The nickname[edit | edit source]
The etymology of Potsie's nickname was two-fold, one being that as a young boy he had an affinity for making clay pots, which motivated his mother to call him "Potsie". Another was a variation of the nickname "patsy", which defines someone who is easily duped, which Potsie often was; this character trait, combined with his childhood hobby, led others, particularly Ralph, to say to him, "You're such a 'potsie'".
About Potsie[edit | edit source]
In the pilot and early seasons, Potsie appeared to be more savvy than Richie, but this character trait would not last long. As the series progressed he would be depicted as somewhat dimwitted and gullible, socially clumsy, and in modern hindsight, very 'square'; consequently, he was labeled a nerd by friends and acquaintances.
As the series progressed, and with the increasingly popular breakout character Fonzie becoming closer friends with Richie, Potsie was paired more often with Ralph in episodes, particularly in girl-getting schemes, and also when they rented an apartment together after graduating high school.
But for all his shortcomings, Potsie is a very talented singer, and his musical endeavors became more central to the character as the series progressed. In season 3's They Call It Potsie Love, Joanie, after being serenaded by Potsie during a rehearsal, developed a brief crush on him and even had a dream about marrying him.
A later recurring gag was Potsie's relationship, or lack thereof, with his unseen father who, according to Potsie, hated him. As such, Potsie, who worked at Howard's hardware store, came to look on Howard as a father figure, which Howard did not approve of.
Relationship[edit | edit source]
Throughout the series, his one steady girlfriend was Jennifer Jerome, played by Lorrie Mahaffey, who was Anson Williams' wife from 1978 to 1986. The two met in college and shared a passion for singing, as evidenced by a duet they sang during their fraternity/sorority "pinning ceremony." Her departure from the show was never explained.