Stuck in the Middle

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Stuck in the Middle TV Poster Image
Heartwarming comedy pokes fun at chaotic family life.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 28 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 68 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

The show intends to entertain rather than to educate.

Positive Messages

Strong family-centered themes and messages about compassion and gratitude. Life doesn't always go as planned, but if you're surrounded by people who love you, then things usually work out for the best. At the same time, looking at a difficult situation from a different point of view can inspire new possibilities.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Harley is inventive and creative and an eternal optimist, even when she's regaling viewers with her hardships as a middle child. Her parents are caring and loving, even if they're stretched very thin with their large family. A myriad of other personalities are in play in the Diaz family, from Beast's fearlessness to Rachel's vanity.

Violence & Scariness

No violence, but some laugh-inducing mishaps that look like they might hurt.

Sexy Stuff

Occasionally "butt."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Stuck in the Middle is a family-friendly sitcom about the chaotic happenings in a large household, told from the point of view of its middle child. Despite the excessive absurdity and generally silly humor, the show offers recurring positive themes about family ties and sibling relationships. Harley often bemoans being part of a large household, but equal time is given to the benefits of being surrounded by people who care. Even though the show paints a refreshingly realistic picture of life's messy imperfections (the Diaz house is rarely tidy, and the parents admit their shortcomings without apology), it still shows problems resolved in implausible time.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMidnightgirl10 June 21, 2018


Growing up in a big family this is probably by far the more relatable show. Channel hopping I stumbled on this and thought it was very realistic reminded me a l... Continue reading
Adult Written bysavannah p. March 17, 2018


I think it's really good and they're great at acting!!! I love them all
Teen, 15 years old Written bysillysasha123 March 13, 2016


Well, I've seen the first two episodes, and my feelings are pretty mixed. This show does have some good messages about family love and caring, and the fact... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byDancertweengirl800 December 21, 2016

Great! Some make ridiculous assumptions

Many say it's a bad show because of racial stereotypes. I have to say, if it was a white or black family, people would say the same things! The doughnuts t... Continue reading

What's the story?

As the fourth in a family of seven kids, 12-year-old Harley Diaz (Jenny Ortega) is used to being STUCK IN THE MIDDLE as her needs are overlooked among her siblings -- Rachel (Ronni Hawk), Ethan (Isaak Presley), Georgie (Kayla Maisonet), Lewie (Nicolas Bechtel), Beast (Malachi Barton), and Daphne (Ariana Greenblatt). It's not so bad, and she knows that her parents (Joe Nieves and Cerina Vincent) do their best, but sometimes it would be nice to be the one about whom all the fuss is made, you know? So in an effort to stand out from the crowd, Harley puts her creativity to good use, inventing clever ways to turn attention her way.

Is it any good?

Reflecting the chaotic goings-on in the oversized Diaz household, this fun comedy runs at a helter-skelter pace on the heels of its fresh-faced main character. Ortega commands this role, pleading her case as a long-suffering middle kid while finding the humor in the many calamities that befall her efforts to shine. The bigger picture paints a comical impression of family life in general, and it's surprisingly refreshing to see a presentation of the messy, imperfect nature of busy, rambunctious households.

Stuck in the Middle is optimal fare for families, as many of Harley's issues will ring familiar for kids with any number of siblings, and parents can relate to her parents' harried efforts to keep the family seams together. Also a pleasure are the Diazes' exchanges with their busybody neighbor, Bethany, whose condescending disapproval of their lifestyle makes for some hilarious exchanges.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about sibling relationships in Stuck in the Middle. If your kids have brothers and sisters, do the Diaz characters' experiences ring true with their own? What makes sibling relationships so challenging? On the other hand, what are the benefits of having brothers and sisters?

  • Do TV shows and movies show family life in a believable light? What aspects are believable to you? Does this show stray from the norm in how it embraces imperfections? Do you like its take on hectic family life or not?

  • How does Harley use her experiences to inspire her inventions? Can you think of ways to make life easier or more efficient for yourself and your family?

  • How do the characters in Stuck in the Middle demonstrate compassion and gratitude? Why are these important character strengths?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sitcoms

Character Strengths

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