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Series / Just the Ten of Us

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Just the Ten of Us is an American Dom Com that is a Spin-Off of Growing Pains.

The series focuses on Graham Lubbock (Bill Kirchenbauer), a gym coach who used to teach at the high school that the Seaver kids from Growing Pains (where he appeared on a recurring basis), and who is the father of eight children. As the series progressed, Coach Lubbock's four eldest daughters, the teenagers Marie (Heather Langenkamp), Cindy (Jamie Luner), Wendy (Brooke Theiss), and Connie (Jo Ann Willette), became the primary focus of the show.

The series aired from April 26, 1988 to May 4, 1990.


This series provides examples of:

  • 555: The Lubbocks' phone number is 555-3273
  • Abhorrent Admirer: The girls all view Gavin Doosler as this.
  • Actor Allusion: Upon moving into the house, one of the girls comments that it "looks like something out of "A Nightmare on Elm Street". Heather Langenkamp (Marie) starred in the original, Part 3: Dream Warriors, and New Nightmare, JoAnn Willette (Connie) in Part 2: Freddy's Revenge, and Brooke Theiss (Wendy) in Part 4: The Dream Master.
  • A-Cup Angst: Connie has this. She gets over it after Wendy tells her that they're the same size and realizes that it's her negative attitude that's costing her dates, not her small breasts.
  • Always Identical Twins: Averted. Wendy and Cindy are fraternal twins.
  • Bathroom Stall Graffiti: To get their father out of the house so they can plan a surprise for him, daughter Cindy tells her father that obscene things are written about her on the boys bathroom wall. Incensed, he goes to paint it over himself. She later asks her sister Connie how she could stomach writing those things.
    Connie: Most of it was already there, I just had to paint your name over Wendy's (another sister).
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  • Being Good Sucks: Coach Lubbock has to bench the star football player right before a championship game because he failed a test. The team loses horribly and everyone hates him for it, with the exception of his wife, who gives him a handmade trophy and commends him for his bravery in making the right decision despite knowing full well how unpopular it would be.
  • Bilingual Backfire: An episode had the Lubbock family boarding a Spanish exchange student who promptly made advances to all four of the teenaged daughters, who each believed that they were the first to successfully teach him English—only to have it turn out that he already knew and merely used the supposed language barrier as a tool of seduction. The funny thing is, he reveals this when he gets fed up with two other characters bad-mouthing him for his lecherous behavior (not realizing that he can understand them) and blurts out an angry retort. His satisfaction at embarrassing the other two is short-lived when he—and they—realize that he's just revealed himself to be even more of a jerk than they originally thought.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: In the Season 3 premiere episode, which coincided with ABC's branding of their Friday night block as "TGIF", the cold open features the four older girls in the living room with "Fun Night on ABC" on the television. Marie, the "good girl", is excited for it while Wendy brags that she has a date whereas Connie has "Fun Night on ABC." (The same episode has a Take That! against CBS.)
  • Black Comedy Rape: In one episode, Cindy defends herself against a date trying to get fresh with her, to the point of putting him in the hospital. Despite this being a Date Rape Averted situation and some very important lessons being imparted—her parents assure her that she did nothing wrong and that he had no right to ignore her telling him "No"—it's presented in a humorous way, never like a Very Special Episode.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Wendy (blonde), Connie and Marie (brunette), and Cindy (redhead). Sherry was black-haired (but could technically count as a brunette).
  • Bottle Episode: The entirety of "Comedy Tonight" takes place at Danny's Pizzeria.
  • Celebrity Paradox:
    • In the pilot episode, the house the Lubbocks move in is described by someone as being like "something out of A Nightmare on Elm Street". Nobody bats an eye at the fact that Marie and Wendy look like Nancy and Debbie respectively from that film series — because they're played by the same actresses.
    • In "Dreamgirls", Wendy fantasizes about watching the Oscars with Kirk Cameron. Cameron played the star of Just the Ten of Us's parent show and his character even had a crush on Wendy during her two- part appearance on that show.
  • Characterization Marches On:
  • Christianity is Catholic: While this is hardly a religious show, this trope is in full swing—the family is Catholic, Coach Lubbock works for a Catholic school, which the girls attend, Elizabeth is often seen crossing herself whenever something upsets her, oldest sister Marie aspires to be a nun, etc.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Marie spends several years wanting to grow up to be a nun. After she starts having serious doubts about that path near the end of the show, she has a period of feeling unsure of what she is good for and what she should do with her life.
  • The Ditz: Unusually, Cindy the redhead, rather than Wendy the blonde (though she had a few ditzy moments herself).
