61 user 23 critic

Family Ties 

2:16 | Trailer
Chronicles liberal ex-hippies Steven and Elyse Keaton, their conservative son Alex, daughters Mallory and Jennifer, and later, youngest child Andrew.
1,040 ( 39)




7   6   5   4   3   2   1  
1989   1988   1987   1986   1985   1984   … See all »
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 22 wins & 43 nominations. See more awards »





Complete series cast summary:
Meredith Baxter ...  Elyse Keaton / ... 172 episodes, 1982-1989
Michael Gross ...  Steven Keaton / ... 172 episodes, 1982-1989
Michael J. Fox ...  Alex P. Keaton 172 episodes, 1982-1989
Justine Bateman ...  Mallory Keaton / ... 172 episodes, 1982-1989
Tina Yothers ...  Jennifer Keaton / ... 172 episodes, 1982-1989
Brian Bonsall ...  Andrew 'Andy' Keaton 75 episodes, 1986-1989


Steven and Elyse Keaton, once 1960s radicals, now find themselves in Reagan-era America trying to raise a traditional suburban family. Their three first kids are Alex (a very ambitious Young Republican), Mallory (a ditzy and boy-crazy fashionista), and Jennifer (whom we first get to know as a precocious nine-year-old tomboy). Later on, a fourth child (Andrew) was added to the family. Most of the comedy arose from the conflict between the ex-hippie parents vs. the conservative Alex and the brainless beauty Mallory.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Family


TV-G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The cast wanted to end the show with the entire Keaton family dying in a plane crash. They absolutely didn't want to do a reunion show in the future. See more »


Elyse Keaton: Don't you remember? We said we were going to be creative this year and make gifts instead of spending a lot of money Christmas shopping.
Steven Keaton: Well, I know we said it, I just didn't know we meant it.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The complete opening credit sequences in each episode were cut from one minute to thirty seconds in syndication. Episodes now airing on Nick at Nite have restored the complete opening credit sequences. Original syndication episodes released in 1987 retain their original versions of the Paramount Pictures ID Jingle. Current Nick at Nite episodes feature the current Paramount TV ID. See more »


Referenced in Parker Lewis Can't Lose: Father Knows Less (1991) See more »


Without Us
(Theme song)
Lyrics by Jeff Barry
Music by Tom Scott
Performed by Johnny Mathis and Deniece Williams
See more »

User Reviews

A quiet, intellectual, but HILARIOUS sitcom...
26 August 2004 | by Cinema_LoverSee all my reviews

Family Ties was not like the more boisterous shows of its era like Three's Company or The Cosby Show. And it certainly is not like the modern day sitcoms with constant audience cat calls with the hootin' and hollerin'. Family Ties was a more quiet and intellectual series about Baby Boomers who had older Gen Xer kids. The show used intelligent witty humour instead of sight gags and slapstick comedy. I must disagree with others who say the episode with Alex grieving over his recently deceased friend. That was the WORST episode(s) of the entire series! I didn't care one bit about Alex's unseen friend that we never knew.

People may say that the creators were tying to make a statement about the greed and materialism of the 80s by having flower power children from the 1960s raising teenagers and children in the 1980s, but I always saw them portraying the liberals/Democrats in a bad light while propping up the conservatives/Republicans. The parents Steven and Elyse, are made out to be the old school way of doing things. The hip, young and cool kids Alex, Mallory and to a lesser degree Jennifer and Andy, are made out to be the new way of thought. The kids were nearly always right and the parents were seen as dim witted old fools. A reverse All in the Family, indeed. The kids here are about Republican individualisim, and the more modern hip way of doing things in the 80s, versus the crusty old bleeding heart liberal "peace corp volunteer" way of approaching life that were the ex-hippie parents. So I do not believe at all that Family Ties was anti-conservative and anti-80s.

But my God, how time flies. For instance it is interesting that Family Ties premiered in 1982, with ex-hippies raising 80s teenagers/children. If we do the math, then the frontline Gen Xers that were Alex and Mallory's age would today be in their late 30s and would be the ones raising teenagers and children! Back in the 80s the parents Steven and Elyse seemed like regular "grown ups" to me, its only now in my own adult hindsight do I realize that if they were hippies in the 1960s then they must have most likely been young parents of teenagers because they were still in their 30s (and not yet middle aged) when the show first started 1982. Regarding the kids on the show,---Alex was in college through most of the series, and looked about 16 in 1982, with Mallory probably 15 and Jennifer looked about 9 or 10 years old. So now it's obviously already 2004, over 20 years later!!! Family Ties was about generation gaps in the 80s, but those older, frontline teenagers from the 80s are already 37-40 years old today. Eh, I guess we all have to get old and Gen X wasn't going to stay cool forever! ;)

My Rating:


8 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 61 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

22 September 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Family Ties See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(180 episodes)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed