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YMMV / Reading Rainbow

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  • Awesome Music: In Your Imagination from the musician behind Symphony of Science. It's a remix that is not only really catchy but just completely full of wonder and joy. If you ever want to feel like a kid for a few more minutes of your life, it comes pretty close to capturing that.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The first season episode's (from 1983) feature book 'Gila Monsters Meet You At the Airport' had a joke about how, in New York, you have to live on the 50th floor, and airplanes fly through your room, forcing you to duck fast. Fast forward to September 11, 2001... need I say more?
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: There were at least three scenarios where books read in the show would later become adapted into PBS shows:
    • One of the earliest episodes of the show featured the book Arthur's Eyes. Of course, pretty much everyone knows Arthur would become a long-running show on PBS, but what makes it even funnier is that the exact same story was used as the basis for its pilot episode. Better yet, another book that was read a bit later in Reading Rainbow's life was The Bionic Bunny Show, which was originally written to teach children about what goes into making a TV show, such as special effects and all...which is doubly hilarious considering it would later become incorporated as a Show Within a Show on Arthur proper!
    • The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth was one of the books featured on Reading Rainbow as well, which would later become adapted into its own thing only a few years after.
    • Finally, Martha Speaks was read on Reading Rainbow as well, and although it was much later to the party than the two aforementioned examples, it still did eventually get an animated adaptation on PBS.
  • Memetic Mutation: "But you don't have to take my word for it." Ba-dun-dun! note 
    • Butterfly in the sky, I can go twice as high...
    • Also on Newgrounds, among the first flash movies submitted to the site were recordings of kids talking about books they read with bleeps added at just the right places to make it sound like the kids are reading inappropriate books. One other video laughed at some of the kids rather wooden deliveries. However, since its cancellation it has turned into plain unfunniness.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The show would of course occasionally feature books about subjects that children might find disturbing - such as a home fire, or death.
  • Sacred Cow: Don't rib on the show or LeVar to someone, anyone, from the United States and its territories. LeVar and the show shares the late Fred Rogers' and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood's status as Unacceptable Targets. Do so and you invoke the Berserk Button of the abovementioned Americans. This doubles if the person you just ripped the show to shards in front of is also a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
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  • Tear Jerker: The season 5 episode "My Little Island", which involves LeVar exploring the culture and natural beauty of Montserrat. The episode itself is fun and light-hearted, but watching it after the 1995 eruption of the Soufriere Hills volcano, which destroyed the capital city and rendered more than half the island uninhabitable, is heartbreaking.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Most older fans don't like the post-1999 intro performed by Chaka Khan, for putting less focus on the visuals and too much on LeVar Burton.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: As stated under Nightmare Fuel, some of the books stretch what is kid appropriate. Eve Bunting, we're looking at you.

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