The fact is life took an unexpected turn for the ladies of "The Facts of Life" in between season six and seven. It seems Mrs. Garrett's shop Edna's Edibles has burned down! But I'm getting ahead of myself.
The episode begins on a train. The girls are catching up after a summer apart. My guess would be they all spent the summer having their hair enlarged. (Above, Tootie and Natalie sit beside one of Buffy's high school principals).
Of course the wealthiest character had the biggest hair: Blair (who spent the summer shopping) wins the crown for largest coiffure- although she'll have to hold the crown because her hair's so big it'd never fit. But that's not all . . .
Sam the Hobbit's brother was also on the show in season seven. Just from watching this episode I didn't catch the relationship he had to Mrs. Garrett and the girls. I'm thinking he was adopted a few years later by Cloris Leachman's character on the show. Maybe. Anyway as I said: the girls were facing hard times. The shop had burned down and along with it, their bedroom! Luckily for all concerned though, Tootie was on the case! She had the bright idea to turn the ashes of Edna's Edibles into a funky joint reminiscent of Spencer's Gifts.
The new store would sell high-demand gift items like that hamburger lamp.
Diana Ross clothes hangers would surely have customers beating down the doors.
Blair would be in charge of selling green shirts.
Jo would be in charge of the applause-activated key chain department.
Mrs. G would have her own cookie corner.
A plan like that is sure not to fail! Also: This episode is actually a cliffhanger! We did get a preview of next week which . . .
. . . featured a young ingenue named George Clooney joining the show! IMDB shows our boy George was in 17 episodes of "The Facts of Life" years before he bossed around Roseanne and Jackie at Wellman Plastics.
Final Fun Fact: This is what the charred hellscape in the top photo would become: Out Of Our Heads! It's a shop that you must admit comprises every dream you ever had of the store you would love to own AND the store you would love to shop at forever. This shot is from the store's grand opening two episodes later.