TV | Pop Culture | 90s | 80s | 70s
10 Episodes From Your Favorite Shows That Were Too 'Offensive' For Re-Runs
Making TV shows isn't all Hollywood glamour and celebrities. Sometimes there are important discussions that need to happen regarding what's allowed on the network, what should be discussed, and what is worth the risk. This becomes extra complicated when you are making television shows for kids.
There are surprising number of kids' shows that ended up getting some episodes banned. Shows you would NEVER suspect, like Sesame Street or Mister Rogers.
Here are just some of the episodes of your favorite kids' shows that you have never seen because they were deemed too inappropriate for kids.
Mister Rogers' Neighborhood - "Conflict"
While he was in the most beautiful neighborhood imaginable, apparently it wasn't enough to keep the censors out. A week-long theme of "Conflict" during season 15 was the cause of some problems. Mister Rogers discusses things like divorce, death, and even war.
When the show was in syndication it was set to play in 1996 but the talks of war were too real and the network decided it was not good for children to see it. Since then, these episodes have been tucked away and forgotten.
Sesame Street - "Episode 0847"
Sesame Street is one of those shows that you would assume is always on their best behavior, but one simple slip up was enough to have an episode banned. They are known for bringing celebrities onto the show to help bring some relatable characters for kids to see, but when they brought in actress Margaret Hamilton they encountered some issues.
You may not recognize her name, but you would absolutely know her face. Margaret Hamilton played the Wicked Witch of the West in the classic 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz. Apparently seeing the Wicked Witch was too scary for kids and because of all the complaint letters the producers received they decided not to air the episode ever again.
Tiny Toons Adventures - "Elephant Issues - One Beer"
In a strange choice for what was supposed to be a fun cartoon, Tiny Toons decided to devote a segment of their show to their characters finding a beer and then having a crazy drunken adventure.
Buster Bunny, Plucky Duck and Hamton J. Pig drink the beer and become super drunk, steal a cop car and then drive off a cliff and literally die. For pretty obvious reasons parents were not impressed by it and it was pulled from syndication.
TaleSpin - "Flying Dupes"
What was normally a pretty innocent show, TaleSpin had one episode that upset people quite a bit. In the series finale of the show, Baloo is given the task of delivering a package to the Thembrian High Marshall but it was actually a bomb.
The episode was banned from TV but apparently is found on the DVD set if you desperately want to see it.
Dexter's Laboratory - "Dial M For Monkey: Barbequor"
This episode of Dexter's Laboratory uses a bunch of parodied super heroes based on Marvel characters, but that isn't why it ended up getting banned.
The Silver Spooner character (parody of the Silver Surfer) received a lot of complaints because people said it was a stereotype of gay men. The character Krunk (aka The Hulk) also did not go over well because he was drunk and vomiting off-camera.
But there are some shows that had several episodes get banned from the air.
Boy Meets World - "Promises, Promises", "If You Can't Be With The One You Love", "The Truth About Honesty"
Normally Boy Meets World is thought of a good wholesome show that is safe for kids to watch, but apparently these three episodes did not suit The Disney Channel's standards.
Originally airing on ABC without issue, these episodes no longer were thought to be suitable because they dealt with mature issues like virginity and underage drinking. The episodes weren't rebroadcast until they expanded their networks to ABC Family.
Gargoyles - "Deadly Force"
Parents and protest groups were livid about this episode of Gargoyles after it included gun violence. In the episode the gargoyle named Broadway is using Elisa's gun when he accidentally shoots her.
Kids weren't super thrilled with watching a beloved cartoon character end up in intensive care so the episode was banned from airing again.
Arthur - "Room to Ride"
Who remembers Lance Armstrong? Everyone thought he was kind of an athletic hero for a while, including the people who made the cartoon Arthur.
He had a cameo in an episode about cycling on city streets but when they too away his championships for using banned substances, the show decided to scrap his episode.
Pokemon - "Cyber Soldier Porygon"
It was aired in Japan in 1997, and the outcome was actually just insane. This wasn't the type of situation where people were offended by the content, they were literally sent to the hospital because of it.
The episode included a scene where there was a bunch of red and blush flashes that strobe on the screen. The kids watching the show seemed to react extremely poorly to this, with many viewers starting to complain about blurred vision, headaches, dizziness and nausea. There were even some kids who had seizures, blindness, convulsions or even passed out. There were 685 kids taken to the hospital via ambulance.
The program was suspended the very next day for a while so they could investigate the cause of the seizures. There was a four-month break where they found that the seizures were likely caused by some errors in the animation which were fixed up before it was shown anywhere else.
Bugs Bunny - "Any Bonds Today?"
The original Bugs Bunny cartoons were made a VERY long time ago, and times have definitely changed. Back then it wasn't thought to be offensive to say the things that the characters in The Bugs Bunny Show said, but it was pretty bad.
There are countless episodes where one of the characters uses some kind of racial reference or slur that is super inappropriate now, but in the episode "Any Bonds Today" Bugs Bunny himself actually dresses up in blackface. Seriously...