Cartoons were great as a kid, and are probably a bigger attribute to our upbringing than we're proud to give it credit for, but as an adult, have you ever questioned what exactly read between the lines of your favorite series?
Conspiracy theories are everywhere, and the world of children-oriented animation isn't exempt from this unfortunately. Some very concerned individuals have taken the time to formulate some educated theories on the secret messages behind some popular cartoon shows, and despite what you may believe about conspiracies, you'll have to attest to the validity of the research.
While some cartoon conspiracy theories come in frivolous forms of comedy, you'll recognize many of them to be heinously dark and brooding, making you regret the day you ever decided to tune in to your favorite Nickelodeon show. Caution: This list isn't for the faint of heart. We are not responsible for the damage to any childhoods during the viewing of this list.
10 Spongebob Squarepants Theory: Radiation Poisoning
All these years of of watching this show, and you never once questioned what was off about a sponge living underneath a pineapple?
Well, there's most likely a number of issues with the character himself, but as a whole, it was deducted that the whole cast of Spongebob Squarepants are a result of nuclear arms testing that occurred in the Bikini Atoll during the 40s and 50s. As the characters live in “Bikini Bottom,” it is implied they live underneath the atoll, making them all susceptible to the radiation poisoning.
9 Hey Arnold Theory: Grandparents Are His Real Parents
An orphan's greatest dream is reuniting with their long lost parents, but what if said parents were sitting right under their nose the whole time?
This theory suggests that Arnold's grandparents, Gertie and Phil, were actually his biological parents, and subjected their son to a number of psychological conditions due to them having him so late in life, such as his tendency to create imaginary friends he believes to be real. His football shaped head is also a result of a deformity from hydrocephalus. Jeez, the insult “football head” just became 100x more offensive.
8 Aladdin: Armageddon Theory
This Disney classic leads us all to believe that it takes place in a third century reimagining of ancient Middle East dynasty, yet there's one third wall-breaking character that would lead us to believe otherwise.
The Genie's comedic antics and impressions often assume the fact that he's lived through our modern era, yet the setting of Aladdin would suggest it's taken place hundred of years before. The Armageddon theory implies that the setting of Aladdin is in fact a post-apocalyptic version of Arabia, where flying carpets and genetically modified parrots are plausible. This would at least explain the Genie's reference to Aladdin's clothes being “so third century.”
7 Scooby-Doo: Post-Depression Theory
Criminals aren't typically born, but created out of the result of hard times. Maybe those meddling kids aren't the “good guys” after all.
This theory suggest that the Scooby Doo gang live in a era of economic depression, which has forced a number of talented professionals (museum curators, professors, celebrities) into a life of crime. Most of the mysteries the gang take on revolve around preventing someone from going out of business, and the number of broken down/abandoned warehouses and buildings they investigate leave you to wonder.
6 Dexter’s Lab Theory: Imaginary Lab
It's not uncommon for young kids to have hyperactive imaginations, however this self-proclaimed boy genius may have just barely gone off the deep end.
What if we told you that Dexter never had a secret laboratory, and it was all a figment of his imagination. In this theory, Dexter's family entertained the boy's delusion of grandeur in order to help suppress his social anxiety and introversion. The evidence supporting this idea is the impossible dimensions of the lab, and the fact that Dexter carries an accent while the rest of his family doesn't.
5 Powerpuff Girls Theory: Multiple Personality
Professor Utonium's perfect little girls may have had more mixed in their concoction other than sugar, spice, and everything nice.
This theory suggest that Townsville's little heroes are actually representative of different personalities constructed by an anonymous host. In order to cope with the incessant bullying of her older brother, the host developed a multiple personality disorder, and the villain Mojo Jojo is believed to represent the abusive sibling.
The Bubbles personality symbolizes the “cute little girl,” Blossom the “smart and stable girl,” and Buttercup the “tough girl.”
4 Courage the Cowardly Dog Theory: A Normal Dog
As if this disturbed show needed a creep conspiracy theory. The freaks and creatures that Courage encountered on a daily were plenty to scar you for life, but what if I told you that none of what the dog thought he saw was even real?
This is at least what the theory implies, as Courage may have not been such a cowardly dog after all, but a dog that perceived the world through a dog's eyes. It also suggest that Courage, Muriel, and Eustace, don't actually live in the middle of Nowhere, but is thought of as such by Courage as his owners are too old to take him outside of the property.
3 Ed, Edd n Eddy Theory: Kids of the Cul-De-Sac are Dead
Yeah, so this one gets pretty dark. Was it ever a wonder to you how none of the kids in the cul-de-sac ever had to attend school?
Well, the obvious explanation here is that the cul-de-sac is actually cursed, and each of the kids have died in different time periods, but are stuck in a purgatory of eternal childhood. Duh. Farfetched? Maybe. But think to yourself. Have any of the adults ever been shown in the show? It is also noted that each of the kids' tongues are colored in different colors, representing decaying bodies.
2 The Rugrats Theory: Figment of Angelica’s Imagination
There's been a common theme with some of these theories concerning childhood trauma and loneliness, and you'll be happy to know that this one is no different.
What we all believed to be the “Rugrats,” were actually figments of Angelica's imagination, and a coping mechanism for the severe psychological breakdown she suffered through. Her cousin, Tommy Pickles, turned out to be a stillborn, who's father still makes toys for the child he never had. Chuckie supposedly died in a car accident with his mother, explaining why his father is such a nervous wreck. Angelica has also conceptualized Phil and Lil as twins, as the DeVille's had an abortion and she never got to know the sex of their baby.
1 Pokémon Theory: Ash is in a Coma
There was once a time where we all wanted to be Pokemon Masters, but did any of us know what we were signing up for?
Ash Ketchum introduced us to the massive world of the pocket monsters, and so on year after year, and not once did we question why he didn't get any older. The theory's explanation assumes that the young trainer was struck by lightning during the beginning of his journey, and fell into a coma. Everything we've seen thus far is a rendering of his imagination, which would help explain his anti-aging, and the reoccurring Nurse Joys and Officer Jennys.