Dirty Jobs

TV review by
Pam Gelman, Common Sense Media
Dirty Jobs TV Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Ick and shtick will appeal to older tweens and up.

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 15 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The series pays tribute to everyday Americans who work the jobs no one wants. It underscores the importance of doing your job well and with enthusiasm, whatever it is.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Rowe has a sense of humor, but treats the folks he meets with respect.


Discussion of pigs "meeting their maker" while feeding them slops to fatten them up.


Various jokes and bad-pun-style innuendo (for example, when pressboard wood is suspended for staining, Mike comments that they're all "well hung").One episode features semen being extracted from stallions (with some associated remarks).


Mutterings when frustrated, including "son of a bitch," "stupid job," "sucks," and ocassional bleeped words.


Mentions stage shows while visiting Las Vegas; aware of products.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Pokes fun at pigs who get drunk from eating fermented ice cream.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this series' humor doesn't come just from the grubby vocations being reported on, but also from the irony of seeing Mike Rowe -- a well-spoken, likeable television host -- up to his elbows in the dirty jobs of everyday American laborers. The show includes adult-oriented sarcasm, but chances are it will go over the head of most kids. Younger viewers will be enthralled by the series' dirt, stench, and general ick, but the language and humor make it best for older tweens and up.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byoccar July 28, 2010
Mike isn't respecting his "dirty jobs" at all, he always make himself messy and wasn't able to finish the job that all these American fellow... Continue reading
Parent Written byqtnn January 15, 2010

Just good clean fun

Son loves the dirt and I love the hilariously snarky host who respects those who do the toughest jobs.
Kid, 11 years old October 27, 2014


If you get queasy when you see dead and rotting things and maggots and poop, then it is not the right thing for you, but if you don't care, it is a good sh... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byabbacus June 9, 2012

Really good!

I like this show. It isn't so good for kids. Probably best for teens. There is occasional language (sometimes bleeped out) and some sex (breeding animals a... Continue reading

What's the story?

Mike Rowe may seem like the least likely person to get messy. He's sung with the Baltimore opera, sold jewelry on QVC, and worked for years as the host of a local TV show about the San Francisco Bay Area. It was while working on that show that he did a segment on a local dirty job, found a niche, pitched it to the Discovery Channel, and -- voilá! -- DIRTY JOBS was born. The series may make some viewers uncomfortable, but those with an iron stomach will enjoy watching Rowe and his cameraman, Troy Paff, meet the men and women who work in some pretty disgusting yet important vocations. Rowe has donned his work clothes to feed slop to hogs, help catch rattlesnakes, work with septic-tank technicians, remove bones from fish, and much more.

Is it any good?

Rowe's nonstop, sarcastic one-liners are a large component of the show -- they help him get through his experiences. For example, when pouring spoiled milk to pigs, a farmer shares a story about once giving them fermented ice cream, which got the pigs drunk. Rowe's reply? "Sure, might as well have a shot before going off to meet your maker." Rowe is affable with the workers, and they seem generally tickled to be showcased. But considering that Rowe once muttered "stupid job" when he wasn't able to catch a runaway hog, it's hard not to wonder whether there's a bit of condescension involved, too.

Young kids may enjoy watching Rowe dive for golf balls in alligator-infested waters, but with its adult humor, Dirty Jobs is better for older tweens and up.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the featured jobs and the physical strength, bravery, and stamina displayed by those who do them day in and day out. Rowe enjoys informing viewers about these occupations and the importance of what these workers do in their communities -- but, in the end, are we as viewers respecting these average Americans or gawking at them?

TV details

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