A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Buried beneath all the vulgar humor is a message about the benefits of growing up and becoming responsible -- though not necessarily wildly successful. Ted doesn't necessarily celebrate being rich as it does simply being happy and being with the ones you love.
Positive Role Models
He swears, drinks, and does drugs, but John also learns to be responsible and to "become a man" (i.e. a grown up) in order to deserve the woman he loves.
Violence & Scariness
Ted and John have a knock-down, drag-out fist fight, destroying many of the objects in a hotel room. Ted whips John's bare bottom with a radio antenna. In one quick scene, Ted plays the "knife game" with a person's fingers, accidentally stabbing him on the hand. A little blood is shown. Other scenes of fighting, slight wounds, and arguing. Jokes about rape.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Heavy, heavy sexual content and innuendo, including a partly-obscured shot of Ted (the teddy bear) having sex with a human woman. The bear flirts with a girl by thrusting up against a cash register and then squirts hand cream on his face. One woman's naked breasts are shown. Part of Mark Wahlberg's naked bottom is shown. The main couple, who have been in a relationship for four years, are seen kissing and caressing each other. A close up of "Lance Armstrong's bronzed nut."
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Language is constant, strong, and extremely vulgar. This includes many uses of "f--k" and "s--t," as well as "Jesus" (as an exclamation), "oh my God," "douchebag," "douche," "ass," "a--hole," "motherf---er," "p---y," "t-ts," "c--k," "son of a bitch," "bastard," "d--k," "hell," "crap," "goddamn," and "whore." There are also many racial and ethnic slurs, as well as extremely crude and off-color jokes about topics like rape.
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Products & Purchases
Several products are shown and/or referenced, including Budweiser beer, Michelob beer, Nintendo, PlayStation, Pop 'Ems, Sugar Corn Pops, Pepperidge Farm, Teddy Ruxpin, and more. Many, many movies and TV shows are also mentioned and/or shown, including Flash Gordon (1980), Bridget Jones's Diary, and Cheers.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The two main characters regularly smoke pot and drink beer recreationally. The main characters try cocaine for the first time at a party; the negative effects of this are shown. Characters also drink shots of hard liquor and champagne at a restaurant. No one is shown to have a problem or an addiction, and no drug dealers are shown.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ted was co-written and directed by Seth MacFarlane, creator of edgy cartoon TV series Family Guy. Without the constraints of network TV, MacFarlane has taken off the gloves and created an extremely vulgar movie, filled with wall-to-wall foul language, racial and ethnic jokes, sexual innuendo and references, some nudity and partly shown sex, and a violent fight scene. Characters drink beer and smoke pot regularly, drink harder alcohol occasionally, and even try cocaine (the negative effects are shown). There are also tons of pop culture references, as well as a few product references, including beer, junk food, and video games. But on the upside, the characters have genuine heart and work hard to become better people. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Usually, Seth MacFarlane's type of humor -- pop-culture references mixed with vulgar shock humor -- will instantly kill a movie, but not so with TED. MacFarlane has done what There's Something About Mary did: He has made an over-the-top comedy with genuine heart. As ridiculous and as silly as Ted's three characters are, they actually care for one another, and their bond comes through.
Moreover, rather than just telling a story about a vulgar character getting a neurotic one to "loosen up," Ted celebrates the notion of becoming a responsible adult. And while so many movies are about dumping the "wrong girl" before she ruins the hero's life, in this one, John learns to communicate with -- and tries to deserve -- the girl he already loves. As for the humor, though it's frequently shocking and offensive, it's rarely hateful or angry. The characters mostly make fun of themselves. Fortunately, much of that humor is hilarious, and the movie's unexpected warmth makes up the rest.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.