Relative Insanity

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Relative Insanity TV Poster Image
Families compete for money in intense 36-hour game show.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Family unity and the benefits of spending time together is a positive element of the show, but this is countered by occasional critical accounts of family members (like who is the weakest in the group). It also shows what people are willing to do for money. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Some family members are easier to live and work with than others. 


Challenges range from being crazy to scary. Disagreements between family members sometimes lead to mild arguments. Snakes, rats, scorpions, and other creatures are featured in some challenges. 


Occasionally audiences get a brief glimpses of people's underwear. 


Words like "prick" are audible; curses ("s--t," "f--k")  bleeped. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Relative Insanity features family members living and competing together for two days in locked rooms for money. It's generally pretty mild, but expect some mild arguing and bleeped curse words. Challenges sometimes require folks to deal with snakes, rats, and other creatures. There are some uncomfortable discussions about family members, but there's also some positive messages about family unity and togetherness.

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What's the story?

From the creators of Big Brother comes RELATIVE INSANITY, a game show that locks willing families into rooms for two days to compete for up to $25,000. Each episode features two groups of relatives who have each agreed to move into a room for 36 hours. While they try to cope with living together without technology to entertain them, they must participate in a series of extreme challenges to win cash. They must also decide when it necessary to spend some money in order to stay in the game. Adding to the pressure is the "escape button," which can be pressed if one family member wants to leave -- potentially costing them the game. And the end of the two-day event, the family with the most money left gets to keep it.

Is it any good?

From sticking their faces in a pie to find rings, to having to decide how much money to spend on lunch, the families of Relative Insanity must work together and make strategic decisions if they have any hope of winning. But a big part of the show's entertainment value is the interactions between family members in between challenges, which range from the humorous to the dramatic. 

While the series highlights the value of family spending time together during the experience, you may feel conflicted about some of the decisions they have to make (like ridding themselves of the weakest family member) in order to maximize their chances of winning money. Nonetheless, the messages here are generally positive. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it would be like to compete together on a reality competition. How well do you think your family would do? What would be some of the challenges? Could you make tough decisions in order to win money? Do you think you would act the same together on camera as you would in your day-to-day lives?

  • Why do people agree to appear on reality shows? What are some of the benefits and drawbacks to being on TV?

TV details

  • Premiere date: April 25, 2014
  • Network: Lifetime
  • Genre: Game Shows
  • TV rating: TV-PG
  • Available on: Streaming
  • Last updated: April 29, 2020

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