Cartoons. We all love ’em, we all watch ’em and we all cherish ’em. What is it about cartoons that make even the older generation look back and reflect? Cartoons have a way of bringing people back into their childhood and remember the good times without the use of a time machine. Now, cartoons are great, but what makes them extra special is the hidden gems within the cartoons, like sexual innuendos or the director committing suicide or whatever. I’m here to bring up some points regarding cartoons in the 90’s and with that will be some dark facts and instances that happened within these shows and with the people involved in the shows. Don’t worry, I’ve kept from the obvious ones like how Helga from Hey Arnold wanted a sexual relationship with Arnold so badly. These are ones that although are well known, don’t necessarily get shined on enough. And sure, I know the popular consensus for 90’s cartoons and even 80’s and 70’s cartoons were dark in nature. You can blame the directors for that one.
The thing we can’t forget though is how much we love these little tid bits about our favorite cartoons. If these facts didn’t exist, the cartoons would fall into a pit of nothingness and they’d be forgotten. Perhaps I’m being a bit extreme in that assumption, but just imagine what cartoons would be like if they weren’t as dark as we perceive them to be? They’d be awfully boring. So strap in!
15. Rocko’s Modern Life (Everything About It!)
Everybody knows this little tid bit by now regarding the overuse of sexual innuendos and adult humor in the first season of Rocko’s Modern Life. You don’t? Well, find yourself a copy of the first season of this cartoon and watch as the show unfolds and gets away with more than any cartoon of that era should get away with. The funny thing about this particular season of the show is that during its original air time, adults weren’t really watching the show. In fact, only one-fifth of the audience were adults. Which begs the question “What would the creators get away with in today’s day and age?” I’d say on the off chance the creators would have still been allowed to get away with the adult oriented humor. Regarding the later seasons of the show, you’ll find that the creators dumbed down the adult humor just a tad. I imagine it had something to do with how well or poorly the first season was perceived. However, it has gone down in history as being one of the most adult oriented humor filled seasons of that time.
14. Doug (DINKS)
Jokes aimed more towards adults were far more common back in the 80’s and the 90’s as opposed to today’s dumbed down cartoons. Doug (although not as evident as other shows) had a few tid bits thrown in here and there that would make you do a double take. For example, the Dinks family that show up in Doug has a much darker set up than it gets credit for. If you know about this family, you’d know that the family aforementioned doesn’t have kids. That’s because Dinks actually stands for “Double Income, No Kids” hinting at the fact that people shouldn’t bother having kids because it causes you to spend more money than you intend. This is further proven through the fact that Mr. Dink in the show is seen making more expensive purchases, given that those expensive purchases are made because of the lack of kids. Gives you something to look forward to I suppose.
13. Ren & Stimpy (Gay Relationship)
Everybody in this world already knows the dark facts that surround Ren & Stimpy. The show itself has been stripped of any dignity at this point that it’s almost impossible to think of Ren & Stimpy anything other than a show for adults. Time and time again shown throughout the show, you’ll come to realize that Ren & Stimpy actually share a romantic agreement with one another. This is proven through the multiple cases in the show that give off the impression that they are succumb to sexual acts. For example, the scene in one of the episodes where Ren is basically taking Stimpy from behind. It is shielded by the use of props such as the saw that seems to be cutting in thin air. If you were to watch the act today, there’s no doubt the two were giving off the impression of being involved in such an act.
12. Double Dare
Double Dare doesn’t necessarily seem like the kind of show to have juicy facts following it. To me, it always seemed like an all out fun time, much like Jeopardy and other popular game show shows. Fortunately, these facts do exist and I’d like to talk about a few of them. First of all, while Nickelodeon was trying to decide what Double Dare would be based off of, they ended up taking ideas from a famous board game known as Mouse Trap. Evidently, throughout Double Dare‘s existence, slime was a common factor, so because of that, Double Dare had its own sewage system. Not only that, but the sewers can’t be doing all the work. While playing, the result was a slippery disaster for the contestants. This could be especially terrifying if we consider that young kids could have been witness to some body injuries that they didn’t even know existed yet.
