’90s Cartoons

Natalia Brookens

Nostalgia is an almost constant feeling among ‘90s babies. We were the kids who grew up in a really weird time. ‘90s babies, or millennials, are probably the last kids who remember playing outside all day.

The ‘90s also had some killer cartoons millennials reference and watch. This nostalgia often inspires a desire in millennials to take a look back at some old cartoons that used to air in the ‘90s. It is surprising to realize the overwhelming amount of adult-themed jokes these cartoons held. Here’s a list of top five adult jokes that went over ‘90s babies heads as children.

To start off the list, at number one is Dexter’s Laboratory: “Dee Dee and the Man.” In this episode, Dexter fires Dee Dee as his assistant, so he sets out on a search to hire her replacement. The woman he hires is very…qualified. She’s a busty blonde in some tight-fitting clothes. Of course, Dexter hires her on the spot. So, he expects the same out of her replacement, at least the dancing part. When Dexter starts to miss Dee Dee he asks his new assistant to dance. Her response is, “Ok, but it’s fifty bucks extra!” At the time when we were kids, we definitely didn’t catch the meaning of the joke. But going back these days it’s definitely implied that she’s an experienced dancer, even without the pole.

Next up, coming in at number two, Johnny Bravo’s very first episode “Johnny Bravo and the Amazon Women.” In this episode, Johnny ends up on an island full of only women. They tie Johnny up in order to offer him to Athena as a virgin sacrifice. Johnny seems confused by this implication that he’s a virgin. He responds with, “Did she say virgin?” When he’s tossed into the volcano, it then erupts and spits him back out. Re-watching this you realize the writers implied that, despite Johnny’s total lack of prowess, he had relations with a woman.

At number three is Hey Arnold!: “Helga’s Parrot.” Helga, who had a long-time crush on Arnold, begins to recite and write down a number of poems about her love for Arnold. One of her poems is not so innocent when she speaks about how he makes her “girlhood tremble.” It makes you wonder, was this joke intended for the kids or for the parents? Because when you’re a child you can’t really infer what she might mean by “girlhood,” so we’d just gloss over it. Now that we’re older we can all agree the writers were implying Helga gets excited in an inappropriate way when thinking of Arnold.

At number four is The Animaniacs: “Hercule Yakko.” While searching for a diamond necklace Yakko tells Dot to dust for prints. Dot obviously mishears this when she returns holding The Artist Formerly Known as Prince and informs Yakko that she “found Prince.” Yakko proceeds to tell her, “No, no, no, fingerprints.” Dot looks to Prince, considering him for a moment then says, “I don’t think so,” and tosses him away. Dot clearly misunderstands this as “finger Prince,” which is highly inappropriate for a kid’s show.

Finally, at number five, Rocko’s Modern Life, “Hut Sut Raw.” In this episode Rocko, Heffer and Filbert go on a camping trip. When they figure out they’re lost and split up to find food, Rocko goes for some berries on a bush. There’s a shout and someone leaps out from the bush, grabbing their nether region. The majority of kids were probably confused by this, but there’s no question the writers were making a joke about getting ‘racked.’ This episode gets the number one spot because this scene was actually trimmed from the U.S. airings and all DVD releases.

It’s no wonder ‘90s babies grew up so fast; just look at the cartoons that used to air. By putting these kinds of jokes in their shows, creators make it possible for viewers to go back and re-watch these episodes again, and laugh for a whole new reason this time around. In doing this, the writers have made these cartoons timeless, because it makes the watcher want to go back and see what other double entendres and dirty jokes they may have missed. These jokes also kept parents semi-sane while having to watch these cartoons with their kids. Now, go re-watch some ‘90s cartoons and find your favorite inappropriate jokes.