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The Bunker-Stivic Family

     In General 
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: They constantly bicker with their different viewpoints but there is no doubt they love each other like an actual family does.
  • Dysfunctional Family: In a more down-to-earth family of the 70's kind of way.
  • Nice Guy: Even Archie can prove to be not that bad a person when he shows his loving human side. Mike, Gloria, and especially Edith has shown kindness and consideration to most people and act very much like normal people

     Archibald "Archie" Bunker 

Archibald "Archie" Bunker

Played by: Carroll O'Connor

The patriarch of the Bunker household, Archie is a blue collar factory worker who was born and raised in New York. He blusters about his conservative, and often bigoted, viewpoints to anyone listening (or anyone nearby), much to the consternation of his liberal daughter and son-in-law. Regardless, underneath all of it is an ultimately good man who is willing to accept others with enough convincing and is happily married to his wife, Edith, who he adores.

  • Abusive Parents: His father was not a nice guy to say the least. Being locked in a closet barely touches the surface of his childhood. Archie himself, for all his disagreements with his daughter, certainly never took a swing at her.
  • Affectionate Nickname: He calls Gloria "Little Girl," even when she's well into adulthood. Loathe though he'd be to admit it, his calling Mike a meathead also becomes a form of endearment.
  • Arch-Enemy (no pun intended): To George Jefferson. Going into Jefferson's house would be the day hell froze over for Archie.
  • Berserk Button: If you ever visit the Bunkers' house, whatever you do, do NOT sit in Archie's chair.
  • Catchphrase: Archie had quite a few.
    • "You're a pip, Edith."
    • "Stifle yourself, Edith."
    • "Dummy up, you".
    • "Whoop-de-do, whoop-de-doo, whoop-de-doo!"
    • "Aw, geez."
    • And Blowing a Raspberry.
  • Character Development: In his early TV appearances, he tried to stop Puerto Ricans from moving next door. By Archie Bunker's Place, he had lost most of his bigotry. And if 704 Hauser is considered canon, he apparently sold his home to a black family in the early 1990s.
  • Dad the Veteran: He served in Italy as part of the Army Air Corps during WW2 and he's very proud of it.
  • Embarrassing First Name: "Archibald"
  • Embarrassing Nickname: "Shoebooty", what the other kids called him when he was little because his parents could only afford to give him a shoe and a boot to wear as a pair of footwear, according to the Bottle Episode where he and Michael are locked in the cellar.
    Archie: They used to holler, "Tooty fruity, here comes Shoebooty." And they kept calling me that until they found out my name was Archibald, and they thought that was funnier. And then I wished they'd go back to "Shoebooty".
  • Emotionally Tongue-Tied: Archie has difficulty with expressing affection. In the episode "Gloria Has a Belly Full", he visits Gloria after she had a miscarriage.
    Gloria: You wanna say something?
    Archie: Well, no, no, nothin', I... no, nothin'.
    Gloria: You love me. (Archie nods silently)
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • You wouldn't know it from his temper, but he actually has lines he won't cross. Besides being a Noble Bigot, he objects to one of his friends calling Mike a "Communist". He may disagree with Mike, but he won't call him a "red".
    • He was also thoroughly repulsed when he found out that what he thought was a social club turned out to be the local KKK chapter, and promptly tells them off and quits, after warning them to stay away from Mike and Gloria's house (Mike had written a controversial letter to the editor and the Klan intended to burn a cross on his lawn) or he would come back with some of his "black blood brothers" and "bust their honkey heinys."
    • He also refrains from using more offensive racial slurs like "nigger" or "wop", since he realizes these are genuinely malicious terms, as opposed to his other Innocent Bigot ways of describing other ethnicities. When George Jefferson uses the N-word at Lionel's engagement party, Archie is surprised and declares he hasn't uttered that word in three years.
    • For all that irritates if not frustrates him about Edith, he has never been known to have taken a swing at the Dingbat. The worst he's gotten is "stifle yourself" and the "Dingbat" nickname.
    • Lastly, though not that surprising considering he's a World War II veteran, he absolutely hates Nazis.
  • Freudian Excuse: His father was a mean old racist himself. It's implied he was in fact far worse than Archie, freely using the word "nigger" and abusing Archie and (presumably) his brother Fred. Archie, for all his faults, never called a black person anything worse than "colored" or "spade", and was a genuinely loving father.
  • Good Parents: Absolutely, given that Gloria was a well-adjusted and smart girl. Archie may have his many flaws, but he adores his daughter (and later, his grandchild). He also never abused Gloria, physically or emotionally, which is notable since it's mentioned that's how he was raised.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: With Edith, surprisingly enough. His initial characterization was prudish in the extreme, but this was softened later into a mere disdain for "free love" sexuality. It's repeatedly made very clear in later episodes that he and Edith have an active and mutually satisfying relationship in the bedroom.
