The Stone family is having growing pains, now that Mary is 18 and going to college. After several riffs, Mary decides it's time to leave home for the college dormitory for women. Mrs. Stone agrees, as she lived in the dorms and found it a benefit in growing up and learning. Tune in to see how each member of the Stone family reacts to Mary moving out.
When Jeff finds the winning raffle ticket for a new sports car, he faces some adult sized responsibilities. Jeff sees a woman from behind drop a raffle ticket and before he can return it to her, she disappears. The only possible clue is her child's drewpy-drawers, but as Dr. and Mrs. Stone agree there are lots of children with drewpy-drawers. Jeff begins to learn the cost of owning and operating an expensive sports car (such as insurance). He also discovers how people now treat him differently from his boy and girls friends to prospective employers (he needs to pay for the car). When Jeff thinks he sees the child and woman again, he reaches a crossroad in his life. Tune in to see the path Jeff takes as he deals with this moral dilemma.
If Jeff wants to be able to afford to go to a special event this weekend, he had better collect on the loans he gave his friends. This prompts Donna to suggest that Alex collect from his deadbeat patients.
After a conversation with a telephone lineman, Jeff decides that it's about time he becomes independent himself. He tests himself by going to a strange town without any money to see whether or not he can make it on his own.
Another of Mary's college friends is getting married and this time, we're seeing the events leading up to the wedding (instead of the aftermath). While Mary's friend, Marcia, is from England, she is attending the college from which her late Father graduated. Her Mother has been traveling (the continent), since her husband died and has been out of communications. The couple to be has been trying to reach her in Rome, Paris, London, etc without success, but finally one of the cables reaches her and off to America she goes with her dog in tow. Meanwhile Mrs. Stone is putting together the wedding Marcia and her soon to be husband desire, which is a small (20 or so) friends and at the Stone's home. Once Marcia's Mother arrives in Hilldale, it is up to Mrs. Stone not only to save the wedding, but any relationship Mrs. Haversham hopes to have with the happy couple. Tune in to see how Mrs. Stone moves Mrs. Haversham from not accepting the bride's decision to marry to saving the day. Also you'll want to see how Mrs. Stone replies when asked, "how will you respond when it is Mary's turn?"
When Donna decides to run for town council, Jeff and Mary agree to take care of the house. And how! But when Alex dreams about Donna's political future, as Mayor, perhaps Governor, he decides he'd rather have her back home again.
At the annual unclaimed freight auction, a mysterious woman asks Mrs. Stone to buy a wooden Chinese horse statue and gives her $100 cash. She explains she has to meet her husband out front and doesn't wait for Mrs. Stone to reply. After a lively bidding war, Mrs. Stone wins it for $50, but she has no idea where or to whom she should deliver the horse. Thus begins an interesting adventure for the Stone family, especially when Jeff proposes an International spy ring shipped the horse from China (a Communist country during the cold war). Later in the episode some of what Jeff suggested seems to be coming true, but also more, too. Tune in to see how the Stones react and how it turns out. Do the Stones end up behind bars for helping spies destroy the United States of America, is there a harmless explanation, or something in between?
A little girl named Trisha follows the Stones home from the park and says that she is one of the family.After a long effort to find her real parents,her uncle arrives.He realizes that the orphaned Trisha loves being in a family and that the Stones are fond of her.He arranges it so Trisha can stay with the Stones.Thus a new family member is added.
The Stones all end up at Shelter Bay during "mid-term vacation", better known today as "Spring Break". Mary doesn't know the rest of the family is there; she thought it was just her and her girlfriends. Donna, Jeff, and Alex get to stay on a fishing boat named "Big Daddy", and boy, does Donna hook a big one!
Alex and Donna prepare to go away for the weekend, but Donna suspects Trisha will be sick. Donna sees Trisha eating bananas and she always saw Jeff eating bananas before he became ill. Alex's collegue Dave (Bob Crane) tries to convince them otherwise ... and it turns out that Jeff is the one who came down with a fever. Trisha had been eating bananas because of her promised treehouse and she had wanted to climb trees like a monkey.
There is a local handyman Trisha knows who loves fooling around and making children laugh.Trisha offers him to help fix the little things around the house that need fixing,but it turns out that he is clumsy and inept.Donna and Mary feel helpless as he wrecks much around the house,but soon afterwards the ice-cream man arrives.He knows much more about reapir work- and he hates kids.Donna makes a suggestion,which is followed.The ice-cream man ends up fixing everything around the house-while the handyman ends up delivering the ice cream,and singing to all the kids as they play and have fun.
Dr. Dave Kelsey, who has been more and more frustrated by his in-laws (or outlaws as he calls them) moves into the house next door with his wife Midge.Midge is a neophyte when it comes to household chores,so for the first week or so Donna helps her all she can-and Dave is truly grateful that the Stones have helped both of them settle down.
