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The sitcom Growing Pains focuses on the fictional Seaver family living on Long Island. The show is appropriate for younger audiences while still being entertaining for older viewers. It starts off with Jason; the father of the family who has recently moved his psychology practice home to enable his wife, Maggie to go back to work as a reporter for a local newspaper.

The series starts out with common mishaps and adventures that happen to the Seaver family. It explores the difficulties Jason has adjusting to working at home while caring for the couple's three children. Mike, the oldest is a fifteen year old prankster who is constantly in trouble and trying to get away with anything he can. Carol, the middle child and only girl is a shy bookworm. Youngest child Ben seems to have the most difficulty with his mom going back to work. Maggie also struggles being away from her children. She finds that she and her husband often have very differing parenting techniques as to how much freedom the children should have.

The series follows the changes each child goes through as they grow and learn. Mike goes from irresponsible teen to trying to decide which direction to take in life. Carol struggles to overcome her social anxieties and even dabbles in some of the same mischief her brothers are always in trouble for. Ben continues to be somewhat precocious and make sure his voice is heard despite being the youngest of the family.

The first part of the fourth season the Seavers welcome new baby Chrissy into their family. She is reintroduced the next season considerably older than the previous season. She is shown to be an imaginative and playful child, often giving her big brother Ben a run for his money.

As the series progresses and the children grow the show took on some more serious issues such as drunk driving, death and abuse. During the seventh and final season the Seavers take in a homeless boy named Luke. The role of Luke is played by then unknown Leonardo DiCaprio.

ABC
7 Seasons, 166 Episodes - Canceled
September 24, 1985
Comedy, Drama
6.6/10
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Growing Pains Full Episode Guide

  • In this flashback-filled episode, Maggie stuns her family with the news of an amazing job offer in Washington D.C. The entire family is supportive of the move, except for Ben, who refuses to leave the house he grew up in.

  • A power failure leaves Maggie and Jason stuck in traffic, while Ben is babysitting his little sister, Chrissy, who is afraid of the dark. Mike and Kate are also trapped with Carol and Dwight and the two pairs begin to get on each others nerves.

  • Maggie, who feels that she hasn't accomplished as much as she had hoped to by this point in her life, decides to fulfill a long-time dream of hers- climbing a mountain.

  • When Luke finds out about his father's serious condition, he decides to join his father on the road and says his goodbyes to the Seaver family.

  • Mike isn't happy with the impression his best friend, Eddie, is having on Luke. Meanwhile, Ben shoots a video of the family to send to Carol, who is off studying in London.

  • When Ben is being tormented by a fellow classmate, he decides to take up karate to give his self-confidence a little boost.

  • Ben is outraged when he learns that the girl he wanted to take to the dance is going with Luke.

  • When Luke is grounded for violating curfew, it's Mike who takes the blame when Luke still disobeys his punishment.

  • When Luke meets up with an old friend, Barney, he is invited into the Seaver home to celebrate Luke's birthday. But Luke soon learns that his friend isn't all that he seems when he discovers Barney stealing from the Seavers.

  • Ben has plans to take a college entrance exam, but when he overhears his father say that he isn't smart, his feelings are hurt and he gives up on the test.

  • When Mike learns that Luke's birth father is in town and wants his son back, he keeps this from Luke and devises a plan to get the man to change his mind and leave town. His plan works, but then Mike realizes that isn't fair to Luke to keep him from seeing his father, so he allows Luke meet with him and decide what he would like to do for himself.

  • When Maggie's mother wants to sell her house and move to Florida, Maggie pays one last visit to the house she grew up in, where she is then flooded with old memories of her childhood and her parents.

  • For her column, Maggie must test out a vacuum cleaner and write a review on the product. When Ben accidentally destroys the cleaner and doesn't tell her about it, she wrongly accuses the company of misleading consumers in their advertisements.

  • Chrissy refuses to go to bed because she is convinced that the real fun around the house takes place after she falls asleep. Jason comes up with a plan to let her stay up the entire night so that she can see for herself that it's business as usual. However, he picked the worst possible night to do this when the worst luck ever practically turns the Seaver home into a carnival.

  • Maggie and Carol go to a resort for the weekend, leaving Jason and the boys home alone. Their fun-filled weekend comes to a screeching halt, however, when Chrissy is sent home from school with a bad case of head lice.

