19 TV Families That Will Make You Thankful for Yours
The Costanzas (Seinfeld)
George Constanza is one of the most obnoxious and pathetic characters in sitcom history. But it’s a miracle he’s not much worse, considering his parents. Frank and Estelle are shrieking lunatics who despise each other. Every family conversation is punctuated by his bark and her screech, and just when you thought all the Festivus and Bro psychological damage was past, George walked in on them having sex in the back of a van. Serenity now! —Jeff Labrecque
The Bundys (Married With Children)
The Bundys may have the stereotypical heteronormative TV family structure of a father, mother, and two children (boy and girl), but they were far from what you would call aspirational. From Al's bitter feelings about selling women's shoes to Peggy’s lack of perspective, poor Kelly and Bud didn't stand a chance. More like woe, Bundy. —Maddie Boardman
The Simpsons (The Simpsons)
A true American family, Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie Simpson and their trusty dog, Santa's Little Helper, are the picture of function in their dysfunction. Marge exhibits endless patience with her excruciating husband, allowing Homer to be his best crass donut-eating self. Bart’s lack of common ground with his sister Lisa, and Maggie’s daily baby struggles only adds to the chaos. —Maddie Boardman
The Lyons (Empire)
Lucious, Cookie, Jamal, Andre, and Hakeem Lyon regularly face with one another through competing record labels. The family's troubles don't stop there, however, as trips to jail, secret murders, and haunting pasts are a standard part of their fold. And we're only on season 2! —Maddie Boardman
The Mikaelsons (The Originals)
The Mikaelsons are arguably the original dysfunctional TV family, considering they’ve been around for more than 1,000 years. And you can bet that over time, they’ve perfected the art of dysfunction. Lies, threats, betrayals, coffins, vampirism … this family has it all. And they’ll continue their dysfunction “always and forever.” Literally. —Samantha Highfill
The Bates (Bates Motel)
If you really want to talk about dysfunction, let’s talk about a mother-son relationship that’s bordering on incest and that we all know is going to end with one very dead mother and one very psychotic son. And don't forget about Norma's twisted relationship with her own brother, otherwise known as Dylan's uncle/father. —Samantha Highfill
The Bluths (Arrested Development)
This father has committed adultery and light treason, and hid out in the attic.
This mother enjoys cocktails more than her children and cheated on her husband with his twin brother.
This daughter is a lazy, misguided activist who is in a relationship with sexually confused psychiatrist turned low-rent thespian.
This son is a freeloading, failed illusionist whose mode of transport is a Segway.
Another son is an infantilized, panic-attack-prone, Army dropout who spent 11 months in his mother's womb.
And another son is a self-satisfied martyr whose tragic dating life includes a prosecutor faking blindness and a developmentally challenged Brit.
This granddaughter has led a double life as a movie executive.
This grandson is very pure of heart but that heart lusts for his cousin.
The defense rests. Come on! —Dan Snierson
The Lannisters (Game of Thrones)
For a while, you probably thought the Starks were the heroes of Game of Thrones. They walk around with their trusty wolf sidekicks, standing up for honor and good deeds. But who needs that when you’ve got the twisted, violent, and scheming Lannisters? The fact that they’d just as rather destroy each other as their enemies makes the whole thing even more entertaining. —Christian Holub
The Gallaghers (Shameless)
And you thought your family was problematic. Big sister Fiona has always tried to take care of her siblings ever since she was still a child herself, but she's never been helped by the fact that Gallagher patriarch Frank will do anything for a high (and treats the house as an occasional rest stop more than a home). Add in their mother, who declines to treat her bipolar disorder and who is better off gone than when she blows into town like a hurricane, and the fact that at the end of the day, Fiona is her own worst enemy, Lip, Debbie, Ian, Carl, and Liam never really stood a chance at a normal life. Still, the Gallagher siblings love each other to death, which might be more than you can say about your sister who keeps bragging about how together her life is. We get it, Karen. —Amanda Michelle Steiner
The Griffins (Family Guy)
The perfect example of the Griffins’ dysfunction? Stewie, the talking toddler who’s constantly coming up with ways to kill his mother and take over the world. No way that child comes out of a functional famiy. —Samantha Highfill
The Bristows (Alias)
"Some people go miniature golfing with their parents," Sydney Bristow said once. "We go to India to look for nukes." They went fighting all the way. As agents for the CIA, Sydney and emotionally distant father Jack were forced to trust each other with their lives before they could hold a civil conversation — but neither one could trust the mother Sydney thought was dead. Ex-KGB operative Irina Derevko was a master manipulator whose past affairs brought baddie Sloane into the family as the father of Sydney's half-sister Nadia. As for Irina's sisters, Katya made a habit out of seducing Jack, while Elena tried to kickstart the apocalypse. Confiscate all knives at this family gathering. —Kelly Connolly
The Atwoods (The O.C.)
