Season 3: 1986-1987Edit

25 episodes

# Airdate Prod. Code Title Overview
36 June 6, 1986 301 Soup to Nuts Mama is the editor of the years church bazaar cookbook, in it she plans to use her own recipe for chili. Iola objects thinking it should be hers that Mama uses. Soon Naomi too throws her hat in the ring, saying she makes the best Chili. So the three decide to have to a chili cook-off with the winner getting her recipe in the cookbook. Vint, being stuck in the middle of this brewing argument, is chosen, against his will, as the judge of the contest.

All three have identical supplies, with Mama and Iola also have identical ingredients. While Naomi's chili is far different from the other two as it includes two giant cans of store bought chili, plus beer, cheetos and several other items not usually associated with chili. Each bringing back a certain memory from one of her ex-husbands or boyfriends.

Each bowl is lettered as the contest begins and Vint decides the 'B' bowl is the best, which belongs to Iola, and she runs home to show her father and dare her mother to throw it out again. As soon as she is gone though, Mama and Naomi force Vint to make his real decision, but instead, he dumps both bowls together, saying it's got to be the best chili ever, but after just one bite he starts gagging. Prompting Mama to say "Vint that better be Naomi's half your gaggin on."

37 June 13, 1986 302 Farewell Frannie Mama's sister, Frannie, has just passed away, and even if she can't bring herself to tell how Frannie actually died (it was by inhaling a tooth pick in the ladies room at the Bigger Jigger). Mama is nevertheless determined to give her late sister something she never had, a "perfect day". But things soon turn from perfect to terrible as one disaster after another strikes.

First Mama finds out Don and Loraine won't be there and of course Buzz and Sonja won't either (for unexplained reasons) and Ed and Eunice have moved to Florida (a blessing). Then Ellen calls and says she's got something more pressing business and can't make it either. Later, as the family gets home from the funeral, we find out Vint forgot to shut the hearse door, resulting in the coffin flying out of the hearse and down the on-ramp to the freeway.

The house is a mess and they believe they've been robbed, but it is soon revealed that Eunice and Ed's son Bubba (just out of reform school) has arrived after finding his old home locked up. Mama has to tell him that Ed and Eunice moved to Florida and he has to stay with her because he's on probation and can't leave the state. Also much to the aggravation of Vint and Naomi, Mama gives Bubba Fran's old room.

38 June 20, 1986 303 Where There's a Will Mama finds Frannie's diary when she goes to get Bubba for breakfast. Inside is a note telling Mama to call the executor of her will, Larwin P. Finstadler. When Mr. Finstadler arrives he informs Mama that Fran was worth $35,000. Fran's will stipulated 10% of that would go to the "Ray of Hope Home for Wayward Girls". But the other $31,500 was to be split evenly between Mama, and Vint and Naomi. Only one stipulation stands between Mama and the money, she has to keep from losing her temper for a period of two weeks and it's totally on her honor.

So for the next two weeks Vint and Naomi wait on her hand and foot, trying to keep her from getting upset. Including paying Bubba $10 to do his homework and doing the dishes and most of the other housework. While they begin to bicker among themselves, Mama relaxes and takes it easy.

On the last day, Mr. Finstadler arrives, and Mama comes back from the Beauty Spot in a terrible mood. Her car was smashed up and the guy left a note just to fool the witnesses into thinking he was leaving his name and address. Then she sat in paint waiting for the bus, destroying her new dress. Mr. Finstadler says the dress doesn't suit her anyway and she tells him off and throws him out. So the entire estate goes to the "Ray of Hope Home for Wayward Girls"

39 June 27, 1986 304 National Mama Naomi and Bubba are betting on horses on the racetrack, but Vint doesn't know which horse to bet on. Although discouraging the betting, Thelma shares a dream in which she ordered eggs "over-easy". Vint finds that there is a horse named Over Easy in the race, and he bets on that horse. To the family's surprise, he wins. While they were gone, Thelma had another nightmare, in which she was in a fourth grade spelling bee and was asked to spell "aggravation". Vint again finds a horse named Aggravation in the fourth race on the next day, and the family bets on Aggravation. Thelma is still doubtful, but while listening to the race the next day, Aggravation has a come-from-behind victory, and everyone is convinced. Vint and Naomi make plans to use Thelma's newfound powers to win the exacta (name both the winning horse and runner-up horse in the exact order) the next day.

