We’re a mere day away from Thanksgiving, and I’m already mentally preparing myself for interacting with my family for five long, uninterrupted days. I mean, don’t get me wrong—I love them, but the thought of spending nine hours in a car to get to our Thanksgiving destination and then spending five more days with people who continually ask me bullshit questions like “so what’s your plan for the future?” or “where do you see yourself next year?” or “your 15-year-old brother has a girlfriend now, what about you?” literally makes me want to jump in the path of an oncoming train. What’s my plan for the future? To blackout as quickly as possible and avoid this conversation, obviously. My 15-year-old brother has a girlfriend, what about me? Well, just last Friday I was choosing between a thrilling evening spent taking Zzzquil and re-watching old episodes of Chicago PD or responding to a “drag me to you room” text from a romantic suitor whose idea of a date is grabbing drinks and then going “splitsies” on the tab. So, yeah, things are going well on that front. Honestly I’m exhausted from this conversation already and I haven’t even gotten there yet. I’m assuming that you, like me, sometimes equate Thanksgiving to being held hostage by the people you have to love unconditionally. But thankfully for you, I spend 90 percent of my time comparing my situation to that of fictional characters, and let me just tell you, there are families out there who are wayyy bigger psychopaths than yours. Blessings. So here are 6 TV families who are worse than yours in honor of Thanksgiving:
1. The Blossoms/Coopers — ‘Riverdale’
If you know anything about me, you know that I shamelessly rep Riverdale because
I want to bang Jughead Jones it’s a damn good show. So, sorry not sorry, here I go again because when I think crazy families I can’t not mention Riverdale. Don’t let the wholesome 1950s vibe fool you—this town is literally batshit crazy and so is every family who calls this psych ward of a town home. And no two families have bigger issues than the Blossoms and the Coopers. I mean, you think your family has problems? Imagine feuding over a condiment you can only use on pancakes. And that’s the least of their problems. In addition to starting a blood feud over maple syrup and who is more of a natural redhead (yes that’s an actual plot point on this show), there’s also the whole thing about their grandpappys being related and no one passing this little family secret down the line to their grandchildren. Was there a more iconic moment than when it was revealed that star-crossed lovers Polly and Jason were in fact COUSINS?? I was legit giddy when I found out the horrifying news, because nothing brings me more joy than watching two young, beautiful people realize they fell in love with someone they share some parts of their genetic code with. It’s really the little things that keep you going. And let’s never forget when Polly said perhaps the most best line to ever be said in TV history: “I’m an unwed mother carrying my cousin’s babies.” Pure fucking gold.
Honestly, she’s not wrong here.
2. The Gallaghers — ‘Shameless’
First of all, if you aren’t watching Shameless, then you need to immediately because it’s one of the best damn shows on television. And I’m not just saying that because I
want to climb Lip like a tree appreciate the talent on this show. That said, I’ve never met a more fucked up family in my life. Let’s start with the fact that Fiona, the oldest Gallagher sibling at age 21, becomes the sole caretaker of her five younger siblings—all of whom rank somewhere on a scale between hot-degenerate-I-would-gladly-let-fuck-me-up-emotionally to sets fire to feel joy Carl. That’s just like, the baseline of the bullshit the people on this show go through, and let me just tell you, their childhood trauma is something I love more than I love the man who delivers me pizza.
3. The Pearsons — ‘This Is Us’
I’m not gonna lie, I may or may not have gotten halfway through season one and given up because I
was sobbing and rocking in a corner value my mental health, but that won’t stop me from judging the shit out of this show. Fucking duh. Tbh I don’t really understand why people are so obsessed with this family. I can’t go one damn episode without wanting to slit my wrists, and that’s usually a sentiment I save for when my mother asks if I want to look through her high school yearbooks with her. As far as I can tell, the Pearsons’ drama revolves around three 30-plus-year-old adults with bigger daddy issues than me. In the three episodes I’ve watched, there have been approximately three mental breakdowns, one long-lost father, one long-lost dying father, issues with body image, adoption drama, two mid-life crises, a dead parent, and a person who completely sabotaged their life in the span of five short minutes by means of a mental breakdown over a plastic doll (Kevin, I so admire your work btw). IN THREE EPISODES. Jesus. I need a xanax just writing all of that. If your family has more baggage than that at your Thanksgiving table, then I would recommend just not going home. Seriously, stay in your padded room apartment and celebrate from a safe distance. Like via your cousin’s drunk Snapchat story.
