List of Thirtysomething episodes

This is a list of episodes for the television series Thirtysomething.[1]

Series overview

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
121September 29, 1987 (1987-09-29)May 10, 1988 (1988-05-10)
217December 6, 1988 (1988-12-06)May 16, 1989 (1989-05-16)
324September 19, 1989 (1989-09-19)May 22, 1990 (1990-05-22)
423September 25, 1990 (1990-09-25)May 28, 1991 (1991-05-28)


Season 1 (1987–88)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"Pilot"Marshall HerskovitzMarshall Herskovitz & Edward ZwickSeptember 29, 1987 (1987-09-29)
Hope and Michael Steadman adjust to parenthood while dealing with money problems and crises involving their best friends.
22"The Parents Are Coming, the Parents Are Coming"Edward ZwickMarshall Herskovitz & Edward ZwickOctober 6, 1987 (1987-10-06)
Hope's hostility towards her mother mars her parents' visit.
33"Housewarming"John PasquinEdward Zwick & Marshall HerskovitzOctober 13, 1987 (1987-10-13)
As the Steadmans prepare for a housewarming, Michael feels guilty for living a yuppie lifestyle and the carpenter flirts with Hope.
44"Couples"Marshall HerskovitzEdward Zwick & Marshall HerskovitzOctober 27, 1987 (1987-10-27)
Hope and Michael compare their marriage to Elliot and Nancy's.
55"But Not for Me"Tom MooreRichard KramerNovember 3, 1987 (1987-11-03)
Hope and Michael have a night on the town that doesn't go well, while Gary and Melissa save each other from romantic self-pity.
66"We Gather Together"Mark CullinghamStory by: Susan Miller
Teleplay by: Susan Miller and Richard Kramer & Edward Zwick
November 17, 1987 (1987-11-17)
The gang celebrates a Thanksgiving they'll never forget.
77"Nice Work If You Can Get It"Claudia WeillStory by: Jean Vallely
Teleplay by: Paul Haggis
December 1, 1987 (1987-12-01)
Ellyn gives Michael and Elliot a tough account as she considers a romantic relationship with her boss.
88"Weaning"John PasquinLiberty GodshallDecember 8, 1987 (1987-12-08)
Hope has mixed feelings when she returns to work after weaning Janey.
99"I'll Be Home for Christmas"Robert LiebermanStory by: Susan Monsky
Teleplay by: Richard Kramer
December 15, 1987 (1987-12-15)
Hope and Michael argue over whether to have a Christmas tree or a menorah, while a famous photographer takes an interest in Melissa.
1010"South by Southeast"Dan LernerPaul HaggisJanuary 5, 1988 (1988-01-05)
In an homage to Alfred Hitchcock, Gary falls for a woman with past indiscretions.
1111"Therapy"Marshall HerskovitzSusan ShillidayJanuary 12, 1988 (1988-01-12)
Nancy talks Elliot into seeing a marriage counselor and Michael reveals Ellyn's tattoo.
1212"Competition"Rob CohenJoseph DoughertyJanuary 19, 1988 (1988-01-19)
Michael thinks he's being replaced when Elliot spends more time with a new client. In the meantime, Hope and Nancy try to bond with Mr. Computer.
1313"Separation"Peter HortonSusan ShillidayJanuary 26, 1988 (1988-01-26)
Hope and Michael take up Elliot following his separation from Nancy.
1414"I'm in Love, I'm in Love, I'm in Love with a Wonderful Gynecologist"Scott WinantStory by: Ann Lewis Hamilton
Teleplay by: Ann Lewis Hamilton & Richard Kramer
February 2, 1988 (1988-02-02)
Ellyn and Melissa compete for a gynecologist's attention.
1515"Business as Usual"Claudia WeillPaul Haggis & Marshal HerskovitzFebruary 9, 1988 (1988-02-09)
Michael's father arrives with a surprise announcement that tests the family during a celebration.
1616"Accounts Receivable"Edward ZwickRichard KramerMarch 1, 1988 (1988-03-01)
Leo Steadman dies from cancer, leaving Michael to deal with death on his own when unfinished business between him and his brother comes to a head over money.
1717"Whose Forest is This?"Peter HortonStory by: Kathleen Tolan
Teleplay by: Richard Kramer
March 15, 1988 (1988-03-15)
As Ethan frets over his parents' separation, Elliot worries about a blind date.
1818"Nancy's First Date"Ron LagomarsinoSusan ShillidayMarch 22, 1988 (1988-03-22)
Nancy has her first date since the separation, while Melissa and Dr. Bob have a disagreement over whether to have kids.
1919"Undone"Dan LernerJoseph DoughertyApril 12, 1988 (1988-04-12)
Michael's college friend comes to visit, leading him to face his past as she makes an impact on his loved ones.
2020"Tenure"Ken GilbertStory by: John Olive
Teleplay by: Ann Lewis Hamilton
May 3, 1988 (1988-05-03)
Gary is up for tenure and Ellyn is thinking of buying her co-op apartment.
2121"Born to Be Mild"Ron LagomarsinoJerry StahlMay 10, 1988 (1988-05-10)
Ellyn and Woodman are left with the baby as Michael and Hope go off on a romantic weekend.

Season 2 (1988–89)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
221"We'll Meet Again"Scott WinantRichard KramerDecember 6, 1988 (1988-12-06)
Hope discovers World War II mementos belonging to a woman who once lived in their house as she struggles with her decision to have another baby.
232"In Re: The Marriage of Weston"Peter HortonSusan ShillidayDecember 13, 1988 (1988-12-13)
Nancy and Elliot each find new significant others while submitting to a divorce arbitrator's indignities.
243"The Mike Van Dyke Show"Ron LagomarsinoMarshal Herskovitz & Edward ZwickDecember 20, 1988 (1988-12-20)
With the holidays around the corner, the Steadman home endures more religious uncertainty as Michael prepares for a trip to Chicago for the unveiling of his father's headstone.
254"Trust Me"Steve RobmanRichard KramerJanuary 3, 1989 (1989-01-03)
Melissa considers having a baby with Gary and seeks further counseling from a new friend.
265"No Promises"Ken OlinLiberty GodshallJanuary 10, 1989 (1989-01-10)
Ellyn learns of her parents' divorce as she begins her relationship with Woodman.
276"Politics"Claudia WeillStory by: Jerry Stahl
Teleplay by: Susan Shilliday
January 17, 1989 (1989-01-17)
Gary tries to determine his relationship with Susannah, while Michael agrees to handle a dubious candidate's ad campaign.
287"Success"Ron LagomarsinoEdward Zwick & Marshall HerskovitzJanuary 31, 1989 (1989-01-31)
Melissa is hired to shoot Carly Simon's album cover and Michael and Elliot hit a roadblock on the path to success.
298"First Day/Last Day"Peter HortonJoseph DoughertyFebruary 7, 1989 (1989-02-07)
Michael and Elliot's partnership falls apart as Michael interviews for a new job and Elliot seems determined to go down with the ship.
309"About Last Night"Gary SiniseStory by: Tammy Ader
Teleplay by: Ann Lewis Hamilton
February 14, 1989 (1989-02-14)
The love-hate relationship between Gary and Susannah takes an unexpected turn when they take their conflict into the bedroom and Nancy tries to meet the deadline for her book.
3110"Elliot's Dad"Dan LernerJoseph DoughertyFebruary 28, 1989 (1989-02-28)
Elliot tries to win his son's affection, but seems destined to follow in the footsteps of his divorced father.
3211"Payment Due"Ron LagomarsinoCynthia SaundersMarch 7, 1989 (1989-03-07)
Ellyn gets an ulcer when stress leads her to lash out at Hope and Woodman and find nourishment from another man.
3312"Deliverance"Peter HortonAnn Lewis HamiltonMarch 21, 1989 (1989-03-21)
The women face some past demons on a camping trip, while the men call a truce to keep the home fires burning.
3413"Michael Writes a Story"Tim MooreJoseph DoughertyApril 4, 1989 (1989-04-04)
When Michael ends up in the same writing workshop with Nancy, he learns truth about fiction as he uses her life for a book. Meanwhile, he and Elliot consider a job offer.
3514"New Job"Joshua BrandAnn Lewis HamiltonApril 11, 1989 (1989-04-11)
Michael tries to keep it together at his new job while he and Hope try to deal with a devastating loss without dealing with each other.
3615"Be a Good Girl"Richard KramerRichard KramerApril 25, 1989 (1989-04-25)
Although Melissa is a good girl for her grandmother, she tries not to feel guilty when she receives an offer from Rose.
3716"Courting Nancy"Ken OlinSusan ShillidayMay 2, 1989 (1989-05-02)
Elliot tries to talk Nancy out of ending their marriage as they enter a new chapter of their relationship.
3817"Best of Enemies"Joseph DoughertyJoseph DoughertyMay 16, 1989 (1989-05-16)
Hope discovers that Susannah has diverted funds at the Race Street project, but Gary asks her not to write about it.

