People Who Have Been Clinically Dead Share Their Experiences
Is there life after death? What happens when we die? Many people report having experiences after being declared clinically dead. And despite scientific studies, belief in a "beyond" is still a part of our collective consciousness. While it's impossible for the mind to survive without the body, those who have died and come back share their take in this fascinating thread.
And, we are not trying to romanticize death in any way. If you feel overwhelmed, or need help please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
"Drifting away" as the brain shuts down.Giphy
Friend of mine described it as deeply relaxing and that she could feel herself drifting away, but was brought back just as she was ready to "leave".
After that, she embraced life and death. She said she doesn't fear death anymore since it was so relaxing to experience.
My girlfriend is anaphylactic, and it is triggered by a chemical called salicylate (found in pretty much every food). When she was in high school she had her first big reaction, and the school nurses refused to administer her epipen (adrenaline shot) until the ambulance got there. Now obviously, having an anaphylactic reaction doesn't give you a lot of 'waiting time', so by the time the ambulance got to her school she was in pretty bad shape and barely conscious.
The paramedics immediately administered one of her epipens, called the nurses "f*cking tw*ts" and loaded her into the ambulance as her mother arrived. She continued to fade, so they gave her a direct injection of adrenaline this time, still nothing. They give her a second direct injection of adrenaline and this time it hits her about 30 seconds later all at once, and her heart fails. She stops breathing, no pulse, nothing. Dead to the world. For about 2 minutes and 46 seconds she was clinically dead. And the scariest thing is, she saw nothing.
She tells me that when you are losing consciousness you can't tell the difference between waves of drowsiness and when your body actually shuts down. All she saw was the darkness of her eyelids, and it felt like going into an extremely calm sleep where she couldn't hear or feel anything, and she didn't mind it. All despite the fact her mother and the paramedics were screaming at her to keep her eyes open and the ambulance was flying towards the hospital. She miraculously just came back to life almost 3 minutes later as they were giving her chest compressions, and the cardiologist that assessed her later stated that all the adrenaline in her body was enough to not only stop her heart, but to also restart it with the little help from the paramedic pumping it around. But still do this day, she can't differentiate falling asleep after a long day, and dying.
My wife and I discussed this at length. 4 years ago, she died twice in 3 months, needing full resuscitation both times. Both were lengthy rescues (one resuscitation was off-and-on for nearly 40 minutes).
I asked her later when she had recovered if she remembered anything at all during the times she was clinically dead. She remembered nothing. Blackness. No light. No relatives and former pets waiting for her. Just...black. Thankfully, also no pain.
She finally passed 18 months ago, and I hope she felt no pain or worry the final time.
Not mine but the head of my program was in a horrible car accident. She was dead for a few minutes on the scene while paramedics worked on her. She said it was the most amazing feeling she's ever experienced. It was blank black nothing, but that was perfectly fine, and she felt a comfort she can't even explain. She remembers being angry at the man working on her when she finally came back to her body because she wanted to stay there. She told us she can't wait to experience it again when it's really her turn.
Edit: I'm really pleased this resonated so strongly with so many of you! I wanted to add some detail about her. She's not religious in the slightest, and she actively quashes our ghost stories and shit (mortuary students) because she only believes in tangible things, so she fully turned me into a believer.
Felt its important I make a distinction she was very adamant about when telling us this story- she's not advocating suicide. She stressed that she isn't telling us she's trying to reach this place again but that when it was her time she was going to be comfortable embracing it.
The feeling of being aware, but unable to do anything.
I coded after surgery. I remember being able to see and hear everything and understand what was happening, but I couldn't physically feel anything. It was deeply unsettling.
Acceptance followed by peace.Giphy
I hope this helps answer your question, for both you and /u/passtheslaw. I drowned and was resuscitated when I was a teenager.
