The 90s and 2000s were a unique time for TV shows aimed at teens. Preachy’s extracurricular TV specials, which reached their peak in the 1980s, were in steady decline, both in production and popularity. And the 2010 shows, like Pretty little Liars and Riverdalewhich would offer young viewers virtually no semblance of reality, were just a twinkle in the eyes of some producers.
But the kids’ TV shows of the ’90s and ’00s were unparalleled, and they weren’t afraid to go for it. ~ They contained surprisingly dark storylines, dealt with some pretty serious issues and, of course, included plenty of adult jokes.
Obviously, this led to some stressful TV moments – moments that are problematic, inappropriate for children, or involve a character, usually a child, placed in an embarrassing or even dangerous situation. Moments that made me, a particularly nervous kid, super uncomfortable.
So here are 13 of the most uncomfortable, awkward, and problematic moments I remember from kids’ TV shows:
In the Hannah Montana episode, “He’s Not a Hottie, He’s My Brother”, Miley discovers that her best friend, Lilly, and her older brother, Jackson, love each other. The age difference between the actors is huge.
In The Suite Life of Zack and Cody episode, “Forever Plaid”, the twins invite their friends over and charge them money to take a look at a girl’s soccer team through a hole in the wall.
A few years later, in The suite life on deck, Zack and Cody suspect their teacher of being a dancer in a burlesque show. Zack comes up with a plan that involves dressing their friends, who are teenagers, in showgirl costumes.
In the It’s so raven episode, “He’s Got the Power”, after Eddie temporarily gains psychic powers, he unknowingly predicts the winner of a horse race for an older child, Sonny. When Sonny gives Eddie “his share” of the prize money and shakes it for the next winner, the now helpless Eddie makes a total guess.
In a later episode, “Hizzouse Party”, Raven and Cory throw a party and their Reverend shows up.
In the Drake and Josh episode, “The Affair”, Drake overhears his father on the phone and assumes he is having an affair.
In the next season of Drake and Joshin the episode “I Like Sushi”, after the boys find out they’ve won a contest, Drake celebrates by kissing a random stranger because…he just has to.
In the Full house episode, “Star Search”, Joey performs a stand-up on a TV competition show as his last chance at becoming a comedian…and loses.
In the episode “Babe Raider” of Life with DerekCasey decides to do his media project on sexist video games, but then, in an attempt to get a boy’s attention, ends up dressing like the video game character.
In Rugrats“Naked Tommy”, Tommy convinces the other babies to free themselves by taking off their clothes.
In the Spongebob episode, “Karate Choppers”, Mr. Krabs forbids SpongeBob from practicing karate because it interferes with his job. SpongeBob and Sandy try their best not to do karate, but it backfires and they “unleash their frustrations” in a massive karate brawl.
In “Assaulted” by Hi Arnold, after Arnold is attacked, his grandmother teaches him karate to defend himself. He goes a little too far and beats up an innocent.
In the Home improvement episode, “A Night to Dismember”, after Tim and Jill take a look at Mark’s unfinished horror movie, they become convinced that Mark wants to murder them.
Do you remember any other awkward moments from TV shows you watched as a kid? Let us know in the comments!