violence.

73 November 13, 1989 "Bernice's Sanity Hearing" Bernice's niece tries to have her declared incompetent because of her sometimes bizarre behavior. The women must testify for her.

74 November 20, 1989 "Julia Gets Her Head Stuck in a Fence" Sugarbaker's is hired to decorated the Governor's mansion for its annual ball. Anthony receives an invitation to the ball, but Suzanne is dismayed when she doesn't. After decorating the "Abbott banister" at the mansion, Julia is persuaded by the others to do something silly and winds up with her head stuck in the banister, which cannot be cut due to its historical significance.

75 November 27, 1989 "Julia and Suzanne's Big Adventure" Julia and Suzanne go to Japan to visit their mother. After learning she is visiting a sick friend in Paris, they are robbed of their money and luggage. Anthony and Mary Jo call in votes to a television poll and later realize they owe an enormous phone bill.

76 December 4, 1989 "Manhunt" Desperately single Mary Jo, worried that her busy schedule will condemn her to a life alone, accepts coaching from Suzanne as she plans a weekend manhunt.

77 December 11, 1989 "They Shoot Fat Women, Don't They?" While Anthony gets Julia and the others involved in a two-day world hunger event to end its starvation in Ethopia, Suzanne is nervous about attending her twenty-fifth high school reunion.

78 December 18, 1989 "You Got to Have Friends" Mary Jo takes a second job at a fast food place when Ted's child support payment is late. Anthony, Bernice and Julia come face to face with her while they are in line at "Burger Guy" to get something to eat.

79 January 1, 1990 "The First Day of the Last Decade of the Entire Twentieth Century: Part 1" Suzanne and Mary Jo rush Charlene to the hospital when she goes into labor on New Year's Eve and conceives a desire to deliver the first New Year's baby. Note: Dolly Parton guest stars.

80 January 1, 1990 "The First Day of the Last Decade of the Entire Twentieth Century: Part 2" Plot summary not available

81 January 8, 1990 "The Mistress" Sugarbaker's are hired to decorate a house for the client's wife and the condo of his mistress.

82 January 15, 1990 "The Fur Flies" The fur flies at a fashion show where Suzanne's after-dinner mink causes a riot among animal-rights activists. Charlene brings Olivia to Sugarbaker's while she looks for a nanny.

83 January 29, 1990 "Oh, what a Feeling" Their delivery van breaks down stranding Anthony with a nasty client in the middle of the freeway and in a rain storm. The ladies needed to get a van to finish the delivery, by midnight so they decide to buy a new one.

84 February 5, 1990 "Anthony and Vanessa" Hired for a temporary job a Sugarbaker's, Anthony's friend Vanessa learns the tricks of the trade from Suzanne and then goes to work reeling in Anthony.

85 February 19, 1990 "Payne Grows Up" Julia is not pleased to learn that Payne is graduating early in order to marry his pregnant girlfriend. She drinks too much at the wedding reception and wakes up the next day with Payne's college roommate.

86 February 26, 1990 "Tornado Watch" Julia, Suzanne, Mary-Jo, Anthony and Charlene must endure being stranded for the duration of a tornado watch with Bernice, a hillbilly, a sexually disinhibited client and Anthony's ex-girlfriend.

87 March 12, 1990 "Tough Enough" Sugarbaker's go against a bunch of guy decorators in a bowl-off to try to land a decorating job for bowling alley.

88 March 19, 1990 "It's a Wonderful Life" Charlene feels unattractive since having the baby and suspects that Bill is having an affair. When she confronts him, they have a huge argument. To bring back the romance in their relationship, Julia, Mary Jo, and Anthony decide to recreate where Bill and Charlene spent their first date.

89 April 30, 1990 "Foreign Affairs" Suzanne's maid Consuela, is threatened with deportation. Anthony pretends to be her, even wearing a dress, to help her.

90 April 9, 1990 "Suzanne Goes Looking For A Friend" Suzanne's old pagent friend turns out to be a lesbian.
  • Director: David Trainer
  • Writer(s): Mark Alton Brown and Dee LaDuke

91 May 7, 1990 "Have Faith" Mary Jo attends church with Julia and Charlene and ends up dating the minister. Anthony gets his clothing stolen at a baseball game.

92 May 9, 1990 "Their Finest Hour" Plot summary not available

93 May 14, 1990 "Anthony's Graduation" As if Anthony weren't under enough stress over his impending graduation, and a visit from his grandmother, he is shot in the leg by Suzanne, when she mistakes him for an intruder.

94 May 21, 1990 "La Place sans Souci" Julia, Mary Jo, Suzanne, Charlene, and Anthony go to a posh spa. After Suzanne and Charlene are put on the weight loss program and Julia and Mary Jo are put on the weight gain program, tempers flare. They end up getting kicked out of the resort after flinging mud at each other from the thermal mud bath.

