George Jetson works 3 hours a day and 3 days a week for his short, tyrannical boss named Mr. Cosmo Spacely, owner of the company Spacely Space Sprockets. Typical episodes involve Mr. Spacely firing and rehiring or promoting and demoting George Jetson. Mr. Spacely has a competitor, H.G. Cogswell, owner of the rival company Cogswell Cogs. All homes and businesses are raised high above the ground on adjustable columns, in a style reflective of the architecture of Seattle's Space Needle and the distinct Theme Building of the Los Angeles International Airport. George commutes to work in an aerocar that resembles a flying saucer with a transparent top. Daily life is characterized as being comically leisurely because of the incredible sophistication and number of labor saving devices, which occasionally break down with humorous results. George's work day consists of pressing a single computer button. Despite this, characters often complain of exhausting hard labor and difficulties of living with the remaining inconveniences.
Other Jetson family members include Jane Jetson, the wife and homemaker; teenage daughter Judy and genius preteen son Elroy. Housekeeping is seen to by a robot maid, Rosie; she only appears in two episodes of the original 1960s show, excluding her appearance in the closing credits, but makes many appearances on the 1980s show.
The family dog Astro can mumble and say his words beginning with R's. Astro's catch phrases are "Ruh-roh!" and "Right, Reorge!" or "Rats Rall Right Reorge!"