This Friday (August 26) marks the 20th anniversary of the "7th Heaven" premiere. (Yes, you can feel old AF.)
The show followed Reverend Eric Camden and his wife, Annie, as they raised their five (and eventually, seven) children* in the church. But despite being a fairly wholesome family, the Camdens managed to get into a shit-ton of drama. Someone was always either crying, fighting, overreacting, or all of the above, to the point where Eric Camden's misty, sentimental eyes are pretty much engrained in my mind. You know those eyes.
Back when I watched the show religiously (pun intended) I knew this weepy father was insanely annoying, but it wasn't until I revisited the episodes that I realized how ridiculous many of the plot lines were. Actually, ridiculous is an understatement ... and so, in honor of the big 2-0, we're looking back at 14 iconic scenes that are weird and uncomfortable to re-watch years later.
(* Oh, and here's a key to remember everyone in this huge family: Eric (father), Annie (mother), Matt (oldest son), Mary (oldest daughter), Lucy (middle daughter), Simon (middle son), Ruthie (youngest daughter), Sam and David (youngest twin boys), Happy (badass dog).)
"Who brought a joint into this house?"
What the hell is a joint doing in the house of a pastor? That's exactly what Eric would like to know as he grills his kids to uncover who the family stoner is. No one cops to it at first, even though he threatens a drug test —even on pre-pubescent Simon! (Truthfully, Simon seems way too young to be participating in this conversation to begin with.)
When Matt finally says it's his, his parents get understandably upset, but it's Simon who really loses his shit. I'm not buying the whole, "I looked up to you so much and you broke my heart over a joint" routine, Simon. Simmer down and leave the hissy fit to the grown-ups.
"Tell me what you're really thinking about."
Mary's teacher/basketball coach goes from cute to sleazy when he massages her for over 46 uncomfortable seconds, then creepily whispers in her ear, "Tell me what you're really thinking about."
Cringe. Yuck. Gross.
The moment his grimy hands touch her I can't help but grimace. I was hoping Mary would summon her athletic strength and knock his ass out, but it's "7th Heaven" and they probably couldn't have sexual harassment and a beat down in one scene.
I know women who've had teachers cross the line, and re-watching this episode made me question how these dirtbags continue their predatory ways.
"Congratulations, this is a very important day."
Lucy gets her period and is beyond hyped, while Eric cannot contain his hormonal response to seeing his daughter become a woman.
Um, when your dad gets weepy because you've started your period — it's time to tell him to buck up. You're the one who's going to have to deal with years of pain, bloating, and ruined panties. Eric, now is not the time for your water works.
"These people are my friends."
You know what conveys that someone is a hardened gangster? Throwing them in baggy jeans and a loose button-down shirt. At least that's how it works on "7th Heaven."
Eric gets called in to help his friend deal with his rebellious teenager who has joined a gang. We're supposed to think this girl is pretty big time considering all the contraband she neatly stores under her brother's bed — knives, weed, and brass-knuckles, oh my!
Gang portrayals that don't ooze corniness are notoriously hard, which is why the cheesiest show in town should have just avoided the subject matter altogether.
"It's not fair."
Ruthie is a chid who blurts out inappropriate things, and the adults around her should probably just ignore her 90 percent of the time. You know, because that's what you do with children. But when Ruthie says "I hate you" to her mother, Annie receives those words like a knife through the heart and is devastated.
Geez lady, with seven kids you gotta have more of a backbone than that.
"Is there some reason you wouldn't tell your mom about me?"
Mary and Lucy dated a whole lot of dudes, many of whom were straight up losers. As adult women, we expect them to improve their dating skills, yet they still manage to end up with guys — brothers, in fact — who lie to their mother about who they're dating.
Mind you, Lucy's man, Kevin, eventually ends up being her husband. Grown ass men lying to their mother — not a good look. Who are these children in man-bodies?
"Give it a rest, will ya?"
The man-children are back again, and in the span of 50 seconds of them existing, I managed to say "ew" three times.
First, Lucy and Kevin make out in the living room, and when Ben (Mary's boyfriend and Kevin's brother) walks in, they don't even stop. Then Rev Camden walks in, and that's when the real drama unfolds because Kevin and Ben are apparently — wait for it — Catholic.
To everyone's amazement, Eric is actually cool with it. Thrilled, the girls both grab their beaus and make out with them in the same room. I really can't.
"You know when it comes to you and your personal health he gets a little squeamish."
Kevin is absurd.
When Ruthie gets her period — yes, young Ruthie eventually grows up — she openly and unashamedly (damn right!) talks about having cramps. But Lucy's husband can't stomach the conversation, which is insane given that he's on his way to find out the sex of he and Lucy's second baby. I'm surprised he doesn't just ask her to call once the baby is delivered.
Again, what is the deal with this man-child?!
"He has to be good-looking, popular, and hot."
Little Ruthie was bratty and a total tattle tale, but we all loved her because she was also the cutest ... when she was little.
She obviously grows up to be beautiful, but also kind of bitchy. What she looks for in a guy is also seriously questionable. I get that she's in high school, but on her list of three traits she wants in a dude she lists attractiveness twice. Aye! Who is the smart one in this family?
While we're on the subject of Ruthie, I'm just going to leave this one right here. This uncomfortably long scene is cringe-worthy. The dance moves. Eric silently watching. Ruthie's defiant stare. Every millisecond is just so uncomfortable.
"You think I have a big butt, don't you?"
Jessica Biel has a beautiful physique and her derrière is quite impressive. So hearing a younger Biel complain about her butt (in character, of course) is laughable. This episode also proves how far we've come in pop culture because telling someone they have a big butt used to be an insult. Ridic, right?
"What does that finger thing mean anyway?"
Simon's out being an obnoxious young boy with his friends, and gives one of them the middle finger. Unbeknownst to him, his mom and school principal catch the whole act. The looks of complete shock and horror on the adult's faces would make it seem as though he'd just pulled a gun out. Coupled with the music, this scene reaches a whole new dramatic and absurd level.
"It's called not having sex. It works 100 percent of the time."
Mary's doctor mistakenly tells Eric and Annie that their eldest baby girl is pregnant. When they confront Mary and Wilson (her boyfriend at the time, who already had a kid), Mary reminds them that she's abstinent. Looking past the (absurd) fact that the doctor totally blabbed about Mary's not-pregnancy, why was it OK for Mary to date a guy with a kid when she was still a teenager (or at most, 20 years old) herself? So many questions.
And a little trivia: Simon's the only Camden kid who the show openly revealed had premarital sex.
"I couldn't help myself."
Now I'm just getting picky, but what are the chances that Annie had twins then both of her daughters and her daughter-in-law ended up pregnant with twins at the same damn time?! Honestly, I'm surprised there was never a spin-off.