10 ‘Educational’ Children’s TV Shows That Only Teach Obnoxiousness

max and rubySo now we know, educational television programs are important. Or at least, they won’t mess up your children as much as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles marathon. As parents, we need to skip the overly aggressive cartoons and stick with something that has a little learning thrown in. Otherwise, we’ll have misbehaving little heathens lounging about on our sofas all day long.

Of course, the problem is that for every episode of Wild Kratts or Doc McStuffins, there’s ridiculously annoying bit of Handy Manny waiting for you. For every Mouseketool, there’s Rescue Pack. If parents are ignoring all superheroes and bad guys, that cuts down the potential viewing pool considerably.

“Educational” programming is all well and good, as long as the lessons aren’t, “How to make your mother stab her own ears with your colored pencils.” After all, parents need to be able to struggle through these little bit of learning, to help their kids understand what they’re seeing.

Here are the most obnoxious and annoying educational cartoons, the ones that will make you miss bad behavior and toon violence. You can only watch so many episodes of Dinosaur Train. You’re going to need something else to throw in the mix. Here are the shows that you don’t need to add to your DVR line-up anytime soon. Let us know if we missed any of the eye-piercing, eye-gouging, mind-numbing “learning” cartoons.

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  • Life-Sized Mommy

    Back up off my “Little Einsteins”. I give it sole credit for the fact that my kid would rather listen to classical instead of the annoying pop station while we’re riding in the car.

  • C.J.

    I never minded Dora, Martha or Sid. I haven’t heard of the other ones, my kids aren’t that small any more. The one that used to make me want to pull my hair out was Caillou. I can’t figure out why anyone would want to watch a cartoon where the main character does nothing but whine. Thankfully my kids didn’t like it either. I’m not even sure if it is still on tv.

    • http://twitter.com/DecaturFlora Flora

      CJ, you’ve GOT to see the STFU, Parents bit on Caillou! I am so with you!


    • C.J.

      That’s funny!

    • http://twitter.com/DecaturFlora Flora

      It’s only the new Caillou, though, the OLD Caillou was awesome.

      (never. ever. ever. was that show awesome!)

    • C.J.

      The new Caillou and the old Caillou can go whine somewhere together. As long as it is far, far away. I can’t believe anyone ever thought that show was awesome!

    • isaidnoh

      I do not believe in violence against children, but I have never wanted to punch a kid as badly as I want to punch Caillou.

  • http://twitter.com/justine_manzano Justine Manzano

    You are nuts. Sid the Science Kid and Yo Gabba Gabba have taught my boy concepts that I was trying to drill in, but he couldn’t get. There is nothing obnoxious about the fact that my three year old has grown to love his magnifying glass and knows too much candy will make his stomach sick.

  • http://www.facebook.com/LisaAnnCaldwell Lisa Caldwell

    I can’t believe you didn’t include “Wonder Pets!” All it’s taught my daughter is how to speak with a lisp.

    • LiteBrite

      I know three speech therapists that HATE the “Wonder Pets” for this very reason.

  • http://twitter.com/DecaturFlora Flora

    Wait, Sesame Street made the list but the mind numbing ADD inducing obnoxiously voiced Spongebob doesn’t make an appearance?

    • LindsayCross

      Spongebob would SOOOOO be on the list, but he’s not educational at all.

    • http://twitter.com/DecaturFlora Flora

      Touche, touche– sorry– I have godchildren AND run a child care facility so it all gets lumped together lol

      Thank goodness we haven’t sunk low enough to consider that educational!

  • http://www.facebook.com/stina.kolling Stina Wargo Kolling

    Dora the Explorer has the most irritating voice ever. EVER.

  • RenishaS

    You forgot Caillou. I’ve never wanted to kill an imaginary four year old as much as I want to kill that kid. The whining never ends with that show.

  • CMJ

    Caillou isn’t on here? I call Shenanigans!

    • LindsayCross

      You guys are right! I completely spaced on Caillou. My daughter never watched it, so it just wasn’t on my radar. But it definitely deserves to be included.

    • C.J.

      People often block really terrible things out of their minds. Maybe you just blocked Caillou out of your mind.

    • Cee

      Ugh! FUCK Caillou, seriously. He is the worst. I had never hated a program more than that whiny kid.

  • Eileen

    I never liked Baby Einstein because it trained my little cousin…to watch TV while he ate dinner. And I’m so glad someone else didn’t like Sesame Street! My favorite show as a kid was Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. I don’t remember everything I learned, but I do remember that my favorite bits where when they visited factories or whatever. Also The Land of Make-Believe.

    • Erica

      Have you seen the new version of Mr. Rogers? It’s called Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. it cute for the little ones.

    • LiteBrite

      I too loved Mr. Rogers. Still do actually because PBS still shows the reruns. For a long time, my younger sister wanted to be a suitcase maker because she saw it on Mr. Rogers and thought it looked like a neat job.

  • Erica

    Actually, I don’t mind Martha Speaks or occasional viewings of some of these. But Caillou is awful. I no longer allow Chuggington (trains never learn) or Curious George. The man in the yellow hat treats George like a little boy. Monkeys don’t have that brain capacity, they shouldn’t be kept as pets let alone in tiny apartments without any natural habitat, and no way in the world would monkeys and cats be allowed free reign in a restaurant kitchen. Gross!

    • http://sarahhollowell.com/ Sarah Hollowell

      I can’t tell if that’s sarcasm or not…

    • kitten

      i hate to point this out, but what really annoys me about George, is the fact that hes not even a monkey. no tail = ape.