4. The Coopers — ‘The O.C.’
Ah, The O.C. A staple of my childhood and a show that taught me that if you want to be the most sought-after girl in high school, all you need to do is have your stomach pumped in Mexico. V important life lessons right there. The show also taught me that no matter how many times my mother reported my pictures from freshman year of college to Facebook for “inappropriate content” she could never be worse than the legend that is Julie Cooper. Julie did a lot of fucked up shit on this show, like belittle her daughters from the inside out, sleep her way to the top of Newport society, threaten her daughter’s boyfriend with bodily harm and jail time, attempt to commit her daughter to a psych ward against her will for overdosing in Tijuana (not her worst idea tbh), and bang her daughter’s HIGH SCHOOL AGED ex-boyfriend. And that’s literally just season one. Don’t even get me started on her sex tape in the later seasons. No, hands down, Julie Cooper wins the psycho mother of the year award, followed closely by Kris Jenner of course. And I’ll be chanting this mantra silently in my head every time my mother asks me questions that involve the words “future” and “boyfriend.”
5. The Scotts — ‘One Tree Hill’
One Tree Hill, aka my actual will to live from grades six through senior year of college, had it all: hot brothers,
high fashion jean skirts, and basketball games that served literally no purpose other than to generate cat fights and drama. Not to mention Nathan Scott is the reason I have trust issues a thing for dark haired, blue-eyed men who say shit like “but I wasn’t taught how to love!” *adds second entry for CW in burn book* Aside from the fact that every guy on this show was simultaneously beautiful and full of shit, the family dynamics were also pretty fucking dramatic. I mean, the whole premise of this show is that a high school douchebag knocked up not one, but TWO women before his freshman year of college and decided to only emotionally and financially support one. Then he had the audacity to live and raise his family in the same town as his bastard child. So basically this shit was (and low-key still is) my fucking catnip. And honestly if you have a father that’s worse than Dan Scott, then you should absolutely call the people at The CW because they will turn that shit into pure magic for my entertainment public consumption.
^The reason my high school yearbook quote was “be the change you wish to see in the world” except I substituted “world” with “emotionally unavailable men”
6. The Hastings/DiLaurentis — ‘Pretty Little Liars’
And here we have yet another family with a high amount of almost-incest happening. I’m v sorry about this list. I didn’t mean to make it all about sibling/cousin love but that’s just
what sells on Freeform and The CW how the cookie crumbles these days. My b. If you’ll recall, Spencer Hastings and Alison DiLaurentis were next door neighbors, best friends, and casual sharers of brothers and several strands of DNA on their mothers’ side. I would say there’s a lot that’s fucked up about Rosewood, PA, but Mr. Hastings is by far the most messed up thing to come out of that godforsaken town. Not only did he have a secret mistress on the side in the form of Mrs. DiLaurentis, with whom he shared a son, Jason, and told no one about—which almost resulted in Jason dating half-siblings on multiple occasions—but he also couldn’t keep it in his pants long enough to determine if he was banging said mistress or his mistress’s identical twin sister. And, yes, that plot summary was as painful to watch as it was to write out. Tbh I do not have enough time in my day to outline the intricate web that is the Hastings/DiLaurentis family tree, so just be fucking thankful that you’ve never almost banged your brother because your father neglected to tell you that you’re actually the result of a tryst gone wrong with his mistress’s identical twin sister. Bless up.
^A direct result of someone saying “give me good TV” and the writers at Freeform taking that to mean “will fill unexplainable plot holes with identical twins and bad English accents”