All in the Family (1971–1979)
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Archie's Bitter Pill 

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Slow business at the saloon depresses Archie, so well-meaning Hank Pivnik gives him some pills to help him cheer up. But Archie takes too many and the family fears for his health.


Paul Bogart


Norman Lear (developed by), Mel Tolkin | 3 more credits »


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Episode cast overview:
Carroll O'Connor ... Archie Bunker
Jean Stapleton ... Edith Bunker
Rob Reiner ... Michael 'Meathead' Stivic
Sally Struthers ... Gloria Bunker-Stivic
Allan Melvin ... Barney Hefner
Danny Dayton ... Hank Pivnik
Arny Freeman Arny Freeman ... Watkins
A Martinez ... Manuel


Archie is in a grouchy mood because all of his business has moved down the street to McPheeney's place. One of his friends drops by and introduces him to a solution for his funk - in the form of a pill. Archie takes the pill and suddenly has a burst of energy that makes him ready to paint the front porch at 3 in the morning. Mike is the first to catch on that Archie is hooked on something so the family goes to visit him at the bar and he begins acting erratically and talking nonsense. Suddenly he begins to come down from the high and slips into a serious depression, realizing how far he has fallen and breaks down in tears. Written by Jerry Roberts <>

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Comedy | Drama





Release Date:

6 November 1977 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Tandem Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Mike Stivic: Arch, let me help you close up.
Archie Bunker: No. To close up is to close down, to close down is to go out of business. Never close, stay open all the time.
See more »


MacNamara's Band
Music by Shamus O'Connor
Lyrics by John J. Stamford
Portion sung by Carroll O'Connor
See more »

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User Reviews

Archie on drugs
19 April 2018 | by Jimmy_the_Gent4See all my reviews

Business is very slow at Archie's Place, Hank offers him some pills to help him with his depression.

Another lousy Season 8 episode. A Martinez (he was in the 1972 John Wayne movie The Cowboys )plays Archie's new helper at the bar. You know this episode was going to be bad when there is a scene of a dramatic close up of a bottle of pills Hank shows to Archie. This was like something out of a bad Movie Of The Week about addiction, not for a sitcom. The capsules are most likely pep pills though it is never revealed what they are. Archie suddenly has a burst of energy when he gets home and the family suspects he is on something. There is an uncomfortable scene where Archie talks a mile a minute and then suddenly becomes severely depressed. He finally breaks down in tears at the end, one of the worst endings for any episode of this great series. Another sign of it's downfall.

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