One of the big gimmicks of the show was the constant Fourth Wall breaking and having a character go into a white void to confess something to the audience.
The family members were:
- David: Father and husband, lazy, loud and obnoxious.
- Vicky: Mother and wife, pretty much the Straight Woman.
- Hillary: The oldest child and typical 17-year-old daughter who dates.
- Larry: The middle child at 16, a rather geeky effeminate boy, who Dave thinks is gay, but is actually heterosexual.
- Mike: The youngest child at 14; he is the snarker among the children.
Of note was the recurring character Kenny, Larry's best friend, who had a crush on Larry and came out in the second season.
This show provides examples of:
- A Man Is Always Eager: Subverted! When the Golds leave Kenny alone at home with his boyfriend Dylan, Dave has to have "the talk" with Kenny because, he reasons, men are animals and a man, unlike a woman, is never going to say "no". But when Kenny is finally alone with Dylan, he immediately blurts out he doesn't want to have sex with him and that he's a virgin. Dylan admits the situation is new to him too and also doesn't want to have sex yet. They wind up watching The Lord of the Rings together instead.
- Adult Fear: One episode revolves around Dave freaking out over the coming effects of global warming and going to ridiculous extents to make his kids use less electricity. Vicky eventually figures out he's actually just projecting his own fears of the kids growing up and becoming independent.
- All the Good Men Are Gay: Hilary eventually discovers this about Kenny.
- Bratty Teenage Daughter: Hilary
- Camp Straight: Larry, the middle son, alarms his Archie Bunker-like father with his non-macho behavior, such as participating in the school musical and dressing as a woman (although most of his schemes are attempts to get girls), and he suspects that he and his nerdy best friend, Kenny, are more than friends. Turns out Larry's straight... but Kenny ain't.
- Coming-Out Story: Kenny. Note that this is to the other characters only - we know from his very first inner monologue that he accepts himself as gay and is not "confused" or questioning and doesn't go on a journey of self-discovery.
- D-Cup Distress: Hilary is suffering A-Cup Angst, wishing that she had larger breasts like her mother. Mom says that having big breasts is a pain in the back, literally.
- Deadpan Snarker: The whole family, though Dave does it the most.
- Entendre Failure
- Friend or Idol Decision: Larry has to decide between Kenny or the poem he took from Kenny that he said he made himself.
- Freudian Excuse: It was revealed that the reason why Dave acts like a jerk is because his father badgered him.
- Gay Aesop: About Kenny
- Jerkass: Dave
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Again, Dave.
- Last Het Romance: While Kenny was living with the Golds, his date Dylan stops by, which leads to hilarity, as Hilary discovers that it's her ex-boyfriend.Hillary: Wait wait wait, you mean my Dylan, is now your Dylan?David: Who knew Hilary? You're the Gaymaker. The last stop on the train to Gay-ville. Sprinkle on a little Hilary, and (waves hand) HELLO!
- Middle Child Syndrome: Larry
- Mistaken for Gay: Larry, by his own parents. At first it's just Dave who thinks Larry is gay while Vicky maintains that he's not. Then they see him kiss someone who they think is a boy but is actually a very tomboyish girl. Hilarity Ensues.
- Nerd: Larry
- Nice Guy: Larry
- Only Sane Woman: Vicky.
- Papa Wolf: Dave may be a jerkass, but he deeply loves his kids and will do anything to protect them.
Hillary: Welcome to the family.
- Likewise he lets Kenny stay with them after he's thrown out of his home and later when a boy shows up to take Kenny on a date, Dave immediately tells him to take a hike because he thinks he's not good enough.
- Pedophile Priest: Played with, one episode has Mike convinced that the local priest was a pedophile, so he attempts to seduce him so he can report him to the cops.
- Prom Is for Straight Kids: Kenny, after finally came out of the closet, he decided to go to prom with his boyfriend Dylan, but the school wouldn't allow it. This manages to get to the local news, only to lead to him getting taken by Child Services, seeing as the Golds weren't his actual parents.
- Shotgun Wedding: A flashback reveals this happened to Dave and Vicky when she got pregnant with Hilary; the flashback shows the two crying miserably while staring at a positive pregnancy test and Dave depressedly asking if Vicky wants to marry him.
- The Talk: Kenny has a date, and since he is currently living with the Golds, he gets the Talk from David. It leads to this Breaking the Fourth Wall moment:
- (both David and Kenny at the same time):"This is the most uncomfortable conversation in my entire life."
- There Is Only One Bed: Dave, Larry and Kenny stay in a motel room with only two beds. Dave ends up sleeping on the floor because he doesn't want Kenny sleeping with neither Larry nor himself.
- Token Minority: Kenny, being the token Middle Eastern character, as well as the Token gay character.
- Transparent Closet: Kenny. The only one who doesn't know, naturally, is his best friend and crush Larry, though even Larry notices his "gay" mannerisms and will comment on them from time to time.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Dave.
- White Void Room: All the main characters take a turn at talking to the audience in one of these.
- You Can't Go Home Again: Once again, Kenny. Subverted. His mother eventually knocks some sense into his father.
Did you know there was a character named Kenny in this?