The reason that I mention this is that the extra-annoying Christmas At Exile Farm arc sort of gives the game away. We have Mike desperately trying to look like this cool dude only to have either Elly or Bev lecture him about how no one is there to impress when Bev musses his hair up like he's some little kid. If he's got his hair slicked up in order to attract girls with dangerous body language and impress his hoodlum friends, he hates the family and wants to destroy goodness and niceness. If he lets his hair get arranged in the rightful and mother-respecting Evil Linus Van Pelt look, he's Elly's baby who loves her and kindless and all the love in her great big heart. This leads us to what I'm starting to call a Foob Axiom:
Axiom 3a: John and Elly hate like fire the idea that their children have people who influence their lives that are not them. According to John and Elly, they or people they trust should be the only people on Earth their kids listen to and respect.