Big Mouth is More Than a Show With Horny Teens

I started watching Big Mouth the year it premiered. Accompanied with other adult animated TV shows, it was groundbreaking, based on a core theme which the title of the show does not even give away, like let’s say Sex Education. Big Mouth deals with puberty in the life of a group of kids who just hit adolescence. This is depicted in the horniest of ways. Even the graphics animation goes all out. It doesn’t hold back, not even when it reaches deeper sexual topics.

Moreover, it frequently features catchy, humorous, basic songs, inserted as musicals for lighthearted illustration concerning a few topics it deals with. All of these cannot be achieved without help from the ever hardworking puberty henchmen- the hormone, depression and shame monsters, who feature from time to time tormenting these ‘innocent’ kids in the various ways we all felt them at that age.

The show does more than most parents in lecturing their kids these days on topics such as general sex education, drugs, and depression. These hit hard the most during this time of a person’s life, known as puberty. The hormones are boiling and raging to try those things labelled as forbidden. Netflix animated show, Big Mouth, does just right in dealing with them and opening up discussion concerning these themes.

The first and foremost theme that Big Mouth deals with is breaking down the myths surrounding sex and putting it all out there as it is. This can be referred to as the recurring subject on this ‘horny’ show. Although, I do not remember any of the teen characters having sex yet, but using diverse stories, it lectures on the use of protection and importance of contraceptives, while not leaving out personal gender experiences connected to puberty. The theme of sex education can be traced to all of the episodes and it never gets stale as they find new ways to reinvent the stories. Particular episodes I would be suggesting are:

  • S01E02, when a class excursion turns into the longest day ever for a girl experiencing her period for the first time while trying to be a perfect first time girlfriend. This episodes describes how to deal with period for first timers and to overcome the shame involved, especially when you dressing on that day is not one that helps as it comes unplanned.
  • S02E05, titled The Planned Parenthood Show. The episode is basically a Sex-Ed class made easy or Sex-Ed for dummies. Various topics related to this ‘taboo’, known as sex are dealt with. Ranging from contraceptives, protection and STDs- all of these were handled hilariously. I think messages are best passed through comedy because they stick in your head longer. Although, it was a little bit socio-politically motivated, with the argument surrounding abortion in the USA, the episode still manages to be funny and informative for those willing to look beyond politics.

Secondly, comes drugs. Sometimes highlighted, but not too often is drugs and its dangers, not promotion of its usage. What did you think? With the rise of vaping, edibles and academic drugs usage in the USA, the show does a good job of creating awareness on its risks. This is the one I find to be the most unconvincing because sometimes when the message is lost in the jokes, it looks like they are promoting the usage of these drugs. Episodes to look out for are:

  • S02E06, where the kids face the consequences of drugs usage after getting access to one of the parent’s edibles after a brief first time amusement. The episode boasts having the best one liners and jokes from from the three seasons due to the kids’ drug use. If misunderstood, it could make some people believe that drugs make you funnier. Therefore, you should consume more, in order to be that cool, funny type.
  • S03E09: during this episode, the kids have to take really important examinations which 90% of them completed while on academic drugs which they bought from another school mate who acquired it as a prescription for his personal mental health. Acquiring drugs is not only when a hooded guy lurks around the school, selling pills to the kids. The episode shows us a legal way through which the kids get their hands on these pills which was prescribed for another student. They face the music again in this episode as most of them felt unwell afterwards. You should keep an eye out for a hilarious monologue at the end of this episode.

One important issue faced today that parents rarely talk about or pay attention to, especially where I come from is mental health and depression. Luckily, this show does their job for them as I have learnt a thing or two than I learnt during my teenage years. There is a common response you get from parents when you mention being depressed: “You should be happy. There are people doing worse than you are. You better thank God.”. Eerrrr, no doubt. But should other people’s experience tagged as ‘worse’ make mine any lighter or invisible? They have their problems, I have mine on a personal scale and we all have to deal with it (sadly, we are never equipped for it). This show does better I tell you. This has been repeated over the three seasons, for example, by focusing on a particular character’s self esteem, family life or life outlook. Episodes that make this beast lighter are:

  • S02E10, we get to meet the depression monster for the first time here. I love how it was designed- a colourful large cat, that is in no way threatening (my favourite colour, my people). This way we understand how depression could be- appearing to be nothing dark, even in the lives of the ‘happiest on earth’, but it lurks around, waiting to charge and advance when given the (mental) space. Whereby, having the right people and tools around help to thwart such attack, even in the case of a relapse.
  • S03E11, this episode prompted this essay. As the depression kitty makes another appearance, we are reminded that depression is never over or completely dealt with. Combating depression is always going to be a continuous lifelong process filled with setbacks and being ready each time it reappears. I am proud of you, Jessi!!!

The recurring theme of sex has given the animated TV program its name, ‘The Show with Horny Kids.’ But it is more than that, as it deals with these important adolescence matters in ways parents or teachers can not. It is on television (Netflix technically), it is animated and it is funny- come on, you can have all of my attention. Big Mouth is a smartly written show. It is entertaining, quick-witted and most importantly (let us not forget) educational.

Seen Big Mouth? Let us talk about it in the comment section. Might be exciting to know that a spinoff featuring the monsters, tagged ‘Human Resources’ is in the works. I guess it would just focus on the hormone, depression and shame monsters and the ‘multinational’ company where they come from and carry out their office life. As we know from the series in S02E10 (The Department of Puberty), these monsters also get involved in company politics. get sacked, and even retire.

What is your favourite Big Mouth episode and which of the themes have you picked something from?

Bis Bald!