That night, Thelma cannot go to sleep because she keeps thinking about the race. Vint and Naomi do everything they can, including heating up warm milk (with skin in it), and watching a late night opera on TV, which ends up energizing Thelma while boring Vint and Naomi to sleep. However, when Bubba comes home that night, Thelma asks him to share some of his plans for the future with her, and she dozes right to sleep in the kitchen.

The next morning, Vint and Naomi wake up Thelma, who just had the worst nightmare she ever dreamt. She was in her kitchen, when the floor cracked open, and she fell down to some place with a very nice floor pattern. She commented on how it had these alternating black and white squares, however Vint and Naomi rush her past those details. She then talks about an enormous waffle iron that started walking up to her with its red light blinking, and then as it heated up, a whole bunch of steam came out of its sides. This prompts Vint and Naomi to find the horses Red Light and Steam Heat in that day's race.

The family all listens to the race on the radio, and as the announcer reads off the horses, one of the names is Checkerboard, which Thelma remembers was the name of that floor pattern that she admired. As Vint and Naomi realizes what that means, the race ends with Checkerboard winning, followed by Red Light and Steam Heat. Vint, Naomi, and Thelma start blaming each other, while Bubba is glad that he didn't bet this time. The episode ends with Thelma grounding Bubba because he's going to have to learn to be a loser like the rest of them.

40 July 4, 1986 305 Best Medicine The family is in the middle of a game of scrabble when Ellen stops by with a gift for Mama and to attempt to once again apologize for missing her Aunt Fran's funeral. Mama refuses to forgive her and throws her out. Later, Naomi comes in and says she heard that Ellen was in the hospital about to under go surgery. With that, Mama drags the rest of the family to the hospital to visit her.

The visit soon turns very uncomfortable for Ellen as Mama begins yelling at the family for one and then another. Not able to stand it any longer, Ellen calls for the nurse and orders her to throw the family out and post an armed guard at the door. Mama finally sends everyone home, but sneaks back in herself and stays with Ellen through the night.

Mama and Ellen soon forgive one another for all the years of fighting and Ellen finally reveals to Mama why she is the hospital in the first place, she's having a fanny tuck. Mama then makes some revelations of her own, when she says out of all her kids, she always loved Ellen best.

41 July 18, 1986 306 Fly Naomi Unhappy with the rut she's gotten into, Naomi decides to make a change and arrives home with the news that, after seeing an ad in the paper, she's decided to attend school to train as a flight attendant. Vint gets upset because she didn't ask him first. While, Bubba joins the debate team to be near a girl he likes.

Naomi aces her first exam, which only serves to make Vint more upset. With a growing rift between Vint and Naomi, Iola tries to make her move and asks Vint to have ice cream with her one night. What Vint views as innocent, Mama see clearly as Iola trying to get her claws into Vint and tells him so in no uncertain terms.

Naomi tries to get everyone in the family to help her train for that night's big test, but the only one who will is Mama. Who quickly proceeds to drive her nuts. Later, Bubba announces he's been kicked off the debate team for not knowing the Electoral College had nothing to do with electricity. Just as the family gets excited about all the free flights they'll get as the family of a flight attendant, Naomi dashes their hopes by failing her simulated test.

42 August 1, 1986 307 Cat's Meow Iola is distraught when her cat Midnight dies, although everyone else is thankful, noting that the cat was as mean as a rattlesnake. But Iola refuses to let go and nothing can console her---until she decides to have it freeze-dried. She goes all out and buys a model that meows when you pet it. She leaves it with Mama for a while and Mama takes it out to the front porch and leaves it.

That's where Vint falls on it as he, Naomi and Bubba are bringing in a trunk they just bought from the police surplus. Thinking they killed the cat, they bury it, and go into to open the trunk. Which has a hole on the side of it and is the home of a Mama cat and her kittens. One of which looks just like Iola's former pet, who adopts it immediately.

43 August 8, 1986 308 An Ill Wind In this Thanksgiving episode, Mama, Bubba, Vinton, Naomi, Iola, and Aunt Effie (Dorothy Van) all go for cover in the basement when an unexpected tornado passes by Raytown.
44 August 15, 1986 309 Mama and Dr. Brothers Vint and Naomi are having trouble in the bedroom, while Vint is afraid he's gonna lose his job, with Kwik Keys being taken over by a large corporation. Mama and Iola soon discover exactly what it is when they turn on Good Morning Raytown, and special guest Dr. Joyce Brothers agrees to take a few phone calls live on-air.

