Everybody Hates Chris

Common Sense Media says

Everyone will love this funny take on real issues.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show emphasizes the importance of family and friendship, as well as standing up for yourself and being true to who you are. Characters learn from their mistakes and apologize when they're in the wrong.

Positive role models

They're not perfect, but Chris' parents work hard and do what's right for their kids, teaching them the value of family, money, and hard work. They also admit when they're wrong and use their own mistakes as learning opportunities for their kids. Chris is a well-meaning teen who usually does the right thing -- or learns an important lesson when he doesn't.


Chris gets into occasional fights at school (most are started by a bully). In one episode, he accidentally breaks his brother's hand after taking a karate class. Mom Rochelle often threatens her kids with physical punishment, but she never follows through (it's all played for laughs).


Mild flirting, kissing, and innuendo; teenage crushes; discussion of girls' looks.


The "N" word is used sparingly. Other mild language includes "hell," "damn," and "ass."


Some episodes involve Chris wanting particular items, but none are name brands. One episode revolves around an issue of Playboy.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

References to becoming a "crackhead" after a character almost fails a math test.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this warmhearted sitcom is funny and smart, but its themes are too mature for younger kids. Chris' parents make empty threats when their kids get into trouble; these comments are portrayed in a comedic light and aren't meant to be taken seriously (in fact, the parents are strong role models overall, teaching their kids responsibility and helping family members learn from mistakes). There are jokes about drugs (becoming a "crackhead"), and the "N" word is used sparingly (usually to make a specific point). There's also some mild kissing and jokes about teen pregnancy.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS is about the trials and tribulations of teenage Chris (Tyler James Williams) -- and about many real-life issues, such as dealing with strict parents, constantly being picked on by a racist bully at school, and having a more popular, better-looking, taller younger brother. Based on comedian Chris Rock's childhood in Brooklyn, the early '80s-set show puts an unusual spin on the usual sitcom formula. Rock narrates, there's no laugh track, and stories deal humorously with real issues. Chris' parents work multiple jobs and still struggle to pay the bills, all while making sure their kids get a good education and stay on the straight and narrow.

Is it any good?


Chris doesn't shy away from addressing racial stereotypes. For example, much is made over the fact that Chris' father, unlike most other families on the block, is still around to support the family financially and emotionally. The show even goes so far as to mention the "N" word, which a conventional sitcom wouldn't dare utter without the program being considered a "very special episode."


Everybody Hates Chris is a prime example of how to take serious issues and approach them in a humorous yet thought-provoking way. The series is innovative, funny, and stereotype-defying -- enjoyable for teens and their parents.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the kind of issues explored on the show versus those on more conventional sitcoms. How prevalent is the type of obvious racism depicted on the show?

  • Are Chris' parents realistic about how they punish him and his siblings?

  • Can your kids point out what has changed, if anything, between the time in which this sitcom takes place and now?

TV details

Cast:Terry Crews, Tichina Arnold, Tyler James Williams
Networks:CW, Nickelodeon
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Everybody Hates Chris was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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Written byAnonymous January 24, 2015

Not a family show but also not quite a teen/young adult show. Pause for 8-12 and on for 13+.

CSM is right on what families need to know: yes, the great messages and role models, the mild violence, adult content and language. Its a cool "familyish" show. Although it is also a tweener--not quite a family show like Fresh Prince and George Lopez, or really a tween/teen show like Degrassi and Ned's Declassified. But somewhere in-between. More like Malcom in the Middle or Comedy Central's 'Scrubs'. The PG-rated episodes are for 8+, and the 14-rated episodes are for 13+.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Educator Written byDrGirl March 21, 2014

Funny for adults but too mature for children

I personally enjoy the humor in the show, which humorously displays an overbearing, controlling mother and a penny pinching father interacting with their young son Chris, who is the only African American student at his school. The show is absolutely hilarious; however, the language (n-word, a word, b word, d word), racial stereotyping, and sexual content make it too mature for children. There are frequent references to crack, Chris is constantly treated in a racist manner, and violence and robberies occur sporadically throughout the show. Children may not understand or may feel uncomfortable with these themes, specifically the racial issues, as I myself sometimes think the show goes a bit overboard with racial stereotypes even if they are portrayed humorously. Overall, consider the maturity of your child, as some children who are 10 might be comfortable with this while others who are 15 may be uncomfortable. I suggest watching this first yourself or with your child before making a decision.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 2 and 17 year old Written byHuman November 20, 2009
if you wont let your kid watch this because of a little swearing you don't know what goes on in schools across the world every day.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byAngel1234567890 March 27, 2011
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


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