It’s not an easy job teaching children right from wrong, or the tough truths of the worl, let alone keep them entertained. Sometimes, a TV shows attempts to grab attention (or headlines) can lead to some episodes that were destined to be banned and destroyed. By all accounts, there is no reason these stories should have ever been made let alone make it to air.
Here are Screenrant’s 10 Banned Kids Show Episodes You Won’t Believe.
TaleSpin – “Flying Dupes”
The Disney series that took the animal stars of The Jungle Book into the world of commercial air transport couldn’t be too serious with Baloo as it’s star. But one episode banned by Disney had too many problems to count. The final episode of the series had Baloo deliver a bomb to a foreign leader’s home, in hopes that the resulting war would mean high profits for bomb makers. Baloo didn’t know he was attempting an assassination, but the terrorist themes, and transport of a bomb on an airplane alone make it hard to believe it actually made it to air. Unsurprisingly, Disney permanently banned the episode shortly after.
Peppa Pig – “Mister Skinnylegs”
When you’re a kid, there are too many things to be afraid of to even count. The British animated show Peppa Pig set out to tackle that problem by explaining that spiders might seem scary, but can’t really hurt you. The message was a good one in Britain, but in Australia, where spiders actually can kill you, broadcasters saw a horrible problem brewing. Rather than encouraging kids to get close to venomous spiders, the episode of the series was deemed unsuitable for public safety, and banned.
Tiny Toon Adventures – “One Beer”
Children’s TV shows and cartoons make a habit of setting a good example for younger viewers, with episodes meant to spread awareness about drugs, alcohol or abuse all but expected. But, just like every other issue, Tiny Toons took that idea beyond the extreme. The youngsters Buster, Plucky and Hamton down a beer knowing they’re going to teach young viewers a lesson, but the bender that followed gets out of hand fast. After stealing a cop car and plunging to their deaths, the studio decided the story went too far, even if it was all a joke. Although the episode still airs in Canada, it’s banned on American airwaves.
Sailor Moon – Neptune & Uranus
The story of young girls turned into superheroes was an absolute phenomenon when it hit American shores, but the addition of English voices wasn’t the only change made when bringing Sailor Moon from Japan. Fans may never have realized that in its original form, Sailors Neptune and Uranus aren’t just friends, but lovers. Rather than deal with a lesbian relationship in a cartoon, other countries came up with some strange solutions. For starters, editing out or refusing to air episodes that hinged on their romance. In America, the pair were written as “cousins,” which made their flirting even more unsettling. But in Russia and France, Sailor Uranus’ civilian form was claimed to be a man, with Neptune pretending to be his girlfriend to keep their superhero identities a secret – even going so far as hiring a male voice actor for the part.
Gargoyles – “Deadly Force”
This cult hit from Disney TV offers one more example of the times when trying to teach kids a lesson ends up shocking more than it helps. Playing off the idea that violent movies and video games glorify violence and gunslingers, the not-too-bright member of the Gargoyles Broadway learns that guns aren’t toys – in as shocking and traumatic a way as possible. While playing with the service weapons of the group’s human ally Elisa, Broadway ends up shooting her by accident. Understandably, parents and protest groups complained about their kids watching a beloved cartoon hero shoot a woman and put her in intensive care. The episode was banned for re-airings, but has more recently returned to the rotation.
Arthur – “Room to Ride”
Sometimes, a plot line or celebrity cameo can make sense at the time, but events in the real world conspire to make it an awkward problem for networks to solve. When the children’s cartoon Arthur decided to tackle the issue of cycling on city streets, Binky turns to a reliable expert for inspiration: Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong. Just a few years later, Armstrong would admit to taking banned substances, and be stripped of his seven championships. It was probably in the show’s best interest to make sure the episode would also reflect the ruling, stripping him of a cameo to top everything off.
Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood – “Conflict”
Few children’s TV hosts are as respected as Mr. Rogers, and an entire week’s worth of episodes might have gotten banned for trying to teach kids too much. The five episodes focused squarely on giving kids a crash course in the Cold War – and the paranoia and fear that helped it spin out of control by the time they aired in 1983. A strange package delivered to Corny the Beaver is all Good King Friday needed to suspect him of amassing a nuclear arsenal, letting fear escalate the situation. The analogy worked, but the subject matter was just too frightening for kids to handle, and the storyline was never aired again.
Aside from the central plot of each episode of Dexter’s Laboratory, the ‘Dial M For Monkey’ segment gave comic book superheroes a top-notch send up. Parodying heroes from Nick Fury to the Fantastic Four, one episode starring “the Silver Spooner” caused seem controversy. It wasn’t the presence of a drunk Hulk, or even a ripoff of Marvel’s Galactus and Silver Surfer, but the fact that Silver Spooner was one long joke based on gay stereotypes. The writers may have thought they were being clever, but the episode was never aired with other reruns of the series.
That’s right, even Sesame Street wasn’t safe from the terror of The Wizard of Oz antagonist, with the Witch – played by Margaret Hamilton – appearing after dropping her broom around Mr. Hooper’s store. Naturally, Oscar the Grouch was immediately fond of the Witch, but kids at home apparently weren’t. When parents complained en masse that the villain’s appearance had upset their kids or reduced them to tears, the network acted fast. The apparent terror was nowhere to be found in further test audiences, but figured they would play it safe anyway. The episode hasn’t aired since.
The fun of this infamous Pokémon episode all started when Ash was forced to travel inside the depths of one of his own Poké balls. When Pikachu used lightning to detonate incoming missiles, he saved the day. But for the kids watching the show, things didn’t go so smoothly. The flashing red and blue explosion sent almost 700 Japanese children into bouts of dizziness, headaches, blurred vision, or in some cases, even seizures. “Pokémon Shock” made headlines around the world, but didn’t just get the episode banned – the entire show went on a four month break.
So what do you think of our list? Did we miss out on any of your favorite TV shows that got episodes pulled from the air? Be sure to share them in the comments, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more videos like this one.