Popular TV Show Episodes Banned on Air

Everyone’s got a lot of stories to tell and sometimes, the world just isn’t ready for them. It may be because the topic is too ahead of its time, it’s too sensitive for children, or the subject is just downright offensive for a group of people.

Either way, situations where a storyline goes too far happens quite frequently for TV shows – even the established and popular ones. There are a couple of episodes that just rub off the wrong way for some, and what happens after? They disappear from the face of the Earth… kinda.

“The City of New York VS. Homer Simpson” – The Simpsons

The Irish Times

The internet never fails to highlight how The Simpsons was always ahead of its time, having episodes that seem to happen in real life… right after it airs. While there are a handful of episodes with this instance, “The City of New York VS. Homer Simpson” was just a bit too close to New York’s September 11 attack.

While the air date was way before the catastrophe, the said episode was banned from being viewed after the tragic event happened. It became one of the rarest episodes to be seen out there.

“Bored, She Hung Herself” – Hawaii Five-O


The Hawaii Five-O drama series back in the 70s got caught in a bit of a rocky situation after airing its episode titled “Bored, She Hung Herself”. A woman was found hanging, and the suspect turned out to have used a tricky yoga technique to the woman that caused her life.

Aside from the fact that the show dared to touch on a topic as sensitive as suicide – given all the censorship and list of taboos in the 70s, one of its viewers tried to mimic the events of episodes and ended up dead, like the character in the series.

“Episode 847” – Sesame Street

Wikimedia Commons

Sesame Street is a classic show for kids – everyone knows this. To have one of its episodes banned… something must really have gone wrong, or it was just one of those unanticipated receptions for the producers.

The episode guested Margaret Hamilton, known as the Wicked Witch of the West from kid-classic film The Wizard of Oz (1939). Apparently, it was indeed a wicked move as the young viewers got so terrified, the episode was taken off air.

“Conflict” – Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

Mister Rodgers Neighborhood

A debatably not kid-friendly episode that got banned was the “Conflict” episode of the educational series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. The show aired from 1968 to 2001, facing a couple of world events during its run.

“Conflict”, a part of the show’s 14th season, touched the topic of war and bombings, amidst the Cold War. While its intention to make kids understand was good, the episode was faced with a lot of clamors and criticisms, making the producers ban the episode for the long run.

“Electric Soldier Porygon” – Pokemon

The AV Club/Google

The episode that almost put an end to the whole franchise. Japanese series Pokemon almost faced its end when its episode “Electric Soldier Porygon” was aired. After watching the episode, a lot of kids in Japan got seizures, with the show going on hiatus after.

The series of photosensitive seizures faced by the viewers even got the name “Pokemon Shock” with how widely the effect happened. The producers came up with the solution to remove the Pokemon character Porygon altogether, and resumed its pacing.

“Living in Harmony” – The Prisoner


The Prisoner is a British TV series that first aired in 1967. During its first run, the episode “Living in Harmony” wasn’t included… and there were a lot of theories and claims as to why.

While it was claimed that mentions of hallucinogenic drug use, there were also claims that the episode’s reference to the brewing Vietnam War between US and Vietnam made it unideal to be aired.

“Oeuf” – Hannibal


The thriller show Hannibal is was one of those types of visuals where there’s just a lot of blood and gore to be able to multi-task while watching.

While it already has its own sensitive themes, producers decided to immediate take off the episode “Oeuf” after its first airing, as the episode involved children being trained to kill. Given the show’s realistic footages, one can guess it went pretty detailed on this topic too.

“Elephant Issues” – Tiny Toon Adventures


It wasn’t a hazy fever dream when Tiny Toon Adventures – a show kids loved to watch since 1990, aired something that isn’t… kid-friendly. In its episode “Elephant Issues”, there was a segment where the young Looney Tunes characters found an unopened beer.

Like the typical kids’ curiosity, they opened it and a series of reckless events happened.



While not a series, Ghostwatch is a British documentary TV film aired by BBC that deserves to have a spot on the list. The film only got to air once but left tens of thousand viewers outraged.

