Which '80s family is most like your own?
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Totally '80s TV Families1 of 7
The '80s were the era of the family sitcom, and those half-hour comedies with their catchy theme songs helped shape our view of families. Made up of single dads, working moms and annoying younger brothers, these TV broods are surprisingly relatable—even today. Read on to find out which one is most like your own family.
Family Ties2 of 7
The family type: Team players
'80s TV inspiration: Definitely not a tiger mom and only a little bit of a helicopter type, moms like Elyse Keaton on Family Ties keep an open-mind when it comes to parenting. Along with husband Steven, she raises her kids to be their own people—even if one of those people turns out to be a dyed-in-the-wool Republican. Most importantly? Elyse and Steven, like all good team players, form a united front that makes them better parents.
The Cosby Show3 of 7
The family type: Closely connected
'80s TV inspiration: Cliff and Clair Huxtable are masters of parenting without over-parenting. They let their kids make their own mistakes and then help them grow from them. (Remember the episode when Theo has to start paying rent to his "landlord" father? Classic.) The other distinguishing feature of The Cosby Show clan is the closeness among the siblings. That added support system creates a single, cohesive unit.
Kate & Allie4 of 7
Family type: Balancing act
'80s TV inspiration: When friends Kate and Allie both end up divorced, they decide to team up and raise their kids under one roof. While the two women have very different attitudes when it comes to parenting (Kate's cool and laid-back; Allie's the uptight one), their different personalities ultimately complemented each other. The result? The kids had someone to confide in (Kate), and someone dependable (Allie) to rely on.
Growing Pains5 of 7
The family type: Dreamers
'80s TV inspiration: When Maggie Seaver goes back to work, Jason Seaver, a psychiatrist who works from home, becomes the primary caretaker of their three kids. (Let the hijinks ensue!) Fortunately, as long as they have each other, they really can take anything that comes their way (baby, rain or shine, all the time).
Punky Brewster6 of 7
The family type: Intergenerational
'80 TV inspiration: When grumpy Henry Warnimont becomes the adoptive father to Punky Brewster, his world is turned upside-down—in that adorable, cue-the-laugh-track way. Luckily, the curmudgeon-y senior has neighbor Bettie, grandmother to Punky's pal Cherie, to lend a hand in a pinch. As one would expect, Punky helps Henry stay young at heart, and Henry offers Punky the stability and support she needs. It's the perfect grandparent as parent setup.
My Two Dads7 of 7
The family type: Communal
'80s TV inspiration: Another orphan (orphans were big in the '80s), Nicole Bradford ends up being raised by Joey and Michael. The reason? Nicole's deceased mother dated both Joey and Michael before she was born, but no one knows which of the two is her actual father. (It's a sitcom, go with it.) The scenario may be unlikely, but the resulting surrogate family of neighbors and friends isn't all that far off from reality today.