This show got a surprising amount of adult humor out there (as Canadian kids' shows get away with a lot more than their U.S. and European counterparts, and the point of the show is to show stuff that wouldn't be considered appropriate for kids' TV), though some of it that wasn't caught in Canada was caught and censored by Nickelodeon (see "Edited for Syndication" entry on the trivia page.) Most of these are so blatant, they may as well be Refuge in Audacity.
- On the "Today's Child" sketch on the banned episode "Adoption," Doug's hobbies include reading Playboy magazine and looking up girls' skirts.
- The end credit scroll of one of the local 1979 episodes includes an uncomfortable close-up on the rear end of Robin, one of the younger girls on the show, who was probably about 10 at the time (and was wearing short shorts to boot).
- "Fads and Fashions" (1982): In this episode, Lisa, Kevin K. and Doug are always right on top of the latest fashion trends (which change with every link) and ridicule Moose for her inability to stay up to date.Christine: [camera is zoomed in on her face] I've decided to just give up on this "fashion every minute" thing, so I'm not wearing anything... [camera zooms out to reveal that she is dressed in her normal clothes] ...special.
Doug: [only visible from the neck up] Hey, widen the shot! They can't see me if you don't widen the shot!Christine: [dressed in a wet suit, as modeled by the others in the previous link] No! No, don't, wait! Roll the credits. [as closing credits start to roll] Kevin, I am surprised at you!Doug: It's not fair! They can't see me! Tilt it down, then!Christine: No, no, don't tilt it down! Dougie, your head is right on the level of Kevin's... [gasps and covers her mouth]
- The final "fast fashion" trend of the episode is complete nudity, as illustrated (from the waist up) by Kevin and Doug ("a style you can call your own," as Doug explains).
Christine: [after learning that she can't get into wardrobe because the wardrobe lady has gone home] What am I supposed to do?Ross: I haven't the faintest notion.Christine: Aw, come on, Ross!Ross: I haven't the faintest notion, and I'll tell ya why: because the answer is on the other side of that cue card. So just flip it over.Christine: [laughing nervously] Oh, no, it's okay, I'm sure I'll find some clothes...Ross: ...Hey, li- you're not goin' anywhere! You are not leavin' this studio with that cue card, it is company property. Hand it over.Christine: [horrified] Ross, I'm not... I'm not WEARING anything underneath this!Ross: C'mon, I'm a studio director. I've seen everything.[Camera fades to black]
- And in the final sketch, still trying in vain to stay up to date with the latest fashions, Moose walks around backstage ostensibly nude, holding a cue card in front of her.
- "Culture Junk" (1982) features a number of suggestive jokes about nude paintings. Brodie is painting Klea in the nude and assures her that all of his past models have worn nothing but "skin" - models such as apples, oranges and bananas. And later...Kevin: Well, I didn't want to tell you this, Christine, but I'm doing a nude painting of you.Christine: What?! Listen Kevin, I'm not posing in the nude for you or ANYONE else!Kevin: Oh don't worry, you don't have to. I'll finish the rest later. I have a very vivid imagination. [suddenly reels backward in pain] OW!Christine: I just imagined that I slugged you one. [as camera cuts to Kevin with a black eye] And I have a very vivid imagination, too.
- The original cut of the 1984 episode "Body Parts" has three scenes that got cut in America: Mr. Schidtler showing a porno movie to the class, Alisdair selling Playboy magazines, and Karen Grant saying that her favorite body part is "what's in the pants" In this case, it's a wallet.
- "Hey Dad, you know how I you said I couldn't...you know...until I got married? Well, I'm going to get married. See ya later."
- "Censorship": A number of jokes revolve around black censor bars covering the cast members' groins (even though they're not fully naked).
- Indeed, almost every sketch in this episode is an example of Getting Crap Past the Radar, with a great number of the skits nudity- or sex-related. In an opposite skit, Doug gets punished for doing his algebra lesson instead of leering at girlie magazines (he hid a copy of his algebra text inside the magazine). In another, when Alasdair complains about Mom barging on him and insists on privacy, Mom reminds him she "saw it all" when he was a baby... "with a magnifying glass. At first we thought you were a girl."