Season 3 (1989–90)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
391"Nancy's Mom"Ron LagomarsinoAnn Lewis HamiltonSeptember 19, 1989 (1989-09-19)
Nancy's mom visits just as she's about to settle with Elliot.
402"Love and Sex"Marshall HerskovitzLiberty GodshallOctober 3, 1989 (1989-10-03)
Michael and Hope see their babysitter in the joys of young love when they lose sexual attraction to each other.
413"Mr. Right"Scott WinantJill GordonOctober 10, 1989 (1989-10-10)
Melissa and Ellyn decide to take a shot at video dating to find the right men.
424"New Baby"Marshall HerskovitzAnn Lewis HamiltonOctober 24, 1989 (1989-10-24)
Susannah seems reluctant to take on the responsibility of motherhood as Gary helps her go through labor.
435"Legacy"Scott WinantJoseph DoughertyOctober 31, 1989 (1989-10-31)
Michael and Elliot's near-death experience leads the Steadmans to write a will and the Westons to further their reconciliation.
446"Strangers"Peter O'FallonRichard KramerNovember 7, 1989 (1989-11-07)
Melissa isn't sure about her feelings for a younger man and Russell isn't sure about a new man he's just met.
457"Pilgrims"Ken OlinRichard KramerNovember 21, 1989 (1989-11-21)
With Thanksgiving around the corner, Elliot moves back in and a rash of neighborhood robberies frightens Ethan.
468"The Burning Bush"Mary Beth FielderSusan ShillidayNovember 28, 1989 (1989-11-28)
Ellyn thinks about seeing a married man, putting her long-time friendship with Hope in jeopardy.
479"New Parents"Gary SiniseAnn Lewis HamiltonDecember 5, 1989 (1989-12-05)
Gary decides to stay home with the baby while Susannah goes back to work, only for his mother to show up and make things difficult.
4810"Michael's Campaign"Joseph DoughertyJoseph DoughertyDecember 12, 1989 (1989-12-12)
In his fight over a campaign with the creative director, Michael creates a strategy taken from a similar incident in his adolescent years.
4911"Pulling Away"Rob CohenJoseph DoughertyJanuary 9, 1990 (1990-01-09)
Michael puts a strain on his relationship with Elliot when he becomes the agency's "temporary" creative director and Hope's increased workload puts a strain on their marriage.
5012"Another Country"Ron LagomarsinoRichard KramerJanuary 6, 1990 (1990-01-06)
An unexpected occurrence puts an end to Nancy and Ethan's excitement over their book being published.
5113"Post-Op"Peter HortonSusan ShillidayJanuary 23, 1990 (1990-01-23)
Nancy is pushed to the breaking point by her sister's good intentions, Elliot's coddling and her friends' awkward reactions.
5214"Once a Mermaid"Ellen S. PressmanStory by: Ellen Simon
Teleplay by: Ann Lewis Hamilton
February 6, 1990 (1990-02-06)
Ellyn has a secret relationship with Jeffrey.
5315"Fathers and Lovers"Peter O'FallonStory by: Ramsey Fadiman
Teleplay by: Ramsey Fadiman and Winnie Holzman
February 13, 1990 (1990-02-13)
Melissa thinks she's created a monster when she talks Lee into getting a job at DAA, then realizes she's inherited her mad-scientist manipulations from her father.
5416"Her Cup Runneth Over"Timothy BusfieldWinnie HolzmanFebruary 20, 1990 (1990-02-20)
Ellyn feels like she's stolen Jeffrey when he leaves his wife.
5517"Good Sex, Bad Sex, What Sex, No Sex"Scott WinantJill GordonFebruary 27, 1990 (1990-02-27)
Melissa has too much sex, Gary and Susannah don't have enough and it becomes a point of disagreement between Elliot and Nancy.
5618"The Other Shoe"Ken OlinJoseph DoughertyMarch 20, 1990 (1990-03-20)
A fellow cancer patient offers Nancy advice that further separates her from her family and friends.
5719"Three Year Itch"Victor DuBoisAnn Lewis HamiltonApril 3, 1990 (1990-04-03)
Although the incinerator project has come to an end, Hope's relationship with John seems to linger and Michael feels guilty about keeping his own secret from Elliot.
5820"I'm Nobody, Who Are You?"Richard KramerWinnie HolzmanApril 10, 1990 (1990-04-10)
Gary and Susannah want a taste of the good life, while Michael and Hope are envious of their work lives.
5921"Arizona"Edward ZwickSusan ShillidayApril 17, 1990 (1990-04-17)
Hope and Michael travel to Arizona for the 40th anniversary of Hope's parents, only for tensions between them to erupt in the desert.
6022"Going Limp"Melanie MayronHugh O'NeillMay 1, 1990 (1990-05-01)
Elliot talks Michael and Ellyn into letting him shoot his first commercial for the city.
6123"The Go Between"
"The Towers of Zenith: Part 1"
Scott WinantJoseph DoughertyMay 15, 1990 (1990-05-15)

Michael suspects a change in the air at DAA thanks to their biggest client, while Miles wants Elliot out.

