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Same Content, Different Rating
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Apparently a minor gambling mini-game is heinous enough to bump the game up to the "Teenagers only" rating.

Mom: But can't we get in trouble for showing our kids that?
Malcolm: No problem. Most eighties films have a PG rating, but that was back when it actually stood for something. Nowadays it stands for "Practically G," so you can plead naïve innocence to your cruelty.
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So the latest entry in your favorite series has just come out. But what's this? "Rated M for Mature?" "Parents Strongly Cautioned?" "Not for children under 17?" What's all this nonsense? The last work in the series, the one before it and all of its predecessors have been perfectly family-friendly. Sure, there might have been a little violence, an odd bit of innuendo that flew over your head 20 years ago that makes you chuckle looking back or a joke or two that pushed the boundaries of what would today be considered good taste, but certainly things haven't changed that much, have they? Has the franchise taken an unexpected turn for the Darker and Edgier while you weren't looking?

You pop in the disc (or crack the cover) and find, surprise surprise, that the series hasn't really changed at all. What's changed is how its content is seen. Something that might have been perfectly innocuous and acceptable 20 or 10 or even five years ago is now regarded as automatic grounds for a rating bump, even if everything else in the series is all rainbows and unicorns. This also happens as ratings systems grow more robust over time, introducing more tiers of ratings and allowing for more precise classification. More egregious cases can be chalked up to overzealous Media Watchdogs and Moral Guardians cracking down on content that was once acceptable (or, at the very least, wasn't considered a cause for concern by more level-headed audiences).

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As shown in the page image, this is often an occurrence when old video games are ported, re-released or remastered as a new product years after the original release. It can work both ways too: New Super Mario Bros. was bumped up from 3 to 12 for the Wii U Virtual Console release due to the presence of several gambling minigames, while Ratchet: Deadlocked was dropped down from T to E10+ for its PlayStation 3 remaster due to shifting standards on what constituted a T rating.

Alternatively, a work's rating may be consistently the same for its versions or editions in one region, but different in another. What might be perceived as family-friendly for, say, Japan or Europe, may not be deemed adequate for younger players in the Americas. Once again, this can be traced to Values Dissonance and cultural perceptions towards content in media.

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Contrast What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?, where something genuinely inappropriate for younger audiences is mistaken for being perfectly innocuous (often due to the Animation Age Ghetto). When this is invoked by the executives to generate new buzz in an old line, the affected installment has been Rated M for Money.

Note that this trope does not apply to series whose content has genuinely become Darker and Edgier. For those that do so which are or become dramas, see Cerebus Syndrome. For those which become or stay as comedies, those are Tone Shifts towards Black Comedy.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • A lot of anime on Anime Network's video-on-demand/former online service fit this trope, which is really strange considering Anime Network is owned by the same company that releases these series on home video. (Also keep in mind none of these series are censored for Anime Network.):
  • Australian children's network ABC3 has aired several anime which were rated M on DVD with a PG rating, such as Ouran High School Host Club, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Sword Art Online, and Vampire Knight. The only one that's been edited among this is Madoka Magica, and it was edited for language rather than the violence which actually got it an M rating on DVD.
  • School Rumble consistently received ratings of TV-PG to TV-14 on YouTube, up until the ninth episode of Second Semester. From that point on, the ratings were bumped up to TV-MA... with hardly any change at all in the romantic comedy formula. Granted, the first episode of the second season has a surprising amount of violence, even if it was All Just a Dream. This seems to have been fixed as of January 2016, with every episode now carrying a TV-PG rating.
  • A single, comedic-toned filler episode of Naruto got a 16+ rating for the Hungarian broadcast. It may have been because of one use of the S-word, though since the word is used very often in other, more serious episodes (along with other instances of foul language), one has to wonder why they picked this one to be "too much" for the standard 12+ rating. Since the TV channel stopped using rating signs, this phenomenon ceased to be a problem. Now you don't know the rating for anything.
  • In Australia, the first volume (and, as a result, the later box set and complete collection) of Azumanga Daioh were rated MA15+ while the rest of the series were rated G or PG. The reason is because of Kimura's joke about drinking the pool water and more specifically because child prodigy Chiyo-chan was present. The rest of the series generally makes it clear that Chiyo-chan is not one of Kimura's targets, hence the lower ratings... though let's face it, a pedophile teacher being acceptable in an otherwise family friendly show is one of those things that only Japan can get away with.
  • Ah! My Goddess gets this in two ways:
    • In America, when the manga was first released in flipped left-to-right format, it was rated for readers 8+. Its second release, in original right-to-left, was rated 13+. There were no substantive changes between the two beyond the flip (and maybe a few more references to Japanese culture); if anything, the original's language was a bit cruder.
    • The complete collection of the anime was released in 2010 in the UK with a '12' rating, however for some reason, the first individual DVD volume, released in mid-2011, gets a '15' rating.
  • AKIRA got this in three ways:
    • The original release by Pioneer carried a 13-and-up age recommendation, until the film officially got an R rating by the MPAA.
    • The film was rated "14" in Nova Scotia on its original release in 1990, but a re-release in 2001 received an "R" rating for extreme violence.
    • The film's original release was rated '12' for cinema by the BBFC in 1990, but was bumped up to a '15' rating in 1991 due to the lack of a '12' category for home video. Re-reviewing the film's strong sexual/bloody violence and language in 2002, 2011 and 2016, it hasn't been downgraded, despite the post-1994 presence of a '12' category for DVDs.
  • Angel Cop was rated "14" in Nova Scotia when released in separate volumes for violence and offensive language. A year after the last single volume, a complete collection was released, and ended up getting an "R" rating for offensive language throughout and extreme violence.
  • Anpanman is a G-rated franchise in Japan. However, the Tubi release of Apple Boy and Everyone's Hope is rated PG despite the dub remaining uncut.
  • The Behind the Scenes!! manga was rated Teen in print by Viz Media, but 'All Ages' by Comixology. (Volumes 2 and on were corrected to a proper 12+ rating.)
  • Berserk (2016) received an 18+ rating in Quebec, a quite unusual rating for a non-hentai anime (and even then, some softcore hentai have managed to get a 16+). By comparison, all previous adaptations of Berserk (the original anime and Golden Age Arc films) were rated as 13+.
  • Beyond the Boundary, despite being officially rated '15' by the BBFC in the UK, carries a '12' rating on the Animax UK streaming site.
  • While Binbō-gami ga! was rated TV-MA when Funimation released the complete series on home video, Funimation has since changed the rating to TV-14 on their official page for the show.
  • Blue Gender was rated TV-MA through every (uncut) platform except for the subtitled version on YouTube, which received a TV-PG rating. Episode 15 actually got an 18+ age restriction by YouTube due to its strong sexual content, rendering the TV-PG rating futile. At least one DVD release by Funimation also bares an incorrect PG rating.
  • Bubblegum Crisis has two separate listings for a "mega pack" in Nova Scotia's ratings database - one is a PG, the other is a 14A. They were rated six days apart, and are identical in length. Leaves one wondering which one would actually be enforced if you bought this mega pack in Nova Scotia.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura:
    • The manga series was rated for all ages on its initial Tokyopop printings, but carries a '12+ Only' rating on Comixology.
    • Geneon Entertainment admitted to doing this for their DVD releases of the subtitled version of the series, in response to complaints that the dubbed and subtitled versions weren't labeled clearly enough. As such, the dubbed DVDs were rated for ages 7+, and the subtitled DVDs for 13+.
    • For some reason, Funimation's streaming service lists Clear Card as TV-PG while the original series is listed as TV-14, even though they both have the exact same content that wouldn't warrant a rating higher than PG (though the controversies surrounding Mr. Terada may have had something to do with it).
    • In contrast to Funimation, Netflix gives the original series a mere Y7 rating.
  • Casshern Sins carries a TV-MA rating, but was broadcast on Toonami with seventeen out of its twenty-four episodes carrying a TV-PG rating, and the remaining seven only being rated as TV-14. No graphic content was censored from the Toonami broadcast, either.
  • The Castle of Cagliostro was initially rated PG in Australia and New Zealand on VHS for "Low level violence" (just "Violence" in New Zealand). The "special edition" DVD was later rerated as M in Australia for "Moderate animated violence", and also in New Zealand, keeping the same "Violence" descriptor. Where things get really weird is that New Zealand has another PG-rated listing for Cagliostro approved for DVD, Blu-ray, the Internet, and VHS.
  • Cells at Work: Baby!: Despite being essentially a chibified version of the original series, Baby! is bumped up from shonen to seinen.
  • Chi's Sweet Home is rated for all ages in print, but carries a '12+ Only' rating on Comixology.
  • Chobits was rated for ages 16+ on both the Tokyopop printings of the manga and the anime DVD releases in the mid-2000s. The manga is now rated '12+ Only' on Comixology and TV-14 on Funimation's complete series DVD and streaming services.
  • Chrono Crusade's "Hell of a Holiday" limited edition Christmas box set received a '14A' in Nova Scotia, despite just being a repack of the complete series set which had been rated 'PG'.
  • Citrus was originally rated TV-MA when originally simulcast on Funimation; however, after the sexual content turned out to be a bit overhyped, it was downgraded to a TV-14 on its official site page and home video release.
  • Volumes 2 and 3 of Comic Party's second season received a '14A' on their original release in Nova Scotia, but were downgraded to a 'PG' for the complete collection.
  • While uncut DVD releases of Cowboy Bebop were rated for 13+ by Bandai Entertainment and TV-14 by Funimation, uncut showings on Adult Swim of some episodes such as "Ballad of Fallen Angels" have received up to a TV-MA-LSV (explicit language, strong sexual content, and strong violence) rating.
  • While Cross Ange is rated MA15+ on the Australian streaming service AnimeLab, it was bumped up to an R18+ when released on DVD for "high impact themes of sexual violence". The second season is however MA15+ despite the rape scene being more disturbing than the one in Episode 1.
  • The first two DVD volumes of Detective Conan have separate listings in Nova Scotia's rating database: one with a 'PG', one with a '14A'.
  • Inverted with Digimon Adventure tri.. Unlike the original series, it has a darker tone, fanservice, and actual bloodshed from a human character, completely uncut in the English dub, which even adds some mild profanity. Yet all six films received a PG rating by the MPAA, the same as the heavily edited Digimon: The Movie.
  • Dinosaur King, which originally aired on national Saturday morning television with a TV-Y7 rating, is rated TV-14 when it's shown on Primo TV.
  • .hack//SIGN, .hack//Legend of the Twilight and .hack//Roots were rated TV-Y7 during their initial US broadcast runs note  and were given a 13 and up rating when Bandai Entertainment released them on DVD, they're all rated TV-14 on Funimation's re-releases of all three and subsequent .hack anime material despite the content warranting a PG rating at best.
  • Episodes 64-66 of Dragon Ball Z were originally rated Rnote  in Manitoba despite there being no major difference between them and previous episodes rated PG. They were later downgraded to a 14A for "Extreme Violence", and then again were downgraded to a PG on the complete season DVDs.
  • Despite the "shonen romantic comedy" nature of the show, UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie has a TV-MA rating. However, Spain apparently aired on a kids network, to no problem, though.
  • The complete series collection of Elfen Lied released by ADV Films in 2009 carries an 18A Canadian rating. Despite being almost identical (the only difference is the artwork on the new version), the DVD/Blu-Ray rerelease from ADV in 2013 carries only a 14A Canadian rating. On a minor note, the American rating goes from TV-MA for explicit language (L), graphic sexual content (S), and extreme violence (V) to TV-MA for graphic sexual content (S) and extreme violence (V), despite both collections having the same amount of bad language.
  • Eureka Seven's spinoff manga, Gravity Boys and Lifting Girl, was originally rated Teen/13+ by Bandai Entertainment, but on its digital rerelease by Viz Media was bumped up to Older Teen/16+ with no difference in content.
  • Excel Saga:
    • The first volume was initially the only volume rated 13+ in Quebec, for the scene in which Excel receives Electric Torture and seems aroused by it. These same episodes were rerated G for the complete collection release.
    • Even though the Australian ratings board gave the final volume of the series (which includes the infamous too-hot-for-Japanese-TV "Going Too Far" episode) an M rating, Madman decided to bump this up to a MA15+ when they initially released it, perhaps to avoid parental complaints. When the series was rereleased in a complete collection set, Madman went back to the M rating.
  • FLCL was officially rated G in Australia; however, wanting to avoid controversy, Madman applied a PG rating to all their Australian releases of the series. Over in New Zealand, it received an M rating.
  • Inversion: The first volume of Ghost Stories may have warranted a TV-PG rating by ADV Films; but the show continues to get more explicit while it continues with the same rating.
  • Several episodes of Fairy Tail have received a '15' rating on the Animax UK streaming site, despite the fact that no episode of the series has received above a '12' by the BBFC.
  • The Fate/stay night DVDs released by Sentai Filmworks were rated TV-14. This is rather surprising, considering that all other companies that released both the anime and the Unlimited Blade Works movie rated it as TV-MA (as both have pretty considerable amounts of blood, gore, and violence).
  • Subverted in a way by Central Park Media when they released the soft-core Fencer Of Minerva. The back of the DVD box was rated 16 and up. At least some of the DVDs when played would warn of explicit content and state that no one under 18 could watch it.
  • So far, Toonami has given every episode of Food Wars! a TV-MA rating (even those which have little to no fanservice whatsoever), and censored a handful of particularly risque bits out of some episodes. Meanwhile, on Sentai Filmworks' home video and streaming/digital releases, it carries a TV-14 rating completely uncensored.
  • Futari Ecchi originally received an 18+ in Quebec for its first volume and a 16+ for the second, despite no notable difference in content. When released in a complete collection, the episodes on the first volume were downgraded to a 16+.
  • When Gantz was first released in Germany, most episodes received a FSK 16 rating, other than the first three, which received a FSK 12 rating. Consider the fact that in the first three episodes, the viewer will see decapitation, attempted rape, bestiality, full-frontal nudity, gory alien violence, and hear a ton of F-bombs. In fact, Gantz never really top its first three episodes in terms of explicit content. However, upon the 'director's cut' rerelease of the show, the episodes were rerated FSK 16.
  • Girls Bravo volumes 2 and 3 on DVD received an "R" rating in Nova Scotia for graphic sexual content and explicit nudity, which was a bit of a shocker considering sexual content at the "R" rating usually consists of artistic real sex or full-blown porn, of which Girls Bravo has neither. Other volumes received an 18A despite the same level of content, and a complete collection of the series later downgraded these episodes to an 18A.
  • Girls und Panzer:
    • The series received a FSK 12 in Germany for every episode, but the OVA collection received a FSK 16 despite no increase in objectionable content. (Sure, there was a swimsuit OVA, but it reused the swimsuits/fanservice that had already been featured early on in the show.)
    • The series is rated as AV15+note  on iTunes Australia despite the Australian DVD release carrying an M rating.
  • Grave of the Fireflies was bumped up from a "6" to a "9" in the Netherlands in 2011 due to a complaint about how depressing the film was.
  • Gregory Horror Show received an 18A in Manitoba for its first season, and a PG for its second and third seasons. As to what in the show warranted an 18A, the ratings board didn't list - though they gave the second/third seasons subadvisories for "not recommended for young children", even though the second and third seasons are on the same content level as the first (or maybe a bit stronger, considering we discover Gregory's secret love for dirty magazines and Nekozombie's highly traumatic past in these seasons). By comparison, all three seasons got a 14A in Nova Scotia.
  • Haibane Renmei was rated PG in the UK for all but the last volume, which was rated 12 for "moderate sex references". (These moderate sex references actually come from a trailer for Ikki Tousen, but still bumped the whole disc up.)
  • Haikyuu!! is currently listed on iTunes Australia as R18+, despite the show being classified on DVD as PG.
  • When Hunter × Hunter was re-added to Netflix in 2019, the rating was changed from TV-14 to TV-MA. The rating was later brought back down to TV-14.
  • Junjou Romantica's first season is officially rated M on Australian home video, however carries an MA15+ rating on the AnimeLab streaming service.
  • TokyoPop's translation of Life was originally listed as being for "Older Teens". This was bumped up to "Mature" a few volumes later due to the heavy themes of bullying and slight sexual themes of the series.
  • Loveless got its rating decreased from Older Teen (16+) to Teen (13+) upon Viz acquiring its license after Tokyopop's demise.
  • Love Hina's special Love Hina Again got an M in New Zealand for sexual references while the rest of the series, including the spring and summer specials, was rated PG for low level violence and sexual references. Love Hina Again doesn't get any more graphic then the rest of the series does...
  • Volumes 1 and 2 of the Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid manga (at least the initial printings) are officially rated for all ages by Seven Seas, something mentioned by multiple online reviewers as being a bit bizarre. Upon the release of the third volume, the rating was raised to Teen, which is much more appropriate considering the series' occasional nudity and sexual innuendo.
  • NEEDLESS was originally rated TV-14-DLVnote  when released in individual collections by Sentai Filmworks. When rereleased as a complete series collection, it was rated TV-MA-DLV for strong suggestive dialogue, explicit language, and strong violence note 
  • The remake of Negima! Magister Negi Magi entitled Negima!? which was supposed to be closer to the manga got a TV-MA in America while the original series, rated TV-PG, had more fanservice and suggestive scenes. Australia and New Zealand avert this by giving the original series an M and the remake a PG.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • The rating in Germany seems to highly vary on the release you get; volume 3, which was rated FSK 12 on its original release, has a FSK 0 (suitable for all ages) on the Platinum edition. In the same way, volumes 5 and 6, which were originally rated FSK 12, are FSK 6 on the Platinum edition. In a strange flip-flop, the Platinum rating on volume 7 increases from a FSK 6 to a FSK 12.
    • One episode that was rated 12 when it was rated by the BBFC individually (episode 9, "Both of You, Dance Like You Want to Win!") was rerated PG on DVD a few years later.
  • Ninja Scroll was initially released with an MA15+ rating on VHS in Australia. After the movie screened on SBS with the same rating, the former Attorney-General of Australia appealed the rating and got it bumped up to R18+, which it has retained on all releases since.
  • Noein ranged from a PG to 12 rating by the BBFC, before receiving a sudden bump-up to a 15 on its last volume - the problem wasn't with the volume itself, which was rated 12, but the 15-rated bloopers.
  • No Game No Life's second volume has two identical listings in the German ratings database, with the exception of one being FSK 12 and the other FSK 16 and being rated twelve days apart. The actual DVD has the FSK 16 rating printed on it.
  • The original North American subtitled-only DVD release of Nyan Koi! carried a plain TV-PG rating. When it was rereleased three years later with an English dub, this was bumped up to a TV-14-LD rating. The series has kept its TV-PG rating on platforms such as iTunes.
  • Ojamajo Doremi received a FSK 6 in Germany for episodes 1-51 and a FSK 0 for episodes 52-100, despite no difference in content.
  • One Piece:
    • Despite the edited 4Kids version being officially rated TV-Y7-FV on TV, the edited volume DVD releases were all rated TV-Y.
    • In Ontario, volumes of the edited version ranged from a G all the way up to a 14A rating, despite every episode of the show running with a C8 rating on television. The uncut DVDs are now consistently rated as PG or 14A.
  • One-Punch Man:
    • The series was originally rated 14A in Manitoba when the ratings board watched the first two episodes. However, the complete series DVD only received a PG rating.
    • While every episode received a TV-14 rating on Adult Swim, the show's later DVD release by Viz Media only carries a TV-PG rating.
  • Outlaw Star was rated 13+ by Bandai Entertainment. When Cartoon Network aired the series uncut in the late 2010s[[note]]in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it aired edited with a TV-Y7 rating, even when it was shown at night on Adult Swim's anime line-up, it was rated TV-14...except for the once-Banned Episode "Hot Springs Planet Tenrei", which was rated TV-MA for its comedic sexual content and frequent scenes of fanservice and female nudity note 
  • The movie Perfect Blue was rated "R" in Nova Scotia for its theatrical release (due to scenes of sexual violence, strong threat, and references to mental illness), but only got a "14" on the home video edition.
  • Madman bumped up the rating from PG to M for Please Teacher! in Australia to avoid controversy.
  • Russian network 2x2 doesn't air anything with lower then a 12+ rating (seemingly out of fear of attracting a younger audience to their more adult programs), which has led to such oddities as showings of Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea being rated for 12+.
  • Pretty Face and I"s, when released in print by Viz Media, were rated "Older Teen (16+)" for some fanservice and sexual situations. In the digital rerelease, they're both rated "Mature (18+)", with no difference or uncensoring in content (the digital version of the latter still censors bare breasts as the print version did).
  • Puni Puni Poemi was originally self-rated R18+ in Australia by Madman, as the release date was coming very close and the OFLC still hadn't rated the show. It eventually received an MA15+ rating; copies are floating around in Australia with both ratings.
  • Ranma ½:
    • Despite being rated as TV-14 on every other streaming service (as well as Viz Media's DVDs), the show carries a TV-MA rating on Vudu.
    • Originally, only seasons 1-4 of Ranma were rated PG in Ontario, despite the content level staying pretty consistent throughout. Seasons 5 and 6 were originally given an 18A rating in Ontario in 2003, and season 7 was given a 14A rating. These three seasons were eventually rerated PG for a 2008 rerelease of the series.
  • The North American release of the Reborn! (2004) manga by Viz Media is rated for ages 16+, perhaps over concern of its mafia themes being too controversial for younger American readers. When Tokyopop Germany published the series, they lowered the rating to 13+.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena went from being rated as "suitable for most audiences" by Central Park Media (roughly equivalent to a PG rating) to a 16+ rating from Right Stuf upon switching licensor hands/being rereleased.
  • The second Rebuild of Evangelion film, when originally released as Evangelion 2.0, received a '14A' rating in Nova Scotia. When released again as Evangelion 2.22 (with better editing and contrast), it only received a 'PG' rating, despite no removal of mature content.
  • Rurouni Kenshin's complete limited edition Australian release has an MA-15+ while the individual box sets are rated M (the difference between M and MA-15+ is that MA-15+ is more restrictive and most TV and film companies are wary about showing MA-15+ content since that rating allows for stronger contentnote ). It might be the OVAs added onto the complete edition, but when you consider how gory the Kyoto arc was, the OVAs weren't really that much graphic.
  • Sailor Moon is probably the only show of any genre to have the full gamut of US TV ratings, as it was TV-Y in syndication, TV-Y7 on Toonami, and TV-G during its brief run on Kids WB, and it varies wildly between TV-PG and TV-14 on streaming services (the former two ratings were for the first dub, which was aimed at children). One episode was given a TV-MA on Hulu for nudity and dark content. On the website for Kodansha Comics, the manga is rated as being suitable for ages 10 and up, though the print books have a 13+ rating.
  • Nova Scotia gave Samurai Champloo volume 2 an 18A rating when first released; however, the episodes on that volume were downgraded to a 14A for the complete collection.
  • Volume 4 of Serial Experiments Lain was initially rated 16+ in Quebec for horror while all previous volumes had been rated G. When rereleased in a complete collection, it was downgraded to 13+.
  • Despite every individual season collection of Slayers receiving a 'PG' in Nova Scotia, a bundle of all them received a '14A' for reasons unknown.
  • Strike Witches received a 12 rating for its first season in the UK by the BBFC and a 15 for the second season. Both seasons carry the same reasoning for their rating of 'sexualised nudity' and have the same level of Fanservice, so why the rating was bumped up for the second season is unknown.
  • Sword Art Online's Australian release has a PG for all but the last volume, which is rated M for violence, despite the fact that there wasn't really any increase in violence in the final volume. Perhaps it refers to sexual violence, given that towards the end the main antagonist attempts to rape Asuna but fails. Aniplex just slaps the whole series on the North American release with a 13+.
  • The Tatami Galaxy was rated TV-PG when FUNimation uploaded it to YouTube. On Hulu and FUNimation's official site, however, it somehow carries a TV-MA rating, likely to do with a scene of a rock-climbing wall full of fake breasts.
  • Tenchi Muyo! was released for years in its uncut form by Geneon with a 13-and-up recommendation. However, when Funimation rereleased the OVA series, it received a TV-MA rating; this can be credited to some level of Values Dissonance between time periods, as nudity is essentially an automatic adult rating for anime in the modern era.
  • Despite the original To Love-Ru manga being released in print in North America with an Older Teen rating, it carries an "Adults Only" warning on Comixology, cautioning for "graphic sexuality."
  • When the Pokémon anime first began airing in the US, it was rated TV-Y on Kids WB and in syndication. When the series moved to Cartoon Network from season 9 onward, the rating was bumped up to TV-Y7-FV and the rating was modified accordingly for reruns and DVD releases of earlier seasons.
  • Yu Yu Hakusho: The Movie was initially rated 16+ in Quebec despite having no more graphic content than the G-rated series. The board rated it as such due to trailers for Dark Cat and Iron Virgin Jun on the VHS release which contained depictions of "monster phalluses." It was rerated 13+ on a later rerelease.
  • When Toonami aired four of Hayao Miyazaki's film for its Month of Miyazaki event in 2006, most of the films featured were given appropriate ratings based on their content; Princess Mononoke was rated TV-14-V, while Castle in the Sky and Spirited Away were rated TV-PG-V. However, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind was oddly given a TV-Y7-FV rating, despite being violent enough to receive a TV-PG-V easily. One forum user at the time claimed that their DirecTV schedule had the movie listed as TV-PG-V, so the Y7-FV rating was more than likely just a mistake on the network's part.

