Breaking down the best guests on 'The Love Boat,' by the numbers

Who appeared more often, dogs or Florence Henderson?

The Love Boat cruised along on TV lineups for nine seasons, and that's not even counting the specials and movies. Over 250 episodes, we saw a lot of familiar faces all dolled up to rock the boat however the episode's plot required.

In all that time, it's easy to lose track of what actually went down on the unsinkable hit show, so we put together a handy chart that answers your most burning Love Boat questions.

Which of the shows many celebrity guest stars appeared the most? What's the most common job held by ship passengers? How many times did dogs make it aboard? And even: Is The Love Boat haunted? All of this and more is answered in the chart below that tracks everything you love about The Love Boat, by numbers.

The chart starts off with the top 10 passenger jobs, with writers in the overwhelming lead. From tabloid reporters to bestselling novelists, 12.8% of episodes featured at least one writer in the plot. Next most common was musicians, with famous guest stars including country stars like Tanya Tucker, soul acts like The Temptations and rockers like Sonny Bono. Of course, The Love Boat also saw its share of pro athletes, movie stars, CEOs and models, too. There was even a whole episode devoted to fashion in the fourth season, with guest star fashion designers Gloria Vanderbilt, Geoffrey Beene and more.

Although The Love Boat was incredible at keeping things fresh, there were times when certain situations would repeat. For example, there were two episodes where ghosts were a key part of the plot. We were twice as likely to see dogs, though, especially in the adorable sixth season dog show episode, where the whole ship was overrun by pups.

The Love Boat also believed in family fun, with three episodes featuring twins in their plots and five episodes where famous real families portrayed fictional families onboard. Our favorite family snap from The Love Boat is this scene featuring mother-daughter duo Janet Leigh and Jamie Lee Curtis.

Perhaps the most often repeated plot, though, involved someone from a crew member's high school visiting the ship. This happened seven times over the course of the series, with cruise director Julie McCoy the most visited crew member. Another repeated theme was a literal take on "love is blind," which happened five times, seeing to it that blind characters learn to trust the companions they've encountered on the open seas.

Finally, we were curious to see which famous classic TV stars turned up on The Love Boat during the series run the most (not including movies and specials), and hands down the trophy goes to The Brady Bunch's Florence Henderson (appearing 9 times!). In fact, we saw many of the Brady family members hop on board, with both Robert Reed (5) and Maureen McCormick (5) cracking our top 10 classic TV stars who appeared the most on The Love Boat list. In fact for The Love Boat special "Who Killed Maxwell Thorn?" Florence Henderson and Robert Reed appear in character as Carol and Mike Brady. There's also Eve Plumb, who appeared three times, and both Christopher Knight and Ann B. Davis, who showed up once each. That leaves only Greg, Bobby and Cindy off the boat.

Behind Florence Henderson was Linda Evans, who appeared 7 times, and after that, it's a tie between Rue McClanahan, Ted Knight, Ethel Merman, and Erin Moran, who all appeared six times. All this helped make The Love Boat the unique classic that it is, steering the ship to tug hearts at home just as much as those onboard.

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adele1024 12 months ago
Audra Lindley (aka Mrs Roper from Three's Company)
8 times--on one of them she played the legendary Milton Burle's wife!!
bradyguy adele1024 5 months ago
He's legend...we should spell his name right. BERLE.
TMETZ3 14 months ago
Marion Ross appeared 14 times.
Charro 10
bradyguy TMETZ3 5 months ago
One R in Charo. And not ALL of Ross' appearances count...she was a recurring/semi-regular CM by the last few...
jwr5600 15 months ago
Charo was on the Love Boat 10 times....
Pacificsun 21 months ago
For those who really love a Series, they'll eventually find more about it by searching. So even though this story appeared in 2018, I like to leave behind a reward for finding your way here!!

And the story and credit is in this Link. Hope it adds some interest to your fandom!

alfadog67 25 months ago
Betty White should have made the list, too with 5 appearances.
alfadog67 25 months ago
JJ Walker was on 5 episodes (one was a 2-parter). I wonder why he's not listed above.
barefeethusky 45 months ago
I haven't watched a lot of Love Boat over the years but did love an episode I caught in the middle of the night a few years ago. It starred Betty White and her real life husband Allen Ludden. Betty played a wife who felt neglected by her horse racing husband. David Doyle plays Allen's business associate that Betty uses to try to make Allen jealous.
Jon 45 months ago
Christopher Knight was on LOVE BOAT once, as mentioned above, but unfortunately the role was so minor, a love interest for Dana Plato, that his name was dropped in the end credits, so he never got to look through that famous port hole at the beginning of the show.
Christopher 65 months ago
Charo 10 times! and Carol Channing 7. Fact check.....
Marion Ross 14 times. All MeTV had to do is go to the IMDb, look up "Love Boat", click the link for FULL CAST, and they are all listed there by order of number of episodes.

"The Love Boat Mermaids" (who I don't even remember) - 21 episodes.

Oh, and Florence Henderson is shown at 10 times, not 9.
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