Beavis and Butt-Head

Common Sense Media says

Crudity, sexism, strong language make 'toon iffy for teens.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show uses the guys’ social ineptitude and idiocy as inspiration for its humor. Women are objectified through the characters’ comments about their appearance and sex appeal. The guys’ misbehavior and complete disregard for authority sends negative messages about real-life consequences of similar actions. Stereotypes run rampant, homosexuality is mocked, and bathroom humor is ribald as well: Beavis is a chronic nose-picker, and multiple uses for excrement is a common topic of discussion.

Positive role models

The two teens are anti-role models -- their characters are clearly the absolute opposite of what anyone would aspire to be. They’re the epitome of negligent behavior, skipping school, flaking out on their jobs, destroying property, and fixating on sex. Their apathy toward responsibility and basic social graces is constant, and much of their free time is spent in front of the TV critiquing music videos. Few authority figures exist (in fact, Beavis and Butt-Head seem not to have parents), and those that are around (teachers, police officers, employers) barely attempt to curb the duo’s misbehavior.

Violence

The guys enjoy skeet shooting in their free time.

Sex

Pretty much anything short of the act itself is fair game. Innuendo-laced comments (“I think I just inoculated”), references to "stiffies," provocative photos of women, couples posed suggestively (bikini-clad women sitting on men’s laps, for instance), as well as plenty of references to body parts like boobs, butts, and slang like "'nads."

Language

Pervasive cursing includes numerous variations of "ass," "damn," "bitch," "hell," and "sucks," as well as name-calling like "diarrhea," "dillweed," "fart knocker," and "butthole."

Consumerism

The show often includes cartoon versions of music videos, featuring artists from The Beatles to Ozzy Osbourne.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The teens often drink non-alcoholic beverages that look like beer and discuss the positive aspects of drunkenness, including the fact that alcohol increases the accessibility of women. Occasional background characters smoke.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the sexual references, crass humor, strong language, and irresponsible messages in this animated series ensure it’s not appropriate for tweens and offers nothing positive for the teen set. Beavis and Butt-Head are foul-mouthed ("damn," "bitch," "ass," etc.), irresponsible, uneducated slackers whose destructive behavior is the basis for the show’s humor. They view women as a means to sex (though they never actually have sex), school as a waste of time, and rules as a challenge to their independence. The show’s crudity is exaggerated and only upstaged by its graphic discourse about sex, including the guys’ comments about arousal and ejaculation.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

BEAVIS AND BUTT-HEAD centers on a duo of socially inept friends and their daily aspirations to mediocrity. These heavy metal-loving pals divide their time between skating through high school -- where their teachers merely tolerate their presence -- and barely maintaining a presence at the local burger joint where they work. Because Beavis and Butt-Head (both voiced by creator Mike Judge) have no life goals, they have plenty of free time, which they devote to fantasizing about girls, shooting some skeet, and making demeaning comments about the rockers they see in music videos.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Since the show’s start in 1993, Beavis and Butt-Head has inspired more than a cartoon’s share of controversy for its characters’ obnoxious behavior, so much so that politicians and TV personalities have weighed in on both sides of the argument. While some applauded its intelligent humor, others feared the effects of its messages. Whichever side you fall on, it's undeniable that, as far as tweens and younger teens go, the show's overt messages are inappropriate. The show mocks responsibility, glorifies drinking (although their beverages are non-alcoholic, they talk about being drunk and romanticize how the effect would get them girls), makes sexism comical, and is brimming with red-letter language. Older viewers might be able to discern a critique of suburban culture, but the message will get lost on the younger set.

The titular characters are pretty bad, but even worse is that their negativity doesn’t really stand out from the rest of the cast, who with few exceptions fall into stereotypical channels of ineffective adults, silly girls, and slacker teens whose actions never reflect those of the real world. In other words, nothing good can come of teens tuning in to the antics of the characters in this edgy show.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about comedy. How would you characterize the humor in this show? How does it differ from other comedy shows you’ve watched? Did you find it funny? Why or why not? Are Beavis and Butt-Head stereotypes?

  • Teens: Does this show attempt to send any messages to viewers? What does it say about gender relations? Do you find any of the relationships particularly palatable or offensive? If so, which ones and why?

  • How are our likes and dislikes influenced by what we see and hear through the media? How does what we see on TV affect how we define "normal"? Does this show strive to reflect society at all? Does it aim to change it?

TV details

Cast:Mike Judge
Network:MTV
Genre:Comedy
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Beavis and Butt-Head 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.

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

Quality

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

Adult Written byShaunbadia October 9, 2011
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

There's method to being a moron

Beavis and Butt-Head were pretty much the poster boys of a generation in the 90's. While people dismissed them as simply being crude and idiotic, people tend to forget there was an underlying social commentary in there, and it didn't take a genius to notice it. The titular characters are by no means intelligent or popular. Butt-Head is at the bottom of the social totem pole and Beavis is just slightly below that. They see life from a very basic perspective: Something is either "Cool" or it "Sucks". Their misadventures would often involve them trying to get girls or money (They only ever came close a few times with the former and were successful various times with the latter). These antics would be broken up by clips of the duo watching various music videos and providing commentary which could not only make or break record sales at the time, but also made them come across as "Idiot savants". Which brings me to my next point: The boys would oddly show little bursts of brilliance and wit from time to time (Albeit usually by accident) and that's where the satire lays. Like it or not YOU knew some dumb guys like this at some point in you're life, you may have even BEEN like that. Beavis and Butt-Head works on two levels: Either you got the joke or you were the joke. They were the animated embodiment of teenagers in the 90's and to some extent still are the embodiment of the teens of today (Which is sad to say). In terms of it's content, parents need only be mildly cautious. The language they use is actually cute in it's own right. Calling someone "Dillweed" or "Buttmuch" is incredibly tame compared to South Park's Eric Cartman calling a group of his classmates "A bunch of a$$-ramming Uncle F**kers". Even when B&B mention genitals they only ever say "Thingies". Violence is mainly slapstick....literally it's Butt-Head smacking Beavis for saying something stupid (There's irony for ya'). There are some episodes (Mainly from seasons 1 and 2) that are more over the top, but really, I would say seasons 1 and 2 are the only really unsuitable ones.....and the Halloween special from Season 6, but then again....it does its job and manages to be creepy. No more violent than a Halloween episode of The Simpsons. For the parents, I will end this review with the shows very own disclaimer: "Beavis and Butt-Head are not role models. They're not even human they're cartoons. Some of the things they do would cause a person to get hurt, expelled, arrested...possibly deported. To put it another way: Don't try this at home" :)
Adult Written bysonicd July 3, 2011
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Are you threatening me?

There is nothing wrong with this show. There is nearly no language. Huh huh huh huhuh huh huh.........sk33t shooting.
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 15 years old Written byFullmetalAlchem... May 7, 2011
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Not For 14 Nd under :P

This Show Should Be Ment For 14 And Up. Because it Shows crude language and does not send a positive message my Mom Honestly Hates This show Se Said Its Ignerent And Ruins Children.And Chidren Attemt on what they see on tv you have to be more or less mature and have knowlage to watch this show and not get brain washed at the same time.
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Poll

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

Digital Compass