Entertainment Terrible TV families that make us grateful for our own By Meghan Giannotta firstname.lastname@example.org Updated December 13, 2017 9:23 AM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email The holidays aren't exactly the most wonderful time of the year for everyone. Sure, the food is great and presents are nice, but some people don't enjoy heading home to see their families. Having to explain first to mom, then to grandma, then to grandpa why you're still single is far from anyone's definition of a good time, but it could be worse -- trust us. From the Bluths to the Gallaghers, these TV families will make spending the holidays with your own family look like a piece of pumpkin pie. 'Arrested Development': The Bluths Photo Credit: Sam Urdank / Netflix It really depends on your perception of dysfunction with this one. If you're looking for a holiday that involves a wasted Lucille (Jessica Walter) and Lindsay (Portia de Rossi), the Bluth family just might have some room for you. Dinner with the "Arrested Development" crew wouldn't be complete without someone escaping prison and George Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor) swapping places with his identical twin brother. Entertaining? Yes. Traditional? No. 'Grey's Anatomy': The Greys Photo Credit: NBC We're stretching this one all the way back to when Ellis (Kate Burton) and Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) alone made up the Grey family. A holiday dinner (if one was even planned) pre-season 1 of "Grey's Anatomy" would have involved Ellis leaving her daughter with a sitter to tackle a surgery. As "Grey's" went on, the family dynamic improved, though, adding McDreamy Dr. Shepard (Patrick Dempsey) and the lovable Lexie (Chyler Leigh), Dr. Webber (James Pickens Jr.) and eventually Meredith's third long-lost sister Maggie (Kelly McCreary) into the mix. That's a holiday we'd consider showing up for -- but we'd keep our expectations low. ‘Scandal’: The Popes Photo Credit: ABC Dinner with the Popes has always been pretty awkward -- even more so after Olivia (Kerry Washington) found out Elijah is actually Rowan (Joe Morton), aka the chief of B613 who orders her friends to be killed and controls the lives of her romantic interest. If you're down for pretending everything is fine (when it really isn't) then dinner at the Popes for the holidays wouldn't be too bad, just make sure to keep an eye out for any gun lasers, hidden surveillance systems and mothers who come back from the dead. 'Shameless': The Gallaghers Photo Credit: Showtime The Gallaghers are the textbook definition of dysfunctional. Actually, their level of crazy probably re-defined the definition and their freeloading father is to blame. If Frank (William H. Macy) isn't passed out under the train tracks, he's plotting ways to steal from his family and friends and conspiring to bring Debbie (Emma Kenney) and Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) down with him. We got a glimpse into a Gallagher holiday in the second season's promo video and it was surprisingly chummy -- the gang got together (at the bar) to sing a Christmas carol (about alcoholism). ‘Friends’: The Greens When Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) left Barry at the altar, she wasn't just running away from her ex-fiancé. She left behind her spoiled sisters, too. We're down for a secret holiday gift swap with Christina Applegate and Reese Witherspoon -- but trying to do one with Amy and Jill Green would probably just end up with the two of them buying new skirts for themselves and forgetting to pick up gifts for anyone else. ‘That ‘70s Show’: The Foremans Photo Credit: FOX via Netflix Oh, you didn't want a plateful of threats and deliberate put-downs with your pot roast? Too bad -- that's a dinner with Red Foreman (Kurtwood Smith). ‘Empire’: The Lyons Photo Credit: Fox / Chuck Hodes When control of a successful music company -- which just so happens to be the family business -- is at stake, people get a bit testy and relationships are strained. A typical year for the Lyon family involves manipulation, jealousy and jail time, so we'll assume a holiday dinner with them would, too. ‘Gossip Girl’: The Waldorfs Photo Credit: KC Bailey / The CW It might be incredibly beautiful to spend the holidays in Blair Waldorf's (Leighton Meester) Upper East Side penthouse, but it would be incredibly lonely, too. Blair's various relationship issues ultimately stem from her poor relationship with her mother. She's left home alone with the help more often than not. She's dying for her mother's attention and approval, but often gets outshined by Serena (Blake Lively). The holidays would be no different. ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’: The Voorhees Photo Credit: Netflix We can see it now: It's Christmas in the "Kimmy Schmidt" universe. Jacqueline is out trying to show up the other moms. Julian is nowhere to be found. Buckley and a depressed Xanthippe are left to spend their holiday with an overly festive Kimmy, who's dressed up like an elf and won't stop talking about her days working at the year-round Christmas store. ‘Girls’: The Horvaths Photo Credit: HBO The big problem with being a part of the the Horvath family: you'd have to deal with Hannah being your sibling. All of your accomplishments would probably be overshadowed by Hannah's incessant need for attention. Try coming home for the holidays to talk about your big promotion when Hannah shows up to dinner complaining about how her friend is dating her ex and her whole life is falling apart. 