The first one is from a woman, with a husband named Clint (who works at Kwik Keys), she says her husband's having trouble performing lately. Mama figures out rather quickly that it's Naomi talking about Vint's and her problems. Dr. Brothers says their problem might have to do with stress at work, or it could be stress from living with an inlaw. Later, after taking phone calls all day from people about the show, Mama questions Naomi about it, and Vint arrives home soon afterwards and is in a foul mood.

To solve the situation Mama rushes to the airport with Vint and Naomi to catch Dr. Brothers before she leaves for Tulsa. Joyce suggests Vint and Naomi take a trip to get away from everything in an attempt to liven up the marriage. They then rush off to make the reservations for a weekend in Hinkley.

45 August 22, 1986 310 Steal One, Pearl Two Bubba wants to borrow $200 to buy a new drum set, while Iola's upset that she can't get her jewelry box open to put her pearls away, so she brings the box over for Vint to open. When he can't, Bubba quickly borrows a bobby pin and opens it easily. Iola heads home only to return a few minutes later in search of her beloved pearls, which have mysteriously disappeared.

Iola is quick to accuse Bubba, who comes in with a brand new drum set, claiming he borrowed them from a friend of a friend whose name he forgets. Pretending to defend Bubba, Mama throws Iola out. Now convinced, she too accuses Bubba. Feeling betrayed by his own family Bubba attempts to run away from home.

She finds him at the "Rayhound" station and tells him the story of what happened when Eunice tried to run away (she only made it across the river to Bump). Saying she believes him now, Bubba decides to come home. In the end they find the pearls, where they had been all along, stuck to the back of a pillow on the couch.

46 August 29, 1986 311 The Love Letter Naomi is giving Bubba and Vint a love test to see how romantic they are, from the latest issue Lady's Circle. As it turns out Vint is a "cold fish" and Bubba is a "Red Hot Romeo". So Vint decides to try and be more romantic and talks Bubba into writing her a love letter.

Vint puts it in her make up case, but Bubba moves it to her purse while Naomi watches. Thinking Bubba wrote it to her she begins to worry. Slipping it into the Lady's Circle, which is where Iola finds it, thinking Vint wrote it her. She then leaves it accidentally on George's clipboard while he working on Mama's refrigerator.

Iola shows up minutes later ready to claim Vint as her own, while Naomi tries to explain to Bubba, and Mama is freaked out thinking George is after her. Soon enough it is revealed though that the where the letter came from.

47 September 26, 1986 312 Grandma USA Mama is surprised to learn she was entered in the Grandma USA contest by Bubba. She is at first reluctant to compete, but changes her mind when she finds out the grand prize is a dream kitchen, complete with a self cleaning oven. Vint then starts to wonder why they would select Mama over all the other entries, Bubba says it's because he sent in Naomi's picture instead of Mama's.

A fact this is only discovered after they are greeted by the host, Raytown personality Eddie Edwards, and he thinks Noami is entering. After considering his options, Edwards agrees to let Mama compete instead, thinking it might be a novelty to have someone in the pageant who really looks like a Grandma. Which, as it turns out, none of the other's certainly don't.

For the talent competition, Mama sings a song her daddy taught her when she was young, so she could sing to his buddies at the Jigger (now the Bigger Jigger). Mama makes the final three, but ends up finishing second in the final vote. A result she doesn't take well, as she takes over the show and demands a recount.

48 October 3, 1986 313 Where's There's Smoke Mama desperately wants to be named President of the Church Ladies League, but the decision is made solely by Reverend Meechum. So Mama invites the Reverend and Alberta Meechum to dinner. It's just then that Bubba sees in the newspaper that one of his former inmates at Juvenile Hall has escaped. She arrives in Raytown and climbs up to Bubba's window and demands he get her some food.

When Mama comes to check and see if he is ready for the dinner, Bonita hides in the closet until she leaves. The Reverend and Alberta arrive early, and they soon set down to dinner. As they are saying grace, Mama sees Bonita outside the kitchen window and panics. The doorbell rings and it's Bonita who walks right in, sits down and starts eating.

Mama tries to pass her off as her Swedish exchange student, but the ruse comes undone as Vint exposes her, and Alberta throws a fit. Prompting Mama to tell her off. Vint and Bubba talk Bonita into going back to Juvey to finish her sentence and Reverend Meechum says he has decided to name Mama the President of the Church Ladies League after what he saw tonight.

