Exploring the 7 Most Iconic Famous Families in Movie and TV Shows
Dive into the heart of cinematic storytelling by exploring the most iconic families from the world of movies and TV shows – from the grandiose and dramatic Game of Thrones to the smaller-scale, light-hearted Addams family.
Famous fictional families are the beating hearts of many iconic movies and TV shows, as these fascinating characters drive engaging plotlines, interact with each other, and develop each other, keeping viewers glued to their screens.
Treemily is the go-to source for family and family tree-related trivia, with dozens of articles, including our piece on some of the biggest and oldest family trees in the world.
Today, however, we go through some of the best fictional families, unveiling lesser-known facts that add layers of complexity to these beloved characters. We invite you to explore the untold tales behind the famous families in movies that have left an indelible mark on popular culture.
1. The Simpsons Family
From the famous and beloved matriarch Marge to a much lesser-known female of the Simpsons family Mona – we’ve got you covered in our Simpsons family tree review.
Here are the 5 things that you might not know about the Simpsons:
- Marge’s Hair Mystery: Marge’s towering blue hair isn’t just a fashion choice. The true color of her hair is revealed to be gray during “The Blue and the Gray” (Season 22, Episode 13), adding a mysterious touch to her iconic blue beehive.
- Maggie’s Secret Language: The Simpsons family has a secret language known as “Maggie talk.” In several episodes, Maggie can be heard speaking in a unique language that only a few fans have attempted to decipher. It’s a combination of pacifier sucking, gurgles, and baby gibberish.
- Maggie’s Price: In the opening credits, the price shown at the cash register when Maggie is scanned is $847.63. This amount was intended to represent the average monthly cost of raising a baby in the United States in 1989, the year the show premiered.
- Bart’s Chalkboard Gags: Bart’s chalkboard punishment at the beginning of each episode is a fan-favorite gag. What many may not know is that there are actually several variations of these gags that were created but never aired. These unseen gags were part of a contest, and the winners received a prize.
- Simpson Family in Tracey Ullman Show: The Simpsons family actually first appeared on “The Tracey Ullman Show” as animated shorts. However, their initial character designs were slightly different from what we know today – for example, Marge had bunny-like ears.
2. Harry Potter Characters’ Families
The Harry Potter universe keeps expanding each year, with more books, films, and games – which means more lore for the devoted fans to enjoy. But did you know that Sirius Black and Draco Malfoy are actually related? Mindblowing! To see what exactly their connection is, check out our Harry Potter universe family tree review.
Here are the 5 things that you might not know about the Harry Potter universe:
- Weasley Family Secrets: The Weasley family has a clock known as the “Weasley Clock,” which doesn’t show the time but the location of each family member. However, there’s an additional secret compartment that reveals the whereabouts of various magical creatures, like gnomes and house elves, on the Weasley property
- The Lovegood Lineage: Luna Lovegood’s family, the Lovegoods, are known for their belief in various magical creatures and artifacts. That is because of (or in spite of) the fact that Luna’s mother, Pandora Lovegood, was an accomplished magical experimentalist who died in an accident involving one of her experiments.
- Nymphadora Tonks’ Heritage: Nymphadora Tonks, the Metamorphmagus Auror, is related to the infamous Black family through her mother, Andromeda Tonks (née Black). Andromeda is the sister of Bellatrix Lestrange and Narcissa Malfoy, making Tonks a distant cousin to Draco Malfoy.
- Pettigrew’s Silver Hand Origins: After Peter Pettigrew is given a magical silver hand by Voldemort as a reward for his loyalty, it’s revealed that the hand once belonged to a famous dark wizard, and it has a dark history. This fact is only briefly mentioned in passing in the books
- The Dumbledore Family Tragedy: Albus Dumbledore’s family history is marred by tragedy. His younger brother, Aberforth, was sentenced to Azkaban for using inappropriate charms on a goat. This unusual event is only hinted at in the books and is part of the complex Dumbledore family dynamics.