11. Blue’s Clues (Steve Burns Controversy)
There will always be one person whether it’s your next door neighbor or someone on the internet that will claim that the original controversy with Steve Burns are true. However, they have been proven to not be so. The Steve Burns controversy revolved around the apparent downfall of Blue’s Clues. Steve Burns had left his position as lead man of the show, and years later the internet started rumors. These rumors surfaced around the idea that Steve Burns had committed suicide or died of some horrible disease. This went so far as to Steve Burns himself stating that the rumors are not true. Instead, the actual truth came to be known that Steve Burns was instead performing music. And honestly, I gave the music a listen soon after I had learned of this, and I gotta admit, it’d be something I’d hear on the radio back in the 90’s. In other words, the music is quite good.
10. Spongebob Squarepants
Alongside Rocko’s Modern Life, another cartoon had some hidden facts about it that we would have never learned about until years had passed. A lot of controversy has surrounded Spongebob Squarepants. One of which being that the animals and objects we watch are the result of a post-nuclear war. This is further evident due to the lower parts of Bikini Bottom are deadly and barren. This would give off the notion that it is the place where the nuclear energy exists. Another is the fact that Spongebob Squarepants revolves around the seven deadly sins: Sloth (Patrick), Wrath (Squidward), Greed (Mr. Krabs), Envy (Plankton), Gluttony (Gary), Pride (Sandy), Lust (Spongebob). It’s crazy to think that the show millions loved and adored for its cute nature would succumb to such rumors that could easily be true.
9. Courage The Cowardly Dog (All In His Head)
You’ve seen Courage the Cowardly Dog by now right? If not, you’re missing out on one if not the most terrifying cartoon to ever show up on Cartoon Network. The horrifying ideas that go into the episodes make it unforgettable for a variety of reasons. If you didn’t know, Courage the Cowardly Dog is based around a dog and an older couple living in the middle of nowhere. It’s been said that Courage the Cowardly Dog is actually the result of the horrors that Courage experiences through his life in his own head. There is an episode where at the end of it, Courage is talking them with puppets. It’s been mentioned that this could signify what Courage actually does during the day, but the episodes are based solely on the images in his head. This could mean that Muriel and Eustace don’t even exist, but Courage does it to not feel alone.
8. Calilou (Voice Actor)
I’ve never actually seen Calilou, but I know for whatever reason there’s been a meme bringing him back to life. In some ways, I’m just so happy the internet exists, specifically for this type of stuff. Calilou had a voice actress by the name of Jaclyn Michelle Linetsky, and due to a van losing control that she had been riding in, this resulted in the van to get into a head on collision with a semi truck. Jaclyn Michelle Linetsky died that day at the age of 17. Sad to think that at the age of 17, a talented voice actress that would go on to do great things would end up dead before she could really get her career in motion. Of course, this caused the writers of 15/Love that she had been included in, her character would have had to die in a plane crash. Which on its own is rather depressing.
7. Toy Story (Adult Humor)
Toy Story, the movie series we’ve all loved throughout a large chunk of our lives also has some hidden facts about it that make it seem worse than it is. First off, during the scene when Woody is stuck in Sid’s room, you’ll find a peculiar looking toy walking outwards. Although at first glance it seems to be a walking fishing pole, it’s been proven time and time again that it is indeed meant to be seen as a “hooker.” It would further make sense as the end of the toy has a hook hanging off of it. Although that is pretty funny, one of the darker sides of the movie comes from the fact that Andy is unable to see the toys live, because the reason they move is because of a deep seeded want for companionship, and Andy believes the only companionship he will have is with his toys.