    Comic Books 
  • Tintin in the Congo is usually considered Afrophobic by modern standards and has often been classified as for adults only because of this.

    Film — Animation 
  • A Christmas Carol (2009) was rerated from PG to M in New Zealand due to parental complaints about some disturbing scenes in the film.
  • The Batman vs. Dracula was rated TV-Y7-FV when it first aired on Cartoon Network's Toonami block, despite having enough violence, dark themes, and even some blood pushing into a PG rating. Subsequent airing on the channel have a TV-PG rating.
  • Disney's Cars Spin-Off Planes and its sequel Planes: Fire & Rescue got PG ratings as opposed to the G rating of all three main films in the series, even though Cars 2 and the later Cars 3 have no less Family-Unfriendly Violence than Planes.
  • In a Made-for-TV Movie example, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: Destination Imagination originally got a TV-PG rating on Cartoon Network despite the show having a TV-Y7 rating. This was due to the story's darker-than-usual tone, hints that Frankie and Coco use a particular curse word (the actual curse word is not mentioned however) and a closed captioning error that had Bloo say "You pissed him off" in the captions instead of "You peeved him off" which is what he actually said. Reruns on Cartoon Network and Boomerang as well as the version on the streaming service HBO Max currently carry a TV-Y7 rating.
  • In the United Kingdom, Frozen (2013) is rated PG simply for "mild threat."
  • The Iron Giant, which received a U rating for its release in the UK by the BBFC in theaters in 1999 and on home video in 2000, was rerated PG for 'mild fantasy action violence' and 'infrequent mild bad language' for its 2016 rerelease.
  • In Brazil, Madagascar had no restrictions in theaters. But the DVD has a warning that it is innapropriate for minors for "drug references", which is just from an off-hand quip about "bringing in candy".
  • ParaNorman initially received a 12A rating from Ireland's ratings board due to its scene of moderate violence/horror (though no word on whether or not the scene of the high school jock casually admitting that he has a boyfriend also played a factor in the rating) before winning a PG on appeal.
  • Peter Pan is officially rated G by the MPAA, but due to the now-outdated racial stereotypes of American Indians (including use of the word "redskin" by Captain Hook) and several scenes that would be considered "cultural appropriation" by today's standards, American TV broadcasts of the movie are rated TV-14. It is the only Disney Animated Canon feature to date to be given such a high rating.
  • Ratatouille was rated U upon its original release in 2007 by the BBFC, however was rerated PG in 2014 for "comic violence, mild bad language". (In particular, the BBFC's stance on the word 'bloody' had become stricter since the movie's original submission.)
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was initially given an A certificate (precursor to PG) by the BBFC in 1938 due to its implied violence, moderate threat, and scenes considered too scary or upsetting to younger or more sensitive viewersnote . In 1954, some local authorities throughout Britain overruled the BBFC's decision and granted the film a U certificate, while all others retained its A rating. It wasn't until 1987 that the BBFC officially granted it a U certificate.
  • Song of the Sea was rated PG in Ontario when shown at the Toronto International Film Festival, but was rerated G on DVD.
  • When Tarzan aired on The Wonderful World of Disney on ABC, it was rated TV-PG instead of the G rating it had carried in theaters and on video (mostly for mild sexual innuendo and action violence).
  • The Transformers: The Movie was rerated as PG by the BBFC in 2017 when Manga Entertainment resubmitted it, despite a release as of 2007 from Metrodome Distribution carrying a U rating.
  • Watership Down in Germany is rated 6+ (meaning that the content is appropriate for children ages six and up). Elsewhere, it's all-ages, even though the disturbing content says otherwise.
  • Coraline oddly receives a TV-14 rating in its ABC Family broadcast despite no edits for content being made, and while it does break the barrier quite a bit for a kids movie, there's nothing in it that goes beyond its appropriate PG rating.
  • The LEGO Movie, of all movies surprisingly bears a TV-14 rating on Univision and Uni Mas, despite no changes in content.
  • Shrek the Third gets a TV-14 on Laff, again despite no changes in content.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Ireland, the IFCO has a specific '16' borderline category for cinema. Once these films are released on video, they're re-rated '15' or '18'. According to director Ger Connolly, upgrading to '18' happens only in rarer cases - such as Joker and Midsommar.
  • While SBS is legally not allowed to air R18+ content on their main channel, they have slipped through showing some uncut R18+ films with an MA15+/AV15+ rating, such as A Clockwork Orange, Full Metal Jacket, Killer Condom, and Shame.
  • Several films that were rated PG-13 (or even PG) in theaters have carried a TV-MA rating for uncut evening showings on FX and its sister channels, for reasons such as one F-bomb, the word 'shit', gore, or brief nudity. Examples include Daddy's Home, Paper Towns, Ride Along 2, Terminator Genisys, and The Walk.
  • In Germany some films are refused ratings from the FSK which inevitably leads to them ending up on the Index which means they mustn't be advertised, can only be sold to persons 18 and up and can only be shown on TV with drastic edits. When 25 years have passed movies are removed from the Index and can be rated again by the FSK which then end up giving them ratings of 18 and sometimes even 16 (e.g. Predator in 2010).
  • In Singapore, nudity is a no-no for most movies. For example, the 2010 documentary Babies (which was rated PG for "cultural/maternal nudity") got a NC-16 rating, then a M18 rating on home video, compared to a G-rating everywhere else.
  • The DC Extended Universe is an interesting example of this, highlighting the differences between the USA's MPAA and the UK's BBFC. PG-13 and 12A are largely the same note , and are followed by the R and 15 (which differ moreso) note . The strange part is that while Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (the Ultimate Cut) got an R and 12A, Suicide Squad (2016) got a PG-13 and 15. Based on their summary, the film's Villain Protagonist ensemble and their enjoyment at wreaking havoc is what pushed the latter's BBFC rating up, while Superman and Batman's violence (and attitude towards it) was more acceptable.
  • In 1997 in the UK, Touchstone Pictures released 2 films (Con Air and Starship Troopers) with '15' ratings for their cinema release. However, the BBFC felt that their decisions were too lenient and so they upgraded them to '18' for the video releases, where they remain to this day.
  • In Ireland, cinema and video releases have separate ratings systems.
    • The video system is the same as in the UK (U/G, PG, 12, 15, 18).
    • The cinema system is the same as in the UK up to 12A. Afterwards, 15 and 18 are split into 15A, 16 and 18, which means that a film which gets a 16 for cinema can get either a 15 or an 18 on video.
  • The ratings for the Hammer Studios Dracula films are all over the place for no discernible reason. Incredibly, Dracula Has Risen from the Grave, which features Dracula being messily impaled causing blood to gush from his mouth and eyes, was rated G, which has never been updated. The very next film, which features a similar level of violence along with some nudity, was originally rated GP (a precursor to PG) but was upgraded to an R in 2004, while Dracula A.D. 1972 has kept its PG despite opening with yet another very nasty impalement scene. The fact that these films are all sold together in a DVD set along with the unrated Horror of Dracula makes it even more noticeable because there are four different MPAA symbols on the packaging.
  • The 2008 sequel to The Lion The Witchand The Wardrobe, Prince Caspian was rated PG in both the United States and United Kingdom, but it was rated M in Australia and New Zealand due to the opening scene.
    • The same thing happened with The Witches (2020), which was Rated PG in both the US and UK but rated M in both Australia and New Zealand.
  • Several PG-13 films released in New Zealand have been slapped with an R13 rating due to differences and treatment of violence and sex.
  • In a bizarre circumstance around the time the PG-13 rating was introduced, two of Alfred Hitchcock's films actually swapped ratings! Originally, when the MPAA introduced its film rating system, Psycho was rated M (later PG), and Torn Curtain was rated R. In 1984, the situation was reversed, with Psycho being rated R (though no rating appeared on video releases at all until the '90s) and Torn Curtain being rated PG.
  • In general, television ratings of MPAA-rated films can be a funny thing. There have been examples of older G-rated films being rated TV-PG and sometimes even TV-14 on television. Similarly, PG-rated films have sometimes been broadcast as TV-14 and sometimes even TV-MA (one such example was Spaceballs), and there have been PG-13 films with a TV-MA rating on television, such as Twister and Fantastic Four (2015).
  • Due to a combination of Fair for Its Day and how years have changed, many movies released in Québec were giving lower ratings from when they first came up (Friday the 13th was originally given a rating of 18+, the equivalent of a NC-17 to 13+, the equivalent of a PG-13.)
  • American Beauty was originally rated 14 in Brazil without anyone actually watching the film, rating it entirely off its synopsis. It was rerated 18 on home video.
  • Barry Lyndon had its UK rating raised from PG to 12A in 2016, due to moderate violence, sex, (and) nudity.
  • The Russian government threatened to ban Beauty and the Beast for containing an openly gay character, but the film will be released there anyways with a 16+ rating.
  • Bedknobs and Broomsticks was re-rated PG by the BBFC in 2016 for its cinema re-release due to the scene when Charlie shouts out "Not bloody likely!" to Colonel Heller, despite a DVD release as of 2009/2013 carrying a U rating. The Blu-ray release of the same year also carried a PG rating, on account of the bonus features.
  • The 1999 British film The Big Tease received an R rating in the United States and the equivalent of a PG almost everywhere else (although it received a 15 in its home country for 'infrequent strong language'). Although the reason given is language, there are very few instances of profanity, leading some people to believe it was more harshly rated in the U.S. because the main character is very blatantly homosexual.
  • The Birth of a Nation (1915) has been rerated in several countries due to its racist thematic material. In the UK, it was originally released with a 'U' rating, which is now a 15. In Australia, the rating was changed from PG to M on rerelease. Both the BBFC and OFLC note racism as the reason for the rating change.
  • Germany gave Bottle Shock an FSK 6 (suitable for ages 6 and older) for theatrical release, but an FSK 16 for DVD release. It is not clear if the consumption of wine in the film has anything to do with this, as the legal drinking age for wine and beer is 16 in Germany.
  • City by the Sea, a 2002 crime drama starring Robert De Niro, was rated 15 by the BBFC for cinema release because, despite a scene showing two characters 'freebasing' (taking drugs in a non-salt form), the film had a strong anti-drugs message. However, the rating was upgraded to 18 for the video release after seeking expert advice, which told the BBFC that the scene, if viewed repeatedly at home, could provide instructive details about drug use.
  • The Day the Earth Caught Fire: When first released in the UK in 1962, it was rated X, which meant over 16 only. The Blu-Ray release is rated 12, and starts with the original rating card.
  • Despite the movie airing on the same night, Descendants 2 is rated TV-PG on ABC while on Disney Channel, Disney XD and Freeform of all places, aired it with a TV-G rating.
  • The original release of ET received a G rating in Australia. Because the 20th-anniversary re-release was edited (to remove guns), the film had to be re-submitted, and received a PG rating for "supernatural themes".
  • Fast Times at Ridgemont High was initially released in Australia for its theatrical release with an R18+ and two seconds of cuts for underage sex. Modern-day re-releases have received an M rating completely uncut.
  • For a 2011 re-release in UK cinemas, Ghostbusters (1984) was passed 12A by the BBFC for "moderate sex references", up from the PG of its original 1984 release (five years before 12 was introduced). The film had still been released on DVD as PG as of 2009.
  • The Godfather Part II was rated PG upon its original release in New Zealand, but on the "Coppola Restoration" edition was bumped up to an M.
  • The Grudge was originally cross-rated M from Australia in New Zealand, however was rerated R16 due to complaints about the level of horror.
  • The Harry Potter movies have been inexplicably shuffled throughout rating systems around the world. For example, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince received a PG rating in the United States even though it was more disturbing than previous entries in the series that were rated PG-13. In the Netherlands, the third movie demanded the creation of an entirely new rating— 9. In Germany, it was the first Harry Potter film to be rated FSK 12 (suitable for ages 12 and older) due to its rather dark and dismal atmosphere. In Australia, it was initially given the M rating, but was reclassified as PG when it came out on DVD.
  • Henry & June was the first film to recive the new NC-17 rating by the MPAA in the United States after its introducton in 1990. The film recived the equivalent of an NC-17 rating around the world, with a few exceptions, most noticeably Australia, where the filmed passed with a lenient M rating.note 
  • I Know What You Did Last Summer, a 1997 slasher horror, received an 18 rating from the BBFC when released in cinemas, for its 'strong horror and violence'. On video this was downgraded to a 15, due to the effects being "considerably diminished on the small screen".
  • The rating for Jaws was changed by the BBFC from PG to 12A in 2012 on theatrical re-release. This is because when the film was originally classified, there was no 12A/12 rating, although it was now considered a borderline 12A/15 film for its bloody violence and gore. They relented with the former as a "compromise", due to it being so well-known and available unrestricted for 37 years.
    • Earlier, a DVD of the same film had been rated 12 on account of the special features, for using strong language (i.e. "fuck"), prompting a recall of an earlier print run which had been rated PG.
      • Ironically, the ratings in Ireland went the other way, with the film being a 15 but the bonus disc being a PG. This was until 2012, when the film was rated 12A for cinema and similarly downgraded to 12 on video.
  • Jurassic Park has a variation in the UK. It was considered just above PG standards when released, so the BBFC compromised and allowed for a PG so long as advertising (and the later VHS cover) carried the warning "contains sequences which may be particularly disturbing to younger children or those of a sensitive disposition". The DVD and various theatrical re-releases carry the PG with no warning, as did the first two sequels. Jurassic World received a 12A, being the first JP film since the rating's introduction.
  • The Karate Kid (2010) got this twice:
    • The film was originally classified M in Australia, which the studio appealed and managed to get down to a PG.
    • The film was reclassified from 6 to 12 in the Netherlands after a complaint from a mother that the level of violence was too much for her seven-year-old daughter.
  • Kick-Ass was rerated from 12 to 16 in the Netherlands after a complaint about the level of violence in the film.
  • For whatever reason, the Philippine airing of Kit Kittredge: An American Girl on ETC was given a PG rating, despite the original American theatrical and video releases being G-rated. And that's from a film and television ratings board known for giving inconsistent ratings on theatrical features and television programmes.
  • Last Christmas ended up with a PG rating in Australia (at least for cinema release), but it was rated PG-13 in the States, 12 in the UK and M in New Zealand. You could say that the Aussie censors are very confusing but weird in their decisions..
  • Life of Brian was re-released in the UK in 2019 with a 12A certificate, after more than 30 years of it being rated 15. (It was originally rated AA, the precursor to 15, in its theatrical release.) In the US, it's rated R, but it has not been resubmitted to the MPAA since 1979, and if it was ever resubmitted, it would probably still be an R due to the multiple uses of the word "fuck" and brief full-frontal nudity.
  • In British Columbia, a live-action Love Live! concert movie was rated PG as opposed to G (as the subtitled anime film had been) entirely due to the lack of subtitles. As the ratings board wasn't able to determine if the dialogue had any bad language in it, they gave it a PG "just to be safe".
  • Due to growing concerns about the portrayal of sexual violence in films, the BBFC raised the rating of The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc from 15 to 18 in 2020 due to scene where Joan's sister is raped.
  • After Midnight Cowboy became the first and last X-rated filmnote  to win an Academy Award for Best Picture, it was rereleased with an R rating though no cuts were made. note 
  • In the U.S., many PG-13 films receive the TV-14 rating when aired on TV, even though they've been edited for content. Even stranger, when Napoleon Dynamite airs on MTV, it receives a TV-14 rating, despite the movie having a PG rating on video and containing little if any objectionable content.
  • Nomadland is rated G (General Audiences) in Taiwan (normally films that are rated G in Taiwan are equilivant to G or PG in the USA), but is rated R in the USA for some full nudity. Hungary subverts this by giving it a 12+ rating.
  • Once Upon a Time in the West features about the same amount of violence and mature themes as Sergio Leone's previous westerns, but it got an M (a precursor to PG) whereas the others all got Rs. In 2003 it was updated to a PG-13.
    • In Ireland it was still rated 15 as of 2011 (their equivalent to R), which is the same as the Dollars Trilogy, for "strong western style violence and moderate sensuality". In the UK, this so-called "strong violence" was only considered mild (so just worthy of a PG!), instead earning a 12 for "moderate sex and sexual threat" for the same Blu-ray release in 2011.
  • Paranormal Activity was initially cross-rated from Australia in New Zealand with an M rating for offensive language. Due to complaints, it was reviewed by the New Zealand ratings board and was re-rated R16 for horror scenes and offensive language.
  • Power Rangers (2017) got rated 18+ in Russia (nobody under 18 admitted, equivalent to NC-17) because there's a reference to lesbianism - specifically it's fairly heavily implied that Trini, the Yellow Ranger, is a lesbian. It's rated PG-13 in the US.
  • The Quatermass Xperiment was an X certificate film when it was released in 1955, due to the horror of a human transforming into a Starfish Alien as the precursor to an invasion. By the time of the video release in 2003, it got a PG rating in the UK, possibly thanks to forty years of very similar material being aimed at kids.
