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Independence Day
Season 01, Episode 14
The 20th Century
Air Date January 10, 1985
Writer Matt Robinson
Director Jay Sandrich
Previous Father's Day
Next Physician of the Year

Independence Day is the fourteenth episode of The Cosby Show's first season which was first broadcast on January 10, 1985.


While staying at a friend's house for a weekend, Theo has his ear pierced to prove his independence, but it was actually to impress a girl. He shows the earring to Denise, who worries the ear might be infected. She indirectly mentions the situation to Cliff, who goes to Theo's room, and Theo humorously makes every effort to his pierced ear. He is eventually forced to show Cliff his earring, and Cliff agrees that the ear is infected. He treats Theo's ear, and Theo prepares to accept his punishment – a lecture from Grandpa. Cliff also puts a noticeable bandage on Theo's ear to ensure Grandpa won't miss it.

However, it doesn't go as planned as, instead of lecturing Theo, Grandpa reveals to him, that Cliff, when he was young had pulled a similarly foolish stunt to impress a woman: he had attempted to straighten his hair! As he couldn't afford the product required to do so, he created his own concoction, which burned his hair out. And to top it all off, the woman he had tried to impress turned out to be Clair! When Grandpa claimed to be kind and understanding about the whole ordeal, Grandma claimed otherwise.

Then she reveals that Grandpa had pulled a foolish stunt of his own, in an attempt to impress her. He had a tattoo of her name inked on his chest, but he mispronounced the name, due to a head cold, and the tattoo artist wrote "Adda" instead of "Anna". To make matters worse, Adda was the name of another girl competing for Grandpa's affections! Thus, Grandpa had to have the tattoo removed, leaving a scar (which Grandpa had previously claimed to have gotten from the war). While none of the women are impressed with the men's actions, Grandpa, Cliff and Theo bond over their less than sensible actions to impress women, because in the end, in spite of these, they still won their women over.