YMMV / Growing Pains

  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: In "How the West Was One, Part 1" Mike starting a protest to save his teacher's job.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Coach Lubbock, who eventually got a spin-off.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: In one episode Ben learns that the morality of celebrities should not be a factor in whether or not we enjoy the art they produce. It wasn't why we became their fans in the first place.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Any instance of Carol being teased about her weight. Hollywood Pudgy actress Tracey Gold, who played her, would go on to have a well-known (and near-fatal) battle with anorexia.
    • Almost any appearance of Boner, given the character's Unfortunate Name and actor's tragic death.
    • A few early-season plots with Mike (him and Ben illegally betting on racehorses, throwing unsupervised parties) don't at all jibe with the adult, born-again Christian Kirk Cameron—or the Mike of the final season that was influenced by Cameron's newfound faith.
      • And pretty much any scene with Mike being a fun, normal member of the family when in fact Kirk Cameron's newfound fundamentalist tendencies made him the kind of guy who'd do things like demanding that the actress playing his character's girlfriend be fired because she was once in Playboy, or denouncing the producers as "pornographers" for having pretty much your standard family sitcom level of occasional suggestive humor. Far from sharing the laughter and love with anyone by this point, he pretty much singlehandedly turned it into a Troubled Production, and it's probably not a coincidence that the show was not around for very long after. Cameron's scenes take on a very different tone upon rewatch because of this.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Matthew Perry, years before Friends, played Carol's doomed boyfriend, Sandy. Also, as mentioned above, Leonardo DiCaprio as temporary family member Luke. Brad Pitt, Jennie Garth and Hilary Swank also had small one-off roles.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • The episode where Carol's boyfriend (pre-Friends Matthew Perry) dies.
    • The real-life death of Alan Thicke from an aortic aneurysm, and the fact, not unlike John Ritter (who died from a similar cause) that he wasn't all that old by most standards when he died.
    • The suicide of Andrew Koenig, who played Boner.