Teen Wolf

Common Sense Media says

Monsters + forbidden love = guilty pleasure for teens.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Viewers see how a teen copes with a life-altering change that's a danger to those around him. He relies on the support and advice of a good friend, who serves as a confidante and keeps his secret. The story also touches on social themes like fitting in with peers, self-confidence, and healthy relationships, and it has some feel-good messages about people's ability to overcome underdog status. High school castes (the "in" crowd, the jocks, the nerds, etc.) are fairly rigid, and Scott's social transformation to popularity supports this system.

Positive role models

Scott strives to use his new abilities in positive ways that don't endanger those around him. He's protective of his friends and is concerned for their safety. His relationship with Allison models respectful, responsible teen dating. Some adults come across as the teens' enemies, including a tough-talking coach and the hunters who track the werewolves.


Bloody corpses and intense battles (although they're brief and mostly obscured) between werewolves and humans. Hunters aim to kill werewolves with crossbows and guns, sometimes hitting their mark and leaving wounds. The characters' transformations are intense, showing them with teeth bared and eyes yellow in menacing glares. 


Teen relationships involve flirting, kissing, hand-holding, and occasionally some making out (kissing, wandering hands, etc.). Guys are often shown shirtless, and girls' naked backsides can be seen from the waist up. There are allusions to sexual activity (like when a mom asks her son if they need to have the "safe sex" talk), but physical interactions are limited.


"Hell" and "ass" from both teens and adults.


Brand names like Chevy Tahoe are visible within the context of the show.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this drama series (loosely based on the same-named '80s movie) centers on a teen's transformation into a werewolf, so violence is its main concern. Much of what exists is either implied or obscured by blurry camera effects, but there are some scenes that show victims bloodied or dead, and human hunters use crossbows and guns to stalk the werewolves. Teen relationships yield mostly mild physical contact (kissing, some brief making out) and waist-up nudity (frontal on guys, rear on girls). Also expect some cursing ("hell" and "ass") from both teens and adults. On a positive note, the show centers on a well-adjusted teen who relies on friends to help him cope with difficult circumstances and who engages in a romantic relationship that's based on respect and mutual admiration.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

TEEN WOLF centers on Scott McCall (Tyler Posey), an unremarkable high school student whose life is changed forever when he sustains a bite from a mysterious attacker during a nighttime walk in the woods. With the help of his best friend, Stiles (Dylan O’Brien), and fellow lycanthrope, Derek (Tyler Hoechlin), Scott tries to come to terms with the fact that he is, in fact, becoming a werewolf. The transformation isn’t all bad, though, as his sharpened senses give him a new edge on the lacrosse field, which translates to overnight fame among his classmates and the attention of the beautiful new girl, Allison (Crystal Reed). But new enemies quickly assemble, including the school's former golden boy, Jackson (Colton Haynes), and a pack of hunters bent on eliminating the werewolves altogether.

Is it any good?


At times dark and suspenseful, Teen Wolf isn't a show for young kids or tweens sensitive to the concept of monsters striking close to home. Most of the violence is implied, but there are some scenes of bloody corpses (said to be victims of unprovoked werewolf attacks) and exchanges between humans and the beasts are obscured but still intense. There's a smattering of language ("hell" and "ass," for instance) from teens and adults alike, and the requisite teen romances occasionally turn physical (a couple necks at a party, and a teen sneaks a peek at a girl's bare back when she changes shirts), but none of it is off the radar for the show's teen viewers.

The show is clearly trying to cash in on tweens' and teens' Twilight-inspired appetite for mythological monsters and forbidden love, but it offers some substantial content alongside the teen angst. Scott's transformation is more than just a physical one. In his case, the change also boosts his popularity and affords him the spoils of being the school's star athlete, which raises questions about the nature of social identity and self-esteem among teens. At its most basic, this story is one of underdog redemption, lending itself to discussions about heroes and the impact their personal flaws have on their right to that title.  

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about social status. What factors affect a person's social status among his peers? Who determines these factors? How important are other people's impressions of you?

  • Tweens: What kinds of things affect your self-esteem? What unique qualities set you apart from other people? How does having a strong self-image affect your ability to cope with adversity?

  • Would you consider the werewolves in this show to be monsters? How does knowing their human side influence your sympathy for them? Do you like to root for heroes who are flawed? Do their flaws make them more relatable?

TV details

Cast:Crystal Reed, Tyler Hoechlin, Tyler Posey
TV rating:TV-PG

This review of Teen Wolf was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written bySpartyon June 14, 2011

Teen Wolf Series pretty good

I really like this show it's pretty good maybe scary for some with blood & dead bodies. And it deals with what teens go through in life at that time there first love friends etc.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written byFangslash June 12, 2011


Seems to be a little too gory for me. Dead bodies and blood. But his abilities look AWESOME!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 13 years old Written bysillywiz June 8, 2011


I just watched teen wolf with my sibs and we all loved it. its great and happy and shows how a teen s coping with scary options.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential Apps Guide