Driven to insanity: The worst of the worst kids television shows

The things we do for our kids. The things we watch for our kids.

Some of the TV shows we subject ourselves to are enough to drive even the most sane of individuals into voluntarily seeking a 72 hour psychiatric hold. Some of these shows are so bad, that they drive me to the brink of a meltdown. If I end up going nuts from watching these shows, can I really be held accountable? I find it hard to believe that some people are actually paid to come up with some of the shit that is put out there for kids to watch nowadays.

Kids shows used to be good! For example, the Strawberry Shortcake of yesteryear was actually good. There were bad guys: The Peculiar Purple Pieman and Sour Grapes! Now, there are no bad guys. Just animated sweetness that my kid is OBSESSED WITH! Every day all we hear over and over again is “Cake? Cake!!!!!” as she picks up the DVD case and tries to shove it into our XBox 360 herself to make it play.

This is the Strawberry Shortcake I remember.

This is the Strawberry Shortcake I remember.

This is what she looks like now.

This is what she looks like now.

But this show, as mind numbingly repetitious as it has become to me, isn’t on my list of shows I loathe the most. Yes my friends, I have a list! Want to hear it? Well tough. You’ve made it this far, so you might as well keep reading! My top 5 list of the stupidest, most god awful, you must be on drugs to understand where this is coming from, make me want to blow my brains out kids shows is what’s on the agenda for today!

Here we go – buckle in and enjoy the ride.

5) Dora the Explorer:

Do you ever friggin' blink?

Do you ever friggin’ blink?

She’s made the list for the pure fact that she creeps the hell out of me. Does this kid ever blink?! Oh wait, now I’m being insensitive. Clearly she doesn’t blink because she’s blind. It’s the only explanation for how she manages to not see that the goddamned Rainbow Mountain is RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER! Then there’s that Swiper, guy. Whatย  is up with that? If stopping someone from stealing your things/mugging you were as easy as repeating over and over and over again “Swiper, no swiping!” then the world would have a lot less crime in it. Oh and her map? That creepy map that leaps out at the screen? That makes my kid cry every single time. It’s gotten to the point that she now knows that it’s coming, and will turn away or run from the room. That says enough on its own.

4) Yo Gabba Gabba:


Why is there a one-eyed dildo walking around?

Every time I watch this show, I’m reminded of a little Canadian commercial that was on when I was a child. It had a catchy jingle that went like this: “Drugs, drugs, drugs. Which are good, which are bad? Drugs, drugs, drugs. Ask your Mom or ask your Dad!”. Yep. Whoever came up with this shit-show of show was definitely on the bad kind of drugs (or the good ones?). I mean, props to DJ Lance for having enough confidence in his masculinity to rock that orange jumpsuit every day. But my God, this show makes me feel like I’m in some kind of drug-induced episode of the twilight zone. And what kind of creatures are these things supposed to be anyway? There’s the cat looking one, the flower looking one, the robot, the monster under the bed, and the dildo? Come on, you thought the same thing. There’s no way that knobby red thing isn’t supposed to represent a “bumpy, for her pleasure” hand held pleasuring device. Who writes this stuff?

3) Bubble Guppies:


Poor little ginger guppy.

The Bubble Guppies. These guys make the list for a few reasons. For one, they have the most ANNOYING SONGS EVER! For two, I always find myself feeling bad for the Ginger guppy. Ever notice that he’s NEVER happy? Even in this pic – not smiling. Also, nine times out of ten he’s the kid who gets the shitty lunch. Not cool, Bubble Guppies, not cool. Plus, the whole show is nothing but scientific impossibilities! A Bubble puppy? Fail. Having the sun, and sky, and stars, under water with them? Fail. Having other creatures under water with them who are magically able to breathe? Fail. I really hate this show.

2) Max and Ruby:


I found this pic online and thought, yup, that about sums it up!

Max and Ruby. Ruby and Max. Never Max and Ruby and THEIR PARENTS. Where are their parents? Grandma comes to visit once in a while, but there has to be some serious neglect going on here. I believe Ruby is supposed to be 7, and Max, 3. Who the hell lets a 7 year old babysit? No wonder Ruby is always such a bitch – she’s on a power trip! When coming up with names for my sweet L, my top two names were the one we gave her, and Ruby. Then someone told me “Ohhhh no. Go watch this show before you decide”. Thank God they did. One episode in, and my mind was made up. No way I was naming my kid after that bunny.

And my number 1 worst kids show of all time is…

1) Caillou:


I don’t normally say this about children, but I wouldn’t be sad if he showed up on a missing children’s poster.

Are you really that surprised?

This kid makes me ashamed to say I was created in the same country he was. I’ve never wanted to smack any kid before, until I watched an episode of this show. Let’s start with the theme song. You’re sick of Caillou before you even watch the show because he says his own name like 5.4 billion times in a row! Shut up, Caillou, or this Mama is going to lose it!

This kid is a prime example of bad behaviour. That kid is so friggin’ spoiled. He needs the whine whooped out of him. I wouldn’t be surprised if one day his Daddy went off to work or to fetch dinner and just never came back. Who would blame him really? His kid is a brat, and his wife wears the same goddamned clothes every day. You know that doesn’t smell too good.

Plus why is he bald at 4 years old?! The creators of the show are rumored to have said that it makes him more relatable to every kid if he is bald. Umm, nope. Fail. I don’t know many bald four year olds, unless they are sick, and I don’t think there’s ever been a “Caillou has alopecia” or “Caillou gets chemotherapy” episode. I feel awful even mentioning sick kids, because having a sick kid is NEVER funny. But neither is Caillou. Ever.

Why does he never get disciplined! If my kid was that much of a whiny ass-hat every single day, she would get a serious talking to, or a time-out, or SOMETHING. This kid – nothing. Oh and guess what? If your kid sees Caillou whine and complain and get away with it, guess what they are going to do? Whine and complain! Worst example ever! I get it, all 4 year olds have tantrums or get upset. Really there’s nobody to blame here except Caillou’s parents. Calling them enablers is the understatement of the century. Can’t wait to see the way he behaves in the teenage years.

And the narrator. Kill me now because captain obvious is about to say something AGAIN. “Caillou is sad”, “Caillou doesn’t like that Rosie got a new toy and he didn’t”, “Caillou made Mommy think about all the different ways she could kill herself”. Woops, there I go again, projecting my emotions onto an animated character. That kid is a bastard and he gets the best of me.

Yes, I just called a cartoon character a bastard. Yes, I feel that strongly about it. No, I won’t apologize for it. Needless to say, Caillou is banned from the television in my house.

So let me have it. What are the worst of the worst in your books? What kids TV shows drive you up the wall?


48 thoughts on “Driven to insanity: The worst of the worst kids television shows

  1. The only one I’m familiar with is Dora the Explorer. That’s a good thing, I guess?

    I enjoyed reading your post!

  2. I refuse to let Q watch any of the above. She gets Sesame Street and the other shows on PBS in the mornings.

    And I knew someone who was in the “Drugs Drugs Drugs” PSA! ๐Ÿ˜›

  3. I have to agree with most of your picks! Caillou is absolutely terrible. It amazes me that he is still on TV. That is one of the few shows that I will NOT allow my children to watch. Max and Ruby drive me batty for the same reasons as you, but I do let the kids watch it if it comes on before I turn the TV off. Bubble Guppies and Dora are favorites in my house, and with some of the kids shows on TV I am willing to tolerate them. However, I do hate that Dora stuff is all geared toward girls. (Alex has picked up in the swiper no swiping thing and will yell this at Nick when Nick is trying to take something from him. It’s kinda hilarious.) And also I kind of like the songs on Bubble Guppies, and I think it’s hilarious that whenever I tell Alex it’s lunch time he asks me if we are going to have Macaroni and Trees/Crayonberry juice etc. My biggest pet peeve about that show is that they are always laughing at Gill when things go wrong for him. I don’t really like what that teaches.

  4. I spent my babysitting years, and our in-home daycare years, watching Barney on repeat. That’s right. Barney. I’ll take Max and Ruby any day after that. It took my YEARS to start liking dinosaurs again.

    • Haha the only reason Barney wasn’t included is because (at least where I live) it isn’t really shown on TV anymore, therefore I haven’t had to watch it.
      But I’ve seen it, so can validate your feelings. He’s awful. Did you know there was a computer game made called (I believe) “Kill Barney”?
      Look it up, and have fun lol. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. “I donโ€™t normally say this about children, but I wouldnโ€™t be sad if he showed up on a missing childrenโ€™s poster.” Thank you for that! I don’t know how in the world my kid ever started watching that boy, but it’s been the worse times of my life when she does. I cannot stand the narrator!! And why in the world is every episode in like a cloud? I’m not ashamed when I say I bribe my kid with candy to watch something else. Anything else.

  6. I have to make a point here. You missed the mark a little here. You seem to have forgotten about “4 square”. This show could make a grown man cry. My husband literally asked nurse at the hospital to change the channel while I was waiting for my ultrasound. Kids seems to dive into a trance while watching it. Could it be the morons wearing uni-tards with no bras or underwear?? The super annoying Asian woman with the most terrible poems in the world?? Or perhaps the “beat team”??? I know I would like to beat them with a long stick?? The “Do-ops” are not much better with their creepy toothless puppets!! Either way…. in my opinion this show is ranked right up there with Caillou. To be honest, I’m not sure who should take first place. I may have to say 4 square for the simple fact they seem to come on EVERY HOUR. If I won the lottery I would pay for them to take that show off the air. I’m not joking haha. I should also offer an honorable mention with “third and bird” I almost threw up in my mouth at how terrible that show was.. seriously muffin?? shut up!!!!!!. Either way this blog made me laugh. I even called my sister and read it to her… she doesn’t even have kids and can agree haha. Thanks for the chuckle

    • Hahaha oh Four Square. It almost made my list. The ONLY reason it didn’t is that I’m a huge supporter of the Arts, and used to be a dancer myself, so I got the whole unitard dance thing without an issue. My fiance, on the other hand, is super uncomfortable watching them move around in their unitards.
      But the poems – you’re dead on there! Soooo annoying, and the kids she has with her are the worst at acting enthusiastic.
      The beat team is INCREDIBLY annoying, almost as much as the Four Tones and the Do-ops. The only one I got was the dancers, and only because I was so exposed to it growing up that the unitards aren’t even noticed by me. But, I can definitely see how to most people it would seem as unnecessary prancing haha. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Ever since I read your article I cant help but think of more and more terrible childrens shows. Im sad that our kids have to grow up watching junk. Thank god for Netflix and being able to sensor this junk. We dont watch a lot of cartoons in this house and mostly because most of them have no educational values at all or thereis an annoying selfish childwho always has to get theirown way. Such as Caillou, Ruby, Mike (Mike the knight), Lilly (my big big friend), Toopy, and im sure there are many more I dont even know of haha. I miss the magic school bus!

  7. My kids are old (youngest is 19) so I am not up on a lot of the shows now, but THIS

    just freaks me out, even when I am flipping through channels and see only two seconds worth of it. Freaks. Me. Out. Freaking Freaky Doodlebops. Freaky. Almost makes me yearn for the good ol’ days of Barney the Purple Dinosaur. Almost.

    I do love Veggie Tales. They have a lot of adult humor. I still watch ’em when I catch it on TV sometimes. Not gonna lie.


    • Do you know what? I’ve honestly never watched an episode of the Veggie Tales, so I can’t really comment on that.
      Now the Doodlebops, while definitely strange, didn’t make my list. Probably because the songs and music keep my kid so distracted, that I’m actually able to have 20 minutes to myself – therefore they are kind of saviours in my eyes lol.

  8. Yes. Cailou takes the prize! We only have local channels so luckily most of the really bad ones don’t see any air time here. Betsy’s Kindergarten Adventure is on my list. Although many of the voices are old Rugrats characters which is the only redeeming factor.

    Angelina Ballerina and Maya and Miguel are also on my list even though M&M are twins. And I should be on team twin. But I am just. Not. Lol.

  9. Hahaha Yes! Another Caillou hater! ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’ve never heard of Betsy’s Kindergarten Adventure. Just how bad is it?
    Angelina Ballerina I actually like – probably the ex-dancer in me speaking though. I’ve also never heard of Maya and Miguel. I guess I’m missing out (or not? haha).

  10. you know what is even worse? when a preschooler comes in for a speech-language evaluation and i can tell that they ONLY WATCH DORA ALL DAY from the way the speak (which is disordered as heck).

    I also am a Caillou hater- it makes me sad that he was ‘French’ first. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    also- wtf with Strawberry Shortcake??? When did she get all “sexyfied”??? ick!

    • GREAT list!! Almost all of these make my personal “most hated” list. Except there is one that has been overlooked… TOOPY AND BINOO! Every time my husband or I catch this show, there is a big WTF all over our faces. WTF…just…WTF.

      I know a lot of children/parents that love the show and will take their kids to the live shoes and such… But oh man… That will never be me!
      P.S. what is wrong with his stubb-tail and why does his shirt stick out?!?!

      • Haha yeah there are a lot of WTF’s in Toopy and Binoo.
        My fiance is convinced they are homosexual. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but if they are they should just come on out and say it. They dress in drag way too frequently to not be.

  11. I agree with your list, but Barney is what drives me crazy! This is the only show that my 2 year old will watch, so I put it on every day just to give myself a little break.

  12. I put a ban on calliou in my house. Its was the only thing my 2yo wanted to watch. She started calling morelli (our cat) gilbert. Our neighbor who is obsessed with his yard: mr. Hinkle. She was super excited about going to school, when i told her Sara (her cousin) was going to be there. The she asked “is leo going to be there too?”. Fail. Its always: i want to go here like caillou, i want to wistle like caillou, i want a that dionasaur it looks like caillous rexy.

  13. I hate Thomas a d my daughter loved him for a few years. (She’s starting to outgrow it) has anyone seen that one on treehouse where the aliens? Who don’t talk quite right and do yoga? HATE. In the night garden is an awful p.o.s. too…

    • Oh my girl does love Thomas – very much! I tolerate that one because at least it isn’t teaching her to whine and be a brat.
      I have seen that one! I have no idea what it is called, but you’re right, it’s really messed up. They were definitely on drugs when that one was created!

  14. I used to babysit for someone who was obsessed with Caillou and it was the worst! She would mimic his whine after watching an episode and I swore that if I ever have kids, they’ll never be allowed to watch it. Ugh the whining!

  15. I strongly agree with your #1 choice. Caillou is not allowed in my house either. Dora has an abnormally large head, Toopy and Binoo….We stopped watching treehouse and moved over to Disney Jr, I am much happier with their options…..except Higgly Town Heros, that show makes me mad and I am not even sure why.

  16. Curious George. That stupid monkey. The stupid narrator. The stupid man in the stupid yellow hat that leaves his stupid monkey around to just do whatever it wants to do. I really, really, REALLLLLLLLY hate that show with a passion. And when Max & Ruby used to come on, all I could think of was the old Looney Tunes shows where Elmer was looking up all the ways to cook a rabbit. LOL. Thankfully my oldest two are out of these shows and my younger one isn’t going to be into them for a while, yet. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. I didn’t like Yo Gabba Gabba a whole lot when my kids started to watch it, but its certainly grown on me. The songs are catchy – and if you ever watch the live show, seeing Biz Markie live is real entertaining as an adult. hehe. The one thing I can’t stand about Gabba tho…is BROBIE!! omg. he’s such a drag – full of low-self-esteem. His character sucks!!!! Oh the topic of Dora though, I saw that hilarious picture on Pinterest that says “I don’t know what is worse – answering Dora or letting her just stare at you in silence after she asks you a question.” hahhaha. freeeeeaky.

  18. I have heard all of these things about Caillou, and I have purposefully not put it on so my kids won’t ever ask for it. Thomas the train is killin’ me though. He and his cohorts always make the wrong decisions and have to waste time correcting them later on. And they have engine drivers that let them be stupid over and over again. Plus their voices are grating… Also the effing Lalaloopsy doll show. Anyway, I wrote a couple of post on this same topic, if you’d like to check those out:

    Love your site!

  19. I agree with you on the idea that the ginger guppy is never happy, he’s also barely given any amount of attention in the show unlike the other 5, and he only comes around when the group gets confused about certain facts, because he seems to be the brains of the bunch. It’s no wonder why he’s so depressed 90% of the time. I feel bad for him.

  20. I enjoyed reading your post. Thank you! My baby loves Bubble guppies though she is 8 months. I dont like Disney JR mini shows: Nina needs to go and choo choo soul the female’s eyebrows creeps me out.

  21. Hi, Thanks for standing up for us poor parents. I liked your article.
    I happen to like/tolerate Dora, because it is less pervasive as some of the other repetitive shows out there. On our satellite channels (Hungarian and Belgian) my absolute horror list is

    1. Wonder Pets
    2. Bubble Guppies
    3. Paw Patrol

    Unsurprisingly these shows have an almost continuous soundtrack and lots of recurring songs. Wonder Pets is on a level of its own with the seemingly endless crescendoes that add absolutely nothing to the story.
    Another thing I dislike in kids shows is when characters in the show laugh about something. In my view this is to mask bad writing. Instead of making kids laugh, the writers will include a number of laughing moments. They make me cringe!

  22. I agree with your #1 like 1 billion percent! When B was little that’s all he would watch.. and I would cry inside cuz I had to put up with it. Thank god we have Dish now. I miss Nina and Star at night on Sprout. I rather B watch Bubble Guppies than Spongebob any day. Thomas is a must at our house which I don’t mind. I miss the golden days when the trains didn’t “talk” and it was Ringo Star doing the voices. I miss Scooby Doo now that was my favorite when I was younger. Wtf is going on in tv toddler/kid land?

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