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[[quoteright:328:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Growing_Pains.jpg]]

-->''As long as we got each other,''
-->''We got the world spinning right in our hands...''

''Growing Pains'' is a DomCom which ran on Creator/{{ABC}} from 1985 to 1992.

Alan Thicke and Joanna Kerns are Jason and Maggie Seaver, a HappilyMarried couple living on Long Island with their three children: mischievous teenager Mike, brainy Carol, and precocious Ben. Maggie has decided to return to her pre-motherhood career as a journalist, and Jason has moved his psychiatric practice into the family home.

Early focus on the parents shifted quickly as Kirk Cameron's Mike became the face of the series.

Behind-the-scenes turmoil shaped the series' later years. In early seasons, Mike and Ben had often teased Carol for being overweight, which was cited as a factor when Carol's portrayer, Tracey Gold, left the show to [[FunnyAneurysmMoment get treatment for anorexia]]. Another source of controversy emerged when Kirk Cameron became a born-again Christian. He [[WagTheDirector started requesting script changes]] to [[{{Bowdlerized}} eliminate risqué content]], and insisted that fellow cast member Julie [=McCullough=], who played the family's nanny (and Mike's fiancee), Julie, be fired due to her past appearances in ''{{Playboy}}''. In 1991, executive producers Dan Guntzelman, Mike Sullivan, and Steve Marshall [[CreativeDifferences quit]] after Cameron telephoned Bob Iger, who was then president of ABC Entertainment, and accused them of being "pornographers". The show was cancelled the following year.

''GrowingPains'' was also notable for its use of both SoapOperaRapidAgingSyndrome and CousinOliver to combat the aging of the series regulars. Jeremy Miller, who played Ben, outgrew the role of precocious child, but didn't seem able to replace now-adult Kirk Cameron as a teen heartthrob. Chrissy, the baby the Seavers had in 1988, went from infant to school-age over the summer of 1990. In the show's last season, Mike went into teaching and brought orphaned teen Luke (played by Leonardo [=DiCaprio=]) home for the Seavers to adopt.

