A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Fred often resorts to insults and bigoted comments when talking to friends and family. The cast is diverse, but the show's working-class African-American characters exhibit characteristics of stereotypes typical to the time period. Fred and Lamont are close, but their relationship is marked by Fred's continual insults while Lamont takes care of him and the business.
Violence & Scariness
Fred often threatens to hit people by giving them "five across the lip," but it's an empty promise.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Occasional references to white women being "sex maniacs."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Fred often calls Lamont "dummy" and other silly-but-insulting names.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Occasional references to Coca-Cola and other products.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Occasional consumption of alcohol and cigarettes. Hard liquor bottles visible throughout the Sanford home.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this classic '70s sitcom is based on the strong bond between an aging father and his adult son. While their relationship is a positive one, the son often finds himself taking on the parental role when things go wrong. Parents should also know that while the show's language and situations are mild when compared with today's sitcoms, Fred Sanford's consistent use of race-based insults and stereotypes make him a less-than-desirable role model -- and make the series better-suited for kids who can understand its original context.
Is It Any Good?
Characteristically for its time, Sanford and Son consistently presents racial stereotypes as part of its comedy. Fred takes on Archie Bunker-like qualities when offering his bigoted ideas about the world around him. The show isn't a source of social commentary, per se, but it does serve as an indicator of how silly prejudice is. Kids who are too young to understand that concept may take away the wrong message; save this one for slightly older viewers.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Our Editors Recommend
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