  • Ryan's Daughter was originally given an R rating by the MPAA for the love scene in the forest, but was downgraded to GP (later renamed PG) before its release after the studio appealed to the ratings board. In 1996, the MPAA reversed their decision and had the film re-rated R.
  • In Argentina, Scarface (1983) was originally rated +18note , then, it was re-rated +16note  for the 1999 re-release and finally was re-rated +13/CRnote  for the 2012 re-release.
  • Scooby-Doo received a TV-G rating on Nickelodeon, despite being a hard PG-rated film for suggestive humor, scary moments, and action violence.
  • The Silence of the Lambs was rated R18+ in Australia in 1991, but got an M rating on appeal. This led to The Silence of the Lambs receiving a significant amount of complaints and being one of the titles to create the in-between rating of MA15+, which the movie was rerated to on a 2001 rerelease.
  • Although Some Like It Hot is rated U in the United Kingdom, and still has that rating on the original 2000 UK DVD release, DVD releases since 2001 (and Blu-Ray releases since the 2010s) are rated PG due to the inclusion of more bonus features.
  • The British version of Spiderman 2 removed a headbutt in a fight scene in order to obtain a PG.note  The same cuts were made to the IMAX version, but the British censors still gave it a 12A due to the film being more intense during the IMAX presentation.
  • A fairly inexplicable instance of this trope occurred with the 2000 Director's Cut of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Initially, in 1979, the movie was released at a G rating (the only Trek film to be given a G). The Director's cut added no new objectionable contentnote , but was rated by the MPAA as PG. The staff joked at the time that the new music mix must have done it, but one can suspect Paramount prevailing on the MPAA to up the rating for a different reason.
  • This trope may very well be at the heart of the "Han shot first" controversy surrounding the Star Wars Special Edition. The scene in A New Hope when Han shoots Greedo after being threatened flew under the censors' radar back in 1977, but could've bumped the rating up two decades later after the PG-13 rating was created. Thus, some people speculate that this is why the scene was edited so that Greedo shot first. This is especially hilarious because the film was almost rated "G" — yes, G — back in 1977. This despite the fact that it features charred corpses, a bloody severed arm, multiple violent deaths, genocide, and a "heroic" character who starts out as a Jerkass smuggler.
  • Ken Loach's Sweet Sixteen was given an 18 rating by the BBFC for frequent uses use of the word "cunt," but the local authorities of Inverclyde in Scotland overruled the decision and gave it a 15 certificate there, while the rest of Britain still kept the 18 rating.
  • The Terminator'' franchise:
    • In the UK, The Terminator had its rating downgraded from 18 to 15 in 2000.
    • The uncut version of Terminator 2: Judgment Day was given an 18 certificate by the BBFC when it was released on laserdisc in 1992 (a censored 15-rated version was released theatrically and on VHS). The Special Edition was later granted a 15 certificate in 2001 with all previously-censored footage intact.
    • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines was given a R-rating in the U.S. like the other films, but in the UK it was rated 12A, the first in the franchise to get that rating.
  • This Christmas is a PG-13 film that airs with a TV-14 rating on BET, but a TV-G on TV One. Both cuts retain all the violence and sexuality, but edit out a few uses of the word, "shit".
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon received a rating of 16+ in Hungary, whilst it's considered to be anything from a PG-13 to G movie in the rest of the world. What makes this especially peculiar is that the dub even removed or toned down most of the original movie's foul language, making the rating decision seem even more unwarranted. Yet the far more obscene and about equally violent Revenge of the Fallen only got a 12+ (along with the original installment).
  • Initially, TRON was rated PG in Australia, but was later reclassified as G (in spite of several onscreen deaths, torture, and a Deleted Scene with sexual content) when rereleased onto DVD and Blu-Ray following the release of the sequel.
  • Weekend at Bernie’s 2 was rated PG, despite essentially having the same setup and black comedy premise as the PG-13 original, and featuring a brief Naked Freak-Out scene on top of that.
  • In the UK, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? was originally rated X (16+) in 1962 with cuts (to remove the sight of Jane kicking Blanche reduced to one kick and Elvira witnessing Blanche tied up in bed). The film was given an 18 rating, uncut, in 1988 before being severely reduced to a 12 rating (again uncut) in 2004.
  • When the director's cut of The Wild Bunch was submitted to the MPAA in 1993, it got an NC-17 rating, for the same content that caused it to get an R in 1969. The release of this version was delayed for two years until it was granted an R on appeal because Warner Bros. refused to release NC-17 material at the time.
  • Wild Wild West is rated PG in Australia, except for the state of South Australia, where it gets an M15+. As such, video and DVD boxes have both ratings on the cover.
  • The famous 1939 film The Wizard of Oz has been rated PG, despite being a G-rated film for decades. It just applies to the 3D version, which amps up such scary scenes as the tornado sequence and all scenes featuring the Wicked Witch of the West to levels that may frighten some viewers (though, to be fair, those scenes were scary even before the days of modern 3D cinema).
  • X-Men: Apocalypse was the first X-Men film to receive an MA15+ in Australia, despite featuring no more violence or mature content than previous X-Men films. However, the film suddenly appeared one day on the Australian Classification Board website appealed to an M, despite no formal appeal announcement or documents relating to an appeal, leaving many to wonder if 20th Century Fox slipped the board a little extra to get the M they wanted.
  • France's motion picture rating system is notorious for giving most PG-13 movies "Tous publics"/general audience ratings, and most R-rated movies a 12 or downward, which equates to one-notch down compared to most rating systems. Here are some examples;
    • In France, Cuties was classified as "Tous publics", or all audiences. Everywhere else, its TV-MA/15 on other countries. It was even banned in Turkey and had to be censored in Australia.
    • The Wolf of Wall Street got 12, where everywhere else, it was given R18/18 ratings. Fifty Shades of Grey got 12 as well.
    • Note that streaming services can also self-assign ratings so it automatically lines up with other countries, The Mandalorian has a 12 in France (in the US its TV-14 and M in Australia), and most TV-MA content on Netflix/Hulu assign it to 15/18 in European countries, depending on the content.
  • A September 2020 article by Forbes film analyst Scott Mendlesohn made the case against the American ratings board giving Mulan (2020), Bill & Ted Face the Music, and Enola Holmes PG-13 ratings, arguing that the content in all three are no different than films that were rated PG in the early 1990s. On the other hand, Mendelsohn felt that all three weren't as intense thematically than Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, which managed to secure a PG.
  • Poland is a truly bizzare case, since there are three separate rating systems: one for cinema releases, one for TV broadcasting and one for home media releases. And aside the TV one, where broadcasters aren't allowed to air certain ratings prior certain hours, the other two are purely advisorynote , rather than any actual restrictions. Each of those systems has different criteria and different, not always age-related stages. On top of that, the TV system went through an overhaul. It started as three-staged one (no limits, parental supervision, only for adults), but got changed to age related (no limits, 7+, 12+, 16+ and only for adults). Numerous films that originally were broadcasted as "only for adults" got relegated to the "16+" and in the same time, a whole lot of cartoons and media aimed at children got bumped from "no limits" to "7+" rating - simply because the scale got more sophisticated, rather than the intent of the rating changed, while always keeping close to original, cinema rating in the transition to the new system.
    • Generally speaking, ratings are permament in Poland, making it a subversion of this trope. This means that something that was deemed controversial 50 years ago has oftentimes harsher rating that a film with far more explicit violence and sexual content released contemporarily. However, since home media operate as a separate system from cinema releases, cases where a movie originally got "18+" for cinema release (or even the rare, special, "21+", like in case of Irréversible), only to be released (or even re-released) as home media with lower rating, usually as either "15+" or "17+".note 
    • Another atypical case is Dobermann. When broadcasted in TV, it can't get harsher rating than "only for adults". However, both cinema and home media releases are "21+". Despite lack of sufficiently high rating, the only broadcaster that even dares to air it always does so with a special disclaimer about disturbing contentnote , and then continued to go with "only for adults" logo.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Inverted in the case of Breaking Bad, another series with Bryan Cranston. Most episodes are rated -12 (Not recomended for children under 12), the French equivalent of TV-MA note . However, the DVD version of the show is rated for all audiences, and merely carries a parental advisory (accord parental).
    • In New Zealand, all seasons on DVD is rated R16 (except Season 4 which was rated R18).
  • Channel 10 in Australia got in trouble for showing an edited version of the Californication episode "The Devil's Threesome" with an MA15+ rating, as the ACMA claimed even the edited version should have been rated R18+. Despite this, the uncensored version of the episode was released as MA15+ on DVD.
  • Chappelle's Show was originally rated TV-MA (due to explicit language and crude, politically incorrect humornote ) on Comedy Central before being moved down to a TV-14. It still retains the TV-MA rating on most streaming services, however.
  • An episode of Dr. Phil which showcased rather violent abuse had its age rating bumped from a "9" to a "16" on later airings in the Netherlands. The NICAM also fined the TV station €12,000 for originally airing it with a "9".
  • Doctor Who:
    • Inversion: The content of the episode "Genesis of the Daleks" deserves a TV-PG rating. An Omnibus airing on BBC America aired with a TV-G rating. Considering the dark themes of the episode, either the airing was censored, or the censors were drunk. Proof here.
    • More generally it seems to be completely random whether the home video releases of 1963-89 stories got a U or a PG rating. There are U rated stories which fans will tell you have much more horrific content than many stories that got PG. Over the years, there does seem to have been a trend to more restrictive rating. One of the most notorious examples was "Pyramids Of Mars", which got a U rating despite its extremely creepy atmosphere and extremely horrific moments (in particular Marcus Scarman's body suddenly and rapidly rotting after Sutekh stops possessing it).
    • While "The Robots of Death" was only a U as a complete serial, the individual promo release of Part One was rated PG, either due to standard changes in the intervening eleven years or the unresolved cliffhanger.
    • Episode One of the animated "Macra Terror" is rated PG in colour but only U in Black and White
  • The UK and Republic of Ireland have very similar ratings systems, and video releases usually get the same or equivalent ratings in both countries. There are of course exceptions, for example Season One of Stargate SG-1:
    • Disc 1: 18 in the UK, 15 in Ireland.
    • Disc 2: 12 in both countries.
    • Disc 3: 12 in the UK, 15 in Ireland.
    • Discs 4 and 5: PG in both countries.
  • Empire is rated "14+" when shown on Canadian television nationwide, but received an "R" rating for its complete DVD set in Ontario despite no difference in content or explicit bonus features.
  • An episode of The Eric Andre Show entitled "T.I. / Abby Lee Miller" initially aired with a TV-PG-L on Adult Swim, bewildering those who take notice of such things, as every other episode of the season had been rated TV-MA, and there didn't seem to be any less mature content than usual. A few weeks later (after already appearing on On Demand with the PG rating), it was rerated TV-MA for explicit language and strong sexual content.
  • A strange example occurs with the Disney sitcoms Even Stevens and That's So Raven, which were TV-G in their original runs, TV-Y7 on ABC Kids, and TV-PG on Disney+, despite there being little to no inappropriate content.
  • Netflix changed the rating on Everything Sucks! from TV-14 to TV-MA, in response to complaints about a masturbation scene in which porn with explicit nudity is seen in the first episode.
  • When The Game (2006) did a Channel Hop from The CW to BET, all TV-PG episodes (mainly from the first two seasons) were re-rated TV-14.
  • Married... with Children is usually rated TV-PG when shown in reruns on FX or TBS, though the season eight episode "Banking on Marcy" was rated TV-14 for sexual situations (S) since that episode centered on Marcy inducing orgasms in order to get over her public speaking fear (and Al watching rap videos because of the big-booty dancers)note . On Logo, all the episodes (which are the Edited for Syndication episodes) are rated TV-14 while Hulu has all the episodes (including "Banking on Marcy") rated TV-PG (and the Hulu version is the DVD version from Mill Creek Entertainment, where all of the scenes that were edited for syndicationnote  were reinstated).
  • Hard to believe, but in Quebec, every season of Game of Thrones after the first one (who is rated 16+, the equivalant of a TV-MA) are rated 13+ (the equivalent of a TV-14) despite little to no changes in sexual and violent content.
  • Goosebumps received an 'M' rating for its first season in New Zealand for 'supernatural themes'. Season 2 received a 'PG', despite no decrease in supernatural themes, it featuring mutants, killer worms, shambling mummies, and living dolls among other creatures.
    • A similar thing happened in America when Goosebumps aired in reruns on Cartoon Network (during its disastrous CN Real era) and Discovery Family (back when it was called "The Hub"): when the show was on FOX as part of its FOX Kids line-up, the show was rated TV-Y7 for scary content. The reruns on Cartoon Network and The Hub were TV-PG (also for scary content, though there's also other content issues, like kid characters getting bullied and scenes of kid characters in danger).
    • Over in the UK, Goosebumps is rated PG on television (even though some episodes are edited for horror content that goes beyond the PG level and scenes of dangerous behavior), except for the episode "The Werewolf of Fever Swamp", which is rated 12 for animal violence (the werewolf killing deer), moderate horror, and moderate threat.
  • Less Than Kind, a Canadian comedy-drama series, went from a PG rating to 18+ following a Channel Hop from City TV to HBO Canada in its second season. The content did not get any worse, but the swearing no longer had to be covered with bleeps.
  • In France, some episodes of Malcolm in the Middle received a -10 rating (Not recommended for children under 10'', but the DVD was rated U (for all audiences).
  • Modern Family has always been TV-PG, except for the season 9 episode "Lake Life," which, despite having no objectionable content, was rated TV-14 because of a brief, censored scene of comic, non-sexual nudity. Syndicated prints are TV-PG, though. The entire series is rated TV-14 on streaming services for no apparent reason.
  • Schitt's Creek is officially rated TV-14 in TV broadcasts, but on Netflix, it is TV-MA simply because of a certain swear word, but there is no violence, except for mild slapstick, and the sexual content is no worse than most network sitcoms. Kim's Convenience, another CBC sitcom, has also suffered the same fate on streaming services, as Canadian broadcast TV has looser standards when it comes to ratings and can get away with having the F word in prime-time.
  • The Sesame Street: Old School DVD collection is shrinkwrapped with a "Not for Children" sticker on the packaging. It appears that what was considered perfectly suitable for preschoolers 40 years ago isn't acceptable now, mostly due to an increased sensitivity to Nightmare Fuel. It advises that the older episodes "may not meet your child's educational needs." Tough Pigs, a Muppet fansite, elaborates:
    The disclaimer doesn’t say, "Do not under any circumstances let kids see this stuff because it’s bad for them." It just says it "may not suit the needs of today’s pre-school children." Now, if you had watched these DVDs, you’d know that the first episode includes a slow-moving, seven-minute segment on milking cows with droning, repetitious narration. Does that sound like the kind of thing today’s kids would sit still for?
    There’s also a film sequence about unsupervised children playing in a construction site. We could debate whether or not watching that is suitable for impressionable children, but can you blame Sesame Workshop for covering themselves by putting a disclaimer in front of something like that?
  • BBC America runs Star Trek: The Original Series with a TV-PG rating. The diginet Heroes & Icons airs it with TV-G.
  • That '70s Show goes through this a lot on cable reruns. Episodes that are TV-PG on one network are TV-14 on another, and vice versa. The same goes for many other shows whose ratings varied between episodes in their original airings.
  • The Thick of It has a single episode with a UK 18 rating while the rest of the series is a 15, even though it's not any worse than the rest of the series. It does have the word "Cunt" being a major plot point, but that's par for the course.
  • While Underbelly was rated M on Australian television, every season was rated MA15+ on home video.
  • Canada's 14A video rating is widely applied to home video releases of TV series and can be found on family-friendly shows that have aired with a PG in the US, all the way up to sexually-explicit series that have aired with a TV-MA in the US.
  • Many Nickelodeon and Disney Channel live action series, such as Zoey 101, iCarly, Drake & Josh or Hannah Montana which originally received a TV-Y7 rating were later rerated to TV-G in reruns or on streaming services despite no change in content.
  • When The Secret World of Alex Mack, a U-rated show was released to DVD in the United Kingdom, the release was given a 15 because of a scene in which Alex hides in a tumble dryer, which is considered dangerous, imitable behavior. Hiding in enclosed spaces where kids can easily get locked in and suffocate has been a point of contention for British kids' TV, as there have been a lot of cases where kids have died from being trapped in an enclosed space, even to this day.
  • The Disney Plus original series WandaVision varies in rating from episode to episode. The first three episodes have plain TV-PG ratings, the fourth has a TV-PG-LVnote  rating, and all episodes after that have TV-14 ratings with varying language/violence content descriptors (except for the finale, which has a plain TV-14 rating).

