Via Warner Bros.

Every so often, an episode comes along that challenges our ideas of what a TV show can represent. These five milestone moments helped pave the way for television as we know it today.


1. The Jetsons adopt Orbity, TV’s first HIV-positive character (The Jetsons)

Via Warner Bros.

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Two decades after its original run, The Jetsons returned to television in 1985 with a few significant changes. The most notable change was the addition of a new pet for the family: furry, adorable, HIV-positive Orbity. Though shocking at first for audiences who had never seen a character with HIV on television before, Orbity ultimately proved that shows didn’t have to shy away from the once-taboo subject.


2. The first interracial circumcision (Family Ties)

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While circumcision scenes were commonplace in ’80s sitcoms, Family Ties broke all the rules when it showed a black doctor circumcising Michael J. Fox.


3. Kramer marries Rudy Giuliani (Seinfeld)

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This classic Kramer escapade was also a landmark LGBT television moment.


4. Archie says “fisting” (All In The Family)

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Television changed forever after the unforgettable season-four episode where Archie Bunker said “fisting” directly into the camera and shrugged.


5. The big lawnmower in the shed (Growing Pains)

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Producers didn’t think America was ready for it, but they were quickly proven wrong when ratings shot through the roof following the fifth-season premiere in which the Seaver family snuck into their gay neighbors’ shed and built them a bigger lawnmower.