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* The German teen drama ''Series/AlleinGegenDieZeit'' is aimed at teens and young adults. Yet, it can easily be compared to high-profile thrillers like ''Series/TwentyFour''. It's first season featured a school hostage taking, a fascist political conspiracy, attempted mass murder, an unvilified portrayal of ethnic gang members, police corruption, depression, gun violence and liberal swearing. The second season was even DarkerAndEdgier, throwing [[CruelAndUnusualDeath cruel and unusual deaths]], terrorism, and lethal biological weapons into the mix. Especially jarring since ''[[GermanTVStations KiKa]]'' is aimed at children younger than thirteen.
* On seeing the script of Episode One of Series/ChildrenOfTheStones, director Peter Graham Scott remarked, "And this is for children?"
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' itself is considered family viewing, despite its dark tone of certain episodes and surprising amount of [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar sexual innuendo]] and it is shown around the supper hour on a Saturday. ''Doctor Who'' is fifty years old and neatly matches the second paragraph of this trope's description. It's very much seen as a family/children's show, but it's been violent from the very beginning. A BBC audience research survey conducted in 1972 found that Doctor Who was the most violent show it produced at the time. The show was especially violent during the first few Fourth Doctor seasons, consistently getting complaints, and the show was also so violent in 1985 that it got the show cancelled for 18 months. For instance, ''The Brain Of Morbius'' (1976) featured a man getting shot in the stomach with an explosion of blood, then crawling, dying, down a corridor.
** Even the first few stories could be really dark. In the first story "An Unearthly Child" the Doctor is a quite morally ambiguous figure, and there were some surprisingly violent scenes, such as a Caveman with his chest ripped open and a cave of broken skulls. "The Edge of Destruction" uses haunted house tropes and has Susan wildly stabbing a bed with scissors.
** Season 22 is notorious for this, showing someone having their hands crushed and showing several people being stabbed to death. This is lampshaded in "Vengeance on Varos".
** Averted since 2005. To get the show restarted and get it adequately funded, Russell Davies had to pitch it to the BBC as a ''drama'' rather than as "science fiction" or "children's programme". However, the spinoff ''Series/TheSarahJaneAdventures'' (2007-2011) continued the trend.
** Creator/JohnSimm stated that ''Doctor Who'' being a kids' show was the main reason why he decided to play as TheMaster ([[SoMyKidsCanWatch He wanted to show his son that he could act]]). Of course, the episodes he ''was'' in involved twisted monsters from the future wiping out a good portion of humanity, the Master being [[GoneHorriblyWrong ressurected as a superpowered being]] [[HorrorHunger who devours humans to satisfy his endless hunger]], and turning the ''entire'' human population into copies of himself.
** Current show runner Steven Moffat has written about how annoyed and insulted he is whenever people use the phrase "kid's show" as a derogatory thing.
* ''Series/TheHauntingHour'' often has gruesome deaths, frequent moments of GettingCrapPastTheRadar, and episodes that rely more on [[AdultFear real-life scares]] along with the usual use of ghosts, ghouls, vampires, and freaky creatures. Then there are episodes like "Head Shot," "Sick," "The Cast," "The Weeping Woman," "Checking Out," "Red Eye," and "Terrible Love" that show that sometimes the scariest things we experience are real and the monsters we encounter are people with warped personalities (which "Head Shot," "Red Eye," and "Terrible Love" showed with all the subtlety of a bitch slap upside the head).
* ''Series/ICarly'' has its own [[HoYay/ICarly Les Yay]] and [[Radar/ICarly Getting Crap Past The Radar]] pages.
* ''Ik Mik Loreland'', the [[EdutainmentShow educational programme]] that traumatized an entire generation of Dutch children. It was specifically targeted towards six-year-olds to teach them to read and write. The plot involves Loria, a land where everyone loves reading and writing, and the one-eyed monster Karbonkel who can't do these things and [[GreenEyedMonster gets so mad]] [[SugarApocalypse that he magics away everyone's ability to read and write]], scattering the words all over the world. A girl named Mik takes it upon her to [[GottaCatchThemAll get them back]] and Karbonkel pursues her and attempts to stop her. Karbonkel was a frightening antagonist who regularly showed up in childrens' nightmares, while many of the locations Mik visited on her journey were creepy and bizarre. Every year when it was rerun, debates would erupt among parents and school teachers about the appropriateness of the show. According to WordOfGod, ''TwinPeaks'' was a major influence.
