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9 Surprising Stories From Behind The Scenes of 'Step by Step'

In a Los Angeles area lab in 1991, sitcom executives put The Brady Bunch and Full House into a petri dish, and Step by Step was born. It ran for seven years, and although it won’t be revived on Netflix anytime soon, it was certainly charming. Fans loved the wacky tale of a widow and divorcee who met on vacation and got married without telling their kids. The plot paved way for seasons of the charming misunderstandings and shenanigans that ensue when two families are blended.

The show emphasized love between the Foster and Lambert families, but behind the shiny facade of '90s TV, things were a little darker. From abuse convictions to money troubles, the cast faced their fair share of grim issues.

  • Photo: Step By Step / Amazon

    Brendan Disappeared From The Show Under Mysterious Circumstances

    The youngest child in the family was shy little Brendan, played by Josh Byrne, who was the most welcoming to his step family. In the seventh season, he disappeared from the show without reason. His TV parents still said they had seven children, but he was never onscreen again. Buzzfeed writes that Byrne quit acting and now enjoys attending renaissance fairs.

  • Photo: Step By Step / Amazon

    There Were Creepy Echoes Of A Replaced Child Actor In The Opening Title

    The role of dorky younger brother Mark Foster was originally played by a brunette child actor named Jarrett Lennon in the unaired pilot. The producers realized they needed Carol’s kids to be blonde and Frank’s to be brunette. Lennon was dismissed and replaced with Mark Foster. The pilot was re-shot, but the opening credits were not. Blonde Mark Foster has his own title card, but in the group shots of the family there is a mysterious brunette boy, who the editors clearly tried their best to hide. 

  • Photo: The Hottie And The Nottie / Amazon

    Christine Lakin Starred In The Paris Hilton Movie 'The Hottie And The Nottie'

    Everyone remembers the 2007 Paris Hilton film The Hottie and the Nottie, right? Probably not. With 4% on Rotten Tomatoes and a slew of nominations at the Razzi awards, the Paris Hilton and Christine Lakin-led film has fallen into the gutters of film history. 

    In the movie, Lakin (who played the kid sister Al Lambert on the show) is the ugly friend, and Paris is the beautiful one. But of course by the end, Christine's character reveals she was beautiful all along and therefore worthy of the male lead's affections, because isn't that what love is all about?

  • Photo: Step By Step / Amazon

    The Beautiful Body Of Water In The Opening Credits Is Actually A Six Flags Parking Lot

    The show's opening credits depict the two families adventuring in an amusement park. The show is set in Wisconsin, and the final image of the credits reveal an aerial shot of the theme park. Behind it are green hills and in front of it the sparkling Lake Michigan water front.

    In reality, the amusement park is a Six Flags north of Los Angeles, which is in the middle of a desert. The hills were digitally altered to look green, and the parking lot was covered with a lake.