Top 10 Serious Issues That Were Dealt with in Kids TV Shows

egnomac
Though most TV shows are aimed at kids both in animation and live action it was not uncommon for most kids shows to tackle serious and at times taboo subjects that you really wouldn't expect to see in a kids show for this list we will be looking at the top 10 serious issues that have been dealt with in kids shows.

The Top Ten

1 Death

So many kids shows have dealt with the issue of death wither it's a pet or a loved one even Sesame Street dealt with the issue after Will Lee the actor who played Mr. Hooper died and dealt with the issue head on. - egnomac

And they've covered the deaths of pets as well as humans

Mr. Hooper :'((( - llamakalamari

2 Cancer

Two episodes that dealt with the subject that come to mind are Arthur's "The Great McGrady" in which Mrs. McGrady is diagnosed with cancer and everyone react to the new differently with Francine being most effected by it and another is the Peanuts special "Why, Charlie Brown, Why? " n which classmate Janice is diagnosed with cancer specifically leukemia. - egnomac

So sad :( - CrypticMemory

3 Child Abuse

One episode from Full House "Silence is Not Golden" dealt with the issue after Stephanie is paired up with another student Charles and finds out his father abuses him. - egnomac

Look at Madeline: Lost in Paris That 1999 Disney film Show child abuse AND neglect in between the 30 minute mark and the 60 minute mark!

That Kind of What Stephanie Tanner Is Feeling To Be Concerns All About Me Too.

4 Racism Racism

Several kid show episodes have touched on this the That's So Raven episode "True Color's" where Raven doesn't get the job at a clothing store despite proving herself in the interview then gets a vision where she sees the manager of the store claiming she doesn't hire black people, another episode is from Static Shock episode "Sons of the Father" where Virgil finds out that the reason Richie never lets him come over is because his father is a racist. - egnomac

In the same "Shining Time Station" episode mentioned under "sexism", the president of the Nickelaire Club also denied the station's handyman membership in the club. Said handyman was Native American/an indigenous person.

One episode of Molly of Denali talked about racism against Native Americans. It was called Grandpa's Drum and it was very sad.

5 Abusive Relationships

Two episodes from kids cartoons that come to mind Steven Univers's "Alone at Sea" and Courage the Cowardly Dog "The Mask" both deal with abusive relationships and both handle it with care and respect unlike Family Guy's "Screams of Silence". - egnomac

Outlaw Star ep 17 has one episode like that

6 Divorce

We didn't see Snuffy's parents get a divorce, but we did get a baby bird singing about living in two trees (the word "divorce" wasn't mentioned but it was obvious what had happened) and Abby Cadabby's parents were said to be divorced.

There was a Sesame Street episode called Snuffy's Parents Get a Divorce but it never aired to the public. - andrewteel

Mister Rogers Neighborhood also dealt with the subject. - egnomac

It wasn't aired because it made the test audience cry - TwilightKitsune

7 Pedophiles

Two episodes that deal with this that come to mind Smart Guy's "Strangers on the Net" and although its more of a family sitcom then an actual kids show Different Strokes's "The Bicycle Man". - egnomac

Caillou - Craopoo

Sonic the Hedgehog.

Wait, what?! - BorisRule

2 Comments
8 Gang Violence Gang Violence

One cartoon episode that dealt with gang violence was the Fat Albert episode "Gang Wars" in which Albert and the gangs friend Fernando is pressured by his older brother Tito join his gang and take part in a gang war however Fernando really doesn't want to be a part of it and later learns that Tito's rivals have guns and tries to stop the gang war and ends up killed by a rival member while saving his brother Tito and we actually see his dead body on screen which was very shocking for its time Tito then prepares to retaliate and avenge Fernando's death by getting a gun and killing the gang member who shot him until Albert advices him against this telling him that if he retaliates then they will kill him in return while pointing out that his brother died trying to save him and it will all be for nothing because he'll end up dead to. - egnomac

Another Episode that dealt with this was the Madeline Episode Madeline and the Mean, Nasty, Horrible Hats. in this Episode Pepito invites Madeline and the Girls to his Cousins house when they realize that his cousins (Or should I say 3) Where apart of their own gang! As soon as they Discover them, they began to pick on them even up to the point where they Deliberately create Traps for Madeline, the girls, and Even Pepito! No wonder Lord cucuface is a borderline sensitive SJW at Miss Clavell! she Didn't watch them! Though Nonetheless, The humor in this Episode is really Funny! it's just the Gang that Triggers me. - Rainbowkid38

9 Bullying Bullying

One episode that stands out the most dealing with bully is the Static Shock episode "Jimmy" where a teen Jimmy is relentlessly bullied by a group of students to the point that he steals his fathers gun with the intention of killing his tormentors. - egnomac

Many shows deal with bullying. - PandasNGaga

10 Homosexuality

Before it became all but mandatory to feature gay characters in kid's shows, there was an episode of "Student Bodies" (a show similar to "Saved By the Bell" and likely meant to replace it) where one of character's was visited by a childhood friend. Said childhood friend turned out to be lesbian, something the rest of the regular cast accepted but the one girl didn't come around until the last five minutes of the episode.

To think there was a time it was considered a serious issue. Now we have shows like "The Loud House", "Arthur", and "Good Luck Charlie" having background/supporting characters but acting like it's nothing special.

Homosexuality is A-OK and nobody will go to hell for it!

