[[caption-width-right:350:Clockwise from left: Michael, Thelma, Willona, Florida, JJ, James.]]

->''"GOOD TIMES!\\
Any time you meet a payment!\\
Any time you need a friend!\\
Any time you're out from under!\\
Not gettin' hassled, not getting hustled!\\
Keeping your head above water!\\
Making a wave when you can't!\\
Temporary lay-offs!\\
Easy Credit rip-offs!\\
Scratchin' and Survivin'\\
Hangin' in and jivin'!\\
Ain't we lucky we got 'em?\\
'''GOOD TIMES!!!'''"''

''Good Times'' was a Creator/NormanLear-produced SitCom that ran on Creator/{{CBS}} from 197479. The show, a SpinOff of Lear's earlier comedy ''Series/{{Maude}}'' (itself spun off from ''Series/AllInTheFamily''), followed the lives of the Evans family, a poor black family living in the high-rise projects of Chicago:

* Florida Evans (Esther Rolle): Matriarch, occasional MamaBear
* James Evans (John Amos): Patriarch, ChewToy
* James "JJ" Evans, Jr. (Jimmie Walker): CatchPhrase machine, [[SitcomCharacterArchetypes The Wisecracker]], KavorkaMan (cleaned up in later seasons)
* Thelma Anderson, nee Evans (Bern Nadette Stanis): TheChick
* Michael Evans (Ralph Carter): "[[AngryBlackMan The Militant Midget]]", male SoapBoxSadie, TheSmartGuy
* And their neighbor, Willona Woods (Ja'net Du Bois): SassyBlackWoman, DropInCharacter

Most episodes featured the efforts of the Evans to get by in the ghetto and make a better life for themselves. Despite the fact that those efforts usually [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption ended in bitter disappointment]], the show remained surprisingly positive and uplifting. And like most Lear shows of the time, ''Good Times'' wasn't afraid to [[{{Anvilicious}} moralize]] or [[SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped bring up controversial topics]].

The show's [[JumpTheShark most controversial move]] was [[DroppedABridgeOnHim killing off patriarch James]] at the beginning of the fourth season. Esther Rolle hoped this would bring a shift in JJ's character from the clownish KavorkaMan he had been, to a more responsible Man Of The House. The writers didn't see it that way, seemingly ramping up JJ's [[UncleTomfoolery foolishness]] (though it's worth noting that Jimmie Walker, who played JJ, was a stand-up comedian and not much of an actor). This led to Rolle quitting the show for the entire fifth season, her character having [[PutOnABus relocated to Arizona]] to be with her second husband. She was brought back in the sixth and final season with promises to clean up JJ's act (and [[BrotherChuck never reference her second marriage]], which Rolle thought went against Florida's character in multiple ways).

The series finale aired on August 1, 1979, with a [[HappilyEverAfter Mega-Happy Ending]]. Reruns can be seen daily on TV One, on Get TV (as of December 2017) and occasionally on Nick at Nite's TV Land. All six seasons are available on DVD.
!!This show provides examples of:

