Welcome Back, Kotter

1975 TV-PG 1 season

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Welcome Back, Kotter

1975 TV-PG 1 season
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Social studies teacher Gabe Kotter (Gabe Kaplan) returns to his alma mater and lands back in the remedial class, but now the original Sweathog wants to show hunky Vinnie Barbarino (John Travolta) and a new set of smart alecks better ways to wise up. The opening season finds the Sweathogs defending Mr. Kotter before the school board, while series highlights include Vinnie's decision to become a priest and a flu epidemic that fells the gang.
  • SEASON  1

Summary of Season 1 (1975) - 4 discs

It's a test of wills when former troublemaker Gabe Kotter (Gabe Kaplan) returns to his alma mater as a teacher assigned to a class of misfit students (including John Travolta as Vinnie Barbarino) in this classic 1970s sitcom. The first season introduces the rest of the eclectic cast of characters: Freddie "Boom Boom" Washington (Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs), Juan Luis Pedro Phillipo de Huevos Epstein (Robert Hegyes) and Arnold Horshack (Ron Palillo).
Full Screen 1.33:1
English: Dolby Digital Mono
TV-PG - This program contains material that parents may find unsuitable for younger children.
age 9+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 9+
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age 9+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this often-silly sitcom follows a bunch of remedial students attending an inner-city high school. Teens make fun of each other constantly, calling guys things like "cream puffs" and women "dogs," but other than that, the language is pretty clean. Race, poverty, and drug/alcohol use are occasional topics, though the treatment of the issues is always sanitized. The students are under-achievers, and their apparent stupidity is a source of humor.

Sexual Content

Mr. Kotter and his wife sometimes kiss and hug chastely. Discussion of dating and making out. Some episodes feature sexy Sweathogs with some sexual innuendo.


Off-screen fighting, some physical threats -- all slapstick humor.


Insults fly regularly, like "cream puff" for a weak male, and "dog" for an ugly female.

Social Behavior

Students engage in some troublesome behavior -- minor stealing, truancy, etc. -- but these incidents mostly lead to moral lessons. Kotter helps the students that others treat poorly, showing that you don't have to be smart or rich to deserve respect. That said, the students' chronic underachievement and lack of smarts are often tapped for laughs.


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Rare episodes deal with drug and alcohol addiction, though without graphic detail.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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