  • Happily Married: To Edith. Though he may poke fun at her, he thinks the world of her and is broken when she dies.
  • Hypocrite: Often bemoans his own son-in-law for being an atheist, but he hardly ever goes to church, and sometimes tries to cheat others as well.
  • Innocent Bigot: His prejudices are mostly depicted as a product of his ignorance and upbringing rather than any actual malice. He seemed genuinely fond of Lionel and upon finding out his longtime friend and coworker Stretch Cunningham was Jewish (after Stretch had died), he delivered a heartfelt eulogy, including a sincere "shalom". He also was accepting and supportive of Beverly's lifestyle, and was saddened when she was killed.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While he was most famous for being an outspoken bigot, his bigotry was actually more of a product of his background than out of hatred and malice. Once you take that aspect of his character, he surprisingly could be a pretty decent guy. Despite his opinions and somewhat harsh nicknames, there was no doubt that he loved his wife, daughter, grandson and, despite how much he would hate to admit it, his son-in-law, Michael.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Whenever his daughter or son-in-law come at him with some cherry-picked statistic to bolster their emotion-driven "feel-good" liberalism, he comes right back at them with some logical counter-argument that shuts them down, cold.
    Gloria:"Did you know [X] number of people are killed every day with a gun?! DID YOU?!"
    Archie:"Would it make you feel any better, little girl, if they were thrown out of windows?"
  • Laser-Guided Karma: When his selfishness and bigotry become too much. In one episode, he willingly accepted a bribe to not to press charges against the son of a local politician, and by the end of the episode, he lost money on the deal.
  • Lower-Class Lout: A crass, blue-collar worker with bigoted viewpoints.
  • Malaproper: Big time. If he uses a big word, chances are he'll use it incorrectly, or at the very least mispronounce it.
  • The Nicknamer: When he isn't malaproping someone's name, he'll be referring to them by a deliberate nickname. He refers to all three members of his immediate family by a "pet" nickname more often than their real name:
    • His wife, Edith, is "Dingbat", though this fades as their affection for each other grows. When he's annoyed with or angry at her, he'll still say she is a dingbat rather than actually call her dingbat.
    • His daughter Gloria is almost always "little girl", in all situations.
    • His son-in-law Michael is "Meathead", even when he's not arguing with him. When he calls him "Mike", it's a Big Deal.
  • Noble Bigot: In spite of his prejudices, he is not a truly hateful man, as evidenced by his sort-of-friendship with Lionel, his acceptance of his niece Stephanie's Jewish heritage (to the point of buying her a Star of David necklace), and the way he stands up to a local Klan chapter to prevent them from burning a cross on Mike's lawn.
  • Papa Wolf: He gets incredibly angry if anyone threatens Mike, Gloria, Stephanie, or his grandchild, and will go out of his way to make the offender regret it.
  • Parental Substitute: Loathe as he'd be to admit it, he loves Mike like a son, and the feeling is mutual.
  • Real Men Hate Affection: Archie hates showing affection, and is disgusted by Mike and Gloria for doing so. He occasionally shows genuine affection for Edith, but believes such things to be private.
  • Sour Prudes: Early on, Archie was a male example: genuinely sexless (multiple characters including his wife wonder how he ever could have fathered Gloria) and completely terrified of sexuality in general. This was quietly retconned later: it's clear that although Archie doesn't approve of newfangled concepts like "free love", he and Edith have a healthy and active sex life.
  • Straw Character: According to Word of God, his character was created for the express purpose of showing Republicans, Conservatives, or worse Conservative Republicans are racist, sexist, homophobic bigots so we could laugh at them.
  • Strawman Has a Point: In-universe. Whenever he gets antagonized by leftist, big-government activists and politicians, he ultimately winds up showing them that they're just as bigoted as he is, if not more so, yet they remain completely oblivious to it, many of them insisting that "people of color" are so pathetic that they can't possibly improve their lives unless the government takes over control of their lives for them and the "Social Welfare" programs they advocate couldn't possibly hold water if it wasn't for the fact that the government can simply dump more money into them. Money that was taken at the point of a gun from hard-working blue-collar workers like himself.
  • Tragic Dropout: Part of the reason why he's annoyed with Mike's academic background is because he had to drop out of high school to support his family during the Great Depression.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Sometimes. Aside from his bigoted opinions, he can be quite selfish and he constantly puts down everyone around him.
  • Working Class People Are Morons: Not entirely Archie's fault, given that he had to drop out of high school during the Depression to join the work force. For what he lacks in book smarts, he makes up for in street smarts, and he's generally more accepting of different walks of life than he would let on at first.
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     Edith Bunker 

