YMMV / 7th Heaven


  • Absentee Actor: Most of them. Stephen Collins and Beverley Mitchell are the only cast members to appear in every single episode, while Catherine Hicks and Mackenzie Rosman are both only absent for a handful of episodes, and these were only in the final season. Jessica Biel appears very rarely after season 6 as well as missing almost half of season 5, David Gallagher started making only occasional appearances in seasons 8, and 9, returning full time for season 10, and not appearing at all in season 11, and Barry Watson only appeared in a handful of episodes from seasons 7-10, while joining Jessica and David in not appearing at all in the final season.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Lots for everyone, but the most common is that pretty much everyone is self-absorbed and overly whiny.
  • Anvilicious: The parents' speeches about the moral lesson of the episode can run so long...
    • One episode decided to do an anti-smoking aesop, basically by portraying anyone who would smoke as being stupid, mean, and rude. But apparently feeling that wasn't enough, the writers had the smoker's house burn down, which is treated as Laser-Guided Karma.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Eric. More due to the allegations against Stephen Collins after the series ended.
    • Lucy. Either she grew up a mature, helpful mother and minister or a whiny, self-absorbed clone of her mother.
    • Simon. Fans either loved his angst and thought of him as The Woobie, or wished he'd shut up and were glad when he was written out of the 8th season.
    • Mary. Some like her for being able to incite so much annoyance from the rest of the Camdens (especially Annie, who by that point had Took a Level in Jerkass and openly viewed her as The Unfavorite). Others can't overlook that she was kind of a bitch in her own right.
    • Is Ruthie an adorably precocious child and the Only Sane Man in the family or a spoiled, mouthy brat who gets away with her behavior by virtue of being (at first) the youngest.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: Invoked in season five when Eric and Annie were struggling with how to handle Mary. Actually, if you're part of the camp that says this show is a bunch of preachy, whiny garbage, then the whole series could be this.
  • Dawson Casting: Barry Watson was 22 when he started playing high school junior Matt Camden, though the rest of the actors playing the Camden kids were of the right age. A more egregious example being Gabrielle Union was 24 when began portraying recurring character Keisha Hamilton, who was apparently around the same age as Lucy and Mary (who were 13 and 14, respectively, around the time Union joined the show). Plus, Beverley Mitchell was a year older than Jessica Biel, who portrayed the on-screen older sister (Mary) of Mitchell's character (Lucy).
  • Designated Hero: The best example would have to be the season 5 episode "Tunes". The episode features Simon being a part of an all-male group that listen to gangsta rap, whom the audience has never seen before. The group insults Lucy and Annie with misogynistic threats, which leads to the Anvilicious Aesop that people shouldn't listen to rap music because of its terrible treatment of women. While the show's attempt at tackling misogyny is honorable, the fact of the matter is that the lesson is muddled in the process because A) many members of the audience, specifically teens, listen to rap music, B) the episode basically states that the only people who listen to rap are men (which is a fault on the writers, who seem to ignore that women also listen to rap music, as well as the fact that are numerous female rappers, e.g. Missy Elliott), and C) basically implies that all forms of rap music encourage misogyny (once again, ignoring the impact of women rappers in the industry). While the audience is meant to be sympathetic to the Camdens, many are likely not to connect with them. To say this episode left a bad taste in mouth of viewers would be an understatement.
  • Die for Our Ship: Poor Kevin. Cecilia wasn't very well-liked for a while either.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Many, e.g. the classic "Obey your parents' wishes about how to celebrate getting your first period, no matter how uncomfortable it makes you feel."
    • Or how about the one that goes, "Never, ever commit a Felony Misdemeanor, because it will scar you for life." And the one that goes, "Because the Felony Misdemeanor from high school is still following you, you better go to college when your parents tell you to, or you will end up being sent away from your family after an angry, teary intervention."
