Do you remember fighting over the TV?

Before the eighties, most people had only one TV. Plus, with VCR’s nonexistent or rare before that decade, if you missed a show you’d probably have to wait 'til summer reruns to see it again. Do you remember any conflicts with your family members or roomates over which TV shows to watch? Do you remember what shows these conflicts were about?

As kids my brother and I (I’m 2 yrs older) argued between “Jeopardy” (me) and “Danger Mouse” (cartoon) (him) AIR we alternated nights.

With three kids in the house, hell yeah we fought over what to watch. I don’t remember the specific shows, but it was a real issue in our house. I not only remember fighting over the tv, I remember being the remote. :stuck_out_tongue:

Three kids. Many fights.

We used to argue over Flip Wilson. My sister wanted to watch Family Affair and my brother and I wanted to watch Flip Wilson. As I recall, the parentally dictated compromise was that we alternated weeks. Which my brother and I argued was unfair because there were two of us, so we figured we should get two weeks out of three.

Then a year later, Family Affair was cancelled and Bearcats came on. Which my brother and I decided was the coolest show ever. So we started watching Bearcats instead of Flip Wilson. And then my sister announced she now liked Flip Wilson so she wanted to watch it that instead. So back to alternate weeks.

The following year, Bearcats was cancelled so my brother and I wanted to go back to Flip Wilson. So my sister announced she no longer liked Flip Wilson and wanted to watch The Waltons instead.

I think it was around this point my parents just gave up and bought a second television.

My sister and I used to fight over the television. My sister liked day time talk shows and I did not. She did introduce me to the X-Files though so her taste wasn’t all wrong. A lot of times we would finally end up coming to some sort of compromise. Usually it was “you watch what you want to watch now and I’ll watch what I want at this other time” which worked fairly well. My sister had a habit of growing disinterested in her shows about 10 minutes into them. This would piss me off when I agreed to relinquish claims to the television while a show I wanted to watch was on. I simply abhor starting to watch a movie or a television show when it has already started.

Not to do with which show, but one year in middle school when I was taking piano lessons I could only practice in the evenings during commercial breaks when the TV was on. The TV and piano were next to each other in the living room; today there’d probably be another TV somewhere else in the house (not to mention laptops, iPads, etc.).

Dad controlled the tv when he was home.

I missed a lot of shows because he was watching Wild Kingdom or other stuff.

Once in awhile he’d agree to let us watch a movie if we asked ahead of time.

No fighting at all.
From as far back as I can remember [probably 3 years old] the TV wasn’t on during the day, we tended to watch in the evenings only, and what I remember was mostly stuff like Wild Kingdom and Wonderful World of Disney, and cartoons on saturday mornings, and the sssh show sunday morning [it was a couple of cartoons, and then a movie] Along about 1967 we got a new tv for the living room and the old one went to the nursery playroom. In 1969 we moved to a different house and part of the basement got turned into a hangout room/study room for my brother and I and our tv got moved down there. In 1976 I bought my own little tv for my bedroom out of saved money, my brother had bought one for himself a couple years earlier. About that time we tossed the old kids tv and moved the living room tv down to the basement and we got a color tv for the living room.

Most of the time we had 2 tvs, though in all honesty it wasnt until we moved from Perry to Caledonia that we actually managed to get any sort of decent tv reception. Perry is about 60 miles away from either Buffalo or Rochester, and got shit for tv signal unless it was at night. We just really were not into a lot of tv watching. I read lots, being sick most of the time in the winters.

Three kids, and we all enjoyed the Wonderful World of Disney, but our TV was limited, and I remember one awful night where I fought with my brothers because I wanted to watch the Little Mermaid episode of the Shirley Temple Storybook program (can’t remember what they wanted to see.) My parents told us all three had to go to bed with no TV at all. I cried into my pillow last night.

It was several years later that we finally got another TV so had a free one in the basement. That toned down the fights quite a bit

Edited to add:
I don’t remember my own boys (Generation Y) fighting at all over TV.
Other things, yes, but not what to watch on the tube.

