Perhaps the most iconic member of this list, "Home" was broadcast in October, 1996, then banned from repeats by the Fox Network. The show featured a quadruplegic mom reproducing with her sons and a baby buried alive, all backdropped by the wise-cracks of Agents Mulder and Scully. Often regarded as one of the best episodes in the series, this was the creepiest thing David Duchovny did since Red Shoe Diaries.
Pulled after its initial showing, Toon Disney won't air this episode of the complex cartoon melodrama. The scene in particular has a main character accidentally shooting another main character while playing with a gun. The "don't play with guns" message was simple and clear to kids, but the main character getting shot was deemed to traumatic. Kind of like that other Disney comic from 1930, where Mickey gets depressed and tries to off himself.
The one issue with having a fierce teen supernatural drama set at a high school is that episodes can hit too hard when they coincidenatlly overlap with real incidents of school violence. Such was the case for the 1999 episode which featured a student loading a gun in a clock tower, and was originally scheduled to air the same day the Columbine massacre took place. Instead, it was pushed four months forward to September and aired at the beginning of the next season.
The BBC banned this episode, deeming it too disturbing for children. In the ep, the Original Series crew finds a planet almost identical to Earth, except grown-ups have all killed each other and only children are left. Throw in a mysterious disease beginning to infect the kids, and a scene where a child beats Kirk with a wrench until he bleeds, and it was too much for censors. When the BBC finally showed the episode, decades later, there was a huge jump in incidences of children attacking real-life space commanders with wrenches (we assume).
The BBC banned this TOS episode banned out of fears it would give kids nightmares. At a planet used as an asylum for the criminally insane, a mad shapeshifter tries to trick the crew. Scenes of crew members getting tortured, and a woman getting killed by an explosion, left this one on the shelf when the BBC aired the series. Today, viewers might find the notion of a planet filled with mental asylum patients the most disturbing part, as it resembles Earth a little too closely.
Another TOS episode banned by the BBC. "The Empath" eponymously refers to a lady held captive by citizens of an alien planet. The plot revolves around her ability to absorb the pain of others, and the alien citizens wish to see if she'll absorb enough torture to die. The BBC pulled it, figuring it would give kids more nightmares than a`clown documentary.
A poor choice of episode subject for a series that airs on Fox Family, this plot centered around a terrorist stripper. Threatening to blow herself up with dynamite strapped to her body, the exotic dancer's schtick was considered too much for kids, and the episode was banned. It also makes us marvel at the wide variety of clientele who must shop at trenchcoat stores.
This episode proves the threat of a paternity lawsuit isn't the only danger at a high school reunion. Another show with scenes of school violence postponed due to a real life school shooting, this episode was only postponed a month before airing in January of 2013.
Hired to promote the show in 2007, two men caused a bomb scare in Boston. Never aired and completely unavailable to the public, "Boston" focuses on the characters' reaction to this bomb scare. Allegedy, the fallout from everything cost Cartoon Network $3 million in reparations, which is probably enough to run one of those overseas animation studios for centuries.
Hannibal illustrates a modern twist on the TV episode ban. While never aired due to excessively disturbing content, the episode "Ceuf" is available on iTunes. Scenes involving brainwashed children forced to commit violent acts against other children were what caused this episode to be pulled. Yet there is still no ban on the real life child-on-child violence known as "dodgeball."
This famous 1997 Pokemon cartoon features the cute and cuddly main characters going inside the Pokeball transmitting device to diagnose a problem. The problem turned out to be inside viewers' minds, as 685 people had to be rushed to the hospital when strobing lights in the episode caused seizures.