Edith Bunker

Played by: Jean Stapleton

The ditzy but sweet and kind-hearted matriarch of the Bunker household. Edith is often naive and simple about a great many things, but her simplicity belies a folksy wisdom and observation about the world and other walks of life, and Archie usually defers to her decisions on bigger moral issues because of it.

  • Berserk Button: She actually had a few.
    • She once slapped Archie in the face when she thought he was returning to a gambling addiction that almost wrecked their marriage years ago.
    • Also when Archie ever acted especially ungrateful and demanding toward her.
    • And Archie trying to use God in one of his arguments.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Despite being saintly, Archie and even Mike have often tested her patience more than once, and the result was a very sharp verbal beat-down.
  • Butt-Monkey: On occasion. She often had to deal with her husband's antics, several medical issues, and was nearly raped.
  • The Ditz: Silly and cheerful, and seemingly ignorant of Archie's temper.
    • Genius Ditz: But was actually a wise and outspoken woman when she needed to be.
  • Dumb Is Good: Edith is ditzy and uneducated, and she's the nicest character on the show.
  • Good Parents: To Gloria and later to Stephanie.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: Edith is very demure about sex in a very old-fashioned way, but when she can be coaxed to talk about it's clear that she and Archie have a very enjoyable relationship in the bedroom. Edith even once describes her times with Archie to a friend as "like Thanksgiving"!
  • NiceLady: She is very kind and accepting toward everybody who came to her door.
  • Only Sane Woman: Often proves to be the balance between Archie and Mike, being much more tolerant than Archie without Mike's grandstanding while having a greater understanding of how the world works than Mike without Archie's cynicism. She's just a Nice Lady who wants everyone to stop fighting and to get along.
  • Parental Substitute: She's like a mother to Mike, who even calls her "Ma". (His real mother died when he was little).
  • Too Dumb to Live: In the final episode of All In The Family, she attempted to cook a St. Patrick's Day dinner, even when stricken with phlebitis, which could kill her. Archie himself gave Edith a What the Hell, Hero? moment for that.
     Michael "Meathead" Stivic 

Michael "Mike" Stivic

Played by: Rob Reiner

Archie and Edith's son in law, married to their daughter Gloria. Mike is a Chicago-born, liberal academic who lives with the Bunkers while he attempts to finish his degree, and his progressive tendencies often lead to arguments with Archie's conservatism.

