Sam & Cat

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Sam & Cat TV Poster Image
Mediocre spin-off recycles characters, needs reality check.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 36 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 132 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

The show intends to entertain rather than to educate.

Positive Messages

The show makes no attempt to portray any sense of reality in a story about two teen girls who share a house and live off the proceeds of an ill-conceived babysitting business. While there's plenty of fun in imagining such a scenario, it greatly oversimplifies the concepts of independence and responsibility. Sam and Cat's adventures usually lead to mayhem for themselves and those around them, including the kids in their care. There are some sweet moments related to the girls' unlikely friendship, although Sam is known to take advantage of her clueless pal's naivety.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Sam remains her feisty self, always looking out for her own needs and willing to manipulate situations to her advantage (albeit with comical results). Cat's flightiness makes her an easy target for trickery (sometimes at her friend's hands), but her ability to see the best in a situation or a person is inspiring. The lone adult in question walked away from her parenting duties toward Cat to move into a retirement center, leaving the teen to fend for herself.

Violence & Scariness

Occasional slapstick (hitting, slapping, jumping on someone), but nothing that's shown to cause harm.

Sexy Stuff

No cursing, but you'll hear words and phrases like "dang it," "shut up," and "moron."


Both Sam and Cat's characters hail from previous Nickelodeon shows, so if your kids don't know them already, they may want to check out their earlier work.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sam & Cat is a double-duty spin-off series featuring popular characters from two previous Nickelodeon shows: iCarly and Victorious. Stars Ariana Grande and Jennette McCurdy reprise their respective roles of Cat Valentine and Sam Puckett, which will thrill existing fans and may entice newcomers to check out the girls' previous work. This comedy series accomplishes what it sets out to do -- generating laughs through the odd pairing of two opposite personality types -- but it does so at the expense of any realistic content. Expect off-the-wall adventures with little consequence (bouncing on a man's chest becomes life-saving CPR, and turning kids loose in the city on a motorized scooter is touted as responsible babysitting, for instance), and no hands-on adult in sight, which gives teens free rein on mayhem and sends skewed messages to kids. On the other hand, the show does feature an unlikely but well-meaning friendship that survives ups and downs.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 1, 9, and 11-year-old Written byamymomof3girls October 24, 2014

Kids Love It!

We were so sad when iCarly ended. There are still reruns, but no more new episodes? Then Victorious ended, another one of our favorite shows.
But then came Sam... Continue reading
Adult Written bymichp3 March 28, 2020

This show is offensive

I created an account here just to write a review of this show after sitting here watching it with my 13 year old. I'm fairly progressive about what I let m... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byAleluvsyou June 8, 2013

Best show ever

I seen it on nick Canada tonight it was the best new nick show ever it's really funny and the plot line is really good and I'm a huge fan of Ariana gr... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old February 6, 2016

What's the story?

Nickelodeon stars Jennette McCurdy and Ariana Grande team up in SAM & CAT, a spin-off of iCarly and Victorious that follows the continuing story of two of the shows' most beloved characters. The story opens with a chance encounter between Sam Puckett (McCurdy) and Cat Valentine (Grande) that evolves into an unexpected friendship. With Cat on the lookout for a new roommate since her grandmother, Nona (Maree Cheatham), took refuge at the local senior community, and Sam drifting after her best friend left their web show to move to Italy, the two wind up living together and running a babysitting service for neighborhood kids. They're often joined in their adventures by Dice (Cameron Ocasio), the apartment complex's well-connected go-to guy.

Is it any good?

Sam & Cat's clever pairing of two previously unrelated characters makes for a unique enough spin-off, but save for the star power of its two poster girls, the show greatly underwhelms. There are few surprises in the pot that plays to familiar qualities like Sam's devil-may-care persona and Cat's gratingly airheaded mannerisms. Instead of creative new avenues for these characters, the show overworks the old, with results that are comical, but also mostly predictable.

That said, the fact that the show recycles popular characters gives it a built-in pool of fans who will want to check out Sam and Cat's new adventures. There's little harm in the light-hearted content, and it's guaranteed to tickle kids' funny bones, but since there's nary a shred of realism to much of what goes on at the hands of these two offbeat characters, it's a good idea to do a reality check with your kids to remind them how similar actions would play out for them.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about this unique spin-off. Do you like that it reuses the characters' personalities from their previous shows, or would it have better served reinventing them for a fresh start? Were you fans of theirs on iCarly and Victorious? How does this show compare to those?

  • Kids: What aspects of Sam's and Cat's lives are unlikely, given your knowledge of how grown-ups live and work? Do they seem like the kinds of babysitters your parents would hire for you? Why is it fun to watch wacky scenarios like the ones on this show?

  • What rules does your family have for your media consumption? Why are these rules important? Are some TV shows and movies more worthwhile than others? Which ones are both kid- and parent-approved in your house?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love strong girls

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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