* AbusiveParents: Penny's mom. One of the show's most infamous scenes is of her burning Penny with a ''hot iron''. And that actually happens off-screen, we just see the iron about to be used and the bandaged wound afterwards. Also, although FairForItsDay , James' heavy-handed disciplining of his kids. He uses his belt on them, which is relatively uncommon today.
* AccidentalMisnaming: Alderman Fred Davis to Willona. And vice versa: she calls him "Balderman" and he calls her "Fellow-na." Though on Willona's part, [[MaliciousMisnaming it's slightly less than accidental.]]
* TheAlcoholic: Ned The Wino and Fishbone. Cousin Naomi and her parents in the VerySpecialEpisode "Sometimes There's No Bottom in the Bottle."
* AluminumChristmasTrees: That song Michael sings at Thelma and Keith's wedding? It's a Music/StevieWonder song, "You And I (We Can Conquer The World)" from the album ''Talking Book''.
* AngryBlackMan: James and Michael. Though Michael was a much straighter example, with James being [[HairTriggerTemper angry in the more traditional sense]]. [[ExecutiveMeddling For Michael, this pretty much vanished in later seasons.]]
* AttemptedRape: Willona's husband Ray makes advances to Thelma, eventually groping her (and he would likely have taken it further had Willona and Florida not walked in). Later, Penny is similarly assaulted offscreen.
* BabiesEverAfter : [[spoiler: Thelma]] announces her pregnancy in the finale.
* BackToSchool: Bookman, Florida, and James.
* BadJobWorseUniform: JJ's uniform while working at a fried chicken restaurant.
* BaldBlackLeaderGuy: Alderman Davis plays with this trope. He's mostly just a politician, but is also a skilled (if ''very'' self-serving) civil rights leader.
* BerserkButton : Try not doing your homework with James around. Or mess with Florida's [[MamaBear family]].
* BigBrotherInstinct: JJ to Thelma and Michael. For all his goofiness and constant teasing of them, he makes it abundantly clear that the best way to set off his BerserkButton is to harm either of them.
* BreakTheCutie: Poor Penny qualifies for this in spades.
* BusCrash: James's off-screen death.
* ButtMonkey: Bookman. Or maybe just call him Buffalo Butt Monkey.
* CatchPhrase: JJ's "DYN-O-MITE!" and less frequently, "Well, you know, what can I say?"
* ChewToy: James could never catch a break.
* TheChick: Thelma, the only daughter in the family. She is hyper-emotional where Florida is calm and stoic, but she's also the most compassionate.
* ChristmasEpisode: There was one where Penny stole a gift for Willona. The other one was a MusicalEpisode.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Carl Dixon. Florida got married to Carl at the end of the 1976-1977 season and planned to move to Arizona to tend to Carl's chronic health issues; the storyline was planned to explain Esther Rolle's coming departure from the show. At the beginning of the 1978-1979 season, Florida had returned ... without Carl, and with no explanation for his absence. The reason for this was that Rolle agreed to return to the show, but only if changes were made, one of them being that there would [[{{Unperson}} be no record of Carl having ever existed]]. (Rolle thought it was implausible for the devoutly Christian Florida to marry someone who was an avowed atheist, and also felt that Florida moved on much too quickly after James' death.) According to Wiki/TheOtherWiki , a deleted scene shows Willona asking Florida about Carl. Florida shakes her head, implying that Carl passed away from cancer during her absence. The reason for the move to Arizona was a spot on Carl's lung.
* CousinOliver: Penny - though much better received by the audience than most, the result was the same.
* DadTheVeteran: James served in Korea.
* DaddysGirl: Thelma to James.
* DiabolusExMachina: This is a pretty regular occurrence on the show, something that even bothered the actors.
** Whenever James gets a better, more stable, better paid job, something happens that gets him fired or laid off. [[spoiler: Or he gets killed.]]
** Whenever JJ gets the opportunity to make some money off of his art, something inevitably happens to make him turn down the deal or get the whole thing called off.
** Thelma gets married to a potential NFL star, only for him to blow out his knee ''at their wedding''.
* TheDiseaseThatShallNotBeNamed: Semi-averted, first ever mention of a VD on American TV, but no mention of ''which'' or how it was transferred.
** FairForItsDay: In those days, VD was used much the same way as "STD" is today: As a catch-all term (and then, there was a smaller range of diseases to refer to.)
* DogFoodDiet: The episode "Social Security" deals with this, with one of the Evans' neighbors being forced to eat dog food for some meals to survive.
* DontMakeMeTakeMyBeltOff: James, James, James.
* DropInCharacter: Willona, one of the first.
* DrowningMySorrows: Keith, bordering on TheAlcoholic.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: A great example of this.
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: The Evans family will never make it out of the ghetto, will never be financially well off enough to do more than just survive, will never be any better off than they were in the previous episode.
* FairytaleWeddingDress : Thelma gets one in the Season 6 wedding episode.
* TheGhost : J.J.'s elusive girlfriend Henrietta. Also a more literal example after [[spoiler: James passes away in season 4]].
* HappilyEverAfter: About the only character who didn't hit it big in the finale is Bookman.
* HappilyMarried: James and Florida.
* HollywoodAtheist: Carl Dixon, which was one of Esther Rolle's biggest problems with Florida marrying Carl.
* InsatiableNewlyweds: Thelma and Keith.
* JoinOrDie: This is why Michael joins a gang. Quote paraphrased.
