Growing Pains is an American television sitcom.  


The Seaver family resides at 15 Robin Hood lane in Massapequa, Long Island, New York. Dr. Jason Seaver (Alan Thicke), a psychiatrist, works from home because his wife, Maggie (Joanna Kerns), has gone back to work as a reporter. Jason has to take care of the kids: ladies man Mike (Kirk Cameron), bookish honors student Carol (Tracey Gold), and rambunctious Ben (Jeremy Miller).

Later on a fourth child, Chrissy Seaver (twins Kelsey and Kirsten DohringAshley Johnson) is born. Homeless teen Luke Brower (Leonardo DiCaprio) is brought into the Seaver family to live with them.


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Elizabeth Ward played Carol in the unaired original pilot. Gold’s family ended their vacation early in order to get Tracey back to audition once the show decided to go in a different direction with casting the Seavers' eldest daughter. Gold wasn't optimistic about her chances, since the producers had rejected her the first time around.

Growing Pains spawned the spin-off series, Just the Ten of Us, which featured Coach Graham Lubbock (Bill Kirchenbauer), Mike and Carol's gym teacher, moving to California with his large family to teach at an all-boys Catholic school after he was fired from Thomas Dewey High School.

Kirk Cameron and wife, Chelsea Noble met when they guest starred on another ABC series, Full House, which co-starred Kirk's sister, Candace Cameron-Bure.

There were four renditions of the theme song. Initially, sang it solo. Later a track recorded by was overlaid to create a duet. Springfield's track was replaced by version following her successful duet with on the (1987) soundtrack. The final season featured an a cappella version. A single episode in Season 6 (Ep. 19) also had the opening theme song sung by Mike and his fellow singing waiters, Broadway-style.

In 1990 the producers chose to "leap" the character of Chrissy five years, and she suddenly became seven years old.

The character Jason Seaver was ranked #37 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" (20 June 2004 issue).

Kirk Cameron and Tracy Gold played siblings in McDonald's commercial before they played siblings on Growing Pains

Kirk Cameron has denied allegations that he had Julie McCullough fired from the series, referring to such reports as gossip. According to Cameron, Mike and Julie's romance was only meant to be fling, and that Mike being in a permanent or committed relationship such as marriage would be too out of character for him, and would prove to be a dead end for the series. Producers back Cameron's claim also noting that Julie McCullough's casting was only as guest star status, and was never a member of the regular cast, nor intended or planned to be. 

The video portion of the theme featured five different variations; season 1 had artwork from various eras (Egyptian, Renaissance, Victorian, etc.) with the cast names superimposed; season 2 had clips of season 1; season three showed real-life photos of the cast when they were younger, and always had Thicke standing alone at the end of the song, then running to catch up with other cast members; season four and five had a different cast member linger in front of the camera before running for other cast members; seasons six and seven featured a professional family photo before and after the credits.

The family's last name was Seaver and they had neighbors named Koosman. Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman were teammates on the New York Mets during the '60s and '70s. The show takes place on Long Island so it's likely that the creators were Mets fans.

The Season 2 episode "Fast Times at Dewey High" was edited on the Disney Channel and on ABC Family because the original episode plays Honeymoon Suites' "Bad Attitude". Disney edited the part out due to not wanting to pay royalties and ABC Family did it for time constraints. Ironically enough in Season 4, Ben has a Honeymoon Suite record in his room and Alan Thicke had the band on his show "Thicke of the Night" and was a big fan of theirs as they were fellow Canadians.

Rival network NBC poked fun at Growing Pains on their show Golden Girls in the episode "Family Affair" with Dorothy claiming "I can't believe Alan Thicke has a hit series".

K.C. Martel (Eddie Ziff) claimed Kirk Cameron tried to convert him to Christianity and Martel said that his relationship with Cameron strained after Cameron's conversion to Christianity as Martel is an atheist as was Alan Thicke.

Jeremy Miller (Ben Seaver) says that Kirk Cameron and Leonardo DiCaprio didn't get along at all.

Dan Lauria got the part on the Wonder Years because he was dating Joanna Kerns at the time.

Gordon Jump, who played Maggie's father, was only twenty years older than Joanna Kerns, and less than forty years older than his TV Grandchildren Tracey Gold and Kirk Cameron.

The Seavers lived on Long Island in New York. They traveled into NYC in many episodes and when Mike and Boner went to spy on Coach Lubbock when he got fired, they went to his apartment by JFK.

Maggie was 34 years old during season 1, Michael was 14, She had him while she was 20 years old. Which is the same in real life as Kirk Cameron's mother Barbara had him at that age.

Disney Channel aired the series between 1997-2000. Select episodes didn't air due to its adult themes such as the Pilot episode (Mike getting arrested) Extra Lap (mild swearing and dealing with death) Thank God it's Friday (Cocaine Use/Swearing) and select episodes in later seasons because of premarital sex, drunk driving, mild swearing etc. 

Howard Stern has publicly criticized the show and Kirk Cameron in particular calling him a "Fake Christian" and slamming the Left Behind films Cameron starred in.

Bruce Willis, a movie star at the time, was considered for the role of Jason Seaver.

Kirk Cameron's sister Candace Cameron Bure appeared on a couple of episodes playing a classmate of Ben's, before her memorable role on Full House.

Future Friends star, Matthew Perry appeared in the 1988-89 season as Carol's boyfriend Sandy. After a handful of episodes, Sandy dies from injuries sustained in a drunk-driving accident.

Kirk Cameron and Tracey Gold were related to regular cast members of other ABC sitcoms airing during Growing Pains run. Tracey Gold's sister Missy Gold was featured on Benson as Katie Gatling, while Kirk Cameron's sister Candace Cameron co-starred on Full House as D.J. Tanner. While both Tracey Gold and Candace Cameron are still acting, Kirk and Missy haven't on TV since the end of their hit series.