Mike Judge's next animated series after King of the Hill. Just as KotH was a parody of straitlaced conservative Middle America, The Goode Family skewers the other side of the political spectrum (liberal, politically correct West Coast America), as exemplified by the titular family of liberals who do their best to maintain political correctness in all facets of their lifestyle, as difficult as it can be at times.
The family consists of Gerald, a community college professor; Helen, a self-proclaimed activist; Bliss, their snarky teenage daughter, and Ubuntu, their adopted African son who turned out to be a white South African. Other characters include Che, the family dog whom they raised as a vegan (but who often sneaks out to eat wild animals and neighborhood pets), and Charlie, Helen's sarcastic father who doesn't approve of their lifestyle.
Originally airing on ABC, it was canceled during its only season. Comedy Central aired reruns of the show, but it failed there as well. It can now be seen in reruns on Amazon Prime Video, NBC's new streaming service, Peacock; and TubiTV.
This show provides examples of:
- The Ace: Ubuntu parodies this.
- Animation Bump: Seth Kearsley's episodes have more fluid animation than the rest of the series.
- Black Comedy Animal Cruelty: The Goodes constantly give their pet dog Che only vegan food, despite the fact that canines are carnivores. As a result, Che is always malnourished and hunting down anything that's meat.
- Butch Lesbian: Mo and Trish in "A Tale of Two Lesbians".
- Comically Missing the Point: With the possible exception of Bliss, none of the Goodes realize that Che doesn't like being a vegan, or that dogs are natural carnivores.note
- Dating What Daddy Hates: Bliss tries this to scare Helen and Gerald into letting her date the boy she's actually interested in; it backfires...spectacularly.
- Deadpan Snarker: Bliss. She gets it from her grandpa.
- Distaff Counterpart: Penny is essentially Bill Dauterive if he were a pathetic, single woman.
- Evil Counterpart: Kent to Gerald. While Gerald is simply well-meaning and misguided, Kent is self-serving and unethical.
- Expy: As Hank Hill is to Tom Anderson, Gerald is to Van Driessen, as both are protagonists who are blatantly expies of side-characters from Mike Judge's breakthrough series Beavis and Butt-Head.Hank/Gerald: The dogged protagonist who stubbornly and naively sticks to a very narrow, impractical lifestyle.Peggy/Helen: His clingy, social-climbing wife.Bobby/Ubuntu: A well-meaning son who disappoints his father (Hank wanted Bobby to be an athletic man's man, whereas Gerald and Helen expected Ubuntu to be an adopted black African child instead of an white South African).Luanne/Bliss: A daughter-figure who doesn't fit in with the family (Luanne because she was a ditzy redneck's daughter who tried to better herself; Bliss because of her materialism)Ladybird/Che: The dog who's far less remarkable than the owners think them to be. The only difference is that Hank is protective of Ladybird, while the Goode constantly makes Che go on a vegan diet to the point of making their dog malnourished.Cotton/Charlie: the overbearing, culturally backwards father-in-law. Both are rude to their child and their child's spouse while nicer to their grandchildren (or infant child in Cotton's case).Buck Strickland/Kent Jenson: The underhanded boss who exploits the main character's naive work ethic.Kahn/Margo: The shrill, affluent neighbor who looks down on the other neighbors.Bill/Penny: The single, childless neighbor who constantly laments on how lonely they are.
- Friendly Enemy: The ending to Trouble In Store shows that Helen and Margo, while always rivals, aren't always malicious about it.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: Bliss. Sure, she's a snarker, but she genuinely loves her family and isn't shy about saying so.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Two cases: Ubuntu & Bliss (non-romantic), and Ubuntu & Tanya (romantic).
- Margo. Seriously, the girl has one hell of a chip on her shoulder.
- Charlie. Even though he's nice to Bliss and Ubuntu, he has some really cringe-worthy moments with Helen and Gerald.
- Lipstick Lesbian: Suki and Jennifer, who are also of the Straight Gay variety.
- Nice Guy: Gerald. Despite being portrayed as very misguided, he's an otherwise decent person who is incapable of holding a grudge (even when he knows the offender really deserves otherwise).
- Only Sane Man: Bliss, although she's also implied to be conceited and greedy.
- Pet the Dog: Despite treating Helen like crap, Charlie was concerned enough to bring over some pain medication when she injured her back.
- Political Correctness Gone Mad: The entire joke of the series, as the Goodes practically want everything to be in their politically-correct, left-wing viewpoints.
- Rule of Funny: It's odd that Ubuntu has a very much African-sounding name, since white Africans are ethnically Dutch, but otherwise the gag about his being adopted wouldn't have worked (the Goodes thought they were adopting a black African child, going only off his name).
- Sadistic Choice: Helen forgets her reuseable grocery bags one day and has a minor freakout when the clerk asks her "Paper or plastic?" because she can't figure out which one is less bad for the environment. (She eventually decides not to bag her groceries at all.)
- Spiritual Antithesis: This show satirizes the opposite side of the political spectrum from King of the Hill, parodying liberals instead of conservatives.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: Che goes off his enforced vegan diet surprisingly often.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: A daughter example with Helen and her father, Charlie.