  • Fired Teacher: The series' story began when Coach Lubbock got fired from his teaching job at Dewey High School in Growing Pains.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Justified. While the financially-struggling Lubbocks live in a house in Eureka, California that's big enough to comfortably house ten people, it's explained that the school owns the house and allows the family to use it while Coach Lubbock is working for them. It's also made clear that it isn't the nicest of places—from the very first episode, one of them describes it as being like "something out of A Nightmare on Elm Street". The four oldest sisters share an attic bedroom, son JR shares with his baby brother, and youngest daughter Sherry shares with her baby sister.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager: Wendy and Cindy were frequently preoccupied with boys. Connie and Marie had their moments too.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: Coach Lubbock has eight children. In an episode where they figured into the show it spun off from, Boner was amazed at this, and correctly guessed they were Catholic.
  • No Periods, Period: One adult woman and four teenage girls (Sherry was too young to have started), yet this topic never came up.
  • "No" Means "Yes": After Cindy puts a date in the hospital when he gets fresh with her, she goes to apologize. He mentions several things that she did during their date that made him think that she wanted to make out with him, so he ignored her attempts at rebuffing him. When she hugs him, assuming that they've made amends, he gropes her again and again uses the "you hugged me, so. . ." excuse.
  • Not so Above It All: Prim and proper Marie frequently chastised the boy-crazy Wendy and Cindy, but she had quite a few lustful moments herself.
  • Overprotective Dad: Having four teenage daughters makes this a given. The girls do date, but Graham is very strict and the various male students walk on eggshells around him.
  • Parent ex Machina: The Lubbock parents are rarely seen later on the show, where Coach Lubbock's four eldest daughters replaced him as the primary focus of the show.
  • Playing Gertrude: Then 25-year old JoAnn Willette as the youngest (15) of the teenage girls.
  • Practically Different Generations: Graham and Elizabeth have four teenagers, an 11-year old, an 8-year old, and two babies.
  • Slut-Shaming: The four older girls often do this to each other. Wendy and Marie in particular do this to Cindy when she defends herself from an aggressive date, telling her that things she did—ordering lobster, etc.—indicated that she wanted to make out with him.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: The four teenage daughters wound up getting more stories than their parents.
  • Take That!:
    • In "Dreamgirls", Connie says she'd rather be a novelist than help her sisters become a famous singing group. Wendy says that if Connie gets famous, it will guarantee that anything she writes will be published. To exemplify this, she contemptuously points out how Suzanne Somers published a book of poetry (which Cindy likes but the other sisters view as trash). note 
    • In "Heartbreaker", Wendy says, "I'm not comfortable with dying. That's why I don't watch Pat Sajak." note 
  • Too Dumb to Live: In one episode, the parents learn one of the kids has been smoking and try to figure out which one. Cindy is ruled out pretty quickly, due to a belief she would struggle with the minimal hand/eye coordination that'd be involved. Cindy didn't actually do it, but she's offended by this, so she tries to prove she could do it and fails miserably.
  • Twerp Sweating: In one episode, Wendy recruits a ringer to pass her father's "dinner test", then drive her to meet her real date. All the sisters want to actually date the ringer, as he is played by a young, charming Matthew Perry.
  • The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: All of the daughters of Coach Lubbock. It's not as obvious with the grade-school age one and the one who's still an infant, and more prominent with the boy-crazy two of the four teenaged daughters, but they are all much prettier than one would expect them to be.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Graham and Elizabeth.
  • Vacation Episode: The two-parter "Snow Job" where the four oldest girls go to the Virgin Islands. To wit, the girls had planned to go to a school-sponsored ski trip when they learn that Doosler, bummed that he was unable to secure a spot on the trip, will be spending the weekend at his parents' beach house in the Virgin Islands instead. Wendy, Cindy, and Connie decide to join Doosler "for comfort." Unfortunately, Doosler's parents believe that the three girls "are too sleazy to hang out with", however, his parents love Marie. So Wendy lies to Doosler by saying that Marie has a crush on him. To convince Marie to go with them, Wendy tells her that Doosler is dying of a rare disease. Feeling sorry for Doosler, Marie agrees to go with them to the Virgin Islands.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: The preadolescent Sherry is the third youngest of eight siblings but is assertive, well-read and savvy about the mischief her older sisters get into. She resents not being taken seriously because of her young age and sometimes acts out as a result.
  • Zany Scheme: Frequently invoked by Wendy.