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

Series overview

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 21 September 29, 1987 (1987-09-29) May 10, 1988 (1988-05-10)
2 17 December 6, 1988 (1988-12-06) May 16, 1989 (1989-05-16)
3 24 September 19, 1989 (1989-09-19) May 22, 1990 (1990-05-22)
4 23 September 25, 1990 (1990-09-25) May 28, 1991 (1991-05-28)


Season 1 (1987–88)

No. in
No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1 1 "Pilot" Marshall Herskovitz Marshall Herskovitz & Edward Zwick September 29, 1987 (1987-09-29)
Hope and Michael Steadman adjust to parenthood while dealing with money problems and crises involving their best friends.
2 2 "The Parents Are Coming, the Parents Are Coming" Edward Zwick Marshall Herskovitz & Edward Zwick October 6, 1987 (1987-10-06)
Hope's hostility towards her mother mars her parents' visit.
3 3 "Housewarming" John Pasquin Edward Zwick & Marshall Herskovitz October 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.
4 4 "Couples" Marshall Herskovitz Edward Zwick & Marshall Herskovitz October 27, 1987 (1987-10-27)
Hope and Michael compare their marriage to Elliot and Nancy's.
5 5 "But Not for Me" Tom Moore Richard Kramer November 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.
6 6 "We Gather Together" Mark Cullingham Story 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.
7 7 "Nice Work If You Can Get It" Claudia Weill Story 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.
8 8 "Weaning" John Pasquin Liberty Godshall December 8, 1987 (1987-12-08)
Hope has mixed feelings when she returns to work after weaning Janey.
9 9 "I'll Be Home for Christmas" Robert Lieberman Story 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.
10 10 "South by Southeast" Dan Lerner Paul Haggis January 5, 1988 (1988-01-05)
In an homage to Alfred Hitchcock, Gary falls for a woman with past indiscretions.
11 11 "Therapy" Marshall Herskovitz Susan Shilliday January 12, 1988 (1988-01-12)
Nancy talks Elliot into seeing a marriage counselor and Michael reveals Ellyn's tattoo.
12 12 "Competition" Rob Cohen Joseph Dougherty January 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.
13 13 "Separation" Peter Horton Susan Shilliday January 26, 1988 (1988-01-26)
Hope and Michael take up Elliot following his separation from Nancy.
14 14 "I'm in Love, I'm in Love, I'm in Love with a Wonderful Gynecologist" Scott Winant Story 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.
15 15 "Business as Usual" Claudia Weill Paul Haggis & Marshal Herskovitz February 9, 1988 (1988-02-09)
Michael's father arrives with a surprise announcement that tests the family during a celebration.
16 16 "Accounts Receivable" Edward Zwick Richard Kramer March 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.
17 17 "Whose Forest is This?" Peter Horton Story 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.
18 18 "Nancy's First Date" Ron Lagomarsino Susan Shilliday March 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.
19 19 "Undone" Dan Lerner Joseph Dougherty April 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.
20 20 "Tenure" Ken Gilbert Story 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.
21 21 "Born to Be Mild" Ron Lagomarsino Jerry Stahl May 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
No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
22 1 "We'll Meet Again" Scott Winant Richard Kramer December 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.
23 2 "In Re: The Marriage of Weston" Peter Horton Susan Shilliday December 13, 1988 (1988-12-13)
Nancy and Elliot each find new significant others while submitting to a divorce arbitrator's indignities.
24 3 "The Mike Van Dyke Show" Ron Lagomarsino Marshal Herskovitz & Edward Zwick December 20, 1988 (1988-12-20)
With the holidays around the corner, the Steadman home endures more religious uncertainty as Michael prepare for a trip to Chicago for the unveiling of his father's headstone.
25 4 "Trust Me" Steve Robman Richard Kramer January 3, 1989 (1989-01-03)
Melissa considers having a baby with Gary and seeks further counseling from a new friend.
26 5 "No Promises" Ken Olin Liberty Godshall January 10, 1989 (1989-01-10)
Ellyn learns of her parents' divorce as she begins her relationship with Woodman.
27 6 "Politics" Claudia Weill Story 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.
28 7 "Success" Ron Lagomarsino Edward Zwick & Marshall Herskovitz January 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.
29 8 "First Day/Last Day" Peter Horton Joseph Dougherty February 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.
30 9 "About Last Night" Gary Sinise Story 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.
31 10 "Elliot's Dad" Dan Lerner Joseph Dougherty February 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.
32 11 "Payment Due" Ron Lagomarsino Cynthia Saunders March 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.
33 12 "Deliverance" Peter Horton Ann Lewis Hamilton March 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.
34 13 "Michael Writes a Story" Tim Moore Joseph Dougherty April 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.
35 14 "New Job" Joshua Brand Ann Lewis Hamilton April 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.
36 15 "Be a Good Girl" Richard Kramer Richard Kramer April 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.
37 16 "Courting Nancy" Ken Olin Susan Shilliday May 2, 1989 (1989-05-02)
Elliot tries to talk Nancy out of ending their marriage as they enter a new chapter of their relationship.
