Growing up in the ’90s and early ’00s probably meant that your go-to networks were Nickelodeon and Disney Channel, but when it came to your tween years, there were no doubt more than a handful of TV series that your mom decreed were off-limits.
Whether it was for their risqué content involving sex, profanity or just all-around inappropriate nature — below are 17 shows that are likely to have made it onto your parents’ blacklist. Don’t worry, you’re old enough to watch them now, at least!
1. Laguna Beach
Before The Hills, MTV brought the world Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County. The show followed the lives of eight teenagers, all of whom lived in Laguna Beach, California, an upper-class Southern California city. There was a bit of profanity and a lot of shallowness, which is why most parents would probably prefer to let their children watch something educational or a good cartoon over the lives of Kristen Cavallari, Lauren Conrad and Stephen Colletti. We, of course, watched it while they weren’t home. By the time The Hills came around, they were hopeless.
It seemed a little strange that your parents didn’t just block the entire MTV channel considering the fact that you weren’t really allowed to watch anything on it — and they def weren’t watching these shows either! We know Next as an early ’00s classic dating shows that’s inspired countless memes to this day.
As an MTV dating game, daters met with contestants in the hopes of finding *love*, however, they could, at any time, shout “next” to end the date and get a new date. The contestants made money for every minute they lasted with the main contestant and it was the perfect mix of hilarious and kind of sad. The content wasn’t really the inappropriate part, according to M & D, but the overall concept was just disrespectful.
3. Big Brother
Big Brother is one of the longest-lasting reality TV programs having debuted in the year 2000. The concept is to put a handful of strangers into a house, cut off their ties with the outside world, and watch their every move as they battle for power in the house. That doesn’t seem so bad, does it? But your mom wouldn’t allow you to watch it considering filmed 24/7 meant these contestants were fairly uncensored. This meant there was plenty of bleeped-out profanities, blurred out nudity and just some pretty widespread bad behavior. It’s all good though because things really started getting interested during season 10, and by then you were allowed to watch!
4. Paradise Hotel
Another American reality TV series to find it’s way on this list is Paradise Hotel, which first aired on Fox in 2003. The show was about a group of singles who lived on a resort and tried to see who could stay on the show the longest — basically an earlier version of Bachelor in Paradise.
Considering couples ~shared a room~ when they were together, your mom was strictly opposed to letting your young eyes even start to speculate on what was happening behind closed doors.
5. The Bachelor
You may binge watch every show in The Bachelor franchise now, but the dating show is definitely not for kids. To get 25 contestents to compete for the romantic affections of one man, unsurprisingly, there can be a lot of cattiness that comes along with it — mostly as orchestrated by the TV show itself. Your mom wasn’t necessarily thrilled about you watching The Bachelorette, either, but at least that one’s more empowering!
6. Desperate Housewives
Desperate Housewives was on air for almost a decade, so no matter what your mom thought about it, you probably wound up watching this hit show. Plus, it was on Netflix for a long while and now lives on Hulu, so there have been plenty of opportunities to find out what went down on Westeria lane.
However, with storylines involving deceit, affairs, teen pregnancy, murder, and more — it’s not surprising that your mom thought her youngster shouldn’t be watching
7. The Sopranos
The Sopranos is not only a classic TV show, but many consider it to be one of the best TV shows of all time. Unsurprisingly, considering the fact that it’s centerred around a mob family and deals with the Italian mafia, there are quite a few scenes that include violence and generally disturbing content. Good call on this one, mom! It’s better to watch with a more *mature* mind, anyways!
8. South Park
… But it’s a cartoon, mom! South Park has a very dark sense of humor, which may have gone over a lot of children’s heads had their parents allowed them to watch it. However, it is most definitely an animated series that was made for adults. Cuss words, political incorrectness, dirty jokes and bizarre scenarios a plenty — your parents were strictly opposed to this TV show.
9. The Simple Life
Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie decided to star in a show called The Simple Life, which basically showed how they had no clue about how “normal” people act. They were incapable of working without putting up a fuss, and they weren’t used to staying in places that weren’t luxurious. Why was this show on mom’s blacklist? Well, she just generally didn’t “like” the way Paris Hilton acted, and thought she wasn’t a perfect role model for you at that impressionable age.
10. The Osbournes
The Osbournes was a reality show that followed the lives of the Osbourne family, which consists of Black Sabbath rocker Ozzy Osbourne, his wife Sharon, and their two children, Jack and Kelly. They are most certainly not your average family — which is not too surprising since it’s headed by a rock legend. Plus, they showcased the worst vocabulary ever, and most of the words they know are expletives. They were a bit unhinged, and although you snuck the TV on to watch this from time-to-time, you quickly realized your mom was probably right to keep you away from it.
It’s weird that even though most of us were still afraid of spiders and the dark, we actually wanted to watch a show called Fear. A TV series on MTV (which was a network your mom was opposed to, anyways), and inspired by ‘70s movie, The Legend of Hell House, it was DEF one to be avoided.
The paranormal reality television series first aired in 2000 and revolves around contestants who are taken to a place which is believed to haunted. They are then asked to perform a series of dares and establish whether or not it is in fact haunted. Needless to say, most of us really wouldn’t want to find out.
House is a drama series about an antisocial doctor, who is skilled but troubled. He’s arrogant, he’s addicted to pills and his team of doctors deal with complicated medical cases that often have sad endings — there are some things kids don’t need to see.
13. Peep Show
With a name like Peep Show, can you really blame mom and dad for prohibiting this one? It’s a British sitcom about two dysfunctional friends, Mark Corrigan and Jeremy “Jez” Usborne, and it definitely has some adult themes… sex, cheating, and even drug addiction are just a few of the many.
The reason the CBS show, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation makes it onto this list is because it’s a crime show about a team of forensic investigators, and it’s not the characters or the dialogue that makes it a no-go, but rather the full investigation of graphic, disturbing crimes that your parents wanted to shield you from. Kids don’t need to think about murder, robbery, and rape, and this was the sort of stuff that was likely to give you nightmares.
Entourage is definitely not for kids, and any parent who has watched an episode of the HBO series will know exactly why. The story is about four friends and includes a hell of a lot of drama and adult content. The series is undeniably hilarious for adults, but it’s the sex, drugs and profanity that kept it off of your TV screen as a tween.
16. Degrassi: The Next Generation
The Degrassi franchise has been going strong since the late ‘70s but it’s The Next Generation that we all wanted to watch as tweens. It gave us some before-they-were-famous stars like Drake,
Nina Dobrev and Shenae Grimes.
The Canadian teen series did cover a lot of important issues like bullying, violence, sexual orientation and popularity, but it was the more controversial subjects like teen sex, abortion, sexual assault, and drug addiction that made your parents a little concerned. Of course, nothing could stop you from sneaking on this TV show. Now it’s hilarious seeing Drake as “Wheelchair Jimmy” when watching reruns.
17. One Tree Hill
One Tree Hill premiered in 2003 and was on air for nine years, before the final episode aired in 2012. Although the show started off focusing on the rivalry between two half-brothers, it was one of those shows that eventually lost its main premise. Oh, it was good though. There were shirtless guys, dramatic love triangles, more hookup scenes than you could count, crazy stalkers, high school weddings, teen pregnancies and more. It was basically gold for a teen TV show — but of course, that meant your parents weren’t all too thrilled about you watching such a “soap opera”-like show. Whatever, it was phenomenal.