3. The Godfather: Corleone Family
The Godfather trilogy is consistently named the best film trilogy of all time, and it’s not hard to see why – the way it portrayed all the nuances of the mafia world was astounding. Very few people know that the Godfather movie families are based on the real New York mafia families – the Genoveses and the Bonannos.
Here are the 5 things that you might not know about the Corleones:
- Genco Pura Olive Oil Company: In “The Godfather,” Vito Corleone operates a legitimate business called Genco Pura Olive Oil Company, which serves as a front for the Corleone family’s organized crime activities. Now, the name “Genco” is a combination of the names of Vito’s close friend Genco Abbandando, and his son, Aldo.
- Fredo’s Skill at Chess: In the original novel by Mario Puzo, Fredo Corleone is depicted as an excellent chess player. This skill is subtly referenced in the film during a scene where Fredo is playing chess with his nephew Anthony.
- Michael Corleone’s Military Service: Although not explicitly mentioned in the movies, it is revealed in the original novel that Michael Corleone served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. This fact definitely adds another layer to Michael’s character and his strategic mindset.
- Tom Hagen’s Legal Training: Tom Hagen, the Corleone family consigliere, was not only an adopted member of the family but also had a legal education. In the original novel, it’s mentioned that Tom studied law at Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan Law School before becoming the family’s legal advisor.
- Sonny’s Soft Spot: In the novel, it’s revealed that Sonny Corleone has a soft spot for animals, particularly stray dogs. This detail humanizes Sonny’s character and contrasts with his tough exterior.
4. The Sopranos Family
“The Sopranos” has amassed millions of fans across the world thanks to its gritty depiction of mental illness, family drama, and criminal world alike. From one famous fictional mafia family to another, we’ve already looked into the Sopranos family tree as well. Not to mention, there you will also find all the essential information about the DeAngelis, the Blundetto, and the Aprile family trees!
Here are the 5 things that you might not know about the Sopranos:
- Tony’s Love for Animals: Like Sonny Corleone, Tony Soprano has a soft spot for animals, ducks in particular. The presence and disappearance of ducks serve as a symbolic motif throughout the series, representing various aspects of Tony’s emotions and family dynamics.
- Tony’s Panic Attacks: The character of Tony Soprano experiences panic attacks throughout the series. James Gandolfini, the actor who portrayed Tony, drew inspiration from his own experiences with anxiety while filming these scenes.
- Carmela’s Relationship with Furio: There was a planned storyline involving a romantic relationship between Carmela and Furio Giunta. However, this plotline was ultimately abandoned due to concerns that it might be too divisive among the audience.
- Carmela’s Ziti: In the episode “College” (Season 1, Episode 5), Carmela Soprano makes a ziti dish for Tony. This dish becomes a recurring symbol of family throughout the series.
- Artie Bucco’s Culinary Skills: Artie Bucco, the owner of Vesuvio’s restaurant and a friend of Tony, is known for his culinary skills. In real life, John Ventimiglia, the actor who portrays Artie, is a trained chef, which adds authenticity to the character’s portrayal as a restaurateur.
5. Sound of Music: Von Trapp Family
The story of the famous singing von Trapps has been immortalized on more than one occasion – a 1959 musical as well as the cult classic 1965 film. However, the real von Trapp family famously has quite a few differences from the one depicted in “The Sound of Music”. For instance, Georg, portrayed as disapproving of music, actually enjoyed it a lot.
Here are the 5 things that you might not know about the von Trapps:
- Real-Life Maria’s Contributions: Maria Augusta von Trapp, whose memoir inspired “The Sound of Music,” made a cameo appearance in the film. She can be seen crossing the courtyard during the song “I Have Confidence.”
- Additional Siblings: In reality, the Von Trapp family had ten children, while the film version only features seven. The names and ages of the children were also altered for dramatic purposes. The real Maria and Captain von Trapp had three more children after escaping Austria.
