What's Happening!! is an American television sitcom that aired on ABC from August 5, 1976 to April 28, 1979. The show premiered as a summer series. With good ratings and reviews, and after the failure of several other shows on the network, What's Happening!! returned in November 1976 as a weekly series. It remained a regular show until 1979; ratings were modest. What's Happening!! was loosely based on the motion picture Cooley High, also written by Eric Monte.
A dance contest has Rerun scrambling to get enough money for the entrance fee and ends up having people buying shares in his prospective winnings. However, he finds himself facing stiff competition from a notorious disco dancer and the prospect of two thugs breaking his hands if he doesn't win.
Raj, Rerun and Dwayne learn how lonely Shirley's life is and decide that the best thing for her is a blind date with Ed Roberts. Things start getting serious between Shirley and Ed but then Dee learns that Ed is married.
Raj is coerced into tutoring a basketball star and gets plenty of encouragement thanks to a generous salary for doing so. However, Raj finds himself in trouble with tutoring Dee and Dwayne as well, he has little time to do his own studying.
Rerun and Raj are arrested after Rerun unknowingly stores stolen goods. While, Dee and Earl combine their efforts to save the guys.
Shirley brings some homemade cookies into Rob's Place as a gift for Rerun and the guys and they are so taken with how good they are that they suggest that she try selling them at Rob's. She decides to try it but soon finds that her small business venture has attracted the likes of a con man who talks her into a long-term contract that is binding.
The rent is due for Raj and Rerun's apartment but they are short since Raj hasn't been able to find a job. When the landlady stops by to collect the rent she takes Raj aside and tells him not to worry and then proceeds to give Raj signals that convince him that she's interested in him romantically. Raj soon begins acting more mature since she's in her 30's and he's 19.
Rerun gets a credit card and goes on a spending spree, buying everything in sight from food processors to new furniture. He soon applies for more credit cards and quickly finds himself sinking into debt but he continues to spend totally refurnishing the apartment. He takes out a loan, but soon finds a repo man on his doorstep.
Raj's study date with an attractive girl, Jean, goes awry thanks to Rerun's annoying presence. Thus, it's no surprise when Raj jumps at the chance to move in with Jean to get away from Rerun. However, Dee makes a shocking discovery, Jean as a distinct motive for the roommate proposal.
Raj needs a job and gets one selling meat, but when he learns the company is a fraud and has been busted by the FBI, he begins searching for another one. He finally finds one that pays $35 an hour but involves him posing nude for an art class.
The Christmas spirit has touched everyone except for a burglar who has just robbed Rerun and Raj's apartment. As he's getting away, Raj and Rerun inadvertantly help him, leaving them with only a glimpse. Thus, when they're asked to pick the robber out of a line-up, Raj and Rerun just aren't positive if they identified the right guy.
Raj and Rerun each have a girls, April and Cindy, in their lives and finding free time to spend alone in the apartment is a challenge. Soon, it becomes a bet to see how far each one can go with each girl. Rerun ends up striking out with both of them but Raj, hits pay dirt with April, who happens to be the girl Rerun has his heart set on.
Dee has her heart set on joining the cheerleading squad and while preparing she also helps out her friend Julie who also want to be on the squad. With Dee being better than her, Julie doesn't think she has a chance, however, everyone is in for a shock when Julie is picked and Dee isn't.
Dee's 14th birthday has Raj and the gang preparing a surprise birthday party. Dee quickly gets word of it but is not without a surprise thanks to Little Earl's birthday gift. The atrocious necklace he gave her turns out to be stolen and Dee is accused of shoplifting when she tries to exchange it.
Dwayne gets a new job in concessions at ball games and the owner wants him to handle all of the games all over town. Dwayne quickly realizes the job could turn into a full time employment and considers quitting school. However, he has serious doubts thanks to a talk from Raj and Rerun. This all leads to Dwayne having a crazy dream about the future.
Shirley has decided to ask Rob for a raise and he is shocked but he also has a shock for her, he's decided to hire an additional waitress, Liz. However, her forever clumsiness gets on Shirley's nerves so much that she quits. Later, Shirley witnesses Liz skimming the till.
Rerun has one of Rob's hamburgers and suddenly becomes ill. He is taken to the hospital and it's assumed that he has food poisoning. Suddenly, Rob finds himself with no business since no one wants to take a chance eating his food. However, Rob has bigger problems on his hands when a greedy Rerun decides to sue Rob's place for $100,000.
Rerun and Raj have gotten a new landlord and he has been totally neglecting all of the repairs that are needed in the apartments. Fed up, Rerun calls a tenants meeting and Raj is roped into handing the landlord a list a demands. However, things don't go quite as planned and the landlord evicts Raj and Rerun which forces them to move into the Thomas household with Dee and Shirley.
After reading an article in a newspaper, Raj learns that Mama's house was once used as a hideout by some bank robbers and that they may have hid some loot somewhere in it. This leads him, Rerun, Dee, Dwayne and Shirley on a mad search for the money. Meanwhile, they are all unaware the the bank robbers are plotting to come back to claim their money.
The gang fantasizes about being TV characters from famous ABC shows, such as Three's Company and Happy Days.
Big Earl has been coaching Little Earl's basketball team and has been pushing the kids constantly to do their best, so when Big Earl gets an undercover assignment he must get a temporary coach and finds one in Dwayne. However, Dwayne proves to be the exact opposite of Big Earl and suddenly the team is finding themselves winning a game for a change. This leads the team to decide whether or not to keep Big Earl.
When another classmate drops out of a high school campaign, two attractive girls talk Dwayne into running. When the news reaches his dad's ears, Dwayne can't even get a word in to tell him he doesn't want to run but eveyone convinces him that he would be perfect. However, the worst is yet to come, when Dwayne learns that there will be a debate between him and the other candidate.
A local teen center is in serious financial trouble and the gang tries to come up with a way to save it. They finally decide to put on a benefit show and Rerun has someone in mind who will be sure to attract attention, Sammy Davis, Jr. However, Rerun does his best to get a hold of Sammy but soon realizes he must announce that Sammy won't be coming to the benefit.