Family Ties Reunion Reveals How Cast Won Roles, Who Stole Props From Set

“I wouldn’t have my script, I wouldn’t have whatever I need, I was just a mess,” Michael J. Fox confessed.

The cast of the beloved 1980s sitcom “Family Ties” had a virtual reunion on Tuesday.

Michael J. Fox (Alex P. Keaton), Meredith Baxter (Elyse Keaton), Michael Gross (Steven Keaton) and Tina Yothers (Jennifer Keaton) got together to reminisce about the NBC comedy during an appearance on “Stars in the House.”

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Fans of the series were treated to anecdotes about water gun fights during breaks, Gross not being allowed to park his bike on the Paramount lot and Baxter picking up Fox to go to set in the morning.

“Meredith would kindly give me rides to work,” Fox began. “And she would show up and, of course, if we were supposed to leave at 8:30, she would pick me up at 8:30, I woke up at 8:29. She would honk the horn and I’d get in the shower.”

“I wouldn’t have my script, I wouldn’t have whatever I need, I was just a mess.”

But Fox said he enjoyed the carpool immensely because he was driven to his job in a “beautiful Mercedes” by a “beautiful movie star, television star, actress.”

“I thought that was so much fun,” Baxter chimed in. “I thought it was cool, except, you know, I am punctual — I pulled in and I could hear the shower turn on and it’s like, ‘Really, that’s what you’re doing now?'”

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The costars also revealed how they landed their parts, with Gross admitting he was chosen for the plum role by a child.

“I was put on tape and the story from our executive producer, Gary David Goldberg, was that his daughter, Shana, was looking at some of these VHS tapes he was running and went, ‘Oh, I like that guy! I like that guy!'”

“And Shana still takes 10 percent of my income for the rest of my life,” he quipped. “No, apparently, I owe my success to the producer’s daughter, who at that time was maybe 4 or 5 years of age.”

Baxter said playing the part of an ex-hippie raising a family in Ohio came to her by surprise. According to the star, Gary David Goldberg was at her house one night for dinner to discuss a project with the man she was married to at the time.

“And then some months later, they called me and asked if I would like to be in ‘Family Ties. ‘I had no idea what they saw or what happened, but I got the job and he didn’t.”

For Yothers, she ended up choosing the sitcom over a Disney western.

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“I was 7 or 8 and I did a movie called ‘Shoot the Moon’ and Gary [David Goldberg] really liked the movie and liked my character,” she detailed. “I was just a kid being a kid. And he brought me into his big office with his big chair and his big desk and I sat there and I had just shot a pilot for Disney for a Disney western and it was so much fun, with horses and a stagecoach and, you know, all the fun you could ever have.”

“And he asked me, ‘Would be interested in doing this family sitcom?’ And I said, ‘Are there going to be horses?’ And he said, ‘Probably not horses.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll have to think about it.’ Well, I made the right decision not going with the Disney show.”

When the show ended in 1989, some of the stars decided to take a piece of the experience with them… literally.

“I stole this lamp,” Yothers confessed with a laugh. “I stole this thing behind me that hung in the kitchen.”

Not to be outdone, Gross held up a clapperboard and said, “I’ll tell you what I do have, check this out.”

“We stole this s–t!” Yothers hilariously shouted.

Later in the show, the group was joined by Scott Valentine (Nick Moore), Marc Price (Irwin “Skippy” Handelman) and Brian Bonsall (Andy Keaton).

Check out the full reunion, sans Justine Bateman (Malory Keaton), in the clip above!

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