While Jeff and Joanne are dating as seniors in high school and Mary and Scotty are dating in college, turns out Scotty would rather date Joanne, and Joanne would rather go out with Scotty got it? Then they all go to a college dance and Jeff and Mary wind up being the wallflowers. What can Jeff and Mary do?
Pitcher Don Drysdale appears in this episode along with his real-life wife and daughter. On a trip to Chicago, Jeff is excited about seeing his pal, Don Drysdale, again. He is supposed to get an interview with Don for the school paper. Jeff's excitement turns to disappointment when it appears that Don Drysdale can't deliver the interview.
A tale of Joyce and Sabrina in a classic contest, which one will get Jeff to ask her to the big dance? Will it be poor, helpless Joyce or the dominant Sabrina? They both ply Jeff in their own manipulative ways. Poor Jeff can't make up his mind. When he asks his family for advice, all he gets for an answer is "Why don't you toss a coin?"
Mary is going away to a new college in the fall. As part of her leaving, she is putting on a "large" outdoor formal party that will be in their backyard. At the same time, Jeff is flirting (again) with car ownership and ends up buying an "Hilldale Bus Lines" bus, which he hopes to use in various money making ventures. While Jeff was able to drive the bus home, unfortunately, it will no longer start. Tune in to see how Mary and Mrs. Stone deal with the bus, while attempting to save Mary's party.
Jeff makes a date with Rosemary for the senior prom. Smitty then lets Jeff know that Jeff has been nominated to run for Senior Class President. Now gorgeous Dolores wants Jeff to take her to the prom. What can Jeff do? He's already committed to Rosemary, or is he? Will Jeff actually dump Rosemary for Dolores?
When Iris goes from blond to black hair, Donna decides to go Platinum Blond! But once she comes home with her new hair color, she decides not to show it to Alex. She avoids him and quickly changes it back to the color it was whew! What a close call!
First some large animal has trampled Mary's flowers. Now when Alex is out of town, Donna and the kids keep hearing noises late at night. Upon investigating, they peek out the front door window and see a large, furry creature sitting on the porch!
Millie and Jack have split up over barbequed chicken of all things! Alex and Donna think that because they are childless, it kept them immature so Donna decides they should adopt a baby to Alex's dismay.
Jeff's been keeping a secret from Donna and Alex: He's been expelled from school for a prank he and some friends pulled which involved messing up the bells and clocks, and he won't be allowed back unless he names the other boys involved.
Jeff's team-mate on the baseball team has an overbearing father who drives the son hard and constantly berates him, thinking this will help him be a star player someday. Alex tries to set him straight.
This was actually an unsold pilot episode of "The Roberta Sherwood Show." Roberta Sherwood and Gale Gordon star as a typical couple raising three children in a typical small town. The only untypical thing about them is that they break into song.
The family wants to get away for the weekend. The brochure shows Lakeview Lodge to be a great place to go, so Donna and Alex head up there early with Mary and Jeff to join them later, but Lakeview Lodge turns out to be a major disappointment.
A lady spots Donna and Mary having lunch in a restaurant, so she stops to say hello. She recognized Donna, even though "it's been 13 years." Donna doesn't recognize her but is polite and too embarrassed to ask her name. Later, Donna realizes she must find out who the mystery woman was.
Donna tries to redecorate the house, but neighbor boy Dennis Mitchell (Jay North) tries to help her...and ends up making things more of a mess. Donna finally calls Dennis' nearer neighbor Mr. Wilson (Joseph Kearns) to ask if Dennis would help him with anything. This was a crossover show-with two people from "Dennis the Menace" guesting. It turns out both shows are set in the town of Hilldale...
Nick the Greek is the handyman at the Stone's house. He's still learning how to write English, so he asks Jeff for help in writing a love letter to his girlfriend. Later, Mary finds this love letter in Jeff's handwriting and wonders if Jeff is involved in a new romance.
Jeff has scored in the "genius" category on a school I.Q. test. The principal, Mr. Conroy, suggests that Jeff go away to a school more suited to his intellectual needs. Jeff doesn't like this idea because he just became quarterback on the football team.
The Stones' cleaning lady has troubles. Her baby is sick and her husband lost his job due to illness. Alex takes care of the baby's health, and Donna hires the husband to do odd jobs in their house. Now the Stones have troubles. The twenty dollars that Alex left on the counter for Mrs. Cruikshank's charity is missing.
Mary goes to a session at Taffy Cinders Charm School and wins a scholarship to learn how to be a model. Most of the girls who went with Mary also "won" scholarships, too! Then the expenses mount up, as she needs the School instruction book, the School grooming aids, etc.
Mary is so indecisive, always asking her mother about what clothes to wear or which boys to date. Tonight though, she starts making her own decisions when she, Roger, and Larry go out on the town. They get into money troubles with dinner at the Flamingo Club, and that's when Mary makes the right decision.
