Trivia: Family Ties

  • Actor Allusion /Shout-Out : The episode where Jennifer forms a Girl Group and Alex decides to manage them. Their song: Mr. Sandman.
  • Dawson Casting: Michael J. Fox was 21 when he was cast as 16-year-old Alex.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Tom Hanks as Elyse's alcoholic brother.
    • His Bosom Buddies co-star Peter Scolari developed a crush on her.
    • Courteney Cox as Alex's girlfriend Lauren.
    • Geena Davis as Karen, the Keatons' housekeeper when Elyse is pregnant.
    • Ronny Cox as Ellen's blustery father.
    • Gordie LaChance and Chris Chambers both dated Jennifer at different times.
    • Steven considered having an affair with Angela Bauer.
    • In addition to creating Family Ties, Gary David Goldberg served as co-creator and executive producer of Spin City, which starred Michael J. Fox for the first four seasons.
    • Tony Mordente directed six episodes. Mordente is best known for playing A-rab in West Side Story.
    • Debbie Allen directed two episodes. Allen is best known for playing Lydia Grant in Fame.
    • Frank Bonner directed an episode. Bonner is best known for playing Herb Tarlek on WKRP in Cincinnati.
    • Dick Martin also directed an episode. Martin is best known for co-hosting Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In.
    • Michael J. Weithorn wrote 26 episodes. Weithorn is best known as creator and executive producer of Ned And Stacey and co-creator and executive producer of The King of Queens.
    • Susan Stevenson wrote 19 episodes. Stevenson is best known as co-creator and co-executive producer of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
    • Bruce Helford wrote five episodes. Helford is best known as creator and executive producer of Anger Management and co-creator and executive producer of The Norm Show, The Drew Carey Show, and The George Lopez Show.
    • Barbara Hall wrote an episode. Hall is best known as creator and executive producer of Joan of Arcadia and co-creator and executive producer of Judging Amy.
    • Jace Richdale also wrote an episode. Richdale is best known as co-creator and executive producer of The Oblongs.
    • Kate Boutilier also wrote an episode. Boutilier is best known as co-developer and producer of All Grown Up!.
  • Playing Against Type: You would never believe that the nice Liberal Steven would later on become the Gun toting badass we know as Burt Gummer.
  • The Red Stapler: The name "Mallory" was almost nonexistent prior to the show's premiere.
  • Romance on the Set: Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan, who played Alex and Ellen respectively, got married in real life.
    • However, according to Fox's autobiography Lucky Man, the two actors did not start dating until sometime after Family Ties was cancelled, as Pollan was already dating Kevin Bacon, while Fox was dating Nancy McKeon. Fox did have a crush on her, though.
  • What Could Have Been: Originally, the actor who played Nick, Scott Valentine, was supposed to have been spun off into his own series, The Art of Being Nick. However, NBC did not pick it up because they were reportedly afraid that Nick's absence would hurt Family Ties.