I'm not sure there's a children's television character more loathed than fictional Canadian 4-year-old, Caillou.

PBS announced this week the eponymous show is calling it quits after more than two decades.

Sending shivers up the spines of moms and dads for 24 years, Caillou's whiny voice and disagreeable nature have been annoying parents of toddlers for an entire generation.

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I too am guilty of the Caillou hate.

When a woman announces she's pregnant for the first time she gets a lot of well-meaning advice.

I heard over and over, "don't let them watch Caillou."

"Trust me."

Just as I ignored my own intentions to make homemade organic baby food, and limit screen time, I failed to hold fast to the No Caillou tenet of wisdom.

I'm far from the only parent to feel actual hatred toward an animated child.

“Thank goodness,” cheered Liza Cummings Reilly on Facebook. “That little boy was so rude to his mom and disobedient. I didn’t allow my kids to watch him because of that reason.”

One mother commented that Caillou is an “obnoxious, ridiculous excuse for a kid’s show.” And yet another described the show as “the most annoying thing on TV.”


I found Caillou's parents more infuriating than the kid himself. No matter how whiny (which for Caillou, ranges from "constant" to "nuclear"), his parents were always so chill. No losing it, no swearing. Very different from my house, at times.

A friend of mine once commented that Caillou had a higher purpose -- to show parents a good example of how to handle a disagreeable child.

"The show doesn't teach kids how to behave -- it teaches parents how to behave."

As you can imagine, an enormous hormonally-driven shame spiral ensued.

Even more reason to hate that show.

But if your kids are grieving the loss of this or any of their favorite shows, PBS actually has some tips on how to talk to your kids about their favorite media "ending."

"While the end of a TV show or online game may not seem like a big deal to us, it can be a huge deal for kids. As kids’ playtime and social interactions often involve media, it makes sense to meet kids where they are by helping them through these seemingly small disappointments."

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