38 17 "Best of Enemies" Joseph Dougherty Joseph Dougherty May 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
No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
39 1 "Nancy's Mom" Ron Lagomarsino Ann Lewis Hamilton September 19, 1989 (1989-09-19)
Nancy's mom visits just as she's about to settle with Elliot.
40 2 "Love and Sex" Marshall Herskovitz Liberty Godshall October 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.
41 3 "Mr. Right" Scott Winant Jill Gordon October 10, 1989 (1989-10-10)
Melissa and Ellyn decide to take a shot at video dating to find the right men.
42 4 "New Baby" Marshall Herskovitz Ann Lewis Hamilton October 24, 1989 (1989-10-24)
Susannah seems reluctant to take on the responsibility of motherhood as Gary helps her go through labor.
43 5 "Legacy" Scott Winant Joseph Dougherty October 24, 1989 (1989-10-24)
Michael and Elliot's near-death experience leads the Steadmans to write a will and the Westons to further their reconciliation.
44 6 "Strangers" Peter O'Fallon Richard Kramer November 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.
45 7 "Pilgrims" Ken Olin Richard Kramer November 21, 1989 (1989-11-21)
With Thanksgiving around the corner, Elliot moves back in and a rash of neighborhood robberies frightens Ethan.
46 8 "The Burning Bush" Mary Beth Fielder Susan Shilliday December 28, 1989 (1989-12-28)
Ellyn thinks about seeing a married man, putting her long-time friendship with Hope in jeopardy.
47 9 "New Parents" Gary Sinise Ann Lewis Hamilton December 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.
48 10 "Michael's Campaign" Joseph Dougherty Joseph Dougherty December 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.
49 11 "Pulling Away" Rob Cohen Joseph Dougherty January 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.
50 12 "Another Country" Ron Lagomarsino Richard Kramer January 6, 1990 (1990-01-06)
An unexpected occurrence puts an end to Nancy and Ethan's excitement over their book being published.
51 13 "Post-Op" Peter Horton Susan Shilliday January 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.
52 14 "Once a Mermaid" Ellen S. Pressman Story by : Ellen Simon
Teleplay by : Ann Lewis Hamilton
February 6, 1990 (1990-02-06)
Ellyn has a secret relationship with Jeffrey.
53 15 "Fathers and Lovers" Peter O'Fallon Story 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.
54 16 "Her Cup Runneth Over" Timothy Busfield Winnie Holzman February 20, 1990 (1990-02-20)
Ellyn feels like she's stolen Jeffrey when he leaves his wife.
55 17 "Good Sex, Bad Sex, What Sex, No Sex" Scott Winant Jill Gordon February 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.
56 18 "The Other Shoe" Ken Olin Joseph Dougherty March 20, 1990 (1990-03-20)
A fellow cancer patient offers Nancy advice that further separates her from her family and friends.
57 19 "Three Year Itch" Victor DuBois Ann Lewis Hamilton April 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.
58 20 "I'm Nobody, Who Are You?" Richard Kramer Winnie Holzman April 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.
59 21 "Arizona" Edward Zwick Susan Shilliday April 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.
60 22 "Going Limp" Melanie Mayron Hugh O'Neill May 1, 1990 (1990-05-01)
Elliot talks Michael and Ellyn into letting him shoot his first commercial for the city.
61 23 "The Go Between"
"The Towers of Zenith: Part 1"
Scott Winant Joseph Dougherty May 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]
62 24 "Samurai Ad Man"
"The Towers of Zenith: Part 2"
Joseph Dougherty Joseph Dougherty May 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
No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date U.S. viewers
63 1 "Prelude to a Bris" Richard Kramer Richard Kramer September 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.
64 2 "Life Class" Scott Winant Winnie Holzman October 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.
65 3 "Control" Ellen S. Pressman Ann Lewis Hamilton October 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.
66 4 "The Distance" Melanie Mayron Joseph Dougherty October 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.
67 5 "The Haunting of DAA" Joseph Dougherty Ann Lewis Hamilton October 30, 1990 (1990-10-30) 13.8[8]
With Halloween around the corner, Miles assigns Michael the task of firing people.
68 6 "The Guilty Party" Norman Seeff Winnie Holzman November 13, 1990 (1990-11-13) 13.3[9]
Hope's inadequacies seem to overwhelm her as she prepares for Michael's surprise birthday party.
69 7 "Photo Opportunity" Ellen S. Pressman Racelle Rossett Schaefer November 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.
70 8 "Never Better" Ann Lewis Hamilton Joseph Dougherty December 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.
71 9 "Guns and Roses" Ken Olin Liberty Godshall December 11, 1990 (1990-12-11) 16.4[12]
Nancy's chemotherapy takes its toll and Ethan keeps coming home with bruises.
72 10 "Happy New Year" Victor Du Bois Richard Kramer December 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.
73 11 "Melissa and Men" Randall Miller Winnie Holzman January 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.
74 12 "Advanced Beginners" Deborah Reinisch Liberty Godshall and Winnie Holzman January 22, 1991 (1991-01-22) 14.2[15]
Just as Billy's relationship with Ellyn is heating up, his ex-girlfriend pays a visit.
75 13 "Sifting the Ashes" Martin Nicholson W.H. Macy & Steven Schachter and Joseph Dougherty February 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.
76 14 "Second Look" Ken Olin Ann Lewis Hamilton February 12, 1991 (1991-02-12) 17.2[18]

