We all have soft spots in our hearts for particular animated shows. If you’re a person who can’t go to bed without some kind of cartoon playing in the background, or who just can’t help but turn cartoons into white noise as he either works or does chores, then there are probably some times that you’ve noticed some mistakes.
But even when we notice some things that might be amiss with our favorite shows, we shrug it off and add it to the ever-growing list of curiosities our brain will continue to remember forever instead of more important things like “birth dates of family members” and “spouse’s first name.” So today, I want to share a few of these moments from shows that flew right over your heads. Mainly because you were “enjoying the show” and not “ridiculously over-analyzing the show because you needed an article idea for this week.”
And while some of them are just obvious continuity problems or things that the creators probably ignored in the name of keeping things simple, there are some here that are pretty obvious double-entendres. Well, thanks to the corrupting nature of the Internet — no, what’s the word for it? Oh yeah, life (shout out to John Mulaney)— I, and you guys as well, know volumes more than we did before. And it’s giving us a new appreciation of these classic cartoons. So prepare to scratch your head, giggle, and see some things you can’t unsee – we’re gonna get weird.
20. How Are You Doing That With No Hands?! (Power Puff Girls)
Sugar. Spice. Everything nice.
You’ll notice there that “opposable thumbs” wasn’t in the list that Professor Utonium used to create the perfect little girls. So how in the heck is Bubbles able to use chopsticks?
I mean, I get it. We’re not supposed to worry about that and just accept that she can, by some miracle of man-made biology, still use chopsticks with the smokey links she calls arms. Hands? Arms? Pseudopods? Tentacles? I’m not sure here, but I think the last two are the closest.
What if she’s telekinetic, and she’s manipulating them with her mind. However, she still wants to look like a normal human because she wants to fit in, so she makes sure the chopsticks dance around her hando-tenta-pod.
19. So, Do You Have Like, Another Pair? (Arthur)
It’s here we learn that Arthur is actually more related to a dinosaur than he is an actual aardvark. Because for some reason, his actual ears, you know, the ones that are PLAINLY EFFING DRAWN on the top of his head, are just for show.
So where does he wear his headphones? Why, just under the place where his glasses are nailed into his head, of course. The reason I say he’s more dinosaur is I can only assume that his real ears are just hollow points in his skull that the show thankfully never fully articulates.
However, Arthur isn’t the only character like this. There’s a long history of characters being given the “listen through my skull treatment,” and once you notice it, there’s no turning back.
18. Gettin’ the Whole Hog (Disney’s Timon And Pumba)
Alright, so we all had these sneaking suspicions that Timon and Pumbaa might skew the way of Ren and Stimpy, but it wasn’t until the pretty good series that they got on Toon Disney (rest in peace) that we finally had it confirmed to all of us with this image.
Here we see that Timon was truly unprepared for what was about to happen, as Pumbaa angrily gets himself into position, as it were. I can only hope that Disney cut to commercial before anything went “further.”
I mean, of course, everything’s up to interpretation here and that might not be what’s going on at all. But then again…
17. (Not-So) Secret Identities (TMNT)
You know what you need to hide your identity when you’re a six-foot-tall mountain of green muscle and hardened turtle shell? A FRIGGIN’ TRENCHCOAT. You know what won’t do diddly-crap? color-coordinated elbowpads, kneepads, bracelets, and masks. At the end of the day, you’re still a giant mutant green bean donned in ninja garb with deadly weapons and your FIRST INITIAL ON YOUR BELT BUCKLE. Heck of a job you guys are doing keeping your secret identities.
But I mean, it’s not like anyone cared when they were watching it (including myself). It’s just one of those things that we can’t help but realize when we take a look at it twenty or so years down the road.
16. “THRUST INTO IT” (Tenga Toppa Gurren Lagann)
Tenga Toppa Gurren Lagann is an anime everyone knows but has never seen an actual episode of. The reason for that is Yoko, the quintessential gun bunny with an outfit that launched a billion cosplays. Nothing moves product like a hot sniper in a black-with-red-flames bikini top and shorts that barely abide the laws of physics to stay on her body.
But from this picture, there’s obviously a reason why this anime has such a lasting impact. with one-liners like this, it’s no wonder why people are still having fun with this IP to this day. And of course, it never hurts to put your token hottie front and center.
15. The Baffling Physics of Helmets (Spongebob Squarepants)
There are a lot of things to talk about when it comes to Spongebob Squarepants, but one of the sticking points I keep coming back to is how any of the helmets used in the show apparently phase in and out of existence at the slightest whim of their wearers. Cases in point, the two pictures I have above.
