Clarence TV Poster Image




Adventure Time alum's uneven show has quirky appeal.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

There's an appreciation for the absurd embedded into the show, as well as in the sometimes-weird ways kids find to entertain themselves. The focal characters are oddballs, and the show is written with an affection for them. Optimism, friendliness, and fun are major themes.

Positive role models

Clarence is quirky and a little crude, but he has a good heart and is ever the optimist. He values his friends, and when he makes mistakes that hurt them, he tries to set things right. His mom isn't a stellar role model, nor is her domestic partner, but they do genuinely care for Clarence. Clarence is obese and lacks some social graces. He has an affinity for fast food and often overeats. Many of the characters' oddities (salivation issues, an overactive bladder, anxiety) are meant to be funny.


Kid scuffles usually involve fighting with foam sticks or pummeling each other with mud, plus there are some verbal threats to the tune of "I'm going to kill you!" Some bullying, but the viewers' empathy lies with the victim.


Occasionally "making out" is a topic of conversation among kids. Clarence's mother has a live-in boyfriend who sometimes shows up in his underwear, but there are few hints at a physical relationship. His mother wears skintight clothes and is sometimes shown bending over with an exaggerated view of her bottom.


Marginal playground talk such as "shut up" and "what the heck."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Clarence is an animated series created by Skyler Page of Adventure Time fame that features a similar brand of absurdity and crudeness. Overall the content is less edgy than Adventure Time's, mostly mining laughs from bathroom humor, kid spats, and the characters' various body-related quirks (a speech impediment, excessive salivation, rude eating habits). Kids tease each other about having crushes and reference "making out," and Clarence's mom has a live-in boyfriend who looks sketchy but truly cares for his adopted family. Playground talk such as "I'm gonna kill you!" is a frequent flier in the kids' dialogue, too. 

What's the story?

CLARENCE is the story of an optimistic young boy who sees big possibilities everywhere he looks. Being the new kid in town doesn't slow him down one bit, and his sunny personality soon wins over two best friends, uptight Jeff (voiced by Sean Giambrone) and offbeat Sumo (Tom Kenny). No matter what each day holds, Clarence (Skyler Page) is game for it, whether it's a trip to the local burger joint with his mom, Mary (Katie Crown), or an epic game of king of the mountain at the nearby park.

Is it any good?


Adventure Time fans will want to check out Clarence, creator Skyler Page's follow-up project that's bound to please many with a similar design style and caliber of humor. The bizarre characters are oddly likable, and their various afflictions will appeal to kids' fondness for the absurd. What's more, it's even possible to find some decent substance in Clarence's unwavering optimism, which sees him through friendship troubles and contentious dealings with other peers. 

But the overall result is a little uneven. Clarence's content isn't quite as edgy as Adventure Time's, but, in appealing to a slightly younger crowd, it still poses some questionable issues for kids. A rough-looking live-in boyfriend in Clarence's house might raise some queries from your kids, for one, and, because the show subtly mocks a number of unusual physical characteristics -- such as the main character's speech impediment and excessive weight -- it's important that your kids understand the difference between laughing with someone and laughing at him.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about role models. Do any of these characters stand out in a positive way? How do their actions make them good role models? Why is it important to have role models? 

  • Kids: Do you like this show's use of crude humor? Does it always serve a purpose in the show, or is any of it for shock value alone? 

  • Parents and kids can talk about what it's like to feel out of place. Do your kids have an easy time fitting in with new people? What are some skills they can use to break the ice in new settings? 

TV details

Premiere date:April 14, 2014
Cast:Tom Kenny, Katie Crown, Skyler Page
Network:Cartoon Network
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Adventures, Friendship
TV rating:TV-PG

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Teen, 14 years old Written bylucamations March 26, 2014


...'cause they'll never out do this one!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written bySecond Time Mom July 2, 2014

bad behavior

I won't let my kids watch this anymore after observing one episode where kids were extremely disobedient and went into the attic when they have been told do not go into the attic. They ended up destroying the house and it was made to all be humorous. Definitely no character building qualities.
Adult Written byRDF August 16, 2014

A revisit to earlier CN titles

This cartoon is masterfully animated, and contains references to many iconic moments from Hollywood's heyday, classic cartoons, comics and some modern internet memes. The titular Clarence is a chubby boy with a big heart and speech impediment, which doesn't slow down his rather large vocabulary or his ability to make friends with anyone. His best friends are Jeff, a bacillophobic hypochondriac, and Sumo, an overly energetic and somewhat manic boy. The kids venture into suburban tropes like fast-food play-places, grocery stores and the woods. Clarence always tries to avoid direct conflict, even though he has a penchant for finding trouble. Whether it's falling onto conveyor belts for processed meat, setting up his home with Rube Goldberg traps a la Home Alone, or accidentally starting a riot around his invented currency "Clarence Dollars", Clarence and his friends truly mean to do well and they encourage each other to stay positive. While the characters usually create more trouble than they originally intended, similar to Ed, Edd n Eddy, Clarence's mom and her live-in boyfriend Chad are usually able to correct the kids into making sure they learn a lesson from their chicanery. All kids love adventure, and kids will always make trouble, but Clarence's world is grounded in a way that parallels normal life in the Suburbs, which means even though they find themselves in ridiculous situations, most of them are not things kids would normally be able to pull off in the real world. The show conveys that being compassionate and optimistic can lead to more fun than being sour and mean.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models