TV Families Who Couldn't Stand Each Other In Real Life

Blood runs thicker than water, unless it happens to be prop blood. Everybody wishes that their favorite TV families are just as loving and supportive off-camera as they are on-camera, but this is not always the case. Often enough, the actors playing beloved siblings, parents, and even pets have no sense of kinship at all.

Not only in the little-known shows are there disagreements — even big-name productions like "The Brady Bunch" have had their fair share of sibling rivalry. Some names on this list may be surprising.

The reasons for these actors' feuds are many: contract negotiations gone wrong, inappropriate behavior out in the real world, or a plain old distaste for one another. Surely everyone can attest to having one coworker they can't stand but have to pretend to like at meetings. The same can be said for the actors of TV's favorite families — only the stakes are much higher and the pretending is (usually) much harder to detect. So raise a glass to the performances of these TV family actors who couldn't stand each other out in the real world.

A Bunch of Bradys bickering

It wasn't all lovely ladies with golden curls on the set of "The Brady Bunch," especially when sisters Marcia and Jan Brady — played by Maureen McCormick and Eve Plumb, respectively — were shooting together. McCormick said in her 2009 memoir, "Here's the Story," that Plumb "resented me for getting too much attention" during their days on set.

Whatever bickering began on set in the '70s only became worse as the kids grew up. Susan Olsen — who played the third Brady sister, Cindy — recounted for Fox News in 2009 that McCormick and Plumb were no longer on speaking terms, saying "whenever we get together for any project there will only be one or the other." Olsen attributed this rift to "[McCormick's] tiresome and false insinuations that [her and Plumb] had a lesbian affair." This alleged connection between Plumb and McCormick was hinted at in McCormick's memoir, and it ruined the next ten years of Brady family reunions.

Fortunately, like most Brady stories, this one has a happy ending. The onscreen sisters had a chance to settle their squabble in an HGTV miniseries called "A Very Brady Renovation." In the series, some of the Brady family came together to renovate the interior of the actual house depicted in exterior shots of "The Brady Bunch" (per E! Online). Plumb told E! of seeing McCormick and the rest of the Brady castmates that "It's so nice to reconnect with people that you care about."

Charlie Sheen cried out against Jon Cryer

Who could forget the public spectacle that was Charlie Sheen's exit from "Two and a Half Men"? It should come as no surprise that Sheen's bright fire burned a few bridges along the way, but which bridges exactly?

The exact timeline of Sheen's departure from the show is unclear, but it undeniably reached a head when he interviewed with Alex Jones about show creator Chuck Lorre, calling him a "clown" among other things you will have to read for yourself (reported by TMZ). Shortly after this interview, Sheen was fired from "Two and a Half Men."

The punches don't stop there. After his firing, Sheen went on to tell E! News that co-star Jon Cryer was "... a turncoat, a traitor, [and] a troll." Cryer, who played Sheen's brother on the show, apparently had not been outspoken enough in favor of Sheen after his firing. Sheen also claimed that Cryer had not reached out to him, although Cryer said otherwise.

It would seem that there are no hard feelings too tough to forgive among family, even on TV. Lorre later told Entertainment Tonight (per ABC News) that he "never felt like he was in a feud" with Sheen. "I loved the guy," Lorre said. Cryer had a more mixed reflection on his time with Sheen. In an excerpt from his 2015 memoir shared with The Hollywood Reporter, Cryer said that "while being a gifted actor and a remarkably smart man," Sheen was not the "rebel" outlets made him out to be. Rather, he "was simply lashing out at the people who told him the party was over."

Shannen Doherty didn't find Alyssa Milano charming

"Charmed" was anything but, at least behind the scenes. If anything, this 2000s drama about three magical sisters was somewhat cursed. Shannen Doherty starred as one of the Halliwell sisters alongside Alyssa Milano, and the two grew to have a real-life beef so big it led to Doherty's departure from the show.

Regarding their time on set, Milano said to E! Online that "There were times when I'd come in and say, 'Good morning, Shannen,' and she didn't say anything to me ... [and] there were times when [Doherty would] come in and say, 'Good morning, Alyssa,' and I wouldn't say anything to her." Sounds like typical sisterly drama, truth be told. But to Doherty, the routine silent treatments were not worth the paycheck. "I'm 30 years old," Doherty told Entertainment Tonight (per US Magazine). "I don't have time for drama in my life anymore."

