Children's Zoo is the second segment of the third episode of the first season of the The New Twilight Zone.


Debbie is a little girl starved for attention because her parents are always fighting; her mother yells at her constantly, and her father is too lazy to give her any quality time. Debbie gives her parents an invitation she received that says:

As bearer of this special invitation, you are entitled to one child's admission to the CHILDREN'S ZOO. You will be offered all the special privileges described by the other girl who passed this.

Though her parents are reluctant, they finally relent and take her. At the zoo, they are welcomed by Melody who asks Debbie if she understands the rules, and then directs her to the Children's Entrance. Melody assures the parents that Debbie will be fine and takes them to the waiting room. Debbie wanders through a hallway where a cheerful voice says,

"To hear the parents talk, just press the red button on the side of the window."

Debbie is shown visiting five displays. The first couple wildly begs her to take them with her, the second make violent threats, the third is sleeping so Debbie passes them, the fourth try to bribe her, but the fifth reveals that their son was seven when he brought them into the zoo, and that they are very sorry. They promise Debbie that they have learned their lesson and will try to be the best parents they know how. Convinced, Debbie presses a green button, making her selection. Melody tells Debbie that she has made a very good choice. As the three walk away happily, they pass by Debbie's old parents—now placed in a glass chamber themselves—watching with a mixture of horror and anger as their (former) daughter goes off to a better life.


  • Wes Craven appears in a cameo, as the angry, threatening father. He directed several episodes of this series.
  • This is one of the few stories without narration.
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