I remember struggling mightily and then, when I was sure there wasn't any hope, a distinct Okay then. I can let go. And from that moment on, there was peace. Total peace. Nothing hurt, I didn't even feel the dying part. I would imagine, for someone who decides upon suicide, the peace started the second they made that choice. It's said that suicide victims often looked happiest/calmest in their final days.
Now that being said: there are other, better ways of obtaining peace that aren't destructive, and I urge anyone reading this who is considering suicide to talk to someone. It is entirely possible to be happy again while alive; you just can't do it without outside help.
For anyone who might need it. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is: 1-800-273-8255
No more pain, no more time. Hard pass on this btw.
I was electrocuted by about 13,800 volts. The doctors say it's likely the first hit stopped my heart and the second one started it (before I was pulled like a lifeless corpse to safety).
I remember experiencing the darkest dark and the most silent silence. I ceased to care that I was dying; time seemed to change, it could have been hours it seemed. It was only about 30 seconds.
I felt as though I was floating and floated toward something that I eventually realized was my body and reality. Upon joining with whatever it was I was floating towards, I became self aware in my body and heard the electricity making horrible noises and knew I was in danger.
From there it was a horribly painful experience where I lost most of my toes due to tissue death and had severe electrical burns on all four limbs. More surgeries than I care to count and seeing the round bone ends of my toes that were freshly amputated still haunts me a little.
EDIT: Thank you everyone for helping me understand something that happened over 12 years ago. I was in the hospital for about a month inpatient, and then for 10 months, daily as an outpatient (basically sent me home for my mental sanity but needed daily attention). I got addicted to pain killers, had to learn to walk again and had to see a pain management therapist. It was horrible at times but eventually the pain began to subside. I went back to school and became an engineer and I don't think I'd be where I am without this thing happening. Really strange to think that I am in some way grateful now. Also I can't watch horror anymore, Hollywood actually does a very realistic job.
Floating, comfort, and a sense of spirit.
I was on loads of morphine so it's still really hazy and the fact it happened almost 6 years ago doesn't help the memory, but I'll try to recollect, as accurately I can, what happened and what I experienced.
I had appendicitis and my foster parents at the time didn't take me to the hospital until 2, almost 3 days after it had burst. I should've been dead well before they took me, even the doctors called it a miracle. Well, I died while waiting for surgery. I had to wait for a pediatric surgeon to come in because no one else felt comfortable performing the surgery on a case this bad with a child this size (dumbasses took me to the adult hospital, not the pediatrics which was 40 mins away. I was 14, 5'3 and weighed 75 pounds soaking wet). So while I was waiting for the surgeon I was in a room with me, the doctor, my two foster parents and my grandmother who is an RN. Like I said, I was really drugged up and couldn't really focus on much and couldn't really do anything. The monitor I was hooked up to would beep really loudly from time to time and the intervals between beeps started to decrease rapidly. Turns out I wasn't breathing. I was conscious for the most part, I just kept forgetting to breathe. Doctors had to keep nudging me so I wouldn't sleep. I just remember being pissed at this loud beeping that kept me from enjoying a nice slumber. The doctor had to step out for a second and my grandmother assured him she could look after me for a second. Unfortunately for her, she was out of her mind with rage at my foster parents. She didn't hold anything back. My grandma is a sweet, Mormon Utahn without a rude bone in her body. Well, I heard quite a few fuck you's, pieces of shit, etc. My point is she didn't notice I had passed out until the monitor signaled I had flat lined.