-->They asked Johnny to join and he didn't, so they broke his arm. They asked Willy to join and he didn't, so they broke his leg. Then they asked me to join, and they were looking at my neck.
** A couple of Seasons prior, JJ also fell victim to their "Health and Accident Insurance Program," as in "If I don't join, they were gonna ensure that I had an accident to my health."
* KavorkaMan: JJ, who was somehow able to compete with the school quarterback despite being skinny and funny looking.
* KilledOffForReal: [[spoiler: James,]] whose offscreen death at the beginning of Season 4 is probably the most infamous example of this trope in a comedy show outside of [[Series/{{MASH}} Henry Blake's]].
* {{Landlord}}: Bookman... well, technically a building superintendent, but close enough, as he did collect the rent every month and gleefully served the Evanses their many eviction notices when they were late, pissed him off, pissed off Alderman Davis, etc.
* LethalChef : Everyone makes fun of Thelma's cooking.
* LimitedWardrobe: James seemed to wear the same brown shirt and off-white corduroys every single episode. Lampshaded in one episode when he ponders whether to wear "my brown shirt, my brown shirt or my brown shirt?"
* MamaBear: Florida
* {{Mondegreen}}: As noted by ''Series/ChappellesShow'', the indistinguishable lyric of the theme song "Hangin' in and jivin'", is often mistakenly deciphered as "Hangin' in a chow line".
* MsFanservice: Thelma, and on occasion Willona.
* MusicalEpisode: One doubled as a ChristmasEpisode while the plot of the other was a talent show to raise money for a daycare center in their building.
* MyGirlIsNotASlut: Played with in the episode, "Sex and the Evans Family".
* [[NeighbourhoodFriendlyGangsters Neighborhood Friendly Gangster]]: "Sweet Daddy" Williams was generally portrayed as one of these, despite being a racketeer, [[AllDevouringBlackHoleLoanSharks loan shark]], and [[PimpDuds pimp]]. Although sometimes only in comparison to others who might take over the turf if he wasn't there. Sure, he's a crook and a con, but at least he's never killed anybody.
* OldMaid: Discussed in the Season 1 episode "Florida, the Matchmaker." Willona points out that an unmarried man over 30 is a carefree bachelor, while a woman over 30 who is unmarried (or, in Willona's case, divorced) is considered over the hill. Willona remains happily unmarried throughout the series.
* PlayingGertrude: John Amos was only 34 when the show began, making him just 8 years older than his "son" Jimmie Walker, and 19 years ''younger'' than his "wife" Esther Rolle. He pulled it off by being [[YoungerThanTheyLook Younger Than He Looks]].
* PromotionToParent: JJ in season 5 due to the absence of both parents.
* PutOnABus: Florida, to Arizona during Season 5 with her new husband.
** TheBusCameBack: In season 6, thanks to Esther Rolle's return to the series..
* RaceLift : An in-universe example. J.J. has an AcidRefluxNightmare where he's white.
* TheRashomon: The episode "Where's There's Smoke"; the couch catches fire and burns a hole in one of the pillows. JJ, Thelma, and Michael each tells Willona their version of what happened. [[spoiler: Penny's]] version of the story is the truth.
* SassyBlackWoman: Willona, the TropeCodifier.
* ScaryBlackMan: James was this when he got mad.
* SoapBoxSadie: Michael, "The Militant Midget". Unlike most examples, he was a kid, male, and his views were generally relevant to the plot and the target audience. This part of his character was phased out completely as he got older, due to the show's writers thinking a teenaged black militant would be off-putting to white viewers.
* {{Spinoff}}: Second generation Spinoff: From ''Series/AllInTheFamily'' to ''Series/{{Maude}}'' to this show. Oddly, this wasn't originally planned as one and Florida was added into the mix later in preproduction. This explains some of the odd and unexplained lapses in continuity between ''Good Times'' and ''Maude'', including Florida and her family appearing to have lived in Chicago for quite some time, her husband's [[SuddenNameChange name being changed from Henry to James]], and a lack of references to Florida having ever cleaned houses or James/Henry having ever been a firefighter. It's possible James/ Henry had told her to lie about his occupation to the Findlays to get a better maid position.
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: JJ's "Kool-Aid Sour".
* TransatlanticEquivalent: Remade for British TV as ''The Fosters'' (interestingly, the original show has never aired in the UK).
* UncleTomfoolery: JJ fell increasingly into this in later seasons. However, he did improve by the show's final season.
* VerySpecialEpisode: The VD Episode, complete with disclaimer before the start of the show.
** Subverted with the child abuse storyline that introduced CousinOliver Penny. The Very Special Problem was resolved in no fewer than 6 episodes and Penny remained on the show until its end.
* WealthsInAName: Played with in the case of Penny, whose name was a pun on her full name, "Millicent". She was poor, as were all the families in that series, but she considered herself wealthy once adopted by Willona.
* WeSellEverything: Lenny. He would give the residents a rhyme about his merchandise and then open up his fur coat to display his (usually ill-gotten) wares.
* WhamEpisode: "The Big Move."
* WrittenInAbsence: Florida, Season 5. The kids would "talk to her" on the phone once every other episode.
* YankTheDogsChain: A number of episodes revolved around the characters trying to improve their situation and absolutely failing by the time the credits rolled. The most [[TearJerker heartwrenching]] example, though, has to be in the fourth-season premiere: James has gotten a promising new job in Mississippi and the family plans on moving to join him, leaving the ghetto behind forever! [[spoiler: Then James dies in a car wreck and they're stuck.]]