The series spawned one SpinOff, ''JustTheTenOfUs'', launched by PoorlyDisguisedPilot.
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!!This series provides examples of:
* EightiesHair: Look at the women in the picture on top of this page. Yeah.
** Between's Kirk Cameron's perm and Alan Thicke's not-quite mullet the first couple of seasons, it's safe to say the guys weren't immune either.
* AlcoholicParent: Not the Seavers. When [[TroubledButCute Luke]] joins the family, Jason thinks he's drunk the alcohol from the wine cabinet. Turns out he dumped it down the sink because his alcoholic stepfather used to beat him after his mother died, which is why he ran away from home.
%%* AllGirlsWantBadBoys
* AllJustADream: Episodes "This is Your Life" (season 3, episode 10) and "Meet the Seavers" (season 6, episode 21).
%%* AlohaHawaii / VacationEpisode
%%* ArtisticTitle
* BewareOfHitchhikingGhosts: In a Halloween episode, Mike claims he had met a beautiful teen-aged ghost named Kara, who had died 17 years earlier in a car accident. An in-joke in the episode is that, along the way, Mike and Kara stop at a roadside bar, where a talent show — featuring all of the guests dressed as dead celebrities — is taking place. Of course, Mike's making up the entire tale.
* TheBGrade: Played in an interesting way. Carol makes out with her boyfriend instead of reading a book assigned for English class. She takes a pop quiz the next day and ''still'' gets an "A". The anguish begins after Mike looks over her test and points out she used a lot of big, intellectual sounding words and essentially confused the teacher into giving her an "A".
* BillingDisplacement: After the success of ''Titanic'', commercials for the show on Disney Channel focused almost entirely on Luke (played by Leonardo [=DiCaprio=]), despite being on the show for only a season.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: Several extreme examples. One of which involved actual ''drawing on the TV screen''. Also averted (or perhaps completely turned on its head) by actually ''showing'' a fourth wall in the "Meet the Seavers" episode.
* {{Bowdlerise}}: When aired on ABC Family.
* CantGetAwayWithNuthin: Usually played straight, although occasionally subverted by Mike.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: The family gets a dog in a Christmas episode, but then [[StatusQuoIsGod he's never seen again]].
* ClipShow: At least one every season, including the series finale.
* CouchGag: Starting in the fourth season, the show taped several different versions of the shot in the main title where the family goes into the house. Whoever was the last to go into the house would usually be the focus of that week's episode.
* CousinOliver: Both Chrissy and Luke.
%%* DeathIsASadThing
* DirectedByCastMember: Joanna Kerns' first directing assignment came on one of the last episodes.
%%* DreamSequence
* DrunkDriver: Carol's boyfriend Sandy (Matthew Perry) was in an accident while driving drunk. Viewers were bracing for the climatic [[AnAesop Aesop]] (Sandy would recover, lesson learned, let's move on)... [[spoiler: until Sandy bit it.]].
%%* EnforcedMethodActing
* FanDisillusionment: Ben catches his favorite rock star, played by BradPitt, cheating on his wife.
* HalloweenEpisode: Season 6's "Happy Halloween" two-parter. When a thunderstorm hits on Halloween night and trashes their plans, the Seavers stay in to tell ghost stories, including a ''InvasionOfTheBodySnatchers'' spoof and a BewareOfHitchhikingGhosts tale.
* HaveAGayOldTime: Boner
%%* HotMom
%%* IvyLeagueForEveryone
%%* LamazeClass
%%* LongLostUncleAesop
%%* MediumAwareness
%%* OpeningCreditsCastParty
%%* OrWasItADream
* TheOtherMarty: Carol
%%* ParentExMachina
%%* PieInTheFace
* PoorlyDisguisedPilot: For ''Just the Ten of Us''. Coach Lubbock, the central character of ''Just the Ten of Us'', was an established recurring character on the show, although his domestic life -- a rather large family, with another baby on the way -- was not seen or even alluded to until the episode which was used to spawn the spinoff.
%%* PostRobberyTrauma
* PutOnABus: Carol. [[spoiler: She returned.]]
** Also Boner, who was shipped off to join the Marines in the fourth season.
* RealLifeRelative: Inverted. Kate, Mike's girlfriend, was played by Chelsea Noble who would later marry Kirk Cameron.
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: Mike's character saw drastic changes in the last few seasons because of Kirk Cameron's religious conversion.
* ReunionShow: Two of them, which [[SeriesContinuityError don't quite match up]].
* RevengeOfTheNerd: [[GenderFlip Gender flipped]]; Mike asks out a hot girl, only to discover he used to tease her for being "Bucktooth Becky".
* SchoolPlay: Mike plays George in ''Our Town''.
* ScrewedByTheNetwork: For ''Just the Ten of Us''. Despite earning decent ratings as part of ABC's TGIF block and frequently winning its time slot, the show was abruptly cancelled in the spring of 1990, due to ABC wanting all shows in the TGIF block to be packaged by Miller-Boyett Productions, as was the case with fellow programs ''Series/FamilyMatters'', ''Series/FullHouse'', and ''Series/PerfectStrangers''.
* SheIsAllGrownUp: Essentially the focus of the episode where Carol is nominated for homecoming queen. Even big brother Mike reluctantly admits that she's pretty.
* ShoutOut: In the finale, Jason comments that if they move to Washington, D.C., he might get to meet Joan Lunden. WordOfGod stated that this line was specifically included because at the time, tabloids were speculating that Alan Thicke and Joan Lunden were romantically involved.
* SideBet: When Mike graduates from high school, Carol finds a note in her purse reminding her of an ancient bet they made as children that he would never graduate. Cue a FlashBack to the conversation.
* SoapOperaRapidAgingSyndrome: Chrissy.
* SomeoneToRememberHimBy: InNameOnly. Ben insists on naming his new baby sister Chris, after an old man he befriended in the hospital.
* SorryThatImDying: ShowWithinAShow-style.
* SpinOff: ''Just the Ten of Us''.
%%* TheCouch
%%* ThematicThemeTune
%%* ThemeTuneCameo
* ThirtyMinutesOrItsFree: In the episode "The Home Show," the Seavers are having to set up a party at the last minute, because Jason used an old calendar to set the date. When a pizza is accidentally delivered to their house instead of the neighbors, Jason starts to tell the delivery guy his mistake, until Mike reminds him they need the food for the party. Jason thinks for a second then says, "We ordered five pizzas, not one, and that was 31 minutes ago, so they're free."
%%* TrappedInTVLand
* TroubledProduction: Kirk Cameron reportedly caused many problems after becoming a born-again Christian. He refused to act in plots that he thought had the least bit of sexual innuendo.
* UnexpectedPositive: Maggie is doing a series of news reports about regular medical checkups, and thus undergoes all the usual tests. This is how she discovers she's pregnant.
** In another episode, Jason allows a pediatrician to examine him to show a teenage boy it's no big deal. This is how his hernia is discovered.
* WagTheDirector: After converting to Christianity, Kirk Cameron became a [[MoralGuardians Moral Guardian]] and started [[{{Bowdlerise}} forcing his views onto the production]]. He also was partially responsible for getting actress Julie [=McCullough=] fired from the show because she posed for ''{{Playboy}}'', and at one point he called up then Creator/{{ABC}} Entertainment president Bob Iger and accused executive producers Dan Guntzelman, Mike Sullivan, and Steve Marshall of being pornographers (really). The three men [[ProtectionFromEditors couldn't fire the guy]], since it was his mug in all the teen magazines, so they simply quit the show.
** Years later, Cameron admitted that his behavior was immature and inapproriate.
** Even more ironic, Steve Marshall would actually be arrested for child pornography in 2010.
* YouLookFamiliar: Brooke Theiss and Jamie Luner, who had both appeared before as other characters, played Coach Lubbock's daughters in the PoorlyDisguisedPilot for ''Just The Ten Of Us''.
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