Pop Culture | TV | 90s | Retro
10 Cartoons That Seem Totally Insane Now That We Think About It
As a kid, you get used to your parents telling you that things will "make sense when you're older."
And while there were a few adult moments in children's shows that raised our eyebrows, we had just as many legitimate questions about the weird stuff we watched on TV. The '90s were a strange time, and these 10 shows still leave us asking "Wait, what?!"
1. Rocko's Modern Life
This show was about: A wallaby who immigrated from Australia to America, where he has misadventures with his neighbors Heffer the cow and Filbert the turtle. Recurring gags include Rocko's depressing job at a comic book store, run-ins with the Conglom-O-Corporation, and visits to Heck.
Weirdest part: Nicktoons was trying to make edgier shows when they asked comic writer Joe Murray to pitch this show, and he delivered with some seriously questionable gags that we can't repeat in polite company.
Biggest unanswered question: Were kids really meant to watch this?
2. Cow and Chicken
This show was about: Cow and Chicken (a cow and a chicken, respectively) are siblings with human parents who are continuously outsmarted and cheated by Red Guy, who looks like Satan with a big red butt.
Weirdest part: The obsessive and worrying fixation on butts, including a recurring joke where Cow and Chicken eat "pork butts and taters" in almost every episode.
Biggest unanswered question: It would be what Mom and Dad actually look like, but one strangely terrifying episode gave us the answer.
3. SWAT Kats
This show was about: A pair of SWAT Kats (duh) named T-Bone and Razor who protect Magakat City from villains using their high tech fighter jet. Their opponents include the demonic Dark Kat and his army of Creeplings, giant mutants, and the evil wizard Pastmaster.
Weirdest part: Why did Megakat City police try to stop these two? They always wound up saving the day and protecting the city anyways, we could have saved a lot of time in each episode if they let the SWAT Kats do their job.
Biggest unanswered question: How did a race of walking, talking cats take over the planet, and what can we do to stop them here on Earth?
This show was about: The wacky antics of the Warner Brothers, Yakko and Wakko, and the Warner Sister, Dot. But the show also featured a revolving cast of characters, since it was really a SNL-style variety show that loved to confuse us with historical references that sailed over our heads.
Weirdest part: The Goodfeathers, a Goodfellas parody starring a trio of pigeons that must have baffled every kid who watched the show. It's one thing to sneak in adult humor, but how many grade school kids are watching mob movies?
Biggest unanswered question: Really, what's the deal with Chicken Boo?!
Okay, prepare yourself for the next one, because it's even stranger than you remember...
5. The Mighty Ducks
This show was about: A team of aliens from another dimension populated by ducks that walk and talk like humans (Puckworld) are transported to earth, where their natural hockey skills earn them spots on Anaheim, Califnornia's team.
Weirdest part: The Ducks use their high-tech hockey equipment, including an ancient goalie mask, to fight a race of dinosaur monsters called the Saurians, and the team's hockey arena is their secret headquarters.
Biggest unanswered question: Disney couldn't think of a simpler way to advertise their hockey team?
6. Aaahh!!! Real Monsters
This show was about: Three young monsters who go to a special school for monsters underneath a city dump, and venture above-ground to terrify kids (you know, like the ones watching the show).
Weirdest part: Instead of money the monsters use toenails for currency, and I need to stop writing about this right now or else I might puke.
Biggest unanswered question: How can I un-see these "real life" models of the show's characters?
This show was about: No points for guessing.
Weirdest part: By now everyone realizes just how strange CatDog is, and we know it's only a children's show, but we still can't wrap our mind around how CatDog's body is supposed to make any kind of sense - even cartoon sense.
Biggest unanswered question: CatDog biology aside, did the animators ever look at a mouse? Because Winslow T. Oddfellow doesn't look a thing like one.
This show was about: Like Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, the show re-cast Disney characters in an adventure series. This time it was Baloo, Louie and Shere Khan from The Jungle Book wedged into a Casablanca parody.
Weirdest part: All of the wild animals from The Jungle Book are suddenly working regular jobs and wearing clothes - with no explanation.
Biggest unanswered question: In one episode, cuddly and happy Baloo says "The Great War ended 20 years ago." What sort of messed up world is TaleSpin set in?!
9. Biker Mice From Mars
This show was about: A trio of bike-riding Mice in leather jackets named Throttle, Modo and Vinnie. They escaped a war on Mars and came to Chicago, where they defend our planet from the evil fish-like Plutarkians.
Weirdest part: The show's main villain was a disguised Plutarkian named Lawrence Limburger, who managed to fool everyone in Chicago by wearing a rubber mask, despite the fact that he still looks like a melted ice cream cone in a purple suit.
Biggest unanswered question: How did this show stay on the air for three seasons?
10. SpongeBob SquarePants
This show was about: The adventures of a yellow sponge named SpongeBob, his starfish friend Patrick and a squirrel in a space suit named Sandy Cheeks. Yes, SpongeBob was meant to be delightfully weird, but even as adults it leaves us scratching our heads.
Weirdest part: Either the terrifying DoodleBob episode or painting Mr. Krab's house, which gave us all panic attacks as children.
Biggest unanswered question: How????
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