  • Fridge Logic: In the episode "X-mas" two young women are afraid that they don't know enough about the religious aspects of Christmas, and that the Camdens will realize this. Anybody who grew up in the United States could tell you that it is practically impossible to avoid the story of Christmas growing up, especially around Christmas time. Made even more ridiculous when one of the girls doesn't even know what a nativity scene is, and assumes that the people in it are begging for money.
    • The season four episode "Just You Wait and See" depicts Eric's sister Julie going into labor at the Camden house, with apparently no way to get to the hospital (both cars having been taken by Eric and Lucy, respectively), and the only person there being Annie. While Annie did call an ambulance, Julie ultimately gave birth in the house, with no ambulance present. The Fridge Logic kicks in when you wonder how long does it actually take to get an ambulance to the house. On average, an ambulance would arrive at the location within at least 20 minutes barring any unforeseen circumstances. But, it seemed like hours before Julie gave birth, which is calculated by the fact that Lucy went on a date to the movie theater at the same time, and since most films are about 90 minutes to over 2 hours long, it really makes you think how terrible the Glenoak ambulance services seem to be (it would be understandable in a large city like Los Angeles, but not in a small town like Glenoak). However, at the same time, Annie could've asked a neighbor to drive her and Julie to the hospital, and while it was nighttime, it was still seemed early enough to ask someone to help (I mean, there aren't many people who would refuse to help a pregnant woman in labor, even if it was nighttime). Avoiding the whole "stranger danger" thing, many people in the Camdens' neighborhood know them as good, honest people, and wouldn't turn away Annie in this time of need.
  • Glurge: Infamous for this.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The Season 4 episode "Talk to Me" (involving Eric counseling a young girl who had been molested) falls into this with the recent release of a recording in which Stephen Collins (who played Eric) admitted to having sexually molested 3 young girls.
    • You could say it basically ruins the entire series even, especially with most major networks carrying it in syndication having pulled it from their schedule.
    • Another incident comes from the beginning of a Season 10 episode where Eric walks in on Ruthie doing a rather suggestive dance in her room and appears to be staring at his daughter dancing for a good 10 seconds before leaving. If it was cringe-worthy when it first aired; the "ick" factor likely multiplied following the revelations about Stephen Collins.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Martin's introduction has him skulking around the Camden house and then bizarrely coming inside and helping himself to food despite not knowing anyone there. His actor Tyler Hoechlin later played Derek on Teen Wolf, a character infamous for his habit of stalking teenagers and appearing in people's rooms with no warning.
  • Idiot Plot: The season two episode "Who Knew?" involves Matt coming home with a joint (which he got from a friend, though Matt didn't actually want it), which is accidentally found by his father, who then suspects almost all of his children of having the joint. Later, when Matt is confronted by Eric and Annie about it, he fails to tell them where he got it and also, the fact that he didn't smoke it. Overall, the plot could've been averted if Matt had just thrown away the joint immediately after getting it. Instead, the writers opted to have a Anvilicious "marijuana is bad" Aesop. Also counts as a What an Idiot moment for Matt.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Many fans thought Annie crossed it when she threw the twenty-something Matt and Lucy and the then underage Simon and Ruthie out of the house and forced them to live in the unfinished (read: no furniture or plumbing) garage apartment until they agreed with her opinion that Mary coming home was a good thing. Ironically, Mary eventually became The Scrappy and general "disappointment" of the Camden family in later seasons and Annie would pretty much cringe if you even mentioned her name.
  • Narm: Too many examples to list, with some people believing the entire show fell under this.
  • Pandering to the Base: What some assumed the show creators were doing — essentially crafting a show to appeal to a demographic that most other shows have nothing but venom for. Things like the above-mentioned point in Fridge Logic don't make much sense... unless they're less trying to reflect what they see as reality and instead prey on the fears of the religious (that "Christ has been taken out of Christmas"). Considering the sheer amount of Narm, you could almost interpret the show as a Stealth Parody or Take That that kept itself low-key enough to be loved by the people it was actually mocking. It wouldn't be the first time a character meant to mock conservatives ended up being popular with them. See The Simpsons, Family Ties, and All in the Family.