  • Berserk Button:
    • Being compared to Archie, which can send him into a fit.
    • Archie's bigotry, especially Polish jokes.
    • Archie going behind his back when it came to raising Joey.
  • Character Development: He grew more accepting of Archie as time went on. However his radicalism actually grew beyond being merely mouthed, and eventually he engaged in behavior that finally destroyed his family by Archie Bunker's Place.
  • Fatal Flaw: His Pride over his liberal views has made him just as stubborn as Archie.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Downplayed. Though he would argue with Archie about organized religion, he wasn't demeaning toward other people's beliefs, and actually helped Edith through a crisis of faith after Beverly LaSalle was killed..
  • Honor Before Reason: Lost his college job protesting in the nude to prevent the construction of a nuclear power plant. Deconstructed, since this attitude helped destroy his marriage with Gloria.
  • In-Series Nickname: His friends call him Mike. Archie calls him "Meathead".
  • Like Father, Like Son: Averted. His father was apparently as racist as Archie, but Mike made a point to never try to become a bigot. He's also mentioned to have been raised by his uncle, who didn't share his father's racist attitude.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Mike is a a well-educated and good-intentioned man whose liberal views can make him just as stubborn as Archie.
  • Not So Different: Despite not seeing eye-to-eye with Archie, he wasn't that much different in attitude, and could be just as loudmouthed and stubborn. He was sexist sometimes too. There was also leaving his wife and son to live on a commune with one of his students. Also, for all his championing for the rights of minorities, he still ends up feeling angry and disappointed when loses a professorship position he applied for to a black applicant due to Affirmative Action.
  • Only Sane Man: Subverted. He thinks he's this, but he can be just as bad as Archie. Worth noting is that while he does believe in racial equality, he seems to be of the opinion that minorities can only advance in life with the help of open minded white guys like him.
  • Parental Abandonment: His parents were killed in a car crash when he was a child, and he was raised by his uncle. He left his wife and son to live on a hippie commune.
  • Positive Discrimination: Deconstructed. Despite sharing the viewpoints of Norman Lear, his constant championing of civil rights causes often annoyed other black people like Lionel, who finds this attitude more grating than Archie's own bigotry. As Lionel put it, Archie is a bigot because he simply doesn't know any better, but Mike (who should know better) sometimes treats Lionel as a representative of the black race instead of an individual.
  • Raised Catholic: Although you wouldn't know it if his uncle Kasmir hadn't said it, pushing this into a kind of Informed Catholocism.
  • Strawman Political: A passionate liberal, in contrast to Archie's conservative working class ideals.
  • Took A Level Of Jerkass: In "The Games Bunkers Play", Mike's flaws are shown in full form. The episode shows how he can be stubborn, uptight, picky, and struggles to accept criticism.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: In his last season as a regular, Mike and Archie could be described as being very close, despite their different world views. They both can barely hold back tears as Mike, Gloria, and Joey depart for California at the end of the eighth season.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The extremist part is more with how passionate he is about his liberal beliefs rather doing any risky, harmful actions.

     Gloria Bunker-Stivic 

Gloria Bunker-Stivic

Played by: Sally Struthers

Archie and Edith's feminist daughter, and the wife of Mike. She often found herself to be the only rational member of the house, and often tried to separate the bickering between her husband and father.

  • Adaptational Personality Change: Her British counterpart, Rita, from Till Death Us Do Part was a Flat Character who mainly existed to have the in-law connection between Alf and Mike. Gloria though is a much more layered and strong-willed character who changed between the time period.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Archie often calls her "little girl".
  • Daddy's Girl: Even though they often got into arguments like the family always does, there is no doubt Gloria is very close to her father and loves each other with adorable affection. It's telling that whenever Gloria is in crisis and needs emotional support, Archie is always the one who is called upon to be there for her; by contrast, Edith usually leans on Gloria rather than the other way round - scenes where Edith attempts to "parent" Gloria are usually played for (good-natured) laughs, like when she tries to give Gloria "the talk" before her wedding.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: She married a Polish, atheist liberal, beginning eight years of arguments.
  • Nice Girl: While she can still have the stubbornness of her father, she has the kind and good-natured soul of her mother. She is still a loving and sweet person overall and is a loyal and supportive wife until they move to California during the run of Archies Bunkers Place and eventually divorce.
  • Not So Above It All: Occasionally. She also marched in the nude with her husband, even though it cost him his job.
  • Only Child Syndrome: Gloria is Archie and Edith's only child, despite being a Baby Boomer in an otherwise very realistic setting. (Maybe Archie and Edith were very diligent about always making that trip to the drugstore except for that one time - see below.) This is an artifact of the show having been adapted from the British Till Death Us Do Part - the Baby Boom wasn't really a "thing" in Britain in the same way it was in the US.
  • Only Sane Man: Female version. She wasn't as outspoken as her father and husband, nor was she as silly as her mom.
  • Straw Feminist: Averted. She would often argue strongly with Archie over her viewpoints, but was less consumed by her politics than her father or Mike.
  • Surprise Pregnancy: Gloria was one, as revealed in "Gloria's Shock" when Mike remarks that most pregnancies are the result of the couple forgetting to take a trip to the drugstore, and Archie and Edith exchange knowing glances. All things considered, Gloria takes this news very well, even joking that she was a "surprise package".
  • Your Cheating Heart: Cheated on Mike after moving to California.
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Neighbors and Friends

     Lionel Jefferson 
Played by: Mike Evans

Son of George Jefferson and friend of Archie despite their different races. Later moves on up with his father to live in the East Side.

