We all had our favorite TV shows as children. We woke up on Saturday mornings and watched our favorite cartoons. Now, we have Netflix and Amazon, so we can watch cartoons whenever we want to. I love living in 2016!
Some people have gotten uptight about what their kids watch. Cartoons now are kind of boring to watch if you are not 4 years old because it’s not really that funny. Back in my day, there were actually good jokes in kids’ movies and TV shows. Many shows contained slight little innuendos and jokes that you may not have caught when you were a kid.
There are so many little jokes that were hidden in cartoons. We had Rocko’s Modern Life where the main character was working at an adult hotline. Ren & Stimpy did all kinds of crazy things that wouldn’t fly on television nowadays. The Animaniacs had slight political and other adult jokes snuck in. We also had gems such as the Powerpuff Girls and Dexter’s Laboratory.
I’m not specifically targeting ’90s and early 2000s shows, but those are the ones that had the most adult jokes. I’m including shows aimed at children from any channel. I’m also including cartoons and live action series as well. Most of them will likely be cartoons, but there were some good live action shows as well. I avidly watched All That, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and many others and realize now that many of them had adult jokes as well. Here’s 20 of the best I found.
20. “Accident” on Powerpuff Girls
Here is a gem from the classic, Powerpuff Girls. The show revolves around three superhero children created by a professor in his laboratory. They have to fight crime against all kinds of enemies. Their biggest adversary was an evil monkey named Mojojojo. Obviously, this joke is implying that their little friend was the result of an accidental pregnancy. The show ran on Cartoon Network from 1998-2005 and had six seasons. The girls are the take-charge redhead Blossom, blonde sweety Bubbles, and the ready-to-fight Buttercup.
19. Sausage – Hey Arnold!
This one is a little more subtle, but it will get your inner twelve-year-old giggling. This picture makes it even funnier because all of the characters seem to be looking in the direction of the “sausage.” Hey Arnold! was a cartoon show on Nickelodeon that ran from 1996 – 2004. Arnold lives at a boarding house with his grandparents and an array of multicultural characters. He daydreams, he plays jazz, and has a football-shaped head. His best friend, Gerald, has hair shaped like a loofah and is the coolest kid in the class.
18. Self-Pleasure – The Fairly Oddparents
I bet you didn’t catch this one on The Fairly Oddparents! Here we have the main character, Timmy, running up to his room with a roll of paper towels. The parents seem to know what’s up with this subtle joke. The boy is obviously implying self-pleasure when he is probably just dealing with his fairy godparents. This show started in 2001 and is still running. This is one of my favorite cartoon shows of all time. It follows Timmy who has a set of godparents assigned to him from Fairy World. He gets wishes from them, but he must keep them a secret or he will lose them.
17. A Not-So-Subtle “Doggy Style” Reference In Rocko’s Modern Life
I could probably do a list of adult jokes just from this show alone. This was a favorite of my generation. The show, Rocko’s Modern Life, ran from 1993 – 1996. This particular bit was actually telling people to get on a “doggy-style” ride. This is the same show that had its main character working at a sex hotline. They played a board game called “Spank the Monkey.” They had a restaurant called “Chokey Chicken.” After a day of playing that game, you could go to the “no-tell motel.” Wow.
16. Squidward Outed Spongebob
Here is a sneaky one on Spongebob Squarepants. Spongebob is talking about being proud to be ugly, and Squidward hints that Spongebob might be gay. This classic has been on since 1999. It also spawned movies as well. It follows Spongebob who works in a fast food restaurant and lives under the ocean. He lives in a house shaped like a pineapple. His neighbor, Squidward, lives in a Tiki head, and his best friend, Patrick, lives underneath an actual rock. Spongebob works at the Krusty Krab for Mr. Crabs. There is kind of a joke there as well since the restaurant is called the Krusty Krab and it is located in Bikini Bottom.
15. “Fingering Prince” – Animaniacs
This one is less subtle. The Animaniacs ran from 1993-1998. This one had an ensemble cast of weird Warner Bros. characters. The siblings Wacko, Yacko, and Dot Warner were locked up in the studio water tower for years. Then, they escaped from the tower and get into all sorts of trouble at Warner Bros. Studios. It was kind of a cartoon sketch comedy. Each episode had stories with different characters. In this particular picture, they were obviously playing detective. The brothers start talking about finger prints and it turned into “Finger Prince,” and Dot said no to that idea.
14. “Dad’s Trophy” – Dexter’s Laboratory
This one is blatantly implying that Dexter’s mom was a trophy wife and his dad is an “ass man.” The show, Dexter’s Laboratory, follows Dexter and his secret laboratory underneath his house. His airhead sister DeeDee is always trying to get into his lab and mess with his experiments. It ran on Cartoon Network from 1996 – 2003. This was the first original series from the Cartoon Network. Dexter oddly has a “European” accent even though the rest of his family does not.
13. Grandpa Watching Adult Entertainment – Rugrats
Here is another ’90s classic. It spawned a spin-off show and multiple movies as well. Rugrats was a cartoon series following the lives of talking babies. The babies can only understand each other. The parents only heard baby talk from them. This is one of the longest running shows on my list; it was on from 1990 – 2016. In this particular scene, Grandpa rented some videos for the kids. He also rented one for himself called “Lonely Space Vixens.” This show implied that Grandpa was watching an adult film after the kids went to bed.
