Family Ties

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NBC (ended 1989)

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  • Season 2 Episode 11: Birthday Boy

  • Alex Keaton turns 18 in this episode, but Michael J. Fox is actually 22.

  • Season 2 Episode 6: Speed Trap

  • Alex gets angry that Elyse let Jennifer bend the rules of Monopoly. Had he himself been so correct about the rules, he would have realized it wasn't Jennifer's turn anyway. Alex had just rolled double threes, and should have taken a second roll.

  • The beginning of the episode reveals that Alex keeps a photo of Nixon on his nightstand. Then, an alarm clock takes its place. But even the clock has vanished the next morning when his parents come in to wake him up.

  • Season 2 Episode 5: Not An Affair to Remember

  • Steven tells his colleague that he's always liked Calvin Coolidge, which seems strange since Coolidge was a Republican and Steven is an activist Democrat.

  • As Steven goes through a mid-life crisis, Elyse admits that she will probably have similar feelings when she becomes his age. Michael Gross and Meredith Baxter Birney are precisely the same age.

  • Season 2 Episode 3: The Harder They Fall

  • When Alex first takes a bite of the banana in the scene in which Elyse confesses that she punched out his teacher, notice that the banana changes shape after Alex first takes a bite. The camera cuts briefly to Elyse and then immediately back to Alex, and one can see that there is suddenly more of the banana in the second shot of him holding it.

  • Season 1 Episode 21: Stage Fright (a.k.a.) Vi...

  • In the last question of the quiz show, moderator Steven Keaton acknowledges Mary Catherine, but Mary Margaret is the one who gets up and whispers the answer in his ear.

  • During the quiz between Harding High and St. Mary's, Mary Catherine answers the third question, but Moderator Steven Keaton refers to her as Mary Margaret.

  • The final quiz question posed is regarding the nature of the research of Masters and Johnson, and St. Mary's answers by whispering the response in Steven's ear. Masters and Johnson were a research team consisting of Ob-Gyn William Masters and his then-wife, sex therapist and psychologist Virginia Johnson. The two helped to debunk sexual myths and revise the definition of "normal" sexual behavior.

  • Q. Name the four galaxies closest to the Milky Way.
    A. It depends on the classification system used, but the four likely in mind are named: Sextans, Carina, Ursa Minor and Draco. Since the airing, a closer galaxy, Sagittarius, was discovered.

  • Q. Who invented the Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA)?
    A. Dr. Christian Lambertson invented SCUBA gear for shallow dives. Emile Gagnan and Jacques Cousteau invented the demand regulator, which made scuba diving more suitable for deeper dives.

  • Q. Who was Grover Cleveland's Secretary of Treasury during his second term?
    A. John G. Carlisle.

  • It is unlikely that the network would have allowed one - let alone two - of Steven's children to compete.

  • Season 1 Episode 20: The Fifth Wheel

  • In this and at least two other episodes, the Keatons live next door to the Obecks. In "Have Gun, Will Unravel" the Obecks are across the street.

  • In this episode, we get a thorough look around Jennifer's room. For as much as Jennifer is a tomboy and obsessed with baseball, it's odd that her room is so frilly. It is decorated primarily with pictures of animals and unicorns, and virtually no baseball memorabilia.

  • Jeff and Mallory went to a Truffaut movie. François Truffaut was a French filmmaker of 25 years. The episode doesn't state the exact movie, but the implication was that the movie was in French, and likely without subtitles. In French Lessons, we learned that Jeff speaks fluent French, while Mallory struggles with French I. Nonetheless, Mallory loved the movie.

  • Alex criticized Dale Lewis for supporting the Equal Rights Amendment (the ERA). The ratification deadline for the ERA was June 22, 1982, nine months before this episode aired. Ohio was one of 35 states to ratify the ERA.

  • When the Keatons borrowed the neighbors' phones to find Jennifer, Alex went next door to the Obecks, and Elyse went to the Bartons. The Bartons have never been mentioned before. It's curious that nobody went to the Handelmans.

  • The episode never really discloses what office Dale Lewis is running for. Elyse refers vaguely to a representative. Since he would have influence over matters such as the State Bird or the State Song, we can surmise that he is running for the Ohio House of Delegates, or perhaps the Ohio Senate. As the episode aired in 1983, the next election for these offices is in 1984.

  • Jennifer's friend Crissy is referred to for the fourth time: first as a friend in crisis in the pilot; second as the one whose parents had hosted a neighborhood watch meeting in Have Gun, Will Unravel; third as the friend who accompanies Jennifer to the movie in Oops, and now as the friend that Jennifer may have left the poker game to visit. We never meet Chrissy, even at Jennifer's tenth birthday party in I Know Jennifer's Boyfriend.

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More Info About This Show

Categories

Comedy

Themes

Sitcoms, 80s, Classics, Coming of Age, Family Comedies