- A running gag in the local, Ottawa-only first season (1979) involved the (adult) male crew members' trying to date Sarah, one of the older girls on the show. It's actually suggested that this is the reason Sarah hasn't been the victim of any stage pollution up to that point on the show. In another episode, the show offers a dinner and roller-disco date with "Baby Cuddles Sarah" as the prize for winning a phone-in competition, and Sarah's castmate Jim remarks that if the winner doesn't stay on the line long enough to "claim" his "prize" (as the winners of previous phone-in contests had been unable to collect because they hung up the phone too soon), the date with Sarah will be awarded to one of the crew - causing Sarah to protest loudly. After the phone number to call to win is announced, the crew members are seen excitedly jotting down the number.
- "Luck"(Vanessa and Doug are playing cards as Valerie enters)Vanessa: I'm in luck! Three sevens, Dougie! I won! Peel.Valerie: (gasping) Children! I would be horrified that you would be playing like strip poker! It's immoral!Doug: (peeling a banana) No, mom, not strip poker, fruit poker.Valerie: Oh. I've never heard of fruit poker. I'm sorry, Dougie. I don't know what I was thinking of.Doug: By the way, mom, what is strip poker?Valerie: Never you mind, young man. Just eat that banana.Vanessa: Hey, Dougie, wanna play another hand, double or nothing?
- In another sketch, Dougie has to wear a dress to school because Vanessa won all his clothes playing cards and wins a picture of a car for it.
- "Books and Reading"Mrs. Prevert is washing a stack of books in the sink.Adam: Mom! What are you doing?Mrs. Prevert: Oh, hello Adam. I was just washing some dirty books I found in your father's closet.Adam: Mom, you're ruining them!Mrs. Prevert: (faking concern) Oh, am I, dear?Adam: You're doing this on purpose, aren't you? I'm going to go tell Dad.Mrs. Prevert: That's a good idea, dear. While you're at it, why don't you tell him that I just finished washing the dirty books I found in your closet. Your father would probably be very pleased to know that you have similar tastes in literature.Adam: ...Okay, maybe I won't then.Mrs. Prevert: Wise move.
- They did an episode about drugs, but, rather than show real illegal drugs (like marijuana and heroin), they used slime and pies as stand-ins.
- The show didn't seem to mind showing adults and children smoking cigarettes or drinking booze (at least in the Canadian episodes), though it was Played for Laughs and usually followed up with the kid being told that smoking and drinking are bad for you.
- The very fact that the Drugs and Addictions episodes as well as the two Smoking episodes were all Played for Laughs, with no Anviliciousness or heavy-handed morals, would likely be an example of getting crap past the radar. They stand out among the other anti-drug children's programming to emerge during the "Just Say No" Reagan administration, which were more typically heavy-handed and intended to scare rather than entertain.
- In one of the 1979 episodes, Sarah remarks that it seems to her that girls are beginning to smoke and drink more than boys. She offers this as a simple observation without any health-related disclaimer.
- At the end of the 1981 "Smoking" episode, Christine says how relieved she is that the show is over because she's been simply dying for one. It's then revealed she was talking not about a cigarette, but a piece of bubble gum.
- The opening link of 1982's "Culture Junk" has Christine seated at a bar, about to make a mixed drink and commenting, "Whoever came up with this idea for the episode will be my friend forever." When Ross angrily asks what she's doing, she tells him it was in the script: "Moose at the bar." Ross then clarifies that, in keeping with the culture theme of the episode, Christine is supposed to be next to a *ballet barre* and that the bar at which she is seated is "for the technicians."
- Not surprisingly, Nickelodeon cut this scene in post-1983 airings of the episode, with the result being that post-1983 airings began cold with the opening sequence rather than a prologue skit.
- "Rumors": The teacher Mr. Schidtler talks about a rumor going around saying he's a secret alcoholic. He decides to put the rumor to rest by taking the bottle out of his desk and becoming an open alcoholic instead — then he offers the kids a drink, and they happily rush the desk with cups in hand.
- "Heroes"Two Boy Scouts are sitting on a house's front porch with a case of bottled beer.Boy Scouts (drunkenly): Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall, ninety-nine bottles of beer...Scoutmaster: [Blows whistle] Empty bottles! You were supposed to collect empty bottles!Boy Scout: (drunkenly): We've been emptying them....
