1. First off, Louis Stevens was a riot. He was such a ridiculous, lovable goof.
2. Seriously, this kid was a gem and there was no one like him on TV at the time.
4. The show was filled with first-rate recurring characters.
Tawny, who was fantastic in the sense that she didn’t need to explain herself to anyone.
Twitty, Louis’ BFF.
Tom Gribalski, who gave the word “nerdy” new meaning.
And Larry Beale, who was always trying to best Ren.
5. For a show geared toward kids, it had some very astute and insightful observations.
6. As well as valuable words of wisdom.
7. It taught us to always aspire to greatness.
Dream big, Louis.
9. As you well know, the contrast between Ren and Louis was comedic gold.
Ren was the overachieving, perfectionist, type-A one.
Played to perfection by Christy Carlson Romano, of course.
While Louis was the jokester always getting involved in crazy schemes.
Why hello, young Shia.
10. And while they had a lot of times where they didn’t quite get along (which, if you have a sibling, was SO relatable for you)…
11. At the end of the day, they were cool.
12. But while Ren and Louis were the true stars, let’s not forget about Donnie, who was a great (if slightly one dimensional) character in his own right.
Not the smartest, but he was good at sports.
13. And we had Mrs. Stevens, who was a great role model. She was a State Senator who was all about female empowerment.
A protest-leading, intelligent, and all-around fab character.
15. And the show managed to be outlandish, ridiculous, and over the top without dumbing itself down.
Like when Louis imagines this figure skating mishap.
Or when he tries to gain nine pounds in 20 hours for a wrestling match and then dreams that all the weight went right to his butt.
Or when Ren goes to the dentist on picture day. “You look like you’re smuggling meatballs from the cafeteria.”
Many of their interactions were the perfect combination of awkward and adorable.
17. There was a character named Coach Tugnut. Enough said.
18. One word: BEANS.
“Beans is like that policeman in Terminator 2. You know who I’m talking about? I swear, he goes liquid. He can fit through cracks in windows, under doors, through little keyholes.”
19. And on the topic of Beans, when it came to cultural trends, this show was way ahead of the game.
Before everyone and their mom was declaring their love for bacon, Beans was all over it.
20. It gave you this, which true fans know was one of the most fantastic things to ever happen.
21. And speaking of songs, this show had an EPIC musical episode called “Influenza: The Musical.”
You can still remember the songs:
“What’s the matter with Ren? She’s usually so responsible…”
“Sixth Period, sixth period, sixth perioooood. Sixth period is drawing near, to ruin my junior high career. That test run by Tugnut is gonna kick my butt. Oh how you fill my heart with dread. Sixth period.”
“We went to the moon in 1969. That’s when they made a landing that was lunar.”
22. It also was so fabulous that it got its own movie.
Who else remembers Family Fake Out?