Ghostwatch was marketed to be a “live” horror documentary where viewers thought they were seeing real events transpire on the “most haunted house in Britain”, with the end of it the “ghost” seizing the cameras. It was then revealed to be fake, leaving viewers marching to BBC in outrage of being fooled, with kids all scared.

“I’ll See You in Court” – Married… with Children


The classic Married… with Children has issues of its own, starting with its banned “I’ll See You in Court” episode. The story touches on a sensitive issue of an inn’s invasion of privacy and non-consensual filming of intimate moments of its clients.

After a disagreement between the network and series producers on the episode’s censorship, the episode wasn’t aired at all in US television. Only when an edited episode was provided did it make to the US small screens.

“Mister Skinnylegs” – Peppa Pig


While scenes and topics might seem harmless in one country, it could be the end all-be all in another. The episode “Mister Skinnylegs” in the kid show Peppa Pig was banned in Australian grounds.

The story showed how spiders weren’t exactly harmless and while this may be true for some times, Australia is a country filled with spiders – with some, poisonous. Encouraging children to be friendly and even touch the insect could possibly lead to irreparable damages.

“The One with the Porn” – Friends


The title might give away as to why this episode of the hit series Friends was banned for some time. The story involves the two characters, Chandler and Joey, discovering a channel that airs free pornography.

While it wasn’t the case that there were revealing scenes caught on camera, the script was also quite explicit which was absurd during the time of airing. This resulted to the whole episode being banned from airing instead.

“Patterns of Force” – Star Trek: The Original Series


The sci-fi series Star Trek: The Original Series got a little too close to reality and it caused the episode being banned on some countries… like Germany. In the “Patterns of Force”, there was a heavy involvement of Nazi symbols on their clothes and props.

Including concepts of brainwashing in the storyline absolutely did not help their case too.

“Adopted” – You Can’t Do That on Television


The show certainly lived up to its name that one of its episodes got banned. You Can’t Do That on Television is a skit comedy show and in one of its episodes titled “Adopted”, while a given already, there was a moment when adopted kids became the subject of jokes and foolery. That, and a lot of profanity was involved.

Suffice to say, after being aired two times, the episode got banned on US after being aired two times.

“Earshot” – Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Mary Sue/Google

There was a time in the 3rd season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer when it got a little too close to home. The episode “Earshot” had a storyline of a student endangering fellow students in a high school.

While this was already too sensitive of a matter to air, the scheduled airing of the episode was too close to the tragic event in Colorado High School in 1999.

“Partial Terms of Endearment” – Family Guy


While the animated visuals softened every heavy topic, Family Guy went a bit too far with one of its storylines, specifically in its banned episode “Partial Terms of Endearment”. The story goes about a surrogate keeping the baby after the couple passed away in a car crash.

There were obviously blurry lines on what’s right and wrong, but it was for certain that this was too sensitive of a topic for viewers to watch.

 “The Puerto Rican Day” – Seinfeld


Sitcom Seinfeld did not just hit one, but two red flags for the viewers upon airing one of their now banned episodes “The Puerto Rican Day”. What made the viewers rally in front of NBC because of the show’s episode was the burning of the Puerto Rican Flag, and the blatant stereotype on how Puerto Ricans were portrayed.

Of course, existence of the episode is now completely wiped out after the disastrous feedback.

“Home” – X-Files


After airing a couple of questionable topics, series X-Files finally pushed the boundaries after airing its episode “Home”. The inclusion of graphic and gruesome footages really did a number to the viewers, with the show receiving complaints to put viewer’s discretion on the episode.

The network of X-Files came up with the solution to just ban the episode altogether, as the scenes include heavy themes that editing could just not repair.

“The Encounter”  – The Twilight Zone


Sci-fi Horror series The Twilight Zone was aired back in 1959 and its most controversial episode, “The Encounter”, had been put off-air for over half a decade now. The episode included a Japanese-American soldier and a veteran.

With its characters, the episode made too much racist implications from dialogues to portrayals, resulting to its ban from being aired.


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