Family BrainSurge

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Family BrainSurge TV Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
High-energy game show puts kids' memories to the test.

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 40 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

The games challenge contestants to solve visual puzzles and retain information they’re shown or told.

Positive Messages

The show promotes friendly competition and good sportsmanship, though there’s some potty humor (in the form of chairs that make a farting noise when contestants give a wrong answer, as well as in some of the questions). 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The contestants are all good sports about the game’s outcome.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Contestants’ prizes (keyboards, karaoke machines, etc.) are detailed as part of the show, so sponsoring companies get plenty of mention.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this game show makes it easy for kids to play along with the contestants, testing their listening comprehension and visual recollection skills in a series of puzzles and quizzes. Players are eliminated at the end of each of three rounds, but they’re always good sports about their fate -- and about their slippery, messy exit down an oversized slide model of the ear canal. Aside from some recurrent potty humor (kids sit in chairs that make farting noises when their answer’s wrong, etc.), there’s little to worry about in this fast-paced game show.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written by3 little pigs September 23, 2011

Family Brain Kill

I Love It Its Its The Best Mom Dad Connie Kenny Mummer Bob
Kenzie Colton
Parent of a 12-year-old Written bybxiara October 29, 2010
i love this i'm gonna put my child in brain surge
Teen, 16 years old Written byMusiclovergig June 24, 2020

Old Memories

Anyone remember this game show?
Teen, 15 years old Written byDavisJordan01272000 February 20, 2015

Totally Awesome

I want to be a contestant,with the Davis family,I want to pick a colored shirt,they have red,yellow,blue,green,light blue,they working on orange and purple,they... Continue reading

What's the story?

In the game show BRAINSURGE, kids compete in a series of brain-teasing challenges that test their ability to recall visual and auditory information. Each game starts with six contestants (dubbed the “Brainiacs”) who answer a series of questions from host Jeff Sutphen about pictures they’re shown. At the end of the round, the two lowest-scoring players are eliminated and sent home via the \"Brain Drain,\" an oversized slide in the shape of an ear canal that's greased up with a gooey ear wax substitute. Play continues through two more elimination rounds, after which the game’s winner faces one more memory challenge to win a series of prizes -- and a dousing of green slime.

Is it any good?

BrainSurge sticks to tradition when it comes to content -- its oversized set and use of slippery substances bring to mind the station’s slime-covered classic Double Dare. Kids are sure to appreciate the messy nature of the entertainment, but parents will be most excited about the fact that the show’s challenges actually do put kids’ brain power to the test, and that it’s easy for viewers at home to match wits with the contestants.

Despite some mild but recurring potty humor (in one level eliminated contestants are escorted away on a chair that makes farting noises), this fast-paced show is a fun, safe choice for grade-schoolers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about competition. What does competing teach you about yourself? What contests have you been a part of? How did you feel when you won? When you lost?

  • Kids: Do you have any role models who are athletes? Why do you respect and admire them? What do you think of athletes who demonstrate negative behavior? 

  • What other game shows have you seen? How was the format different? Do you like that this show’s contestants are all kids? Do you think there’s some educational quality to its content?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love games

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