A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show is intended purely as entertainment.
The Cunninghams are close and supportive of each other and their extended family (including Fonzie). Most of their problems are mild (the kind that are neatly solved within a half-hour episode). That said, the show does tend to reinforce the idealistic (and unrealistic) way we tend to view the '50s.
Positive Role Models
Characters demonstrate humility.
Violence & Scariness
The friends get into benign, almost-simulated fistfights from time to time. In later seasons, Richie joins the army.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Plenty of dating and flirting, but it's all really tame.
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Jeepers, these kids are clean!
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Happy Days is a landmark '50s-set sitcom (which originally aired from the mid-'70s to the mid-'80s). It's squeaky clean, especially by today's primetime standards. Although the show is definitely still funny a few decades down the line and will appeal to adults who remember it fondly, today's kids may not be able to relate to some of the scenarios it portrays and may find the dialogue trite or cheesy. It also idealizes the '50s in a way that a modern audience might not care for.
Is It Any Good?
This show has always been perfect for family viewing, but the dated settings and situations may conspire to have tweens and older kids leaving it off their personal must-see list.
Among the scenes that take place at the local drive-in and diner are situations that revolve around comic confusion and misunderstanding, which is still a popular plot device in today's sitcoms. But what you'll see on Happy Days is a lot more innocent than what might appear on an ensemble sitcom like Friends or Cheers. In one episode, for example, Ralph and Potsie go to great lengths to hide the fact that they left the Cunninghams' gate open, allowing Fonzie's new dog to escape.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.