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Banned Episodes From Children’s TV Shows

“Children, this is not allowed!” – a compilation of episodes of children’s series that have been banned from airing. Has any of your favorite cartoons made it onto the list?

Martyna Janasik

28 April 2024

Banned Episodes From Children's TV Shows

When we talk about programs for children, we don’t typically think about banned episodes. After all, these series are supposed to be innocent and harmless. However, sometimes it’s difficult to teach children about life and the world, let alone provide them with entertainment. That’s why it happens that some episodes of children’s series are banned from airing. Why? You’ll find out!

Children are quite demanding viewers. They quickly get bored and easily distracted. They don’t read between the lines. They take everything seriously. Therefore, a movie or a series can’t be too long, and its message must be clear, simple, and even obvious. Sometimes creators of children’s series fail to achieve this. In such cases, the only solution is to cancel the production of a particular episode.

The Lost Episode #847 of Sesame Street

The missing episode of Sesame Street is episode #847, where the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz makes an appearance.

Yes, even Sesame Street wasn’t immune to a ban from airing. Yes, all because of the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz. As it turns out, the Wicked Witch of the West not only terrorized the residents of Oz in The Wizard of Oz but also caused quite a stir on the iconic Sesame Street. The premise of the episode was that the Wicked Witch of the West flew over Sesame Street and dropped her broomstick. Throughout the episode, she tries to retrieve it. At one point, she even threatens to turn Big Bird into a feather duster.

The episode was banned from airing after parents of children who enjoyed the TV show began to complain en masse that the witch’s appearance made their little ones cry. The network swiftly responded to the parents’ outcry, and although further audience tests didn’t show any visible distress, they decided to pull the episode from airing.

Episode 47 of Peppa Pig

Peppa Pig is one of the most popular children’s series created by the British. However, its creators stumbled in the first season. Specifically, it was the 47th episode of the first season that didn’t sit well with the Australian government.

The episode in question is “Mr. Skinny Legs.” This episode addresses arachnophobia, or the fear of spiders. At one point in the story, Peppa’s little brother, George, goes to the bathroom to fill up a toy watering can. While standing by the sink, a spider crawls out of the drain. George takes the spider to his room and shows it to his sister, Peppa. Peppa gets scared of the spider and runs to her parents. However, they explain to her that she has nothing to fear because the little spider won’t hurt her. Peppa then befriends the spider and names it Mr. Skinny Legs.

The portrayal of a harmless and small spider didn’t sit well with the Australian government, where there are many spiders that are deadly to humans regardless of their size. Concerned about the potential misinterpretation of the episode by young children, which could increase the risk of spider bites, Australia banned the airing of the 47th episode of the first season in their country.

The episodes of the Pokémon series

An episode of a children’s series can be banned from airing for various reasons. For example, for perpetuating racial stereotypes, being too violent, or posing a danger to someone’s health. Yes, you read that right. An episode of a children’s program can even be harmful to health. And not just psychologically. A good example of this is the 38th episode of the first season of Pokémon.

It involves a scene where Ash has to travel inside one of his Poké Balls. Specifically, it’s the moment when Pikachu uses Thunderbolt to detonate incoming missiles. While Pikachu saved the day in the show, it physically harmed 700 viewers. The flashing lights caused 700 Japanese viewers, aged 3 to 58, to suffer from seizures, vomiting, irritated eyes, and other symptoms. After this incident, the airing of Pokémon in Japan was suspended for 4 months.

The 38th episode of the first season of Pokémon is one of many episodes of the series that have been banned. Another good example is the 19th episode of the first season. This episode was temporarily banned in the United States after the September 11 attacks because in one scene, Tentacool destroys a skyscraper.

The beer episode from the Tiny Toon Adventures 

Creators of children’s series often craft them with the intention of teaching children through specific stories. However, as mentioned earlier, educating children can be challenging. The beer episode from the Tiny Toon Adventures series is a perfect example of this.

While most children’s programs speak out against drugs and alcohol, they do so infrequently. However, the creators of Tiny Toon Adventures decided to address this issue to educate children about the dangers of alcohol. In the beer episode, Buster, Plucky, and Hamton drink beer together and get drunk. In their intoxicated state, they get into a police car and decide to drive down Death Mountain. Although intended as a joke, the creators themselves acknowledged that they went too far and withdrew the episode from airing in the United States.

The episodes of the Arthur series featuring Lance Armstrong

Do you remember the famous American cyclist Lance Armstrong? Yes, the one who constantly won everything and then admitted to years of illegal doping. I mention him because he’s at the center of another controversy surrounding a children’s series.

This time it’s about the show Arthur, which follows the adventures of an aardvark named Arthur as he sets out to find answers to his questions. The show features guest appearances by many well-known figures, including Lance Armstrong. The former cyclist appeared in a total of 3 episodes. So, the creators of the series faced a significant dilemma when, several years after the episodes featuring Armstrong aired, the cyclist admitted to years of using illegal doping.

What did the creators do? They temporarily banned the airing of the episodes featuring Armstrong. The episodes were only allowed to be aired again after necessary changes were made, which involved replacing Armstrong’s character with Uncle Slam.

The last episode of the TaleSpin series


The TaleSpin series was based on the iconic Jungle Book and its secondary characters. The series was a hit, but the last episode caused quite a headache for Disney.

In the final episode, Baloo unknowingly delivers a bomb to the home of a foreign leader, hoping that the resulting war would mean high profits for bomb manufacturers. Baloo was unaware he was attempting an assassination, but the terrorist motives and the act of transporting a bomb in an airplane were deemed excessive. It’s no wonder that Disney permanently banned the airing of this episode soon after.

Martyna Janasik

Martyna Janasik

Cultural studies scholar and writer. Enthusiast of food, cinema, and sports. Probably that's why some of her favorite movies are "Rocky" and "Julie and Julia". She always wanted to write, so she will always write. In her free time, she loves watching movies and playing tennis.

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