In 1997, TV Guide ranked this episode (along with part 2) #22 on its list of the 100 Greatest Episodes.[2]
6224"Samurai Ad Man"
"The Towers of Zenith: Part 2"
Joseph DoughertyJoseph DoughertyMay 22, 1990 (1990-05-22)

As a corporate mole, Michael tries to figure out Miles' behavior in order to stop the takeover attempt.

In 1997, TV Guide ranked this episode (along with part 1) #22 on its list of the 100 Greatest Episodes.[3]

Season 4 (1990–91)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
631"Prelude to a Bris"Richard KramerRichard KramerSeptember 25, 1990 (1990-09-25)14.6[4]
The Steadmans have a son, but are unsure about the bris and Michael resents his mother's boyfriend.
642"Life Class"Scott WinantWinnie HolzmanOctober 2, 1990 (1990-10-02)16.5[5]
Nancy is told by her doctors that her lack of desire is all in her head, but she has a different theory when she fantasizes about an art student.
653"Control"Ellen S. PressmanAnn Lewis HamiltonOctober 9, 1990 (1990-10-09)14.9[6]
Melissa treads on thin ice with Miles while Jeffrey and Ellyn aren't so sure about living together.
664"The Distance"Melanie MayronJoseph DoughertyOctober 16, 1990 (1990-10-16)13.1[7]
A job in New York leads Susannah and Gary to consider a two-city relationship and Jeffrey chooses the long-distance without Ellyn.
675"The Haunting of DAA"Joseph DoughertyAnn Lewis HamiltonOctober 30, 1990 (1990-10-30)13.8[8]
With Halloween around the corner, Miles assigns Michael the task of firing people.
686"The Guilty Party"Norman SeeffWinnie HolzmanNovember 13, 1990 (1990-11-13)13.3[9]
Hope's inadequacies seem to overwhelm her as she prepares for Michael's surprise birthday party.
697"Photo Opportunity"Ellen S. PressmanRacelle Rossett SchaeferNovember 27, 1989 (1989-11-27)12.7[10]
Melissa tries to focus on a possible photo assignment for a magazine, but the situation with her mother could make it difficult.
708"Never Better"Ann Lewis HamiltonJoseph DoughertyDecember 4, 1990 (1990-12-04)14.5[11]
Ellyn and Gary are still adjusting to being friends as they face the temptation of seeing other people.
719"Guns and Roses"Ken OlinLiberty GodshallDecember 11, 1990 (1990-12-11)16.4[12]
Nancy's chemotherapy takes its toll and Ethan keeps coming home with bruises.
7210"Happy New Year"Victor Du BoisRichard KramerDecember 18, 1990 (1990-12-18)14.8[13]
The group gathers at the Steadmans' home for New Year's Eve, but Hope is unable to forget the death of an old acquaintance.
7311"Melissa and Men"Randall MillerWinnie HolzmanJanuary 8, 1991 (1991-01-08)14.0[14]
While organizing her first gallery show, Melissa discovers that her work seems to express her inhibitions about men.
7412"Advanced Beginners"Deborah ReinischLiberty Godshall and Winnie HolzmanJanuary 22, 1991 (1991-01-22)14.2[15]
Just as Billy's relationship with Ellyn is heating up, his ex-girlfriend pays a visit.
7513"Sifting the Ashes"Martin NicholsonW.H. Macy & Steven Schachter and Joseph DoughertyFebruary 5, 1991 (1991-02-05)14.7[16]
As Nancy begins her final round of chemotherapy, Ethan looks for something to believe in and Elliot's mother brings him face-to-face with his religious upbringing.
7614"Second Look"Ken OlinAnn Lewis HamiltonFebruary 12, 1991 (1991-02-12)17.2[17]

Nancy goes through her second-look surgery, then she and Elliot wait for the results.