Let’s just say there’s a reason Ryan Atwood found a new family in the Cohens. Where he was from, his brother was in jail — and had gotten him arrested — and his mother was an alcoholic with an abusive boyfriend. (And then there was that whole Trey-and-Ryan-nearly-killing-each-other thing in season 2.) So, despite the fact that at their core, they were good people who loved Ryan, the Atwoods simply weren't good for him. Turns out, Ryan was better suited to a life of insecurity and paralyzing self-doubt. —Samantha Highfill
The Bunkers (All in the Family)
There’s nothing like a bigoted father and an almost painfully quiet mother to create a warm household? Just ask Gloria, the sole daughter of Archie and Edith Bunker. How Gloria grew up without losing her mind, we’ll never know. —Samantha Highfill
The Sopranos (The Sopranos)
Poor them: Tony, Carmela, Meadow, A.J., Uncle Junior, and Livia made up the Sopranos, a mob family that battled rival families, their own inner demons and failings, and maybe (or maybe not) wound up murdered at a New Jersey dinner. Don't stop believin'... —Maddie Boardman
The Drapers (Mad Men)
They might have looked picture perfect in that Kodak Carousel, but in real life the Drapers were anything but ideal. Betty’s parenting skills were often questionable (remember when she let Sally and Bobby play with dry cleaning bags?), while Don’s affairs, drinking, and other misadventures won’t put him in line for Father of the Year. Plus, if we’re getting technical here, they were never really "The Drapers" — they’re the Whitmans! —Jessica Derschowitz
The Wilkersons (Malcolm in the Middle)
Any TV show with a theme song that boasts “You’re not the boss of me now” as its refrain is bound to have a dysfunctional family in the mix. Enter the Wilkersons, with perpetually stressed mom Lois, bumbling dad Hal (or Walter White undercover, if you subscribe to that fan theory), and their brood of boys — with middle kid Malcolm often as the voice of reason amidst the family chaos. —Jessica Derschowitz
The Greys (Grey's Anatomy)
Meredith has a tough life, and her constantly growing family hasn’t made it any easier. There’s her mom, who made Meredit feel like she was never good enough. There’s her dad, who didn’t try to reconnect with Meredith throughout a decades-long estrangement (oh, and also started a new family that he paid plenty of attention to in the meantime). Then there are the surprise half-sisters who keep popping up: first, the late Lexie, and now Maggie, the child of Ellis and Richard — you know, Meredith’s longtime boss. Families are ideally stable. Meredith’s is far from it. —Ariana Bacle
The Popes (Scandal)
From the outside, the Popes are your average (if well-to-do and a bit tragic) family: Dad Eli works at the Smithsonian, daughter Olivia has her own law firm and is a powerful D.C. political fixer, and mom Maya tragically died in a plane crash when Liv was a teen. But the truth is a little messier: dad runs B613, a secret government intelligence agency with a murder/torture problem, mom is not only alive, but also an international terrorist who once chewed through her own wrists to get out of prison, and Liv? She helped rig an election, and her married boyfriend is none other than the President of the United States. But hey — the Popes may be trouble, but they have great taste in vintage wine! —Isabella Biedenharn
The Whites (Breaking Bad)
Everything was going pretty well with the Whites until Walter got cancer and subsequently became a drug-dealing, power-obsessed monster: He hid his meth-making habits from his family as long as he could, but once his wife eventually found out, she had no choice but to go along with him and help set up a money-laundering scheme to cover up his criminal activity. The pair's warped relationship peaked in one of the series’ final episodes when Walter made sure Skyler wouldn’t be implicated during a terrifying phone call meant to trick the police, a move that exhibited both his villainous tendencies and his concern for his wife in one fell swoop. —Ariana Bacle