Louie De Palma is a cantankerous, acerbic taxi dispatcher in New York City. He tries to maintain order over a collection of varied and strange characters who drive for him. As he bullies and insults them from the safety of his “cage,” they form a special bond among themselves, becoming friends and supporting each other through the inevitable trials and tribulations of life.
Newlyweds Latka & Samka throw a Shloogel, one of their religion's traditions. The shloogel is, in effect, a party at Mario's where they set all the gang up on blind dates. Tony is set up with Vicki, an abrasive brunette and immediately starts arguing with her. Elaine is set up with mousy Arnie, who has low self esteem. Jim is set up with actress, Marcia Wallace, who played Carol on his favorite show, Bob Newhart. Louie is set up with Judy, a pretty blind woman. Alex is set up with Susan, who seems to be his dream woman and he seems to be falling for her immediately. Despite the fact that none of the other matches seem perfect, all of them show promise by the end of the evening.
When Jim's father passes away and leaves him a substantial inheritance, Jim's siblings sue to have Jim declared incompetent and his inheritance placed in an account that the brother will have control of. In court, Louie and Alex speak in Jim's behalf, but to no avail. Jim later feels better when he plays a tape of ""You Are the Sunshine of My Life"" that his father left for him.
In this episode, we learn that Alex can be a compulsive gambler. Alex even scares Louie off with his compulsion, but Jim talks some sense into Alex at the end (after having bankrolled him initially).
Latka is sent to rescue a female cabbie who is stranded in a snowstorm, but he breaks down as he reaches her. The two are freezing in her cab and decide to make love in order to avoid freezing to death. They survive and are rescued but Latka feels tremendous guilt and Simka realizes he's been unfaithful (despite the circumstances) before he can even tell her. Latka and Simka seek the guidance of their minister, who says to set things right, Simka must sleep with someone Latka works with. (Continued in part two)
Latka and Simka throw a party and decide the last to arrive will be the one that Simka must sleep with. Alex barely edges out Louie, in hilarious fashion. Simka goes to Alex's apartment to seduce him, but he refuses her advances. It seems Simka and Latka will have to divorce, but Jim points out that they can just marry again after divorcing.
Louie lets Jeff, his assistant dispatcher, take the rap for skimming money from the company (that Louie is actually responsible for), assuring Jeff that he'll smooth everything over. Louie overdoes it when he reprimands Jeff in front of the garage owner, though, and the owner not only fires Jeff but has him arrested. Louie eventually tells the owner the truth before Alex has a chance to turn him in, but the owner thinks that Louie is only doing it to protect Jeff. The owner decides as a favor to Louie to drop the charges against Jeff and hire him back, so Louie's crime ends up going unpunished despite his good intentions.
Alex, who loves the theater, takes a part time job as a gofer for a young producer and director, but soon feels mistreated by his younger bosses. Louie, spying on Alex at his new job, spots Alex being humiliated and uncharacteristically does not make fun of him; rather, he tries to convince Alex to stand up for himself and tell the director off. Alex is considering this when the director suddenly has a change of heart and apologizes for mistreating Alex and ignoring one of his earlier suggestions. As a result, Alex regains his dignity.
Louie gets a call from Emily, who jilted him in an earlier episode, who is drunk and drugged and wants to meet him at a nearby bar. Louie decides to go over there to throw a drink in her face and reject her, therefore getting the last laugh. However, when he gets to the bar, Emily serenades him and has Louie eating out of her hands. The next morning, she is shocked to see him wake up next to her, but Louie somehow convinces her that they are meant for each other. They begin a relationship but it becomes evident that Louie has become Emily's slave and he's starting to hate himself for it. Eventually she comes to a realization of what she's doing to him and breaks it off with Louie, who is relieved, but he finally exacts revenge by throwing orange juice in her face.
Tony's dad, a merchant seaman who Tony hasn't seen much of, arranges to bring Tony on a sea trip with him. Tony is hesitant but doesn't want to disappoint his dad, so he goes along. On the trip, Tony spends much of the time seasick, but bonds with his dad and they engage in a bar brawl in Singapore, and almost get matching tattoos until they think better of it.
Latka and Simka introduce Elaine to a friend of theirs visiting from their country named Zifka. Zifka is a monk who has taken a vow of silence but during his vacation is allowed a week (every ten years) to experience all worldly pleasures. He and Elaine quickly fall in love (seemingly to Alex's dismay) but Zifka must resume his silence when his week ends right before he can tell Elaine exactly how he feels about her. Elaine is saddened but understanding, and lets Zifka go.
Zena comes to the garage and announces she's getting married and asks the gang to let Louie know that she wants to speak with him. After telling Louie, he becomes convinced that she wants to get back together, and he meets her for dinner. Louie is crushed when she tells him she's getting married and wants him to attend, and he reacts very insultingly toward her. The rest of the gang goes to the wedding when Louie refuses, but afterwards he regrets not going and wishing her well, so he crashes his way on to their cruise ship (about to leave on their honeymoon). Zena and her husband are not happy to see Louie and before he can wish them well, Louie has a change of heart and starts choking the husband. After composing himself, however, he wishes them well, and Zena seems touched.
Alex's ex-wife, Phyllis, depressed and lonely, comes to see Alex, who takes pity on her and includes her in his holiday plans. This turns ugly, when she manages to bring the whole gang down with her self-pity. Her Christmas present to Alex is that she won't bug him for New Year's, which turns out to be the best gift she could give him.
