YMMV / Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids

  • Harsher in Hindsight: Safe to say that anytime the boys were tackled with anything of a sexual nature (such as a friend of theirs having some pornography for a lesson about good and bad sources) are a lot harder to watch since Cosby's rape allegations were brought into light.
    • Cosby's monologue at the end of the episode "Busted" reeks of this.
  • Idiot Plot: In the episode Double Cross, Melinda was treated as overly gulible and ignorant of the mere concept of racism. She joined George's gang without realizing exactly what it was about; And didn't have second thoughts until the climax at the end when George launched into his hostile racist and antisemitic tirade and then attempted to deface a synagogue. If this were to happen today, a good, intelligent person like Melinda would have taken a look at the way George and his goons were dressed, and taken note of the key words he used. It should have been enough that early on, he told her not to hang around Fat Albert and the gang "Because they're a different color". The only reason that the episode had to stretch it out was that otherwise, there would be no episode.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The Busted episode that has the actual profanity heard in the original broadcast is nowhere to be seen. It has never been released to DVD or online streaming except in its censored version. Presently, the only way it will show up is if someone recorded it on VCR back in 1984.
  • Moment of Awesome: Mudfoot's intervention during Tyrone's (the Scrooge Expy from the The Fat Albert Christmas Special) conniption. It can be viewed here.
    • Special mention goes to the Double Cross episode where Mudfoot's Jewish Rabbi friend tells Fat Albert about his experiences as a Jewish prisoner in the Nazi concentrations camps. We also see the tatooed numbers on his arm. Fat Albert later saves the life of the racist gang leader George after George accidentally slipped and hung for his life off the roof of a Synagogue that he had just vandalized. Despite Bill Cosby's in-episode comment that Fat Albert should probably have waited for the rescue professionals instead of risking his own life, the scene clealy indicates that George lost his grip before they had time to set up the rescue ladder. He survived only because Fat Albert was close enough to catch him. There is absolutely no indication that George is grateful for being saved or that he is ashamed of his actions, however, but as he and his friends are headed for jail, it's neither here nor there.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: It was quite dark for the time and there are occasionally even some episodes with content that you'd still have a hard time getting away with on most kids shows such as a Neo-Nazi gang with No Swastikas averted.
  • Shallow Parody: Received one in Animaniacs in the form of "Obese Orson".
    "We prefer to preach pro-social values until they spew out of everyone's ears and all over the ground."
  • Tear Jerker:
    • The second half of the buck-buck episode deals with Fat Albert moving away, and how it affects him and rest of the kids. Their music number deals with the bittersweet nature of having to leave old friends behind and make new ones in a new neighborhood, but happily, it turns out that his family's only moving into the next house down from his old one.
    • The ending of the Live-Action Adaptation, when Doris goes to visit her grandfather's grave and sees Bill Cosby and his childhood friends (now old men) paying their respects to her grandfather as well (as it turns out that he was Cosby's friend who Fat Albert had been based off of). As the camera pans by each of the friends, it flashes to their younger fictional selves, when they were young and happy. A happier Tear Jerker comes after, as the group chases each other out of the graveyard, clearly still just as energetic and playful as they were as teens.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Some episodes ended with wrongdoers getting off easy or with a slap on the wrist. One episode with a graffiti vandal had said vandal simply being forced to clean up everything and another had a habitual thief simply get off on probation. Had these stories taken place today, it's likely that these rogues were more likely to go straight to prison. Of course, in today's America with the subjects of overcriminalization and overincarceration being hot political topics, a lot of people might say, "Why were the 70s more enlightened than we are?"
    • In one episode, a child with special needs joins the class. The teacher later pulls Albert over and describes the boy as ‘retarded’. Nowadays a teacher would never dream of using that term to describe a disabled boy, but in 1979 the word didn’t have nearly the kind of negative connotations it has now.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Several episodes, including the ones about prison (which had swear words) and gang violence (which had a young boy get killed in the crossfire of a gang war), had material that many parents would probably not want their kids to watch, at least alone. There was even an episode about a teen mother, which didn't go into detail about how babies were made. Parents were likely supposed to talk with their kids about sex and avoiding teen parenthood. Another episode dealt with STDs, and a doctor even mentioned a couple of the diseases by name. The same episode also had mentions of sexual intercourse, and Bill told the viewers that those words were something they should ask their parents about. That episode managed to handle the subject of STDs in a very tasteful fashion, and the girl who was involved with the guy who had an STD was not slut-shamed. Neither of the students who had that disease were looked down upon or condemned, and Albert was only concerned about his friend's health and well-being. The point of the episode was taking responsibility for your actions - not just for your sake, but for others. Few kids' shows out there touch such heavy topics. In the Double Cross episode, George and his gang were clearly White Supremacists. Near the end of the episode, he launched into a blunt tirade explicitly condemning Latinos, Jews, Catholics, Italians, Asians, and Blacks. Fat Albert also visits Mudfoot and a Rabbi who tells him about the Nazis, Antisemitism, and the Holocaust.
    • South Park once lampooned this when Stan's mom demanded they watched The Fat Abbott Show instead of Terrance & Philip, and Stan found that The Fat Abbott Show was filled with swearing and violence.