Depressed inpatients with psychotic features were compared to those without them in terms of demographic features, depressive symptoms at intake and family history. These variables were then used to compare patients with mood-congruent psychotic features to those with mood-incongruent psychotic features. Patterns of familial psychopathology were similar for psychotic and non-psychotic patients. In accord with other studies, the families of mood-incongruent patients had slightly more schizophrenia and significantly less depression than did the families of mood-congruent patients. Depressive symptoms, particularly those used to define major depression and melancholia, were more severe in psychotic patients. Moreover, these particular depressive symptoms were more likely to distinguish mood-congruent from mood-incongruent patients than were other depressive symptoms. Thus mood-congruent psychotic features accompanied a more typical depressive syndrome than did mood-incongruent psychotic features.