    Magazine 
  • A pre-release case happened with the Brazilian Playboy. Issue one was presented to the military government's censor board, and they vetted it, even when told that there would be no nudity and more sophisticated content. Then the Ministry of Justice's words to the publisher that "no magazine with the name Playboy can be made in Brazil, no matter the content" made the editor notice a loophole, and so just resubmitting the already done preprint under another name, A Revista do Homem (Men's Magazine), was approved without qualms! (the name stood for 3 years, and then the magazine could finally be published under the name Playboy)

    Music 
  • Four albums by The Beastie Boys (Paul's Boutique, Check Your Head, Ill Communication, and Hello Nasty) were originally released without Parental Advisory warnings, despite containing a decent amount of profanity. The warning was added when each album was remastered.
  • During the "King for Another Day" event, SiIvaGunner uploaded "Theme of HOBaRT", a song about having sex with a Hobart stand mixer, which was age-restricted. Later, the channel posted a video called "The Hobart Hootenanny" which is the same song with some additional videos afterwards, which isn't age-restricted despite having the same explicit lyrics.
  • The Smashing Pumpkins' third album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness initially did not receive a warning label upon its 1995 release despite having a few Precision F-Strike moments on the second disc. In 2012, over a decade and a half after the album's release, a remastered version was issued, and despite not having any changes in terms of track listing or lyrical content, now bears a Parental Advisory marking.