In the Braceface episode "The Social Fabric" Sharron is paired with a high school mentor Dion who is gay and an aspiring fashion designer who is treated horribly by several of of the students and even Sharron starts to distance herself from him to avoid being shunned herself by the other students. - egnomac

The Contenders

11 AIDS

Probably the last thing you would expect to see in a kids show and episode that dealt with AIDS on an episode of Captain Planet titled "A Formula for Hate" - egnomac

12 Gun Violence

In the Gargoyles episode "Deadly Force" Broadway plays around with Elisa's gun while imitating a scene he saw from a western movie and accidentally shoots as he's left horrified seeing her unconscious on the floor in a pool of her own blood. - egnomac

And also Regular Show. - KalloFox34

13 Sexism

The Nickel-Aire Club episode of Shining Time Station. The president of said club, like his grandfather to her grandmother before him, would not allow Ms Jones (Didi Conn, Frenchy from "Grease") into the club because she was a woman.

Cough xtreme torture in total drama heathers breasts

(cough, you forgot to mention The Mask from Courage TCD, cough) - xandermartin98

14 Suicide

This happens a lot in wacky cartoons like Looney Toons, and most of the time it’s made for FUN. - IceBearRules

This happend in caillou in the episode CAILLOUS FINAL MOMENTS BEFORE NOT ALIVES - lemur

15 Teen Pregnancy

One episode from Fat Albert has the gang's friend Liz who's a teen mom dealing with raising her new baby Monica at one point in the episode Liz becomes so overwhelmed by her responsibility's a mom that she almost hits her baby out frustration but stops herself. - egnomac

Degrassi Junior High (yes, JUNIOR high) in the late '80s saw Christine Nelson (better known as "Spike") get pregnant/give birth to future Degrassi protaganist Emma.

Zoey 101 had to be cancelled because of this. - DemonSpiritGhostKitten

Andi Mack anyone? - PandasNGaga

16 Drugs

Jessie's caffeine pill addiction and breakdown ("I'm so excited, I'm so... scared) in "Saved By the Bell", anyone?

Cartoon all stars to the rescue

Captain Planet episode, Mind Pollution

Grange Hill.

17 Animal Abuse

They dealt with this in Thomas.

I HATE ANIMAL ABUSE!

My least faveriote thing in the world! If you abuse animals you have something coming because Dragons ( nature's gardeins ) are coming to destroy people who do not respect nature.

18 War

Sesame Street had a series of specials made specifically for children of military families when Gulf War II happened. It dealt with Elmo's dad being deployed, Elmo's friend's dad being wounded, and Elmo's uncle dying. War, at least no specific one, wasn't mentioned but it's obvious that's what was going on.

Mr Rogers devoted a whole week of shows to this. These episodes have never officially been rerun since 1996 (7 years before Rogers' death) and were not shown during the 2017 Twitch marathon.

19 Eating Disorders

Full House with DJ, Lizzie McGuire with Miranda...

20 Smoking

Lol in tiny toon - lemur

Tiny Toon Adventures

21 Fat Shaming

One episode that comes to mind is the Hey Arnold episode "Weighing Harold" where Harold is made fun of for his weight and goes on a cruise to help him lose weight but because he's worried about how other will think of him he ends up eating more and comes back even fatter and is ridiculed by his Stinky and Sid which results in Harold being really ashamed of his appearance that he locks himself in his room while Sid and Stinky continue to make fun of him for being fat even stating he's probably too fat to fit through the door. - egnomac

Peppa pig it happens in every episide

22 Homelessness

In a two-part Christmas episode, the "Saved By the Bell" gang befriended a girl who turned out to be homeless. Zack's dad later invited the girl and her single father to spend Christmas with them.

Not sure if it's a "kid's show" per se or if the situation counts, but an episode of "The Hogan Family" saw the titular family's house burn down before the first commercial break. For the rest of the episode, they lived with their next door neighbors (played by Edie McClurg and Willard Scott) and had to put up with said neighbors' antics and each other.

23 Fire

That "Hogan Family" (does the that count? ) episode mentioned elsewhere on this list, "Sesame Street" on at least two occasions, the episode of "Arthur" titled "April 9th", and the last episode of "Degrassi Junior High" before it became "Degrassi High" are the ones I remember.

The "Arthur" episode and one of the "Sesame Street" episodes cited were actually done in response to 9/11; a way to address it without actually mentioning it.

I.e. when houses, schools, other important places burn down or at least are damaged by fire, and what to do when a fire breaks out.

24 Disabilities

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers has one episode about a girl who's deaf

Sesame Street has a character named Julia, and she's Autistic. Very accurate/friendly way to present Autism. - airway

25 Assassination

Dealt with in a Mr. Rogers episode. - myusernameisthis

26 Autism Autism

It's been done in Sesame Street. I added this because it's something people need help understanding. - Cyri

I have autism

27 Abortion

There is nothing wrong with pro-choice.
It's a woman's body.
You care more about cells and an undeveloped fetus than a living person.

Spike didn't get an abortion, but several other girls on the various incarnations of "Degrassi" did.

28 Drinking

Tiny Toon Adventures and Trigun (anime) has one episode of drinking

29 Stealing
30 Depression

How is this one not higher

31 Child Neglect

Hey Arnold, "Helga on the Couch". It was a very sad episode. - KalloFox34

32 Self-confidence

Almost the entire first season of Power Rangers

33 Natural disasters Natural disasters

May not seem "serious", but these can be scary for children (and even some teens and adults) and can result in the loss of homes and possessions.

Sesame Street got hit by a hurricane

34 Copyrights

I don’t find copyright infringement and plagiarism that serious of topics as the other items on this list. Yes, it’s an important thing for kids to learn so that they don’t get in trouble but again just isn’t as serious. - JoeBoi

35 Plagiarism

Why is this above shootings and things? - myusernameisthis

36 Betrayal
37 E Cigarettes
38 Greed
39 Sexual Abuse
40 School shootings School shootings
41 Ableism Ableism
42 Peer Pressure

Looking at you Babar! - Rainbowkid38

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