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Is There a Hamster in the House?
Season 05, Episode 11
Air Date December 15, 1988
Writer Mark St. Germain
Director Tony Singletary
Previous If the Dress Fits, Wear It
Next Truth or Consequences

Is There a Hamster in the House? is the eleventh episode of The Cosby Show's fifth season which was first broadcast on December 15, 1988.


Cliff bends his iron rule against pets in the house when he lets Rudy "baby-sit" her friend's hamster. When the little fellow develops a bad cold, Cliff and Rudy take him to the veterinary hospital's emergency room. There they witness a wee hours parade of strange animals with even stranger maladies. Despite all efforts, the hamster dies, prompting Cliff to finally tell the truth about his anti-pet stand. It seems when he was a boy, he sat on his pet finch, Charlie. And although he did not kill him, the resultant trauma (for both boy and bird) brought Cliff's penchant for pets to a complete end.