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Bubble Guppies, What the Fucky?

I don’t write TV reviews often. When I do, it’s because a show that my kids watch is either surprisingly good and speaks to me in some way or because it’s annoying as fuck. The only thing surprising about the Bubble Guppies is how little sense it makes. If you plan on commenting (OR EVEN THINKING) “who cares? It’s a kids’ show,” get out now. Leave. You’re not going to like this article. Try a different one. I know it’s a kids’ show. I know it doesn’t have to make sense. Maybe I’m expecting too much from children’s television. Or maybe I just want to write a snarky post about how much Bubble Guppies annoys me. Yes, it’s a kids’ show, but sometimes I have to watch the damn thing, too.

The titular Bubble Guppies are classmates in a school of fish. Haha. Get it? Well, they’re not actually fish, more like fish-people. They’re merkids with human torsos and heads, odd colored hair and big anime eyes, but cute little fishy bottoms. They have names, but I don’t really care what they are. Each of them is equally irritating, some more than others. (Trust me, that statement makes more sense than the show.) There’s also a fish with a dog head or a dog with a fish butt (I’m not sure the exact biological breakdown). His name is Bubble Puppy. It’s almost like he’s one of the Bubble Guppies, but not quite. Their teacher is just a regular old fish, Mr. Grouper.

But here’s the thing. The thing that pisses me off and I can’t get over. There is no reason for any of it. There is no point to them living under water or being weird fish-human hybrids. There is no point, other than marketing. I can just imagine the pitch: This isn’t like all those other educational(ish) shows with kids who can walk around and breath oxygen. In this show…wait for it…the kids have friggin’ fins, and well I guess also breath oxygen. I wasn’t sure. I had to Google it. Doesn’t really matter. Did you hear me? They’re part fish! But all the lessons are about stuff that happens on the land. It’s like the Bubble Guppies “want to be where the people are, they want to see want to see ’em dancing!” Or maybe I’m confusing them with someone else.

The Guppies learn about campfires. Underwater. They learn about farms. Underwater. They learn about ducks who live in ponds next to giant oak trees. Way the hell under the water! Why? If they’re going to be in the ocean, how about some aquatic lessons? Octanauts, another ocean-based children’s show, has issues of its own (like, what the hell is with the turnip?) but at least it attempts to teach kids about marine biology.

Seriously? Birds? Go fuck yourself, Bubble Guppies.
Seriously? Birds? Go fuck yourself, Bubble Guppies.

All of this is not to say there aren’t moments of drama in the show. Ah yes, I can recall one particularly dire situation when a cat got stuck in a tree. Firefighters were called to the scene to rescue the helpless kitty. Did I forget to mention that the cat had fins and could have swam out of the tree? Hopefully the Guppies remembered how to start that underwater campfire, to warm her up after that frightening ordeal.

There’s another aspect of the Bubble Guppies I find disturbing. This may sound crazy, but I think the show may be racist. In fact (for the sake of snark), I’m sure of it.

The Guppies, themselves, appear to be of different ethnicities, which is nice to see. The racism of the their world, however, is more insidious, pitting the elite merpeople against the rest of the subterranean creatures. Though the Guppies interact with fish and crustaceans of all sorts, they are higher on the proverbial food chain. Many fish hold down regular, good-paying jobs. They are firefighters, doctors, train engineers and, of course, teachers. Disconcertingly, professions seem to be based on species, as evidenced by an all-crab construction crew and an all-lobster police force. It’s possible that Mr. Grouper was forced into an academic career because he is a grouper (maybe every teacher is Mr. or Mrs. Grouper). A disturbing thought, but there’s more. He and the other fish must have had years of schooling (including higher education or, possibly, trade schools), but where are the fish students? Maybe it’s just a fluke (haha, fluke is a kind of fish!) of the Bubble Guppies’ school district, but I would  expect one or two of Mr. Grouper’s students to look like him. But they’re not in his class or anywhere to be seen. I’m left to assume that fish are sent to different, segregated, schools. Apparently, fish are good enough to teach the precious Guppies and crustaceans can gratuitously rescue their merkittens from trees, but Cod forbid their children float at the desks next to the Guppies and go on underwater adventures to learn about life on land.

