Three’s Company, Reba, Everybody Loves Raymond — there are tons of comedies that have fallen into this trope. The dysfunctional family isn’t just dysfunctional; everybody hates each other, too! For some reason, this keeps occurring in comedic sitcoms, cast with incompetent layabout husbands, nagging wives, rebellious teenagers, and snot-nosed kids. They might occasionally show that they love each other, but for the most part, it’s just hate, hate, hate.
Why this can be bad: I honestly don’t know why people find this funny. Sometimes combined with the funny fat man, this trope capitalizes on dumb humor and hatred as a plot motivator. These families are toxic, unkind, and all-around awful to each other, and if you’ve ever been part of a family like that, you know that there’s nothing funny about it. Emotional abuse often runs rampant in these scenarios, too, though it’s often played off as just being quirky or hilarious.
How you can fix it: You can have funny families who don’t hate each other. Bob’s Burgers is a perfect example of how to have a hysterical family dynamic while keeping it healthy and loving. Like all families, the Belchers can sometimes be mad at each other, but they all love each other and they’ll help one another without question. These are the types of families we need to see instead of the abusive, hate-filled dynamic that’s filled so many TV shows in the past.
Bottom Line: Your family doesn’t need to hate each other in order to be funny, so don’t glorify that thinking you have no other options.