Every Life Lesson 'Growing Pains' Taught Us

by Casey Rackham

If you've been following TVGN's "reality sitcom" Unusually Thicke , then you know that it's possibly one of the most bizarre shows on television right now. The show stars Dr. Jason Seaver — I'm sorry, Alan Thicke — and his real-life wife (Tanya) and son (Carter) as they navigate through their everyday lives. But the thing is, it's scripted, but not really, but kind of. Basically, it's a faux-reality show, and, according to Thicke, "It’s real people in real situations that are happening in our lives but we’re layering it with a sort of sitcom format." I know, it pretty much doesn't make any sense at all, but somehow it totally works. Because really, who wouldn't love to watch one of America's favorite sitcom dads?

If you open yourself up to the idea of the show, then it's actually hysterical. From Bob Saget/Danny Tanner showing up at their family's garage sale to Carter's ringtone being the iconic theme song from Growing Pains ("As long as we've got each other"), the show is a complete blast from the past (especially since some of the cast of the '80s show is set to appear in the season finale on Wednesday). However, it could be so much better if it had just one more element: a boatload of life lessons. Luckily, the cast of Growing Pains is set for a mini-reunion on Wednesday's episode.

Sure, there are some mini-lessons that are snuck in every now and then, but absolutely nothing compares to the extraordinary number of things Growing Pains taught its viewers. Let's take a look at some of the major lessons we learned from the Seaver Clan:

Don't judge a book by its cover.

When Mike brought home a runaway teen, Luke (Leonardo DiCaprio), Jason assumed the worst and thought he was a thief. However, it turned out that Luke had just thrown out the Seaver's alcohol because his father was an abusive alcoholic, not because he wanted it for himself. Heavy.

Even your parents can have problems.

The best part about the show was that it wasn't always about what the kids had done wrong. A lot of the time it was about issues that both Jason and Maggie had to deal with.

Family is everything.

And how did we learn that lesson? The theme song, of course. Lines like "we can take anything that comes our way" and "we got each other sharin’ the laughter and love" stick with you for life.

Don't give in to peer pressure.

When Mike and his friends were pressured to take drugs at a college party, we learned that you don't have to do something that you don't want to do just to fit in with the cool kids.

Don't drink and drive.

Raise your hand if this was the first time you learned just how dangerous drinking and driving can be. I still tear up any time I remember the moment I found out Carol's boyfriend (Matthew Perry) died because of injuries he received while driving drunk.

And basically, everything else you could possibly imagine.

Still not enough proof that the Seavers have the best morals in the entire TV-world? Just check out the taglines for every single episode in its seven-year run, because they all have the lesson you're about to learn written right into them:

  • "Career Decision" - When Maggie brings Carol to work, Carol has to witness Maggie's humiliation over a mistake she made in an article. Meanwhile, Mike realizes that the world doesn't revolve around him.
  • "Fast Times at Dewey High" - Mike finds himself with two dates for the school dance.
  • "Who's Zoomin' Who?" - Carol's friends convince her to dump Bobby for the handsome new transfer student (Brad Pitt). (Carol, screw morals — you best get on that.)

Images: Growing Pains/ABC; fanforum.com