Peppa Pig’s Best Jokes Snuck In Just For Grownups

While a lot of children’s TV makes parents rapidly lose the will to live, Peppa Pig jokes cater for grownups too, from political satire to black humour and everyday sexism

Peppa Pig screengrab
Photo: Peppa Pig/BBC

It’s been almost 20 years since Peppa Pig first aired, and this popular UK children’s TV show is now a hit with preschoolers the world over, with the show’s achievements including over 350 episodes, eighteen music singles, and four theme parks across three continents.

While many top kids’ TV shows are so irritating they make parents rethink their life choices, the very best of children’s entertainment recognises that you have to win the grownups over too, and Peppa Pig, like Hey Duggee, is a prime example. Yes, Peppa herself is a total brat, and it’s all very LOUD and COLOURFUL, but the show also generously peppers (pun intended) the narrative with jokes for the grownups that mostly fly over the little ones’ heads: 

When Peppa Lost Her Sh*t About Whistling

There are many wholesome moments in children’s television designed to reassure little ones when they’re struggling to learn a new skill – but this isn’t one of them. Peppa can’t whistle, and she is seriously miffed about it. She rings Suzie Sheep to cheer herself up, but things don’t quite go to plan, resulting in some truly excellent, laugh-out-loud comic timing.

Foxes Will Be Foxes

While in the 1990s, The Animals of Farthing Wood scarred kids for life, Peppa Pig is more subtle when it comes to the ‘dog eat dog’ nature of the animal kingdom. The fox family frequently make little digs about their carnivorous tendencies – there’s an entire episode about how the foxes can find the other animals thanks to their excellent sense of smell, and when Mr Fox comes to collect Freddy from Mrs Rabbit’s house, he sniffs the rabbit hole and says “Mmm, I smell dinner!” 

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Even better is the clip above, when Mr Fox arrives just as Grandpa Pig is putting his chickens away for the night, with his nefarious intentions as clear to Grandpa Pig as they are to the grownups watching.

Mr Wolf Huffs and Puffs

Mr Wolf isn’t much better. When he first arrives, Daddy Pig has just built him a house, which he inspects by huffing and puffing to ‘see how strong it is.’ He then turns to Daddy Pig and asks what his house is made of, to which Daddy Pig firmly answers: ‘Bricks, so don’t even think about it.’ 

There’s also a very funny exchange on an episode about a picnic, when Daddy Pig and Mr Wolf get left behind, and Mr Wolf keeps sinisterly hinting at how hungry he is.

Mummy Pig Being an All-Round Bad-Ass

Don’t mess with Mummy Pig – she doesn’t suffer fools. The funfair episode sees her become increasingly twitchy-eyed with rage, winning all the giant teddies out of pure spite when the funfair employees make casual #everydaysexism comments like ‘You won’t win! Women are useless at this.’ And when Daddy Pig makes a right pig’s ear out of some simple DIY, Mummy Pig shows him how it’s done.

In Italy, People Speak Italian

Any parent that’s taken a child on holiday will relate to the series of episodes in Italy, where Peppa leaves her favourite toy on the plane, Daddy Pig thinks that speaking in very loud, slow, patronising English will make the Italians understand him, and the family obliviously struggles with the Italian rules of the road.

When Grampy Rabbit Can’t Stop Thinking About Cheese

Some of the jokes are so subtle even grownups can miss them the first time around. One of the greatest examples of this is when some of the men find themselves stranded on a desert island without any food. First, when Grampy Rabbit discovers he has a chocolate bar, Daddy Pig hasn’t even finished explaining they should save it for later before we see Grampy Rabbit now has chocolate all over his face. Then, he decides to put a mark in the sand ‘every time I think about cheese’. The next time we return to the desert island, although it isn’t mentioned, there are about 50 marks in the sand. 

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When Granny Pig Ruins The Racing

Pre-school shows really have no business making their episode openings this funny. When Daddy and Grandad Pig are excitedly watching the Peppa Pig version of Formula 1 on television, Granny Pig switches it off just at the nail-biting finish. When the men hurriedly switch the TV back on, the commentator is pointedly saying ‘Wow, that was an exciting end to a race. I’m so glad I didn’t miss the finish!’ Somehow, the fact he seems to be a potato with a French accent just makes it even funnier.

Playing Politics

Possibly Peppa Pig’s finest hour is the International Day episode when all the children arrive at school dressed as a different country. For one thing, the narrator insists on referring to the children as their country for the whole episode, resulting in lines like ‘The United Kingdom is on the slide’ and ‘Germany is playing hopscotch’. But, even better, the children eventually end up having an almighty bust-up over who gets to play in the sandpit, resulting in their teacher Miss Gazelle saying ‘That is enough! Is this how you think the countries of the world behave?’ Touché, Peppa Pig. Touché. 

Peppa Pig is available to stream on Netflix