Anyone ever heard that Steve Douglas on My Three Sons is a serial killer? I didn't write this and it's been around for a while, but I think it's hilarious.
Mrs. Steve Douglas. When we first meet the family, in 1960, Steve Douglas is a putative widower raising sons Mike, Robbie and Chip with the help of an old man named Bub, allegedly the boys' maternal grandfather. Although Chip is hardly more than a toddler, no mention is ever made of the late Mrs. Douglas, beyond the fact that her untimely death leaves her husband free to date.
Bub. In 1964 the jolly grandfather, perhaps beginning to suspect that his daughter's death several years earlier was no accident suddenly disappears. Dad tells the boys that Bub has gone to "visit his mother in Ireland" and will be back soon. It seems dubious that Bub, a man in his 70's, could have a living mother, but the trusting sons fall for it.
In that same episode a mysterious seaman arrives at the Douglas home. Dad convinces the boys that this rough character is their "Uncle Charley" who will stick around to help out until Bub comes home. Eight years later Bub has still not returned.
Mike. Eventually the eldest son reaches an age at which he might begin to question his father. Thus, a year after Bub vanishes, Mike disappears. First Dad tells Robbie and Chip that Mike has gone on a honeymoon- and then he announces that Mike has "moved east." Mike never returns.
Ernie's parents. Down one son, Steve Douglas begins to take special interest in Chip's little pal, Ernie, who has been hanging around the Douglas' home for a couple of seasons. When Ernie is orphaned, Steve generously offers to adopt the boy. No mention is ever made of how Ernie's parents met their premature death, but it is not long after this that the Douglas clan flees their Midwestern home for California.
(An even more bizarre note: Though it had been established that Chip and Ernie were in the same grammar school class, once Ernie becomes the new third son, Dad claims Ernie is younger than Chip and forces to go back several grades in his new school.)
Robbie. In California Robbie marries a college friend and promptly seed her with triplets. Robbie, still a teenager, cannot afford to provide for his spawn. Dad invites Robbie, Katie and the triplets to live under his roof. Two years later Robbie is gone- though the pretty Katie continues to live with her missing husband's father. Visitors are told that Robbie is "away on a business trip" though when the series leaves the air, Robbie is still gone.
We can only wonder how long it was after the series ended its run that lunkhead Chip or ditz Ernie finally asked Dad one question too many and joined Mom, Bub, Mike and Robbie on the long vacation "to visit Bub's mother""on business""back east."