With any family infighting, time passes, people grow, there are regrets, and (hopefully) there are amends. Referring to her time working with Doherty, Milano later admitted to Entertainment Tonight that she "can take responsibility for a lot of our tension." Likewise, Doherty has seemed to let bygones be bygones. In an interview on "Sway in the Morning," she said, "Are there times that were rough? Yeah. ... Eh, sometimes you don't always get along with a person — twenty-four-seven — that you work with."

Urkel irking the Winslows

While Steve Urkel technically shared no blood relation to the Winslow family in the classic sitcom "Family Matters," he was over at the Winslow house and annoying the family often enough to earn an honorary spot at the table. Surprisingly, the irate responses to Urkel by Carl and Harriette Winslow may not have been far from the truth.

On an episode of TVOne's "Uncensored," Jaleel White — who played Urkel — rehashed some of the early tension between himself and the older actors on the set of "Family Matters." In that interview, per Deadline, White said he "was not welcomed to the cast at all." Originally, the Urkel character "was supposed to be a guest spot," and the older actors bristled when the network shifted much of the show's focus over to White's character.

Reporting the same interview, Entertainment Weekly drew special attention to a story White shared about an interaction during filming with Reginald VelJohnson and Jo Marie Payton, who played the Winslow parents. During one episode, White had to put on a dress, and the two older actors pressured him against wearing it. They "were very sensitive to putting Black men in dresses," according to White.

But over time, the familiarity among the cast improved. White recalls how VelJohnson and Payton "helped foster a more harmonious environment" in the later seasons. Isn't that the best any family — real or fictitious — can hope for?

Emmy Rossum's shame

It may come as no surprise to fans of "Shameless" that the show's quarrelsome Gallagher family had some tiffs off-camera. What may be surprising is that the actors' disagreements were rather low-key in real life, especially compared with some of the ostensibly happier TV families on this list. 

In fact, the tension among "Shameless" cast members was subdued, and aired in shady side comments rather than grandiose public statements. In an episode of the "Call Her Daddy" podcast, Emma Kenney — who played Rossum's onscreen sister Debbie Gallagher — said of Rossum's departure from the show after its ninth season, "The set became a more positive place" (per Entertainment Weekly). Before Rossum left, Kenney recalls "go[ing] to set some days and I'd be very anxious having a scene with her because if she had a bad day, she made it a bad day for everybody." Rossum had no comment. Talk about shameless.

Patti LuPone's groans

Before she started lunching with the ladies in a "Company" revival on Broadway, Patti LuPone played Libby Thatcher on the sitcom "Life Goes On," a show following a Chicago family as they roll with the punches of life. Notably, this TV family's son Corky Thatcher, played by Chris Burke, was the first character on primetime television with Down syndrome to be played by an actor with Down syndrome.

When it wasn't breaking barriers, however, the show was breaking LuPone's capacity for patience. She starred alongside Bill Smitrovich, a real thorn in her side, who played family patriarch Drew Thatcher. In her 2011 memoir, LuPone describes how by the show's fourth season, she and Smitrovich were "no longer on speaking terms" and adds, "we kissed, we hugged, and when the director yelled 'Cut' we never even looked at each other." Perhaps this is why the show didn't make it to Season 5.

They got one thing right, though: life goes on, whether or not two people make up. In an interview with Connecticut Magazine, Smitrovich spoke about his time working with LuPone and mused, "I think she was upset to have second billing to me, I mean, who am I?" He didn't want to put all the blame on her, but in reference to LuPone's penchant for the dramatic, he said "Patti has a history." Oh-la-la.

The Fresh Prince got fresh with Aunt Viv

On TV, Aunt Vivian may have had the run of the mansion, but in real life Will Smith was definitely the top dog on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." Some may recall the jarring recasting of Aunt Viv, originally played by Jane Hubert, in the show's third season. Behind the scenes, the transition was just as jarring for the cast.

In an interview with WABC's "Here & Now," Hubert shared the story of her departure from "Fresh Prince." She explained that she was not fired; rather, she rejected her contract renewal in the hopes that the network would return with a better offer. Instead, they replaced her — but she wasn't surprised. In her eyes, the production team seemed to have it out for her. "They told me I had to go into my dressing room in between takes because I wasn't laughing at Will's jokes," Hubert shared. She even went as far as suggesting that "The cast was offered money to take me down."

Hubert had a chance to confront Smith on a "Fresh Prince" reunion, hosted by HBO Max. As The Washington Post reports, she didn't hold back, telling Smith "It was you who banished me." After she shared her side, he offered an apology. Reflecting back on the experience in a "Red Table Talk" interview, Smith recounted how he was "shaking" during their conversation. Commenting on Hubert's pain, he insisted, "My life and career is centered on ... trying to make people feel the opposite." Hopefully, like in the sitcom, Smith makes the best of this second chance.