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.[17]
77 15 "Fighting the Cold" Joseph Dougherty Joseph Dougherty February 19, 1991 (1991-02-19) 17.2[19]
Recent events bring out strong emotions in the Steadman home.
78 16 "The Difference Between Men and Women" Timothy Busfield Winnie Holzman February 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.
79 17 "The Wedding" Scott Winant Jill Gordon April 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.
80 18 "Closing the Circle" Richard Kramer Paul Monette and Richard Kramer April 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.
81 19 "Out the Door" Mel Harris Ann Lewis Hamilton April 30, 1991 (1991-04-30) 12.9[23]
Tough times at DAA lead Miles to make Michael an offer and Elliot to consider quitting.
82 20 "Hopeless" Mark Harris Liberty Godshall May 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.
83 21 "A Stop at Willoughby" Timothy Busfield Joseph Dougherty May 14, 1991 (1991-05-14) 12.4[25]
Michael fights with Miles over an actor-spokesman's unpopular opinion on the war.
84 22 "Melissa in Wonderland" Ellen S. Pressman Winnie Holzman May 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.
85 23 "California" Scott Winant Marshall Herskovitz & Edward Zwick & Liberty Godshall & Susan Shilliday & Joseph Dougherty & Winnie Holzman & Richard Kramer & Ann Lewis Hamilton May 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. ^ "TV Guide's Top 100 Episodes". Rev/Views. Retrieved July 4, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Nielsen ratings" (PDF). USA Today. Gannett Company. February 20, 1991. p. D3. Retrieved August 17, 2015. 
  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.