Puberty Is a Literal Monster in Netflix's Big Mouth

Image: Netflix
Image: Netflix

Netflix’s latest animated series boasts an incredible comedic voice cast (John Mulaney, Maya Rudolph Jason Mantzoukas, Jordan Peele, Fred Armisen, Jenny Slate, and Jessi Klein) and yet the two clips that have been released have left me more confused than anything.


Big Mouth described by Netflix as a “half-hour edgy adult animated comedy from real-life best friends Nick Kroll (Kroll Show, The League) and Andrew Goldberg (Family Guy) about the glorious nightmare that is teenaged puberty.” And even that very basic definition is kind of lacking from these two clips. I mean, puberty’s there, sure. But it’s not edgy. At least not here.

I think it’s meant to be in the classic “animation but crude, so shocking” vein, but either it’s much tamer than billed or the two most average—and therefore least off-putting—clips were chosen for this debut. Because mainly the jokes here are just stereotypes of puberty. Hey, did you know teenaged boys masterbate? And girls have mood swings? Har-har. Except now there’s a monster urging them on! Commentary!

Even putting it that way is more vitriol than is deserved. It’s just...there.

Watch and judge for yourself:

Big Mouth comes to Netflix on September 29.

Katharine is the Associate Director of Policy and Activism at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the former managing editor of io9. She writes about technology policy and pop culture.



The most brilliant takedown of puberty I’ve ever seen was a 6-page comic by Alan Moore that posited Puberty as a small town that you can reach by car. Once you’re in Puberty, a lot of people get into Trouble further down the road, and end up living in the towns of Sin or Debt.

The protagonist ends up blowing up the road to Puberty with a thermonuclear bomb, which coincidentally kills all the birds and bees.