A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What 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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Everybody goes through puberty. But there's never been an animated comedy specifically about it before. BIG MOUTH takes a deep dive into sex in the teenage years, complete with disobedient body parts, confusing instruction from adults, and highly disorienting messages from hormones -- who, in this show, takes the form of a giant, pushy Hormone Monster (voiced by co-creator, executive producer, and star Nick Kroll) who gives really bad advice to best friends Nick (Kroll) and Andrew (John Mulaney). Romantic complications soon ensue between Nick, Andrew, and classmates Missy (Jenny Slater) and Jessi (Jessi Klein) as they all slowly grope their way to adulthood. It's good that Nick and Andrew have each other -- because they'd be totally lost otherwise.
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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about animated comedies like Big Mouth. What kinds of things can an animated series offer viewers that a live-action series can't? Do you think animated comedies rely on more risqué behavior to please their audiences?
How does Big Mouth use humor? Do you find it funny? What makes sensitive topics, such as sex or love, ripe for comedy? Can it ever go too far?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love teen comedy
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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