In 2009, TV Guide ranked this episode #34 on its list of the 100 Greatest Episodes.[18]
7715"Fighting the Cold"Joseph DoughertyJoseph DoughertyFebruary 19, 1991 (1991-02-19)17.2[19]
Recent events bring out strong emotions in the Steadman home.
7816"The Difference Between Men and Women"Timothy BusfieldWinnie HolzmanFebruary 26, 1991 (1991-02-26)15.9[20]
Melissa sets off a battle of the sexes that culminates in Billy and Ellyn throwing night-out parties.
7917"The Wedding"Scott WinantJill GordonApril 9, 1991 (1991-04-09)18.7[21]
As the wedding day approaches, Ellyn isn't sure her marriage will be stable, while Melissa and Lee take a step toward reconciliation.
8018"Closing the Circle"Richard KramerPaul Monette and Richard KramerApril 16, 1991 (1991-04-16)16.9[22]
Michael searches for Gary's ghost on how to help another friend who's decided to get tested for AIDS.
8119"Out the Door"Mel HarrisAnn Lewis HamiltonApril 30, 1991 (1991-04-30)12.9[23]
Tough times at DAA lead Miles to make Michael an offer and Elliot to consider quitting.
8220"Hopeless"Mark HarrisLiberty GodshallMay 7, 1991 (1991-05-07)14.1[24]
Hope tries to help the homeless mother and children she met at the shelter where she's doing volunteer work.
8321"A Stop at Willoughby"Timothy BusfieldJoseph DoughertyMay 14, 1991 (1991-05-14)12.4[25]
Michael fights with Miles over an actor-spokesman's unpopular opinion on the war.
8422"Melissa in Wonderland"Ellen S. PressmanWinnie HolzmanMay 21, 1991 (1991-05-21)12.8[26]
Melissa goes to Hollywood to shoot a sitcom star who incorporates Melissa's character into her own.
8523"California"Scott WinantMarshall Herskovitz & Edward Zwick & Liberty Godshall & Susan Shilliday & Joseph Dougherty & Winnie Holzman & Richard Kramer & Ann Lewis HamiltonMay 28, 1991 (1991-05-28)18.4[27]
When Michael considers moving to California, he and Hope reach a crossroads in their marriage.


  1. List of thirtysomething episodes on IMDb
  2. "Special Collector's Issue: 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time". TV Guide (June 28-July 4). 1997.
  3. "Special Collector's Issue: 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time". TV Guide (June 28-July 4). 1997.
  4. "Nielsen ratings". USA Today. Gannett Company. October 3, 1990. p. D3. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  5. "Nielsen ratings". USA Today. Gannett Company. October 10, 1990. p. D3. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  6. "Nielsen ratings". USA Today. Gannett Company. October 17, 1990. p. D3. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  7. "Nielsen ratings". USA Today. Gannett Company. October 24, 1990. p. D3. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  8. "Nielsen ratings". USA Today. Gannett Company. November 7, 1990. p. D3. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  9. "Nielsen ratings". USA Today. Gannett Company. November 21, 1990. p. D3. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  10. "Nielsen ratings". USA Today. Gannett Company. December 5, 1990. p. D3. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  11. "Nielsen ratings". USA Today. Gannett Company. December 12, 1990. p. D3. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  12. "Nielsen ratings". USA Today. Gannett Company. December 19, 1990. p. D3. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  13. "Nielsen ratings". USA Today. Gannett Company. December 26, 1990. p. D3. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  14. "Nielsen ratings". USA Today. Gannett Company. January 16, 1991. p. D3. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  15. "Nielsen ratings". USA Today. Gannett Company. January 30, 1991. p. D3. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  16. "Nielsen ratings" (PDF). USA Today. Gannett Company. February 13, 1991. p. D3. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  17. "Nielsen ratings" (PDF). USA Today. Gannett Company. February 20, 1991. p. D3. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  18. "TV Guide's Top 100 Episodes". Rev/Views. Retrieved July 4, 2016.
  19. "Nielsen ratings" (PDF). USA Today. Gannett Company. February 27, 1991. p. D3. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  20. "Nielsen ratings" (PDF). USA Today. Gannett Company. March 6, 1991. p. D3. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  21. "Nielsen ratings" (PDF). USA Today. Gannett Company. April 17, 1991. p. D3. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  22. "Nielsen ratings" (PDF). USA Today. Gannett Company. April 24, 1991. p. D3. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  23. "Nielsen ratings" (PDF). USA Today. Gannett Company. May 8, 1991. p. D3. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  24. "Nielsen ratings" (PDF). USA Today. Gannett Company. May 15, 1991. p. D3. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  25. "Nielsen ratings" (PDF). USA Today. Gannett Company. May 22, 1991. p. D3. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  26. "Nielsen ratings" (PDF). USA Today. Gannett Company. May 29, 1991. p. D3. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  27. "Nielsen ratings" (PDF). USA Today. Gannett Company. June 5, 1991. p. D3. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
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