How exactly is Sandy able to stick her fingers in her mouth to let loose a whistle without shattering her helmet and dooming her to die amongst the finned denizens of Bikini Bottom? Or at the very least, force her to jam a pickle jar on her head? In that vein, how can Spongebob blow bubbles while also having a helmet on as well?
14. What Exactly Are You Guys Celebrating? (The Flintstones)
Don’t you love The Flintstones? That ’60s cartoon rip-off of The Honeymooners about cavepeople that used to have its own cigarette commercials and is now only kept relevant by the sales of cereal and kid’s multivitamins? Well, like all things on television forever and always, they’ve had their own series of Christmas commercials over the years.
Even if this isn’t about the Christian version of Christmas, and we’re getting at the ancient pagan traditions of Yule, there’s still no reason whatsoever for Fred, Wilma, Barney, Betty, and all the other cave-people with rock puns for last names to celebrate Christmas. Nothing that people celebrate about Christmas existed back in the Stone Age!
13. Did They Just…?! (Fairly OddParents)
So uh, that title slide kinda says it all, huh? Is there any way this title couldn’t be misconstrued? Crock Blocked? Who cares that Timmy Turner’s evil teacher is named Denzel Crocker. Who cares that this episode is obviously going to feature him once again denied in his maniacal quest to reveal Timmy’s fairy god parents?
I sure as heck don’t. All I’m seeing is “CROCK BLOCKED,” and trying my hardest to stifle a giggle as my tiny, innocent nephew asks why I’m laughing, and I have to lie to him, telling him I’ve seen this episode before and was remembering a funny part.
12. HOW IN THE HECK IS HE CARRYING SQUIRTLE?! (Pokémon)
Ah, the world of Pokémon. Magical, mythical creatures that you beat into submission and force to fight against each other for your gratification and personal glory. While that’s not really the reason we’re talking about it today, I think it’s always important to remind everyone that their favorite thing will always be the worst, it just depends on how you look at it. Cheer up, it’s all a matter of perception.
Anyway, how in the everloving crap is Zubat holding Squirtle aloft in midair? Magnets? Velcro? Pokéglue? All I know is that for a creature being held aloft what looks like hundreds of feet in the air, Squirtle looks pretty effin’ chill.
11. Wait, Can He SEE the Sound? (Spongebob Squarepants)
Here we have another example of headphone headaches in animation. Here though, it’s a little more… extreme. Mr. Krabs does not have any eyes to speak of, so what did those geniuses (meant earnestly, Spongebob is one of the greatest cartoons of all time) decide to do to help it out? Put the headphones on his eyes, of course.
Just be glad the crustaceous cheapskate is just exercise biking here (to enslave jellyfish for his own corrupt capitalistic means, but that’s another article). If he was driving, the vibrations of the music coming from the headphones would shake his eyes so severely he couldn’t think straight!
10. Dad’s Sausage (Walt Disney’s Silly Symphonies)
Old-school cartoons were effed up. Not just for those creepy rubber hose animations and the creepy smiles that everything, even the houses, seemed to sport, but for some of the jokes that the animators sneaked in while you weren’t looking. And no one was the king of creepy subtext like Walt Disney. Sure, it wasn’t his claim to fame, but that never stopped him from letting disturbing junk like a framed picture of sausage links with the caption “FATHER” sit in the background as the Three Little Pigs dance to “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf.”
Stuff like that paves the way for Tom and Jerry to end themselves in an episode, among other things, and while I could sit here and pretend that I’m shocked and appalled, it’s just plain hilarious.
9. How Does He Not Ruin Those?! (Phineas and Ferb)
Of all the things I could talk about in terms of Phineas and Ferb, the glaring consistency errors, the constant fourth-wall breaking, the adherence to an established formula essentially etched in stone – here I am, talking about Phineas’s damn head.
Anyways, Phineas, pictured above, is the owner of a head that basically looks like a giant triangle. It’s massive and almost completely two-dimensional. So how in the heck is his head fitting through the tiny pinhole that is his shirt’s neckhole? How does he not consistently ruin his shirts? How does he not shred a gigantic hole every time he puts a new shirt on?
8. Never Really Thought About That… (Dexter’s Laboratory)
Dexter’s Laboratory is the show that Jimmy Neutron wishes it could be but never came close. As such, this potential problem does fit for that show as well.