This is the bit where I died and is by far the most vivid part of the experience. I remember being capable of thought but no thoughts were in my head. I can only describe it as being conscious of my spirit but without a body for my thoughts to be processed in. I just kind of existed without feeling, thinking or being anything. I was floating. Honestly at the time it was a great feeling. I don't remember any visions of people, family, places or anything like that. But I felt something wrap around me and comfort me. Without talking I was assured I was ok, that there was nothing to be worried about, and at that point my thoughts returned. I knew at that moment, without knowing how long I'd be able to keep thinking, that I had to go back. I didn't want to, but knowing that the last thing I'd see before I left mortal life was these two pieces of human trash who had abused me, neglected me, and treated me like a stain that they didn't want to bother trying to clean up, that did it. I wanted to get back to my body, fix my life so I could go back and live with my biological parents and feel loved again. In that moment that's all I cared about. And then I sort of willed myself back. Doctors had tried to resuscitate me but had failed. Everyone was shocked when I opened my eyes and seeing the tears in my grandma's eyes after thinking she'd lost me, that did it. I fixed my life, I reinvented myself and threw out all my anger, depression, rage and everything else that put me in Brent and Karen's home.
Honestly, the only anger I felt (the burning hatred kind that makes you want to do anything possible to release it) in the last 5ish years since I moved from their home is when I think about them and how they're still fostering youth in custody and probably pulling the same shit with those kids. I live about an hour away from where they are now and I have to restrain myself from driving up there, kidnapping those kids and taking them to the authorities with an explanation of why. The only reason I haven't done that is because I've tried telling the authorities what kind of people they are. I guess the words of a juvenile fuck up don't stack up against the lies from people who have practiced this shit for years.
Anyways, sorry for the rant at the end. I know that wasn't entirely what you'd asked, but it felt good to type out. Thanks OP for asking this question. It's been surprisingly therapeutic talking about this.
I was dead for a very short period of time, like 30 seconds to a minute. There's a big misconception about it. It's not like sleeping at all. I'll try to explain. There's always a sort of white noise in the back of my mind. It quiets down when I sleep but it's still there. I never noticed it before I died, but I do now. I don't want to romanticize death, but when I was out, it was like this perfect nothingness. And nothingness is so hard to imagine normally, but once you "experience" it, and they bring you back, part of you wishes you could have stayed. There's no positive feelings there, obviously, but it takes away everything bad too. All your stress, the nightmares, the troubles. All gone. Just nothing exists. It's beautiful in a way. But I'm very much looking forward to a lack of consciousness when I do eventually pass again, and I can honestly say I don't fear death anymore.
Send me back.
I don't know what I experienced while I was dead but when I woke back up (so to speak) I remember wanting to experience it permanently.
Looking forward to a "lack of consciousness."
I was dead for a very short period of time, like 30 seconds to a minute. There's a big misconception about it. It's not like sleeping at all. I'll try to explain. There's always a sort of white noise in the back of my mind. It quiets down when I sleep but it's still there. I never noticed it before I died, but I do now. I don't want to romanticize death, but when I was out, it was like this perfect nothingness. And nothingness is so hard to imagine normally, but once you "experience" it, and they bring you back, part of you wishes you could have stayed. There's no positive feelings there, obviously, but it takes away everything bad too. All your stress, the nightmares, the troubles. All gone. Just nothing exists. It's beautiful in a way. I'm not suicidal at all, and hope to live the rest of a long and happy life. But I'm very much looking forward to a lack of conciousness when I do eventually pass again, and I can honestly say I don't fear death anymore.
This person was "switched off."Giphy
Clinically dead on two separate occasions. I didn't experience any visions or light and I didn't feel anything at all. It was like a switch was flipped and my existence was just shut off. Coming back was another story. Slowly I was able to hear the voices of those around me fading in, and they slowly got louder until I was able to open my eyes. That's it. Nothing spectacular. One second you're here, one second you're not.
Dead relatives appearing?
Former co-worker of mine died during heart surgery. I think she was out for 90 seconds or close to it. She wasn't religious or anything. She said that she remembered being in the room and seeing her dead uncle and cousin standing at the far end of the room watching everything going on.
Edit: oh now my inbox is having an NDE. Fun fact: she shared this information during an icebreaker "give us a fun fact about yourself". She didn't remember seeing a light or anything, just seeing her dead relatives at the end of the room.
Don't go in that door...
My mother experienced a long corridor with arched door ways, one was open and she said she refused to go in.