  • When it is discovered that Jason has a hernia and must undergo surgery, he leaves the boys in charge of organizing his psychiatric banquet. A week after the surgery, when Jason accidentally takes too many pain killers, he makes a fool out of himself at the banquet as everyone gets to see a side of Dr. Jason Seaver that they've never seen before.

  • Luke isn't too happy when the Seavers find the perfect family to take in Luke. Meanwhile, Mike's character in the soap opera "Big City Secrets" has finally woken up from his coma, which means that Mike will now have actual lines on the show. His big day is ruined though, when he learns that Luke plans to run away, and he has to go stop him.

  • When Maggie and Jason are both offered columns in the "Long Island Sentinel", they soon learn that the newspaper only has the budget to take on one new column and the two are forced to battle it out to see who can write the better column and get the job.

  • Mike discovers that one of his best students, Luke Brower, is homeless and living in the school basement. He tries to help the boy, but ends up making matters worse. Meanwhile, Maggie who has prepared a dinner for Mike's girlfriend, Kate, grows frustrated when she learns of her strict diet.

  • When Ben wishes that life were more like a sitcom, his wish comes true and he wakes up to find his "family" are simply actors on the show "Meet the Seavers".

  • His parents fume when they learn that Mike hasn't been attending any of his classes, and has instead been working as a singing waiter trying to get his acting career started. When Mike learns how little job security there is in the career of acting, he takes his parents advice of having a backup career, and resumes classes at school.

  • To ease the mind of Maggie, who is still grieving over her father, Jason takes her on a surprise vacation to Hawaii. Her father's death has really opened her eyes, and Maggie begins to question herself as to how much time they have left on this earth, and if the children have even learned anything at all from them. Meanwhile, Mike and Carol, who are left in charge of the house, learn that watching over Ben and Chrissy is a lot harder than they expected.

  • Maggie's father, Ed, pays a visit to the Seavers to tell Maggie that he is dying.

  • Ben convinces his father to chip in $2,000 and go into business with him as co-manager of a rap group called "The Fresh Kids".

  • Mike accompanies Jason to a family communication seminar, where the two get into a big argument. However, after talking it out, the two realize that they both have more in common than they had thought.

  • Mike is shocked when the date of his best friend, Eddie, is none other than Mike's ex-girlfriend, Kate McDonnel.

  • Chirssy, who is feeling neglected by her big brother, Mike, creates an imaginary friend named Ike. This however, worries Maggie, even though everyone keeps assuring her that it's normal behavior.

  • Mike and Amy meet up again, after the two have had spent the previous night in uncomfortable situations. They use their smarts and end up successfully reaching Paris, but just in time for the vacation to end. Meanwhile, Jason tries to a cheer up a hospitalized Maggie.

  • Still lost, Mike and Amy continue to reach Paris using a series of different methods, but eventually a frustrated Amy just runs off and deserts Mike. Meanwhile, after Jason learns that his wife, Maggie, has appendicitis she is forced to spend the rest of the vacation in a hospital bed.

  • Mike, who is working for a travel agency, manages to sell his parents a romantic trip to Paris where they will spend their anniversary. Mike also wins a free European tour for his selling efforts. However, Mike and a girl he meets, Amy, end up getting lost in Spain.

  • When a severe storm leaves the Seavers stranded at home on Halloween night, the family decides to make the best of the situation and spends the night telling ghost stories.

  • When Maggie and Jason learn that Ben has had a girlfriend for over a month and hasn't ever mentioned her to them, they confront him and demand an explanation.

  • As an easy way to meet women, Mike goes along with Eddie to a "Parents Without Mates" meeting. When he falls for a single mother, Rachel, he recruits Chrissy to pretend to be his son.

  • Mike and Carol find an apartment and move in together as they settle into New York City life. Meanwhile, Maggie and Jason try to figure out how they can get their children to return home.

  • Mike is having a hard time adjusting to New York City life as he is broke, homeless and tired. Meanwhile, back at home, Carol also has a fight with her parents. With a blank check, she leaves home as well and eventually meets up with Mike.

  • When Mike's father gives him an ultimatum and tells him that he must go to school if he intends to live at home, Mike heads to New York to pursue his acting career.

Most Popular Growing Pains Episodes

  • Season 7 Episode 24 The Last Picture Show (2) 4/25/1992
  • Season 7 Episode 18 The Five Fingers of Ben 2/22/1992
  • Season 2 Episode 5 Employee of the Month 11/18/1986

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