How Well Do You Remember the Keatons? The Family Ties Quiz

By: Maria Trimarchi
Image: tmdb

About This Quiz

Part of NBC's "Must See" Thursday night lineup in the '80s, "Family Ties" won the hearts of Americans -- and 23 awards. What happens when two former flower children find themselves middle-aged and raising kids? There ain't nothing they can't love each other through. Sha-la-la-laa...

What does the "P" in Alex P. Keaton stand for?

Alex's full name is Alex Peace Keaton.

In which real city does the fictional Keaton family live?

The fictional Keatons live in suburban Columbus, Ohio.

What's the name of the show's theme song?

The "Family Ties" theme song, "Without Us," was composed by Jeff Barry and Tom Scott.

What was nerdy neighbor Irwin Handelman's nickname?

Keaton friend and neighbor Irwin Handelman's nickname was "Skippy".

"Family Ties" was the favorite show of which U.S. president?

"Family Ties" aired during the Reagan era, and former president Ronald Reagan once said it was his favorite show.

Which U.S. president did Alex admire?

Alex admired Richard Nixon.

Who does "Skippy" admire?

"Skippy" admires former U.S. President Gerald Ford.

Who was Alex's favorite economist?

Nobel Prize-winning Milton Friedman, supporter of laissez-faire capitalism, was Alex's favorite economist.

Who guest starred as Elyse's alcoholic and sometimes-fugitive brother Ned?

Tom Hanks plays Elyse's brother and Alex's hero, a young exec with a drinking problem, who also at one time was on the run for embezzling $4.5 million.

With which disease is Elyse's Aunt Rosemary (played by Barbara Barrie) diagnosed?

Elyse's Aunt Rosemary is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

Which "Goonies" actor makes an appearance as Elyse's nephew?

Jeff Cohen, who played "Chunk" in "The Goonies," appears as Elyse's nephew.

Which star of the movie "Stand By Me" did not appear on Family Ties?

River Phoenix, Will Wheaton and Corey Feldman all made cameos on the series. Jerry O'Connell did not.

Where did Mallory attend college?

Mallory attends the fictional Grant Junior College.

Who was not a member of the fictional all-girl band The Permanent Waves?

It was Jennifer (Tina Yothers), not Mallory (Justine Bateman), who sang in The Permanent Waves. The other band members were Kitten (Christina Applegate), Ashley (Rainbow Phoenix) and Jill (Margaret Nagle). Bonus: Alex managed their band.

Which Keaton is namedropped in the song "Craziest," by hip-hop group Naughty by Nature?

Mallory is in the lyrics to Naughty by Nature's song "Craziest:" "You ain't a pal of me, my family ties but not with Mallory."

Which "Titanic" star played a bully Jennifer beats up after he picks on her boyfriend at school?

Danny Nucci, whom you know from "Titanic" (among other movies and TV shows), plays the bully.

Who does Steven confront after he makes inappropriate advances toward Mallory?

"Uncle" Arthur's hug is a little too tight, and he pats her on the bum, but it isn't until he kisses Mallory that she tells her parents about it.

Which "Friend" played the role of Lauren Miller, Alex's girlfriend during the last two seasons?

Courteney Cox plays the role of Alex's girlfriend, Lauren Miller.

How many episodes was Mallory's boyfriend Nick supposed to appear in?

Nick Moore, played by Scott Valentine, was only written into one episode but became a series regular when audience's loved him.

Which was not a spinoff starring Scott Valentine's character, Nick Moore?

NBC tried three different spinoffs featuring the Nick character. Three pilots were shot for "The Art of Being Nick," "Something Different" and "Taking It Home," but none stuck.

Which pre-"Seinfeld" actor appeared on "The Art of Being Nick" with Scott Valentine?

In 1987 Julia Louis-Dreyfus co-starred with Scott Valentine on the "Family Ties" spinoff "The Art of Being Nick."

Where do the Keaton's go in the made-for-TV movie, "Family Ties Vacation?"

The Keaton family goes to London in "Family Ties Vacation."

Who publishes Mallory's advice column?

Mallory is selected to write an advice column for the Columbus Shopper's Guide.

At what public television station does Steven work as station manager?

Steven was station manager at WKS, a fictional public broadcasting station.

Which movie did Michael J. Fox film at the same "Family Ties" was shooting?

Michael J. Fox worked on "Back to the Future," in which he starred as Marty, while filming "Family Ties" during the day.

How many kids did Brian Bonsall compete with for the role of Andrew Keaton?

As many as 500 other kids auditioned for the role that Brian landed.

Whose book does Mallory suggest Alex read after his best friend Greg is killed in a car accident?

Mallory tells Alex to "read Shirley MacLaine," a reference to MacLaine's book about New Age spirituality.

What's the name of the song Tina Yothers released after performing it on the show?

Yothers, as Jennifer Keaton, sang "Baby I’m Back In Love Again." It was released but never hit the Top 40.

What does Alex do to get an energy boost during midterms?

Alex coerces Mallory into getting him prescription diet pills (amphetamines) from her friend Effy.

Where was "Family Ties" filmed?

The show was filmed at Paramount’s Stage 24 in Los Angeles.

Who turned down the role of Alex before Michael J. Fox was cast for the part?

Michael J. Fox wasn't the original choice for the role of the Keaton's eldest son. Matthew Broderick was offered the part first.

Which one of Alex P. Keaton's fictional girlfriends is Michael J. Fox's real-life wife?

Tracy Pollan, who played Keaton's girlfriend "Ellen Reed" for one season, later became Fox's real wife.

What was Alex and Ellen Reed's breakup song?

"At This Moment" by Billy Vera and The Beaters was Alex and Ellen's breakup song.

Where did Alex move to when he left Ohio?

Alex follows a job to New York City.

What did creator Gary David Goldberg say at the very end of every episode?

He says, as part of the production company credits, "Sit, Ubu, sit. Good dog." Ubu, a black lab named Ubu Roi, was creator-producer Goldberg's dog.

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!

Explore More Quizzes