Married…With Children was one of the best sitcoms in the late 80s and early 90s, telling the story of the lower-to-middle-class Bundy family living a miserable life in perpetual annoyance of one another.
At the heart of the series were Al and Peggy and their two teenage children, Kelly and Bud. Kelly was the blonde who was more interested in boys than school and caught the eye of all the bad boys. Bud, meanwhile, was the smart, nerdy younger brother who, despite being interested in the ladies, was never successful in getting them.
There are tons of things about the series, period, that would never fly today. But here are a few in particular about Bud.
10The Way He Talked To His Sister
Bud was constantly ribbing back and forth with his sister, and while she dished out insults just as bad, he hit her where it hurts. He would constantly shame her or make reference to her make-up, clothing, or intelligence.
It went far beyond what would define typical sibling rivalry and while neither seemed to be too hurt by the comments of others, the insults wouldn’t fly today.
9Treatment Of Women
Bud was desperate for any female affection, but he was also pretty sleazy in his tactics. And he often went for girls who were outwardly pretty and seemingly promiscuous and not smart girls who could challenge him.
It seemed he was only interested in finding women to sleep with him and not someone who could be a real girlfriend.
8Looked Down On For Being Smart
It likely stemmed from jealousy, but the entire family constantly made fun of and looked down on Bud for being smart. Nowadays, being smart and deemed a geek or nerd is actually a good thing.
Bud got straight As all through high school and even went to college. Yet his family, none of whom was as close to being as smart as he was, often made him the butt of their jokes and minimized his accomplishments. In fact, once, Al even gave money to Kelly to buy a dress instead of giving it to Bud to pay for a trip to meet U.S. President George H.W. Bush.
7The Constant Bullying At School
Bullying has never been tolerated but schools and individuals are speaking out about it more today than they did back then. So the storylines that saw Bud being constantly bullied wouldn’t fly. One student, for example, tricked him into going skinny dipping then stole his clothes.
In another episode, Kelly’s friend stood him up at prom, leaving behind a note that read “Bite me, nerd boy!” He also mentioned on numerous occasions having had his face dunked in the toilets at school.
6Getting Fired From The DMV
Getting fired isn’t what wouldn’t fly today but rather the reason why. Bud got a great job at the DMV after graduating from university and making the Dean’s List. But they fired him for being “too efficient.”
He ended up then taking a job as a chimney sweep apprentice and then went on to work as a talent agent, even though he had no experience in the entertainment industry.
5Many Of His Odd Jobs
Aside from the DMV and chimney sweep jobs, Bud had some seriously weird occupations that would never fly today. One was as an operator for the Virgin Hotline (what?!) and another was trying to sell lemonade through a stand set up in the frigid cold winter.
He also tried to make money by selling maps of celebrity homes. Then, as noted above, he decided to become a talent agent, representing people like his sister and some out-of-work actors.
4Grandmaster B. Persona
After attending college, Bud decided to take on a new persona in an attempt to be perceived as “cool” and get girls. He referred to himself as Grandmaster B. and pretended to be a bad boy rapper from New York.
While he did enjoy moderate success with girls thanks to the new look, his family made fun of him by mangling the name every which way they could, calling him everything from Grandma B to Grand Flasher and Bed Wetter B.
3Ridiculed For Being A Virgin
Family, friends, and acquaintances all found it hilarious to make fun of Bud for being a virgin, which is not something anyone would do today. Remaining a virgin is a personal choice, though Bud was mainly made fun of because it wasn’t his choice to seemingly stay a virgin.
That said, he likely wasn’t even a virgin anyway! There are several women with whom he presumably slept, including the neighbor Marcy’s niece and Al’s boss Gary.
2His Missing Cousin
Fans of the show might recall that a new child was added to the cast in season seven. His name was, ironically, Seven, and he was the son of Peggy’s cousins Zemus and Ida. While visiting the Bundys, the cousins took off and left their son behind, after which the Bundys seemingly adopted him.
The idea was that Seven would join the show, but it turned out to be a mistake and Seven went missing – literally. In a subsequent episode, his face appeared on the back of a milk carton and the Bundys, including Bud, seemed unaffected by it. Today, there’s no way Bud, as smart as he was, would be OK with the kid simply disappearing.
1His Sister’s Treatment Of Him
Just as Bud treated his sister Kelly badly, she constantly made fun of him and made him feel as though he was less than, unattractive, and would never get girls.
She made fun of his Grandmaster B. persona, pretended he had dirt on his face when he was trying to grow a beard, and made fun of him around anyone who would listen, from family to even random strangers.