A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The characters in this frank comedy are primarily preoccupied with puberty, sex, and getting older -- they discuss topics like what an "official" kiss is (resolved: it involves tongue), what sex is and isn't, why some penises are bigger than others. It's very frank, but also realistic -- and a surprising amount of correct information and empathetic reassurance is given out.
Positive Role Models
Many characters appear to be stereotypes -- a sassy smart girl, a boy with stereotypical gay mannerisms and intonation, a clumsy teacher -- but are soon revealed to be relatable and valued (even if frequently mocked). Still, it takes some perspective to understand that gags involving words like "fairy" or a mother wanting to be pregnant with her son again aren't just dirty jokes -- there's usually a prejudice-skewering point to them. As the first season moves on, and in later seasons, female puberty and sexuality is given almost equal representation with teen male sexuality, with a "hormone monstress" to join Andrew and Nick's "hormone monster." Parents are present, even if one set says things like "shut your face" and another set overshares graphically and has a vivid sex life that makes their children uncomfortable. Most characters on the show are heterosexual, but in later seasons, a gay character gets a more prominent role and has his first relationship, characters come out as bi- and pansexual, and parents divorce after the mother begins having an affair with another woman. As the show progresses, characters also grow in maturity, with concerns branching out from puberty and sex to other aspects of adult life, including emotional ones.
Violence & Scariness
Cartoonish and mostly mild/jokey: two friends push each other when one is upset; a boy discusses "curbing" (making a rival bite a curb and then stomping on his face).
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Very frank and nearly constant sexual talk and images from teen characters, who discuss body parts, different types of sex, masturbation, and various aspects of puberty. Scenes variously imagine sex-obsessed scenarios like a passel of giant basketball-playing penises, and a boy swimming with his own sperm. Expect plenty of cartoon nudity, kissing, sex, and sexual language, as well as a surprisingly realistic look at puberty and sexual development. You can also expect off-the-wall subplots like a character who's having an "affair" with anthropomorphized pillows...of both genders (which turns into a surprisingly thoughtful look at bisexuality).
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Cursing and strong language is frequent: "f--k," "f---ing," "s--t," "bulls--t," "p---y," "c--ts," "ass," "damn," "hell," "jerk off," "sucks," "d--ks," "balls," "jizz"; characters tell each other to "shut up" or "shut your face," and refer to masturbation, menstruation, oral sex, and other sex acts in very graphic terms.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some drug references in jokes, like when a character refers to a friend who died of a heroin overdose. One adult asks others to go out for drinks. In season 3, a subplot concerns a big standardized test that students take illicit Adderall for.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Big Mouth is an animated comedy series that focuses on a group of teens who are obsessed with sex. They talk constantly about bodies, body parts, different types of sex, masturbation, orgasms, and many other sex-related topics. Expect cartoon nudity -- including male full-frontal -- kissing, and sex, as well as a realistic and sympathetic look at sexual development. There's frequent cursing and language, too, with plenty of sexual words: "f--k," "s--t," "p---y," "c--t," "ass," "damn," "hell," "jerk off," "sucks," "d--ks," "balls," and "jizz." Characters tell each other to "shut up" and engage in mild fights where they push each other. A set of married parents overshares graphically, talking about their own sex life, sexual history, and desires in a way that embarrasses their son deeply. Some jokes talk about drugs and alcohol: A character refers to a friend who died of a heroin overdose. While this show is about young teens, it's pretty mature and pretty raunchy -- older teens who are post-puberty may be a better audience, or parents may want to watch first and make sure the material is appropriate. In later seasons of the show, characters stay sex-obsessed -- with episodes revolving around sex toys, sexual identity, masturbation, and other sexual topics -- but also tackle other aspects of adulthood: depression, the perils of social media, and the stress of trying to live up to one's obligations and the expectations of others.
Is It Any Good?
This animated comedy gets some important things right: Sex can be scary, other people are complicated, and there are a lot of laughs to be mined from growing up. That it's a bit too raunchy and frank to allow parents to be comfortable showing it to -- or watching it with -- the very teens the show intimately understands is ironic, but these teens could do worse than watching a show that talks frankly about feeling weird about your body, normalizing these complex topics in a surprisingly sweet way. The great thing about Big Mouth is that it has bawdy jokes aplenty, and moments where characters genuinely connect (particularly as seasons move on and the characters mature, both as characters and in their relationships with each other).
You may wince along with Nick when his parents discuss their sexual compatibility in graphic terms, but we've seen scenes like this before. What's rarer, and far better, are moments when characters talk to each other like real, unguarded people. One episode revolves around Nick getting a good look at Andrew's penis, which he views as more impressive than his own. Threatened, he snubs his friend until Andrew begs to know "Why are you being so mean to me? What did I do?" Nick admits exactly what's wrong -- and with the embarrassing confession on the table, all the two good friends can do is laugh at themselves, and each other. "It's embarrassing," says Nick, rueful. "Everything's embarrassing," counters Andrew. It is. But it's a little less so when a show like this makes you feel so normal.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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