Sometimes-mean show turns big shots' cheeks red.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Practical jokes aim to embarrass, anger, and humiliate people.

Positive role models

Celebs look for different ways to "get" fellow celebs for fun. Some take it well, some don't.


Staged tricks include blowing up boats, trucks, and even "accidentally" setting someone on fire. Those being tricked sometimes lose their tempers/lash out.


Pranks sometimes involve sexual subject matter, as well as references to genitals and sexual acts. Nudity is blurred.


Some profanity including "f--k" and "s--t" bleeped out but still understandable.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some pranks take place in bars.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a show about playing pranks on celebs on a grand scale. Jokes range from stealing and illegal gambling to hitting people with cars and blowing up vans and accidentally setting people on fire. There's lots of swearing ("f--k," "s--t," bleeped but still understandable). Occasionally pranks have involved sexual subject matter, including infidelity and the injury of genitalia. Kids may find these pranks funny, but they don't send the best messages. Viewers of all ages should be reminded that what they see here is produced by professionals and should not be tried at home.

What's the story?

MTV's PUNK'D is a reality series featuring celebrities playing large-scale practical jokes on other celebs. The show was originally hosted by Ashton Kutcher, but now features celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Bam Margera, and Hayden Panettiere playing tricks on their friends, including Taylor Swift, Nick Cannon, Khloe Kardashian, and Fantasy Factory's Rob Dyrdek. No one gets hurt, but the reactions are as big as the pranks that have been played on them.

Is it any good?


Each episode features carefully staged scenarios that grow in intensity until the prankster and his/her crew rush in and joyously reveal that the celebrity in question has been "punked." Many of these pranks are intended to be in good fun, but they are often humiliating, and sometimes downright mean.

The setups in Punk'd are often clever and require a talented team of actors, stunt-doubles, and synchronized behind the scenes work. And sometimes the stars' reactions are of such extreme relief or amusement that watching the surprise is irresistible. But ultimately, it's a show that is designed to generate a lot of laughs at other people's expense.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how it feels to be the butt of a joke, when jokes are harmless, and when they hurt. 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?

TV details

Cast:Ashton Kutcher, Bam Margera, Justin Bieber
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

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  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written byink February 5, 2010
Adult Written byForknose April 9, 2008


The show is ok. Nothing I would brag about really but it is watchable.
Adult Written bytommysportsgirl April 9, 2008


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