An exposé by the British paper The Sun a few years ago revealed a bunch of Peppa Pig-inspired behaviours are seeping into our children’s consciousness. But we knew that, right?!
The Peppa Effect
In the piece, worried parents weigh in detailing just how much the cartoon pig is impacting on their kids’ language and behaviour.
In what’s (apparently) being dubbed ‘The Peppa Effect’, kids who have never set foot in the UK are now talking with a perfect English accent (and kids who have no porcine DNA whatsoever are peppering their conversation with robust snorts).
But haven’t we heard a story like this before? It’s certainly reminiscent of similar conversations surrounding US kids’ show Sesame Street back in the ’70s and ’80s. Back then everyone was worried about their children saying “scram” or eating cookies very, very messily or having pretend friends like Big Bird. Somehow nothing ever came of that in the long term … But back to Peppa!
Writing for parenting blog Romper, Janet Manley says an iPad and a 21 hour flight to Australia was all it took to instill a serious dose of the Peppa Effect in her daughter.
By the time the plane landed her “kid had adopted Peppa Pig’s plum British accent, calling me ‘Mummy’ and finishing her sentences with Peppa’s trademark snort. Two years later, she still oinks in conversation. Call it the Peppa effect,” Janet says.
And speaking of Australia, our own Zöe Foster Blake shared her own Peppa Effect story back in 2016, telling The Today Show: “I think [Sonny] watches too much Peppa Pig, because he’s got a bit of a British accent now.”
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The phenomenon has been well documented on Twitter, where people have spent the last few years detailing how easily little sponges aka small children mimic Peppa’s pronunciation.
“Does anyone else’s kid tend to develop a temporary accent after watching Peppa Pig or is it just mine?” one wrote.
“Thanks to Peppa Pig, daughter now occasionally busts out a British accent. At Whole Foods, woman said, ‘Oh, I love British kids.’ Oh, dear,” one mum Tweeted.
“Peppa Pig is taking communication to a whole new level. Now every kid I meet has a Brit accent,” someone else observed.
my 3 yr old cousin has an english accent from watching peppa pig and i’m jealous
— alex(is) (@smoothbrainxd) January 30, 2019
My kid uses a British accent frequently because she watches so much Peppa Pig, she also calls flashlights torches
— Molly Shah (@MollyOShah) July 15, 2016
This Korean kid next to me is watching peppa the pig and imitating her British accent.
Then he breaks into fluent Korean.
LOL children’s capacity for language is amazing
— Toshikigirl@dying 2020 (@Toshikigirl) October 29, 2018
There’s a kid a work who has a British accent even tho his parents are American and he’s never been to England but he gets it from watching peppa pig too much I am weak
— soniA (@sonia_samanthaa) May 10, 2018
Too much of a good thing?
So how can you tell if your child is watching too much Peppa Pig? Here is our very serious expert guide …
- They speak with a plummy English accent. (Ignore this one if you are actually FROM England!)
- They hang up the phone without saying goodbye.
- They sometimes get their curly tail caught in the car door. #TellTaleSign
- They say “snort” instead of thank you.
- You find yourself wiping their runny snout.
- They say things like “I’m a bit bored, Mummy” and “muddy puddles” and “let’s ring the handyman!”
- They put their whole face in their dinner bowl.
Reason I feel like a shitty parent (today): my 3yo watches so much Peppa Pig she pronounces “Zebra” and “tomato” with a British accent.
— DFMB (@remefaso) January 24, 2019
Signs your child has watched too much Peppa Pig: She says,"let's ring the handyman" or "I'm a bit bored, Mummy" #PeppaPig
— Kate Hudson (@SpoKate) March 29, 2014
— Helen Riley (@lell78) November 29, 2018
It should be noted that right now Peppa Pig gives zero effs about The Peppa Effect. After previously being deemed subversive by Chinese authorities, she’s suddenly been adopted as a symbol of the Lunar New Year and her piggy face is now call for celebration.
Peppa’s basically living her best piggy life while we all lament The Peppa Effect. Success is the best revenge, apparently!
This article was originally published on February 6, 2019.