20 Kids Shows That Got Real Dark

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We feel confident, as people who have never played any part in creating children’s media, that making a TV show for kids is stupid easy. Kids are idiots — just throw up some nice colors and shapes and soothing music, and it’ll keep the little shits quiet long enough to preserve what’s left of mommy’s sanity. If you want to get really wild, you can throw in characters and plots, but there’s not going to be any meaningful symbolism or non-linear storytelling.

Still, some of the brains behind children’s TV get it into themselves that they gotta wake up those little minds to the realities of the world. Death is real, kids, and so is trauma, addiction and existential dread. Others seem to just hate children and want to scare the poop right into their diapers. Whatever the case, when user traheidda asked r/AskReddit, “What’s a surprisingly dark episode of a children’s TV show?,” Reddit had plenty of scars to share.

Hey Arnold!

My Little Pony

David the Gnome

The Powerpuff Girls

Fraggle Rock

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Doug

Beast Wars: Transformers

Reboot

My Life as a Teenage Robot

As Told By Ginger

SpongeBob SquarePants

Tiny Toon Adventures

Thomas the Tank Engine

Little Bear

Superman: The Animated Series

Captain Planet

Adventure Time

Dinosaurs

Rugrats

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