Banned TV Moments That Fans Can't See

By Sarah Norman | May 3, 2023

A Room at the Top - The Brady Bunch

There's a sense of forbidden allure that comes with things that are banned or hard to come by. Whether it's a banned book, a censored movie, or an episode of a popular television show that was pulled from the airwaves, there's something about the unattainable that makes it all the more desirable. And while censorship may seem like a thing of the past, the truth is that there are still plenty of examples of episodes of popular television shows that were banned or are now hard to see because they were pulled from the airwaves after their initial run.

From the controversial and the offensive to the just plain bizarre, these episodes represent a side of television history that we don't often get to see. So, if you're a fan of television and want to explore some of the shows that have been deemed too hot for TV, then read on. We've compiled a list of some of the most banned and hard-to-find episodes of popular television shows, and we're inviting you to join us on a journey into the dark and fascinating world of TV censorship.

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Lloyd J. Schwartz, the director of the beloved Brady Bunch, spilled some juicy behind-the-scenes details in his tell-all tome, Brady, Brady, Brady: The Complete Story of the Brady Bunch. In one sizzling chapter, Schwartz reveals how the on-screen chemistry between Maureen McCormick and Barry Williams was quickly turning into a raging inferno that threatened to scorch the entire set. In the fourth season episode "A Room at the Top," a seemingly innocent scene called for the duo to engage in a harmless conversation on Marcia's bed. But even the cool, collected Schwartz couldn't contain the palpable sexual tension that crackled between the two stars. Schwartz wrote:

The problem was that this episode was being shot at the height of the sexual tension between Barry and Maureen, When Barry sat down on the bed and started to talk to his TV sister, it became romantic, even steamy. I couldn’t print a scene in which a brother and sister were obviously hot for each other.

I'll See You In Court - Married... with Children

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Married with Children was a continuous problem for Fox and the censors, but it wasn't until the show's third season that they finally drew the line with an episode so crass that it never saw the light of day. In "I'll See You in Court", when the Bundys visit a sleazy motel to get it on, they stumble upon a homemade stag tape featuring their neighbors, Marcy and Steve. When they confront the couple about it, Marcy and Steve confess they were unknowingly recorded at the motel, making Al and Peg question if their own time in motel incurred the same fate.

"I'll See You in Court" is perhaps one of the most explicit half-hours of TV to emerge from the '80s, solidifying Married with Children's reputation as a show that blatantly disregarded the norms of network television. Today, the episode appears in syndication from time to time, including the climax where Peg and Al get down to business in an empty courtroom, once again under secret surveillance. Yet, many of the most obscene lines are still muted, suggesting that the uncensored version will likely never grace our TV screens.