As a reader of TheGamer, you are a veteran consumer of media, a cosplay connoisseur, a seasoned film critic. Where did it all begin? That’s right — little children’s shows. Our favourite episodes of television from childhood unite us all; they’re what inspired us to keep consuming entertainment for the rest of our lives. Although we outgrow much of the childish subject matters of these shows, they’re worth revisiting to see how much filthier they were than we remember.
Now I know what you’re thinking. You’ve seen it all. Yes, you’ve also seen the articles that tell you you’ve seen it all. But this is me, you guys, yo boy Patrick Belmore. I’m reporting in to say I’ve scoured the internet far and wide and plumbed the darkest recesses of the dark net to find you the best inappropriate jokes hidden in little children’s shows. Some of the things I’ve seen on my journey will no doubt haunt me for life, but it will have been worth it if you scroll through this list and chuckle once or twice on the toilet before going back to your work station.
In fact, I would posit there’s no way you’ve seen every entry on this list before. If you have, I’ll pull the Frank Underwood move and threaten to turn in my resignation. Let me know in the comments what you think of these entries — and instead of your customary tight-lipped politeness, feel free to write what you really feel.
Here are 30 Inappropriate things you never noticed in little kids shows.
30 The Magic School Bus Was Filthy
The Magic School Bus was a beloved animated children’s show from the early nineties about eccentric school teacher Ms. Frizzle and her whacky educational adventures with her pupils. Each episode made learning come to life with weirdly exact pairings of a racially diverse cast that made it unclear if they were siblings or if they were supposed to marry each other. Netflix is offering a reboot of the popular franchise, called The Magic School Bus Rides Again (which to me sounds like a drive-by). But even The Magic School Bus isn’t immune to some raunchy jokes. When Wanda Li gets covered in a white vicious substance, she mentions it’s white and gooey and sticky but doesn’t bad in her mouth. Okay, this is could easily be a mistake but come on. Somebody ought to get fired if it isn’t — yes, fired, twenty years later. Rehired and fired.
29 Not A Joke, Just Factual
So this isn’t from the official Caillou show or anything, but the CEO of TheGamer told me personally that it had to be included because it was so factually accurate. The world just needs to know why Caillou sucks so hard. I can’t read this without breaking into a giggler and/or a titter. There has been much speculation — including some from John Oliver — that Caillou is bald because he has a terminal disease. Well now we have our answer. He’s not bald because he’s in stage 4, he’s bald because his own body knows how lame he is. You have to hand it to Caillou’s hairline, the real MVP. He’s trying to take down the kid and preemptively ruin his love life for the rest of us.
28 Sesame Street Gets Real
You probably weren’t watching, but did you hear about that time Katy Perry’s episode of Sesame Street had to be canned because she… over-exposed herself? Sesame Street is practically a universal cornerstone of childhood. The series, airing since the sixties, has given parents a helping hand in raising their children by teaching them important lessons in friendship and cooperation and many other subjects. The show has always seen celebrity guest spots, but in recent years these cameos have become more prevalent. It’s a rite of passage not unlike an SNL guest spot. But when Kat Perry made her appearance, she wore a regular Katy Perry outfit, which can leave a little to the imagination. Incensed moms and fake-incensed dads called in to demand the episode be pulled.
27 He Loves You... A Little Too Much
“Okay, little girl, please point on this purple Dinosaur where it was done."
“DO YOU WANT TO PUT THIS MONSTER BEHIND BARS OR NOT!? TOUCH THE DOLL!”
Here’s a candid moment where Barney is caught up spreading the love to children. Maybe a little bit too much. Barney was no stranger to moments of accidentally inappropriate content. I’m sure you could find stills from every episode, paused at just the right moment to make it look like the FBI should be raiding Barney Studios or whatever. You have to admit, there was always a creepiness to the show. It made you never really quite sure if Barney liked kids in the bad way. He loves you and you love him.