    Video Games 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • In Europe, the series has a 7+ rating, except for Trials and Tribulations, which gets 12+.
    • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies is rated "M" (17+) but doesn't really feature anything out of the ordinary for the series. There are gruesome murder scenes and twisted villains, yes, but the series was never shy about depicting such things earlier. The bump in rating could be linked to the courtroom bombing, whose scene shows a fairly intense moment of people desperately trying to escape before the room explodes and another scene near the game's end shows a young Athena covered in her mother's blood; most content has their content ratings spike if children and disturbing scenes are mixed together.
    • Despite receiving an M rating from the ESRB, Dual Destinies carries the same 12+ rating in the iOS App Store as previous games.
    • The following game, Spirit of Justice, drops down to the previously-standard "T" (13+) rating, despite some scenes being explicitly more graphic than in Dual Destinies. Notably, the game's backstory features what is essentially genocide, several characters' deaths are depicted from their own perspective, and two characters get shot on-screen, one of them while on the witness stand.
  • The mobile Adventure Time game "Time Tangle" is rated M in Australia for violence, despite not featuring any stronger violence than the PG-rated series or other apps from the series that were classified G/PG.
  • Among Us was originally rated PEGI 16 on the Google Play Store for "strong violence" based on the questionnaire method of rating. Upon the game's rise in popularity in 2020, it was formally rated by PEGI, who bumped it down to a PEGI 7 for mild violence. While the game does contain violent acts that are uncommon in a PEGI 7, the cartoonish nature of it convinced PEGI to give it a lower rating.
  • Atelier:
    • Atelier Totori Plus garnered attention shortly before its release outside Japan by receiving the highest rating in Australia possible (R18+) without getting banned entirely. Averted in other regions. Especially ridiculous considering the PS3 version released only two years prior with a very tame PG rating.
    • Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland received a bump-up from an M to an MA15+ when rereleased as Atelier Meruru Plus despite identical content.
  • The Nintendo DS version of Bionicle Heroes got a T (Teen) rating, making it the first and only LEGO game to get this rating, as opposed to E10+ on every other LEGO game. In a similar case, CERO also rates the LEGO games a B (12+) for violence.
  • Boogerman is rated MA-13 (SEGA's equivalent to T for Teen) on the Sega Genesis, but K-A (Kids-Adults, meaning fine for everyone) on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System despite not being censored in any way.
  • App developer Ambition has two otome Virtual Paper Doll games, one with still images called Animal Boyfriend, and one with Live2D animation called Dream Boyfriend. Animal Boyfriend is rated 3+ on the App Store and E10+ on Google Play for use of tobacco, while Dream Boyfriend carries a T rating on both stores for suggestive themes, the only real difference between the two games being whether or not there's animation, and if anything, Animal Boyfriend features more skimpy and suggestive outfits than Dream Boyfriend does. Similarly its Distaff Counterpart Dream Girlfriend has a T rating on the Play Store but a whopping 17+ rating on the App Store, though averted with the non-animated counterpart Moe Can Change as it has an all ages rating on both stores, and actually is Tamer and Chaster with a more Puni Plush art style.
  • Burnout 3: Takedown is rated T for Teen for "Mild Language, Mild Violence" despite the amount of "violence" (read: cars without humans in them smashing each other up) being on par with every other Burnout game, and while the "mild language" likely comes down to the (censored) licensed music, future Burnout games would have songs with far more conspicuous censorship (for instance: Burnout Paradise prominently features "Girlfriend", which in-game has a chorus that goes "Hell yeah, I'm the mother_______ princess!") and only get an E10+ rating. Although, to be fair, Burnout 3: Takedown was released a year before the E10+ rating was implemented in the United States.
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night got a PEGI 12 rating in Europe when it was released on the PlayStation 3. 6 years later Castlevania Requiem (compilation of Rondo of Blood and Symphony of the Night) received the PEGI 16 rating due to the blood effects in Symphony of the Night, which are no different from the PlayStation 3 version.
  • Cel Damage was rated T by the ESRB upon its original release, but was downgraded to E10+ in early trailers for the HD rerelease...until out of nowhere it was changed back to a T, with even more content descriptors than the original had.
  • Chaos;Head is considered an 'all ages' novel by many websites, and carries a 15+ rating on its PC edition. However, the iOS and PSP versions were bumped up to a 17+ for unknown reasons, and the Xbox 360 and PS Vita an 18+.
  • Class of Heroes 2 is a rare example where its physical packaging even carried two different ESRB ratings (the front cover read "E10+" but the manual read "T") - previously, the company releasing it had used the auto-rating tool and received a T rating for the game, however the ESRB later informed them the game would require an actual submission, upon which it very last minute received an E10+ rating.
  • The game Clubhouse Games for Nintendo DS is rated E by the ESRB in the Americas, 12+ by PEGI in Europe, and PG by the OFLC in Australia. The higher ratings in the latter two regions are due to the nature of simulated gambling in some of the embedded games (the ESRB addressed this content as well, but didn't deem it a serious issue). The follow-up 51 Worldwide Classics for Nintendo Switch has those same ratings, with the added notoriety that the GRAC rated it 18+ in South Korea (the country has strict laws pertaining gambling; in particular, casino gambling is banned).
  • Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn was rated G8+ (for general audiences 8 and up) on original release in Australia, but when it became widely known and re released it was bumped up to MA15+ without any changes in gameplay at all. Should be noted that the original features a man being executed right in front of you (among other things rendered in Full Motion Video), infantry being crushed by tanks with an audible "SQUELCH" as a gameplay mechanic, and very graphic deaths for units killed by fire.
  • Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time was initially rated PEGI 7 in Europe just like the other games in the series, but as the game got closer to its release, its rating was bumped up to a PEGI 12 due to some scenes with bad language. However, the official website still shows the PEGI 7 rating, despite its official rating being 12.
  • Crazy Taxi's sequels were bumped up to a 15+ from the original's 11+ by the ELSPA, despite being at the same level of content as the original.
  • In Europe, DanceDanceRevolution Hottest Party 5 (a.k.a. Dance Dance Revolution II in North America) was given a 3+ (equivalent to an ESRB E) by PEGI in most of Europe, except in the United Kingdom, where it was given a 16+ rating for "Violence". The culprit was a brief scene in one of the music videos which involved someone getting punched in the face.
  • Inverted with Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair in Japan, which got a CERO rating of C (for ages 15 and up) as opposed to the first game's D (for ages 17 and up) despite being Bloodier and Gorier than its predecessor (even if all blood in the series is colored pink). All later games, including the Danganronpa 1.2 Reload compilation of the first and second games, got a D rating, and America averts it by giving all games an M rating.
  • After controversy over the game being banned in Sweden, Dead or Alive: Dimensions was pulled from Australian/New Zealand shelves and rerated from PG to M upon rerelease due to the game's fanservice.
  • Digimon:
    • Every game in the Digimon franchise to come out in Europe was rated 3+, with the exception of the last two: Digimon Rumble Arena 2 and Digimon World 4 both got a ratings bump to 12+ and a symbol on the back of the box citing violent content as the primary cause. It's speculated that the games didn't sell as well as previous games because of this.
    • The original Digimon World was rated T in North America, but the spiritual successor game Digimon World -next 0rder- only received an E10+ rating in spite of having much more detailed graphics and a fair amount of suggestive content. It's likely the original game would have received an E10+ rating had it existed back then.
  • Dragon Quest VIII was altered for the 3DS version specifically to avoid this trope. The PS2 version originally had an A rating (All ages) in Japan, but by the time of the re-release, the same content would've warranted a higher rating, so some Stripperiffic outfits and violent scenes had to be altered to keep an A rating.
  • EarthBound received a K-A rating when it was first released. However, for its Australian release it was slapped with an M rating, the equivalent of the ESRB'S T or PEGI's 12+, for "crude humour and sexual references", even though the game contains an Eldritch Abomination final boss babbling about how much "it hurts" as you're trying to kill it. It seems like the US has caught up to this as well, as the rating was bumped to T for the long-awaited Wii U Virtual Console release. The blood visible on the Mondo Mole/Guardian Digger and Plague Rat of Doom's sprites appear to be the primary culprit. Oddly, the ESRB had earlier rated a prospective Wii VC release E.
    • EarthBound Beginnings never received a proper NES release internationally, and wouldn't have had a rating to be changed even if it had been released since the ESRB didn't exist yet, but it had already been edited by Nintendo's Censorship Bureau to tone down violence and sexual content, especially on the enemy sprites. Regardless, it was rated T, like EarthBound was.
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was rated T upon its initial release. However, there was a small media scandal because the model for uncensored breasts could be found within the game's files and modded into the game. This alone wouldn't be enough to necessarily have warrented a higher rating as the models could be patched out, but the ESRB took a closer look at the game's content and found that Bethesda had sent a version to the ESRB that concealed the amount of gore the game really had (with graphically decaying zombies and many areas with lots of blood splattered about). The game was given a second rating of M after this second look.
  • The censored version of Everlasting Summer has no age check on Steam and received an automated T rating from the ESRB on Google Play; however, this same version carries a 17+ rating in the iOS App Store.
  • Fable I was rated "M" upon its original release in Australia for 'medium level animated violence'. Its rerelease/remaster in 2014 under the title Fable Anniversary was rated "R18+" in Australia for 'sexual activity related to incentives and rewards', AKA the in-game rewards for pairing with prostitutes (or prostituting yourself as a female player), which, while not present in the original, were present in its M-rated sequel.
  • Fahrenheit originally had its sex scenes censored for an M rating in North America for consoles, with only one limited-release PC edition being released with an AO rating. However, the remastered edition, which is fully uncensored, managed to receive an M rating from the ESRB.
  • Fighting Vipers and Virtua Fighter 2 were rated T for their original Saturn releases. Their 2012 re-releases bumped them down to an E10+ rating.
  • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance was slapped with a T rating, despite only being slightly more dark/violent than the GBA games. Granted, it does feature a husband unwittingly killing his own wife while Brainwashed and Crazy, but that's as dark as it gets, and that's only a flashback. This was probably due to the more realistic graphics in battles. For further confusion, the sequel Radiant Dawn is considerably darker in tone, yet it was rated E10+. This can't even be explained by Path of Radiance coming out in the same year that the E10+ rating was introduced, because Donkey Kong Jungle Beat — the first game to ever be rated E10+ — was released in North America a month earlier.
  • Guilty Gear XX:
    • Accent Core + got an M rating despite all the previous games in the series getting a T. This one is particularly notable in that Accent Core + actually removed most of the blood in the game compared to previous entries, the only exception being Testament. Weirdly, this only applies to the digital-only PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions; the physical PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable and Wii versions get the T rating.
    • Accent Core + R would also get an M rating for its console release, though the PC version on Steam didn't receive any rating. When the game was eventually ported to the Switch, the game reverted to a T rating, for some reason.
      • Some speculate it's due to I-No's victory poses, where she removes her top, and the ESRB simply had trouble deciding on whether it was visible/risque enough to warrant a M for each version.
  • Halo:
    • Pre-release advertisements for Halo: Combat Evolved (including one from the original print of Halo: The Fall of Reach) listed the game as having a T-rating from the ESRB. It ended up releasing with an M-rating for reasons unknown outside of them changing their minds "the more they thought about it". Rumors have floated over the years that it had something to do with either the Flood or as a reaction to 9/11, but either way, the M-rating would stick with the series throughout all of its mainline entries until finally getting dropped back down to a T in Halo 5: Guardians, a game which was legitimately less bloody than than its predecessors, albeit not massively so.
    • Halo 3, 3: ODST, and Reach were rated 18 in Germany but when they were rereleased as part of the Master Chief Collection, they were given a 16 rating.
  • A Hat in Time was rated E10+ for digital release PlayStation 4 and Xbox One for over a year. However, when the game was rated for a physical/digital release for the Nintendo Switch, it was rerated T for a scene with a fake pool of blood.
  • Harvest Moon: Back to Nature was rated E, as was its Gameboy Advance remake, Friends of Mineral Town. Its next remake, Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town is rated E10+. According to the ESRB listing, the difference is due to risque dialog in a TV show that either wasn't in the original releases or was censored by Natsume. It's also possible that this was due to the fact that E10+ rating didn't exist when the originals came out.
  • While the console version of Hatoful Boyfriend is rated M in Australia for "violent themes", the mobile port, which was rated through the IARC questionnaire, is rated PG for "mild sexual references". The mobile port's rating is somewhat baffling since, of the three sexual references in the game note , only one of them can be reached without having also encountered a rather large amount of violence earlier in the very same route - and that one is in a route which contains violent themes and a reference to genocide later on, and can be completed within an hour.
  • Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 had one pedophile villain. This was cited as the main reason to bump it up to M from the original Hyperdimension Neptunia (rated T). Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory no longer features him, and thus the game's rating is back to T despite the presence of a dominatrix goddess. ...Yet the remake of 'mk2', Re;Birth 2 was only rated T despite having the same content as the M-rated original, arguably even worse due to the addition of a rather squicky CG of said villain licking Ram and Rom. mk2 was also officially rated 10 in Brazil, however carries an 18 rating on the PlayStation Store for unknown reasons.
  • The original Kingdom Hearts PlayStation 2 copies in the UK carry an "OK 11+" label. Later copies will carry the game's PEGI rating, a downgrade to a PEGI 7.
  • Kirby:
    • Kirby's Dream Land 3 is rated K-A/E despite featuring Zero as the True Final Boss, who gorily rips out his own iris and uses his own blood as projectiles, too. Since some of the steps to encounter Zero can be hard to figure out on one's own, it's very possible that the ESRB weren't even aware of that fight's existence. Upon the game's inclusion in Kirby's Dream Collection, the ESRB finally caught onto this and gave it an E10+ rating for "Animated Blood". However, re-releases of Dream Land 3 are still given the E rating.
    • Kirby's Return to Dream Land, also known as Kirby Wii, is the first game in the Kirby series to have an E10+ rating, but it's hardly more violent than any other game in the series. The Japanese version averted this by having it rated A, which is the E rating for Japan. This would mean that either the Japanese or the Americans are missing something with this game. The same thing applies to Kirby Star Allies.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The 3D entries released prior to the creation of the ESRB's E+10 rating (Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, and The Wind Waker) were rated E. Following its creation, releases and remakes of these installments got the E+10 rating, which now stands as the usual rating for series.
      • Ocarina of Time 3D got the E+10 rating despite arugably having less sexual content than the original: the perpetually nude female character, Ruto, was redesigned to look more like she's wearing something, and the Ambiguously Gay carpenters had one of their lines altered to make it sound less like they were hitting on Link.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is the only Zelda game to have a T rating, despite being only marginally more violent than any other entry. Sure, there's more blood, but this time around, it's exclusively Alien Blood. The more "realistic" art style may have had something to do with it.
    • A special Nintendo Gamecube collection containing the first two games along with Majora's Mask and Ocarina of Time was rated PEGI 7. When Majora's Mask and Ocarina of Time were rereleased for Wii/3DS, they were both bumped up to a PEGI 12.
    • Skyward Sword and Breath of the Wild are rated M in Australia (M being the equivalent of ESRB's Teen), despite having lower ratings like ESRB E+10 and CERO A everywhere else.
    • A Link Between Worlds harkens back to the E-rated A Link to the Past, but contains content and themes on par with other modern Zelda games, which are rated E10+ for the most part. It still got an E rating just like its predecessor, possibly due to its cartoony visuals in combination with the top-down perspective making any violence a non-issue. All other top-down entries also get an E, lending credence to this... of course, that raises the question as to what makes Spirit Tracks the outlier, as it has an E+10.
    • The Grezzo remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is rated E or its equivalent everywhere, like the original... except in Japan, where it was slapped with a B rating and a descriptor for "Crime." Presumably, stealing from an item shop fits this regardless of the consequences.