49 October 10, 1986 314 Desperately Seeking Anyone Mama and Naomi decide Iola needs a boyfriend, so they place an ad for her in the Raytown singles rag. They receive only a few responses, from the drecks of society. Mama decides one of the men sounds perfect for Iola, however, and arranges for Iola to meet him at a dinner Mama will host.

Iola arrives looking like Scarlet O'Hara dipped in pink paint. Everyone plans to go bowling so Iola can have dinner with her mystery date alone, but a nervous Iola convinces Mama to stay and chaperone the dinner. An older man arrives, closer to Mama's age than Iola's. Iola is shy and hardly says a word, while Mama keeps the man entertained. Mama leaves them alone to do the dishes and Iola becomes even more tongue-tied and nervous. He tries to dance with her and she runs off into the bathroom. Mr Mystery Date then goes into the kitchen to visit Mama and before long the two of them are dancing. Iola walks in as he is trying to get a kiss from Mama, who chases him off with a frying pan.

Iola accuses Mama of stealing her man, until they decide only creeps put personal ads in the papers. They decide the best place to meet a man is in a bowling alley, so off they go.

50 October 17, 1986 315 Porn Again Mama and Iola decide to boycott and protest against Food Circus for selling dirty magazines.
51 October 24, 1986 316 Santa Mama It's Christmas season & Mama's grouchier than Scrooge, one reason being is that she can't find her homemade ornament (a star) her husband made for her. Vint gets a part time job as Santa for Raytown Mall, with Bubba taking pictures.

However, when Vint's rehearses his ho-ho-hos, he gets laryngitis. So at the mall, who steps in to don a Santa suit, Mama! After working with all those bratty kids, she does fulfill one child's wish that her dad gets some new tools for getting a construction job.

52 October 31, 1986 317 Have it Mama's Way Iola visits the family with a Hawaiian travel brochure and tries to convince Mama to take the trip. Bubba applies for a job at a burger joint, with help from Mama in filling out the job application. While trying to push Bubba's talents in food service with the manager, he asks her if she would like a job. Thinking of the money needed for the Hawaiian trip, she accepts the offer. Bubba is hired also, but becomes upset when he learns Mama will be his coworker. Naomi hounds Vint because she wants to go on the trip also.

Mama and Bubba report for work and start training together. Bubba is fast and efficient while Mama takes her time, being nice and folksy with the customers. When the manager tells her to speed things up, she suddenly becomes rude and sharp with the customers, which the manager doesn't like either. Iola, Vint and Naomi arrive for breakfast. Iola wants lunch, Vint wants things that aren't on the menu, and Naomi orders from Bubba, which sets Mama off. The manager dashes her hopes for the Hawaiian trip when he fires her.

53 November 7, 1986 318 Birthright With Mother's Day nearing, Vint becomes convinced he was left at the Harper's doorstep as a baby after receiving an anonymous letter from a woman who may be his birth mother.
54 November 14, 1986 319 Fangs A lot, Mama When Vint decides to join the Mystic Order of the Cobra, Naomi becomes worried because he suddenly has no time for her. Mama takes action and becomes determined to ruin his induction ceremony.
55 November 21, 1986 320 Mama's Cousin Mama's cousin Lydia from Atlanta arrives for a visit to stroll down memory lane and have a sleepover with Mama like they did when they were kids. Mama feels threatened by Lydia as she believes Lydia has become hooty-tooty and just wants to rub in her successes to Mama.
56 December 5, 1986 321 Buck Private Bubba Bubba decides to enlist in the Army to impress a girl and her father when the father forbads his daughter to date Bubba because of his juvenile delinquent past.
57 December 12, 1986 322 Mama with the Golden Arm Mama goes into training to compete in an arm wrestling competition at the Bigger Jigger.
58 December 19, 1986 323 It Takes Two to Watusi To help Naomi's friend Luanne Fayette get back into the dating world after her divorce, Vint and Naomi set her up for a double date to play miniature golf. When Luanne's date has to cancel, it's decided Bubba will take his place much to Mama's dislike.
59 January 9, 1987 324 After the Fall After Aunt Effie is hospitalized after falling and not getting any better, Mama decides to bring her home to care Effie herself, which turns the household upside down.
60 January 16, 1987 325 The Best Policy After Vint takes out a life insurance policy that would leave Naomi the sole beneficiary, Mama and Iola are convinced Naomi is trying to cash in early.