Growing Up 90’s: Kid’s Shows

Dexter’s Laboratory

If you know the phrase “Omelette du fromage”, then this kid-genius taught you. Dexter’s Lab is one of those inherently 90s kids shows. A boy-genius with a huge laboratory hidden under his family’s house, who wouldn’t want to be Dexter? Making robots, mixing funny chemicals, blowing stuff up… Oh, science. How I love thee.

Of course, this show wouldn’t have been half as entertaining if it weren’t for that pesky little blonde ballerina. Dee Dee was the perfect antagonist to a viewing audience who probably had to deal with their younger siblings. The series overall was very entertaining and, above all, funny without passing into the bizarre. It was modestly pure and adequate for kids. You can’t blame Dexter’s Lab for making some of us love science and sci-fi. Right?

Let’s go into the ENGAGING, shall we?

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?

Although you might argue that Scooby-Doo was originally created during the early 70s, in case the outfits didn’t make it obvious, the show came to have a glorious re-launch in the 90s. This series kicked major ass and for the most part kept it PG-13. Though we know what was going on every time Fred and Daphne partnered up for the split search…

Scooby-Doo was engaging in the sense that it was a mystery-thriller without being scary. Here were a group of “meddling teenagers” solving supernatural mysteries way before Sam and Dean came around to make it look sexy. What better way to put your kids to bed than with the reassurance that the monster in their closet was probably just an old man in an elaborate costume looking for riches and fame… or vengeance. If nothing else convinces you, then I’ll just throw in the fact that the soundtrack was pretty awesome.

Rocko’s Modern Life

Rocko was always an interesting character to me. He seemed like such an average guy amongst the plethora of strange characters around him. Out of the Nickelodeon shows this one probably has the most depth in the sense that it depicts the life of a foreigner looking to fit in. Although branded as slapstick humor, my memories of Rocko’s Modern Life are quite sober.

I mean, yeah, there was a lot of color and sure there was a lot of humor, but there were nice dimensions to this humor. The writers were essentially trying to re-create the modern life of anyone in the USA. Rocko being an immigrant from Australia just added that extra element of chasing the American Dream. The biggest corporation in town,Conglom-O, didn’t even have a real product, but like every big American corporation is suspected to do, they liked dumping their toxic goo into the town’s rivers. That said, there’s a whole episode on recycling, and it’s a musical! “You can’t fight City Hall. You can’t fight corporate America. They’re big and we are small. You can’t fight City Hall.


A Caribbean Islander who wants to fly. Criminal Justice graduate with a lot to say about social injustice. An eternal scholar. I want to know everything. I blame Disney for making me a total dreamer. My head is mostly in the clouds and I have background music in real life.

6 Responses

  1. amy says:

    I only grew up with one short of Courage the Cowardly Dog, and that’s the Cartoon Cartoon The Chicken from Outer Space. I saw that, at least, a dozen of times during its 1996 premier on Cartoon Network.

  2. amy says:

    Oh, and… come on! Rocko’s Modern Life was pretty trippy in itself. The Really Really Big Man had crazy nipples.

  3. Camiele says:

    I recently watched the first episode of Rocko’s Modern Life… I was like “WHAT THE HELL WERE WE THINKING?!” Literally, I don’t know HOW we got away with watching all the stuff we watched back then. Nowadays, ALL them shows (except for maybe Rugrats) would have been on Adult Swim! And it’s like now we shelter our kids so much they have no clue about life. We survived some of the most messed up shows in the 90s and turned out relatively okay (voices in our heads notwithstanding). But it makes you wonder what kind of mind-altering substance our parents were on to think it was okay to watch these shows!

  4. mirella says:

    Man, that took me back. I loved loved Rocko’s Modern Life and Dexter’s Lab. I specially love you put the video of Zanzibar, it’s my favourite Rocko episode! Now something I also loved in the 90s was The PowerPuff Girls. Buttercup was my girl!

    • amy says:

      @mirella, but wasn’t Powerpuff Girls in early 2000s?? I only remember the Powerpuff Cartoon Cartoon debut.

      • Mirella says:

        @amy, PowerPuff Girls was actually released in 1998 until 2005. I remember watching it in 1999 because I was still in School when I first watched them. I even have a green scrunchie with Buttercup’s face XD

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