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    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.

    We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us which TV moments were way ahead of their time. Here are the groundbreaking results.

    Warning: Some submissions include topics of sexual harassment, gun violence, and racial discrimination.

    Note: Not all submissions are from Community users.

    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.

    Maude's daughter, Carol: "It's not your fault, when you were young. 'abortion' was a dirty word.' Maude: "It's not just that I'm scared. It's like deep down inside there's a teeny part of me that feels guilty for thinking about it"

    "The first TV show that always comes to mind is Maude starring Bea Arthur. It was 1972, and the 47-year-old character discussed having an abortion after finding out she was suddenly pregnant again. I watched that show for the first time just a few years ago, and it blew my mind that it was discussed so openly during Season 1 of a brand-new TV show!"


    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.

    Uncle Phil: "You can put your hands down, Jazz." Jazz: "No way. Dude's got a gun. Next thing you know, I got six warning shots in back"

    "Going back and rewatching Fresh Prince, you notice tons of little moments, but that one with Jazz putting his hands up was big to me. I saw it for the first time on a rerun of the episode, but the timing was so bone-chillingly accurate."


    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.

    Uncle Phil to the officer: "Don't tell us to wait, and don't tell us to sit down -- just open the cell and let those two boys out or I'm gonna tie this place up with so much litigation, that your grandchildren are gonna need lawyers"

    "The episode when Will and Carlton are arrested under suspicion of stealing Uncle Phil’s boss’s car (they were driving it to Palm Springs for him). As a kid, I understood the message that these boys were being arrested because they were Black; had they been white, it would not have happened. But watching it again as an adult, I noticed how Uncle Phil and Aunt Viv were the first to arrive to the prison, yet the police officer refused to release Will and Carlton until Uncle Phil’s white legal partner arrived. Even with his money and education, Uncle Phil is still not taken seriously by the small-town white cops."


    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.

    D.J. telling her dad she wants to look beautiful, and when he says she is, she responds with: "Oh yeah? Show me one girl in here with this round face and Charlie Brown cheeks"

    "It originally aired in 1990, and when I watched a rerun of it, I was going through something similar — the way they handled it was amazing."


    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.

    Blanche: "I can accept the fact that he's gay, but why does he have to slip a ring on his finger?" Sophia: "Everyone wants someone to grow old with, and shouldn't everyone get that chance?"

    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.

    Head of school: "Any witnesses?" Blanche: Why, don't you believe me?" Head of school: "Without substantial evidence, it's your word against his. A man's career is at stake!" Blanche: "So is mine, not to mention my dignity"

    "The Golden Girls had so many moments. They discussed pill addiction, losing children, gay marriage, owning a gun, sexual harassment — that show was way ahead of its time."


    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.

    Wedding officiator: "Nothing makes God happier than when two people -- any two people -- come together in love"

    "'The One with the Lesbian Wedding' was the first lesbian wedding to ever air on TV! The way they depicted Carol and Susan's love, and the way the friends talk about their relationship — I think it was handled really well. Carol and Susan's relationship helped me visualize what being with a woman would look like long-term after being in the closet for so long."


    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.

    CBS Photo Archive / Getty Images

    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.

    Mary's mom: "Don't forget to take your pill!" Mary and Mary's dad at the same time: "I won't!"

    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.

    Miss Grotke telling her kids: "Take these history books with a grain of salt as they focus primarily on white western males"

    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.

    Josie: "Nothing like an AIDS ward to teach you that youth is not immortality -- more than anything, youth is the power to make choices"

    "Tisha Campbell guest-starred on A Different World as an HIV-positive student. That episode was eloquently done and way ahead of its time."


    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.

    The firearm clerk letting Homer buy a handgun, despite his background check: "You've been in a mental institution, frequent problems with alcohol, you beat up President Bush"

    "It’s especially poignant because this episode aired long before Sandy Hook, Columbine, and Orlando."


    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).

    A screenshot of the "I Love Lucy" episode title; Ricky singing to Lucy: "She's having a baby, my baby and me"
    IMDb / CBS

    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.

    Mister Rogers and Officer Clemmons washing their feet together in the same pool, and sharing the same towel


    Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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