She suffered a massive stroke at 27 to from a spinal tap done a week earlier.
Being given a choice - stay, or go back?Giphy
I saw my grandpa. We talked for a while and he said I could go back with him, or stay. I looked down and saw myself in that hospital bed with my brother holding my hand. He felt it turn cold and I never saw him cry that way before. Went back into my body and felt more pain than I knew in my life. Been a year of recovery and I lost most of my memory but I'm happy.
(Skull fracture/traumatic brain injury from heat exhaustion)
Edit: Here's a link with a pic of my brothers reaction when I woke up and when my mom played music for me trying to get me to wake up.
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Some people will just believe anything.
And if you call a statement a fact long enough, many people take it as gospel.
Some facts are absolute truths, others can be malleable.
Lies are exposed.
And research is an actual art form.
Redditor OfficialVickiLuv wanted to share the truths we need to know, so they asked:
"What is a common 'fact' that you know is bulls**t?"
There is no such thing as an alternative fact.
So let's start there.
Not a Forestthe ice pirates shaving GIF by Warner ArchiveGiphy
"Shaving makes your hair grow back thicker."
"I used to believe this one. I was very disappointed when I learned it was BS."
"There are two kinds of thinkers: Right brain people are who are creative, and the people that use the left side who can do math."
"Try telling that to psychologists/psychiatrists who do research/clinical studies/trials. I’ve been denied dozens of times to partake in research studies revolving around mental health, specifically depression, and anxiety."
"Why did they deny me [even tho I was a perfect candidate]? Because I write with my left hand. And apparently it would make their study 'invalid' because they 'don’t want to interfere with results.'"
"Please tell me how excluding a large amount of people from a research study would somehow give you the correct answer for treating mental health for everybody?"
"That you have to wait 24 hours to report someone missing."
"Especially with children, the quicker the police can get to the 'crime' scene the fresher the evidence and easier to follow leads. I used crime in quotes because there could have been a crime or the kid might have just wandered off."
"But it's not just for kids though... If you know someone is a home body and never leaves home and you know something has happened, by all means call the police. Even if they like to take random trips, it never hurts to inform the law."
"Cracking your knuckles causes arthritis."
"Probably just normal. Cracks are just little bubbles of nitrogen that settle where there's space. They don't build up over time, once the space is occupied by a little bubble then no more can join it. A knuckle that hasn't been cracked in 50 years is the same as a knuckle that hasn't been cracked in a few hours."
Give a HowlAngry Wolf GIF by CuriosityStreamGiphy
"Alpha wolves being real. The guy who did the original study disproved his one study and gets mad when people get it wrong now... lol."
"Came looking for this, also extrapolating this BS to human beings and 'sigma,' go read. The articles are all available. It's nonsense that people still believe s* like this with access to everything in their hands."
The wolf pack is always ready.
TriviaFacts GIF by Judge JerryGiphy
"A 'factoid' is an often repeated statement that isn't true, but is now believed to be true due to people saying it all the time. Its not a mini fact, or like, fun piece of trivia."
"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The quote was made by Kellogg's to make people buy more cereal. If you search up articles that say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, most are sponsored by Kellogg's."
"I’m not sure Kellogg’s made it up. In my country there’s a saying that’s been around forever that alludes to the importance of breakfast that goes 'have breakfast like a king and dinner like a poor person.' Kellogg’s might’ve simply exploited an existing popular belief."
"Caffeine makes you short."
"This one makes me laugh. I've been drinking coffee since I was like 9 years old and turned out 190cm tall."
"Potatoes absorb toxins. The amount of people that believe putting potato slices in your shoes or wear them around your neck as a holistic medical treatment is shockingly high. It’s just oxidation."
"I recall seeing a antivaxx meme that said if you had to get a COVID shot to put a potato slice at the injection site to absorb all the toxins. I’m all for sharing that idea if it makes people get vaccinated."
