• Mon, Mar 10 - 4:11 pm ET

11 Surprisingly Heartwarming TV Shows About ‘Weird’ Families

Youre Weird

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TLC has a new reality show called My Five Wives about just what you’d expect – a guy with five wives. Isn’t it crazy when things work out like that? The series premiered last night and will air Sunday nights at 10 PM for nine episodes. The show got us thinking about the trend of “weird” families on television. TLC has kind of cornered the market, from 19 Kids and Counting to The Little Couple to Sister Wives.

But it’s not just TLC shows that feature weird families. Sitcoms, dramas, and reality shows on other networks feature families that might be considered slightly off kilter. This could be because they don’t fit the typical nuclear family mold or because the family members themselves have quirks. Either way, it’s often pretty surprising how heartwarming these stories can be, and just goes to show that you don’t have to be perfect or “normal” to be a loving family. So let’s take a look at eleven more shows about family that have proven surprisingly touching considering the kinds of families they depict.

1. Arrested Development

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When you think “dysfunctional family,” you think the Bluths, guaranteed. Most of them are selfish and idiotic, and even Michael, the supposed normal one, has his weird moments. They also all kind of hate each other, but they love each other too. People wouldn’t have demanded another season on Netflix if the Bluths’ stories hadn’t been at least a little heartwarming.

2. Bob’s Burgers

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Not only is this one of the best shows on TV, but it also has one of their weirdest families I’ve ever seen on television. They’re not weird because they’re polygamists or the kids’ mother is actually their aunt or anything, but because the characters themselves are so strange but lovable. And at the end of the day, the Belchers love each other more than most TV families, quirks and all.

3. Bates Motel

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Yes, I realize this show is all about an unhealthy relationship between a young man and his mother that leads him to becoming one of the most famous fictional murderers of all time. But every once in a while Norma and Norman, with Norman’s half-brother Dylan’s help, will cover up a crime together and my heart will be warmed. I’m thinking of going to a therapist to deal with this.

4. Keeping Up With the Kardashians

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No matter how much you say you hate them, no matter how many times you roll your eyes during a single episode, you know you watch this show and you know you’ve felt feelings at least once or twice. Please tell me you have so I’m not alone here. That would be very embarrassing.

5. Trophy Wife

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How many families do you know that fit this description: A man marries a younger woman, who spends pretty much every day with his two ex-wives, both of whom have children, one of whom is adopted. Probably not many right? And yet this concept totally works because it’s so consistently sweet and adorable.

6. Dexter

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I’m pretty sure this was going to originally be called My Dad’s a Secret Serial Killer but it was just too long. Before that big upsetting spoiler at the end of season 4, Dexter and Rita and the kids had a pretty adorable family unit going there.

7. Family Guy

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This is a show where the characters regularly beat each other up, and yet every once in a while it tugs at my heart strings. It’s usually because of Stewie and Brian, but even they’ve had their violent fights, remember? (“Where’s my money?”)

8. Full House

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The concept of a single father raising three girls under the same roof as his mullet-sporting brother and weird comedian friend is kind of strange when you think about it. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t learn plenty of important life lessons from this show when I was a kid.

9. Modern Family

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This show announces the fact that it’s about an unconventional family right there in the title. It’s honestly hard to keep track of how each character is related to each other character sometimes. Manny is Luke’s step-uncle? I think? But one thing that’s not confusing is that these guys love each other.

10. Big Love

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Before My Five Wives, before Sister Wives, before Escape From Polygamy, there was this HBO show about Bill Paxton and his three wives. It had five seasons, so people obviously found reasons to like this dynamic.

11. United States of Tara

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In case you missed this underrated gem of a comedy when it was on Showtime, I’ll explain it. Toni Collette played Tara, a suburban wife and mother suffering from dissociative identity disorder. That means she displayed multiple personalities. The show highlighted the difficulties involved, but it was also incredibly funny and endearing.

Share This Post:
  • Kaitlin Reilly

    My favorite part of this article is the Bates Motel one where it’s heartwarming to cover up a crime on that show. SO TRUE. Any time anyone does a favor for another character that favor is covering up that person’s murder.

    • Jill O’Rourke

      Yes! And I feel so weirdly touched by it before realizing how creepy that is.

  • Nerdy Lucy

    I’m surprised The Middle isn’t on here.

    • Jill O’Rourke

      I love The Middle, and I actually thought about including it, but for me that show is so true to life it doesn’t even seem weird, just scarily accurate. But I guess objectively they are bunch of weirdos.

    • Nerdy Lucy

      Ah, you make a good point. Their dysfunction is somewhat normal

      I just love The Middle.

    • Christina Kwan

      I was about to say the Goldbergs, but they too are also really normal in their weirdness.

  • Erin

    I love Trophy Wife. At this point I’m hoping against hope for a second season. The ratings are depressing.

    • Jill O’Rourke

      Story of my life.

  • mallika

    you forgot malcolm in the middle!!
    no family gets creepier than that. and it was so, SO original and refreshing! i still watch it on netfilx ALL the time!

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