After Hours – Why Every 80’s Sitcom Decided To Kill Off The Mom

After Hours – Why Every 80’s Sitcom Decided To Kill Off The Mom

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We’re guessing sitcom writers in the ’80s had some really messed up mother issues.

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20 Responses

  1. Alia says:

    Do Step by Step.

  2. Charles Eye says:

    Fast-forward thirty years: Maybe making everyone comfortable with the
    destruction of the nuclear family was the wrong tact…

  3. PauLtus B says:

    Guess Christopher Nolan watched a lot of those.

  4. The Bastard, YouTube Villain says:

    It’s more likely that they simply couldn’t find enough funny women.

  5. Steve Aimsly says:

    Ahh shit past history wasn’t politically correct enough for the liberal
    millennials and now they need to make another youtube video to complain
    about it. Relax it’s just comedy bro. LOL. Sponsored corporate youtube have
    completely ran out of ideas for videos so now they’re scraping the very
    bottom of the barrel to keep the interest of the college millennials.

  6. Luther Barrett (Luke) says:

    I think it was funny that Kate, who usually always brings up feminist
    issues on this show, keeps wanting to change the subject. She refuses to
    pick the low hanging fruit.

  7. emily belzer says:

    I’ll make the point that there was a big shift in focus from adults to
    children in the 80s in both TV and movies. I don’t know all of the reasons,
    but I do know that the decade of the 80s saw significant rises in three
    statistics: divorces (as mentioned in the video), percentage of families
    with two parents working (with noticeable increases in both the second
    earner working part-time and the second earner working full-time), and in
    the percentage of television-owning families with *more than one* TV set.
    This means that kids were home, either by themselves or with a non-parent
    caregiver (both of which are likely to increase TV-watching), a lot more,
    and when the kids were watching TV, there were more available sets. All
    that means that kids began to drive ratings a whole lot more, plus there
    was the financial incentive of advertising–if you reach a critical mass of
    a particular demographic watching your program or lineup, you can get that
    sweet, targeted ad money.

    So, now we have kids driving ratings which heavily influences the shows
    that get made. Every plot needs to have drivers, which tend to be bad
    decisions. So the kids in the shows need to have space to make bad
    decisions that they can learn from. But dads get (and certainly back then,
    got) wayyyyy more leeway for casual neglect than moms. I mean, it’s still a
    joke that the way a dad watches the kids is sitting them on the sofa next
    to him while he plays video games. We are likely to forgive a dad whose
    kids get into trouble while he’s busy or not paying attention, and it
    mostly makes sense to us when the kids are the only ones who have to learn
    a lesson, because they can’t expect Dad to be watching them every minute
    and they need to grow up. More than that, if the dad realizes he needs to
    spend more time with the kids, it’s a bonus heartwarming. However, if it
    happened while a mom was in charge? That’s when you get to “very special
    episode” territory. Finally, the moms have to be dead, pretty much. If the
    mom wasn’t there because she was working, she’d never live it down, so they
    would’ve had tons of viewer backlash from people angry about the kind of
    role model she was, and remember that “two working parents statistic?” They
    would’ve gotten tons of viewer backlash from working moms, too, because the
    message that they got constantly (but, ha ha, all that’s changed, of
    course) is that they shouldn’t be working because what will happen to their
    kids?!?

    Ultimately, it was better to have a saintly, slightly martyred mom to
    remember than show the actual pressures that real moms and families were
    under at the time, because putting an honest version of that on the screen
    is just bleak.

  8. Kaitie Montegomery says:

    Is it not called “Different Strokes”?

  9. M M says:

    And now we have 100+ crime/murder fetish shows.. and the Kardashians..

  10. Brian Garrow says:

    Again, fathers depicted in a negative light. Males as incompetent parents.
    How many men were denied child custody or visitation because of these shit
    shows? Only women can raise children? I’m outraged, I say outraged!!!

  11. Paul Baba says:

    wohoo no more political buzzfeed bullshit. More of this, less lecturing..

  12. dlwatib says:

    It’s a guy fantasy thing. The writers on these shows were overwhelmingly
    men… divorced men. What better way to get back at women than to write
    them out of your TV show?

  13. jim says:

    There may have been more to it than that. Why was it pretty much always the
    MOM who was removed? You could easily gender flip the sitcom and make it my
    two moms. And have our bumbling but loving mom try to relate to her sons as
    they need, i dunno, athletic supporters for their sports, dealing with the
    biological changes GUYS go through instead of repeating “you girls first
    period and dad freaks out” for the millionth time. Lets face it, mom trying
    to talk about surprise boners would have made for HILARIOUS episodes.

    Also, I bet the reason it was almost always a dead parent was because even
    though it was happening more often, divorce was still treated as a taboo in
    media. Its hard to be sympathetic to danny tanner when he divorced his wife
    and left with his three kids. But a dead wife? Big sympathy points!

  14. Charmanderaznable says:

    Not 80s but rest in peace Joyce Summers :(

  15. Joe Stacks says:

    what about family matters? the mom was there and the cosby show as well

  16. Chiefruninwatr says:

    hey guys i post GAMEPLAY weekly. it would be great if you checked it out.

  17. joey4track says:

    This is Wisecrack levels of insight. Well done, sirs(and Katie)

  18. Mahatma Coat says:

    Thank you. that was one of the best ones in a while.

  19. theDracoIX says:

    Gimme a Break was another 80’s show with a dead mom.

  20. New Message (Unread) says:

    3 words. Sitcom serial killer. Best show ever.