Pop Culture | TV | 90s | 80s
10 Sitcom Moments That Hit Us Right In The Feels When We Least Suspected
Sitcoms are some of our favorite ways to relax and have a few good laughs whenever we get home, and they're often a great escape from reality. However, sometimes our favorite shows decided they wanted to tackle serious issues, and in the case of these 10, they got especially dark.
Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - Will Gets Shot
When a man tries to rob Will and Carleton, he shoots at them anyway and Will takes a bullet for his best friend. He fortunately survives, but only barely, and Carleton begins carrying a gun everywhere now out of total fear.
Family Matters - Racism
Being a show about a middle-class African-American family living in suburbia, Family Matters wasn't afraid to look away from the continued adventures of Steve Urkel and tackle some real issues. One episode had Eddie being pulled over by a police officer for being black in a white town, while another had Laura's attempts to teach people about Black History Month being met with comments of "Go back to Africa" and having the N-word written on her locker.
Dinosaurs - Dinokind Destroys The Planet
A domino effect of efforts to stop a series of natural disasters (that Dinokind in fact caused themselves) leads to the planet eventually entering a new Ice Age and the population of the world being killed. It was the show's finale, and it left a pretty huge impact on its audience.
It only gets darker from here...
Diff'rent Strokes - Molestation
When Arnold and Dudley meet bicycle shop owner Mr. Horton, he shows them porn magazines, gives them wine, and even takes pictures of them with their shirts off. It's an immensely uncomfortable moment meant to warn kids about the dangers of pedophiles.
Punky Brewster - The Challenger Explosion
Punky Brewster was never afraid to tackle real-world issues; it had episodes about parental rights, the importance of learning CPR, and of course, stranger danger. However, the show's finale ultimately took its most serious turn when Punky and her class watch the real-world launch of the Challenger Space Shuttle, which then explodes. The world was still reeling from the event, and the show tackled it in a very mature way.
Full House - Anorexia
DJ gets invited to a pool party and wants to look as good as possible in a swim suit, so she begins starving herself and over-exercising. Body image is a hard-hitting issue for teens and pre-teens, and seeing the perpetual "smart kid" DJ fall victim to it
Boy Meets World - Straight Up Murder
The kids all get locked in the detention room and can't get out, at which point Shawn decides to reveal that he's actually a homicidal maniac and murders the entire cast. It all turns out to be a dream, but it was a pretty jarring example of how you don't always truly know somebody.
Blossom - Violent Date Abuse
James Marsden guest stars as a popular kid who takes Blossom out on a date. However, when she won't go all the way with him, he straight up punches her in the face. It's an intensely uncomfortable scene that spoke to a real issue faced by a lot of women.
Saved By The Bell - "I'm So Excited"
Jessie becomes addicted to caffeine pills, and has a total breakdown when confronted about it. While the premise is ultimately a bit silly (as is her dramatic breakdown), it's a pretty shocking look at the horrors of addiction.
Blackadder Goes Forth - Going Over The Top
The final season of Blackadder takes place during the First World War, and often uses this fact for comedy. However, in the finale, Blackadder and his division are ordered to go "over the top" and assault the enemy, and after a chilling "Good luck, everyone," they go. The shot of them climbing up is soon superimposed with a shot of flowers, ending the show on a reminder of the true horrors of war.