Whether dysfunctional or picture-perfect, fictional families have taught us that anything is possible with the support of a loving family. What is your favourite TV family of all time?
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Join our countdown of the top 10 TV families!
10. The Bundys (Married With Children)
(Photo: Facebook/Married with Children)
With his half-baked wife, ditzy daughter, nerdy son, annoyingly perfect neighbours and unrealised professional football dreams, it’s no wonder poor old Al Bundy barely cracks a smile throughout the ten seasons of Married With Children (1987-1997).
His career as a shoe salesman also irked the unconventional father figure, but we fell in love with this unlikely family unit nonetheless, and their flaws only made us adore them more. Oh, Al!
Watch the funny episode where the family get into a traffic jam fight
9. The Fletchers (Home and Away)
The enduring Fletcher family has been roaming the streets and surfing the waves of Summer Bay for decades. The best known of the Fletchers would still have to be Sally (Kate Richie) and her adopted parents Pippa (played by Vanessa Downing and Debra Lawrence) and Tom (Roger Oakley).
The foster-parents-come-caravan-park-managers with seemingly endless love and room to spare encountered a multitude of trials and tribulations but always managed to keep the family together, even after Sally called a mentally unstable murderer “a real psycho” or when she discovered her imaginary friend was actually her twin brother.
8. The Clampetts (Beverly Hillbillies)
(Photo: Facebook/The Beverly Hillbillies)
“Come and listen to my story 'bout a man named Jed
A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed
And then one day he was shootin' at some food
And up through the ground came a bubblin' crude
Oil, that is. Black gold. Texas tea…”
A ragtag bunch, if ever there was one, the endearing Clampetts!
Dominating TV ratings during the 1960s, The Beverly Hillbillies told the story of a simple Ozark-mountain family who struck gold, made millions and moved to an exclusive California address. Throughout its nine year run between 1962-1971, the Clampetts starred in 274 slap-your-knee Benny Hill style funny episodes.
Hilarious scenarios arise as their untrustworthy banker does his damnedest to keep their oil earnings in the bank by lavishing them with an opulent lifestyle and appeasing unhappy neighbours who want them out of town. Overall, it’s a rollicking good time!
Sing along to the show's theme song
7. The Keatons (Family Ties)
(Photo: Facebook/Family Ties)
During the height of President Reagan’s reign the world was introduced to a young Republican named Alex P. Keaton, played perfectly by Michael J. Fox in his breakout television role.
Born to a couple of ex-hippies – architect Elyse and community radio employee Steven – the family also included less-than-intelligent, but flirty as hell, Mallory, middle-child syndrome prone Jennifer and, later, baby Andrew.
The sometimes political but always funny storylines had that beautiful sitcom quality of wrapping up neatly after half an hour, and they never failed to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Remember what famous face played Uncle Ned?
6. Dorothy and Sophia (The Golden Girls)
(Photo: Facebook/The Golden Girls Quotes)
No list would be complete without the ragtag team of Dorothy Zbornak and her mother, Sophia Petrillo. These two woman were so different it was hard to believe they were related, the side-splitting banter between the kooky mother and sensible daughter was so good it turned a show featuring a mature, all female cast into a smash hit. We love them for it!
All of these friends were a modern family. Watch Betty White at her best!
5. The Partridges (The Partridge Family)
(Photo: Facebook/Partridge Family)
First charming their way into living rooms in September 1970, The Partridge Family is the quintessential all-American TV family who were all musically talented.
The family band and their touring adventures have held a special place in popular culture for an incredible 45 years, and we still love Shirley, Laurie, Keith and Chris as much now as we did back then.
Who can forget little Danny Bonaduce? With that hair and those freckles, the red-headed tyke and his big bass guitar was always a scene-stealer.
Do you remember the lyrics to The Patridge Family theme song?
4. The Bradys (The Brady Bunch)
(Photo: Facebook/The Brady Bunch)
If you’re familiar with the quotes, “Oh, my nose!” and “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” then you’ll need no introduction to the most famous TV family of all time. The Brady Bunch (1969-1974) was a show about a lovely lady, a man named Brady and their respective broods of children (and don’t forget the maid!).
A revelation at the time due to increased divorce rates, the blended family sitcom hit a nerve with millions of TV viewers and it will more than likely syndicate into eternity. Who is your favourite Brady?
3. The Sullivans
Screening in Australia from 1976-1983, The Sullivans was a WWII drama focused on a close-knit family in the Melbourne suburb of Camberwell. At the outbreak of war, two of Dave and Grace Sullivans sons – Terry and Tom – were eager to enlist. John had vastly different ideas to his two brothers, and his Communist leanings caused no shortage of consternation in the Sullivan household.
Take a trip down memory lane and rewatch the opening credits of The Sullivans
Their honesty and down to earth nature resonated with scores of Australians and viewers in more than 30 countries, who could imagine themselves having a schooner at the Great Southern Pub or avoiding the local gossip, Mrs. Jessup (there’s one on every street!), not to mention the collective heartbreak we all felt when Grace was killed during a German V-1 flying bomb attack. A classic Australian drama.
2. Kath and Kim
(Photo: Facebook/Kath and Kim)
It’s unusual. . . it’s different. . . it's Kath and Kim! Urging Aussie audiences to “look at moy” for years on TV and film (Kath and Kimerella, 2012), Kath Day Knight and her daughter Kim Day Craig are brilliantly cringe-worthy.
Created by the powerhouse comedy due of Gina Riley and Jane Turner, the show first had viewers in riotous fits of laughter in 2002. Kim’s second best friend Sharon Strzelecki (Magda Szubanski) and fiancé/gourmet sausage maker Kel Knight (Glenn Robbins) almost stole the show, but the mother-daughter duo’s Bogan antics in and around their home of Fountain Lakes always shone brightest.
1. The Cunninghams (Happy Days)
(Photo: Facebook/Happy Days)
Filmed in the ‘70s but set in the ‘50s, Happy Days cantered on the Cunninghams; a family so straight you could set your dinner on them.
When they agreed to let a long-haired bikie and hoodlum move into their spare room, the sweet-as-pie familial dynamic was thrown on its head, and millions of viewers would tune in to see what havoc the Fonz would wreak on his ginger friend, Richie, and the rest of the Cunninghams.
Welcoming stereotypes as heartily as the Fonz welcomed ladies, the Cunningham family will continue to make us laugh for many happy years of syndication ahead.
Happy Days made us laugh, cry, and cry with laughter. Remember this funny episode?
Did your favourite make the list? Join the conversation below!