Andy Griffith couldn't stand to be with Bee

It would be easy to romanticize an iconic piece of old Hollywood TV like "The Andy Griffith Show." (In a sense, series lead Andy Griffith wanted that romantic feeling. "It was of a time gone by," Griffith said in a "Today Show" interview.) But some things have always been true, including things like on-set drama.

For the most part, the set of Mayberry seems to have been as blissful as the show made it seem. The one bit of trouble in paradise came from the difficult relationship between Griffith and castmate Frances Bavier, who played Griffith's onscreen aunt and housekeeper. Recalling his time on the set as Opie Taylor, Ron Howard said in a "Television Academy" interview that Bavier probably did not feel "a part of what these boys were up to and their shenanigans," referring to Griffith and castmate Don Knotts' bantering.

While the cast has managed to keep relatively tight-lipped about any unpleasant past feelings, Griffith revealed some of the story of his relationship with Bavier in an interview with Ralph Emery from "On the Record" (per Country Rebel). "She wasn't always in real great shape, emotionally," Griffith recalled from their time on the show. But toward the end of Bavier's life, Griffith called and made amends. "I hadn't talked to her in a long time ... She said, 'I'm sorry we didn't get along better ... It was my fault.'" Hopefully clearing the air gave Bavier some amount of final peace.

The slap and the curse of Diff'rent Strokes

Gary Coleman probably would have uttered his classic "Whatchu talkin' 'bout, Willis" catchphrase had he not been speechless after Todd Bridges slapped him. It's hard to feel bad, though, knowing that Coleman cast the first palm. Bridges, who played Willis Jackson on "Diff'rent Strokes," recounted the story of the backstage fight in his 2010 autobiography "Killing Willis." A 2010 Village Voice review of the book explains how Bridges felt that Coleman was getting too egotistic as his character Arnold gained popularity among fans. In the autobiography, Bridges describes an argument between himself and Coleman. When Coleman "didn't have a comeback ... he slapped me. ... I slapped him back."

Unlike some of these feuds, this one does not have the chance for a reconciliation. USA Today documents well what is known as the "Diff'rent Strokes" curse. Each of the three young leads — Bridges, Coleman, and Dana Plato — struggled with their fame after the show's conclusion. Plato died of an overdose in 1999, and Coleman passed in 2010 after enduring financial struggles that led to his declaring bankruptcy. Bridges, who dealt with a drug addiction, is now the only surviving member of the original main cast. He is doing better though, having said in an interview on "The Dr. Oz Show" (per the aforementioned USA Today article) that he "love[s] life now" and adding, "Life is the best thing in the world."

A cast feud so bad they had to change the show's title

Many will remember Roseanne Barr's explosive exit from the revival of her sitcom "Roseanne" in 2018. Even the New York Times was talking about it. A quick summary: Roseanne tweeted about former Obama Administration advisor Valerie Jarrett linking her to "planet of the apes," and she was fired by ABC for the racist remark. The rest of the cast narrowly avoided a complete cancellation of the show by rebranding as the spinoff "The Conners."

In response to the tweet, co-star Sara Gilbert, who played Roseanne's daughter Darlene, made a tweet of her own. Gilbert said "Roseanne's recent comments about Valerie Jarrett, and so much more, are abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show." (per The Guardian). The Guardian reports Barr's response in a Washington Post interview, where she said Gilbert "destroyed the show and my life with that tweet."

Despite the rocky start, "The Conners" went on to flourish on ABC. It would seem that, just like in real life, some family disputes are irreconcilable. Those ones also usually end with changed last names.

The dog-eat-dog atmosphere on the set of Frasier

A far cry from these other examples, the cast of "Frasier" appears to have been entirely amicable with one another. The human cast, that is.

What some fans may not know is that the Frasier family pup, Eddie, was actually played by two different dogs. Originally, Moose played the role of Eddie, but he came to share the role with his son Enzo as he got older.

Often enough, family and business just don't mix, and that was certainly true on the set of "Frasier." In an interview on the show "Animal Magnetism," Enzo's trainer, Mathilde DeCagny, shared that "Moose and Enzo's relationship is so bad that they can't even be in the same room together." Moose may be more to blame, though. DeCagny explained that before Moose was an actor, his owners gave him up because "he had been nothing else but a terror." The interviewers smartly connected the bristling relationship of Moose and Enzo to the equally difficult relationship of father-son duo Frasier and Martin Crane on the show.

Sadly, Enzo and Moose have both passed. Now that their on-set dog days are over, hopefully they've had a chance to reconcile in doggy heaven.