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You've Found The Best TV Shows About Found Families

Updated February 18, 2021 832 votes 113 voters 2.0k views28 items

List RulesVote up the shows where characters create their own families - often from a rag-tag group of outsiders.

A family is what you make it, especially if you're a ragtag group of characters on TV who meet under unusual circumstances. Television, especially sitcoms, have undergone an interesting transformation over the decades. Early shows focused heavily on family. I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners focused on family units, which made sense at the time. Beginning in the 1970s and 80s, you began to see more TV shows centered around the workplace. The family played less of a role, and more character found a group of friends they considered closer than family. This trajectory had continued over the decades to produce some of the best found family shows of all time. 

Friends certainly falls into this category as well as other TV shows centered around a group of 20- or 30-somethings living in the big city, such as How I Met Your Mother and New Girl. However, a found family is not exclusive to sitcoms. Marvel's The Runaways centers around a group of superpowered friends who unite together to take down their sinister parents. 

We all have the family we're bound to by blood, but we're also extremely connected to our closest friends. It's not surprising to hear someone talk about how a friend is like a sister or brother to them. The best family of choice shows are on this list, and it's up to you to vote for the greatest ones. 

  • How the family was found: Katara and Sokka discover Aang trapped in an iceberg.

    Avatar: The Last Airbender (Nickelodeon, 2005) is an American television series created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, with Aaron Ehasz as head writer. Set in an Asiatic-like world in which some people are able to manipulate the classical elements by use of psychokinetic variants of Chinese martial arts, known as "bending," the show combined the styles of anime and American cartoons, and relied on the imagery of various East Asian, Inuit, Southeast Asian, South Asian, and New World societies. Therefore, the series regularly enters the conversation regarding its consideration as an anime work....  more
    • Actors: Zach Tyler, Dee Bradley Baker, Mae Whitman
    • Premiered: 2005
    • Genres (Tv): Animation, Action/Adventure, Steampunk, Romance TV, Children's television series
    • Characters: Azula, Zuko, Katara, Aang, Toph Beifong
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  • The Good Place
    Photo: The Good Place / NBC

    How the family was found: A group of people wake up to find themselves in the afterlife, which is managed by two very unique beings.

    The Good Place (NBC, 2016) is an American fantasy-comedy television series created by Michael Schur. Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) and three other individuals (William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, and Manny Jacinto) discover they have entered the afterlife, and struggle to define what it means to be a good person....  more
    • Actors: Kristen Bell, Ted Danson, William Jackson Harper, D'Arcy Carden, Jameela Jamil
    • Premiered: 2016
    • Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Fantasy comedy
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  • How the family was found: Through working together as the police force for Brooklyn's 99th precinct. 

    Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC, 2013) is an American police procedural comedy television series created by Dan Goor and Michael Schur. Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg), an immature but talented NYPD detective in Brooklyn's 99th Precinct, comes into immediate conflict with his new commanding officer, the serious and stern Captain Ray Holt (Andre Braugher)....  more
    • Actors: Andy Samberg, Stephanie Beatriz, Terry Crews, Melissa Fumero, Joe Lo Truglio
    • Premiered: 2013
    • Genres (Tv): Comedy, Sitcom, Police procedural
    • Characters: Detective Jake Peralta, Detective Rosa Diaz, Captain Ray Holt, Detective Amy Santiago, Gina Linetti
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  • How the family was found: Through Study Group at the community college in Greendale, Colorado.

    Community (NBC, 2009) is an American comedy television series created by Dan Harmon. After being disbarred for faking his college degree, a narcissist lawyer (Joel McHale) enrolls in community college where he reluctantly joins a study group filled with misfits....  more
    • Actors: Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie
    • Premiered: 2009
    • Genres (Tv): Sitcom
    • Characters: Abed Nadir, Annie Edison, Jeff Winger, Britta Perry, Pierce Hawthorne
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