"Lionel Cries Uncle"
Uncle Ward and Lionel
Season 1, Episode 7
#7 in Series
Episode Information
Network: CBS-TV
Air date: March 1, 1975
Written by: Lloyd Turner, & Gordon Mitchell
Directed by: Jack Shea
Production code: 1.7 / 107
Episode guide
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Episode chronology
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"George's Skeleton" "Mother Jefferson's Boyfriend"

List of The Jeffersons seasons/episodes

Lionel Cries Uncle was the seventh episode of The Jeffersons TV series, also the 7th episode of Season 1. Directed by Jack Shea and co-written by Lloyd Turner and Gordon Mitchell, it made its premiere on CBS-TV on March 1, 1975.


When Louise's Uncle Ward pays a visit, he gets the cold shoulder from the men in the house, who see him as an "Uncle Tom".


Louise's Uncle Ward visits the Jeffersons, but George derisively refers to him as an "Uncle Tom" for having worked as a butler for many years. When Lionel, who was temporarily expelled from college pending a hearing concerning a food fight/riot which was started by some other students in the cafeteria over the sub par food served there, Ward, who confronts the recalcitrant Lionel by forcing him to listen to reason, "I've spit out sticks like you for breakfast, so just listen!", tells the story of the original inspiration for the term "Uncle Tom", abolitionist/author/minister and former slave Josiah Henson, who helped black slaves escape up North in the years before the formation of The Underground Railroad In also seying to George that the would never call him an "Uncle Tom", Ward's story, with the help of Louise's prodding, convinces Lionel, who learns a litte about Black history along with George, to return to the Dean's office and issue a formal apology for his behavior in the cafeteria.

Guest stars/Recurring castEdit

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