One of my favorite books of all time is a story called “All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” It teaches adults to remember that the most valuable and important things in life are often the most simple.
In a similar vein, there’s a lot that we can learn and take away from some of our favorite TV shows from the days of our youth. Have a look and check out these 10+ life lessons fans learned from children’s shows.
1. Tom and Jerry shows why bullying is a bad idea.
Giphy | Cheezburger
Take the whole cat-and-mouse element out of the equation and what you’re left with is a big brute (Tom) trying to use his size to push Jerry around.
It’s also a great opportunity to show how cunning and wit prevails in the face of physical violence.
2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles teaches the value of family and brotherhood.
The turtles move as one. Their adventures always highlight the inner turmoil between the familial unit just as much, if not even more so, than the outward struggle with the villain or antagonist.
Central to this series is a message that the bonds of family are strengths and not weaknesses.
3. Scooby-Doo and the gang taught us all to face our fears!
Giphy | Scooby-Doo
Every single episode of Scooby-Doo always involved the gang stumbling upon a supposed supernatural occurrence.
In the end, it was always just some guy (or girl) in a mask.
It’s a metaphor that our fears are never as formidable as they seem and that the only way to conquer fear is to confront it!
In my opinion, it’s always a good time to watch and learn from Scooby-Doo.
4. Art Attack taught us to expand our perceptions.
For example, a box of table salt isn’t just a seasoning. It can be used to make incredible pieces of artwork, the likes of which the world has never seen.
The series preaches resourcefulness and creativity above all else.
5. Preaching tolerance in The Simpsons.
There are so many excellent examples of this throughout the series but my favorite has to be when Lisa becomes a vegetarian.
She spends the entire episode looking down at her father and family for eating meat.
Lisa then has a conversation with Apu, who reveals that he is a vegan.
While sitting atop the Quick-E-Mart, Apu explains how he learned to tolerate others. He goes on to say how you can still influence people with judgment or constant badgering.
It’s one of the first times in the show that Lisa shows empathy for her father.
6. Transformers conveys the value of teamwork.
The Autobots are a family. As powerful as Optimus Prime is, he understands that he is still just a link in a long chain.
Transformers proves that no one, no matter how mighty or powerful, gets through life without asking for help.
7. Rug Rats teaches kids the importance of kindness.
Take for example the character of Angelica Pickles. She’s cruel, selfish, inconsiderate — a blossoming young sociopath to boot.
As you can imagine, things never seem to work out in the end for Angelica and you don’t have to be overly perceptive to understand why.
8. Sesame Street taught us that cookies are for everyone!
Giphy | Sesame Street
It’s tough to nail down just one lesson from Sesame Street. This show provided some of the foundational building blocks of my early childhood education.
But the most valuable lesson Sesame Street bestows is how to share. And there’s nothing better to share than cookies!
9. Captain Planet And The Planeteers teaches kids to be eco-conscious.
A group of teenagers makes an ancient discovery. When they combine the power of their newfound rings, they summon Captain Planet: a superhero dedicated to protecting the environment!
This show was way ahead of its time.
10. X-Men shows the dangers of racism and hate.
The mutants in X-Men are viewed as abominations. They are ostracized, ridiculed, and even hunted.
The post-apocalyptic future it envisions is a stark reminder of the dangers of forced assimilation and intolerance.
11. Pokémon illustrates why you should always be kind to animals.
Giphy | Cheezburger
What makes Ash such a good trainer doesn’t necessarily come down to skill. It’s that his Pokémon have such a strong love for him that it translates into a ferocious loyalty.
In short, take care of your pets and they will take care of you.
13. Bad things do and will happen to good people in The Simpsons.
Just one more The Simpsons lesson! Ned Flanders, on paper, is the nicest man in Springfield — yet the Flanders family still lose their house to a hurricane. Ned isn’t spared from losing his job or his wife, either.
It conveys the message that life is random and we must live and appreciate every minute we have.