The Wayans Bros.

Common Sense Media says

Snarky, silly comedy mixes brotherly love and stereotypes.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Though the show clearly puts a strong emphasis on the importance of family, it also has some strong racial, ethnic, and gender stereotypes (although many of the references will likely go over younger viewers' head).

Positive role models

Though the brothers often get up to no good, they ultimately recognize the error of their ways -- and they have a strong relationship with each other and with their father. Class issues are sometimes discussed. The characters are a generally diverse bunch.


Mild pushing and shoving between the brothers, including arm wrestling. As part of the humor, fake body parts are sometimes ripped off.


Frequent innuendo and references to sexual activity, but much will go over the head of younger viewers. Occasional swatting of women's backsides and requests for women to "shake it"; these actions are usually well received. The brothers have active dating lives.


Audible language includes "ass," "hell," and "damn."


Hip-hop artists and their music are often featured on the show, including Busta Rhymes, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, and A Tribe Called Quest.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some social drinking/alcohol consumption.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this sitcom about two very different (but still close) single adult brothers tends to revolve around topics like dating -- which often leads to sexual references. Although the show puts a strong emphasis on family relationships, it also has its fair share of gender, racial, and ethnic stereotypes. While some of these stereotypes are obvious, others may go over the head of younger viewers -- as will many of the innuendos.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

One of the first shows to air on the former WB network, THE WAYANS BROS. is a sitcom that follows the everyday escapades of Shawn and Marlon Williams (played by real-life siblings Shawn and Marlon Wayans), adult brothers who live and work in New York City. The Williams brothers have a close relationship despite their remarkably different personalities -- older brother Shawn is mature and hardworking, while more adolescent Marlon manages to create chaos wherever he goes. Both frequently find themselves having to get out of mishaps, often with the help of their father, diner owner John "Pops" Williams (John Witherspoon). The men manage to support each other through thick and thin over the years, often with the help of the women in their lives, including Pops' girlfriend Dee Baxter (Anna Maria Horsford) and Shawn and Marlon's various girlfriends. They also have the help of friends T.C. (Phill Lewis), Dupree (Jermaine "Huggy" Hopkins), and White Mike (Mitch Mullany).

Is it any good?


While The Wayans Bros. promotes a strong family bond between a father and his sons, the show's slapstick and physical humor also rely on the Wayans family's traditional form of comedy -- which leans toward the use of strong racial, ethnic, and gender stereotyping.

Yes, there are some funny moments, but overall the show offers an unfortunately limited number of truly positive representations of women, African-Americans, and other racial/ethnic communities. As a result, it's sometimes hard to appreciate the show's humor -- not to mention its positive messages about family.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about sibling relationships. Why is it important for brothers and sisters to get over their differences and show respect and love for each other?

  • Is it OK to use stereotypes as a source of humor? What are some of the

  • consequences of using stereotypes to make people laugh? When does

  • making fun of people go to far?

  • Do you find the show's style of humor offensive or funny? Where do you draw the line between the two?

TV details

Cast:John Witherspoon, Marlon Wayans, Shawn Wayans
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD

This review of The Wayans Bros. 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.

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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.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 16 years old Written byUSCTrojan May 11, 2012

I love this show.

I should say it's suitable for preteenagers or older.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 10 years old April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

This is awesome

This Show May Be Crude, But It's Pretty Dang Funny
Adult Written byThe JP Show May 30, 2009


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