'Gilmore Girls’: The Gilmores Photo Credit: Netflix No one despises spending time with family more than Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham). A bribe was the only thing keeping her at (most) of those Friday night dinners. How much does Emily (Kelly Bishop) have to loan her daughter for her to come home for the holidays? ‘The Middle’: The Hecks Photo Credit: ABC Imagine being part of a family where it takes seven years for them to even give you a real seat at the dinner table, then talk to us about your own. The Hecks mean well but they're not exactly living a life that would make anyone envious. Frankie (Patricia Heaton) and Mike (Neil Flynn) are too exhausted from simply living life to cook a meal for their kids or even clean the house. For the holidays, you better not be expecting a home-cooked meal. The chances of Frankie bringing home takeout and throwing her feet up in front of the TV are pretty high. ‘The Originals’: The Mikaelsons Photo Credit: The CW Sure, hanging out with a family of vampires would be cool, if you were a diehard "Twilight" fan who reveled in the release of this "Vampire Diaries" spinoff. But this isn't just any vampire family -- this is a family of the original, founding members of the vampire community, a group of the most vicious and vile of their kind. Siblings Elijah, Niklaus and Rebekah have been taking turns killing (and then resurrecting) each other for centuries. There's a 99 percent chance you wouldn't make it out alive if you spent the holidays with the Mikaelsons. ‘Game of Thrones’: The Lannisters and beyond Photo Credit: HBO When you drill really far down and unravel the complex relationships, family drama is the root of "Game of Thrones." Between incest, violence and rivalry, hardly any sibling relationship on the show is average. If the Lannisters were your bloodline, you'd probably opt to spend the holidays with your in-laws instead. ‘Revenge’: The Graysons Photo Credit: ABC Just be thankful Victoria Grayson isn't your mother. She's the thorn in everyone's sides ... the one holding the knife when it slips into her own friends and family's backs (sometimes literally). She kept the identity of her daughter's biological father from her for years, sending her into a downward spiral that nearly drove her to suicide. Really, though, that's just the tip of the iceberg for this Hamptons villain. With a woman like that being the matriarch of the family, the holidays aren't too warm and fuzzy. 'Keeping Up': The Kardashians Photo Credit: Getty Images When image, fame, social media and emojis are held at an utmost importance, is there even any room left for family values? The Kardashians pride themselves on being a close-knit bunch, but unless your idea of a good time involves helping your sisters update their Snapchat stories for hours on end, you probably wouldn't want to be a part of this group. ‘Mad Men’: The Drapers Photo Credit: AMC / Justina Mintz Every family has their secrets, but finding out your dad stole someone's identity and isn't even technically a Draper doesn't happen every day (hopefully). Merry Christmas: Your whole life has been a lie. ‘Orange is the New Black’: The Chapmans Photo Credit: JoJo Whilden Piper (Taylor Schilling) wouldn't have been able to pull off her panty-smuggling scheme at Litchfield without her brother -- talk about having your sister's back. But how great of a sister could Piper really be if she drags her family into her illegal plan, while already in prison herself? ‘The O.C.’: The Atwoods Photo Credit: Getty Images Though Ryan (Ben McKenzie) doesn't live with his family permanently in "The O.C.," we get just enough of a glimpse into his troubled past with his brother Trey in the picture. In the very first episode, Ryan gets arrested after helping Trey steal a car. The scenes that do involve Ryan's mom, Dawn, and her boyfriend, also involve violence, drugs and alcohol. ‘The Royals’: The royal family Photo Credit: E! / Frank W. Ockenfels 3 Sibling rivalry is common, but throw in a throne and crown and things are bound to get very, very messy. Someone killed King Cyrus, and without giving away any spoilers, Princess Eleanor (Alexandra Park) and Prince Liam (William Moseley) spend entirely too long wondering if their own uncle is to blame, making family dinners rather uncomfortable. ‘Grounded for Life’: The Finnertys Photo Credit: FOX How to recreate an average weekday for the Finnertys: Take Lily throwing a fit and Jimmy and Henry fighting, then throw in Grandpa Walt, Uncle Eddie, a stolen car and an angry nun. ‘Full House’: The Tanners Photo Credit: ABC While not exactly terrible, the Tanners aren't high on our list of families we'd enjoy sitting around the dinner table with. Everything in the Tanner household seems wrapped up with a bow, unless you're into that chummy kind of thing. By Meghan Giannotta email@example.com Share on Facebook Share on Twitter More on this topic The most terrible TV friendsSome of these characters can be redefined as downright frenemies. They're the worst: TV's insufferable charactersFrom Ross Geller to Ramsay Bolton, there’s plenty of characters who are just downright insufferable. Our picks for what to stream on NetflixGet to the couch and get comfortable. Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.