YMMV / You Can't Do That on Television

  • Acceptable Political Targets: The slobbish father, Lance Prevert, is a Senator. Specifically, a Canadian Senator note  (an even more acceptable target). Originally, the writers wanted Lance Prevert to be a prime minister, but they thought American audiences wouldn't get it, so they made him a Senator since U.S. and Canadian Senators have more in common than people may think.
  • Accidental Nightmare Fuel: Many fans recall getting creeped out a little by the show's intro. Not surprising, given that it was a deliberate homage to Terry Gilliam's bizarre animations from Monty Python's Flying Circus. The very first version is perhaps the freakiest of the bunch, but judge for yourself.
  • Ear Worm: The opening theme, a Dixieland rendition of the William Tell overture.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: While the show was a success in Canada, it was a cultural phenomenon when it hit the United States of America and the green slime on the show became associated with Nickelodeon.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: George Bush Shoots The Wrong Quail, from "Mistakes," comes off a bit more harshly in retrospect after George W. Bush's Vice President, Dick Cheney, did aim at the wrong target during a quail hunt and consequently shot a friend in the face.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • That scream in opening theme song sounds an awful lot like the scream that cost Howard Dean the Democratic primaries in the 2004 Presidential election.
    • Les Lye's Senator Lance Prevert is a lot funnier when you realize he's more or less like Canadian mayor Rob Ford.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Alt-rocker Alanis Morissette appeared as a cast member on five episodes in 1986.
    • Klea Scott, a cast member from 1982-1984, went on to star in several American network shows including Brooklyn South.
    • And Rekha Shah, a minor cast member in 1986 and 1989, starred in the Canadian teen soap opera "Hillside", which was broadcast on Nickelodeon in 1990-1991 as Fifteen.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Modern day viewers who are accustomed to more recent kid-focused sketch shows like successor series All That may have a hard time appreciating how revolutionary YCDTOTV was in the 80's.
  • Values Dissonance: The show's title was very prophetic, when you think about the stuff it did on television that you totally can't do now:
    • The Firing Squad sketches. No way they'd show a trigger-happy dictator hell-bent on executing a kid these days.
    • The earlier episodes had no problem with showing adults smoking on-camera in front of the kids, which would cause today's Moral Guardians to have apoplectic fits.