Photo: © 2003 Sony Pictures Television, Inc.
1. Arnold Jackson, Diff'rent Strokes
The catchphrases and awkward stages of most child stars make us want to change the channel, but there are a few sitcom kids who stayed lovable, season after season. See who we'd love to babysit...for a few hours at least.
When Diff'rent Strokes premiered in the '70s, Arnold Jackson, as played by Gary Coleman, stole viewers' hearts with his chubby cheeks and mischievous grin. We can also thank—or blame—him for making the child star catchphrase a sitcom staple. Thirty years later, a little "What'choo talkin' 'bout, Willis?" still makes us smile.
2. Opie Taylor, The Andy Griffith Show
Sheriff Andy Taylor and Aunt Bee must have been doing something right. From the time he was a freckled-faced boy in black-and-white to his full-color adolescent years, Opie proved time and time again that he had a heart of gold.
Sure, he had a slingshot, but he felt rotten after accidentally killing that mama bird. We'd much rather look after Opie for an afternoon than get stuck wrangling Barney Fife.
3. Punky Brewster, Punky Brewster
She's spunky, she's Punky and she wears striped knee socks. Need we say more? Although we'd have to beware of abandoned refrigerators and deal with stuck-up Margaux, babysitting for Punky and her dog, Brandon, would be anything but boring.
If we're lucky, maybe she'd even let us borrow some sunshine hair bands and patches for our blue jean vests.
© 1982 Gene Trindl, MPTV.net
4. Ricky Stratton, Silver Spoons
Everyone knows the best part about babysitting is raiding the snack drawer and exploring the toy chest. Thanks to his father's lucrative toy business, little Ricky Stratton had the best of both.
Pac-Man, foosball and a model freight train...could you ask for anything more? As a bonus, special guests like Whitney Houston and Mr. T were known to stop by the Stratton mansion.
5. Stewie Griffin, Family Guy
Sure, he's sort of evil...but Stewie will certainly keep you on your toes. When he's not plotting the murder of his mother, Lois, this infant is a brilliant conversationalist. He can also teach you a thing or two about physics, Andy Warhol and criminal mischief.
6. Wednesday & Pugsley Addams, The Addams Family
If you can look past pet spiders and a miniature guillotine, Wednesday and her brother, Pugsley, are quite charming. This mature older sister and lovable little brother could keep you safe from their mansion's many inhabitants, including Kitty Cat, the family lion, and Thing, the disembodied hand.
The creepiest part of spending the day with these macabre youngsters would be the presence of Cousin Itt and Uncle Fester. Come on, fellas...it's time to get your own place.
Photo: © 1991 Columbia, MPTV.net
7. Tabitha Stephens, Bewitched
Tabitha is one of the only sitcom kids in history who had magic powers. Imagine the possibilities. Want to take pony rides in the backyard? Poof! She can make it happen.
Plus, she had a cool mom. After Tabitha's all tuckered out, you can spend some time with Samantha and practice your nose twitch.
8. Rudy Huxtable, The Cosby Show
Millions of Americans grew up with Rudy, the youngest Huxtable child. From the goldfish funeral to her teenage years, this adorable addition to one of our favorite TV families kept the laughs coming.
We'd even let her invite her friends "Bud" and Peter over to play...as long as the juicer was out of reach.
9. Vicki, Small Wonder
Vicki's superhuman strength and speed make up for her lack of emotion and dull robot voice. Unlike most sitcom kids, we're pretty sure Vicki would abide by bedtime rules and help us cook dinner.
She may have started out more machine than human, but over the course of the series, she became more lovable. We blame the tight ponytail and frilly dress for her serious demeanor.
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