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The Absolute Worst Kid Shows According To The Parents

Whether it’s on Youtube, Netflix, or PBS, most parents of small children have a gamut of shows and programs they turn to when they need a little “virtual babysitting.” And while most parents try to limit screen time for their kids, it’s inevitable that the simple jingles, high-pitched voices, and bright colors of children’s entertainment or educational programming will make its way into a family’s home.

These shows, however, are not all created equal, especially in the eyes of parents. And some moms and dads come to absolutely loathe the characters, music, and overall format of several of the most “popular” programs.

With that in mind, we surveyed parents on 20 of the most popular children’s shows, whether they come from Youtube, Netflix, or other services, to find out which are the most annoying to adults. In addition, we looked at geotagged twitter data to determine the most “hated” shows by state. And finally, we analyzed all 20 shows to figure out if pacing plays a part in how the show is perceived.

Survey: Which Children’s Shows Are The Most “Annoying.”

We surveyed 1000 parents with children ages 1 to 5, asking them to give a ranking of 1 through 5 for all 20 shows (1 being the least annoying, 5 being the most annoying).

As you can see from the graphic, Blippi, Cocomelon, Ryan’s World, Word Party, and Paw Patrol were the top 5 most annoying shows.

Upon further research, it seems that many parents find Blippi’s voice to be grating and annoying, in addition, some parents even felt “creeped out” by the character, who is played by Stevin John. The most common complaint with Cocomelon is the repetitive nature of the songs and lyrics used, and as for Ryan’s World, many parents felt the show was a glorified toy commercial, which led to their children begging for toys and other products they didn’t need.

As for the “least” annoying shows (Bluey, Tumble Leaf, and Dinosaur Train) it’s extremely evident why these were rated the most favorably. The shows are produced with a much “calmer” tone. There aren’t a ton of scene cuts, high pitched noises, or other things that can feel like sensory overload. In addition, the plots are generally creative enough to keep the attention of parents who might be watching along with their child.

On the topic of how a show is produced, we also wanted to look at the pacing of these shows, as many of these programs are criticized for using overstimulating content.

Children’s Show Pacing. Are Some Overstimulating?

We watched three episodes of each show, and logged how many shots/cuts or scene changes occurred per minute. Here are the results:

As you can see from the graphic, there doesn’t seem to be a direct correlation with the pacing of the show versus how annoying it is. However, it’s incredibly interesting to see how many shots are packed into Cocomelon, which is arguably the most popular show on the list.

Cocomelon had a new shot every 1.54 seconds, averaging 39 cuts per minute. Which is nearly double the pacing of the next show, Paw Patrol, with 20 shots per minute. This is exactly why many parents claim that Cocomelon is overstimulating, and why some kids seem to “zone out” while watching it.

And while we didn’t find a direct correlation between pacing and “annoyance” for parents, it is notable that the more popular shows (outside of Blippi) have much slower pacing.

The Most “Hated” Children’s Show By State

To end our analysis we used the Twitter API to isolate geotagged tweets in each state about “hating” a particular show. For example, we were able to see all tweets in the state of Kansas that had negative phrases like “I hate Cocomelon,” or “I hate Blippi,” etc. We looked at 90 days worth of data and tracked over 300,000 tweets. The results are shown in the map below:

The state breakdown is as follows:

Cocomelon – 26 states
Blippi – 8 states
Peppa Pig – 6 states
Ryan’s World – 5 states
Word Party – 3 states

Paw Patrol – 2 states

No other show beat out one of the six in any state.

It’s clear that there are vast differences in how children’s programming is produced, and that some shows are better received by parents than others.  Overall, however, most shows try to be educational and entertaining (in at least some way), which pretty much every parent can appreciate. Especially when they need something to hold their child’s attention at the airport, grocery store, or a long car ride. 

And don’t be surprised if you’re a parent and soon find yourself humming a song from your most “hated” show. Sometimes they can be dreadfully catchy.