  • Limbo was originally given an 18 rating in Europe when it was released on the PS3, 360 and PC. However, when it was released on the PlayStation Vita, Playstation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, it got a 16 rating, while the aforementioned versions remain 18-rated. Furthermore, the game was rated 12 by the BBFC in the UK (at the tail end of the BBFC's days of rating video games), which means that there are 12-rated, 16-rated and 18-rated copies of the game floating around on store shelves in the UK.
  • Lunar: Eternal Blue was originally given a K-A rating by the newly-formed ESRB. The remake got a T rating. In this case, the original game had caught a case of What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?, with partial nudity, swearing, plenty of Nightmare Fuel, and voyeurism in a game with cute anime graphics. A more experienced ESRB rated the remake appropriately.
  • On a higher maturity level, the original Manhunt was rated M. The second game in the series had to have cuts to keep it M and not AO, but what information has leaked about those cuts indicates that they were all things present in the first game. The original game also initially was released with an MA15+ in Australia, and kept this rating for almost a year on shelves, before a forced review by the Attorney-General got the game banned.
  • The changing over of the PEGI system from the BBFC in the United Kingdom has led to several ratings jumps. For example, Mass Effect, originally rated 12 by the BBFC, is now legally rated 18 in the UK by PEGI.
  • Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 and Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 + 2 were given an E10+ and T rating, respectively, despite all of the games in the compilations having been rated E beforehand. According to the ESRB's website, the animated FMV cutscenes from Mega Man 8 and Mega Man X4 are the primary reason for the rating increases.
  • In the UK, the PS1 and PC versions of Metal Gear Solid got an 18+ rating. When the GameCube remake The Twin Snakes came out, it got a 15+ rating, despite the violence being more intense in this version (for starters, we actually see Gray Fox killing the people in the hallway). Then when the PS1 version came to PlayStation Network, it still kept its 18+ rating.
  • The Nintendo Switch version of Miitopia is rated E or its equivalent in most of the world, like the 3DS original—except in Russia, which hit it with an 18+ rating. This is entirely because the port allows Miis to form same-gender relationships.
  • Before the ESRB existed, Sega had a self-regulatory system called the Videogame Ratings Council, and it rated the Genesis port of Mortal Kombat an MA-13 — recommended for players 13 or older. It was later ported to the Sega CD in largely the same form, just with fewer cut frames of animation thanks to the extra storage space, as well as the blood being enabled by default rather than requiring a code to accessnote . This version was rated MA-17.
  • Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition was a similar case in Australia, with the original being rated M for "animated violence", and the Enhanced Edition's rating being all over the place. If this page is any indication, the same game was rated PG for "Mild Violence, Sexualised Imagery, Scary Scenes, Online Interactivity", MA 15+ for "Strong Violence, Online Interactivity" and R18+ for "Sexual activity related to incentives and rewards, online interactivity". Oddly enough, the ESRB rated the console versions M (for blood and gore and sexual content) while the original version was given a T rating despite having the same amount of blood and gore and sexual content. As further complications, the PC version of the Enhanced Edition is still rated T.
  • The 25th anniversary re-release of Night Trap bumped the game’s rating down from an M (for "Realistic Violence") to a T (for "Violence, Blood, Suggestive Themes"). It should be noted this game was what kickstarted the formation of the ESRB, being one of the first games to be rated M and sparking high controversy during its original release for supposedly "promoting" violence against women. In actuality, the "violence" in the game was deliberately made cartoonish and over-the-top, and the controversial bathroom scene (which actually reprimands you if you don’t save the girl) is very tame by today’s standards.
  • The obscure shovelware game Party Girls got an 18+ rating in Japan but only a 3+ rating in Europe.
  • Persona 3 FES was rated M in Australia, but Persona 3 Portable was rated MA (equivalent of M, and a restricted category).
  • Pikmin 3 got a bump up in the US and in Europe, from the last game's E/3+ to E10+/7+ respectively. It's barely different from its two predecessors, other than a slightly darker plot, and even has the same ESRB content descriptor of Mild Cartoon Violence.
  • Pocket Mortys had an E rating on the Google play Store, which was later changed to T, but was rated 17+ on the App Store from the start.
  • Pokémon:
    • The original Game Boy releases of Pokémon Red and Blue received PEGI ratings of 3+ in Europe. For their Virtual Console rereleases on the Nintendo 3DS twenty years later, they were bumped up to a 12+ because of the Game Corner slot machines. In the intervening years, any depiction of gambling automatically discredits a game from any lower rating (hence why Game Corners were removed from the series from Black/White onwards).
    • As of Pokémon X and Y, all Pokémon games are now 7 rated in Europe. This can partially be explained due to the series going 3D, but otherwise the content is the same. The most obvious example of this are the remakes of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire as while the original games were rated 3, the remakes are rated 7 due to going 3D.
  • Inverted in the case of Portal 2, which was noticeably darker than the previous game in the series (which wasn't all that sunny to begin with) and yet actually received a lower ESRB rating than its predecessor - Portal is rated T, 2 got an E10+. The only reason the ESRB rated this one lower was because this one didn't have blood, while the blood in the first game was the only factor that resulted in the ESRB giving it a higher rating.
  • Rabbids Go Home was actually planned to be recalled after only a few weeks on the market in Europe due to its content being reevaluated. However, it only ended up receiving a new cover with a PEGI 12 rating as opposed to a 7.
  • Inverted with The Ratchet & Clank Collection; Originally, the first three games were rated T, but their HD remakes for the PS3 are all marked with an E10+, putting them in line with the rest of the series. (The games were released before the E10+ rating was introduced, and the first one is actually the tamest one in the series.)
  • Read Only Memories was initially rated M by the ESRB, however was rerated T when ported to consoles. The main difference in the ratings descriptions for the two ratings is "Strong Language" and "Mild Language", despite a character named Starfucker being present in both. It was again rerated as M after the developer was attacked by trolls due to his political beliefs on Twitter; one of the things these trolls did was complain about the presence of the F-word in a T-rated game, officially getting the ESRB to review and once again rerate the game.
  • Roundabout was rerated from a T to an M by the ESRB upon them holding a playtest session. This was due to the "volume of blood" - the same amount they had previously seen and were okay with in the submitted videos. Also added was a "Use of Drugs" advisory due to a few jokes about the game's candy being drugs (it's clarified that it's not), which was also in all previous versions with no advisory.
  • Rune Factory 4, when originally released for the Nintendo 3DS, was rated E10+ by the ESRB for "Fantasy Violence, Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol". Upon being ported to the Nintendo Switch in the "Special" edition, it was rerated T for "Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol". As many were surprised by the E10+ rating for the original version due to its frequent mild swearing and sexual innuendo, it appears the ESRB decided their original decision was a bit too lenient.
  • Sakura Wars (2019) has a C rating (15+) in Japan, an 18+ rating in South Korea, an M rating in Australia, a PEGI 16 rating in Europe, a USK 12 rating in Germany and a T rating in North America.
  • Senran Kagura:
    • Most of the games in the franchise, with the exception of Burst (which was a bit tamer and got a T rating in the US), are identical in objectionable content (ridiculous amounts of Fanservice, innuendo, a handful of swears, etc). Despite this, they range from the unrestricted M category (Burst, Shinovi Versus) to MA15+ (Deep Crimson, Bon Appetit!)' and later all the way up to R18+ (Estival Versus, Peach Beach Splash) in Australia.
    • A similarly jumping around in ratings for the games has occurred in Germany: one game (Deep Crimson) received a USK 12 rating, while every other game had received a USK 16 rating...up until Peach Beach Splash, which received a USK 18 rating.
  • Shantae:
    • An interesting case, as the content is all the same. It's just that the improved graphics from game-to-game, making the sexy figures of the main cast more obvious. As such, the series has gone from the Game Boy Color original being rated E, then Risky's Revenge and Pirate's Curse getting an E10+, before Half-Genie Hero and onwards settled into a comfortable T rating for "Suggestive Themes", gaining it the Fan Nickname of "Rated T for Tits". Seven Sirens temporarily dropped again to an E10+ rating before someone at the ESRB doubled-checked and gave it a T rating before its final release.
    • While Shantae and the Pirate's Curse was rated E10+ for its original Nintendo 3DS release, the Nintendo Switch port was bumped up to a T rating. The rating descriptors were also altered: "Cartoon Violence" and "Mild Suggestive Themes" became "Fantasy Violence" and "Suggestive Themes". Oddly enough, Half-Genie Hero and Seven Sirens are labeled as Cartoon Violence themselves, making Pirate's Curse an odd outlier.
  • Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne has it all over the place: It's rated A (all ages) by the CERO in Japan, 12+ (teenagers) by PEGI in Europe, and M (adults) by the ESRB in the Americas. The remastered version also received higher ratings than the original in Japan and Europe, a CERO B and a PEGI 16 respectively, in spite of the content being the same. It also received a higher rating in Australia, but given that the description changed from "Medium level animated violence, Supernatural themes" to "Strong sexualised imagery", it's likely this is because the Australia ratings board has since found out Mara exists.
  • The Sims franchise:
    • The original The Sims game was initially rated G8+ in Australia along with its expansions before the "Living Large" expansion got an M15+ for sexual references as skimpier outfits and vibrating "Love Bed" along with the option to "Play in Bed" are added in said expansion. The series has been consistently rated M on PC since then.
    • The Sims: Bustin' Out and The Sims 2 are rated PEGI 7, despite both containing "WooHoo", which got some of the expansion packs of The Sims a PEGI 12 for sexual innuendo. The expansion packs for Sims 2 were later rated as PEGI 12 despite not adding any sort of sexual content to the base game.
    • The mobile version of The Sims 3 and The Sims Freeplay are rated MA15+ in Australia, despite the former being a slightly tamer port of the M-rated PC version and Freeplay being no worse then the PC games.
    • The Sims 4 was given an 18+ rating in Russia due to a new law protecting minors from "harmful" depictions of same-sex relationships. Sims 3 had previously been rated 6+ despite containing the same relationships.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic Adventure 2 was rated E when it was originally released. It was bumped up to an E10+ with the XBLA/PSN rerelease, but with the same content warnings. Like the above Ocarina of Time example, the E10+ rating didn't exist when the game originally came out, so it likely would've been rated as such otherwise. What's confusing is that the plot involves the murder of a terminally-ill twelve-year-old girl, and the multiplayer mode includes a rather skimpy alternate outfit for Rouge the Bat, but the content warning only mentions "cartoon violence" and "mild lyrics" (which include the lines "Ain't a damn thing funny" and "Yeah, Rouge, she's sexy and smooth").
    • Prerelease advertising showed Shadow the Hedgehog got a T rating from the ESRB. But the E10+ rating was rolled out during production, and SEGA saw an opportunity to increase sales. They made minor changes (cleaning up the language and turning the alien's blood to green, for example), and was able to tone it down enough to get an E10+ after resubmitting it.
    • Sonic Lost World got an E10+ rating for "Mild Cartoon Violence", even though the gameplay content is no different than its predecessor, the E-rated Sonic Colors, which has the same descriptor. The website specifically points to the game's dialogue, which is quite a bit Darker and Edgier than even Shadow the Hedgehog. ("I long for death's cold embrace", "I'm going to skin you alive", "One second you're contemplating genocide", etc.)
    • Sonic Rush Adventure was rated E in the US, but its European release was initially rated 12+, due to Marine the Raccoon using the word "bugger" in one cutscene. The rating was lowered to 3+ after her dialogue was edited to remove the offending word.
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth was rated R16 in New Zealand but it was Rated M by the ESRB (equivalent to the R rating), rated 18 by PEGI and R18+ in Australia. Here's a detail description on what the NZ censors believes.
  • The Space Channel 5 series received an A rating in Japan and 3+ in Europe (both of which are those countries' equivalents to the E rating), while America gave it a T rating, because of Ulala dressing in skimpy, sexy outfits (as Classic Game Room put it, "Basically, she's half-naked throughout the whole game, which is good."). Apparently Japan and Europe don't have any problem with how girls dress, while America flips their shit about it. However, in the E10+ rated Sega Superstars series, Ulala appears in all of the games, and the ESRB even acknowledges it (although they don't refer to her by name).
  • The original SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom is rated E for Comic Mischief and Mild Cartoon Violence. Rehydrated is a fairly straight Video Game Remake with no added toilet humor or violence, yet it received an E10+ rating for Cartoon Violence (note: no "Mild") and Comic Mischief. To be fair, the E10+ rating didn't exist until 2005, two years after the original game's release.
  • Star Fox 64 had its E rating changed to E10+ for the 3DS rerelease.
  • Steins;Gate was rated MA15+ for its console and PC release in Australia for "strong themes, violence and references to sexual violence"; however, the app only received an M for horror themes and coarse language.
  • Street Fighter IV was rated T on its console, PC, and 3DS versions. Its iOS versions were rated 9+ (which is the Apple equivalent to the E10+ rating).
  • The Streets of Rage and Golden Axe games got MA-13 (Sega equivalent to the Teen rating) ratings for their initial Sega Genesis releases. Modern-day re-releases of them are E10+, though Sega's VRC ratings system never had an equivalent rating.
  • The first episode of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, Homestar Ruiner, was given a T rating in North America by the ESRB, and the remaining four episodes were rated E10+. This discrepancy is not present in the European releases, which are all rated 12 by PEGI and 0 in Germany by USK (the latter is ironically lower than Super Mario Galaxy, which was released around the same time and rated 6 by USK).
  • Super Mario Bros.:
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • The original game for Nintendo 64 was rated E. Its sequels, Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl, are both rated T, despite having the same level of violence as the original (no blood, no gore, just characters getting smacked around and sent flying). However, some of the sound effects in the first game were replaced with more cartoony ones when the game was released outside of Japan. The higher rating was because the graphics of Melee and Brawl were more realistic than the original. For Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the rating drops to E10+, despite having even more detailed graphics, and horrifying Family-Unfriendly Violence in Ultimate's case. Some people hypothesize that Melee would have gotten E10+ as well, had that rating existed at the time, but this doesn't explain Brawl.
    • In the UK, Melee got 3+ while Brawl got 12+.
    • The DK Rap originated in Donkey Kong 64, with a line about Chunky Kong declaring, "He may move slow; he can't jump high / But this Kong's one hell of a guy!" The game is rated E (in England, where Rareware, the producers of DK64, is located, "hell" is considered appropriate at the U rating). In Melee, this line had the minor alteration from "hell of a guy" to "heck of a guy", presumably to clean up the language to be suitable for all audiences, and in response to angry parents who complained to Nintendo about use of the word "hell". Melee is rated T; a single instance of the word "hell" would be well within the bounds of the T rating. And when Donkey Kong 64 was released on the Wii U Virtual Console, it stayed rated E despite the lyrics being unchanged.
  • The Xbox One version of Undertale plays this for laughs in a meta way. It's rated T while all other versions are rated E10+. What caused the bump? A single interactive slot machine in an optional area that many players will never think of visiting.note 
  • The Victorious tie-in video game, Victorious: Taking the Lead is E10+ primarily for the inclusion of the flirtatious "Take a Hint" (the ESRB mentions the lyrics "You should that we should hook up, but I think that we should not" and "Get your hands off my hips, 'fore I'll punch you in the lips/Stop your staring at my—hey!"). However, these lyrics were allowed to be heard in the TV-G-rated TV show.
  • Voez was temporarily pulled from the Nintendo eShop in the US and rerated from E for Everyone to T for "Mild Blood, Partial Nudity" in regards to some previously overlooked content.
  • Warframe was originally rated T by the ESRB for its beta release, but was switched to an M later on. Gore and dismemberment were present in the game from the beginning, but became more prominent with further updates.
  • WarioWare Gold was rated E10+ despite no significant differences in content between any of the series’ previous E-rated installments - including the exact same descriptors as Twisted and Touched (Cartoon Violence, Crude Humor) and an ESRB rating summary that cites some of the exact same microgames as previous entries. Smooth Moves was rated E10+, but that had some slightly edgier microgames that bumped up the rating.
  • The first White Knight Chronicles was rated 16 for "Violence" and "Drug Use". The sequel included the entire first game on the disc, but only came in at a 12 for "Violence" and "Bad Language".
  • The Yu-Gi-Oh! games seem to vary on the mood of whoever is rated them at the ESRB or PEGI, as they range from E to E10+/PEGI 3 to PEGI 7 despite no differences in content. Later games in the series were rated T for Teen.
  • Zone of the Enders has been all over the place. It originally received an M rating from the ESRB solely because of a Metal Gear Solid demo, so it makes sense that a reissue without it would be rated T. However, this reissue also bumped the game up from a PG to an M in Australia, downgraded it from an R16 to an M in New Zealand, and bumped it up from a 16 to an 18 in Germany.

