Home for the Holidays: 5 Families More Dysfunctional Than Yours


After a week without snow storms and Orange Alerts, returning to Syracuse’s frigid embrace feels more like a cruel, twisted plot straight out of Game of Thrones. I’ve tasted the sweet luxury of sandal-free showers and stovetop meals and there’s nothing I want more. One thing I won’t be missing, though: my family. Let me clarify. They’re lovely people, and we’ve had a long and fruitful relationship, but when your family gatherings mean choosing between Aunt Jan drinking herself into a one-woman show, or a roundtable discussion of your dismal, nay non-existent love life, you’ll start to question things too. Still, who else is going to put up with your 2am pantry raids and afternoon wake up calls?

Our families are pretty much all we’ve got, nagging and all. They’re the beacon that forces us to pass essays and group projects, and often keep us more motivated than Gatsby’s damn green light.

Before you go back to putting off finals and weeping in the halls of Bird, just be thankful your loved ones aren’t as dysfunctional as any of these fine relatives.

1. The Bluths, Arrested Development


It’s as though an island of the most self-centered and delusional failures were given a shit ton of money, and forced to procreate. Imagine your closest relatives are all drunks, failures, or spoiled rotten. Now imagine your family’s dying legacy hinges on a beachside banana stand and some incesty undertones. Congrats, you’re a Bluth.

2. The Botwins, Weeds


When Weeds started out, Nancy Botwin was just your average low-level, pot-dealing widow doing the best she could to raise her sons and maintain their upper-middle class lifestyle. In the end, all Nancy’s “best” got her was an estranged eldest child, a psycho-murderer turned alcoholic cop in the middle, and the only son of a slain Mexican cartel kingpin at the end.

3. The Bates, Bates Motel


There are momma’s boys, and then there’s Norman Bates. Before he was the shower stalking, butcher knife wielding terror we all associate him with today, Norman was just your run of the mill psychopath teenager, silently stewing and getting closer to his mother than the rest of us would ever be comfortable with.

4. The Lannisters, Game of Thrones


If you’ve yet to get past the first episode of this show, then you deserve all the spoilers in the world. Twincest and king slaying are somehow the least of this family’s problems. This fam managed to bring to screen the brattiest ruler ever recorded. You’ve got yourself a recipe for more drama than Bravo could even handle.

5. The Belchers, Bob’s Burgers


I won’t lie. I am Bob, and I would love to be a part of this family in any capacity. Between Tina’s erotic friend fiction, Louise’s proclivity for the diabolical, and Gene’s — well, he’s Gene — there’s very little not to love. They’re the hottest of messes in all the right ways.