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Fans of the beloved Nicktoon Sponge Bob SquarePants are thrilled to hear that the previously banned episode “Kwarantined Krab” will finally air on TV. The episode had been banned during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the in-universe pandemic-centric storyline, with the network wanting to remain considerate during such a trying global time.

This event is not too rare in the world of television. Over the years, many episodes have been pulled or banned for a multitude of reasons. It’s sort of a serial black mark, but it’s also deprived fans of what are considered classic episodes. Reddit users have compiled which banned episodes are the best of the best.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: “Graduation Day”

from Buffy the Vampire Slayer The third-season finale “Graduation Day” was pulled after the Columbine High School massacre. The network was careful not to trigger their high school demographics surrounding the then-recent tragedy.

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The episode that aired months later was pivotal within the fandom, as it saw Buffy graduating from high school before going to college. However, a dialogue change was very noticeable. In the original cut, Xander (Nicholas Brendon) talked excitedly about “blowing high school” after graduation. Redditor monsieurxander points out that “in the final product, it’s eerily quiet except for two off-screen doubled lines”, though it makes sense why the line was removed, given the sensitivity issue.

The Ren & Stimpy Show: “Man’s Best Friend”

The classic Nicktoon of the 90s, Ren & Stimpy“Man’s Best Friend” was banned in season 2. This episode has the presence of extreme violence, smoking, and color jokes, resulting in a ban from the kid-friendly network. However, Redditor jrolym proclaimed that “the reward lawn cigars were my favorite part of the deranged episode”. Hilarious is the irony of this episode surrounding its anthropomorphic protagonists as pets, who only share cigars with their pet trainer at the end.

But ripping off the episode was the smartest move at the time. Over the years, the humor of Ren & Stimpycentered on cartoon ultra-violence and often adult jokes, have become more “mainstream” for some, as seen in the 2003 Spike TV reboot, Ren & Stimpy “Adult Cartoon Party,” the episode finally aired.


Boy Meets World: “If you can’t be with the one you love…”

Boy Meets World’sThe season 5 episode, “If You Can’t Be With The One You Love…”, was banned for teen drinking. Redditor Eargoe states how “BMW was the kind of show that would treat topics like this quite seriously,” which makes the ban seem contradictory.

Impressionable audiences may have been tricked into trying drinking rather than learning the episode’s lesson that alcohol is not a problem solver. The topic of teenage drinking used as moral lessons in TV shows, especially sitcoms, has become more common in recent years, proving that in hindsight, this episode was more effective than harmful. As of 2022, the episode is currently available to stream on Disney+.


Pokemon: “The Legend of Dratini”

Pokemon is a hilarious and iconic anime, but there are some episodes that even diehard fans can’t see, like “The Legend of Dratini.” The depiction of a gun being used as a weapon resulted in the episode being banned internationally, including in the United States.

RELATED: 10 Kids’ Shows That Adults Secretly Love, According To RedditNonetheless, Redditor hiricinee points out that one of the best parts of the episode was “the introduction of the Safari Zone for later episodes.” Although the episode is imperative for Pokemon lore, seeing the series’ child protagonist being held at gunpoint is both triggering and inappropriate, hence the ban.


The Avengers: “A Touch of Brimstone”

Long before she was known for being the sassy Olenna Tyrell on game of thronesDiana Rigg first rose to prominence in the British spy drama, The Avengers. The 1965 episode, “A Touch of Brimstone”, was banned in the United States because Rigg wore a dominatrix outfit. Redditor teralumen thinks the episode had a “crappy story, but a great view”.

While the Redditor’s comment is a bit of a stretch, it’s also important to remember that the rules of TV fashion and modesty have changed a lot since the ’60s. Showing the episode at its peak would have allowed fans to see a strong female protagonist being comfortable in her own skin, and Rigg has since become an icon of ’60s fashion.

The Simpsons: “Stark Raving Dad”

One of the best animated sitcoms, The simpsons has one episode banned due to the presence of renowned but controversial guest star Michael Jackson. Despite the controversy, Redditor Wishbear19 thought “Stark Raving Dad” was “a very touching episode and the Happy Birthday Lisa song is so sweet.” Ironically, it was Jackson’s presence that made the vintage episode popular.

The episode was permanently pulled by creator Matt Groening after the 2019 HBO documentary Leaving Neverland was released, centering on allegations against the late star. Given the controversy surrounding the entertainer, the ban is entirely appropriate, but it’s unfortunate that it spoils an otherwise memorable episode for fans.

Married… With children: “I will see you in court”

Married with children was known for his raunchy humor, but it wasn’t without transparency. The Season 3 episode “I’ll See You in Court” was banned for sexual themes when Al and Peggy filed a lawsuit after discovering they had been secretly filmed having sex in a motel. However, Redditor Hydrokratom felt the episode was “pretty tame by his standards”.

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In retrospect, the topic wasn’t too vulgar. Even though the episode has since appeared in syndicated series and on streaming services, it is not the original version. Despite the ban, this episode is still relevant today for its discussion of what was a massive invasion of character privacy.


Dexter’s Lab, “Rude Removal”

Children’s series are capable of having problematic episodes. Dexter’s LaboratoryThe episode “Rude Removal” was pulled before it could even air in 1998 due to the presence of profanity. In 2013, the episode aired through Adult Swim, Cartoon Network’s late-night programming block, but with the swearing censored.

Reddit Sweetwill62 believes the episode’s censorship was “the worst censorship ever” since the swear words were easy to decipher from the character’s mouth. Either way, most fans think it’s still hilarious thanks to the antics of Dexter and his older sister, DeeDee. The episode airing today serves as a turning point in desensitizing what was once considered controversial.

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