What Does TV MA Mean on Netflix/Hulu/DisneyPlus? (TV-R vs. MA| What’s the difference?)

Have you ever seen a show or movie on streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and DisneyPlus marked with the rating ‘TV MA’?

If so, then this article is for you! We’ll explain TV-R and M.A. ratings regarding content available to viewers.

You’ll learn about why these ratings exist and how they can help guide your viewing decisions. So if you’re curious about what those letters stand for in streaming services – read on!


TV-MA Meaning

TV-MA stands for “Mature audience only”, and the content tagged as TV-MA generally contains strong language, violence, sexual content and graphic images.

Some examples of TV-MA Shows would be Breaking bad, Sopranos, Game of Thrones, etc.

TV-MA content is unsuitable for children under the Age of 17.

T.V. Parental Guideline Ratings

Since 1997, the major broadcast networks – ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and The C.W. – have been working with experts from the U.S. Department of Education to create T.V. Parental Guidelines that help parents decide what’s appropriate for their kids to watch by using a traffic light system.

However, with the onset of streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu, T.V. content has gotten increasingly violent and sexualized. This puts a lot of pressure on parents to make sure they’re filtering out the content their kids have access to.

A variety of factors influences these T.V. parental guidelines:

  • The language used in the content
  •  Sexual references (if so, then to what intensity)
  •  Level of violence in the movie
  •  Overall theme and nature of the content

If you’ve ever wondered what all the different Tv ratings mean, then here’s a list of all guideline tags that you should be familiar with:

T.V. – Y

This content is suitable for children of all ages and is generally made for young children.


If a show or movie is tagged as TV-Y7 FV, it’s suitable for children around seven years or older. Videos under TV-Y7 FV are generally fantasy cartoons or anime. The idea is that your child, by this Age, has developed enough cognition to distinguish reality from fantasy. Thus, F.V. stands for Fantasy-violence.


TV G is a tag used for all the generic content available on TV.

These shows aren’t catered towards children but all audiences in general and do not contain any sexual or content with mature themes but might have some mild violence and language.


TV-PG shows and movies have inappropriate content for children under the Age of 7.


As the name suggests, TV-14 content is considered to be inappropriate for children under the Age of 14. Programs tagged as TV-14 generally have some intense violence or strong language with some mild sexual scenes.


TV-MA content is restricted to mature audiences only as it contains coarse language, explicit sexual themes, extreme violence, and death.

What is TV-R?

Unlike the sub-rating under TV-MA, TV-R stands for “Restricted”. This classification indicates that the movie includes mature content, such as adult behaviour, coarse language, graphic violence, drug use, and sexualized content. 

The majority of movie theatres have their own rules regarding R-rated films. Some of these rules include requiring proof of Age when buying tickets from people who appear to be under 17, allowing only parents to buy tickets and accompany children under 17.

Or simply stating that an adult guardian (who need not be a parent) must buy the tickets and stay with children under 17 the entire time.

TV-MA and TV-R boast some graphic content that’s not advised for anyone but the mature audience. But, TV-R sits just in transition between TV-14 and TV-MA. You can consider TV-R to be like “Teenage”, where a person is not a child nor an adult. 

Most content that falls under TV-R has glimpses of TV-MA content, but it’s taken down a notch so that young-adult minds can understand them.

What’s worse, TV-MA or TV-R?

Because it has both R and NC-17-rated content, TV-MA is worse than R. When accompanied by an adult, viewers under 17 are permitted to watch R, but viewers under 18 should never watch TV-MA. TV-MA is only accessible to adults. 

A person 18 and above will have the liberty to watch both TV-MA and TV-R content, but if you’re even a day younger, you should not be allowed to watch TV-MA. 

You might not be aware that TV-R offers some of the greatest Web programs.

Being a transitional rating, one might easily think that TV-R might not have good content associated with itself. But, Boy! Would you be wrong to think so? 

In the present day, a lot of content based on comics and children’s books has moved into the TV-R category due to some added content intended to make the story more relatable. This has given TV-R a humongous dimension. Currently, TV-R has single-handedly the highest number of movies and Web series associated with itself.

Some popular TV-R-rated movies

  • Joker – 2019
  •  Deadpool 2 – 2018
  •  Deadpool – 2016
  •  The Matrix Reloaded – 2003
  •  It – 2017
  •  Detective Chinatown – 2021
  •  Logan – 2017
  •  The Hangover Part II – 2011
  •  Fifty Shades of Grey – 2015
  •  Ted – 2012
  •  American Sniper – 2014
  •  Terminator 2: Judgement Day – 1991
  •  Saving Private Ryan – 1998
  •  Slumdog Millionaire – 2008, and many, many more.

Besides being popular with its movie selection, TV-R is also home to some of the most iconic Sitcoms and Web Series we have ever witnessed.

Some popular TV-R-rated Web Series

  • Rick and Morty – 2013
  •  Vampire Academy – 2022
  •  Euphoria – 2019
  •  Law & Order: Special Victims Unit – 1991
  •  The Boys – 2019
  •  The Family Guy – 1999
  •  Elite – 2018
  •  True Blood – 2008
  •  Eastbound & Down – 2009, and more.

What’s the rating of your favourite Sitcom?


One of the best and most re-watched sitcoms in the world of Television. Friends holds a PG-13 rating. Although some critics say it’s closer to the TV-R rating because of all the sarcastically sexualized jokes, it’s a fun time pass for the whole family.  


The evergreen story of Jerry Seinfeld has won the hearts of many and is still one of the best comedy sitcoms to ever be aired. It sits comfortably on a TV-R.

The Office

At the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company branch in Scranton, Pennsylvania, a ragtag crew of office workers experiences humorous escapades. Many people love the Office worldwide for its silent comedy and iconic dialogues of Will Ferrel. The Office is rated TV-R.

The Big Bang Theory

The journey of Sheldon Cooper and his roommate Leonard from being physicists to finding love, excelling in their careers, and living their dreams in this Sitcom, is highly educational and funny at the same time. It’s rated TV-14.

The Simpsons

It feels like forever since we have seen the yellow-skinned cartoon lighting up our lives. The Simpsons are not just a sitcom; they are an American symbol, like a Big Mac or Texas Style Barbeque. The Simpsons are rated TV-PG.

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