Best Animated TV Families

Cartoons, Television

Families on television have been a staple pretty much as long as there’s been TV. From the Cleavers to the Bradys, the family dynamic has long provided quality programming. But what about those families that weren’t real, and I don’t mean because they were actors. Animated families have been on television for decades as well, and have had just as much influence on culture as those portrayed by real people, if not more. So here’s a list of the best animated families from television.

The Morgendorffers – “Daria”

The Morgendorffers

Daria, sister Quinn, and parents Helen and Jake were all a spin-off from Daria’s character on Beavis and Butthead, but they quickly took on a life all their own and did a great job of encapsulating the family of the late 90s and early 2000s.

The Pickles – “Rugrats”

Tommy Pickles

There were two Pickles families on the show, but we’ll just focus on Tommy and his parents Stu and Didi (little brother Dil didn’t come along until the movies so he doesn’t really count). A Nickelodeon staple for years, Rugrats and the Pickles clan was unique in that it made the small children the focus instead of the entire family.

Powerpuff Girls and Professor Plutonium – “The Powerpuff Girls”

The Plutoniums

Not exactly your nuclear family (more chemical really), but it was nice to see a show about young girls where they were the heroes instead of the damsels.

The Jetsons – “The Jetsons”

The Jetsons

They weren’t the first animated family, but they may have been the first futuristic family. Following the formula of father, mother, son, daughter, and pet, they changed things up with an animated maid and a dog that almost as much a person as the rest of the family. And the cars, those wonderful flying cars with giant glass skylights to see everything. George and the family didn’t write the book on animated families, but they certainly have a chapter all to themselves.

The Flintstones – “The Flintstones”

The Flintstones

Much like the Jetsons, the Flintstones took the standard family dynamic and changed it up. A brontosaurus instead of a dog, cars that had to be pushed by foot, and appliances that talked back to you all made for one of the most lasting animated families.

The Smiths – “American Dad”

The Smiths

Not the first creation of Seth MacFarlane, but one that certainly stands out. A father in the CIA, a perfect house wife, a hippie daughter, and nerdy son would all make for great humor, but when you add in an alien and a Nazi in a fish body you add something lacking in numerous other animated families – the absurd. It took a while for American Dad to come into its own, but now that it has it’s a regular source of comic gold.

The Marshs and the Broflovskis- “South Park”

The Marsh Family

The Broflovskis

Sure, the show focuses mostly on the kids, but the parents have had more than their fair share of time on screen, often stealing the scene. Stan and Kyle’s families are odd, and they often come across as the sane ones in a show that prides itself on going over the top to make a point.

The Hills – “King of the Hill”

The Hills

There’s a striking resemblance between Hank Hill and Tom Anderson from Beavis and Butt-head, mostly because they’re both the creation of Mike Judge. Much like the Smiths of American Dad, Hank just doesn’t understand his son Bobby, though that doesn’t mean he doesn’t love him. For more than 10 seasons we watched Hank be uncomfortable with intimacy while espousing the virtues of propane and propane accessories, and while Bobby continued to be “not right”. While no longer on the air, the Hills will always be with us.

The Griffins – “Family Guy”

The Griffins

The brain-child of Seth MacFarlane, Peter, Lois, Chris, Meg, Stewie, and Brian have invaded our lives, surviving cancellations, criticism, and comparisons to other famous animated families. With frequent asides, over the top characters, and a murderous toddler, it’s no surprise that Family Guy and the Griffins have found their way into our hearts.

The Simpsons – “The Simpsons”

The Simpsons

Who did you expect to find here? For more than 20 seasons the Simpsons have been a part of our lives, influencing culture, and going from a show the critics loved to pan to one that is beloved by nearly everyone and as American as apple pie. Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Lisa are a true nuclear family, sitting on the couch, photos on the mantel, sticking together through good times and frequent bad, something that should inspire all of us.



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