In the latest episode of the beloved children's cartoon Peppa Pig, we finally got to see a different kind of family for the first time.
The latest episode of the long-running animated series featured a segment where Peppa and her classmates are drawing pictures of their families. One of her friends, Penny Polar Bear, draws two bears in dresses and says to Peppa, “I’m Penny Polar Bear. I live with my mummy and my other mummy. One mummy is a doctor and one mummy cooks spaghetti. I love spaghetti.”
This marks the first time in the show’s 18-year-history that there’s been a same-sex couple on the show.
While the show deserves some praise, this is just the latest addition to a roster of queer parent characters that have been introduced to an animated series in the past decade.
Gay parents who show up in one episode have even become a trope at this point in kids and all-ages television and animation. All the way back in 2014, the Disney Channel introduced its first gay parents in an episode of the live-action show Good Luck Charlie. Since then, Pixar movies like Finding Dory and Toy Story 4 have also featured short scenes with lesbian parents.
Other shows with gay and lesbian parents that show up for just an episode or two include Doc McStuffins, Ducktales, The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder, Loud House, Danger Force, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, Pete the Cat, and The Bug Diaries.
Many of those shows also had other queer characters and introduced their queer parents back when it was rarely seen on television. Other shows, like PBS' Arthur, introduced gay characters by showing them getting married and being celebrated by all the kids on the show.
While it’s great to see Peppa Pig catching up with the times, that’s what it is: catching up. It’s even playing catch-up with its own fans.
Back in 2019, fans of the show and parents started an online petition calling on the show to include a same-sex family. Over 23,000 people signed the petition, which said, “Children watching Peppa Pig are at an impressionable age, and excluding same-sex families will teach them that only families with either a single parent or two parents of different sexes are normal. This means that children of same-sex parents may feel alienated by Peppa Pig, and that other children may be more likely to bully them, simply through ignorance.”
It’s great to see that the show has now fulfilled that dream, and is starting to show that all families are real families.