What time is it? It's time for a sit in. Damn the merman, Mr. Grouper!
What time is it? It’s time for a sit in. Damn the merman, Mr. Grouper!

It’s entirely possible that I’m way off base and needlessly besmirching an amiable children’s program. Maybe, but I really don’t care. This show pisses me off. So please Tweet Nick Jr. and let them know that of all the things that don’t make sense in the world of the Bubble Guppies, segregation is definitely the worst.

Seriously, Bubble Guppies, what the fucky?

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69 Comments

  1. Jennifer Battista Jennifer Battista

    Glad I am not the only one disturbed by this show. I think they were riding horses in one episode. The point being? Cod forbid, indeed!

    • admin admin

      Jennifer – there are people who’s opinions I value and respect who have defended this show. I don’t get it. I hope everyone who is irritated by the Bubble Guppies finds comfort here, knowing they are not alone. And I hope that people who hadn’t thought about it before get really annoyed now. Nothing would make me happier.

  2. Dave G Dave G

    I recently convinced my daughter that there is a sixth Bubble Guppy named Tito that comes into the episode every time she leaves the room. This was for my amusement only. Also–those firefighters used a LADDER to rescue that fish-cat (catfish?) out of the underwater tree.

    • admin admin

      Dave G – that is amazing. Before having kids I kind of thought I’d screw with my kids more often than I do. I’m just so tired. Maybe that’ll be my New Year’s resolution: mess with my kids more.

    • Kimberly w Kimberly w

      If u think that there are only 5 guppies that u need to be the one watching the show and not your daughter so u can learn how to count again.

  3. Hahahaha! My kids love this show but I honestly have never watched a full episode…I guess I should!

    • admin admin

      Allie – why not? Especially if you keep my rant in mind. Might make you laugh a little. (I don’t really think the show is racist, by the way.)

  4. YES, thank you! I just recently started looking for quality shows to watch with my 1 year old girl and thought I’d give Bubble Guppies a try……NOPE!
    My thoughts are exactly in line with yours; it’s the most pointless, non-sensical crap I’ve seen! I mean, even Sponge Bob makes sense compared to this junk.

    Needless to say, it’s never getting turned on in our house again, and I’m guessing the same for you. Great post!

    • admin admin

      RC – exactly! Bikini Bottom plays with the fact that it’s under water. The writers made a set of rules and then they break them for comedic effect. In Bubble Guppies, THERE ARE NO RULES! I just can’t get over it.

  5. Elizabeth Elizabeth

    You said all I think every time this show comes on. Thank you thank you.

  6. Roxanne Roxanne

    Lol, I love this show and I’m 24 years old. I would totally let any future kids of mine watch it.

    • admin admin

      You say that now, Roxanne. Maybe it’ll be this show or a different show that you will have no choice about. And you will have to watch every episode over and over and over again. We’ll see how much you love it then. We’ll see! ::maniacal laugh:: ::maniacal laugh::

  7. Steve Lynch Steve Lynch

    this show is horrible and the books are worse, makes absolutely no sense why are there fountains underwater, who caressive the bridge collapses you are underwater and can swim and even if you hit the water below you’re a fish thing and can swim! seriously what the hell?!? the only reason i let my daughter rarely watch it or get the books from the library (which i refuse to read and make her read them herself) is to teach her how to question how things are portrayed in the media and to show how some things are created just generate cash, other than that this show was no value!

    • admin admin

      IT MAKES NO SENSE!!! Yeah, I hate it, dude. Glad my kids don’t watch anymore. I like the lesson you’re teaching daughter, though. A silver lining to the crap-fest that is the Bubble Guppies.

    • stymie stymie

      bring back the flintstones.now that’s reality!

