The Incredible Hulk TV Poster Image

The Incredible Hulk



'70s comic-based classic might scare some kids.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

While he isn't gentle, the Hulk does help people who don't have the physical strength to help themselves. Most of the people who are hurt by the Hulk are the "bad guys." While the core cast is Caucasian, African-American supporting/guest characters are sometimes visible.

Violence & scariness

The Hulk is an angry giant who punches walls, destroys rooms, and throws objects and people (usually the bad guys). He doesn't kill, but people are sometimes knocked unconscious and suffer injuries as a result of his actions. Guns are visible. The Hulk is often shot at, sometimes causing minor bloodshed.

Sexy stuff

Occasional kissing and hugging. Occasional comments that might be considered sexist by today's standards.

Not applicable

The Hulk is a Marvel comics character

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Rare consumption of alcohol and tobacco products.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this classic, comic book-based '70s series is about a man who transforms into the giant green Hulk when he gets angry. While kids may be drawn to the show by the sci-fi/comic angle, it's important to note that the Hulk consistently exhibits angry, violent behavior that may be iffy for younger viewers (and might scare some of them, too). Parents also need to know that some of the characters' comments and actions (including sexist remarks), though consistent with the social norms of the '70s, will seem outdated and old-fashioned now.

What's the story?

Loosely based on the iconic Marvel comics character of the same name, THE INCREDIBLE HULK is a classic sci-fi/drama series about a scientist who must cope with his very angry -- and very green -- alter ego. The series centers on Dr. David Banner (Bill Bixby), who -- after failing to save his wife from a burning car -- conducts scientific experiments to discover why some people exhibit extraordinary strength when faced with life-threatening situations. A laboratory mishap exposes him to massive amounts of gamma rays, which cause him to turn into the Incredible Hulk (Lou Ferrigno) -- an angry, massively strong, white-eyed, green-skinned giant -- when he gets upset or angry. Tabloid reporter Jack McGee (Jack Colvin) creates the public misconception that the Hulk has killed the doctor and poses a threat to society. As a result of McGee's machinations, Banner must assume different identities and wander from place to place while attempting to reverse the effects of the gamma rays and restore himself to normal.

Is it any good?


What makes The Incredible Hulk compelling is that the Hulk -- while strong, angry, and violent (he often smashes everything in his path) -- isn't a bad creature. He doesn't kill, and he always helps those who don't have the physical strength to help themselves. Unfortunately, most people are too afraid of him to appreciate the gesture -- and some young viewers may be, too, though those used to modern superhero tales likely won't have any issues.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how comic book characters get transformed for television and movies. Which characters are different on the page and on screen? Which ones have stayed mostly the same? Does the Hulk scare you? Why or why not? Families can also discuss the different ways that people cope with anger. Since regular people can't turn into superhuman giants, what can they do to manage intense feelings and make themselves feel stronger?

TV details

Premiere date:March 10, 1978
Cast:Bill Bixby, Jack Colvin, Lou Ferrigno
Networks:Syfy, Syndicated
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

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Parent Written byBruinsrulz May 10, 2012

Beware the dream sequences that appear in The Hulk!

fyi - In the episodes "Pilot" (or the first episode), "Married" and "Homecoming," there are dream sequences that are pretty intense, even by today's standards. They generally involve a spouse or parent dying and the grief he feels. When I saw "Married," it was pretty traumatic and I was 10!
Kid, 9 years old August 6, 2014

some violent scenes

some one nearly died because hulk kicked him and when his girlfriend is found unconscious he takes her to a safe place so thats being a good role model and someone turns into an evil hulk they both beat each other badly
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Kid, 10 years old January 16, 2011

Marvellous series with iffy content

While the scariness may only frighten children below the age of 5 it's the other aspects that make it so iffy. The show mainly involves drug dealers. In one episode it shows how drugs can effect people. Also sometimes racist comments, that were acceptable in the 70s, are made. Still this Hulk series has some educational value as it did teach me a little about science but some of the facts are incorrect. David Banner (In the show he is David not Bruce) always does the right thing and helps people that are in need.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educational value
Great role models


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