The Stinky & Dirty Show

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
The Stinky & Dirty Show TV Poster Image
 Parents recommend
Popular book characters are excellent role models for kids.

Parents say

age 2+
Based on 18 reviews

Kids say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Some foundational learning that relates to the characters' tasks, such as building a ramp with a slanted board or moving a heavy object by putting it on wheels. Through trial and error, Stinky and Dirty learn a lot about building things with lots of different materials.

Positive Messages

Kids see that problem-solving isn't an exact science, and it often takes many tries before one works. However, each attempt teaches Stinky and Dirty something that helps them get closer to a solution the next time. Teamwork is essential to success, and it's important to recognize that everyone has different expertise to bring to a task. Positive themes like communication and perseverance remind kids of their potential and the rewards of trying new things. Also an excellent example of friendship in the main characters' relationship.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Stinky's enthusiasm and eagerness to help sometimes causes him to be impulsive, but when he slows down and thinks more carefully about a problem, he can come up with a better solution. His positive attitude and determination to see tasks through to the end keep him motivated. In comparison, Dirty is more calculated and levelheaded in his approach to challenges. Ultimately they make a great team while being the best of friends.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

The show is inspired by characters from books by Jim and Kate McMullan.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Stinky & Dirty Show is a TV adaptation with the popular characters from the books by Jim and Kate McMullan. The main characters -- a garbage truck and a backhoe -- are best friends who relish opportunities to solve problems around their town and who approach every challenge with lots of ideas. Doing so usually involves building, pulling, or moving something, and they try several times before they finally get the process right. Their experiences are laugh-out-loud funny and reflect how kids' enthusiasm often overshadows their ability to reason, and they also deliver many strong messages about using resources, thinking critically, and, above all, never giving up. Some basic examples of how things work (wheels must be round to roll, solid dirt and mud have different uses) are in play as well, but it's the inspiring reminders about individual potential that stand out most prominently.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 4-year-old Written bySimplysameera June 17, 2019

Great for young kids

My son has not been introduced to TV shows, he has only watched a couple of movies so far and is into cars and trucks. This show is great for breaking down a p... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byGigi. August 21, 2020


Hi! Not a parent here, but a big sister! My little brother adores this show. Not only does he love watching it, but it teaches him about creativity and problem... Continue reading

What's the story?

In THE STINKY & DIRTY SHOW, best friends Stinky the garbage truck (voiced by Jaden Betts) and Dirty the backhoe (Jacob Guenther) team up to solve various challenges around their town. There's no telling what each day has in store for this pair, but one thing's for sure: Whatever it is, it will inspire all kinds of hilarity before Stinky and Dirty manage to complete the task at hand. No matter the job, from building to moving to executing a rescue mission, these enthusiastic problem-solvers aren't afraid to dive right in and get their hands -- er, wheels -- dirty. Try as they might, though, their best attempts have comical results before they reach a successful solution.

Is it any good?

Book characters don't always make the jump to the screen well, but when they do, the movies and TV series can be an excellent complement to the original publication.The Stinky & Dirty Show is just that kind of adaptation. It stays true to the books' illustrative style and keeping things really simple by minimizing additional characters. With the focus firmly on the titular trucks, the show encourages kids to follow Stinky and Dirty's attempts and failures, lessons learned, plans redrawn, and eventual victories, reminding kids that success doesn't always come easily but it's always worth the effort. At first glance, this dented, dirt-smudged duo might not jump out as role model potential for young kids, but they've sure got it where it counts. In the list of adjectives one might use to describe them, "stinky" and "dirty" would come to mind last after observing all the exceptional qualities they have to offer viewers. Eagerness, resourcefulness, patience, perseverance, and self-confidence top that list, all of which are integral to their ability to stick with a tough challenge until they've solved it. When they face a new task, they first let their imaginations guide them, but every subsequent try is based on what they've learned from past attempts. Another bonus? These two friends are better together than they are apart, working side by side without spats or power struggles, and they appreciate rather than lament their differences.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about self-confidence. Kids: Do you admire the characters' can-do attitude in The Stinky & Dirty Show? Are you able to avoid discouragement as well as they do when the going gets tough?

  • If you've read the books, do the characters on the screen resemble what you imagined them to be? Do your kids enjoy reading (or being read to)? What books are some of your family's favorites?

  • Are Stinky and Dirty best friends because they're so similar or because they're so different? What differences do you most appreciate in your friends? How does having a friend by your side make challenges easier to manage?

  • How do the characters in The Stinky & Dirty Show demonstrate communication, perseverance, and teamwork? Why are these important character strengths?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love vehicles

Character Strengths

Find more TV shows that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

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