  8. […] my well-known hatred of Disney’s Sofia the First and the illogical idiocy of the Bubble Guppies, you might assume I have some vendetta against the cartoon Mickey Mouse. I’m don’t. I […]

  9. DARLENE NIXON DARLENE NIXON

    THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH WATCHING THE BUBBLE GUPPIES TODAY. I WATCHED THAT SHOW ALL OF THE TIME. THAT SHOW IS NOT A RACIST SHOW TO WATCH. IF YOU DONT WANT TI WATCH THE SHOW THAN DONT WATCH IT. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG EITH ALL OF THE SHOWS. BECAUSE I WATCH ALL OF THE SHOWS EVERY DAY. SO MY ADVICE TO YOU IS TO KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT ABOUT THE BUBBLE GUPPUES. THANK YOU. DARLENE NIXON

    • admin admin

      Hey Darlene,

      Thanks for checking out the blog! I hope some day you’ll come to love it as much as you love the Bubble Guppies. I know I have an uphill battle, but I’m confident that we will find common ground and you will learn to appreciate and, eventually, crave my comedy stylings. Keep on reading and commenting. Feedback on how to become a better blogger and person is always welcome.

  10. Amby Amby

    It’s the best preschoolers show…EVER!

    It’s fun, happy, tuneful and involves not only racial variety but also includes a selection of different examples of personalities as well as a mildly autistic (possibly aspbergers) child who is NEVER treated with anything other than mutual respect and encouragement.

    Another thing that you mentioned was why was there no other species in the class… Possibly because of developmental speeds of different species.

    If the bubble guppies age at the same speed as human children then their ‘childhood’ would last a lot longer than that of fish, who are independent from birth.

    It is a bit daft that it’s set underwater, but little kids want to watch similar programmes as their older siblings, since shows like h20 and mako mermaids are very popular these days it only makes sense to develop a preschool educational programme with merfolk in it.

    But to me its just fun and happy… And the world needs more of that!

    • admin admin

      That is the best, most reasoned argument for the Bubble Guppies I have ever heard. Some people just call me an asshole. So, thank you. I still can’t stand the show & I’m glad my kids don’t watch it anymore, but enjoy!

      • Amby Amby

        Why thank you kind sir!

  11. Carrie K Carrie K

    When it rains, they use umbrellas. UNDERWATER!!!

    • admin admin

      HAHAHAHAHA!!! Yes! You get it! Ugh, it’s so frustrating!

  12. Salvatore Salvatore

    This has been an argument between me and my fiance since our daughter was born in September. Of all the shows on Nick Jr, this (and the monster machine one) is the one I loathe. For the very reasons that you have mentioned, and more (weather like snow and rain) and when they go out on boats.

    Anyway, shows that I do like are wonder pets, little charmers, peppa pig and, of course, Paw Patrol (my favorite… we have actually recorded new episodes so that we don’t miss them).

    • admin admin

      Needless to say, you’re right and your fiance is wrong. At least as far as Bubble Guppies go.

  13. Brandon d Brandon d

    As a first time parent we will put nickjr on for a few minutes just to keep the babies attention while we get stuff together. It seems like bubble guppies is always on. I’m hoping other kid shows aren’t as irratating as bubble guppies. Umbrellas underwater makes 0 sense. An underwater kickball game gets canceled because it rains?!?!?! The guppies than proceed to play in the rain puddles….

    • admin admin

      Brandon, I’m sorry to tell you, most kids shows are horrible and annoying and you will have to watch them over and over and over again. But your kids will grow out of them, and you will be able to push them towards cool shit (like superheroes and Star Wars) at least sometimes. Find the show or shows that annoy you the least and try to push for those. You probably won’t actually have any say in the matter. Good luck!

  14. I’ve got to confess, I actually love Bubble Guppies, but I like it precisely because it’s so weird. It’s like an early intro to surrealism, and I can get on board with that. Still, your article is spot on. WTF is with all the land stuff? It’s so weird, it goes right on around the corner and into awesome!

    • admin admin

      Molly, that’s fair. I appreciate the underwater world of Sponge Bob. But there, they have rules and then break them for comedic effect. In the Guppy-verse it’s a free-for-all! It’s complete anarchy! I just can’t handle that.

      • Oh, I fully understand that my love of this kind of weirdness is not shared by most folks. 🙂

        By the way, Holy Moly, did you see the episode where they went to underwater ancient Egypt? Complete with an underwater… DESERT?? What the fucky is right!