12. Spongebob Watching Sea Adult Films
Here we have another gem from Spongebob Squarepants. Spongebob’s pet snail, Gary, catches his owner watching sea anemones on the television. When Gary slithers in, Spongebob quickly turned the channel and said he was just watching the sports channel. This show is the longest running show produced in the ’90s since it is still on the air today. Stephen Hillenburg, creator of the show, pitched the concept by bringing in an aquarium and talking about the creatures living in it. Then, he placed a drawing of Spongebob in the tank and said “this is the main character of your new show.”
11. Cow & Chicken Carpet Munchers
Here is another classic from the ’90s, Cow and Chicken. It follows a cow and chicken who are somehow biological siblings. In this particular episode, a group of literal “carpet munchers” take over their house. For those of you innocent readers, this is slang for lesbians. The first Cow and Chicken short was much darker and had rougher animation. In that episode, Chicken went to hell for smoking cigarettes. To be picked up for the season, the creators brightened up the animation and changed the Devil’s name to “the Red Guy.”
10. Self-Pleasure In Ed, Edd, and Eddy
Here is a scene from another Cartoon Network gem. Ed, Edd, ‘n’ Eddy had a fairly long run: 1999-2009. It involved a group of three friends who have the same name. They also had plenty of zany neighborhood friends. One of them had a bunch of animals and talked in a foreign accent. One had an imaginary friend named “Plank,” who was literally a plank of wood with a face drawn on it. They are obsessed with jawbreakers candy, and they set up all kinds of “get money quick” schemes to earn money to buy more jawbreakers. Jawbreakers are large hard candies that you have to suck for a long time before you can bite into them.
9. Helga’s Graphic Love Letter On Hey Arnold!
Here we have another one from Hey Arnold!, Helga is secretly in love with Arnold. She bullies him to his face, but she has a secret shrine in her bedroom full of pictures of the football-headed young boy. The girl characters on the show were based off of girls that the creator, Craig Bartlett, liked as a child. The city they lived in may have been called Hillwood. It was supposed to be a combination of Brooklyn, Seattle, and Portland. This musing in Helga’s diary is very…intimate…
8. Spongebob Makes A Prison Joke
What were these writers doing on Spongebob? Here we have a blatant prison rape joke. He is even wearing a pirate hat, which seems to make it even creepier. He’s calling a couple of bars of soap “doubloons” and he says don’t drop them. This is an obvious classic prison rape joke. For those of you with innocent minds…people say “don’t drop the soap” because of the shared showers in prison. They say if you bend over in those showers, you will get attacked by a sex-starved prisoner.
7. Hinting At BDSM On Johnny Bravo
Johnny Bravo was a Cartoon Network classic that ran from 1997 – 2004. It is the misadventures of a dumb blonde, studly man who is always trying to pick up the ladies. He is also famous for doing “the monkey” dance a lot. They did spoofs on many shows including The Twilight Zone, Schoolhouse Rock, and many others. In this particular scene, she recalls being blindfolded before. This implies that she had participated in some bondage adventures before in her life.
6. Heffer “Milking” On Rocko’s Modern Life
Here we have another joke from Rocko’s Modern Life. This is one of the main characters, a cow named Heffer, who happens to be “milking” himself in a hospital bed. Rocko is an Australian Wallaby who is finishing his transition to American life. Heffer is one of his best friends. Tom Kenny based the voice of Heffer off of his nephew, supposedly. Heffer also had many odd jobs during the show’s run: security guard, golf course groundskeeper, coffee shop barista, animator, and Chewy Chicken employee. Chewy Chicken is the name of the group’s favorite restaurant. It was changed from the “Chokey Chicken” during the third season, since it was such an obvious self-pleasure joke.
5. Full House
Here we have a very sneaky one for our only live action joke of the list. One of the kids is trying to figure out what a horoscope is, and she says it can only see Kimmie’s face. She is implying that Kimmie is a whore. Full House is the classic ’80s and ’90s sitcom starring John Stamos, the Olsen twins, and many others who are now stars. Netflix recently revived it in the form of a new show, Fuller House.
4. Dexter’s Street Walker
Here is another from Dexter’s Laboratory, and it also involves a street walker’s joke. He hired this lady and wanted to see her “dance,” and she said it would be $50 extra. This is blatantly prostitution, our parents must not have been watching these shows. I guess we weren’t as uptight about what went into kids’ shows back in the day.
3. Oral Joke On Batman series
I never watched this show, but it is a classic. This bit is from Batman: The Animated Series which ran from 1992-1995. This is Harley Quinn covered in some kind of dough and making an oral sex joke. A euphemism for giving a woman oral sex can involve the use of the word pie to mean her genitals.
2. Looking at Tommy’s Genitals – Rugrats All Grown Up
This joke is not hidden one bit at all. How this got on TV, I will never know. Susy is looking down Tommy’s pants. There’s no subtlety with this. I’m not sure what the context of the episode is. This is from the Rugrats spinoff/sequel show All Grown Up! It follows the adventures of your favorite Rugrats as they are teenagers in high school.
And the worst one is….
1. Ren And Stimpy Having Intercourse
This is the absolute worst. This show would never make it on TV today. The Ren and Stimpy Show ran from 1991-1996. It definitely pushed the envelope on what we can put in cartoons. I imagine that we wouldn’t have such things as Family Guy and other adult cartoons without this duo. The characters are a Chihuahua and a cat.