Girls Behaving Badly TV Poster Image

Girls Behaving Badly

Title makes prank show sound worse than it is.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show revolves around playing pranks on unsuspecting victims. The jokes don't cause any real harm, but they're sometimes designed to make fun of a person rather than simple, harmless fun. The women in the cast are from various racial/ethnic backgrounds. Their "victims" are both male and female and from all age ranges.


Some pushing, shoving, and throwing, including hurling a dodge ball at unsuspecting mall shoppers and dodging non-existent bullets. All of these events are part of the pranks and don't cause any real harm.


Occasional scenes include kissing and "making out." Other occasional references to sex will go over the head of younger viewers. All references are within the context of the specific prank being played.


Mostly pretty mild: "Damn," "hell," etc. The rare moments that include strong curse words (from the targets of the pranks) are bleeped out.


Occasional celebrity guests, including Brooke Burke and Cheryl Tiegs. Other brands -- such as "Hooters" -- are sometimes visible, depending on the prank. Fake brands are often featured.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Occasional drinking in restaurants or other prank settings.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this hidden-camera series revolves around playing pranks on unsuspecting people. In general, the jokes are carefully orchestrated, don't cause real physical harm, and aren't mean-spirited (unlike the gags over on Punk'd), but some of them push the boundaries of what can be considered "good clean fun."

Kids say

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What's the story?

Hidden-camera reality/comedy series GIRLS BEHAVING BADLY follows a group of women who play pranks on unsuspecting people for a good laugh. At the center of the action are trained comediennes Chelsea Handler, Melissa Howard, Shondrella Avery, Kira Soltanovich, and Niki Lennstrom (later seasons also feature Laura Dedona and Tori Meyer-Mullen). Their modern, all-female take on Candid Camera involves staging a series of well-calculated, often-outrageous set of circumstances that lure people into being unsuspecting participants in their practical jokes. Both the cast and the "victims" create some funny moments as they react to each other during the mischief, which includes everything from delaying store check-out lines for seemingly ridiculous reasons to hurling dodge balls at unsuspecting shoppers to getting people to do things that they would otherwise never do in public.

Is it any good?


While most of this show's pranks are harmless and in good fun, some are rather silly and verge on mean-spiritedness (taping signs on random people's backs for others to ridicule, for example). And sometimes it's not clear whether some of the targets are ever let in on the joke. But the series' strength is how it creatively and effectively showcases the cast's comedic talent -- they fearlessly draw people into their stunts by acting friendly, seductive, weird, crazy, and, at times, even frightening. Their talent for fooling unsuspecting people into believing that the craziness happening to them is real is what makes the show worth watching.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the difference between harmless pranks and jokes that can potentially have serious consequences. When do pranks cross the line? What's an example of an inappropriate or harmful prank? How does it feel to be the butt of a joke? Families can also talk about what it takes to be a successful comedienne. What challenges do women face when pursuing a career in comedy? Are there things that male comics do that may not seem natural for a female?

TV details

Premiere date:September 21, 2002
Cast:Chelsea Handler, Melissa Howard, Shondrella Avery
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD

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Adult Written byTheSarah February 23, 2012

I havn't seen it on TV but...

I read some articles about the show and watch some clips and I see that some of the sexual content may be a concern; one prank involved a woman pretending to be a prostitute (although nobody stated explicitly that she was a prostitute), another prank involved making a woman think her husband rented various porn movies and another involved a woman walking around with the top of her thong showing above her waistband. I think most preteens would have already heard of things like porn, though.
What other families should know
Too much sex