- A sketch on the "Medicine" episode where Senator Prevert lectures his son on the dangers of smoking, then lights up a cigar. When his son calls him out on it, Senator Prevert tells him that when he says "Smoking is bad for your health," he means his son's health, not his or anyone else's.
- Barth sounded like he was drunk all the time and smoked cigars while cooking while Lance Prevert openly smoked and drank (and also sounded like he was drunk).
- In the "Popularity", Mrs. Prevert says Mr. Prevert's best friend in the whole wide world is "Whoever's buying the next round of drinks."
- The original 1979 season had a number of wink-wink-nudge-nudge references to homosexuality:
- In promoting the show's couples disco-dancing competition in one episode, Kevin Somers mentions that same-sex couples are welcome to enter.
- In another episode, Gordon (one of the older boys) asks Dad if he can take out the car, and Dad asks him if he wouldn't rather take out a girl. "Aw, but Dad!," protests Gordon, hanging his hand limply in a stereotypically "gay" manner.
- Then there was one of Les Lye's characters, Frederick the wardrobe master, a rather blatant and flamboyant gay stereotype. Frederick never appeared on the show again after this season.
- As far as gender roles go, the series jars contemporary viewers with the sheer number of Dude Looks Like a Lady moments featuring boys wearing dresses. This was a trademark of all of Roger Price's kiddie sketch comedy series, including the shows he did in England and the PBS YCDTOTV spinoff Don't Look Now!.
- In the 1984 episode "Hobbies," Dad scolds Vanessa for using Wyatt as a model for a dress she's making. Vanessa explains that the dress isn't for her, it's for Wyatt, who wants to look like Boy George. Dad is mortified once Vanessa's words sink in.
- The jokes about child abuse on "Adoption," such as Adam being used to clean Senator Prevert's house and Prevert trying to get the adoption agency to take him back, Snake-Eyes the Bus Driver crashing into the orphanage he was sent to after he ran over his parents as a child, Barth killing his adopted children with his bad cuisine, and Doug being kept in a cage and whipped. Is it any wonder that Nickelodeon in America banned the episode?
Jennifer: Before I sit down again, I need to cool my rear end in a bucket of water! [water falls on Jennifer's head] WRONG END! [bends over to let the water hit her rear end]
- Jokes about paddling and corporal punishment on children were very common in the final two seasons of the series. And it was usually Mom who delivered the punishment, although in an opposite sketch in "Punishment" '89, the kids actually paddled themselves as punishment for having gotten Ross slimed in the intro to the opposites. Then the opposites ended mid-sketch and the kids immediately were horrified at what they were doing.
Lisa: What am I supposed to do with this?!Mr. Schidtler: I don't know. Take it home, I suppose.
- Also, Ruth Buzzi's teacher character on Whatever Turns You On was wont to lose her temper with her smart-alecky students and begin beating them right there in class.
- In an amusing aversion, an earlier opposite sketch had Lisa punished in school by being given "the strap" - which consisted of Mr. Schidtler handing her a leather strap.
- "Parties"Alasdair: Alanis... If... if you won't go with me to the network party, I'm just going to have to kill myself, that's all.
Alanis: Oh, Alasdair. How touching. I really want to help you. Okay.
Alasdair: You'll come?
Alanis: No, I'll go.
Alasdair: You'll go? Great!
Alanis: I'll go and get my father's gun.
- A series of sketches in this episode involved Lisa talking too much. At one point, a school skit had all of the other students and the teacher pull guns out of their desks and aimed them at Lisa.
- A link skit in this same episode has Christine pointing a gun at the camera, ostensibly threatening "whoever writes these clever little ditties" after she is drenched with milk.
- Lisa asks Eugene what he wants to be when he grows up. He says, "I wanna be a vet, and take care of sick dogs," and Lisa responds, "Well, here's your chance to practice; here comes Christine!" Christine walks up to Lisa and punches her hard on the nose; Lisa falls down crying and Eugene runs over to her while Christine rubs and shakes her hand.
- "Addiction"Christine: Now this is the ultimate video cartridge. It lets you play with your favorite TV program and do what you've always wanted to do. Like, you could shoot down all those stupid little Smurfs, or you could make The Dukes of Hazzard get into a 20-car collision, or you could sink The Love Boat; think of it - you could commit arson...
