American Ninja Warrior

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
American Ninja Warrior TV Poster Image
Super-fit folks conquer big obstacles for money.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 11 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Challengers are applauded for their strength, agility, and mental prowess, as well as their efforts even if they don't complete the course. Folks older than their mid-30s are often referred to as "old."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Challengers usually exhibit good sportsmanship and are clearly dedicated to fitness and show great mental strength, too. They are from all walks of life, though most of the challengers are male.


The obstacle courses are grueling, and no safety gear is worn. Challengers sometimes fall hard on the mats and/or get hit on the head. No blood or injuries are visible. Vignettes about challengers' personal stories show guns being fired and discuss serious illnesses like cancer.


Many of the male challengers are shown shirtless; a few wear tight Speedo-type bottoms.


Words like "pissed" are used infrequently.


Many of the competitors are former professional athletes, soldiers, American Gladiators, and YouTube celebrities.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that reality competition show American Ninja Warrior, which is a spin-off of a Japanese series, features people attempting to complete one of the world's toughest obstacle courses for a major cash prize. It's pretty mild, but most challenges result in people falling (occasionally hitting the mats hard, but no blood), getting frustrated (the word "piss" is audible), or succeeding ... and ripping off their shirts to celebrate. Challengers' personal stories sometimes reference serious illnesses or feature guns. Folks should be reminded never to try any of these stunts at home.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byShannonWPgh July 13, 2015

My son loves it!

My 8 year old son loves it and my husband and I enjoy watching it too.
Parent of a 8 and 11 year old Written byDarienne Stewart May 27, 2015

Very positive sportsmanship

This has become family favorite. This is unlike most reality TV shows in that there is no overt humiliation, no nastiness, no plotting and scheming. Nearly all... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old July 18, 2012

fantastic show

people just get slammed around alot
Kid, 9 years old July 4, 2012


movies should not have bad things

What's the story?

In AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR, contestants attempt to conquer one of the world's most grueling obstacle courses. Based on the Japanese hit series Sasuke, the stateside version features Warrior hopefuls from across the country competing for one of 100 open slots. Those who make the cut have a chance to vie for $500,000 by facing Mount Midoriyama, a grueling four-stage obstacle course in Las Vegas that requires challengers to be mentally and physically strong, quick, and acrobatic. Hosts Matt Iseman and Olympian Jonny Moseley offer their play-by-play commentary and, along with sideline reporter Angela Sun, give viewers a close-up look at the course and its challengers. Whoever completes the course in the shortest amount of time wins both the cash and the coveted title.

Is it any good?

American Ninja Warrior celebrates human strength and agility while entertaining viewers with larger-than-life obstacle courses that few will ever be able actually to complete. Some of the athletes' personal stories and training histories also add interest to the show.

Watching people go through the same obstacle course over and over again gets a little tedious. But folks who are interested in fitness and/or athletic-oriented competitions will definitely enjoy it.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what motivates people to participate in extreme sport competitions. Is it just for the money? Or are there other things that inspire them? What motivates audiences to watch?

  • What do participants gain from being on TV? What do you think happens behind the scenes at shows like this? What's not seen?

TV details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love sports and action

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