And You Thought Your Parents Were Weird! Movie Poster Image

And You Thought Your Parents Were Weird!



Dated robot comedy set against a backdrop of suicide.
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1991
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

There are some positive messages about the importance of family and sticking together, but the message gets muddled against the background of a father's suicide.

Positive role models

Young Josh works hard to invent Newman the Robot and is remarkably gifted with computers and robotics. He helps his classmates learn about computers and is generally kind to his younger brother Max. The robot/dad is mostly funny and helpful, but sometimes seems a bit creepy.


The father of the family is thought to be dead due to suicide. Some comic pratfalls as the robot punches one of the bad guys in the crotch and proceeds to trip another character onto a wheeled cart that sends him knocking into bowling balls, which sends a bowling ball falling from the highest shelf above him. Bullying is implied at school from the son of the bad guy of the film, and eventually they get into a fight.


Brief kissing between teen Josh and his girlfriend. Sexual implications when Sarah leads Newman (the robot) into the bedroom. Some silly innuendo from the robot ("you can tighten my screws anytime" and "I think I'm overheating!).


A young boy asks, "Where the hell have you been?" 

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One of the bad guys smokes a cigarette while working in his storage shop. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this dated comedy about a robot come to life concerns a family dealing with the aftermath of a father's presumed suicide. Despite this serious topic, the movie takes a silly approach to the family's concern for the dad. Full of goofy pratfalls and some mild innuendo, this is a film kids can easily skip, unless they want to laugh at the outdated computer equipment and old-fashioned clothing.

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

Josh (Joshua John Miller), with the help of his little brother Max (Edan Gross), creates a moving and talking robot named Newman out of a wet vac, a desk lamp, and a colander. While attending a Halloween party thrown by his girlfriend, Max plays with a Ouija-style board, which brings back his father (Alan Thicke), who was believed to have committed suicide. Max's father possesses Newman, cracking jokes and working his way back into the hearts of his children and his wife (Marcia Strassman). Together, they must fight nosy reporters and unethical patent thieves.

Is it any good?


While '80s kids might enjoy the kitsch factor of Alan Thicke from Growing Pains playing a wise-cracking robot, this movie hasn't exactly aged well since its 1991 release. The big hair, the big phones, and big computers scream "early nineties." The robot Newman, Macguyvered out of spare parts from the garage, will surely test the credulity of more sophisticated and skeptical kids. 

As a simple and lighthearted family comedy, perhaps this would be enjoyable enough on its own, but its attempts at bringing suicide into the story are poorly handled at best, and at worst, border on offensive to those who are or have experienced this tragedy. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how families cope with suicide. How accurately does the film reflect a mother and two sons living in the aftermath of this tragedy? How do you feel about this topic as part of a comedy?

  • Contrast the technology of that time with the technology of today. What looks the same and what's different?

  • Where does this film draw its humor from? What makes the movie feel outdated? What are some characteristics of movies that stand the test of time"

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 15, 1991
DVD/Streaming release date:January 1, 1998
Cast:Alan Thicke, Joshua John Miller, Marcia Strassman
Director:Tony Cookson
Studio:Vidmark, Inc.
Genre:Family and Kids
Run time:92 minutes
MPAA rating:PG

This review of And You Thought Your Parents Were Weird! was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.