Season 5 (1990–1991)

24 episodes
Episode # Airdate Title Overview
95 September 17, 1990 "Blast from the Past" Sugarbakers is put on a historical tour of homes, and Julia gets irate at the selling of the myth of the old south.
  • Director:
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96 September 24, 1990 "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" During Anthony's 30th birthday, he ends up meeting the father he never knew.
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97 October 1, 1990 "Working Mother" Charlene wants to take a year off work to look after her baby. Sugarbaker's newest client is a bratty 10 year old.
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98 October 15, 1990 "Miss Trial" Julia may have to miss her reception with Former President Carter, when she is busted for failure to report for jury duty.

99 October 22, 1990 "The Bachelor Auction" Suzanne accidentally buys a date with Anthony in a charity auction.
  • Director:
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100 October 29, 1990 "Charlene Buys a House" Charlene buys a house that is haunted by the former owner. She hires Sugarbaker's to make some decorating improvements and the ladies have to stay the night in the haunted house.
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101 November 5, 1990 "Old Rebels and Young Models" Charlene's baby auditions for a modeling job.
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102 November 12, 1990 "Nowhere to Run" Mary Jo takes up jogging and invites Julia to come along. Soon Julia goes overboard, only focusing on running, so she will get in shape for her annual physical.
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103 November 19, 1990 "A Class Act" Charlene enrolls at a community college taking a winter quarter course in psychology.
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104 November 26, 1990 "Keep the Homes Fires Burning" Charlene misses her husband Bill who's been sent to the Persian Gulf. She dreams back in time when the United States enters the war following the attack on Pearl Harbor of December 7, 1941.

105 December 10, 1990 "My Daughter, Myself" Mary Jo forbids her nearly 18-year-old daughter to date a 34-year-old man. She then decides to date him herself. Julia crashes the men's restroom at a football stadium after waiting in line forever for the women's restroom.

106 December 17, 1990 "And now, Here's Bernice" Bernice gets a local public-access cable TV show and discusses Sugabaker's on air. After Mary Jo has her heart broken, she decides that she needs to warn women about men like this and uses Bernice's show to out them.

107 January 7, 1991 "Pearls of Wisdom" Suzanne celebrates her new job as a lifestyle reporter on the local news by buying an expensive pearl necklace. Mary Jo switches her knock off pearls for Suzanne's real ones and then loses them in an All-you-can-eat salad bar.

108 January 14, 1991 "High Noon in the Laundry Room" After Anthony's laundry room is taken over by a group of thugs, he's afraid that confronting by the thugs might spark a big brawl. The ladies arrive in the laundry room just in time to come to his rescue.

109 January 28, 1991 "How Long Has This Been Going On?" Everyone at Sugarbaker's is shocked when they discover Julia has been secretly performing at a local night club. Anthony wants to date a beautiful woman who works at the local bookstore, then realizes he's judged a book by its cover.
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110 February 4, 1991 "The Emperor's New Nose" Bernice gets a botched face lift, liposuction work, and (bad) nose job that makes her look like a pig. Suzanne buys a Cadillac after driving one as a loaner while her Mercedes is in the shop. The girls can't stop complimenting her on it, while secretly laughing at it. While shopping with Charlene, Bernice actually gets mistakened for Miss Piggy by a little boy and his mother. Bernice finally decides to get reconstructive surgery.

111 February 11, 1991 "Maybe, Baby" Mary Jo decides she wants a baby, while Suzanne decides she's going to smoke to lose weight.
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112 February 25, 1991 "This is Art?" After Julia's purse accidentally gets mistaken for art and sold at a local art show, she becomes a locally famous artist. Suzanne glues her mouth shut while repairing a broken fingernail and is mistaken for a mime at the art show.
  • Director: Roberta Sherry-Scelza
  • Writer(s): Steven Roth, Deane Roth

113 March 4, 1991 Blame It On New Orleans The ladies attend a convention in New Orleans. Mary Jo has a fling with a man who turns out to be married.

114 March 18, 1991 I'll See You In Court Mary Jo sees the man who mugged her, then gets disappointed at the judicial system. Suzanne takes Berniece shopping, with ulterior motives.
  • Director: Iris Dugow
  • Writer(s): Debbie Pearl, Cassandra Clark

115 Airdate not available The Big Circle After Reese dies, Suzanne helps a despondent Julia plan a getaway cruise; only to have a former client, young Randa Oliver, arrive on her doorstep needing a place to stay.
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116 Airdate not available Friends And Husbands Charlene's husband Bill returns from the Persian Gulf, but Mary Jo's visits ruins the couples' reunion. Julia tries to renew her driver's license.

