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The 7 Worst Unintentional Lessons The Berenstain Bears Will Teach Your Kids

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4. The Berenstain Bears and the In-Crowd

Moral: If you don‘t have a special talent, you can kiss your friends good by as soon as someone cooler comes along.

Sister Bear’s playground rep is shaken by the arrival of the cool new kid in town, Queenie McBear. Queenie sneers at Sister’s pink hairbow, mocks her little-girl tricycle, and asks who came up with the name “Sister”. (Queenie is a jerk, but I can’t really argue with her on that last point.) Everyone but Sister’s best friend Lizzie ditches her to hang out with Queenie. Her friends only come flocking back to her at the neighborhood double-dutch tournament, because Sister is a double-dutch rock star. She cements her spot as playground VIP by jump-roping circles around the hapless Queenie.

5. The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Vacation

Moral: Eating random things you find in the woods will at worst make you need a glass of water to wash away the taste, not a call to Poison Control.

Under the enthusiastic guidance of Papa Bear, the Bear family tries to make a vacation of roughing it in a rustic country cabin. They endure swarms of mosquitoes, leaky roofs and flooding, and worst of all, Papa’s attempts for the family to “live off the land”. The family eats berries they find in the forest, and Papa even makes a wilderness stew of bark, leaves, and what appear to be mushrooms that he collects in the forest. Somehow, the story ends with a meal of canned beans and an early departure for home instead of a series of increasingly terrifying hallucinations and/or a trip to the emergency room.

7. Every Berenstain Bears Book Ever

Moral: Dads are the actual worst. Papa Bear is the epitome of Sitcom Dad Syndrome. His solutions to family problems are silly at best and actively harmful at worst. He suggests that he might be able to solve Sister’s nail-biting problem by screaming at her, is literally unable to figure out what he can drink when Mama takes away soda, and basically tells Sister is she’s not careful about who she talks to, she’s going to get murdered by a stranger, making her terrified to go outside. The easy-reader book Ready, Get Set, Go further establishes Papa’s reputation as a bumbling buffoon, where he loses races, climbing competitions, and long-jumps to his tiny children. The only thing Papa is best at? Sleeping. Oh, and there’s the fact that he could have poisoned his family by feeding them unidentified berries and fungus from the middle of the woods. As a semi-professional misandrist feminist, I am super-embarrassed on behalf of dads everywhere for the portrayal of fatherhood provided by Papa Q. Bear.

(Images: Amazon)

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