        • admin admin

          Haha! Molly, unfortunately, I missed that one. Sounds about right, though.

  15. Sherry Sherry

    I agree with the sentiment…..I don’t understand the whole premise of the show…..but my very least favorite part are the songs…..the theme song…..AHHHHHHH and the outside song…..my kids love it….makes me want to break stuff.

    • admin admin

      Sherry – the songs are totally crappy ear worms. They are the worst! And so, so catchy! (Go ahead and break some stuff. It’ll help.)

  16. Renee Renee

    I fuckin love it!!! Personally, I like the guppies but I can’t deny contemplating the water vs land issues with the show…can’t say I noticed the segregation lmfao my daughter and I were in tears reading this “review” about my granbaby’s favorite TV program

    • admin admin

      Haha! Thanks Renee! The segregation thing was mostly me being an asshole, but I stand by the rest of it!

  17. Melissa Melissa

    Would rather watch Bubble Guppies than Calliou.

    • admin admin

      Yeah, I’m with ya there, Melissa.

  18. Trakker Trakker

    Finally! Someone that feels the same way I do about this ridiculous show. It makes zero sense to have an underwater kids cartoon, when 90% of the subject matter is about land-based issues, with an occasional bubble or two, to remind you it’s taking place underwater. Why not just make it a Mer-Kid show and deal with underwater adventures and subjects?? It worked perfectly fine for the Little Mermaid, and these little creatures are even potentially cuter, with the opportunity to have some out of water adventures too! Just please, for the love of Cod, decide what you are Bubble Guppies!!!!!

    • admin admin

      Trakker – we are kindred spirits.

  19. Lisa Lisa

    The physics, or lack of in the show drive my husband and I nuts. In one episode they worry about a fish/horse hybrid running off a cliff with it’s mer-person rider. Seriously, just swim! Plus…how does it rain underwater and how to they drive cars and trucks? So many questions but our 20 month old loves it and the songs are catchy. Sadly, my husband and I know the Bubble Guppies songs better than what’s on the top 10 radio.

    • admin admin

      JUST FUCKING SWIM!!!! Yeah, it makes no sense. I haven’t been forced to watch the show in a year or so, but the songs are still stuck in my head.

  20. Lisa Lisa

    Oh yeah…also….why the heck is Nonni in the class? That kid is super smart. Maybe that’s why the show picks on him. He’s seldom starring in a song and he always has a weird lunch.

  21. bobbie bobbie

    Hopefully I’m not the only one that found the drying your hair underwater disturbing. Lol

  22. Michaela Michaela

    Most annoying thing is about the show is that they cant sing. My kids love watching it though.

    • samantha samantha

      omg really ? have you heard Gil sing the little froggy song? swear to God he’s the next Beiber!

  23. Carmen Carmen

    Wait…why is there a fire department underwater?

    • admin admin

      Why indeed, Carmen? Why indeed?

      • Daniel Davis Daniel Davis

        Totally agree.

        The rain episode was the worst one though.
        They’re underwater. And it starts raining.

        And then they decide to play a baseball-esque game in a stadium and have to cancel it when the stadium… starts filling up with water.

        From the rain.

        So what was it filled with BEFORE?
        Air?

        • admin admin

          Daniel – you get it.

  24. Amber foster Amber foster

    My son absolutely loves this show, but the thing that irritates me the most is that molly and gill are the stars of everything while the rest of them are pretty much background reminds me of “popular vs nerds” and I don’t like my child learning this nonnie never seems happy and deema is made to be a “dumb blonde” while goby is always a construction worker or dump truck driver it really makes my blood boil to know my son might pick up on this in a manner of thinking it isn’t cool to be smart and things such as this

  25. mya mya

    You must be at stay at home mom alot of time on your hands to right this long post. Smh who cares maybe the concept of the show doesn’t make sense but the show itself is actually very educational. The shows I grew up on ie:Flintstones, Bugs bunny,etc none of those cartoons taught anything, at least this one is trying.

    • Stacy b. Stacy b.

      That’s my problem though. Not every show HAS to be educational. But I can’t think of very many GOOD shows on nowadays that are just funny. If they’re not educational, they’re dumb as hell. Shows back in the day were good. Glad my son likes them.