- The Captain’s Naval Career: Captain Georg von Trapp’s naval career is briefly mentioned in the film, but the extent of it is not fully explored. In reality, Captain von Trapp was a decorated submarine commander in the Austro-Hungarian Navy during World War I.
- The Von Trapp Lodge: After escaping from Austria, the real Von Trapp family settled in Vermont, USA, and established the Trapp Family Lodge. The lodge has become a popular destination and is still owned and operated by the Von Trapp family today.
- Changing the Lyrics: In the original Broadway production and early drafts of the film script, the lyrics to some songs were different. For instance, “My Favorite Things” originally had a verse about sleigh bells, which was later changed to the more iconic lyrics in the final version.
6. The Addams Family
Over the past 60 years, the Addams family franchise has become a staple of animation, live action as well as comic art. And the protagonists, the Addams family, are the quirkiest ones on this list, and deservedly so – not every family has a cousin named Itt who himself has a child named What.
Here are the 5 things that you might not know about the Addams family:
- Wednesday’s Full Name: In Charles Addams’ original cartoons, Wednesday Addams is depicted with the full name “Wednesday Friday Addams”. The reasoning behind this unusual naming convention is never explicitly explained.
- Thing’s True Identity: While Thing is typically portrayed as a disembodied hand in various adaptations, Charles Addams originally conceived Thing as a whole character. He was later changed to just a hand for practical reasons in the television series. However, in the 1991 film, Thing’s origin is revealed to be a fully mobile entity capable of moving independently.
- Gomez’s Musical Talent: In various adaptations, Gomez Addams is depicted as a skilled musician, particularly with the harpsichord. In the original TV series, John Astin (who played Gomez) actually played the instrument himself.
- Uncle Fester’s Electric Chair Act: Uncle Fester, known for his eccentric and dark sense of humor, had an act where he would electrocute himself with a light bulb. In the original television series, Jackie Coogan, who played Fester, had a background in vaudeville, and the act was a nod to his past experiences.
- Cousin Itt’s Language: Cousin Itt, with his long hair covering his entire body and face, speaks in a high-pitched, unintelligible language. In the TV series, it was mentioned that only the Addams family could understand him. However, the specifics of Cousin Itt’s language were never fully explained.
7. Game of Thrones Families
With the record 59 Emmy wins, Game of Thrones is in contention for the status of the definitive TV show of the century so far. The series as well as its original source material have given birth to dozens of compelling families – Starks, Lannisters, Targaryens, and Baratheons, just to name a few.
Here are the 5 things that you might not know about the great houses of Westeros:
- Direwolf Pups’ Real Bonds: The dire wolf pups given to the Stark children in the first episode of Season 1 were real, and the young actors formed strong bonds with their wolf counterparts. Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) adopted her dire wolf, Lady, in real life.
- Tyrion’s Drinking: Peter Dinklage, who portrayed Tyrion Lannister, often drank apple juice in place of wine during the drinking scenes. This was to prevent the actor from getting too intoxicated during multiple takes.
- Sansa’s Costume Evolution: Sansa Stark’s costumes were designed to reflect her character’s journey. In Season 1, her clothing resembles her mother’s. As she grows and endures hardships, her costumes become darker and more intricate, reflecting her maturation.
- Targaryen Naming Conventions: Targaryens often reuse the same names in their family. For example, there are multiple Targaryens named Aegon, Rhaegar, and Jaehaerys throughout their history.
- Stannis’s Decision-Making Item: Stannis Baratheon often consults a wooden carved map table when making strategic decisions. The map table is actually made to be a highly accurate representation of Westeros and is a unique prop used in the show.
Peeling back the layers of these best fictional families in movies is definitely a lot of fun and only contributes to how much they captivate us. From Marge Simpson’s real hair color to Tony Soprano’s affinity for ducks, there’s always so much more to learn about our favorite characters.
As we delve into the lives of these famous families in movies and TV shows. Treemily continues to be your trusted guide into the undiscovered territories within many cherished family sagas. And if you want to discover more about your own family and immortalize your findings – welcome to our family tree maker!
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