Taboo

The BEST episodes of Taboo

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Around the world there are people of different cultures who take actions and decisions that seem out of the ordinary to the average westerner. Considered taboo, these people and their stories are now being known.

Last Updated: 5/20/2022Network: National Geographic
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Crime Scene
star
10.00
1 votes

#1 - Crime Scene

Season 3 - Episode 14 - Aired 1/27/2005

Included: a medical examiner autopsies human corpses. Also: a professional crime-scene cleaner in the Baltimore/Washington area; the Body Farm in Knoxville, where trainees observe human decomposition.

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Narcotics
star
10.00
1 votes

#2 - Narcotics

Season 6 - Episode 4 - Aired 2/3/2010

Throughout human history, narcotics have been used as medicine and for pleasure, but those who use them can be stigmatized. When drug use is legal or accepted, is it still taboo? More than a century ago, Queen Victoria is said to have used marijuana to alleviate cramps. Today, patients in California are smoking it to relieve pain and other chronic symptoms. Deep in the Brazilian Amazon, a congregation gathers to drink a powerful hallucinogenic drug. Even children participate in the ritual.

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Sacred Pain
star
9.00
1 votes

#3 - Sacred Pain

Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired 12/8/2003

Taboo examines how cultures sometimes use pain in religious rites including tongue boring in Nepal, self stabbing and possession rites in Indonesia, and extreme body piercing and self-mutilation in Thailand.

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Marks of Identity
star
9.00
1 votes

#4 - Marks of Identity

Season 2 - Episode 11 - Aired 3/15/2004

Ritualistic body modification in different cultures around the world is examined. Included: neck stretching in Thailand; samurai body tattoos in Japan; branding scarification in the U.S.

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Extreme Collectors
star
8.50
2 votes

#5 - Extreme Collectors

Season 9 - Episode 5 - Aired 7/15/2012

Since ancient times, humans have expressed their passions and their personalities through their collections. But when a collection crosses the line from passion to obsession, ignoring legal, moral and taste boundaries, then it becomes taboo.

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Drugs
star
8.49
96 votes

#6 - Drugs

Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired 11/11/2002

Take a trip from traditional acceptance to modern rejection, exploring how drugs are used in ancient cultures and why they are prohibited in modern ones.

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Evil Spirits
star
8.04
56 votes

#7 - Evil Spirits

Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired 11/18/2002

Confront the presence of good and evil and explore the ways some cultures take on evil spirits directly.

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Extreme Entertainers
star
8.00
2 votes

#8 - Extreme Entertainers

Season 2 - Episode 9 - Aired 1/19/2004

Entertainment in different cultures. Included: the training of a Japanese geisha; cross-dressing cabaret performers of Thailand; American circus sideshow performers who pierce their bodies with skewers and chew glass.

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Nudity
star
8.00
1 votes

#9 - Nudity

Season 4 - Episode 7 - Aired 9/5/2007

For some, shedding clothes is an act of expression, of liberation, even a means of worship. Wiccan witches perform rituals in the nude, or “skyclad,” to express their truest form and bring themselves closer to the natural world. Some devout Christians worship together naked in the name of the Lord. In a unique festival, one man is chosen to be the spirit man and must run naked to the shrine.

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Strange Behavior
star
8.00
3 votes

#10 - Strange Behavior

Season 9 - Episode 2 - Aired 6/24/2012

People with uncontrollable medical conditions share their stories. Included: a father whose Tourette's syndrome makes him an outcast; a 17-year-old stigmatized by self-harm.

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Body Shock
star
8.00
1 votes

#11 - Body Shock

Season 10 - Episode 9 - Aired 7/30/2013

American society places great value on physical beauty and those who achieve a firm and fit body. In Hollywood, Fla., Rajee is a transgender woman who took part in black market plastic surgery. In Massachusetts, Moustafa ("Mo") is known as the real-life Popeye; he has an obsession with growing his biceps. In Texas, Patrice has a condition that causes her to have severe reactions to chemicals, which forces her to wear a mask in public.

