15 Groundbreaking TV Show Moments That Were Actually A Really Big Deal When They Aired
From The Golden Girls to Family Matters to Recess, these shows covered it all.
1. In Maude, when a 47-year-old Maude got pregnant unexpectedly and decided to get an abortion, the first primetime show to openly talk about the procedure and the complicated feelings a woman experiences during it.
2. In The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, when Jazz took the stand during Will's trial and automatically put his hands up next to the cop, addressing the damaging racial violence inflicted on Black people by the police.
3. And in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, when Uncle Phil and Aunt Viv tried to bail Will and Carlton out of jail and were ignored by the cops until Uncle Phil's white friend showed up, further demonstrating how quickly police dismiss Black voices.
4. In Full House, when D.J. starved herself because she wanted to look like the models she saw in her favorite magazines, tackling the damaging pressures women face when it comes to body image at a young age.
5. In The Golden Girls, when Blanche didn't want her brother marrying a man and Sophia quickly checked her, letting her know love is love and everyone deserves a chance at lifelong happiness.
6. And in The Golden Girls, when Blanche reported a case of sexual harassment against her teacher and the school ignored it, proving how unjust the system is when it comes to believing women.
7. In Family Matters, when Carl stood up to the racist cops who pulled Eddie over because they racially profiled him, and told the cops: "I really don't know how that badge stays on because it's pinned to slime."
8. In Friends, when Susan and Carol made their love official in Season 2, becoming the first lesbian couple to get married on television.
9. In Star Trek, when Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Uhura kissed for the first time in the 1968 episode "Plato's Stepchildren," airing one of the first interracial kisses ever on TV.
10. In The Mary Tyler Moore Show, when Mary ever-so-subtly told her parents that she was on the pill, insinuating she's a free, single woman who doesn't need to apologize for having an active sex life.
11. In Recess, when Miss Grotke didn't hold anything back and told her history class that their textbooks were problematic, basically vocalizing how racist, sexist, and prejudiced US school systems are.
12. In A Different World, when Josie (Tisha Campbell) felt empowered and read a poem in front of her class about having AIDS, challenging the stigma surrounding the disease among her college-age group.
13. In The Simpsons, when a 1997 episode had Homer buying a handgun to protect his family, showing just how easy it is to purchase a gun in the US — regardless of your background.
14. In I Love Lucy, when Lucy surprised Ricky at the club to tell him she's pregnant, becoming the first pregnant character on a major TV show. The episode was titled "Lucy Is Enceinte," which is French for "pregnant" (I guess there was only so much they could get away with in 1952).
15. And in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, when Mister Rogers invited Officer Clemmons to wash his feet with him in the same pool, taking a jab at the ridiculous segregated laws in the late '60s against Black citizens.
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.