6. Nickelodeon Slime
In the 90’s, kids everywhere were undoubtedly jealous of the fact that other kids our age had the opportunity to feel what the slime felt like. Some thought it was rather cold, whereas other kids (including me) thought it’d eventually burn your flesh off your body. I was a weird kid, give me a break. Anyway, as it turns out, the slime was originally made as something so foul that anybody that went near it would have to steer clear of its existence. Originally it was made from green latex paint mixed with whatever else he could find, and stirred up in a garbage bin. Knowing this, I sincerely hope this was never dropped on anybody as it could have probably had some disgusting after effects. They found bits and pieces of sausage inside of it for god sake. Luckily, as it has been said, there was initially going to be a shot made with the old slime, but of course, the directors and everyone involved were scared of any after effects, so the shot was never filmed.
5. Marc Summers
Marc Summers, most famously known for his host work in Double Dare, has some dark secrets to tell. Don’t worry, he’s not a sex addict or drug abuser. Fortunately for those that grew up with him through TV and whatnot, the resulting news is far less severe than we’d expect. Marc Summers suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder. The sad thing about this is that he had been fired from his job because of him revealing he had this problem. Though unsurprisingly, working on a show like Double Dare that is very famous for being a messy show could have some bad effects in regards to triggering your obsessive-compulsive tendencies. Still, although Marc Summers has to live his life fully knowing this was a stand still in his career, we can still be happy knowing that he was easily one of the most charismatic hosts we ever got to watch on television.
4. Grandpa Boris (Rugrats)
A lot of people may not remember Grandpa Boris from Rugrats, because let’s be honest, his stories were rather boring and not something most people found a lot of interest in. Unfortunately this has not stopped the character to be a center of controversy. Back in 1998, there was a controversy revolving around a comic strip that was released from Nickelodeon. The comic was displayed and read as “a caricature of Grandpa Boris who is reminiscent of stereotypical Nazi-era depictions of Jews.” Even if the comic wasn’t meant to be taken this way originally, the president of Nickelodeon took this outrage, and announced that Grandpa Boris would no longer be included in the comic strips. Of course, I would certainly hope this did not belittle people’s original image of Grandpa Boris in the show. Especially considering the fact that it is announced in the show that Grandpa Boris is a Russian-American.
3. Clarissa Explains It All (Ladder Access)
Back when Clarissa Explains It All was huge, I don’t think many kids around the world really thought much about the fact that her male friend would climb into her room via a ladder to the second story. Of course, thanks to the internet, many theories and somewhat believable factoids have surfaced to give the show a completely new controversial look. In today’s day and age, I don’t think a show like Clarissa Explains It All could exist as long as it did back then, specifically for the use of a ladder going into a bedroom. The controversy mostly surrounded by the sexual undertones that were there but not acted upon due to the ease of access into the girl’s bedroom. This became further clear when the director told people that the reason for the ladder was “a way to show they had a real relationship” although the sexual undertones became much more clear as she got older.
2. Doug (Insane Children Theory)
Sometimes it’s very easy to believe certain theories being thrown around about our favorite kids shows, because a lot of them were known to spring such fear the older you get. Although this particular one feels so true that I feel it’s worth mentioning. In the show Doug, you follow Doug as he writes into a journal and enjoy his life with his friends. Instead, the theory revolves around Doug specifically as he ventures through life with delusions of grandeur and guilt. They have said that a lot of his decisions in life go back to his manic bipolar disorder, and the result is the whole show is based around characters suffering from mental and physical disorders. One specifically talks about Patti Mayonnaise being a closet lesbian, which would make sense as she never wants to give into a emotional relationship with Doug, or any other man for that matter.
1. Ed, Edd, n Eddy
Out of all the theories or facts that stem from 90’s era cartoons, this particular one may be my all time favorite. Everybody knows Ed, Edd, n Eddy is about this show where three kids with almost the same exact names try to scam the other kids on the block (and of course fail to do so). The theory revolves around the fact that none of the kids are actually alive. The reason this could be further proven is through the simple fact that the skin colors of the characters are all different, giving off the illusion that each of the kids could have died in different ways. For example, Eddy could have suffocated to death giving off his pink tone, and Ed could have died from some organ failure giving his yellow skin tone. This is further proven by the fact that this is a daily occurrence for the Ed’s to scam the other kids, giving off the illusion they are living in purgatory until the Ed’s succeed in their life long venture.