I had the most evil mother in the world. Immediately afterschool, I would come home and be forced to watch “As the World Turns” while my mother worked in the yard. I was forced to tell her what was going on while totally awesome shows played on a different channel.

We used to argue (when we had only one TV). Luckily, there were only three channels, so it kept the arguments down. We usually managed to compromise: I’d watch one of their shows, if they watched one of mine.

I was and still remain a channel surfer, had to sit close to the B&W tv to spin the dial between channels 2, 4,7 and 10, and sometimes UHF(?) to get what, 2 more channels

Fights usually cropped up during football season, or after school reruns we pushed our preferences for Hogan’s heroes vs Lucy or the Three Stooges.


With my parents, the closest thing to “arguing” were:

  • wanting to stay up later to finish watching something. Rare in my case and Middlebro’s, as we’ve always been early-in, early-up, but Littlebro is the opposite.
  • when I was in 6th grade, succesfully contending that it was absurd to make me go to Sunday school, which was Saturday at 4pm, when that meant missing the Saturday afternoon movies (one of the very few things that were both worth watching and admissible to my parents relatively often) and the material being covered in the parish was the same stuff that had been covered in more detail the previous year at school.

In the dorm, again no, because again the rules were very clear. TV could be on at certain hours, and if there were several of us watching it, the majority choose. So while I was part of the minority who preferred Willow to 90210 reruns, we didn’t argue, we just sighed and went to do something else.

Yes, we didn’t get a second TV until I was in middle school. One epic battle I remember was when my sister wanted to watch Home Improvement and I wanted to watch Seinfeld. I ended up winning most nights, but the carnage was immense.

The fight I most clearly remember was with my sister over my getting to watch Mission:Impossible. There was some other show that was on at the same time that she wanted to watch, and we ended up compromising by alternating what we watched each week. Unfortunately, M:I occasionally ran two-part shows, which meant that I was going to miss one part. I remember one time when I managed to get her to agree to let me watch it two weeks in a row in exchange for letting her watch her show the next two weeks. So I watched the first part, and the following week was all ready to watch the second part when she insisted that since I had watched my show last week it was her turn to watch her show. When I reminded her of our agreement, she denied ever making it; and the fight that ensued resulted in my Dad turning off the TV and declaring that neither of us got to watch TV that night.

Yes, fights all the time with my brother. I think plenty were over shows that we both would have been content to watch if left to our own devices, but we liked fighting for the sake of it.

The one I remember the most clearly was when I wanted to watch the final episode of MASH and my brother wanted … something else, probably stupid, like Battle of the Network Stars or whatever ABC would have run against MASH. My parents had instituted an alternating system, like 8 PM for one kid, and 9 PM for the other kid … but we could make a case if we had a “special show” that was longer than an hour. My brother wouldn’t give up his hour and my parents determined that the final episode of MAS*H wasn’t a special occasion. So I had to watch the second half on my grandmother’s old TV that didn’t really work that we stored in the garage, it was the kind of set-up where you had to hold up a tin foil chain attached to the antenna and adjust as necessary so that you could get either picture or sound, depending on what you wanted more.

Ha, this reminded me of a fight my brother and I had over the remote control (our brand new remote control), and my Dad settled it by taking away the remote control and not returning it until my brother and I went away to college.

My sister and I fought over the remote well into the 2000s. My parents still have only one TV, and my mom was horrified by requests to get additional TVs when we were kids.

Oh yes, my sisters and I often fought over what to watch. I had one sister who wanted to watch Fame whereas I wanted to watch anything but.

I also remember wanting to watch Legends of the Superheroes the week after I wanted to watch Mork And Mindy and my sister giving me crap about that.

I was also my dad’s remote control.

Additionally, I saved up my money at one point to buy a small B&W TV to use with my computer (A Commodore 64) and soon after that I got a lot of “Why don’t you just go watch it on your TV?” remarks from my sisters.

That is evil indeed. Did you sit and turn the dial back and forth to watch 2 shows at once?