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Happy Days/Richie Almost Dies

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Richie Almost Dies
5x18
Airdate January 31, 1978
Production Number
Writer(s) Marty Nadler
Director(s) Jerry Paris
← 5x17
Marion's Misgivings
5x19 →
Spunkless Spunky
Happy DaysSeason Five


Guest Stars: Suzi Quatro (Leather), Lynda Goodfriend (Lori Beth)

Co-Starring: Robert Patten (Doctor)

Contents

Plot Overview

Against his parents' wishes, Richie buys a motorcycle from Fonzie and plans to learn how to ride it. Howard and Marion find out and are angered to the point that they plan to make Richie sell it. Fonzie steps in and convinces Howard that all will be fine, and that Richie will wear a helmet when he rides the motorcycle.

Howard's misgivings and concerns, however, become well founded when Richie and Lori Beth are involved in an accident. Lori Beth suffers minor injuries, but Richie suffers a severe concussion that renders him unconscious. At the hospital, the attending physician tells Howard and Marion that Richie may never regain consciousness. Richie's friends and family gather at home, where Leather plays a touching ballad. Fonzie, meanwhile, goes back to the hospital after hours to begin a bedside vigil. There — in a memorable scene from the series, showcasing the depth Henry Winkler had brought to his character — Fonzie offers a tearful prayer to God seeking Richie's recovery. During this prayer, Fonzie realizes that he may soon lose his best friend, and completely loses control of his emotions.

Eventually, Richie awakens from his coma, much to the overjoyed relief of Howard and Marion ... and especially Fonzie, who thanks God for pulling his friend through. It isn't long before Richie makes a full recovery and is back to his old self.

Notes

Trivia

Behind the Scenes

In the 30th anniversary special it was revealed that Fonzie losing his cool was done at the request of teachers of abused children. The children admired Fonzie's "coolness", but the teachers requested the show prove it was okay to show emotion at times as well.

Quotes