  • The Scrappy: Kevin with the fans, Mary with the writers. Simon's girlfriend Cecelia (Ashlee Simpson) wasn't too well-received among fans either.
    • Many viewers dislike Lucy, seeing her as very bland, self centered, and whiny. Additionally, she could be seen as being too jealous or too dependent on men (especially in earlier seasons), which invokes the '50s rather than the '90s.
      • Fridge Brilliance (of a sort) kicks in when you realize that they were trying to portray Lucy as growing up to be just like her mother... without quite realizing that a lot of viewers thought her mother was a terrible person.
    • Many dislike Ruthie as well, and see her "cute" antics as bratty.
    • Robbie is not certainly loved by the fans due to him taking Mary's place in the family and for being a meddling Jerk Ass.
    • Any of the non-Camden main cast in later seasons got this because many fans felt that they were unnecessary for a show that's supposed to focus on a family. Ruthie's friend/boyfriend Peter and his mom Paris, Kevin's partner Roxanne, associate pastor Chandler, Martin (though he was later Rescued from the Scrappy Heap when he became a potential Love Interest for Ruthie), Ruthie’s other less liked Love Interest T-Bone, Cecilia’s adopted sister Meredith, Simon's bitchy girlfriend/fiancé Rose and Martin's baby mama Sandy are some prime examples of characters that received a lot of hate from the fandom during their time on the show.
  • Seasonal Rot: Many fans thought the show started going downhill around the time season 6 started. Ironically enough, season 6 was the last season to feature the entire original cast.
  • Snark Bait: Read the Television Without Pity recaps! Before the 'cappers ultimately began vomiting at the sight of the show, of course.
  • Tear Jerker: For a show full of narm, there actually were some truly heartbreaking moments:
    • The death of Annie's mother early on in the first season. Her father also passes away in the 8th season and it at first seems like narm, until you realize the actor who played Annie’s father passed away in real life.
    • The ending of the episode "Lost" has a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming by reuniting a kidnapped child and his family, but shifts into Tear Jerker territory when the usual ending credits are replaced with photos and details of actual missing children.
    • The whole entire plot of "Nothing Endures But Change," which is made even more heartbreaking when you learn that its plot, concerning Lucy losing a friend in a car accident, is based on the real life death of Beverly Mitchell's (the actress who plays Lucy) friend in a similar accident.
    • Chandler's breakdown in "Smoking" is also pretty sad, though it may border just a bit too close into narm territory for some.
    • On the Put on a Bus episode for Mary (Mary was turned into a bit of a troublemaker to facilitate Biel's departure), Simon and Lucy tell her that they care for her very much and want to help her in any way because they look up to her. Then Ruthie's turn comes up, and she basically lays into Mary for being a selfish sister who's let her down and angrily leaves the room. The fact that the What the Hell, Hero? speech came from the youngest, precocious sister was startling and moving (and probably mirrored the writers' feelings as well).
    • Charlotte Kerjesz's story of being a Holocaust survivor and losing her entire family. Not just Simon's reaction after hearing about it offscreen, but the lady herself telling the entire 7th grade class. Even the bigot of the week and his son are tearing up.
    • "Simon Camden (The Kid is Out of the Picture)". The first half is a mix between funny and heartwarming as he talks about his family and their adventures/misadventures in life, love and friendship, but the second half has him discussing, in detail, what happened between the 7th and 8th seasons: he committed accidental vehicular manslaughter and is completely haunted by his experience, and he wants to deal with his feelings with a safe buffer of distance between himself and home. The story he's telling is his way of expressing the love and gratitude he feels for his family, and how much he's going to miss them even though he needs to get away.
  • Wangst: Latter-day Simon.
  • The Woobie: If you did feel sorry for Simon despite the aforementioned Wangst. Earlier seasons Lucy had her moments as well, and occasionally you hit upon a Character Of The Day who was this.
    • Depending on how you feel about Mary, she's The Woobie also. Not so much because she got kicked out of the house in season five, but because her character was set up to be successful (as an Academic Athlete) but then never allowed to experience any real success.

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