American Pickers

Common Sense Media says

Hunt for antique treasures is a gem for history buffs.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show provides a fairly realistic look at how market economics work, with Mike and Frank doing their best to get the best deal possible -- which can sometimes make it feel like the're taking some advantage of the people they're buying from.

Positive role models

Mike and Frank don’t say that they’re out to take advantage of the people they buy from, but their goal is always to make the maximum profit on their acquisitions, and they share some of their tricks for buying at the lowest price. On the upside, they’re usually respectful of people’s emotional attachment to their things and seem to value learning the history associated with the items as much as the money to be made from them.

Not applicable
Not applicable

A few instances of "hell," and at least one reference to a man’s penis.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Sometimes the guys relax with a beer.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while some mild language (“hell,” mostly) is the strongest that this show’s content gets, the dusty subject matter isn’t likely to entice too many kids. Mike and Frank are crafty businessmen who use seemingly devious sales techniques to get the antiques at the lowest price so they can resell them for the maximum profit. While their tactics sometimes make them seem like they’re taking advantage of people’s naivete, the process does show how the economic market works as a whole and is a good intro to the exchange process.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Whoever drew the comparison between one man’s junk and another man's treasure surely had Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz in mind. Business partners and lifelong friends, Mike and Frank are professional “pickers\": antiques experts who hit the road in search of people’s junk collections to weed through for lost treasures they can buy and resell to dealers. Often their quests turn up little more than intriguing folks and fascinating stories, but once in a while they unearth some real gems that they turn around for a hefty profit.

Is it any good?


AMERICAN PICKERS offers a unique glimpse at the antiques business, taking viewers into the trenches with Frank and Mike, two buddies with a passion for their work and an eye for diamonds in the rough buried below piles of rusty cars and dilapidated farm equipment. The show’s subject matter obviously caters to antiques enthusiasts and history buffs (the hosts often explore the historical value of the pieces they find), but even novices will enjoy seeing what the guys manage to dig up in other people’s backyards.

While they don’t necessarily set out to take advantage of the people they meet, Mike and Frank are ultimately opportunists looking to make a buck off of someone else’s stuff and, indirectly, off their unfamiliarity with the lucrative antiques market. It’s an eye-opening example of how things work in the exchange market and underscores the reminder “Buyer (or in this case, seller) beware.” Kids and tweens probably won’t be too interested in the show itself, but adults will be intrigued by the guys’ modern-day treasure hunting.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can discuss what aspects (if any) of this show you'd consider educational. Do you think the show is intended to teach or just to entertain? How reliable are different types of media (TV, internet, newspaper, etc.) as teaching tools?

  • How do the goods we consume get to us? How does the cost of a good change related to the number of people who handle it?

  • Kids: What type of career would you like to have? What special skills or knowledge will you need for it? What risks and benefits do you foresee?

TV details

Cast:Frank Fritz, Mike Wolfe
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD

This review of American Pickers was written by

About our rating system

  • 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.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

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

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 12 years old March 6, 2011


This show may sound stupid, but it's pretty entertaining. Noticeable product placement, but hey!, that's what's the show's about!
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Parent of a 7 and 10 year old Written byHoodSiegal January 2, 2011

Their enthusiasm for history is infectious

This is a show we like to watch together. There is a little bit of bad language, but they find some really interesting items and give enough information for the kids to know what they were. Other reviewers have commented that the buyers are ripping off older people, but I disagree. This is the way antiquing works. It takes a lot of work to move/clean up/market these items to the eventual collector and clearly the sellers have been unable to do that for some reason. There is no undue pressure applied to the sellers. The most interesting parts of this show are the favorable light they shine on rural areas and collectors of historical items and the enthusiasm they show for these great old finds.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Parent of a 14 year old Written byItsJackMcWells July 5, 2010

LOVE the show, SCREW you haters

well....i love this show!! it tellsa story of two guys having fun and telling the history of america piece by piece!! alot of the people who think they are ripping off the elder people have a very misconstrued conception of life......heck, most of these people want to get rid of the stuff anyway!!! thats why they have a person call and ask about if they are willing to sell their items. most pf the people say that they dont want to take the stuff to the grave. and another thing, over half of the people are not old OR very knowledgable and willing to make bargains with them. OTHERWISE THEY WOULDNT SELL ALL OF IT!!!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential Apps Guide