“The Perils of Punky” (October 20, 1985)

This might be the most famous weird episode of any TV show ever, and with good reason: it is utterly inexplicable how this parade of horrors came to be. It would be weird for any sitcom to deliberately scare its viewers, much less a show that catered specifically to kids. Wait, is the shared trauma of this Punky Brewster the reason why millennials can’t stop talking about old TV? No, really — is this why???

This is an episode of our Patreon bonus podcast Weirdest Episode Ever. Listen to the rest of those episodes on Patreon or now also on Apple Podcasts!

Check out Drew’s video of all the times Brandon the dog was clearly not acting and was, in fact, actually scared of what was happening during this episode.

Most of the quotes used in this piece come from this Yahoo TV retrospective on this episode.

Watch Drew’s supercut of the Soleil Moon Frye’s pre-Punky made-for-TV horror movie, Invitation to Hell — and listen to the Monday Afternoon Movie about it!

The logo for Weirdest Episode Ever was designed by Ian O’Phelan. The theme music was composed by Nick Loiacano.