Banned TV Moments That Fans Can't See

By Sarah Norman | October 21, 2023

Conspiracy - Star Trek: The Next Generation

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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(Paramount Domestic Television)

Star Trek: The Next Generation, the beloved third installment of the iconic Star Trek series, takes place in the latter third of the 24th century, where Earth is a part of the United Federation of Planets, and the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) embarks on a journey to explore the Alpha quadrant. In the season one episode "Conspiracy," after meeting with a fellow captain, Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Enterprise uncover a conspiracy involving high-ranking Starfleet officers possessed by parasitic aliens preparing to invade the United Federation of Planets. However, the uncut version of "Conspiracy" was kept off of the BBC due to its rather uncharacteristic graphic depiction of a man exploding, which resulted in a highly edited version being aired by the BBC in 1991.

See Me, Feel Me, Gnomey - The Powerpuff Girls

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(cartoon network)

The Powerpuff Girls' "See Me, Feel Me, Gnomey" episode was a daring foray into the world of rock operas, inspired by the likes of "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Tommy". The girls find themselves overwhelmed by the crime plaguing Townsville and make a deal with an evil gnome to restore peace, giving up their powers in the process. However, the gnome takes the opportunity to create a cult and indoctrinates the people of Townsville. The girls must then choose between a world of peace and one of balance, ultimately deciding to break the deal and send the gnome into oblivion, restoring order to their city.

Series creator Craig McCracken has long since dismissed the rumors about flashing seizure lights and political debates that supposedly led to the episode's ban. Rather, the controversy was due to a misunderstanding. Reportedly, a character that bore a striking resemblance to Jesus Christ appeared alongside a structure of steel beams that resembled a cross. McCracken insists that the inclusion was purely coincidental and never intended as a nod to Christianity. Nonetheless, the episode was banned from American TV screens and remains a puzzling enigma for fans of the series who dare to explore its mysteries.