Family Ties Wiki
Family Ties Wiki

The Fifth Wheel is the twentieth episode of the first season of Family Ties and the twentieth episode of the series overall. It originally aired on March 28, 1983.

Episode Info[]

Episode #20 - Season 1, Episode 20

First Aired: March 28, 1983

Title: An extra person on any endeavor is called a "fifth wheel".


Steven and Elyse attend a political rally for a candidate for the state Senate, though Elyse doesn't support him.  When Alex declares the man a liberal, Elyse changes her mind.  Mallory is supposed to babysit, but she has other plans with Jeff.  She bargains with Alex to have him take the responsiblity for the night.  He agrees, but is then invited to a poker game (to which he takes Jennifer and eventually loses her).

Funny Moments[]

  • The candidate Steven supports wants to change the state bird to the chicken and the state song (of Ohio) to "Oklahoma".
  • Alex's idea of entertaining Jennifer is to give her a booklet: "Your personal guide to tax-free municipal bonds".
  • When Alex decides to go to the poker game, Jennifer says, "You're not throwing me out in the street, are you?  I saw Nicholas Nickleby.  I know what can happen to kids out there."