  • Erica

    The kiddos don’t catch Sesame Street often but the last episode definitely turned me off. Supposed to teach about noise and quiet with the human character putting a baby down for a nap in the middle of the street then shushing everyone. Puppets annoyingly disrespectful. Yet why didn’t this woman put the baby down in her house? Where’s the common sense?

  • Andrea

    I think you have to have Netflix to watch this one, but I hate hate HATE “Bo on the Go”. While I like that it encourages my daughter to get up and move instead of veg on the couch, it has to be the most annoying show known to mankind.

    • kitten


    • Lori B.

      OMG! I thought my kid was the only one to watch Bo on the Go!! It’s only redeeming quality is that it encorages kids to get up an move instead of just sitting and watching TV. However, it has taught my 3 year old that she can run out of energy. She just loves to “run out of energy” when we are trying to sprint through the supermarket to pick up just one thing!

  • Amanda

    CAILLOU, DEAR LORD, I hate him!

  • Amanda

    On a side note, I love Bubble Guppies and 3rd & Bird. They’re both adorable and teach awesome lessons!

  • Pleasant Peach

    My kids watches TV…not ashamed. What I find alarming is the complaints (although I get it is supposed to be humerous). You don’t like the show….turn it off. Go outside, read a book, grab some crayons….get over it.

  • kari jasus

    Ditto…Why is caillou NOT on the top billing of your list??? Even my whiney three year old was sick of him! Dora and Ni Hao Kailan were OK… But there screaming sing-songy voice would just make me cringe.

  • Rebecca

    I actually really like umi zoomie. My kids have learned a ton of math concepts, which isn’t addressed very often in children’s program’s beyond counting to 10. Plus i think they’re adorable! I do have issues with max and ruby though. Where the hell are their parents?? Why does ruby have to take max with her everywhere? Why is max such a little shit but always ends up getting his way or “winning” in the end?? Sid the science kid makes me cringe. Those kids just bug the hell out of me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1165875627 Jennifer Ives O’Meara

    Can I just point out that this entire comment thread is hilarious? Seriously I am forced to watch all these shows and I too want to slap the crap out of that whiny calliou boy, Sid is a little creepy to look at, wonder pets is doing amajor disservice with the lispy sound, and we should probably turn the tv off more often all get lives, BTW sometimes mommy needs some quiet time.

  • Melissa

    You left out Caillou! I’ve never hated a child’s voice more…and the narrator is so smarmy and superior, ugh.

  • kitten

    Totally agree with you, except Martha doesnt annoy me…and I think the Imagination Mover with long hair is cute. He can sing whatever he wants to be, just dont tell my husband.

    • kitten

      ps- Sid makes me want to stop myself.

  • Gretta

    No way! The Imagination Movers are hot and I like their music!

  • Tinyfaeri

    Huh. I think I’ll keep the doodle bug to Pawn Stars, Nat Geo channel, Dirty Jobs, MacGyver and the A-Team re-runs when she’s old enough.
    Hey, MacGyver teaches physics…

  • meghan

    I love Sid! I was with up til Sid. And no Caillou? Thank god my kids never got into Calliou!

  • cupcakesvent

    you’re complaining about “say map mom”? oh seriously, teaching kids there are more than just white and black kids is more important than you hearing your kid say map. geez

    • seras

      wow, you… you don’t have kids do you? There are plenty of other shows that teach diversity and If I have to say swiper no swiping one more damn time. shits going down is all I’m sayin

  • cupcakesvent

    I never did like the fact that max from ruby and max, didn’t talk in sentences, just pointed to what he wanted. when my kid started doing that, Boom that show was gone from our playlist.

  • Dlee

    Max and Ruby started as simple books designed for toddlers and very early readers which may explain why the tv show has very basic dialogue. I haven’t seen the show to comment on it but I had a few board books of them when I was little 20+ years ago and remember them being amazing.

  • G.S.

    I see all of your shows here, and I raise you one Mike the Knight. I hate that kid. His whole deal is that he wants to be a great knight, which by itself I have no problem with, but every episode is the same thing. Mike is told to do something, decides that it isn’t “knightly” enough for him, screws it up, is horrible to his friends (one of whom is a troll kid who I hope in vain will eventually get sick of his crap and eat him) and sister and then once everyone is sufficiently mad at him, finally fixes the problem he created, and then forgets to curb his hubris by the next episode, starting the cycle over again. He makes Caillou look like Paddington Bear in comparison.

  • Monica Thompson

    I don’t mind Imagination Movers or Little Einsteins. I HATE Special Agent Oso, and I don’t let the kids watch Barney. Besides the super-annoying dinosaur, the acting in that show is terrible.

  • Leslie Lunger Delp

    Uhm… Anyone else think the author sounds like she needs to pull the stick out of her ass? There are some I agree with but several others are great! And as pointed out: how the fuck do you leave out caillou?!?!? You could take everyone off of the list and just put his name up there 10 times. Make it really long
    1. Cccccccccccc
    2. Aaaaaaaaaaaaa
    3. Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii
    4. Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii
    5. Lllllllllllllllllll
    6. Llllllllllllllllllllllllllll
    7. Ooooooooooooooo
    8. Oooooooooooooooooo
    10. Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

    It’s just like the way he whines. You could write a college dissertation on all the ways that satan spawn is complete little shit (bald) head

  • Leslie Lunger Delp

    I do have to say though that the Sesame Street episode if Jessica alba saying the word if the day “scrumptious” with super glossy lips was… Uhm… Something else lol