Wow, I Never Knew That!

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Wow, I Never Knew That! TV Poster Image
Family-friendly show tells origin stories of everyday items.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

The show's content is more human interest than traditional education, but they show the end result of problem-solving skills and ingenuity.


Positive Messages

Celebrates human ingenuity in segments about inventions that have improved our way of life. Wide range of topics gives it broad appeal and encourages viewers' curiosity about the origin objects, practices, and phrases.

Positive Role Models & Representations

More about stuff than people, but celebrates ingenuity and inventions created by hard-working people. 

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Some segments delve into history, popularity of certain products (Slinky, Frisbee, Coca-Cola, etc.), but they don't actively promote them. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Wow, I Never Knew That! is an informational series filled with fun facts and origin stories about everyday items, name brands, and phrases. The content is presented in a fast-paced format that doesn't delve too deeply into any one subject, allowing for many intriguing stories in each episode. This is appealing for all different levels of attention span and makes it fun for families to watch together. Expect to see lots of brand names but no direct product placement in this entertaining show.

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What's the story?

WOW, I NEVER KNEW THAT! digs into the origins of everyday objects, common phrases, popular games, and traditions. Each episode features anywhere from 15 to 20 subjects, from famous items like a Slinky to conveniences we take for granted, such as the elevator. Host Jeff "J.J." Johnson tells viewers the curious and fascinating facts about the origins -- whether they're by intent or by accident -- as well as the evolution of the subjects.

Is it any good?

This fun, fast-paced series is lively entertainment with multigenerational appeal for curious families. A few of the stories may not be news to some viewers (the culinary origin of the Frisbee is fairly well known, for instance), but in the course of one episode, there are bound to be several that will surprise you.

Wow, I Didn't Know That! changes the way you think about objects and behavior that are part of our daily routines. With a little prompting, this can inspire a desire to learn more about the things your family encounters on a regular basis, as well as interest in experimentation and invention.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the idea in Wow, I Never Knew That! that necessity is the mother of invention. What everyday items can you think of that fill a need or solve a problem? Do you have an idea for an invention that could improve life for you?  

  • What topics inspire your curiosity? Do you like science? Math? Sports? Music? Where do you go to learn more about these subjects? Why do you think curiosity is an important character strength

  • Kids: If you had to tell your origin story, how would it go? What events in your past have played an important role in making you who you are? Would your story be a comedy or a drama?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love knowledge

Themes & Topics

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