Unhappily Ever After
Unhappily Ever After opening sequence (The characters of Jack and Jennie are initially smiling which then gradually fades to a somber expression)
Also known asUnhappily...
Created by
Opening theme
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes100 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
  • Ron Leavitt
  • Arthur Silver
  • Sandy Sprung
  • Marcy Vosburgh
Running time22–24 minutes
Production companyTouchstone Television
Original release
NetworkThe WB
ReleaseJanuary 11, 1995 (1995-01-11) –
May 23, 1999 (1999-05-23)

Unhappily Ever After is an American television sitcom that aired for 100 episodes on The WB from January 11, 1995, to May 23, 1999, for a total of five seasons. The series was produced by Touchstone Television.[1]


The series follows the Malloy family of Los Angeles, California: father Jack (Geoff Pierson); mother Jennifer (Stephanie Hodge); dim-witted eldest son Ryan (Kevin Connolly); cute, voluptuous daughter Tiffany (Nikki Cox); and "forgotten" son Ross (Justin Berfield). In the first two seasons, storylines featured Jennie's pill-popping mother Maureen Slattery (Joyce Van Patten).

The series was initially written as a starring vehicle for Hodge, whose character Jennifer was the focus of the first few episodes. However, the series soon turned its focus to Jack, a schizophrenic who had been kicked out of the house in the pilot episode and was living in an apartment with his only "friend": his son's talking toy rabbit, Mr. Floppy (Bobcat Goldthwait). By the show's third season, Tiffany had become a breakout character, and Cox became the de facto co-star of the show along with Pierson. Stories began focusing more on Tiffany and Ryan's escapades at high school, and later community college.

In the fourth season, producers tried to kill off Jennifer's increasingly unnecessary character and return her as a ghost. Negative audience reaction made them quickly reverse this action. [citation needed] The character was brought back to life in a deliberately bizarre sequence in which a network executive wandered onto the set and announced that she was no longer dead. Nevertheless, Hodge decided to leave the show, and several episodes after Jennifer's bizarre reappearance, she abandoned her family for a lesbian lover and was never seen again.

The final season focused more on Tiffany, with her rival Barbara Caufield (Wendy Benson) joining the cast. The series wrapped up with a final episode in which Jack finally made enough money to send Tiffany to Harvard University. Once Jack started making money, he no longer needed Floppy, with his schizophrenia seemingly "cured", and Floppy returned to being just a stuffed animal. However, Jack's return to drinking brought Floppy "back from the dead."





Main article: List of Unhappily Ever After episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
113January 11, 1995 (1995-01-11)May 17, 1995 (1995-05-17)
222September 6, 1995 (1995-09-06)May 22, 1996 (1996-05-22)
322September 8, 1996 (1996-09-08)May 18, 1997 (1997-05-18)
421September 7, 1997 (1997-09-07)May 10, 1998 (1998-05-10)
522September 13, 1998 (1998-09-13)May 23, 1999 (1999-05-23)

Production notes

The series was created by Ron Leavitt and Arthur Silver, who also worked on Married... with Children. Unhappily was often compared to Married... with Children as both series had similar themes.[2][3][4]

Unhappily Ever After was one of the four sitcoms that aired as part of the original Wednesday night two-hour lineup that helped launch The WB network (along with The Wayans Bros., The Parent 'Hood and the short-lived Muscle).

Theme song and opening sequence

When the show first began its run, the original opening started with the "wedding photo" (even though they are moving in it) of the Malloys, with their smiles fading, and showed clips of the father leaving and walking through the slum to his new place. While walking, a man runs by him holding a TV, chased by another man who stops, takes a shooting stance, and fires a gun at the thief. The next clip shows the father as he walks past the first man lying face down, TV near his hands, as he enters his apartment. The theme song played over the opening was Bobcat Goldthwait (and possibly others) singing "We married young, because of cupid. And had three kids, but we were stupid. She kicked me out, she's not my honey. But she still wants me, when she needs money. Now I'm alone, come rain or sunny. But who needs love? I've got my bunny." In the final scene of the final episode, this is the song Jack sings with Mr. Floppy, but with slightly modified lyrics. "I married young, because of cupid. And had three kids, but you were stupid. I could've been rich, instead I'm a loser. But at least we're happy, 'cause you're a boozer. Now I'm alone, come rain or sunny. But who needs love? I've got my bunny."

Beginning with the second season, the series' theme song was "Hit the Road Jack" by Ray Charles; the song is a reference to Jennie kicking Jack out of the house. The opening is a sequence of bizarre events from the first season and the male vocals are lip-synced by Floppy while the female vocals are lip-synced by Jennie, Tiffany and Maureen for seasons 1 and 2, Jennie and Tiffany for seasons 3 and 4, and Tiffany, Jack, Ryan and Ross for season 5. In reruns and syndication, the season 1 opening was replaced with the "Hit The Road Jack" opening with clips from the show.


  1. ^ Cotter, Bill (1997). The Wonderful World of Disney Television. Hyperion Books. pp. 463–466. ISBN 0-7868-6359-5.
  2. ^ Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle F. (2007-10-17). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946–Present (9 ed.). Ballantine Books. p. 1455. ISBN 978-0-345-49773-4.
  3. ^ Childs, T. Mike (2004). The Rocklopedia Fakebandica. Macmillan. pp. 111. ISBN 0-312-32944-X.
  4. ^ Leonard, John (1995-01-30). "The Next Next Generation". New York Magazine. 28 (5). New York Media, LLC: 83. ISSN 0028-7369.