* ''TheInkThief'' had a very gothic style to it, even though it was mostly kid-oriented. Richard O'Brien's character was pure terror, though.
* KnightRider is often stereotyped as a kids' show because it has one hero and his super cool super car, but the first season itself is loaded with episodes about politics, corrupt police, framed murder charges, a lover implicated in soliciting crime and the murder of a sleaze magazine owner- plenty of murders in the first season. The pilot is surely not for kids. Plenty of gunshots fired in the show actually hit- and a few kill. Contrast that with ''Series/TheATeam'' which has only two casualties in the whole run and almost none of the shots hit.
* ''MaddigansQuest'' is quite possibly the only children's show to have featured mind-altering drugs and cannibalism in the same episode. The series also contains child labour, implied [[SexSlave sexual slavery]] (with slavers refusing to sell a baby to the BigBad to be killed because she'd fetch a higher price as wife material), repeated attempts at infanticide, and BodyHorror.
* ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' has been around long enough for the fans of the original series to become adults and bring about a whole generation of complaints about how "kiddy" the new series are and [[NostalgiaFilter how much better]] [[Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers the first series]] was. How kiddy? Well, ''Series/PowerRangersLostGalaxy'' featured a villain's StartOfDarkness that took her from AlphaBitch and DaddysLittleVillain to using ''suicide bombers,''[[note]]this was 1999, naturally, there is no way that would have flown after 2001[[/note]] ''Series/PowerRangersTimeForce'' and ''Series/PowerRangersWildForce'' featured some pretty brutal onscreen death ([[NeverSayDie the former, notably, even used the d-word for it]]), and the 2009 season, ''Series/PowerRangersRPM'', ''killed off 99% of humanity in a nuclear RobotWar''.
** ''Time Force'' is especially the one with the most grown-up subject matter. In the future, DesignerBabies are the norm, and the resulting mutants are outcasts and became criminals just to survive. TheStarscream turns out to be TheStarscream because [[spoiler: Ransik betrayed ''him'' first in his previous identity because he couldn't see past his hatred of humans even when one had just helped him.]] You get a story about [[HumansAreBastards man's inhumanity to man]], villains ''we created and mistreated'' but who went from LaResistance, [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope and off the slope]] into TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized, and the CycleOfRevenge. Yes, this ''is'' the same show that once had as a villain's plot, "destroy the Pink Ranger's parade float just to make her feel bad!" nine or so years previously.
** ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' has its own [[NightmareFuel/PowerRangers Nightmare Fuel]] page for a reason.
* ''PressGang'' was aimed at children and teenagers, was frequently hilarious...and featured topics such as glue-sniffing leading to accidental death, child sexual abuse, a gun seige at a newspaper office, a gas leak resulting in a building blowing up (half of the episode was about one survivor, trapped in the rubble, trying to keep another alive until the rescuers could get to her...which didn't work), teachers having extramarital affairs, and so on. Storylines also focused on a suicide, a reporter coaxing a confession of manslaughter out of a half-blinded gang member over the phone, and a death by drug overdose ([[DaEditor Lynda]] was not overly sympathetic). There's a reason that its [[Creator/StevenMoffat co-creator and sole scriptwriter]] went on to become Executive Producer of ''Series/DoctorWho''...
* While more clear-cut kid-friendly than the family show ''Series/DoctorWho'', some episodes of ''Series/TheSarahJaneAdventures'' -- *cough* "Day of the Clown" *cough* -- are not the kind of thing you'd want to let children watch alone...
* Aired in syndication and not heavily promoted, ''Series/SuperhumanSamuraiSyberSquad'' got to fly under the radar. Though "destroying" the heroes came up as a villainous goal a lot just 'cause it's how bad guys talk, NeverSayDie wasn't in effect, and some of the things the {{Monster Of The Week}} ''did'' to people could get kind of dark. All water faucets suddenly spew hydrochloric acid! Your wristwatch takes control of your hand and you nearly choke yourself to death while the monster laughs about how you're going to die! Kilokhan also once pulled a Venjix, taking over nukes and nearly causing World War Three. Oh, what about the ''Christmas episode'' where Kilokhan finds out who Servo is, transfers himself to Sam's computer, and outright ''kills'' him with an electric blast? Malcolm, Kilokhan's sidekick until Kilo tried to pull a YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness on him, was told to TakeUpMySword, but when he tried to transform, only the Servo wrist device was pulled into the digital world, and Servo - Sam within as always - activates. Sam defeats Kilokhan with a DangerousForbiddenTechnique, but doesn't know if he'll ever be able to return to his human form, and departs into the information superhighway for parts unknown. Apparently, unexpected renewal is what kept this from being how the series ended. (More episodes are made, but the second full season that was talked about doesn't come, so it actually gets NoEnding, the last episode being one just like any other.)
