Diff'rent Strokes and The Facts Of Life

Diff'rent Strokes (1978-1986)
The Facts Of Life (1979-1988)
Type: Spin Off
Group 1

    You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have The Facts Of Life. Or at least a big ol' spin off.

    The Facts Of Life took Charlotte Rae's Mrs. Garrett, the Drummond family's maid from Diff'rent Strokes and spun her off as a house mother at the Eastland School For Girls. This was the school Kimberly Drummond was attending, even though we never saw her pop up ONCE at the school for the whole run of the show. What the hell? Like Kimberly would never stop by to say "hello" to the woman who helped raise her?

    The first season featured Mrs. Garrett as the house mother over a large group of girls including a not yet pretty in pink Molly Ringwald. It was geekily sitcommy with the theme song being sung by Charlotte Ray and all the girls from the show.

    The next season the show got utterly revamped. The theme song got an upbeat pop music makerover. Mrs. Garrett was now the school's dietician. All but three of the regular characters were fired (although many did show up occasionally in guest starring roles). A new "Fonzie" character was introduced in the form of Jo Polniaczek a motorcycle riding troubled girl who came to Eastland on a scholarship. Within the first few episodes, the girls had gotten in deep trouble, were put on academic probation and were forced as punishment to help out Mrs. Garrett as kitchen help and live separate from the other girls in a room above the dining hall.

    Every once in awhile, Gary Coleman's character of Arnold from Diff'rent Strokes would stop by for a visit. Gary Coleman was a huge star at that point and I'm sure they were hoping to draw extra attention to the show. There is one scene I remember with him talking with the girls in the kitchen where they would basically feed him straight lines, he'd tell a joke and then the cast would all laugh at how adorably funny and precocious he was. In hindsight, I have to wonder why someone didn't smack him.

Other Diff'rent Strokes Crossover Links
Diff'rent Strokes and The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air
Diff'rent Strokes and Hello, Larry
Diff'rent Strokes and Silver Spoons

Click here to return to main Crossover List

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