In the '90s, most sitcoms were designed for family viewing. In order to appeal to multiple generations, these shows featured kids and teens alongside their parents, grandparents, or other adult guardians. Usually, these shows kept to light, wholesome topics, like arguments over chores, or children begging for a pet. However, some plots with these younger characters must have raised alarm bells with parents, depicting kids getting into bad behaviors like drinking, drugs, and stealing. Or, children being perfectly responsible, but still being endangered by other people with guns, robbery, abuse, manipulation, and more.
Even worse, many of these stories also involve the child characters lying to adults to cover up these behaviors. Most episodes end with the children learning their lesson, and the parental figures comforting them. These safe, happy endings put younger viewers at ease, but adults know that real life is not always so simple. Here are episodes of '90s shows that are designed specifically to terrify parents.
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'Strangers On the Net' - 'Smart Guy'Photo: The WB
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'Dangerous Secret' - 'Boy Meets World'Photo: ABC
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'Mistaken Identity' - 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'Photo: NBC
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'Model Tia' - 'Sister, Sister'
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'38 Special' - 'Blossom'Photo: NBC
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'The Longest Day' - 'Home Improvement'Photo: ABC