Louie decides to buy a luxury co-op apartment with some help on the down payment from the newly wealthy Jim. Unfortunately, Louie first has to convince a snooty co-op board that he is right for their building (as he comes in, they are rejecting actress Penny Marshall because they don't approve of the actress lifestyle). Bringing Alex for support, Louie has his work cut out for him when he sees that the board is bigoted. Alex goes on a tirade against their discriminatory process, and the board accepts Louie just to spite Alex.
Alex takes ownership of his old dog, Buddy, who has been living at his sister's place in the country. Buddy is now 19 and Alex wants to spend as much time with him as possible. The dog is lovable but at his advanced age, requires constant care, and Alex soon is taking Buddy with him everywhere including the cab. The gang soon sees that Buddy is not doing very well and gently suggest that Alex consider putting him to sleep, but Alex refuses. Jim suggests that Alex get Buddy to do his old trick (playing dead) to determine his wellness. Buddy does the trick successfully, although gives the gang a scare when he doesn't get up right away and they really think he may be dead (thankfully, he turns out to be okay). However, the next time the gang sees Alex, he doesn't have Buddy with him, and Alex says that he had to take Buddy to the vet where he died. Louie ushers everyone out of the garage so Alex can grieve alone. With everyone gone, the stoic Alex cries as the episode ends.
When Elaine's son, Jason, watched Tony coaching youth boxing, he wants to get involved. Alex and Tony talk Elaine into letting Jason box, despite her better judgement. In Jason's first bout, he gets knocked out by the first punch and Elaine holds Alex responsible. Fortunately, Elaine forgives Alex eventually and Jason doesn't want to box again.
Part one of a two part clip show featuring highlights of Taxi.
Part two of a two part clip show featuring highlights of Taxi.
Diane, an old friend of Jim's comes to the garage looking for Jim, and Alex takes a liking to her. Alex makes some less than flattering remarks about Jim, not realizing that she and Jim have begun a romantic relationship. When Jim confronts Alex about the things he said, Alex justifies his comments with examples of crazy things that Jim has done. Jim is touched that Alex remembered all those things about him and all is well.
Louie plans to his girlfriend, Judy (a blind woman introduced to him earlier this season by Latka & Simka), but before he can do it, Judy tells him that she's having an operation to get her sight back. Louie then gets cold feet, worried that she'll reject him because of his looks. Alex talks Louie through his insecurities and Louie goes to the hospital to support Judy after her surgery. It turns out the surgery is a success and she still loves Louie after seeing him. Louie is thrilled and decides to buy her a real diamond before he proposes (since she can now see and may be able to tell the difference).
Elaine is seriously dating the nerdy Arnie, also introduced in the Shloogel Show episode earlier this season, and decides it's time for him to meet her kids although she isn't sure if that's a great idea. Arnie is also very worried about the meeting and when he meets them, he tries a little too hard to make him their favorite person. In the process, he gives them presents and even money, to Elaine's dismay. In an effort to set things right, Arnie tells the kids that he didn't mean to try to buy their affection and it turns out they still like him. Elaine then realizes that now that the kids like Arnie so much, she's pretty much stuck with him-- but she's pleased about this.
Tony is depressed when he learns his girlfriend, Vicki (also introduced in the ""Shloogel Show"" episode) is pregnant. He decides to ""do the right thing"" and marry her, although when he talks to her, he's clearly not too thrilled about it. As a result, she storms off and later refuses to take his calls. This makes Tony's mood even worse, but meanwhile he has scored a crucial boxing match with a ranked contender. Unfortunately, his heart isn't in it and during the match, he initially gets knocked down then he gets up but just seems to be going through the motions. Midway through the bout, his manager somehow inspires him and Tony appears to turn the fight around. As the decision is being announced, Vicki appears and they aggressively talk things out. Just as the bout his been awarded to Tony's opponent on a split decision, Vicki agrees to marry Tony, who throws his hands in victory, despite having lost the fight.
Jim decides to buy Mario's with some of his inheritance money, but first must convince his brother Tom (who controls his trust fund) that this is a wise investment. Initially, Mario's is doing poorly and Tom threatens not to let Jim have any more money, but the gang usher their customers into Mario's and soon the place is packed and everyone is having a great time. All appears well until a man tries to buy liquor from Jim after hours and then reveals himself to be an undercover liquor authority officer. But wait-- Jim has given him a bottle of seltzer, not liquor and saves face with his brother.
Newly wealthy Jim gives each of the gang $1000 to give away, in an effort to teach them how good it feels to give someone else $1000. Latka & Simka give the money to their minister, who protests loudly (as is their custom) but accepts the money nonetheless. Tony uses the money to buy his friend Walt a large TV set. Elaine (inexplicably) gives the money to her daughter, suggesting that she split it with her brother. Louie gives the money to Jeff, who won't accept Louie's ""dirty money"" until he learns it was from Jim. Alex has trouble finding someone to give the money to until he comes accross an old lady in his cab with seven kids.
Simka is exhibiting strange behavior, and this behavior is quite untimely in that she keeps cancelling appointments with immigration and she's likely to be deported. Eventually, her behavior is diagnosed as PMS and she feels well enough, at least knowing what her problem is, to go through with her immigration appointment. After some difficulty, Latka & Simka convince immigration that theirs is a real marriage and Simka is awarded a green card.