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Parents Guide

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Sex & Nudity

  • Nudes corpses seen several times in various episodes. Details such as breasts, genitals, etc are obscured from view.
  • Two murder victims are found deceased and naked in a motel room. They are not wearing any clothes and their bare backs and buttocks can be seen.
  • A sequence is shown several times in which two separate sex/love scenes are intercut together and become a fantasy sequence in which two men slowly alternate between kissing each other and two more women. Partial nudity is shown.
  • 3.1 around 15:00 a woman is seen from the side nude sinking under water from quite some distance (no "details" visible). She is then seen much closer from above sinking down but air bubbles obscure breasts and other details.

Violence & Gore

  • The series is about Will Graham and his ability to empathize with serial killers to a point he can recreate their violent actions in his imagination as part of criminal investigation. As a result, we see him acting out the murder's crimes on screen. Although these scenes are not completely shown, they could disturb viewers.
  • The opening scene of the series, we see Will Graham recreating the murder of two people in their homes. This scene is quite disturbing, but it sets the tone of the show very well.
  • Will Graham's psychologist, and the overall antagonist of the entire series, is Hannibal. We see him preparing and eating human beings, as well as serving human meat to his dinner guests (unknown to them, and otherwise) throughout the show.
  • One of the recurring themes are Will's vivid night terrors in which he has psychodelic visions, often disturbing if not just violent, due to his having to empathize with serial murderers.
  • There's several "serial killer of the week" episodes, in which killers with bizarre styles of ritualistic killing is often tied thematically into the series' narrative. These killers are often one-offs, but sometimes stick around for later appearances in the series, but are always disturbed and commit eccentric violent crimes.
  • Cannibalism is a theme through the entirety of the series. There are many scenes of cannibalism, as well as some scenes of auto cannibalism.


  • Overall, this series features extremely infrequent profanity. "Damn" and "hell" have been used, but the strongest profanity has been "piss" and "bitch".
  • The collective use of profanity in the series is about only a handful in total.

Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking

  • A character takes Aspirin fairly frequently due to headaches.
  • Characters are shown drinking wine with dinner and whiskey while relaxing at home.
  • A character is given hallucinogenic tea under a psychiatrist's supervision. When asked about her unnaturally calm state, the psychiatrist lies and says she was given half a Valium (a medication that helps anxiety temporarily).
  • Reference is made to a killer who uses a heroin overdose to kill his victims. One such victim is revealed to survive this on account of a former drug habit.
  • Other substances are used within medical situations as well as crime situations. In most of the crime situations they are used to drug victims.

Frightening & Intense Scenes

  • There is disturbing violence (which is not graphic, though).
  • The entire series is intense by nature due to it's subject matter being psychological horror. The series carries surreal imagery throughout, which might enhance the disturbing atmosphere of the show.
  • Most of the crimes contain violence that is bizarre and/or aberrant, and there are gruesome and unsettling images throughout.
  • There are dream sequences that might be disturbing due to the violent imagery portrayed in them. Some morbid moments early on, involving crime scenes and forensics, that may repulse some viewers.
  • The season two finale is particularly intense, and may be upsetting for some.


The Parents Guide items below may give away important plot points.

Sex & Nudity

  • Hannibal and Alana have sex, as well as Margot and Will; nothing extremely graphic though, it's mainly just close ups of their faces.

See also

Taglines | Plot Summary | Synopsis | Plot Keywords

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