Look OutFlying Fox Bat GIF by Barbara PozziGiphy
"Bats are blind."
"I remember getting into a really stupid argument shortly after high school with a friend over this who just couldn't believe that bats weren't actually blind."
"Fine. Bats are legally blind."
Now I've learned more.
Do you have anything to add? Let us know in the comments below.
Movies can mold who we are.
Some stories caught on film leave an impression that we take with us through our dying breaths.
That's why the arts and artists are so vital.
But there are some movies and specifically movie moments that can be to much to rewatch.
We may love the movie, but a certain scene may always be on the fast forward list.
Sometimes it's all too real.
Redditor KentuckyFriedEel wondered what movie moments have left scars for life, so they asked:
"Which movie scene is really hard to sit through and watch?"
The death of Artax in 'The Neverending Story.'
Scared me for life.
Stop Dialingvince vaughn beer GIFGiphy
"Swingers. Mike calling and leaving messages over and over for the girl whose phone number he got at the bar."
"Never. Call. Me. Again."
"Trainspotting. Specifically the scene where they wake up from their drug induced haze to find the dead baby. The decomposition effect made to look like they neglected to check on her for DAYS... Then their best and only response is to shoot up and get high again. Dull the pain. Just tragic."
"A very good portion of the original French version of Martyrs."
"That movie is both the definition of gore porn, but also a solid story that makes sitting through how uncomfortable it is completely worth it. It’s unfortunate that Hollywood somehow made a mostly shot for shot remake and completely ruined the movie."
"My housemate and I watched Martyrs and spent like the next three days talking about it, that movie was INTENSE."
"Green Mile. I leave when Mr Jingles chases the thread bobbin, and again for the execution scene gone wrong. I've seen both scenes once. Don't need to see that again."
"The book is as heart-wrenching as the movie. It's my all-time favorite Stephen King book, but it's tough to get through."
"When I saw that execution scene as a kid I was at a friend's house and decided to go home right there. Came back next day to finish it though cause didn't wanna get made fun of."
Just No!Bom Dia Hello GIFGiphy
"Annihilation. The bear quietly screaming. ‘Help me.'"
"Absolutely not, thank you."
Never saw that one. Maybe I'll take a peek.
Too ToughToni Collette Crying GIF by A24Giphy
"Hereditary. Watching the kid just pull up to the bed is pretty tough to watch. The scream by the mom the next morning is also pretty tough."
"I've never gone back and watched it again, because it skeeved me out so much, but that scene in Dr. Sleep, where the Shine Vampires are stealing all the shine from that kid through pain was ROUGH."
"I came here to say this. Jacob Tremblay practiced for months before the scene to be sure he could get it right. When the time came to shoot it he did so well that all the Shine Vampires forgot their lines and struggled to finish the scene. The first time I saw it was pretty traumatizing."
"The shower scene in Schindlers List. It took me years to get through it, even though it ends up just being a shower and not a gas chamber. Also the Tony episode on the new Dahmer series. I was hysterical watching it and feel sick thinking about how much real people suffered because of him."
"I watched Schindlers List for the first and only time a few years ago and couldn't stop crying after."
"The scene in the SpongeBob movie where SpongeBob and Patrick dry up."
"I know this guy that loved movies and would give me all these high brow recommendations. One Saturday morning, I decided I wanted to watch a movie and was considering one of his recommendations. I watched the SpongeBob movie instead. And I made the right choice. Saturday morning is for cartoons."
War CrimesScreaming Matt Damon GIFGiphy
"Saving Private Ryan - when the German soldier is plunging the knife into Mellish."
"For me it is when the medic is dying after attacking the machine gun nest. All those soldiers standing around absolutely helpless."
"Oh God don't get me started. Only scene from a movie that gets my physically angry."
All good movies. All to never watch again.
Every person, and every relationship, is unique, and that includes what makes each partner deeply and truly happy, or annoyed.
Since all of us have our little quirks, it makes sense that our partners would enjoy some of them but not others.
