Ever watch your favorite television show and think, “Gee. That was a little inappropriate. Think I’ll call the network and let them know.”
Yeah, me neither. But it actually happens. Mainly the reason why a particular episode of an otherwise popular television show gets yanked is because of national events or attitudes at the time the episode airs. When conditions are exactly right, networks might get enough letters, emails and/or phone calls to have these episodes banned from ever airing again.
Then, when the hubbub has died down, the episode that caused such anguish sneaks itself onto streaming sites, DVDs, and cable marathons for our desensitized enjoyment.
So, here are 10 currently streamable but previously banned television episodes for your viewing pleasure.
1. The Twilight Zone episode called “The Encounter” starred George Takai as a Japanese-American gardener trapped in an attic with a World War II veteran played by Neville Brand.
Viewers complained the episode was full of racial slurs and hate speech. Available on streaming sites and on DVD.
2. The I Love Lucy episode of “The Ricardos Visit Cuba,” was banned due to the tense relationship the United States had with Cuba.
It’s now back in syndication.
3. The X-Files episode titled “Home” was the second episode of the fourth season and featured a murderous, incestuous family…and a dead deformed baby.
Find it on FX during marathons.
4. Family Guy, “Partial Terms of Endearment,” in which Lois seeks an abortion, was pulled by Fox after one airing.
See the controversy on the Season 8 DVD.
5. “The Puerto Rican Day” episode of Seinfeld had Kramer accidentally burn the Puerto Rican flag and make some disparaging remarks.
To this day, it’s aired sparingly.
6. Married With Children Season 3, Episode 10 “I’ll See You In Court” offended a Michigan mother with its plot of Al and Peggy Bundy suing a local motel for filming them having sex.
Get the Season 3 DVD. It’s on there.
7. One week before the Columbine School tragedy, the “Earshot” episode of Buffy, The Vampire Slayer had Buffy hear a fellow student’s thoughts about shooting up the school.
It eventually aired but was pushed until after the season was over.
8. Hannibal creator Bryan Fuller made the decision to pull the fourth episode, “Oeuf,” in which Molly Shannon starred as a brainwasher of murderous children, because he felt it didn’t hold enough social value for the time.
Want to see it? Get the DVD box set.
9. Tiny Toon Adventures, “Elephant Issues”, One Beer segment, shows kids that drinking is wrong – but only after making them laugh with the characters’ drunken antics, which included killing themselves by driving off a cliff.
That’s right, it’s on the DVD set.
10. Many of the world’s main religions were targets of ridicule in the South Park two-part episode “201”, which included a depiction of Muhammad, so Comedy Central shelved it.
A censored version is found on the DVD.
So, there you have it. Ten previously banned episodes you may not even know are now available. Grab your friends for a watch party and check each other for cringe.