Off to See the Wretched
Season 06, Episode 24
Air Date April 5, 1990
Writer Mark S. Germain
Director Carl Lauten
Malcolm-Jamal Warner
Previous What's It All About?
Next The Moves

Off to See the Wretched is the twenty-fourth episode of The Cosby Show's sixth season which was first broadcast on April 5, 1990.

Summary Edit

Vanessa and her girlfriends display extraordinarily bad judgment when they lie and deceive their way into borrowing Kara's brother's car and making a trip to Baltimore to see a rock concert behind their parents' backs. The journey is disastrous: the car is stolen and completely stripped, a con artist cheats them out of their tickets and a pickpocket takes all their travel money. Their only saving grace is an encounter with a friend of the family, who gives them bus fare.

Back home Vanessa and her friends' deception is gradually unraveled, when the Huxtables see news of a dangerous fire near the one friend's house where the girls claimed they would be staying for the evening, and the grandmother is interviewed claiming the house is empty. Another news announcement reveals that the Wretched concert is in Baltimore, rather than New York as they claimed. Finally they learn of the stolen car, and the girls failure to file a police report.

All of Vanessa's misfortunes pale in comparison to the reception that awaits her upon returning home: Hurricane Clair strikes with all the fury of a mother scorned, ending with a furious rebuke that she may never trust Vanessa again.

Meanwhile, Olivia tries to impress Cliff with some jokes.


  • This episode marks the directoral debut of Malcolm-Jamal Warner.
  • This episode marks the last appearances of Vanessa's friends, Janet, Susan and Kara. It's possible that their parents and Kara's brother were infuriated by their deception and stealing his car and it being completely stripped that their parents forbade them from ever seeing each other and Vanessa again, or they were sent away from each other as punishment. When the following season opens, Vanessa has taken summer courses, graduated high school a year early and is going away to college. It is possible that this was forced on her, as punishment, or that she voluntarily undertook the regime, either to regain Clair's trust, or just flat-out get away from her.
  • Cliff wears a Portland Trail Blazers jersey throughout this episode. For several years (back when this episode aired), a giant photograph of Bill Cosby hung just inside the main entrance to the Portland Memorial Coliseum, which was then the Blazers' home arena. The jersey that Cliff wore was that of Ramon Ramos, a Portland Trailblazer who was severely injured in a car accident in December 1989 after returning from a road game.
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