Controversy sells, and sometimes the creators of hit TV shows like to push the envelope on what they can get away with. However, in the case of these 10 episodes of otherwise hugely popular cartoons, they went just a little too far.
The Simpsons – “The City of New York Vs. Homer Simpson”
Banned for: Depicting the World Trade Center
Originally released in 1997, the episode features numerous jokes that involve conflict between the two towers of the World Trade Center. After the 9/11 attacks, America wasn’t ready to laugh about it for some time, and the episode was pulled from syndication for 5 years.
Family Guy – “When You Wish Upon A Weinstein”
Banned for: Worries over cultural insensitivity
Despite being written by a Jewish writer and having consultants from the Jewish community sign off on the episode, Fox was worried that the intended series finale for the show’s original run would be considered anti-Semitic.
Gargoyles – “Deadly Force”
Banned for: Violence
One of the titular monsters plays with their police officer friend’s gun, only to accidentally shoot her in the stomach, with bloody results. It was meant to warn kids about gun safety, but the network felt it went a bit far and pulled it from syndication for some time.
Ren and Stimpy – “Man’s Best Friend”
Banned for: Violence
Ren and Stimpy always skirted the lines of censorship thanks to its gross-out humor, but apparently violence was too far. Ren beats his new owner with a giant oar, and the episode was pulled as a result.
Tiny Toon Adventures – “One Beer”
Banned for: Depiction of alcohol
Tiny Toons decided to warn kids about alcohol addiction, but did it in probably the worst, most exaggerated way possible. Buster, Plucky and Hampton drink a single sip of beer each, which causes them to get drunk, drive a car off a cliff, and freaking DIE. It wasn’t re-aired until 2013.
The Powerpuff Girls – “See Me, Feel Me, Gnomey”
Banned for: Alleged religious depiction
Network censors didn’t allow the episode through because, according to them, the girders in one of the buildings looked too much like crosses, and one of the random background characters looked too much like Jesus. Really.
Dexter’s Laboratory – “Rude Removal”
Banned for: Rude language
Dexter accidentally clones himself and DeeDee, and their clones speak in streams of bleeped profanity. While it was all censored, the network felt it was still too much, and it was never aired.
Cow and Chicken – “Buffalo Gals”
Banned for: Depiction of lesbians
We’ll let you be the judge on this one. A gang of angry butch women called the “Buffalo Gals” invade the gang’s house to “eat their carpets.” Cow joins them, but leaves when she finds out they “hate roosters.” Yeah.
Pokemon – “Electric Soldier Porygon”
Banned for: Causing seizures in children
When this episode of the popular kids show aired in Japan, the flashing lights in one particular sequence triggered epileptic seizures in nearly 700 children. As a result, it was never aired outside of Japan.
Looney Tunes – Several episodes
Banned for: Blatant, awful racism
Several episodes of Looney Tunes are flat-out not available due to their archaic and frankly gross portrayals of African-Americans as complete stereotypes.