117 May 6, 1991 "Fore!" Anthony is invited to join the Beaumont Driving Club (of which Suzanne has long wanted to belong to), but is only wanted to be their token black member.

118 Airdate not available "Pride of the Sugarbakers" Mary Jo and Julia coach a Little League team that Sugarbaker's sponsor. Suzanne's car keeps getting hit at the games by foul balls. [Note: this is to be Delta Burke's final appearance on the series.]
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Season 6 (1991–1992)

23 episodes
Episode # Airdate Title Overview
119 September 16, 1991 "The Big Desk: Part 1" Plot summary not available [Note: Julia Duffy and Jan Hooks join the cast.]

120 September 16, 1991 "The Big Desk: Part 2" Sugarbaker cousin and the new not-so-silent partner Allison tries to take charge of Sugarbaker's and Julia is not too thrilled. [Note: Jean Smart's final appearance on the series; she is credited as a "special guest star."]

121 September 23, 1991 "A Toe in the Water" Julia reluctantly begins dating again Reese's death, but Alison, Mary Jo and Carlene are convinced that her new boyfriend is gay; meanwhile, Alison and Anthony continue to battle over which one gets possession of Suzanne's house.
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122 September 30, 1991 "Dwayne's World" When Carlene's ex-husband visits her in Atlanta, Anthony pretends to be her boyfriend.
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123 October 7, 1991 "Most Marriage Foul" When Allison's ex-convict former flame (whom she turned in for insider trading) is released, she fears he is plotting revenge, instead, he proposes to her.

124 October 14, 1991 "Picking A Winner" Mary Jo turns to a sperm bank to get pregnant. After Julia doesn't receive a payment for draperies she goes to the client's house to get them back.
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125 October 21, 1991 "Last Tango in Atlanta" Allison gets a bad hairdo from a ponytailed stylist. The women help out at an outreach program at Anthony's old prison and are stuck in a room with T-Tommy Reed during a prison riot. He takes a liking to Allison and makes her feel better about her hairdo. After the women leave the jail Allison receives a package from T-Tommy with the stylist's ponytail in it.
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126 November 4, 1991 "The Strange Case of Clarence and Anita" Tensions run high at Sugarbaker's during the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court Confirmation Hearing.
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127 November 11, 1991 "Just Say Doe Plot summary not available
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128 November 18, 1991 "Julia And Rusty, Sittin In A Tree" Julia's date with Rusty, the Sugarbaker's electrician, turns into a group outing.
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129 December 1, 1991 "Julia And Mary Jo Get Stuck Under A Bed" Sugarbaker's enters a Christmas design contest, but are worried about their ideas being copied. While checking one of the competitor's designs out, Julia and Mary Jo have to hide under a promiscuous anchorman's bed to avoid being caught in his house.
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130 December 9, 1991 "Real, Scary Men" Julia, Mary Jo, Carlene, and Allison are stranded at a men's only resort.
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131 December 16, 1991 "Tales Out Of School" Plot summary not available
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132 January 6, 1992 "Driving My Mama Back Home" Julia and Mary Jo take Mary Jo's mother home on an overnight bus trip. Allison, Carlene and Anthony get locked in the storeroom while taking inventory.
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133 January 13, 1992 "Payne Comes Home" Following marital problems, Payne returns home.
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134 January 20, 1992 "Carlene's New Apartment" Carlene invites Julia, Mary Jo, Allison, Anthony and Bernice to a sleepover to celebrate her finding her own apartment. They end up fleeing in the middle of the night.
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135 February 3, 1992 "Mamed" Julia becomes a tyrant while producing a community play. Anthony has to save the day by taking over the (female) lead role of the play when the star shows up drunk.
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136 February 10, 1992 "A Scene From A Mall" Mall security guards accuse Anthony of criminal activities when he is standing outside a jewelry store. Julia stages a sit-in at the mall to protest his unfair treatment.
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137 March 2, 1992 "All About Odes To Atlanta" Carlene enters an Atlanta theme-song contest and convinces Mary Jo and Julia to perform her jingle with her at the contest finals. Shortly after entering Carlene gets a groupie who wants to be as helpful as she can with the contest. She turns out to be a competitor in the jingle contest who is trying to sabotage Carlene's chance at winning.
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138 March 9, 1992 "I Enjoy Being A Girl" Carlene becomes a Girl Scout troop leader to a group of rich, bratty girls. Julia, Mary Jo, Allison and Carlene take the girls on a camp out.
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139 March 23, 1992 "L.A. Story" Allison invests in a Hollywood film, then brings everyone to director Charles Nelson Reilly's home. He has no idea who they are and Allison learns she has basically been conned out of her $25,000 investment.
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140 April 27, 1992 "A Little Night Music" Julia finds out from her doctor that she may need a hysterectomy. She has to go into the hospital almost immediately for surgery because the staff will soon be on strike.
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141 May ?, 1992 "Shades of Vanessa" Anthony woos a rich client and gets her as a girlfriend. Soon after meeting, she and Anthony announce their engagement.(Guest starring Jackee)
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Season 7 (1992–1993)

