Another day, another made-up national holiday! This one is allegedly National Aunts + Uncles Day, because what would we do if there weren’t a designated time to celebrate your parents’ weirdo brothers and sisters?! I prefer fictional aunts and uncles to IRL aunts and uncles, so I choose to celebrate those depicted in movies and on TV shows. Here are the ones (in no particular order) I think are most worthy of our love:
Aunt Patty and Aunt Selma, The Simpsons: As a perpetually single aunt of two, Patty and Selma are my spinster role models. I don’t predict any baby madness anytime soon, but I wouldn’t rule it out because the future is always unpredictable; I would be honored to pull a Selma in my desperation and adopt an iguana named Jub-Jub to fill my childless void. Here’s to outspoken, hairy-legged, gravelly-voiced chainsmokers, you guys.
Uncle Phil and Aunt Viv, Fresh Prince of Bel Air: Ugh, RIP James Avery. But IRL tragedies aside, let’s just take a moment to appreciate how dope Uncle Phil and Aunt Viv were as a fictional couple, yeah? Uncle Phil is tough but fair, and Aunt Viv rules, so I’m willing to overlook the fact that she was played by two different people. Anyone who takes in a young Will Smith is okay by me, especially when they live in a chill mansion.
Uncle Buck, Uncle Buck: I mean, need I explain? Uncle Buck is a cinematic masterpiece (RIP, John Candy), and if Patty and Selma were my animated role models for what it takes to be a quirky aunt, then Buck for SURE is my life-action spirit uncle with his disregard for being a embarrassing on all levels. Pass me the booze ‘n cigars, and send me out to destroy any/all male suitors who will eventually pose a threat to the well-being of my nieces. He wears his badge as “resident family fuck-up” with pride, and I do, too, dammit!
Uncle Frank, Home Alone: While we’re in John Hughes territory, let’s go ahead and shout out Uncle Frank, America’s favorite cheapskate! He bestowed “LOOK WHATCHA DID, YOU LITTLE JERK!” on us as a beautiful catchphrase, and he set the bar for stealing stuff off airplanes, which I respect. I love you AND your cantankerousness, Frank. I really do.
Aunt Frances and Aunt Jet, Practical Magic: QUEENS is what I say to you of Aunt Frances and Aunt Jet. They do magic! They do late night booze! They do tough love! They are all of the things I wish I could be and obviously more since I am unable at this time to cast spells!
Aunt Hilda and Aunt Zelda, Sabrina the Teenage Witch: Okay, so they’re not as iconic as the aforementioned witch aunts, but they certainly have their moments as Melissa Joan-Hart’s mentors. Hilda is obviously the chiller of the two, but I would gladly accept either/or as my magical, mystical blonde aunts.
Uncle Fester, The Addams Family: Not a witch, but still able to illuminate light bulbs with his mouth! I think I am a total Uncle Fester – loveable, pale, and easily manipulated by Joan Cusack!
Aunt Bethany, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation: I almost included Eddie here, but then I remembered he’s technically a cousin. BOO! But Aunt Bethany totally rules; anyone who fucks up saying grace (whether intentionally or not) around the family holiday table is tight IMO, and if someone gave me wrapped cats and/or jello for Christmas I would think that was amazing and hilarious! Much better than the dog training book my grandma gave me one year even though we didn’t have a dog then and weren’t planning to get one! Aunt Bethany can stay.
Uncle Leo, Seinfeld: “JERRY! HELLO!” Oh my god, UNCLE LEO! If you don’t think Uncle Leo is the greatest then you can go ahead and get the hell OUT! Maximum kvetch, maximum goals.
Aunt Antiope, Wonder Woman: Ummmmm Aunt Antiope (or should I say GENERAL Antiope) is like, the most badass aunt of all time. SHE WILL FUCK A BITCH UP! I aspire to be more like her every day.
Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky, Full House: Easily the hottest and coolest couple in Full House history, and now that I am an adult I would probably go back in time (and like, through the TV screen) to have a threesome with them. (Provided they consented, which they probably wouldn’t because my hair is not as cool as theirs.) Also, fuck Uncle Joey. (Like, fuck him in a non-sexual way, I mean.)
Aunt Hailey, The OC: Don’t even think for a minute The OC wasn’t going to get a shout-out here! I identify with Hailey because she is irresponsible and not at all as put together as Kirsten (even when Kirsten was an alcoholic she was more put together than Hailey), and although I probably wouldn’t bone Jimmy Cooper, I still respect and support her decisions.
Uncle Rico, Napoleon Dynamite: And last but not least, UNCLE RICO! Listen, he’s creepy but like…in a sad kind of way, so I’ll allow it. I also appreciate his affinity for steak and entrepreneurship.