Traumafessions :: Reader Phil on Punky Brewster

I couldn’t find this in your archives, so I decided to send it in. If you have it, well, I gotta get this out anyway.

PUNKY BREWSTER was my all time favorite show as a tyke. I developed my first unrequited crush on SOLEIL MOON FRYE, wrote her a fan letter, the whole nine yards. There was something so perfect about that show to elementary school-aged me. Perfect.

Until Season Two.

Season Two featured a very strange two-part episode called “The Perils of Punky.” In it, Punky, Cheri, Alan, the dog Brandon and Margeaux end up lost in a cave during a camping trip. They get told by an old Indian about a lost princess who was captured by an evil spirit and trapped in the cave. One by one as they explore the cave, they disappear. Only Punky is left. As she sits down on a rock, all hell breaks loose:

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I was terrified. What had been up to that point a relatively benign episode of a beloved sitcom, turned into a whole bucket of nightmare fuel for weeks to come. I stopped trusting the television, especially my formerly favorite show.

At the end of the episode, Punky fights a demon (!) and rescues her friends, but I didn’t see that until the season was released on DVD. Years later.

Punky. I’ll never trust you again.

Watch “The Perils Of Punky” PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3

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Amanda By Night
Amanda By Night(@amanda-by-night)
12 years ago

HA! I don’t remember this one! My Punky-kindertraumatic moment was when her friend was locked in a fridge. That was around the time that the ‘in’ child death was by freezer! I’ll never forget that “very special episode’.

Punky was a great show and she grew up to be a lovely girl.

12 years ago

I didn’t really watch this show but HOLY CRAP!!!!!  If I saw that as a kid I’d be freaked out!  The kid with the grey face was the killer! 

12 years ago

This show was also produced by the same people that did “Family Matters”, and they also created the equally disturbing “Stevil” episodes.

Although I’m not sure if they’re more disturbing than the Myrtle Urkel episodes.

And yes, it’s just an out there freaky episode in a normally good show. I’m not sure if I want to venture into that one again…

12 years ago

Great post!  I was a huge Punky fan as well and I totally remember this episode (particularly Allen’s wiggly face in the wall – yikes!) scaring the bejesus out of me.

12 years ago

I love Punky as well. I thought this episode was creepy. Especially with Allen’s head in the wall. The dancing skeleton was freaky too.

But, I still watch Punky anyway, because she’s awesome!

12 years ago

But didn’t Soleil turn into a knockout when she grew up?

10 years ago

I haven’t seen the episode since it aired, will have to check it out on YouTube, but I also remember it being very freaky. I remember my mom telling me cousin wouldn’t watch Punky Brewster anymore after that episode. It’s amazing the freaky stuff they had on back then to scare the wits out of us. You don’t really see that kidn of thing now in children’s entertainment.

4 years ago

Oh hellz yes! I saw this rerun when I was around nine or ten, and YES it scared the bejuppers out of me! I didn’t see it again until I became an adult, and the scary part was still pretty chill inducing. I have Season 2 on DVD now, hehe.