22 episodes
Episode # Airdate Title Overview
142 September 25, 1992 "Of Human Bondage" Sugarbaker's is facing bankruptcy in the seventh season opener, after cousin Alison has pulled all of her money out of the company. But relief is in sight when a new wealthy client hires the firm. But a wild party at her house might end up costing them the business. [Note: Judith Ivey joins the cast as B.J.; for the final season the show no longer has an opening theme song, instead displaying the actors' names over the beginning of the actual episode.]
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143 October 2, 1992 "Sex and the Single Woman" Carlene spends the night with her visiting ex-husband, then admits she was just using him for sex.
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144 October 16, 1992 "Mary Jo vs. the Terminator" After Mary Jo asks Julia to proofread a letter for her, Julia completely rewrites it, annoying Mary Jo. Mary Jo ends up telling off bossy Julia at a fashion runway show. B.J. angers vegetarians.
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145 October 23, 1992 "On the Road Again" Mary Jo wants to be more spontaneous like her ex-husband Ted. She, Julia, and Bernice go on a road trip to Nashville to see Julia's flame. While they are eating at truck stop restaurant Bernice flirts with a truck driver, who ends up following them home to return Julia's phone card she left behind. Anthony and Carlene study for final exams.
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146 October 30, 1991 "Screaming Passages" Julia fears the emotional roller coaster of menopause.
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147 November 6, 1992 "Viva Las Vegas" (1) Plot summary not available
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148 November 13, 1992 "Fools Rush In" (2) Plot summary not available
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149 November 20, 1992 "Love Letters" B.J. finds steamy love letters from another woman in her late husband's safety deposit box. Mary Jo goes wild in her new red convertible
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150 December 4, 1992 "The Vision Thing" Etienne drives Anthony crazy trying to be the perfect wife.
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151 December 11, 1992 "Trial and Error" Law student Anthony helps Mary Jo in court in a case involving her defective freezer.
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152 January 8, 1993 "Too Dumb to Date" Mary Jo dates a handsome idiot, who she has little in common with.
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153 January 15, 1993 "The Odyssey" Plot summary not available
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154 January 22, 1993 "Oh Dog, Poor Dog" Bernice stays with Julia while she recuperates from eye surgery. Mary Jo has to have her dog Brownie put to sleep. While resting on the couch, Bernice overhears Mary Jo and Julia discussing the dog and thinks they are having her euthanized.
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155 February 5, 1993 "Wedding Redux" Plot summary not available

156 February 12, 1993 "Nude Julia, New York Morning" While attending a gallery art show of a former teacher of Julia's, Mary Jo, Anthony, Carlene, B.J. and Julia discover a nude painting on display that he painted of Julia.
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157 March 5, 1993 "Sex, Lies and Bad Hair Days" With a big birthday coming up, a depressed B.J. changes her hair. Julia tries to find her a date, but all the men she ends up dating are jerks.
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158 March 12, 1993 "Shovel Off to Buffalo" When the face of Elvis appears on her snow shovel, Mary Jo wants to get rid of it. Her neighbor sees it and when she tries to convince him its just a coincidence, he regains his hearing and believes she is a miracle worker. At the end of the episode the face on the shovel mysteriously disappears.
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159 April 2, 1993 "It's Not So Easy Being Green" When Etienne's successful writer friend visits Anthony is jealous of the vivid past he shares with her. He tries to be gracious by throwing a signing party for him.
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160 April 30, 1993 "The Woman Who Came to Sugarbakers" Julia's overbearing former school mistress visits and annoys everyone at Sugarbaker's. After Julia tells them she is only there because of ghostly instructions from her dead husband telling her to "Go to Julia", they decide to have a seance to try to force her to leave.
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161 May 7, 1993 "The Lying Game" Carlene is confused by her new beau Eric's unusual habit of cross-dressing. To try to understand him, she begins cross-dressing.
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162 May 24, 1993 "Gone With a Whim" (1) The Sugarbaker mansion is sold and is about to be remodeled.
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163 May 24, 1993 "Gone With a Whim" (2) Julie attempts to save the business. [Note: the series' finale.]
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Reunion shows

Episode # Airdate Title Overview
N/A July 28, 2003 "The Designing Women Reunion" Delta Burke, Dixie Carter, Annie Potts, Jean Smart and Meshach Taylor reunited to share behind-the-scenes memories from their time on the series. Topics included initial casting and favorite episodes. Clips from many episodes are played, as well as new interviews with additional cast members, crew members and others associated with the world of television.

External links

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