But it's hard to tell how each behavior will be received.
Redditor HotWife_Aisha asked:
"What quirky thing does your partner do?"
"She makes this cute nasally 'hmm' when I get in bed after she's asleep. I don't know why but it makes me happy."
It's the Effort That Counts
"My wife never screws a lid back on a jar. She just gives the lid a 1/100th of a turn so that it just sort of, kind of, possibly latches just long enough to make it halfway from the counter to the fridge."
"She hoards gas station cups. The disposable ones. That most people would throw away."
"She's not re-using them, either. She just empties them in the sink and then leaves them next to the sink."
"I regularly go in and throw them away, but I think my record disposal at one time was like 15. Just chillin' in our bathroom."
What Personal Space?
"My wife is native Italian."
"Italians are weird. It's like they have ZERO concept of personal space."
"I, am a New Yorker. Personal space, is our thing. You don't get too close... you don't rub up on people on the Subways... you leave a little space between the person you are talking to."
"Italians, will get up like nose to nose with you. Stand RIGHT behind you. Like leaving NO space."
"Often I will be in the kitchen, making tea or something and I turn around and BAM, it's like my wife wants to stand in my shadow. Or I am getting something out of the closet, and back up, and BAM, she is like right there... trying to become ONE with me or something... instead of walking around, and just leaving that inch or two of personal space to allow movement."
"All her relatives are like this too. When they talk to me, it's like they are standing on my toes... that close. Like, back the f**k up a step or two. D**n, it's creepy."
It Gets Better Before It Gets Worse
"Any recently decluttered area becomes new grounds for more cluttering."
His Version is Better
"He cannot properly remember the lyrics to any song. And he insists on singing it his way even after he’s been corrected about the lyric."
"He stutters for a word, and when I give him the word he's looking for, he says, 'YES! THAT!' and goes on with what he was saying."
"She literally cannot stop dropping and breaking things like plates, sunglasses, etc."
"She's a really talented athlete and smart to boot but oddly clumsy. I think it's cute... But it gets expensive."
Make It an Experience
"He likes a special kind of spoon for his coffee."
"About two years ago, when I realized that our set of cutlery was missing several parts (where the h**l do they go?!) I bought a new one, but since the old cutlery was alright, just incomplete, I didn't throw it away. Now we have two sets of cutlery in the drawer, but always use matching ones for the table."
"Before that, my husband had complained that sometimes he won't find a clean teaspoon because they were either dirty or in the dishwasher, so I bought a separate set of six teaspoons that look different from both of our cutlery sets."
"We have also a few of these teaspoons that you sometimes find in the big teabag boxes of Ahmad Tea, which I drink daily, as a freebie. So all in all, there are four different kinds of teaspoons in our household."
"He only uses the fancier ones from the second set of cutlery for his coffee, because they look nicer, he says."
"He's never asked me for it, but he did mention it once when he was making coffee for himself."
"Since then, every time I bring him coffee, I make sure that it's served with his favorite kind of spoon. He's over 60 and some would regard it childish, but what's the harm in considering his preference?"
"One day I went to kiss my wife and she just started breaking out laughing. She tried and tried to keep a straight face to kiss me back but couldn’t."
"When she could finally contain her laughter enough to talk, she asked, 'What if I just blew into your mouth when you tried to kiss me?'"
"Just the thought alone had her in stitches for a solid minute. Predictably, she blew into my mouth when I went to kiss her after this exchange. That was a couple of years ago and she still does it here and there, but not often enough that I keep my guard up. It catches me off guard every. Single. Time."
"Anyway, she’s hilarious and I love that she keeps me on my toes!"
Comfy Blanket Burritos
"She wraps herself in a blanket and adorably says that she’s a burrito."
Cute Ulterior Motive
"Every time SHE wants to do something, she will say it in the form of a question directed towards me."
"Like, 'Hey, do YOU want to have a bite of one of these cookies?'"
