As parents, we often put faith in programme makers that the content they’re producing is suitable for our children to watch. Our parents probably thought the same, but they were definitely wrong to do so! Below are 10 shocking TV episodes that, at least originally, were banned from our screens. How many of them have you seen?
1. Beavis and Butt-Head – ‘Home Improvement’
Beavis and Butt-Head wasn’t afraid of controversy, but the episode ‘Home Improvement’, in which both Beavis and Butt-Head get high after sniffing paint thinner, proved to be too much for the censors, and was banned from our screens.
2. Bottom – ‘S Out’
A case of extremely bad timing saw the Bottom episode ‘s out’ (get it?) banned from our screens for 3 years. In the episode, Richie and Eddie spend a night on Wimbledon Common, and tragically it coincided with the real life murder of Rachel Nickell in the same location.
3. Buffy The Vampire Slayer – ‘Earshot’
An episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer that featured a student planning a mass murder was scheduled to air only a week after the Columbine High School Massacre, so unsurprisingly it was delayed, but only for 5 months.
4. Pokemon – ‘Electric Soldier Porygon’
One episode of Pokemon caused a number of people to be rushed to hospital with headaches, blurred vision, dizziness and even seizures (caused by flashing red and blue lights), so it was never shown outside of Japan.
5. Sesame Street – ‘Episode 847’
Episode 847 of Sesame Street featured Margaret Hamilton reprising her role as the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz. So many complaints were made by the parents of terrified children that the episode was never shown again!
6. The Simpsons – ‘The City Of New York Vs Homer Simpson’
This episode of The Simpsons saw the family travel to Manhattan where they are left stranded outside the World Trade Center. Unsurprisingly, the episode was taken off the air following 9/11, although it has started to be shown again in recent years.
7. South Park – ‘201’
Let’s face it, a TV episode featuring a storyline that makes fun of the prophet Muhammad isn’t going to prove popular. This was certainly the case with this South Park episode that has never been shown in the UK and was heavily censored in the US.
8. Star Trek: The Next Generation – ‘The High Ground’
The UK also banned the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode ‘The High Ground’ because it made a prediction that that Ireland would be reunified in 2024 after a terrorist campaign. It was eventually shown in 2007, although unsurprisingly it is still to air in Ireland itself.
9. Tiny Toon Adventures – ‘One Beer’
The episode of Tiny Toon Adventures called ‘One Beer’ featured the characters getting drunk and stealing a Police car. And we kid you not, the episode ended with all three characters driving off a cliff and dying. One for the kids then!
10. The X-Files – ‘Home’
The X-Files certainly had its fair share of strange and bizarre episodes, but ‘Home’ saw Mulder and Scully investigate a family of murderous inbreeds who suffer from a number of different disfigurements. It was only banned for a year, such was the outrage from fans who demanded to watch it!