Jeff wants a motor scooter like Gordie just got, but his father won't allow it. When Gordie shows off his riding skills and drives the scooter into a tree, Gordie proceeds to fake a leg injury convincing the Stone family to take care of him in the process.
Donna can't fit into the dress she bought a few months ago, and she still wants to wear it! She decides it's time to exercise and diet the extra pounds off. Then, Alex notices his tuxedo is a little too tight now, so he decides, well, you get the picture!
Jeff just can't seem to do anything right --- The family needs to build up his spirits, so when he does mediocre imitations of movie stars like James Cagney, Peter Lorre, and Edward G. Robinson, he gets all the family's praise and decides to participate in the upcoming school talent show!
The piano becomes a "parking lot" with everyone dropping things on it, like books, the newspaper, so Alex decides to sell it. But, all of a sudden Mary has a problem with that idea, it turns out a boy she'd like to date just loves to play the piano!
Alex needs to go to Hollywood to discuss suggestions for a Children's Clinic, so the whole family takes the opportunity to go along and see Hollywood, except it rains, for 2 days! They all wanted to meet a movie star before they leave, and they do!
The new doctor is married to a Japanese Geisha girl. She is constantly seeing to her husband's needs, and the married couples of Hilldale have a difficult time adjusting to her. Leave it to Donna to "Americanize" her.
While driving through Hilldale, Tony Martin is arrested for speeding. He knows he wasn't speeding, but figures he'll just pay the fine and be on his way. In court, Tony sees Donna fighting a parking meter violation and insisting on a jury trial rather than pay a $2 fine. Tony decides to ask for a jury trial, too. It's a matter of man versus machine.
Donna and her friend consider opening a poodle parlor where owners can bring their poodles to get clipped and buy fancy accessories. The husbands think the whole idea is ludicrous which make the ladies all the more determined to succeed.
While babysitting for the Damons, Mary meets their older son, Rick, who has dropped out of college because he wasn't accepted by his father's old fraternity. He plans to join the Foreign Legion and wants Mary to help him.
Dr. Steinhaus is retiring as the head of the Board of Health. Donna thinks this is the perfect opportunity for Alex to have a position that offers him more regular hours and she intends to help him get it.
Income tax time, Alex decides to save money and prepare his own taxes this year rather than have Harvey do it. When Alex figures out he owes money, he gets mad about a hat he thinks Donna bought for $49.50. When Harvey arrives at the Stone residence, having done Alex's taxes anyway and announces that Alex will be getting a refund, Alex's attitude becomes very pleasant indeed! Turns out Harvey's wife Nora had Donna buy the hat, but it was for Nora!
Donna and Alex remember their honeymoon and this wonderful musical tobacco jar for Alex. When the jar is broken, unknown to one another Donna and Mary buy an identical replacement, Alex also finds another one, while Jeff glues the original tobacco jar back together!
Jeff is elected class Treasurer. He has the class dues to protect all $32 of it. Now what could possibly happen? The class picnic is Saturday and Mrs. Haskell needs the money to pay for the bus that will take the class to the picnic. Can Jeff find the missing money in time?
When Herbie suggests his friend Ken go to the dance with them, Mary decides not to go to the dance at all. But, when she meets Ken, in full uniform from the Carter Military Academy, she of course has a change of heart….but where does that leave Herbie? It's another good "Mary learns a lesson" episode.
Mary and Mark decide to have a Saturday nursery school (i.e., day care) to earn enough money to paint Mark's car. Alex, on the other hand, would like to sleep late on Saturday morning, unaware of the bedlam that's about to take place.
Kenny, a short, shy boy who stutters, wants to drop out of the school show. To improve his confidence, Mary gives him a "lucky" penny, and convinces him to stay in the show. But Mary is miserable now that she is partnered with the shorter Kenny in a dance number, so she convinces him to wear shoes with lifts with disasterous results.
Jeff's 'friend' Doug keeps getting him into trouble at school, and Jeff silently takes the blame for him because he knows Doug's mother constantly picks on him and wonders why he can't be more like Jeff, who behaves like an innocent cherub at their house.
Donna mistakenly accepts an invitation to 'culture vulture' Lydia Langley's cocktail party, at which Lydia mentions that she also conducts a book discussion group. She goads Donna into joining it and then reporting on Tolstoy's "War and Peace" at her first meeting.
Lately all Donna has been hearing is how wonderful Alex is, and how lucky she is to be his wife. After a while this gets Donna to wondering if what people really mean is that Alex got the short end of the stick by marrying Donna.
Mary gets an engagement ring and phone calls from Matt, a freshman at UCLA, but doesn't tell anyone in the family about the ring or why Matt is calling. So what's going on? As Donna says, "Alex, our daughter has a secret."