Kirk Cameron was so intent on keeping the show devoid of adult themes that he phoned the president of ABC and accused producers Dan Guntzelman, Steve Marshall and Michael Sullivan of being "pornographers". The three then resigned from the show, having had enough of Cameron's shenanigans.
Between the 88-89 season cliffhanger and 89-90 season premiere, Kirk Cameron had a religious awakening and demanded that Julie McCullough's character of Mike's fiancée be written out of the show because of McCollough's real-life Playboy Magazine past.
Julie McCullough was unaware of her firing as she was handed the script just moments after showing up on-set. She found it difficult to do a follow-up episode a year later, as her character makes good with Mike, when in real-life she resented Cameron for having her fired.
Tracey Gold (Carol) suffered from severe anorexia and missed most of the show's final season. Pay close attention to the final episode and you will notice Gold does not take one bite of the pizza she is holding.
There were four renditions of the theme song. Initially, B.J. Thomas sang it solo. Later, a track recorded by Dusty Springfield was overlaid to create a duet. Springfield's track was replaced by Jennifer Warnes version following her successful duet with Bill Medley on the Dirty Dancing (1987) soundtrack. The final season featured an a cappella version.
'Leonardo Dicaprio' was brought on in a last ditch effort to pump new life into the show and appeal to the teenage fan base, but the show ratings did not improve. Dicaprio's character was dropped and the show canceled.
The video portion of the theme featured five different variations; season 1 had artwork from various eras (Egyptian, Renaissance, Victorian, etc.) with the cast names superimposed; season 2 had clips of season 1; season three showed real-life photos of the cast when they were younger, and always had Thicke standing alone at the end of the song, then running to catch up with other cast members; season four and five had a different cast member linger in front of the camera before running for other cast members; seasons six and seven featured a professional family photo before and after the credits.
In one episode Mike talks about confusion over the Russian Playwright Chekhov, saying he thought Chekov was "The Russian guy on Star Trek." Andrew Koenig, who played Mike's best friend Boner on the series, was the son of Walter Koenig, who played Chekov on Star Trek.
Alan Thicke was predominantly known as a Canadian talk show host before the role of Jason on the show. Most involved with the production did not want him, but when no one reading for the part fit the bill, Thicke was auditioned and hired.
Many TV Viewers and Critics felt the show's depiction of a father who was a doctor whose office was in the home and a mother who was a working professional was ripped off from The Cosby Show (1984). Creator 'Neil Marlens (I)' has said that Jason and Maggie's occupations and related dynamics were based on those of his own parents while growing up and that the similarities were coincidental. The family attends a live taping of "The Cosby Show" in the opening scene of an episode in Season 2; this is especially odd since the two shows aired on different networks.
Alan Thicke and Joanna Kerns were both recently divorced when cast for the series. The two found themselves bonding over their mutual experience, and felt the bond was helpful in developing their working/on-screen relationship.
Kirk Cameron and Tracey Gold were related to regular cast members of other ABC sitcoms airing during Growing Pains run. Tracey Gold's sister Missy Gold was featured on Benson, while Kirk Cameron's sister Candace Cameron co-starred on Full House.
The Family's last name was Seaver and they had neighbors named Koosman. Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman were teammates on the New York Mets during the '60s and '70s. The show takes place on Long Island so it's likely that the creators were Mets fans.