Welcome Home: Part 1 was the first part of a two-episode story arc which was the fourth episode of the 11th season of Happy Days, and also the 237th episode in the series overall. Co-written by Fred Fox, Jr. and Brian Levant, the episode, which was directed by Jerry Paris, originally aired on ABC-TV on October 25, 1983.
Richie, Lori Beth and Ralph come home. But things are bittersweet for Richie, whose plans are different than what everyone else wants for the Cunningham lad.
Just discharged from the U.S. Army, Richie and Ralph return home; but after life in the Army, they come home a rousing homecoming celebration. But as everyone celebrates good times and fond memories, it becomes obvious Richie's dreams have changed. Sure, Howard gets Richie a job at the Milwaukee Journal, and despite Richie's tepid interest, seems to be doing a good job. But Richie confides in several people that his future plans have a different path than everybody else expects or wants: screen writing, Richie wants to move to California to pursue a career as a screenwriter, which doesn't set too well with Howard and Marion. This episode is Part 1 of a two-part story.
- Special guest stars: Ron Howard as Richie Cunningham; Don Most (billed as Donald Most) as Ralph Malph; Lynda Goodfriend as Lori Beth Cunningham.
Richie, Fonzie, Potsie, and Ralph are reunited for the first time since the episode "Ralph's Family Problem" (the Season 7 finale).
Side Note: Richie's wanting to move to California to pursue a career as a screenwriter was possibly written as an inside reference to Ron Howard's real-life second career as a director.
- Ron Howard as Richie Cunningham
- Don Most (billed as Donald Most) as Ralph Malph
- Lynda Goodfriend as Lori Beth Allen-Cunningham
- Bo Sharon as Richie Cunningham Jr.
- Walter Van as Dean McGrath