Life with Boys TV Poster Image

Life with Boys



Funny family sitcom with positive themes for tweens.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Each episode sees Tess coping with some malady of teen life, such as dating or dealing with being bullied by a peer. Her actions often wind up hurting other people, but she always learns a lesson and remedies the problem. A mean girl uses her popularity to manipulate her classmates, usually with more humor and less fallout than surround Tess' misjudgments. The show presents a well-adjusted single-parent home with a lot of sibling rivalry, but also a lot of love. Some mild bathroom humor like body odors.

Positive role models

Tess isn't afraid to go against the flow, as is evident in her place on the school's predominantly male wrestling team and her battles of will with her social nemesis. She values meaningful relationships and respects her family, despite not always agreeing with them. Other characters are slightly less admirable, including an image-obsessed best friend and a coercive teen who uses popularity as a bargaining chip with peers.

Not applicable

Teen relationships have minimal kissing.


"Butt" and stand-in curse words like "shming" are as strong as it gets. Kaylee calls Tess a "freak" because she's a wrestler.


Some cultural references like Project Runway and Lady Gaga.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Life with Boys is a funny family sitcom with strong themes about family relationships, friendship, and a positive self-esteem. The main character is a teen girl who laments the fact that she lives in an all-boy household, but the support of her brothers and dad proves to be one of her greatest strengths. Tess often makes less-than-admirable choices that wind up hurting others, but there's an obvious lesson in her actions when she sets things right again. Mild bathroom humor, stand-in swearing (a teen makes up her own expletives like "shming"), and some instances of bullying from a self-absorbed popularity queen don't detract from the positive content in this show.

What's the story?

Fifteen-year-old Tess Foster (Torri Webster) is the lone female in a house full of guys, and the situation is fraught with pitfalls for a teen girl. There's her older brother, Gabe (Nathan McLeod), the school's heartthrob who loves to get under his sister's skin; her twin brother, Sam (Michael Murphy), who's academically superior and socially challenged; and her precocious younger brother, Spencer (Jake Goodman), who likes to be in the middle of things. Heading up the Foster crew is dad Jack (Sandy Jobin-Bevans), a widower, high school gym teacher, and Tess' wrestling coach, and sometimes even the biggest kid of them all. Living with her four best guys has its disadvantages, but Tess learns that when push comes to shove, they can also serve as a rock of strength.

Is it any good?


There are few surprises in LIFE WITH BOYS, a family-centered sitcom marked by laughable sibling spats (as when Tess discovers her brother uses the microwave to dry his underwear), true-to-life teen drama (the resident social queen uses and discards her peers with cruel consistency), and heartwarming exchanges between caring family members. Tess marches to the beat of her own drum, choosing to participate in an all-boy sport and locking horns with, but never backing down to, mean queen Kaylee (Francesca Martin), and ultimately she picks the right path of honesty and consideration for others. What's more, her relationship with fashion-obsessed best friend Allie (Madison Pettis) only accentuates the differences in their personalities, giving Tess more credence as the show's level-headed star.

Because Life with Boys puts so much emphasis on the lessons Tess learns from her mistakes and gives her imperfect but loyal family members an integral role in her positive self-image, it's a great choice for the tween set. The characters' actions aren't perfect, and some escape consequences that would exist in the real world, but if you focus on Tess' experiences, you'll see relatable cause-and-effect scenarios and enjoy the show's funny spin on the rollercoaster ride of modern family life.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about coping with bullies. Tweens: Do you ever see any behavior at school that you consider bullying? What recourse do you have against it? How has technology changed the nature of this kind of behavior?

  • This sitcom presents a well-adjusted single-parent home. In what ways does it reflect your family's home life? Do any aspects of the characters' lives seem improbable?

  • Tess' self-confidence is one of her standout qualities. What accounts for your inner strength? How does positive self-esteem help you cope with the challenges in your life?

TV details

Premiere date:September 9, 2011
Cast:Madison Pettis, Nathan McLeod, Torri Webster
Topics:Brothers and sisters, Friendship, Great girl role models, High school
TV rating:TV-G
Available on:Streaming

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written byMrCrocodile May 3, 2013

This show is a gem!

I really love Life With Boys. It is really a gem. It is the first show after so many years that gives people lessons about life. To me, this is what Girl Meets World would be like and I really think this show has already filled that role of showing life through a girl's point of view. Let me just say first I love watching shows old and new. It doesn't matter to me for sitcoms if they're going to be taking the roles of a parent or if they will simply be there to make you laugh. But I love that Life With Boys fills the role I already mentioned. I love how Allie, a popular girl, isn't the main character of the show as sometimes it can be that way in tween/teen sitcoms. But she and Tess are such sweet friends. It's adorable. Tess is a good character too! I love the theme song. As of right now it's in my head! I love the family. There's not much for me to say but you can see that they're a good family. As the show goes on it gets better and better. It really does! Right in their first season, they got really serious when Sam feels pressured to smoke. I also love how in the Valentine's Day episode, they promote girls that don't need a guy to make their Valentine's Day special. I don't have much more to add since the show is still going but I am just so happy that YTV made such a good show and now it's airing on Teen Nick in America! Life With Boys and Reba, I found are shows that prove two things. One, that shows after the 90's don't suck just because there isn't millions of sitcoms preaching. And two, they are truly two good gems of a show, in terms of a sitcom that teaches you things as how parents should. Life With Boys is perfect. It's a great Canadian show from the channel YTV, a special show and therefore a rare gem in today's world because the writers have decided to show us life from a girl's point of view while in the form of a sitcom. A perfect ten!
Teen, 17 years old Written bylovzhisdad July 9, 2013

Nothing More Than An Insult to Boys.

Boys shouldn't be watching this because they'll be watching their own gender be portrayed as dim-witted, mean, crude, and sometimes even inconsiderate and probably not even realize it. Girls shouldn't be watching it because watching it may encourage them to avoid boys all the time. This is bad because if they did avoid boys all the time, first, important relationships with their male family members, such as their fathers, would be ruined. second, so would their friendships with boys. Girls have to have good male friends. and third, they'd have slim chances of getting married without breaking any Biblical principles of marriage. And don't let the positive messages and relatable plots fool you. They're only in this show so you won't notice how stereotypical it its toward boys.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much swearing
Parent Written bysimonmbrooks June 19, 2014


Although it is stated that this show displays good family values, the episode I saw (about getting a new bathroom) displayed the boys as ignorant and with no care for what is going on, and the daughter threatens her brothers to get work done. Not sure what positive messages this is sending. The attitudes of the characters (apart from the father) seemed very shallow and typical of the worse of today's American tv for kids.


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