Growing Up 90’s: Kid’s Shows

Now let’s talk about the dark side of the 90s cartoons. This is the side of all of us 90s brats that no one will ever understand. There are two shows I’d like to blame for this:

The Ren and Stimpy Show

BIZARRE is too small a word for this show.

Ren and Stimpy are probably the most unlikely pair to have aired for five seasons straight. With a neurotic Chihuahua who seemed too high on psychotropic drugs to function and a severely intellectually challenged cat as the main characters this series earned its cult following. The innuendos are everywhere and the LSD-charged scenes must have induced the occasional seizure. From the script all the way to the animation, this series is quite disturbing. Even as a child I could tell that Ren and Stimpy weren’t your average characters. What with Ren’s constant rage outbursts and Stimpy’s socially inadequate behavior. Looking back I’m surprised this show wasn’t banned.

The Ren and Stimpy Show was basically a show about a dysfunctional couple prone to violence that was probably heavily into BDSM and constantly did drugs. There’s no other explanation for their behavior.

Courage the Cowardly Dog

I feel like I’m cheating with this one, but having been released in 1999 it still counts! Courage the Cowardly Dog is one of my favorite cartoons of ALL times. This show is creepy, dark and so smart. Their source of humor is quite obscure while still maintaining an elegance that can hardly be matched by any other cartoon from my younger years.

Courage truly showed us that being brave is about facing your cowardice. Of course, it took many strange characters and situations to get that message across. The very first one to jump to mind is Freaky Fred, Muriel’s strange nephew with an acute obsession for hair. This guy could’ve made a great serial murderer in a live action horror film. Second character to come to mind is King Ramses in that haunting episode, King Ramses’ Curse.

Whoever watched this show back in their childhood will immediately associate it with the famed “Return the slaaaaaab. Return the slaaaaaab.” It will forever be one of the main reasons why I hate looking out of my window at night.

Tell me, what are kid’s shows you grew up watching?

Part of the Time Machine: Back to the 90′s Blogathon


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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