Trivia / Diff'rent Strokes

  • Absentee Actor: Averted by Conrad Bain, who is the only cast member to appear in every episode.
  • Actor Allusion: Whitman Mayo plays a junk dealer in "The Adoption"; he previously played the friend of a junk dealer on Sanford and Son.
  • The Cast Showoff: Dana Plato was a trained figure skater, which the producers allowed her to demonstrate in "Family on Ice" (with Special Guest Dorothy Hamill).
    • Janet Jackson's singing was featured in the episode "The Music Man".
  • Channel Hop: To ABC for the final season.
  • Dueling Shows: ABC's Webster [1983-89], starring Emmanuel Lewis as the Gary Coleman equivalent. It even had its own Channel Hop to syndication for its final two years.
  • Edited for Syndication: The broadcast syndication versions of Diff'rent Strokes (which are also the versions seen on Antenna TV since 2013) feature fairly noticeable (and to some extent, poor) edits for time constraints: the most glaring are the season three episode "The Older Man", in which both a scene dissolve and a wipe take place at almost the same time while transitioning to a scene in which a 25-year-old man who is dating Kimberly ( due to her being mistaken for a 20-year-old, while dressed in makeup and costume for a school play) arrives at the penthouse to take Kimberly out on their date; the episode "The Athlete" from the same season, features a brief clip of a scene in which Willis teaches Kimberly a dance move, which then abruptly switches only two seconds later to the scene in which Willis gets his acceptance letter to Fillmore High ( as promised to him by that school's shady baseball coach, who uses his sister's address to get most of his recruits accepted into the school).
  • Follow the Leader: Webster.
  • The Other Darrin: Mary Ann Mobley replaced Dixie Carter as Maggie McKinney, the woman who marries Mr. Drummond in the show's seventh season, when Carter left to play Julia Sugarbaker on Designing Women. Similarly, in the two-part "Hooray For Hollywood," which has Arnold and Dudley sneak onto the Knight Rider set, KITT is voiced by someone who is not William Daniels. David Hasselhoff does appear, however.
  • Real-Life Relative: Betty Bridges (Todd Bridges' mother) played the voice of Arnold and Willis' mother on an audio tape in "Memories". She also played the mother of one of Willis' friends in "Willis' Birthday".
  • You Look Familiar:
    • Rosalind Chao played Arnold's teacher Miss Chung, as well as the character Ming Li in the episode "Almost American".
    • Before playing Maggie Drummond in Season 8, Mary Ann Mobley played Arnold's teacher in "Teacher's Pet".
    • Jack Riley played four different characters on the show (three of them during the show's first season).

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