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

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

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

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

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

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

Sonic the Hedgehog.

Wait, what?! - BorisRule

Boku No Pico

V 1 Comment
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

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


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

The Contenders

11 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.

12 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

13 Smoking

Lol in tiny toon - lemur

Tiny Toon Adventures

14 Animal Abuse

They dealt with this in Thomas.

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.

15 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

16 Sexism

Cough xtreme torture in total drama heathers breasts

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

17 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.

Andi Mack anyone? - PandasNGaga

18 Eating Disorders
19 Drinking

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

20 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

21 Stealing
22 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

23 War

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.

24 Autism Autism

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

25 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

26 Plagiarism
27 Gun Violence
28 Depression
29 Assassination
30 Child Neglect
31 Abortion
32 Betrayal
33 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.

34 E Cigarettes
35 Greed
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