If you were to think of a show that represented an entire generation of Aussie children from the 90s to 00s, you’d be hard-pressed not to think of Round The Twist and its iconically catchy theme tune. But, have you ever, ever noticed this? That every single episode was based on a kink.
Don’t believe me? Well, then, take a seat girls, gays, and theys because the proof is in the Australian Christmas pudding. Unfortunately.
Okay, Let’s Talk Piss Kinks And MPreg In The Big Burp
In the season three opener, ‘The Big Burp’, Pete pisses on a tree (and, uh, moans while doing it) before he learns that that tree he peed on is tied to a beautiful tree spirit. She then asks him to be her boyfriend and they kiss.
Moments later, Pete heads home and she materialises in his room to tell him the big exciting news: they’re having a baby (!!!) and he’s the one pregnant (???). Over the course of the episode, we see Pete suffer from morning sickness and his water breaks at school, leading to an absolutely cursed scene of him with a full-on baby bump burping a plant-human hybrid child.
So, uh, watersports and male pregnancy in the same episode? Tick. It’s the way this episode alone has brought me back to the therapy chair more than anything else in my life for me. And, while it is quite possibly the most fucked up plot in the show’s four-season run, tragically, it’s not the only one that’s disgustingly kinky.
But Wait There’s More: Fursonas, Bestiality, And Feet???
In ‘Dog By Night’ (S4E4), good ol’ Petey (can’t catch a break, can he?) is bitten by a Transylvanian flea and turned into a werewolf. Then, and I can’t believe this happened on a children’s television show, he falls for a neighbour’s pet dog named Miss Offenbach. That’s strike one for fursona and bestiality.
Bronson also eats a fish in ‘Whirling Derfish’ (S3E3) which magically hijacks his willy and turns it into a propeller he literally uses to win a swimming competition. “Whenever I get my you know what, it spins out,” he tells Pete. Another episode, aptly named ‘Spaghetti Pig Out’ (S1E5), follows a grotesque spaghetti-eating competition (vorarephilia) that ends with one contestant violently puking up half-eaten spag-bowl all over the crowd (emetophilia).
Then, in ‘Yuckles’ (S2E10), the Twist kids set out on a mission to save a thousand-year-old rainforest and a group of mysterious mushroom creatures called Yuckles. When the bullies of the town try to vandalise the woods, the Yuckles create a Linda-lookalike that deflates and melts into an orange, sticky and gooey ooze when touched. I don’t think I need to explain to you what’s wrong there.
Oh, and ofc, there’s a smelly feet kink episode simply dubbed ‘Smelly Feat’ (S2E7), where Bronson takes his shoes off for the first time in six months. To quote that wonderfully relatable Scottish mum to her two kids who don’t know how to flush a toilet: desgustang.
Simply put, if you can think of a kink, there’s a high chance Round The Twist has an episode based on it.
So, Uh, Why The Fuck Was Round The Twist *So* Weird?
With all this information now in your brain, I’m sure what little brain power you have left is wondering, ‘okay, just how did all this get across the board?’ Why was Round The Twist this ungodly weird and, more importantly, how? Well, it all stems from the show’s creator, Aussie children’s fiction author Paul Jennings, the founding director of the Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF), Patricia Edgar, and how they first met.
Before Round The Twist had been pitched, Jennings was a high school teacher and emerging kids writer. One day, Edgar was looking for inspiration for a new children’s TV program she wanted that was unapologetically Aussie and was handed a book by the Unreal! author. “I read that book, and I laughed and laughed,” she told Buzzfeed. “I thought, ‘Now, here’s a core of something that could be very funny’.”
Soon after, Patricia got in touch with Paul and pitched him as a writer. But, Paul Jennings had never written for TV before and writing scripts is quite different from a 100 page series of short stories for kids. Jennings served as the lead writer for the show’s first two seasons, and in my eyes was the blueprint. He may not be the person behind “The Big Burp”, but he definitely influenced the new writing team and their bonkers approach to brainstorming, which follows:
“You have your group, say you’ve got 12 people, invite them up in four groups of three, and tell them, ‘okay, here’s your brief: we want the funniest, yuckiest things that you can think of, go off, you’ve got three-quarters of an hour.’
“They’d come back, and each read out the ideas to the others. Then, the next thing, you’d mix them up and send another three away. It’s amazing what you can get out of bright people when you do that kind of workshopping.”
Ray Boseley, writer and lead director of Round The Twist’s third and fourth season, added to Buzzfeed, “I remember ‘Whirling Derfish’ coming out of one of the workshops.”
“Robert [Greenberg, a writer, and stalwart at the Children’s TV Foundation] said, ‘It should have something to do with Bronson’s penis,’ and I said, ‘It should sound like a propeller’, and so the two halves of that idea suddenly formed that.
“Every idea was twisted in some way. They were sort of naughty and outrageous. Stuff it took a person with the force and clout of Patricia Edgar to get onto television.”
So, what does this all mean? Well, next time you’re getting freaky-deaky with someone and are met with a suspicious kink, maybe don’t kinkshame. It’s not their fault they’re into pissing on trees and having a propeller-shaped dong. Television made them that way.