    Web Original 
  • Infamous parental review site Common Sense Media has ratings seemingly overruled by another reviewer or some other force on the site.
    • For example, the Ghibli movie Princess Mononoke was rated as suitable for 9-year-olds for a few years, with the reviewer mentioning a mature 8-year-old could even handle it — the review that's up today rates the movie as suitable for ages 12 and up, and "probably too much for most tweens".
    • Sense8 caused a bit of an uproar when it was rated by Common Sense Media for ages 14 and up, despite its strong language and quite graphic sex. After a few days, the review was changed to a 17+ age recommendation.
    • The Sisterhood Of The Travelling Pants was originally given an ages nine and up rating from Common Sense Media, though the content (which includes references to age-inappropriate relationships, suicide, and terminal illness) would, in most viewers' eyes, be considered too heavy for a nine-year-old. It is now listed as appropriate for ages 12 and up for these reasons.
    • Around 2016-2017, Common Sense Media released a revamp to their age ratings, which resulted in several movies/games that were rated 18+, such as Mad Max Fury Road, (previously stated "not for kids") to be pushed downward, and some, like Warcraft III, going upward to 18+.
  • On the App Stores for Samsung and Apple phones and tablets, anything with Internet access is always given a 17+ rating, even apps such as Google Chrome, the password manager 1Password, and social media sites like Reddit and YouTube. Apple has a category called "Unrestricted Web Access", which is mandatory. There's even a jump on the App Store, where infrequent/mild mature suggestive themes would give 9+, but frequent/intense would give 17+, which prior to the revamp, it was used for browsers.
    • Prior to the App Store ratings revamp in 2014, frequent/intense realistic violence would yield a 12+ rating, and cartoon/fantasy violence would only go up to 9+. Keep in mind, its up to the accounts to determine ratings and most of the games have bloodless carnage and chibi cartoon graphics, which means anyone who knows how accounts upload apps would already know not to trust an app rating.