* The Hamas-made kids show ''TomorrowsPioneers''. It has death, murder, violence, promotion of hatred, and things that Westerners wouldn't really consider fit to be in a kids show.
* ''WizardsOfWaverlyPlace'' has its own unique feature, a huge amount of BrotherSisterIncest innuendo. Not to mention the [[Radar/WizardsOfWaverlyPlace crap past the radar]], and the [[NightmareFuel/WizardsOfWaverlyPlace Nightmare Fuel]][[note]]Yes, it has such things; the ''Wizards vs. Werewolves'' episode was rated PG, something that has never been done on DisneyChannel before.[[/note]], the FetishFuel and there is much more. Before the trope was cut and locked, it had its own Incest Yay page. A character was also murdered on this show,and perhaps even more than one, since some scenes were downright ambiguous. In a DisneyChannel children show. [[{{Squick}} Yeah]].
** ''Wizards vs. Angels''. Not so Christian-friendly, considering the fact that demonic angels tried to invoke the beginning of the Apocalypse. Over half of all modern fictional angels do this. [[WhatDoYouMeanItsnotDidactic It's probably symptomatic of the increasing millenialism of the devout, and the widening gap between them and the secular.]]
*** Just a reminder: the plot of several seasons of ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' is angels trying to start the Apocalypse. Just remember that. ''Wizards of Waverly Place'' and ''Supernatural'' used the same idea.
* In general, Disney's more recent sitcoms have been pushing the envelope. Add to that ''Series/ShakeItUp'' (jokes about & references to {{twincest}}, child labor, {{breast attack}}s, EroticEating, [[YouCanLeaveYourHatOn stripteases]] and pubic hair, a RunningGag about a main character's lack of a figure & a now-pulled anorexia joke) and ''Series/{{Jessie}}'' (innuendo, ParentheticalSwearing, [[CurseCutShort curses cut short]], {{last second word swap}}s and a recurring StalkerWithACrush character who exhibits TroublingUnchildlikeBehavior).
* Most {{tokusatsu}} shows, most notably ''SuperSentai'' and ''Franchise/KamenRider''. The fact that there have been a few toku productions aimed exclusively towards adults (''Film/ShinKamenRiderPrologue'' and ''{{GARO}}'', to name a few) does not negate the fact that the vast majority are aimed towards children. (In fact, of those two listed productions, ''Shin'' is quite the BaseBreaker '''for''' being aimed at adults! Well, more precisely, for being a {{deconstruction}}.)
** ''SuperSentai'' is especially surprising to some American audiences because of differences between Japan and the US. In ''SuperSentai'', they make frequent use of blood, have characters actually die, and actually show guns. In the US, none of this could be shown on a kids show, so when ''SuperSentai'' is adapted into Franchise/PowerRangers, these are used very rarely, if at all. On the other hand, in Japan it's a common viewpoint among those who have seen both ''SuperSentai'' and ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' that ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' is actually more mature, because the lack of wacky humor is more noticable than the toning down of violence.
** Even when taking cultural standards into consideration, the ''Franchise/KamenRider'' franchise's run from 2000 to approximately 2004-2005 is largely characterized by its ability to introduce mature tropes into the series. ''Series/KamenRiderKuuga'', for example, is one of the few Tokus that has gotten away with depicting the murder of minors. The peak of this renaissance can generally be agreed to exist between ''Series/KamenRiderRyuki'' and ''[[Series/KamenRiderFaiz Kamen Rider 555]]'' which both subvert the traditional [[BlackAndWhiteMorality Rider Vs Monster]] scenario in their own ways. WordOfGod [[http://henshinjustice.com/2013/10/10/gaim-director-ryuta-tasaki-on-urobuchis-trap/ says]] that after four years of ''Series/KamenRiderDouble''[='=]s formula, ''Series/KamenRiderGaim'' is intending to steer the creative direction of the franchise back to that period... via "[[Creator/GenUrobuchi Urobutchery]]."
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