"Or, 'Babe, do YOU want to try this wine?'"
"I don’t actually think she realizes she does it every time."
"To clarify, this isn’t a bad thing. It just makes me laugh every time before I inevitably say, 'Yeah, sure.'"
That One Time...
"When she’s telling a story and says 'the other day,' it can mean any time from this morning to five years ago."
"He talks to himself. Homeboy's internal monologue is external."
"It's kinda nice never having to wonder what he's thinking."
The Good Outweighs the Bad
"The annoying thing: uses every knob as a hanger for some bag or kitchen towel. Every time I have to use a drawer, I have to move something."
"The cute thing: she is very excited about the little things in life. We went on a walk today with rain boots to jump in each puddle on the way."
Every person has their own little set of quirks that makes them truly themselves.
Some of these actions might prove to be annoying to some people, but to just the right person, it might prove to be their favorite thing about their other half.
The amount of shows that have aired in the history of television is a lengthy one, and the ones we know of are the ones that have been picked up by the networks.
There are tons of other ideas that have been pitched that have not seen the light of day and some that have been produced and presented as pilot episodes but eventually scrapped due to a variety of reasons.
The ones that have come to fruition but caused an uproar were mentioned when Redditor Future-Game asked:
"What is the most controversial TV shows of all time?"
Shows pushing the envelope were so risqué. Some aged well over time. Others didn't.
"I don't know about all time but the time it aired here in Canada, the original Degrassi High series. They covered so many topics that weren't really covered on mainstream shows back then. Even still somewhat taboo today. And everyone my age watched it and talked about it the next day."
"When Ellen Degeneres's character came out as gay on her sitcom, there was a f'king firestorm."
"Believe it or not the comedy SOAP was highly controversial when it premiered in the late 70s. It's done by the same people who did GOLDEN GIRLS. SOAP is so tame by today's standards a ten year old could watch it."
"I like South Park as an answer, but if we are talking about pushing boundaries, Chappelle's show at least deserves a mention. The Black, White Supremacist alone was wild to see on TV, and it was the first episode of the show to air."
Reality bites. So did these reality competition shows.
Trash Talk Show
"Jerry springer, what a sh*t show."
When Looks Are Everything
"The Swan - a show about generally average, everyday women with low self esteem (due to a variety of factors), receiving plastic surgery and whole makeovers. Every episode would feature two ladies and a "winner" would be decided between them. At the end of the season, all of the winners would be put in a pageant to compete and see who would be dubbed 'The Swan'"
"Takeshi's Castle / MXC wasn't exactly controversial at the time, but the production of that show seems awfully exploitative by today's standards (and for the English dub, horribly stereotypical and downright racist at times). We've since watered it down severely with versions like Wipeout, but the real ones know what the lineage of shows like that is."
Ultimate Exploitation Of Privacy
"Big Brother. How about we mix the worst people with the most exploitative form of entertainment whilst also casually normalising invasion of privacy."
Just because it was family friendly didn't mean everyone approved.
"Sesame Street - When this show debuted in 1969, TV channels in the southern US refused to air it because it’s racially mixed group of children playing together was too controversial."
Beavis And Butt-Head
"Surprised I haven't seen Beavis and Butt-Head on this list yet. When it came out everyone was freaking out."
"Southpark, we went from outrage at Bart saying "eat my shorts" to Cartman feeding children their parents."
"I mean swearing on TV was less prominent , then Southpark pushed that forward quickly as well, all of a sudden "A**" and "Bullsh*t" were on standard TV."
Every now and then a show comes out and sends audiences clutching their pearls.
But sometimes, even an episode from a relatively tame TV show can send viewers reeling with topical moments.
Examples of this include the much-hyped same-sex kiss on Melrose Place in the 90s that was ultimately edited to imply the act and the One Tree Hill arc that explored school shootings–which was considered daring and admirable at the time for addressing a malaise that continues plaguing the US today.