America's Funniest Home Videos

 
(i)

 

One person's humiliation is another's chuckle.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This show (and others like it) encourage viewers to laugh at others' misfortunes -- which doesn't seem so bad when it's a mild pratfall but is much iffier when the clip makes it look like someone really got hurt. Some of the clips feature degrading practical jokes and questionable treatment of animals.

Positive role models

Some of the people in the featured videos are clearly shooting for their 15 minutes of fame; others don't seem to mind that people get hurt if the result is a funny video.

Violence

People are frequently shown being injured or inflicting injury on someone else.

Sex

Nudity and implied sexual behavior. Blurred body parts.

Language

Occasional inappropriate language is bleeped.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some clips of adults drinking at weddings, restaurants, and at home. Implied drunken behavior.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that some home videos show people getting hurt. Many of the clips are practical jokes that are degrading and some cross the line when it comes to the ethical treatment of animals. Videos also poke fun at normal kid behavior.

What's the story?

For 15 years, the producers of AMERICA'S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS have been searching for hilarious videos made by everyday people. Viewers tune in to see home improvement projects turned into slapstick comedy, men doing flips onto and breaking pool tables, the dresses of women flapping in the breeze to reveal their scanty underwear, and every possible way a man can get hit in the groin. It's taped with a studio audience that is frequently shown in the throes of belly laughs, and who then vote on that episode's funniest video. Emmy Award-winning host Tom Bergeron gives annoying one-liners as he introduces the genre of videos coming up, such as pets, home repairs, holiday antics, challenges at the altar, etc.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Adolescents will no doubt find many of these videos to be humorous, but do you want your kid watching a blindfolded groom tricked into inappropriately touching a grandmotherly guest at his wedding or an overweight woman stuck in a pit with no one helping her to get out? Often the humor is at the expense of children and their innocent, developmentally normal behavior that has yet to be tainted by self-consciousness. This show teaches kids to laugh at others instead of finding their own creative ways to be funny.

Bottom line: Some families may find the show funny, and some won't -- you may want to tune in before you share with your kids.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about when a joke is funny and when it becomes inapporpriate, unethical, or causes humilation. Do we need to make fun of people to be funny?

TV details

Cast:Bob Saget, Jess Harnell, Tom Bergeron
Networks:ABC, Syndicated
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of America's Funniest Home Videos was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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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; OK 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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Great handpicked alternatives

  • High-kicking series has cross-generational appeal.
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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written bymommajo4 July 24, 2011
 

Emotional child abuse

Very degrading, especially one where a happy toddler was the butt of a joke having to do with the pronunciation of the planet Uranus, and when the family was awarded the top prize, she sat on her mother's lap with the saddest face I have ever seen. Where is the prize in crushing a child's spirit?
Parent Written bytreat02 March 23, 2012
 

THIS ISN'T FOR ANYONE!!

This is terrible. i mean, people are constanly getting hurt. It's quite disturbing! Honestly i avoid this on TV, parents out there, please don't let you're kid watch this, very bad. I think this encourages kids to do different violent things to get onto television, and is that what all of us want? We already have mass shootings and people getting hurt because they want fame or popularity. This certainly is a DANGER to adults and kids and I will not EVER except it for ANYONE.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent Written byclifton14 August 7, 2011
 

VIOLENT AND ABUSIVE

This show should be banned!! When it is ever funny to watch people, especially children, get hurt and humiliated?? It's excessive violence and it's overwhelming popularity is right in line with the increase in violence we see everyday on the news!! This is NOT funny!! And children should not be programmed into believing that humor is found in such humiliating and hurtful situations. TERRIBLE SHOW
What other families should know
Too much violence

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