Big Mouth

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Big Mouth TV Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Raunchy but sweet animated comedy has sex jokes galore.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 86 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 110 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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

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). 

Sex

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). 

Language

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. 

Consumerism
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. 

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.   

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAlice Q. October 15, 2017

Pure Unadulterated Crap

How are kids going through puberty and becoming sexually aware and active a form of adult entertainment? It's views on puberty are warped and distorted. It... Continue reading
Parent Written byCaleb M. September 29, 2017

Creative Comedy About Taboo Subjects

First off - yes, the show is pretty graphic and the content CAN be disturbing if sex and puberty are just totally taboo subjects to you and you don't feel... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bySenSid October 4, 2018

Great show to introduce adulthood and puberty to teens

Big Mouth introduces important topics to teens while using humor at the same time. It turns puberty into a funny subject. It turns teens hormones into a physica... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byIanBeltran October 2, 2017

Hidden gem

After reading what parents thought about the show I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at adults drawing conclusions without actually watching the content they’re r... Continue reading

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?

TV details

For kids who love teen comedy

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