  • Berserk Button: Will have these moments with Archie.
    • He doesn't mind Archie's opinions, but doesn't like to be told who can hang out with. He told off Archie for trying to ban him from seeing his niece, and his father for his attitude toward Jenny.
    • He also finds Mike's Positive Discrimination more annoying than Archie's bigotry, once pointing out to Mike that all he ever wants to talk with Lionel about are racial and civil rights issues. When Mike asks what else they're going to talk about and mockingly suggests the weather, Lionel points out that black people have weather too. He also is more tolerant of Archie's misbehavior because he doesn't know any better, whereas Mike does.
  • The Gadfly: Is fond of giving Archie just enough rope to hang himself, in a much more deft and subtle way than Mike's confrontational approach.
  • Morality Pet: For Archie, in the early going. Though Archie behaved ignorantly toward him, his interactions with Lionel proved he wasn't malignant in his bigotry, even seeing himself as something of a mentor figure and friend to Lionel.
  • Nice Guy: Is quite a mature young man who is very polite and friendly towards the Bunkers, even Archie.
  • Odd Friendship: With Archie. He knew deep down that Archie wouldn't never burn a cross on his lawn. He even went to live with him after a fight with George over Jenny.
  • Only Sane Man: In The Jefferson family.
  • Uncle Tomfoolery: Plays this up in front of Archie to amuse himself.

     Louise Jefferson 
Played by: Isabel Sanford

Mother of Lionel Jefferson and wife to George Jefferson. After moving into the neighborhood she becomes fast friends with Edith. Like her son (and emphatically not like her husband) she generally gets along well with Archie despite their racial differences.

  • Affectionate Nickname:
    • Her husband George calls her "Weezy".
    • Archie calls her "Mrs. J".
  • Closer to Earth: Hard not to be when your husband is George Jefferson. A contrast to daffy dingbat Edith.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She has her moments. When George decides to disown Lionel after he refuses to stop seeing his mixed-race fiancee Jenny, George informs Louise that he wants another son. Louise's response?
    Louise: You better call parcel post... 'cause I've stopped making deliveries!
  • Foil: Functions as one to her husband George (being Closer to Earth) and to Edith (having a similar role in her household but being much more intelligent than sweet, naive Edith).
  • Nice Lady: Perhaps only Edith is nicer than Louise, although she's not afraid to talk back to George or be tough with Lionel if the situation calls for it.
  • N-Word Privileges: Like her husband, she had them, but unlike him, she only said the N-word once, on The Jeffersons, in outrage at her son having bought a $350 wristwatch. According to Isabel Sanford, after she said the line the studio audience laughed for over two minutes straight, which had to be cut in the aired episode.
  • Odd Friendship: With Archie. The two get along very well, all things considered, although Louise generally doesn't go out of her way to spend time in Archie's company (although she did visit him when he was in the hospital). Archie's high esteem for her is reflected in that he always calls her Mrs. J, a privilege he never extends to anyone else.

     Irene and Frank Lorenzo 
Played by: Betty Garrett and Vincent Gardenia

Introduced in Season 4 as the Bunker's new neighbors, their attitudes toward marriage and gender put Archie at odds with them.

  • Berserk Button: Mock Irene, and Frank will give you the malocchio, the evil eye.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Frank vanished after season 4, while Irene vanished during Season 6.
  • Gag Nose: Invoked at one point, where Frank declared himself proud of his nose during a special game.
  • Large Ham: Frank was a very boisterous (but non-violent) individual.
  • Nice Guy: Irene and Frank are very normal and decent neighbors. True they can still clash with Archie from time to time but they are still good neighbors to the whole Bunkers, even him.
  • Supreme Chef: Frank.
  • Wrench Wench: Irene was very geared toward blue-collar work, and even carried tools in her purse.

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