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Home Strange Home
star
8.00
3 votes

#12 - Home Strange Home

Season 10 - Episode 10 - Aired 8/6/2013

In Florida, a man known as Dada 5000 is the self-proclaimed “King of the Ghetto.” Living in one of the most poverty-stricken and crime-ridden areas in America, he has turned his backyard into a savage fight club, and his bare-fisted business into an opportunity for glory and for survival. In Las Vegas, 500 miles of flood tunnels provide shelter for many of the Nevada homeless. These tunnel dwellers constantly face crime, violence and even the risk of deadly floodwaters.

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Marriage
star
7.83
64 votes

#13 - Marriage

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired 11/4/2002

Attend and elaborate--yet illegal--ceremony in India, watch as one man's two wives prepare him for a third bride, and witness same-sex partners exchange vows in Europe.

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Healers
star
7.68
88 votes

#14 - Healers

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired 10/7/2002

Go beyond science to examine the mysterious powers of healers who derive their strength from what other cultures may consider illegitimate or unproven.

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Food
star
7.66
189 votes

#15 - Food

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired 9/30/2002

Taboo investigates the fine line between what is food and what is forbidden. It looks at the eating of durian, insects, cobra, fugu, and dog.

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Beauty
star
7.50
4 votes

#16 - Beauty

Season 7 - Episode 1 - Aired 5/2/2011

In a youth-obsessed Western culture, some feel the need to obsessively diet, exercise and partake of beauty treatments or plastic surgery. However, some have taken these to fatal extremes. In Paris, we'll meet a young model with extreme anorexia, so fixated on her weight that at 55 pounds she died from the disease. In Texas, a woman feels the need to continually increase her breast size, all the way to a triple K cup.

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Private Passions
star
7.50
2 votes

#17 - Private Passions

Season 9 - Episode 14 - Aired 10/9/2012

Unique matches include a fruitarian couple who live off the fruit they find in dumpsters.

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Voodoo
star
7.46
82 votes

#18 - Voodoo

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired 10/21/2002

Experience the dark side with religion's ultimate outcast. Trace how voodoo has grown in diversity and become taboo, even in cultures where it is widely practiced.

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Witchcraft
star
7.46
100 votes

#19 - Witchcraft

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired 10/28/2002

Take a secret look at our darkest ritual - black magic. Explore the nature of power itself, and how it both elevates and corrupts our species.

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Tattoo
star
7.44
85 votes

#20 - Tattoo

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired 10/14/2002

Explore the art of tattoos from the deadly serious markings of headhunters to bloody scarification rituals in Africa, and on to Western artists who use their bodies as a canvas.

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Teen Sex
star
7.40
5 votes

#21 - Teen Sex

Season 9 - Episode 4 - Aired 7/8/2012

Whether we like it or not, teenagers are having sex. How their families – and their societies – deal with the sexual development of young teens, in particular, their daughters, varies wildly according to their culture and beliefs.

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Addiction
star
7.17
6 votes

#22 - Addiction

Season 7 - Episode 3 - Aired 5/9/2011

Delve into the lives of those haunted by addiction. Meet a 15-year-old South Korean boy in rehab because he’s hooked on video games. It’s an addiction shared by millions of Koreans, even spurring the government to intervene with a specialized rehab facility. In California, a woman is addicted to anonymous sex meeting countless partners in parking lots to satisfy her insatiable appetite.

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Death
star
7.00
1 votes

#23 - Death

Season 1 - Episode 10 - Aired 12/9/2002

Delve into the ultimate unknown that awaits us all. Experience how different cultures deal with death by preparing lavish funerals, bonfires, and ancient rituals.

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Delicacies
star
7.00
1 votes

#24 - Delicacies

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired 10/13/2003

In Iceland's traditional Thorrablot celebration in February, a chef prepares rotting shark meat, goat's head and other hard to swallow dishes for their traditional buffet. And in India, an Anglo-indian lady prepares a special luncheon that features a goat foetus stew called kutti pi. In Togo, the cameras follow hunters out into the hot wilderness to hunt a rat to be used in a stew and voodoo ritual. And finally in Taiwan, a chef prepares bull's penis soup to boost his diner's virility.

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Blood Bonds
star
7.00
1 votes

#25 - Blood Bonds

Season 2 - Episode 10 - Aired 1/26/2004

Taboo looks at different family arrangement around the world including the matriarchal Mosuo tribe in China, criminal gang families in South Africa, and polyandry in northern India.

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