TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
SafeWord TV Poster Image
Friends embarrass each other for laughs in edgy game show.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Ribbing and embarrassing one another is the game, but it’s underscored as part of being friends. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Competitors are friends; sometimes they seem less so by the end of the competition.


Lots of insult hurling, some of which crosses the line from funny to mean. Some competitors get angry, nasty. 


Strong innuendo, crude sexual references like "d--k."


"Bitch," "damn," "ass"; bleeped cursing. 


References to Twitter. Lots of references to popular music, celebs, hotels, etc.  

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Stories sometimes refer to drunken behavior. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that SafeWord is a game show that tests the limits of contestants' friendship by sharing embarrassing stories until someone caves and says the "safe word." It contains strong innuendo, words like "bitch," "damn" and bleeped curses, and lots of insults geared toward pushing competitors too far. Quips sometimes cross the line from being funny to being insulting. Twitter is used on the show, drinking is discussed, and fights are mentioned. Lots of popular music and celebs are referenced, too. It can be pretty funny, but the risqué content may be too mature for many teens. 

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What's the story?

MTV's SAFEWORD, an adaptation of the British series of the same name, is a game show that features two friends trying to see how far is too far when it comes to embarrassing or "playing" each other. Comedian Terrence Jenkins, aka Terrence J., hosts the competition series, which pits two celebrity friends against each other in a series of games that gives each of them a chance to agitate and mortify one another by smack talking, jokes, and sharing anecdotes that are sure to humiliate. Helping them with each challenge is a team of comedians known as “The Safety Crew.” Once a contestant's line has been crossed, they use their designated safe word, which signals their partner to stop the story/joke/prank. From hacking each other's Twitter accounts to trying to get past a lie detector challenge, the players do their best to get their challenger to use the safe word as much as possible. Those who use it the least get the crown and the glory, while the losers have to embarrass themselves once again.

Is it any good?

This lighthearted series offers a format that allows friends to test how far they can go when it comes to embarrassing each other. It also gives audiences a chance to know a little bit more about their fave celebs. The competitors, who range from actors like Kevin Hart to talk show personalities like Amber Rose, get a boost from the live audience. 

It’s all in good fun, and most competitors take it in stride. However, on occasion some appear to lose their patience, and their temper, with each other. Meanwhile, the stories they tell often refer to sexual exploits, fights, excessive drinking, and other risky behaviors. SafeWord offers some funny moments, but only if you’re mature enough to handle it. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what is funny and what isn't. When do jokes or pranks go from being funny to being mean or cruel? Who decides? Do you think SafeWord is funny?

  • Why do you think the comedians featured on SafeWord agree to try to expose each other's embarrassing moments on TV? What are the professional and personal consequences of doing so? Would you publicly tell embarrassing stories about your friends for a laugh?

TV details

  • Premiere date: July 13, 2017
  • Cast: Terrence Jenkins
  • Network: MTV
  • Genre: Game Shows
  • TV rating: TV-14
  • Available on: Streaming
  • Last updated: September 26, 2020

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