iCarly

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
iCarly TV Poster Image
Popular with kids
Interactive show raises social media issues for tweens.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 156 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 645 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

The show isn't designed to be educational, per se, but young viewers will learn a bit about interacting with media.

Positive Messages

While friendship is very important on the show and the characters typically learn a lesson from any iffy behavior, not every take-away is positive. Sometimes the characters make questionable choices that would have negative consequences in real life but are played for laughs in the show. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Carly is a strong, independent female character, but the characters do dabble in some negative behavior like making fun of peers (a form of bullying) and lying for personal gain. They’ve also been known to give out personal information on the web and air their personal grievances against others on their web show (a.k.a., cyberbullying). The only authority figure is Carly's 20-something brother who’s the least responsible of the bunch.  

Violence & Scariness

Slapstick-style wrestling, slapping, electrocution, etc. never results in injury and clearly is meant for laughs.

Sexy Stuff

Hand-holding, flirting, hugging, references to boobs, and other aspects of teen relationships are mild in nature. Rarely guys refer to girls as "hot" or question the basis for relationships between "popular" kids and "geeks."

Language

Name-calling like "loser" and "jerk" is as harsh as it gets.

Consumerism

The series and its sister website promote each other. Characters encourage viewers to log on to the site to send in emails and videos for consideration for the show. And there's lots of iCarly merchandise, not to mention the fact that it helps Miranda Cosgrove's music career as well. The series has spawned a handful of TV movies and specials.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this semi-interactive tween comedy integrates with its partner website (iCarly.com), and the show’s format encourages kids' interest in checking out and contributing to the site. In other words, if your computer-savvy kids are fans, this is the perfect time to reiterate your family rules about Internet use and safety. The content is mostly benign, with language limited to some name-calling ("loser" and "jerk," for example) and a simplistic view of teen relationships, but the show does raise timely points about issues like cyberbullying, since the characters sometimes use their broadcasts to rant about other people.

Wondering if iCarly is OK for your kids?

Parents: Set preferences and get age-appropriate recommendations with Common Sense Media Plus. Join now

Continue reading Show less

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 4 and 9-year-old Written byconnielove93 February 8, 2010

Grow up parents!

Grow up parents, a little sexy stuff won't hurt your kids. I've seen worse in commercials. If anything you can use it as a teaching tool so they don... Continue reading
Adult Written byEven God Laughs January 15, 2012

Stop being lazy!

Honestly, if parents take the time to watch the WHOLE dynamic of the show and not just one episode, an intelligent person can come to notice the sarcasm and hid... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byCoolman81 April 10, 2020

Best show on nick

This is the best show ever!!!! my favorite episode is one where there is but names steven who is cheating on Carly and guest star (Victoria Justice) Tori Vega f... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byhurstårdettill August 18, 2010
I've found this show to portray AWFUL stereotypes of foreign people in the past. The Scottish are portrayed as highland-dancing, kilt-wearing, bagpipe play... Continue reading

What's the story?

ICARLY centers on Carly Shay (Miranda Cosgove), an opinionated young teen who lives with her artsy 20-something brother, Spencer (Jerry Trainor), while their father is abroad with the military. Carly stumbles into Internet fame when a video of her and her sassy best friend, Sam (Jennette McCurdy), gossiping about their peers is accidentally posted online and accessed by thousands of fans, who demand more of the hilarity. From off-the-wall stunts to their personal musings about teen life, Carly, Sam, and their friend/producer Freddie (Nathan Kress) are never lacking inspiration for their show.

Is it any good?

iCarly gives tweens the opportunity to step outside reality and live vicariously through the colorful characters' lives. Few rules exist for Carly and her friends, due mostly to the absence of a credible authority figure, and they've achieved stardom by taking their personal views to the uncensored airwaves. In other words, theirs isn’t a lifestyle easily emulated by viewers, but the fact that the show makes it so appealing is good reason for parents to do a reality check, reminding kids of the dangers of cyberbullying in particular.

That's not to say the show is all bad, though. Much of it is laugh-out-loud funny, it boasts a colorful cast of characters (thanks to a very talented cast) and it reflects the technological nature of modern social interactions. Tweens will relate to the characters and their realistic issues with friends, family, and school, and parents will be relieved to know that there's little content that's worrisome for their kids.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the Internet. What kinds of things can you see online? Is it good or bad to be able to access so much information and content? How does the Web affect your relationship with other people?

  • What are some of the dangers associated with Internet use? Has anyone you know ever been bullied or otherwise mistreated online? How? What did they do?

  • Remind your kids that they should never say anything online that they wouldn't say to someone's face, and make sure tweens understand your rules for using the Internet, especially regarding uploading videos and providing personal information to any website. For more on Internet safety, click here.

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love media fun

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate