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Many sitcoms tend to focus on the Nuclear Family (a father, a mother, and their children). However, writers sometimes shine the spotlight on someone other than the immediate family, wanting to explore other relationships. They might also have to replace a character who has left. The solution is to introduce a houseguest, someone who isn't part of the immediate family, but comes to live with them nonetheless. Perhaps they're a Long-Lost Relative or maybe just a good family friend. Whatever the reason, they're now part of the main cast. Expect them to stand out from everyone else, though the reasons may vary. Most of the time they'll be the wacky one of the group, but there are cases where they'll be the voice of reason. Either way, they'll face issues trying to fit in with the rest of the family.

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Compare with The Sixth Ranger, Cousin Oliver, With a Friend and a Stranger, and The Thing That Would Not Leave. May involve them being Adopted to the House.


Examples:

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    Comic Books 
  • The Vision (2015) draws heavily from the ideal of the perfect '50s sitcom Nuclear Family. The Vision creates one for himself in the DC suburbs: wife Virginia, daughter Viv, son Vin, and a dog. The story is initially about them not fitting in, but the arrival of Vision's sort-of brother Victor Mancha, who comes to live with them for a while, is the beginning of the end.

    Comic Strips 
  • In the earliest days of Garfield, Jon took in his old friend Lyman and his dog Odie when the two needed a place to stay. This was done to give Jon another person to interact with as well as mining humor from the contrasting Garfield and Odie. Lyman was eventually hit with Chuck Cunningham Syndrome, but Odie remained.

    Fan Works 
  • Bridge to Terabithia 2: The Last Time: One of the recurring new characters is Dylan Hils, Maybelle's new best friend. He spends much of the story staying at Maybelle's house, especially in a later story arc after Jess leaves to further his studies in California. This includes celebrating Easter and Thanksgiving with Maybelle's family instead of his own. The last chapter reveals that Dylan's parents are divorced and are too busy fighting a custody battle to care for their son.
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    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Addams Family the whole plot is based on this.
  • Rags: The film is primarily about Charlie, who lives above his mom's old restaurant with his stepfather Arthur and his stepbrothers. However, it's also implied that they're living with two employees of the restaurant, Diego and Martha, as Diego apparently makes Arthur breakfast. This makes Charlie's life a little easier, as they help him deal with his day-to-day existence.

    Literature 
  • The Lotterys More or Less: Luiz is staying with the Lotterys for the holidays. He was supposed to leave on December the 21st, but had an accident, forcing him to stay with the Lotterys longer than intended so he can heal.
  • In Winnie-the-Pooh, Kanga and Roo are mother and son, but they also have Tigger, a Cloudcuckoolander tiger, living with them.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 8 Simple Rules: After John Ritter's death, two new characters moved in with the Hennessy family. The first was Cate's father Jim, who took over the role of father figure. The other was cousin CJ, who acted as the wacky one of the group.
  • The Brady Bunch: The titular Brady family is joined by their live-in maid Alice. In addition to being the housekeeper, she acts as the Team Mom when Carol isn't around.
  • This is pretty much the whole premise for Charles in Charge, in which college student Charles lives with a nuclear family (first the Pembrokes and then the Powells).
  • Family Matters: In addition to the immediate Winslow family, the Winslows host grandmother Estelle (Carl's mother), aunt Rachel (Harriette's sister), and cousin Richie (Rachel's son). Steve moves into the Winslow household later on, when his parents move to Russia without him.
  • Frasier: The series centers around the Crane family, Martin and his sons Frasier and Niles, who are joined by Martin's physical therapist Daphne.
  • Full House has Danny Tanner, a widowed father of three girls. In the pilot they are joined by Danny's best friend Joey Gladstone and Jesse, the brother of Danny's late wife. Later in the series, Jesse marries Danny's coworker Rebecca, who also joins the household.
  • The George Lopez Show: During the final season, George's niece Veronica comes to live with him. This coincided with his daughter being written off the show so that the actress could attend college.
  • The Hogan Family: After the death of mom Valerie, dad Michael's sister Sandy moves in to help him with his three sons. During the show's final season, Michael and Sandy's newly divorced father also moves in with them.
  • The Mick: The show's premise is that Sabrina, Chip, and Ben have to be looked after by their Aunt Mickey while their parents are on the run from the law. While watching over them, Mickey brings in her boyfriend Jimmy to live with them. They also have a servant who lives in their home.
  • No Good Nick: The show's premise has a Con Artist shows up to an upper-class family's house, claiming to be a Long-Lost Relative. They let her stay with them, and she subsequently plots to scam them out of money. The show is a Deconstruction of sitcoms.
  • Roseanne: Following his parents' divorce, Darlene's boyfriend David moves into the Conners' basement and stays there for the rest of the series (including a period where he and Darlene break up).
  • That '70s Show: Eric's friend Hyde moves in with the Forman family at the end due to his parents leaving him, living in their basement for much of the rest of the show. He even stays with them after Eric leaves.
  • Two and a Half Men: After Charlie's death in season 9, Walden Schmidt buys Charlie's house and moves in with Alan and Jake Harper.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place: In the later seasons of the show, Harper's parents leave town and she moves in with the Russo family, becoming a permanent member of the household. The family consisted only of Alex, her parents, and her brothers prior to this.

    Western Animation 
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: The series centers on the Watterson family, consisting of Gumball, his parents, and his sister Anais. They're joined by Darwin, Gumball's pet goldfish who grew legs and developed the ability to talk, and became Gumball's adopted brother.
  • American Dad!: The show focuses on Stan Smith and his family. In addition to his wife and two children, Stan has two houseguests. The first is Roger, an alien who escaped from Area 51. The other is Klaus, an East German ski jumper who had his brain put into the body of a goldfish by the CIA to prevent East Germany from winning the Olympics.
    • Later in the series, Jeff Fischer - the husband of Stan's daughter Hayley - moves in with the family as well, having previously lived in his van.
  • Big City Greens: Gloria Sato, late in Season 2, moves in with the Greens after Big Coffee is closed down.
  • Family Guy: The Griffin family is joined by their talking dog Brian. Due to his intelligence, he's not treated as a pet, but as a friend. He has many storylines involving Peter and Stewie, and even develops a crush on Lois at one point.
  • King of the Hill: The show centers on Hank, his wife Peggy, and his son Bobby. They are later joined by Luanne, Peggy's niece, who has left her alcoholic mother. Luanne subsequently becomes one of the show's main characters and a frequent annoyance to Hank.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, the bakery Sugar Cube Corner houses the Cake family, consisting of Mr. and Mrs. Cake and their twins Pound (colt) and Pumpkin (filly)... as well as Pinkie Pie, the goofy party planner/baker.
  • Parodied on The Simpsons episode "Itchy, Scratchy and Poochie". As a parallel to The Itchy & Scratchy Show getting a new character, the Simpsons inexplicably have a teenager named Roy living with them. He adds nothing to the plot or the episode aside from just being there and gets only four completely irrelevant lines, and by the end of the episode Roy moves out to a new apartment with two sexy female roommates. The whole episode was a commentary on the network asking for the show to add a teenage character to cater to that demographic.

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