Someone needs to cover the children’s eyes! Give them some earmuffs! Shield them from the dirty language of Abbott Elementary this week!
Abbott Elementary has always been a great show to watch with your parents: It’s fluffy, hilarious, and it teaches wonderful life lessons. Though there have been adult topics on the show—like break-ups, family fights, and TikTok auctions—it feels like a sitcom that children can actually watch. Would they get the humor in Ava (Janelle James) drinking a raw egg on this week’s episode? No, probably not. But the show is still appropriate for all ages, suitable from middle schoolers to grandmas.
But kids actually shouldn’t watch this week’s episode, “Egg Drop,” because for the first time in a blue moon, Abbott Elementary takes a turn into R-rated territory. I know, I’m shocked too! Even more surprising is that the restricted content isn’t Ava’s fault , nor does it have anything to do with Janine’s (Quinta Brunson) twisted ex Tariq (Zack Fox). No, the adult content actually sprouts from none other than Barbara Howard’s (Sheryl Lee Ralph) classroom.
Let’s remember that Barbara works with some of the youngest students at the school, the first graders, who are too busy learning how to read and write to understand what a curse word even is. These are babies! They shouldn’t be exposed to the f-word, the b-word, and whatever s-words (“stupid,” if you ask them) adults use behind closed doors.
Nevertheless, the words are plastered all over this week’s episode. Barbara isn’t the one behind them—wouldn’t it be funny if she were cussing up a storm in front of her first graders, though? Instead, it’s a parent (Raven Goodwin) of one of her students, who wears the words via tattoos and her curse-laden clothing. Not only does she have a big “BITCH” tattoo scrawled across her chest, but when Barbara asks her to cover up, she uses a “SLUT” sweatshirt to do so.
When one of Barbara’s students asks what “S…L…U…” means, Barbara cuts her off. She makes an excuse: Why, that’s the Saint Louis University of Technology, of course! Nice cover.
But “bitch” is harder to explain away, and the parent continues to show up, chest out, with her tattoo for all the young kiddos to see. Barbara has had enough. She demands that this parent not only cover up that dirty tattoo, but that she also wear more modest clothing around the children—fishnets and slut sweaters aren’t really covering it, ma’am.
For once, Barbara Howard, the perfect teacher who seems to know it all, actually learns a lesson. This parent’s young student is actually excelling in her class, passing with flying colors as she learns how to paint flowers (which she says her mom taught her, so that she knows “when a man buys her cheap ones”). Why does it matter if her mother wears inappropriate clothing, then?
Fans are raving over this whole exchange, especially excited by the appearance of Good Luck Charlie actress Raven Goodwin. And, of course, fans are already calling for a second Emmy for Sheryl Lee Ralph after another show-stopping performance in Season 2. Start engraving the trophy now, Academy.
Abbott Elementary will take another week-long break—the kids need time to process, after learning several new curse words—before returning to school with a new episode on Nov. 30. Enjoy Thanksgiving break, students!