Haven’t we all wished for a Yoda or an Uncle Phil in our lives? That’s one of the best thing about kids’ shows: the awesome mentor/teacher figure, there to help shape you into who you’re meant to be. Who wouldn’t want that type of meaningful guidance in their life?
Unfortunately, some of the mentors from those shows actually ruined their hero, rather than aided them. Maybe they didn’t mean to, but ignorance is never a valid excuse.
10. Jackie Chan Adventures: Jackie
Come on, how could having Jackie freakin’ Chan as your relative not be awesome? He’s a wacky martial arts master! And a terrible guardian for his niece, Jade. So you know, ups and downs.
Jade joins Jackie on all of his adventures, most of which involve fighting demons and evil ninjas. Maybe she’s just awesome? Not really. Jade needed to be saved by Jackie in almost every episode, usually right after Jackie told her to stay home. Well if that’s the case, it’s not really his fault that she was always in danger, right? At least he tried.
Actually, no. The first time his eleven-year-old niece is almost eaten by a demon, he basically says, “Whoops! Don’t tell your parents.” The second time it happens, and he realizes she’s deliberately trying to join in on the danger, he sends her away. Great, except Jade proceeded to go on every adventure, and meddle in every mission; the fact that she got away with these things with little more than a slap on the wrist only confirmed to her that constantly risking her young life was the right thing to do.
9. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Master Splinter
Key word in the title: teenage. We’re not experts in anthropomorphic turtle biology, but the TMNT crew is unquestionably made up of kids. Kids who are constantly fighting off evil ninjas that want to kill them.
The reality of their life is that the world thinks they’re freaks and Shredder, the guy who accidentally created them, wants them dead. The very first episode, people see them and scream, “Look at the freaks!” That’s hard for anyone to handle, let alone a hormonal turtle teen.
And, despite Splinter not wanting their existence getting out, he lets them go to the surface and lets them fight Shredder. Heck, more than once, he arrives just in the nick of time to save them from death. The next day, it happens again. Obviously they aren’t prepared to be off on their own, but he lets these kids physically fight adult killers every other day.
The only thing that saves Splinter even a little, is that at least he trained them. No one would send teens into battle without any training, right?
8. Pokémon: Professor Oak
Nope, but they sure as Hell would send pre-teens! Oak gives Ash, a ten-year-old with no training or experience, an angry Pikachu. See, Ash woke up late on “Give Away Enslaved Creatures Day,” so all the starter Pokémon were gone when he got to the lab. After all of fourteen seconds of arguing, he gives Ash a violent, angry one to make him go away.
A bitter sentient creature who wants to hurt him? Well it’s not like Oak knows that Pikachu is angry and violent and – oh, wait, he totally does.
Is it really such a shock then, when Pikachu electrocutes Ash? And poor Ash has no clue what’s he doing; the kid is attacked by Pikachu, wild Pokémon AND hit by lightning all in just a few episodes. Not exactly the life of someone who has any clue about being a trainer.
7. Batman Beyond: Bruce Wayne
We all know that Batman is brusque and, in some incarnations, unfeeling. But what one of us wouldn’t accept that just to be mentored by The Batman? He always looked out for the Robins and they turned out well (except for Jason Todd.)
Batman Beyond wasn’t about Robin though, it was about a new Batman. And a major bone of contention between Bruce and the new Batman (Terry,) is Bruce expecting Terry to drop everything the moment there’s an emergency. He is consistently forced to duck out of dates, family outings, and even school, with Bruce insisting that, in order to be a good Batman, Terry has to give it all up.
For what? To end up like Bruce? The character is 100% alone when the show begins. He has no friends or family, and he’s sad and bitter. Bruce Wayne has always been tortured, and he wants Terry to be the exact same way – shun his girlfriend, family, friends and even academics, and do nothing but fight crime. If he does that, he’ll end up just like Bruce – alone.
6. X-Men: Professor X
The 3rd episode of the classic Fox series has Xavier mentally probing a captured Sabretooth, in an effort to rehabilitate the villain. Wolverine warns against this, but is ignored. When it turns out Wolverine is right, Xavier apologizes, and promises to listen to his team in the future.
Yet in the very next episode, Xavier gets pissed that they’re not taking their training more seriously, and hits a button that makes the walls and ceiling close in, like a trash compacter. Storm, a notorious sufferer of claustrophobia, loses her mind and starts a tornado. Jubilee and Rogue each get slammed into walls, and the X-Men are freaking out. Thankfully, the crisis is averted when Storm loses consciousness.
Xavier never killed the program, even when Storm lost her cool and started hurting her team. Why was he even running that simulation to begin with? He knew Storm had claustrophobia, and he responds by saying she doesn’t get a choice. So much for the bald sage we all love.