      • admin admin

        How old is your son? Most of the shows my kids watch are for a little bit of an older set. Even my 4yo watches the stuff that is probably more for the 8yo.

  26. Dying while babysitting Dying while babysitting

    I’m laughing my ass off oh my god this was great

    • admin admin

      Awesome! That’s why I like to hear!

  27. Badegr Hall Badegr Hall

    The problem with this crappy show is how much they bleed you dry for them, Pvr off the tv dosen’t give you mobility, cell phones and tablets do but you pay more than you would for a coke habbit to entertain you kid who 9 times out of 10 will watch it for 5 mins then toss the device to the floor and walk away. Hate you nickelodeon!

  28. Kristen Kristen

    Poke so I’ve had all of the same thoughts… But I was wondering if it was supposed to also be some kind of simulacrum variety show? Yes, all of the underwater anomaly aside… What’s with the tank part in the beginnings the set pieces like the part where they work in a store, etc.? I have laughed about the caste system apparent within the species.. Actually my 11 year old son asked why the snails and crustaceans are always around to watch the merpeople act out their lives? Hilarious.

    Thank you. I actually googled ” what’s the deal with bubble guppies” to find your article while watching a dvr full ofnbubble guppies with my sick toddler. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you

    • admin admin

      I’ve never thought about it as a variety show. And I had to look up what simulacrum meant. Luckily my kids are over it, so I haven’t thought too much about the Bubble Guppies lately. But I love how you found the article! I’ve written about a few other shows too. Most notably Sofia the First. Wow, I hated her! And a few that I liked and appreciated. Now, it’s pretty much all Pokemon all the time. I can’t even.

      • Isabella Isabella

        Write one about Pokémon then! I WOULD LOVE IT!!!

  29. samantha samantha

    I know it doesn’t make logical sense and I don’t care to argue with adults about a kids show. I know the feeling of being annoyed by a show.. for me it’s the wiggles.. oh my fucking God.

    my son only wants to watch bubbles guppies so consequently I do as well. perhaps I have seen more episodes than you which is why I just wanted to correct one of your critiques regarding higher education being solely reserved for the merkids. there is an episode where a little fish is starting his first day of school and they give him encouragement etc.

    that is all

    • admin admin

      Hey Samantha! It’s funny, I’ve been forced to watch numerous shows as a parent. And once one of them starts annoying me, I find EVERYTHING about it annoying. I know a lot of people like the Bubble Guppies (you’re in good company), but I’m glad my kids are over it and I never got the the episode with the fish in school. Hopefully, I’ll never have to watch another episode again!

  30. Jessica Kopka Jessica Kopka

    I agree with u. That show pisses me off so much. My little brother is addicted to it. WTF is wrong with the show. I agree with everything u said about the show. Who even thought of bubble guppies?!

    • Hater of Swearing Hater of Swearing

      Caillou is even worse.. I watched as a child and.. just..no.

  31. Stacy b. Stacy b.

    I’ve been trying to find an article like this. What’s with the trees underwater? A beach and ocean…Under the ocean? So Seriously, are they really underwater? Even SpongeBob makes it look like they’re underwater throughout the show in places. This show has sky and clouds. I agree. Wtf?!

    • admin admin

      Stacy B.

      Exactly. Sponge Bob also plays with the idea that they’re in the ocean; sometimes breaking it’s own “rules” but in a deliberate way. There are no rules in the world of the Guppies!!!! It’s infuriating.

  32. Haha I see this on tv all the time but ky kids have a spongebob fetish and there is some weird american guy that says hunny boo boo all the time. Some weirdo scientist. I actually am so shocked at the state of kids tv nowadays. You should trry british kids tv cbeebies too… not fun! The sad thing is as a parent when these shows r on tv we end up learning the bloody lyrics of the songs!!!

    • admin admin

      My kids went thru a Peppa Pig phase. That’s British, right? Or do they just have the accents? These days there are a couple weird shows that they like that are actually pretty funny – one called Steven Universe is the latest obsession. But mostly it’s all Pokemon all the time. I can’t friggin stand Pokemon.

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