1000 Ways to Die

Common Sense Media says

Campy unscripted series is morbid and exploitative.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series focuses on the unorthodox ways that people have died -- without expressing much sensitivity or compassion. Different cultural approaches to death and various ancient death rituals are discussed briefly.

Positive role models

Since the people featured in each story change (and the main ones are already dead), there aren't any consistent negative or positive role models, per se. Experts are interviewed, but they're just there to present scientific information objectively.


Endless violent reenactments of people's final moments, including images of airplanes crashing into mountains and people freezing to death, suddenly being electrocuted, etc. Some reenactments include close ups of the dead "bodies" (with their eyes open) and fake bloody wounds. There are also gruesome real-life images of injuries like black frostbitten toes. One home video captures a young woman falling to her death from 12,000 feet while someone screams in the background. References to sexual assault.


Some strong sexual innuendo, including references to masturbation and a play on the term "wet dreams." One story refers to a pregnant teenager, while another features the death of a "peeping Tom." On a few occasions, women in skimpy underwear are visible.


Language includes words like "hell" and "damn." One story is titled "Butt F***ed."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Occasional references to alcohol and drugs if/when they pertain to the strange way a person died.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while this reality series about unconventional deaths includes some brief scientific explanations of the tragic events, overall the show focuses more on exploiting the victims' final moments than on teaching people how to prevent them. Expect lots of graphic reenactments and real-life images of people's final moments and gruesome injuries. There's also some strong sexual innuendo (including references to masturbation), iffy language, and references to drinking.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

1000 WAYS TO DIE reenacts and analyzes real people's accidental and sometimes strange deaths. It uses a combination of real-life video, still photos, and interviews with friends of the deceased to flesh out the details of these deaths -- which are caused by everything from a spine being severed by a closing window to someone getting electrocuted by a light post. Forensic experts and other scientists also weigh in on how seemingly harmless acts led to these fatal moments. Finally, the show touches on some of the ways that people have been tortured and/or put to death throughout history.

Is it any good?


This morbid, campy series presents each death story in a way that's intended to be both voyeuristic and amusing. Each tale is accompanied by graphic novel-type images and tongue-in-cheek titles (for example, the story of a man who froze in a meat locker is titled "Freeze Died") to add humor, and some of the commentary offers ironic speculations about what people were thinking and/or the lessons they learned while they lay dying. And, of course, it's all accompanied by disturbing images -- both real and reenacted -- of gruesome injuries and people in the moments just before their death.

The show offers limited scientific information about how the body can fatally react to certain things. But its real focus is on exploiting the unorthodox ways that people have died over the years. Although the names of the deceased are changed to protect their privacy, the choice to make their final moments a source of entertainment reflects a disturbing lack of sensitivity. This troubling lack of compassion -- along with the show's endless parade of graphic images -- makes it a poor choice for young kids and very iffy even for teens.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the pros and cons of featuring accidents and/or deaths on a reality show. Is it ever OK to treat these events as a source of entertainment? Does it make a difference if the stories are presented within the context of educating viewers? Families can also talk discuss how death and dying are treated in mainstream American culture. Did you know that some cultures incorporate death as a major part of life? How does this show treat its subjects?

TV details

Cast:Christine Mulhern, Irena Murphy
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:Streaming

This review of 1000 Ways to Die was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent Written byPlague December 17, 2009

1000 Ways to Die

Great show. As "crude" as this show is for mocking the dead, it still shows you how many ways there is to die, and how easy it could happen. It doesnt really teach you how to prevent these deaths from happening, but it still gives you a slight heads up.
Teen, 14 years old Written byPunkchic May 12, 2010
I absolutely hate this show!! It's offensive, and just plain sick! I find it sad that some people get a laugh of how people die. Personally, this show scares me! I could only get through have of it because I'm extremely scared of that kind of stuff. Though if you don't have those kind of scares, you should be able to handle this show. The show can get graphic: from one person getting bit by a snake, a girl getting smashed by an elevator, to one girl exploding. It's sick. I hate hearing of people die, much less see them die. The show has no respect of those deaths. Don't watch this, don't let your kids watch it! It can give you bad dreams, and just make you plain scared. The little ones won't like it AT ALL. Eeeeek, never watching this show again... Never. Ever.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 12 years old March 4, 2011

You DID read the title, right? Are you sure? I just assumed...

What is the name of this show? Hmmm... A Thousand Ways to Die. Now, there are a lot of ways to die, and that title clearly indicates that they intend to tell you how. Let's pretend you were surfing the channels, and you see that title. Do fluffy bunnies and Teletubbies pop into your mind? No? Good. I was getting worried. Now, that aside, I consider this show very educational. There are several ways to die, and I would rather be safe than sorry. Still, I admit, this is not completly kid-friendly, but there is a reason. It was made for teens and grown-ups. Plain and simple. WAY 1000 TO DIE: Not reading this review! Thanks for reading!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models


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