Dexter is a boy genius with a gigantic secret laboratory burrowed deep under his house (or is it directly behind a single wall in his bedroom? They were never really clear on that one). Calling it a laboratory is a disservice, since it’s essentially a miles-long utopia of technology and stainless steel. But still, the sheer amount of power this monolith to science must suck down has to be completely crazy. Even then, we never see the massive electric bill that Mom and Dad have to pay to keep the lights on.
7. What is that Cigar Attached To? (Codename: Kids Next Door)
I honestly can’t remember most of the villains in Codename: Kids Next Door, but the one that sticks with me is Mr. Boss. Not just because he’s the focus of this entry, but also because his cigars are just kinda… sticking to nothing.
Like a lot of characters in animation, Boss is drawn with a mouth on the side of his face. That’s so it makes it easier to hold them in profile and do lip-flapping that actually makes sense. But unless there’s some kind of crazy law of physics being broken here, you can’t hold a fat stogie in your face and sneer that wide at the same time. Which begs the question: where exactly is he docking that thing?
6. TRY MY SAUSAGE (Hey Arnold!)
Hey Arnold! was a show from the 90s that somehow walked the line between hilarious and serious without so much as a second thought. It just kind of came naturally to the creators of the show, but that doesn’t mean that their versatility wasn’t biased against cheap sight gags. Case in point: the picture above. Grandpa’s sausage probably hasn’t been properly “tried” in a few decades, yet that poster eagerly wants us to give Gramps a go.
Me? I’ll pass. But if that poster was pointing to Arnold, all of us know Helga’s thirsty self would be first in line. Either way, we get a pretty great joke that would never have gotten past the censors if it was actually in the script.
5. When Does He Find the Time to Put On a Shirt? (Disney’s Lilo & Stitch The Series)
He is the man that drops his ice cream. He is the man that says little. He is the man with infinite tan lines. He is Ice Cream Man. And for some reason, even though he’s always shirtless every time we see him in either Lilo & Stitch or Lilo & Stitch: The Series, those tan lines never go away. They never even out. I mean yeah, it made sense for the 90-minute movie, but the series was three seasons long! You’re telling me homeboy couldn’t even himself out by then?
4. BORN: YES (Hey Arnold!)
Oh look, we’re back to Hey Arnold! Here’s another sight gag that might have passed you by – Arnold’s bus pass. It’s a quick shot that provides only the pertinent information when it comes to our good friend Arnold Shortman: his name is Arnold, and yes, he was born.
That kind of quirky silliness is a staple of the show’s humor, and it’s a great way to keep every moment of this show filled with gags. It’s something that just makes me wish for the Hey Arnold! movie even more. Man, this is a great time to be a 90s animation fan…
3. Wait, That’s Not Hair? (The Simpsons)
So there’s a ton of canonical episodes of the Simpsons asserting that the things that stick out from the top of Lisa and Bart’s head is hair, but that just doesn’t happen here with this awesome post-apocalyptic vision in this particular episode.
Now I’m nowhere near the Simpson’s fan that everyone I know who likes the Simpsons says I should be, but I love to have stuff like this happen to throw a certain finger in the case of continuity. However, I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Futurama fan, so take of that what you will. It’s just fun to see the lighthearted get really messed up every once in a while.
2. It’s Got A Way Of… Growing (Various Cartoons)
This is an idea that’s been aped in dozens of shows, and literally every animated and live-action incarnation of The Incredible Hulk. Somehow, beyond all odds, clothing stay on even after people are shrunk, grown, or otherwise warped. You see it here in this Futurama episode. One of the Professor’s experiments goes awry and begins making all of Planet Express’s employees get younger and younger, needing to use a fountain of aging to reverse the damage. Somehow, clothes stay on everyone and nothing is questioned.
But the best way to handle it is found in this episode of Phineas and Ferb, where Dr. Doofenshmirtz makes a very interesting observation after evolving from a single-celled organism to a full-grown man.
1. Timmy’s Dad Has Done Some… Things (Fairly OddParents)
THE FAIRLY ODDPARENTS DO NOT KNOW WHEN TO STOP.
And God bless ’em.
Timmy’s dad has always been two tacos short of a combination plate, but here we see just how much he has invested in keeping his son interested in the same things he used to do when he was younger. Being rejected by his son’s peer group was far too much for him, and unfortunately, it all just came out.
Or maybe he’s just talking about a particularly bad day when he needed to make ends meet.
Either way, it makes for one awesome screenshot, and one awesome way to wrap this list up. Because trust me when I tell you, this pic is definitely something you cannot unsee.
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