    Western Animation 
  • 6teen was rated TV-Y7 when it first premiered on Nickelodeon. Once it moved to Cartoon Network in 2008, it received a TV-PG rating and had a Content Warning (even though the show was still bowdlerized on both channels, making this a fool's errand).
  • The entirety of The Amazing World of Gumball is rated TV-Y7 on American television, which seems dubious considering that Gumball in the United Kingdom is given the rating of PG for the same content (including crude humor and language, disturbing scenes, and comic violence.)
  • American Dad!'s first two episodes, "Pilot", and "Threat Levels", were rated TV-PG when they first premiered. "Threat Levels" has since been re-rated TV-14, while "Pilot" is still TV-PG, but with more sub-labels. note 
  • The American TV ratings for Animaniacs (the 1990s version, not the 2020 version) have been all over the place since said rating system was established in 1997. The show's gotten a TV-Y7 rating on Nicktoons, Netflix, and The Hub. On Cartoon Network, the show was rated TV-G (suitable for all audiences; contains little to no offensive content) while Hulu, Nickelodeon and Kids' WB! rated it TV-Y (even though it's not a show for preschoolers).
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force:
    • The pilot episode "Rabbot" originally aired with a TV-PG for rating before being re-rated TV-MA in late 2015. This was likely due to a listing for "Rabbot" being used as a cover for the Aqua Teen Hunger Force Forever finale "The Greatest Story Ever Told", which actually did carry the latter rating.
    • Zig-zagged with HBO Max. While most of the episodes carried over their original ratings, a few episodes produced between 2008 and 2011 such as "Multiple Meat" and "Hands on a Hamburger" were re-rated TV-MA due to uncensored audio being used.
  • When Bob's Burgers airs on CityTV, it's rated 14+ and carries a rather long (and mostly unwarranted) Content Warning, but when it airs on the Canadian version of AdultSwim, it is rated PG and does not carry any sort of warning.
  • Clone High was rated 18+ by Teletoon when originally broadcast in Canada, but only received a 14A in Manitoba for its complete DVD set.
  • Duck Dodgers was originally rated TV-G (which is the default rating for most Looney Tunes-based TV shows and the classic shorts) on Cartoon Network. As time went on, it was changed to a TV-Y7 for fantasy violence (FV) rating despite no changes in content. This is the rating it has when it airs reruns.
  • The Fairly OddParents premiered in 2001 with a TV-Y rating (back when that rating wasn't restricted to preschool shows), and then went up to a TV-Y7 around the same time [SpongeBob] did (though some reruns of some older episodes keep the Y rating, usually by accident).
  • Family Guy:
    • In Hungary, the series went from an initial rating of 16+ to 12+, and being aired early in the afternoon, then right back to 16+ with a strict night-only time slot. The abundance of uncensored swear words in the dubbing may have had something to do with it (besides the original content, of course).
    • Several episodes have been rated TV-MA when aired on Adult Swim, including "I Take Thee Quagmire", "The Father, the Son and the Holy Fonz", "Peter's Two Dads", and "Family Gay". These episodes have since been re-rated TV-14 elsewhere.
    • Every episode on [adult swim] that was rated TV-PG was re-rated to TV-14 except for "Peter Got Woods".
    • TBS re-rates some of the earlier episodes to a TV-PG rating with sub-labels despite being TV-14 on Fox and the aforementioned [adult swim].
    • Hulu formerly had the entire fifth season (as well as some fourth season episodes) marked as TV-MA, even though they use the FOX TV versions, which are edited for content (Season 4 is actually mostly uncensored). This appears to have been fixed, as they all carry a TV-14 rating now. Season 5 episodes still have Content Warnings at the beginning, though.
      • Strangely, the episode "Peter's Got Woods" was initially rated TV-PG on Hulu. As the rest of Season 4 had its episodes' ratings adjusted, the episode went all the way up to a TV-MA.
  • Final Space started out as TV-14 when it premiered on TBS in 2018. Starting with season 2, and most likely future seasons, the show became rated TV-PG.
  • Futurama:
    • All episodes that originally carried a TV-PG on Fox and Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block note , were re-rated TV-14 when the show was rerun on Comedy Central, Syfy, and on local station affiliates in the US.
    • Normally, in the United Kingdom, Futurama episodes on DVD are either rated PG or 12, depending on how strong the episode's content is. "Leela's Homeworld", however, was rated U (suitable for all ages) by the BBFC when released on DVD, despite the episode containing fleeting references to sexual spanking, scenes of the Planet Express crew being threatened by mutants, and scenes of body horror. In contrast, this episode was rated TV-PG on American television (and on Hulu Plus) for suggestive dialogue (D) when it premiered on FOX and reran on Cartoon Network.
    • Hulu in general is often inconsistent with Futurama's ratings. Many pre-cancellation episodes carry a TV-14, even though they originally aired with a TV-PG. Conversely, many Comedy Central episodes are given a TV-PG rating, including some of the raunchier episodes like "In a Gadda da Leela".
  • Despite Gargoyles airing with a TV-Y7 rating on television (though it was one of those shows that premiered back before America created the TV ratings system), the DVD releases are rated on Right Stuf as suitable for ages 12+.
  • Glitch Techs originally had a TV-G rating when it debuted on Netflix in 2020. Later the same year, it was given the rating it probably should have had in the first place (since it’s an action-oriented series): TV-Y7-FV.
  • The 2013-2014 episodes of Golan the Insatiable were rated TV-14 when it premiered on Animation Domination High Defintion (FOX ADHD). On Hulu, said episodes are rated TV-MA, while the 2015 episodes (which are set in an Alternate Continuity) retain their TV-14 rating.
  • Home Movies changed ratings in Canada upon its Channel Hop - YTV aired the first two seasons with a PG rating, while Teletoon afterwards aired the show with an 18+ rating despite no difference in content.
  • KaBlam! also went from a TV-Y to a Y7 like the previous two mentioned, but it didn't take as long as the other two. The show premiered in 1996 without a rating (as the television ratings were not put into use yet), and when the television ratings were introduced in 1997, it was given a TV-Y. When the second season premiered in October of the same year, it went up to a Y7, and even had a content warning at the beginning until 1998 due to it being one of the very few Nick shows at the time with a Y7 rating (Not counting the shows which would be TV-Y or TV-G and then go up a rating for reruns). The stand-alone specials would switch off between a Y and Y7 rating- Life With Loopy Birthday Gala-Bration (1998) and The Off-Beats Valentine's (1999) had a Y7, while The Henry and June Show (later in 1999) had a Y.
  • Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: Despite being rated TV-Y7-FV in America and similarly elsewhere around the world, the Singaporean version of Netflix gave the show a baffling M18 ratingnote . This is most likely due to Benson saying that he was gay in episode 6 and countries like Singapore not being as accepting or tolerant of homosexuality, especially if it's in a children's cartoon.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • The Looney Tunes Golden Collection DVD series from volume three to its last one (volume six) contained a "Recommended for mature cartoon collectors" rating, as a lot of the cartoons they started putting on the sets contained a lot of cartoons that featured outdated racial, ethnic, and even sexual stereotypes. This would also apply to most DVD sets of other Warner Bros.-owned cartoons from The Golden Age of Animation, including Tom and Jerry, Tex Avery's MGM filmography, and the Popeye shorts.
    • When the Looney Tunes shorts aired on American TV following the introduction of the TV ratings system in the mid-1990s, they would carry a TV-Y rating on Nickelodeon, Kids' WB!, and most free-to-air channels. Meanwhile, Cartoon Network and Boomerang aired the shorts with a TV-G ratingnote . On HBO Max, however, the shorts would range from being TV-Y7 (not recommended for children under 7) to TV-G (suitable for all ages) to TV-PG (suitable for all ages, but parents may want to watch with their kids), the latter rating of which is more for the cartoon shorts that have content that was Fair for Its Day, but is now considered offensive (mostly outdated racial stereotypesnote , suggestive humor, or violence that goes beyond comic slapstick, like suicide gags, anything that's considered dangerous if copied in real life, or the physical child abuse shown in Chuck Jones' Three Bears cartoons).
  • When MAD first premiered in 2010, it was rated TV-PG (mostly for crude, suggestive humor and comedic violence). When the show came to Amazon Prime, it was bumped up to a TV-14, most likely because some sketches include bleeped-out profanity (some of which is Censored for Comedy).
  • The Magic School Bus: Most episodes are rated either TV-Y or TV-G when broadcast, but "Works Out" often gets a TV-Y7, TV-PG, or even TV-MA rating due to an unusually detailed view of Ms. Frizzle's body even with certain parts obscured by her circulatory system, as well as drug references.
  • When The Mr. Men Show first aired, it was rated TV-Y. By the second season, it was bumped to TV-Y7. Why it changed is never stated, though it's speculated that the sound effects for Mr. Rude's flatulence changed from normal honks to actual passing gas.
  • The Owl House is a TV-Y7 rated show that has quite a bit of LGBTQ content, mainly the teasing of a romantic relationship between two girls, Luz and Amity, as well as pictures of Willow that show she has two dads. Other countries that are less tolerant of LGBTQ content bump up the age rating, such as Indonesia giving it a 17+ rating, which is the equivalent of TV-MA.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (the original one from 1998) was always rated TV-Y7 for fantasy violence (FV). When the DVD of the original series came out, it was branded "PG" for the inclusion of the Whoopass Girls short.
  • A few episodes of The Powerpuff Girls (2016) carry a TV-PG rating on Hulu, despite carrying a TV-Y7 rating on Cartoon Network. The fact that a large number of 2010s Cartoon Network programs were rated TV-PG might have something to do with it.
  • When Recess first premiered in the mid-1990s, it was TV-Y (suitable for young children. These days, this rating is only used for TV shows made for preschoolers, like Nick Jr.'s line-up, Disney Junior's lineup, and most of PBS's kids shows). When the show began reruns on Toon Disney, the rating was changed to TV-G, though Disney Channel still showed it with a TV-Y rating. Disney XD switched back to TV-Y when they aired repeats for a week in October 2011 (despite airing the show as TV-G when it was in regular reruns from 2009-2010), while the Disney+ release went up to a TV-Y7 rating.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show has received ratings ranging from 'G' to '14' in Nova Scotia for the exact same episodes - it seems to depend on the mood the board is in. The raunchiest DVD, "The Lost Episodes", actually received a PG!
  • Rick and Morty is rated TV-14 on Adult Swim, but TV-MA on DVDnote . However, many popular episodes like "Rixty Minutes" (which has a parody of Garfield dropping many f-bombs at Jon and Lucky the Leprechaun, the Lucky Charms mascot getting his entrails ripped out by zombie kids) and "Look Who's Purging Now" get by with a TV-14 rating. The only episodes with a TV-MA rating at the moment are "Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate"note  and "Vindicators 3: The Return Of World Ender"note .
    • Oddly, Hulu gives the series Content Warnings about the TV-MA rating, despite the fact that the menu gives all episodesnote  TV-14 ratings.
  • When the TV ratings were introduced in 1997, Rocko's Modern Life was rated TV-Y on Nickelodeon and eventually Nicktoons. But when it returned to the former as part of Superstuffed Nicksgiving Weekend, it was reassigned a TV-Y7 rating despite having both no changes in content (aside from some episodes being censored in reruns) and still having the original rating on Nicktoons. These days, Rocko's Modern Life is rated G on Nicktoons TV.
  • Rugrats:
    • The show's first televised airing in Mexico had an oddly strict B (ages 12 and up) rating and aired in the late evening, possibly because the channel thought its content would be along the lines of The Simpsons (while there is some fleeting Parental Bonus humor in Rugrats, the humor and tone is mostly kid-friendly). Reruns on other channels give it a more proper A (all ages) rating.
    • In the US, the show carried a TV-Y rating for the original run from 1997 on (as all episodes prior premiered before the ratings were put into use), however when the show began airing on TeenNick as part of The '90s Are All That and The Splat, the show was given a TV-G. This also happens to almost every show on the block such as Y-rated shows Doug and Rocko's Modern Life and even Y7-rated shows such as Hey Arnold! and The Ren & Stimpy Show (as of May 8, the latter has its original rating) when they aired on the channel.
  • Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? isn't that tonally different from your average, light hearted Scooby Doo show, yet its given a PG rating despite the previous series getting a TV-G or TV-Y7 rating.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, a children's cartoon on Netflix with a number of queer characters, is rated M18 in Singapore. The country doesn't allow LGBTQ+ characters or themes on children's programming and any Western show that does air in the country that does have LGBTQ+ characters or themes will be slapped with an M18 rating.
  • The Simpsons:
    • The episode "Weekend at Burnsie's" (from season 13) was rated TV-14 for drug use/drug humorand moderate violence when it premiered. In syndication (free-to-air and cable TV) and on Disney Plus, it has a TV-PG rating for violence (V) and suggestive dialogue (D).
    • The episode "Natural Born Kissers"note  originally aired in Australia at a special "adults only" timeslot with an "M" rating due to the frequent scenes of sex and nuditynote . Repeats have aired at the regular timeslot with the same PG rating as most other episodes.
    • A strange example: "The Wreck of the Relationship" is, to date, the only The Simpsons episode to get a TV-MA rating (at least on Simpsons World, while the censored version has a TV-14), due to an uncensored (albeit brief) instance of a character Flipping the Bird in the beginning of the episode. However, The Movie had a scene like this as well, which got by with a PG-13 (the movie equivalent to TV-14), the FXX showings of the movie keep the scene uncensored at a TV-PG-DVnote  rating, and the first airing of the Family Guy episode "Deep Throats" showed Cleveland flipping off Brian after Brian drives by Cleveland uncensored, which also got a TV-14 rating (keep in mind both shows air on the same network).
    • Very few episodes have aired with a TV-G rating, including- "Bart the Mother", "All Singing, All Dancing", and "Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious".
    • If this page is to be believed, the early episode "Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish"note  is rated TV-14, despite its content being no different from other Season 2 episodes (all of which were rated TV-PG). Also, on FXX, this episode (along with every other episode that preceded the TV Ratings System) has a TV-PG for suggestive dialogue (D), and this airing is also no different.
    • The 600th Episode (which is Treehouse of Horror XXVII) ended up with an AO rating in New Zealand due to its graphic violence (mostly featured on "Dry Hard" and "BFF R.I.P" where the violence involves children either committing it or being the victims of it and is too bloody and realistic to be considered comic or fantastical). It aired at 8:45pm with an AO (Adults Only) rating. Most Simpsons episodes aired in New Zealand are usually rated G (General Audiences) or PGR (Parental Guidance Recommended).
  • South Park:
    • The first run of episodes on SBS in Australia were rated PG (Parental Guidance Recommended) but when the same episodes were shown later, after the series became the cult classic it is today, they were rated M and less frequently MA15+.
    • Over in the United States, South Park is rated MA, but this changes outside of its 10:00pm showings for syndication, where just enough content is removed to where the show can carry a TV-14 rating.
    • A collection of South Park entitled "Insults to Injuries" which featured episodes previously rated 14A was bumped up to an R rating for unknown reasons in Manitoba.
    • Around summer 2017, Comedy Central re-rated the episodes from seasons 1 to 20 from TV-MA to TV-14-DLSV (for moderate-to-strong suggestive dialogue, offensive language, sexual content, and violence), with the exception of particularly controversial episodes such as "Trapped In The Closet" (due to gun violence from R. Kelly, the innuendo about Tom Cruise being gay, and the general mocking of Scientology) and "With Apologies to Jesse Jackson" (due to racist content and discriminatory language). Unlike the syndicated editions, which are also rated TV-14, these episodes are not edited for content, merely rated TV-14 because the TV-MA rating is only allowed on programs that air after 10pm. The reasoning for this change is obvious: what made most of those original seasons so shocking and offensive at first is now par for the course for adult animation.
  • Space Ghost Coast to Coast: Several early episodes, which were rated TV-Y7, has since been re-rated TV-PG.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • When the series premiered on Nickelodeon in 1999 in the US, the rating for the series was TV-Y (Like most other Nicktoons). Towards the end of 2006, the show was bumped up to a TV-Y7.
    • Over in Russia, the series was rated 12+ (the Russian equivalent of TV-PG) on TNT and Nickelodeon Russia. Yet when SpongeBob airs on 2x2, however, it has a 16+ rating (the Russian equivalent of TV-14, which is reserved for the adult animated shows, like The Simpsons, Family Guy and American Dad!, amongst others), despite no changes in content.
    • It is rated G on YTV in Canada, though most cartoons aimed at older children on there and other Canadian kids' channels are rated C8+.
    • It's a Spongebob Christmas! got a TV-PG when it premiered on CBS, even though it omitted the Patchy the Pirate scenes, as opposed to TV-Y7 on Nick.
  • Time Squad: Carried a TV-Y7 rating when it aired on Cartoon Network in 2001. When Cartoon Network showed episodes of the show online (and clips of the show) for their 20th anniversary in October 2012, the clips were given the rating of TV-PG. However, when Cartoon Network (and other streaming channels, like Apple TV, Hulu, and Sling TV) temporarily aired the first episode ("Eli Whitney's Flesh-Eating Mistake" and "Never Look a Trojan in the Gift Horse") in 2020, the show went back to being TV-Y7.
  • Teen Titans (original 2003 version, not Teen Titans Go!) was always rated TV-Y7 for fantasy violence on Cartoon Network and Boomerang. On HBO Max, it's rated TV-PG despite no changes in content.
  • When Tiny Toon Adventures aired on Nickelodeon, Nicktoons and Kids' WB!, the show carried a TV-Y rating. On Cartoon Network, Netflix and Hulu they were rated TV-G. On The Hub, the show was rated TV-Y7, the same rating as Animaniacs.
  • Tom and Jerry:
  • Total Drama's first season was rated "G" for the most part on Canadian television (a handful of episodes with pixelated nudity/stronger innuendo receiving a "PG"). Eventually, every episode had their rating upped to PG. Also, the DVD set received a "14A" in Ontario.
  • What's New, Scooby-Doo? was originally rated TV-G. In repeats (especially on Cartoon Network), it's TV-Y7-FV, despite no changes to the content.
  • The short-lived, obscure MTV series "Where My Dogs At?" originally aired with a TV-PG rating, despite the language, sexual references, and genital detail on the two main canine characters being too strong for that rating. When the show was briefly put into reruns, the rating was changed to the much more appropriate TV-14 for suggestive dialogue (D) and language (L).
  • Although the DC Extended Universe (above) is an interesting case of the differences between the MPAA and the BBFC, it is not without precedent, as most of the DC Animated Universe has a similar discrepancy in ratings. Several films in the franchise with PG-13 ratings in the US are given 15s in the UK due to their level of violence, despite being animated. Even some episodes of Batman Beyond have obtained 12 ratings, despite airing with TV-Y7-FV ratings on American television.
  • Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy initially had a TV-Y7 rating, despite being one of the darkest Transformers series with several brutal deaths, attempted genocide as a plot point, and Wheeljack clearly says "ass". Perhaps, for this reason, the rating was later bumped up to the more understandable TV-14 as the first Transformers series with that rating.
  • Pelswick was rated TV-Y while airing on Nickelodeon in America from 2000-2002. In early 2021, it was peculiarly added to Adult Swim Canada's lineup, complete with a 14+ rating.
  • Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous was originally rated TV-PG, a first for Dreamworks Animation's Netflix originals. However, around the time the second season came out, the rating dropped to TV-Y7. A few weeks later, it was brought back up to a PG once again. Shortly after the third season's release, the rating went back down to Y7, where it currently sits at.

Alternative Title(s): Rated W For Why

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