Sometimes we watch a TV show and can’t help but think, “…Wow, what if my relationship with my parents was that effed up.” I’m pretty sure that my first experience with that was watching Helga’s relationship with her parents in Hey Arnold, and since then it has been hard not to identify a dysfunctional parent/child relationship on TV.
Some parents are abusive and some kids want to rebel against their parents’ suffocating, over-protective nature. Either way, it makes for some really messed up episodes that we can’t help but find super memorable. Check out these 10 awful parent/child relationships and see if we included one that stands out for you.
Helga And Her Parents On Hey ArnoldOh, Helga. This was probably my earliest exposure to a dysfunctional family dynamic on TV in which I actually understood as a little kid that something was just wrong. Her parents dote on her perfect, older sister, Olga, and largely neglect Helga's wants and needs. Her mom is heavily implied to be an alcoholic and her dad is an overbearing pain in the ass. No wonder Helga is so angry all the time! Source: Hey Arnold/Nickelodeon
Every Parent On Gossip GirlPoisoning wives, faking deaths, coke binges...yeah, all of the parents on Gossip Girl had some pretty messed up relationships with their kids. And how couldn't they, with all of that going on, on top of the kids' wacky shenanigans? I'm tired just thinking about it. Source: Gossip Girl/CW
Ellie And Her Mom On DegrassiI know, I could have picked Manny and her parents or Craig and his awful, abusive dad. But there's something about Ellie's rocky relationship with her mom that is really distressing as well. Her mother was an alcoholic who almost burned the house down and could have died. I can imagine being Ellie in her situation, especially with her dad in the Army. Rough Source: Degrassi/Teen Nick
Jesse And His Parents On Breaking BadJesse definitely had his problems, and his parents were sympathetic...to a point. You know that things get really tough when you are pretty much straight up disowned from your parents. Source: Breaking Bad/AMC
Meg And Her Parents On Family GuyI sort of hate this show but there's something about Meg's awful relationship with her parents in particular that I find pretty unfunny. I get that everybody hating Meg is a big shtick on the show, but it gets so exhausting. Source: Family Guy/Fox
Kim And Her Mom On Freaks And GeeksNo wonder Kim didn't want anybody hanging out at her place. Her family was a mess, especially her mom who seems to find nothing better to do that criticize and berate her daughter. Source: Freaks And Geeks/Fox
Timmy Turner And His Parents On Fairly Odd ParentsOkay, I love The Fairly Odd Parents and the parents crack me up...but their relationship with Timmy sorta sucks. Yeah, they love him and all but they are so neglectful! Source: The Fairly Odd Parents/Nickelodeon
Marissa And Her Mom On The OCWow, where to begin with these two? Marissa has her fair share of problems, but you can guarentee that an already turbulent mother/daughter relationship is going to end badly when the mom starts sleeping with the daughter's ex...which is exactly what happened on The OC. Source: The OC/Fox
Nathan And Lucas' Father On One Tree HillAbusive? Check. Emotionally manipulative? Check. Overall a-hole? Big ol' check. With a dad like that it's no surprise that the relationship is so strained. Source: One Tree Hill/CW
A Bunch Of Parents And Their Kids On SkinsWow, where do I even begin with the dysfunctional parent/child relationships on Skins. There was Sid and his parents...Cassie and her parents...Effy and her's. Oh, and there was Cook and his parents, and Freddie and his dad...and Nick/Matty and their ridiculous father...Alo and his parents...Grace and her dad. Everybody had whack relationships with their parents on this show, wow. Source: Skins/E4
Which relationships didn’t make it on the list? Do any of these relationships remind you of the one you have with your parents? Tell us in the comments!