Can you tell the difference between the families in The Big Valley and Bonanza?

Both the Cartwrights and the Barkleys had large ranches run by single parents — but what set them apart?

The Big Valley and Bonanza were two of the most popular Westerns in late 1960s America. At a time when many cowboy shows had already been taken off the air, these two series leapt off the screen in full color and showed a different side of the Old West by focusing on the trials and tribulations of an entire family instead of one lone gunman.

They shared many similarities— the fully grown children in each family had differing, and sometimes clashing, personalities and both households lived on large ranches in picturesque locations.

Of course, both shows were different in many ways as well. Pick which family you think each of the below statements are referring to and see how many you can get right!

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  1. This family had a daughter, Audra.
  2. Each son in this family had a different mother.
  3. This family’s ranch was named after a type of pine tree.
  4. This family lived in California.
  5. This family adopted a teenager late in the show’s run.
  6. The oldest son in this family was a lawyer.
  7. The person who played the parent in this family was only 13 years older than the actor who played their oldest son.
  8. One son in this family was born out of wedlock.
  9. This family had a fourth son, Eugene, who appeared briefly in the first season.
  10. Two sons from this family weren't in the show’s last season.
  11. This family was loosely based on a real ranching family from the 1800s.
  12. This family was hostile to outsiders on their ranch early on but changed their ways after an actor suggested they be more hospitable.

Can you tell the difference between the families in The Big Valley and Bonanza?

Your Result...

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trogg888 2 days ago
who the hell was eugene
AnnieM trogg888 2 days ago
He was the youngest Barkley. He went away to college and was never heard from or spoken of again.
Muleskinner 2 days ago
12/12. Knew most of them, but # 11 was a lucky guess.
Tommygunz 2 days ago
12/12 I watch both shows everyday, so it was easy for me.
Craigg 3 days ago
You got 12 out of 12
The answers really jumped out at you on this quiz! Great job!
flight401 4 days ago
12/12 grew up watching both and still do
AllisonWunderland 4 days ago
Yee-haw 🤠...Got 8/10 on this here quiz 🤗
ScoobyDoo169 4 days ago
11/12 "The answers really jumped out at you on this quiz! Great Job!" I missed number 8. I was about to pick the right answer though. I don't know really anything about The Big Valley but I do about Bonanza. I don't recall them ever being hostile to outsiders though, I just got a lucky guess on that question because it seemed like something like that could happen, the changing of the script and characters I mean.
Moody ScoobyDoo169 2 days ago
The early episodes in the first season showed the Cartwrights as being more clannish & less tolerant of strangers & trespassers than the later episodes.
Moody 5 days ago
12/12. That was pretty easy!
Cowgirl 5 days ago
You got 12 out of 12
The answers really jumped out at you on this quiz! Great job!
I love both shows, but the first 6 seasons before Pernell Roberts left Bonanza were the best.
TheDavBow3 Cowgirl 5 days ago
Totally agree, CG!
Quazimo 6 days ago
12/12 almost missed one 13yr old question had me thinking
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