Phil of the Future

TV review by
Sarah Wenk, Common Sense Media
Phil of the Future TV Poster Image
Harmless, cliché-ridden young teen misadventures.

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 16 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 29 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Phil's younger sister is a mean, selfish, manipulative bratty kid, and her behavior is played for laughs, though she generally is "taught a lesson" by the end of each episode. The entire population of the show is white.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

There is talk of dating and relationships from both teens and adults, but nothing beyond the crush stage.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that although this series aims to teach viewers about good behavior and respecting others, its hackneyed situations and endless cheesy sound effects get in the way of anything meaningful. The futuristic elements are so poorly tacked on to the stories that they seem irrelevant. And Phil's sister is so nasty, rude, and antagonistic that it makes the show nearly unwatchable. All in all, the show is harmless but unpleasant.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDexterSmith April 9, 2008

Phil of the Future

Sexual Content (Not an Issue): Some flirting, the only kiss in the series is saved for the finale episode.
Violence (Not an Issue): None.
Language (Not an Issue... Continue reading
Adult Written bylc123 September 28, 2020

good show

its such a good show but violence does happen in. a halloween episode one of the characters is revealed to be a evil cyborg from the future and while it is very... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byveils July 11, 2011

Why Parents?

What is up with the stats?
95% say violence is an issue
95% say sexual content is an issue
95% say language is an issue
95% say there's too much drinking,... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old March 14, 2011

best show ever!!!!!!!!

i use to watch this show when i was younger and loved it and i still do. i wish disney would put this back on TV that way i do not have to watch it on youtube.... Continue reading

What's the story?

A family from the future is trapped in the suburban present in this rehash of just about every teen show you've ever seen. Although Phil (Ricky Ullman) and his family have access to various futuristic gadgets (a brain switcher, an age transformer). The teen and his friends experience the ups and downs of their age group. For example, in one episode Phil gets a crush on the popular girl at school and has to learn about being himself, and in another story, Phil's best friend Keely (Alyson Michalka) uses the aging machine to see what she'll be like at 25 and has to learn about being herself. Predictably, Phil's sister Pim (Amy Bruckner) is a cute kid who is a complete brat and mean to everyone.

Is it any good?

Though the series attempts to impart a few life lessons, the situations are so clichhd and the settings so overly familiar that you can predict everything that's going to happen and everyone's reaction to it long before it occurs, and so the "lesson learned" impact fizzles out. And in case you weren't sure which parts are supposed to be funny, a barrage of sound effects is constantly going off during each episode, adding a cartoonish element that does nothing to enhance the viewing experience. There are far, far better ways to spend half an hour than watching this show.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether the lessons the show is trying to teach are derailed by Phil's sister's behavior. Can you look past her nastiness to see what the message is supposed to be? Is what she does funny or just mean? How would you deal with a sibling who acts like she does?

TV details

Our editors recommend

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