- "Culture Junk"An Opposite Sketch. Kevin comes in wearing a trenchcoat, hat and sunglasses, carrying a violin case.Mr. Prevert: Hey Kevin! Come here. Where do you think you're going with that? [points to the violin case]Kevin: I'm gonna go shoot up the neighborhood, Dad.Kevin opens the violin case to reveal a machine gun.Mr Prevert: I thought you were going to some boring violin lesson or something like that. Go on. Have fun!
- "Censorship"While all the kids sitting in the movie theater are cut down by a barrage of bullets:Film announcer: Coming soon to a theater near you, "RAMBO KILLS EVERYONE"! See Rambo shoot your friends. See him kill you! See Rambo shoot everyone in the whole world without having to reload his machine gun once. "RAMBO KILLS EVERYONE"!
- The constant references to Barth using human meat for his burgers.
- You'd be lucky to even get that sometimes, considering what else was implied to be in there.
- Episode 7Bradfield: Dad, what's the definition of "ignorance and apathy"?Senator Prevert: I don't know, and I don't give a sh—... care.
- "Halloween"Lisa: Oh, Christine?Christine: Yes, Lisa?Lisa: Did you go out trick-or-treating?Christine: Actually, no, I just stayed home and helped to hand out the treats.Lisa: I thought so.Christine: What do you mean?Lisa: All night long I kept hearing about the "witch" on your street!
- The 1984 episode "Body Parts" had lots of jokes about "giving the finger". One example: In one skit with El Capitano where Christine was the victim, he had to delay her execution because the firing squad had all given the finger to El Presidente. "Unfortunately," he continues, "it was their trigger-fingers, and now El Presidente won't give them back!"
- There is a producer character named "R. Sole".
- Not to mention the principal's name, Mr. Schidtler...
While the show had a more racially diverse cast than on other kids' shows of the era (Roger Price wanted a diverse cast so the show would speak to as many kids as possible), race, gender, and religious issues were occasionally played for laughs in ways that few kids' shows today would attempt.
- The original local-only 1979 season often played with the word "frog" as a pejorative term for French-Canadians, with Marc Baillon as the show's token French kid. In one link, Marc gives the question and phone number for a phone-in competition in French, explaining afterwards that this was "to give my fellow 'frogs' a chance to get a jump ahead." In another, Cyndi told Christine about once being in love with a frog, and after Moose scolded her, thinking she was using the pejorative term, Cyndi explained she meant an actual frog (as in, amphibian), whom she "dissected in a fit of passion."Christine: Gross me out! Cyndi, how could you cut up a frog you've known for years?Cyndi: Aw, come on, frogs aren't human!Marc: [overhearing Cyndi's comment] Any more of this, and we WILL separate!!
Kid: Why did the Frenchman keep a frog in his pocket? ... For spare parts.
- The hour-long local version of 1981's "Sexual Equality" features two kids telling "Frenchman jokes" in a Roving Camera segment.
- In the 1989 episode "Chores," Ted makes a racially insensitive comment about Carlos (who is Afro-Canadian) while the boys are shining shoes - "My hands are almost as black as yours, Carlos!" Carlos points out that if his hands are black, it's only because he hasn't found anything to wipe his hands off on, and then proceeds to wipe the shoe polish off his hands onto Ted's face.Carlos: You know, Ted, you could have been a pretty handsome guy if Nature hadn't messed up and bleached your skin!
- 1984's "Divorce" episode was controversial to begin with, but included a sketch in which Lisa brags about getting two sets of religious holidays because her (presumably Catholic) mother's new husband is Jewish, and an impressed Marjorie declares she's going to ask her mom to do the same. Incidentally, Marjorie Silcoff is Jewish in real life.
- This exchange from a 1981 episode:Angie: Randy, which would you rather be, black, white, or Indian?Randy: I don't know, Angie. I've never really thought about it. Being Indian's kind of nice. I guess I like being Indian.Angie: And I like being black. Being black and being Indian are both good.Randy: Yeah. Must be a real bummer to be white.Angie: Tell me about it.
- A sketch in 1982's "Culture Junk" features Klea and Brodie - two black actors - with a pair of Confederate flags plainly visible in the background. All the more interesting considering this was a Canadian show and the fact that this wouldn't be allowed today.