5. The Magic School Bus: Miss Frizzle
Miss Frizzle teaches third grade, so these kids aren’t even ten. Yet every single episode concerned a field trip made entirely out of danger. We’re talking getting frozen in space, getting trapped inside a book, causing unstoppable storms, facing a T-Rex, getting transformed, stuck as animals, and much more.
This isn’t some sort of planned thing either; frequently an episode would start with a kid asking a question or not knowing something, and Frizzle saying, “Let’s go find out.” Then the adventure would begin. That means the parents had no idea their kids were going on these “field trips,” and the kids themselves never actually knew whether they’d be in class or on the Moon on any given day.
None of these kids got any say in this, by the way; Arnold was often petrified and begged to stay behind, but was forced along by Frizzle or another classmate.
And some of these adventures took all DAY. This means that they missed math, reading, P.E. and every other class they have in a normal day, all to hang out inside somebody nose because they had a cold that day.
4. Boy Meets World: Mr. Feeny
Yes, Feeny. How could he be anything but awesome, you might be wondering? He does nothing but help, right?
Well, his “help” is exactly what’s wrong. He’s always helping. Cory, Eric, their friends, even their parents; Feeny fixes every problem for everyone. They’re incapable of finding a solution without him! It’s so bad that Eric can’t even study on his own in college without imagining a fake Feeny to tell him to do it.
But who can blame him, when Feeny has been their crutch for years? Even before the show began, this weirdo was involved with their lives; Cory once lets on that Feeny has taught him every year since kindergarten. That’s from the beginning of education until the end of college!
The show ends with the kids grown up, and moving away to start their own lives. Only how can they when the person who has solved every problem of theirs, from the age of five to the end of a Bachelor’s program, isn’t there? He has walked them through every dilemma, problem, quandary, and crisis. They haven’t been equipped to handle ANYTHING on their own.
3. The Smurfs: Papa Smurf
The wise old leader and mentor of the Smurfs is quite, frankly, a smurfin’ pervert.
Gargamel originally created Smurfette to look like a male Smurf in a dress, designed to wreak havoc on Smurf Village. Papa Smurf changed both her looks via Plastic Smurfery (yeah,) and created the blonde bombshell that he immediately decided he had the hots for. Even though he was her creator/father, not to mention 450 years her senior.
Oh, and he tried so hard to win her over. In the episode “Romeo and Smurfette,” all the Smurfs are asking Smurfette out, which Papa Smurf blames on spring fever. Papa Smurf shoos the Smurfs away from Smurfette, and then tells her she should marry someone more mature and older. He follows up with, “You could be Mama Smurf!”
After a tussle with Gargamel, Papa Smurf forces Smurfette to pick a suitor, because demanding marriage is always acceptable. Smurfette decides she just wants to be alone and enjoy her youth, and the other Smurfs begrudgingly accept her decision. Except for Papa Smurf, that is. The episode ends with him exercising again, vowing to be fit for her by next year. May Smurf have mercy on his soul.
2. Captain Planet: Gaia
Too bad she’s never around when the Planeteers are actually in trouble. Heck, she demonstrates that she CAN do physical things and help them, but it rarely happens. She’s omniscient and telepathic, and is conspicuously absent all the damn time. All she does is give them rings with magic powers: Fire, Earth, Wind, Water, and Getting Regularly Kidnapped.
But it gets worse than her just being inactive. The kids were regularly next to toxic waste and huge natural disasters, which Gaia wasn’t immune to, so there’s no reason their power rings would protect them. They were exposed to radioactive material every day. Toxic waste is killing Gaia, and is the only thing capable of knocking Captain Planet out, but there’s no concern for the kids themselves. Half of the show’s villains were mutants because of radiation from toxic waste.
But let’s just send five teenagers in; they’ll be fine.
1. Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: Zordon
Let’s go over how the Rangers were selected:
Zordon- “Teleport to us five overbearing and overemotional humans!”
Alpha- “No, not that! Not teenagers!” *beams up the first batch of teens he could find*
That’s right. The only requirements to be a Power Ranger are: have raging hormones, and be sassy. It’s amazing they stopped at five; he could have gone to any high school and recruited a whole Ranger Army.
And then, Zordon hands over amazingly powerful weapons to five untrained kids, and sends them into harm’s way to fight gigantic monsters. Hell, one of them isn’t even a martial artist; Billy had one martial arts lesson before becoming a Ranger. But he looked good in blue, so he got the job.
Zordon’s whole reasoning was that, because teenagers would inherit the planet next, they should be the ones protecting it. The people who already live and run the planet? Naw, let them rest. If civilization is going to be protected from a magical, planet-conquering sociopath, it’s going to happen thanks to a few high schoolers with emotional issues and the most monochromatic wardrobes of all time.