26 Don't Worry, He's Not That Late
Alright Dr. Robotnik, you sicko! In the later Cartoon Network Sonic series, Dr. Robotnik shows up late for an event and announces he’s been polishing his schnauzer. Ahem. A schnauzer is German for “snouter” and it’s, of course, a type of dog with a long bushy moustache. Obviously, we assume he means he’s been polishing his famous moustache — but the line has a double-meaning that knocks this up to an R Rating. There are other things Dr. Robotnik could be polishing, perhaps aided with a golden ring. I don’t know what kind of freak sits at the censor board over at Cartoon Network but they must hate their lives or want a new job. Maybe we should take these subtle adult jokes as a desperate cry for help from the censor guy.
25 Not Even Trying For Subtlety Anymore
Okay, I know I’ve lost it a lot during these texts but seriously can we please STOP IT WITH THESE PARTS. It seems like there’s some dude at Disney who’s made it his mission to sneak in as many man parts as physically possible under the radar. Now I can’t even enjoy a wholesome advertisement of Mickey and Minnie Mouse without seeing secret man parts. But seriously, the others are at least subtle. Sometimes it’s Lefou’s nose or a knock on the head that forms the man part — but I don’t know what I’m supposed to be looking at here. It’s all just man part. Many Minnie’s rocking a secret we didn’t know about and Disney is making strides for the transgender community.
24 Nickelodeon's Failed Attempt At Mom Appeal
Have you heard of Nickmom? If not, it is a treasure trove. Imagine you have an editor who’s assigned you inappropriate content in little children’s shows but you can’t find anything fresh — when you read about Nickmom and you pray in thanks to the terrible decisions of executives. Nickmom was Nick Jr.’s oh-so-misguided attempt at appealing to young moms in 2012. I guess Nickelodeon was trying to gain new viewers in the moms who had to sit there as their children watched cartoons all day long. Nickmom featured strangely provocative ads with a woman’s bare legs and extended off-screen. It also tried to “connect” with young moms by talking about chest expansion during pregnancy. Moms were not pleased and Nickmom was put out to pasture three years later.
23 There's An "Out There" Theory About Steve
You may never have heard of this — and honestly, why should you? — but a major fan theory from Blue’s Clues was that Steve was addicted to things. Think about it. He lives in a world where he is the only real person. His best friend is a blue dog who solves clues with him. He’s constantly dancing to terrible music and acting like the biggest dummy in the tworld — yes, even when he is the only person in the world.
Reddit user Wolvenfire86 sums it up best: “Every episode, Steve will jump into a painting and be “in that world” for a brief period. He is actually enjoying himself on his couch and watching the picture until he hallucinates he is inside them.”
22 Did You Catch This?
Okay so this is from Hocus Pocus, a movie and not a show, but it’s too good not to include. Featuring a pre-HBO Sarah Jessica Parker and Bette Middler, Hocus Pocus is about a coven of witches wreaking havoc on All Hallow’s Eve. So they encounter this bus driver and tell him they desire children — a statement worrisome in itself — but he trumps them by casually agreeing to child abduction. Sarah Jessica Parker, go back to New York. I REALLY don’t understand how the producers read this script and thought, “yup — nobody will get mad at us for this!” And they were right. I guess because nobody saw their movie. Well nobody except me. I rewatch this bad boy every Halloween and it’s way worse every time!
21 He's One Oddvark
Arthur was a Canadian/American animated educational television series featuring Arthur the Aardvark. More like an ODDvark, right? HA HA HA!!! … HA HA HA!!!
So anyway, Arthur got up to all kinds of mild shenanigans. He was a huge nerd, which you know because he wears glasses and this was made in the early nineties where all people with glasses were legally classified as nerds. Arthur’s life is aggressively G-Rated and his problems tend to centre around late homework assignments and grump teachers. Except for that one time where his day made an out of context reference to “touching it.” You can tell from Arthur’s expression he knows what his dad really means. No doubt the writings were poking a little fun at Arthur here.
20 You Don't Even Need To Play It Backwards
Yes, this is from Arthur. Yes, the same show where the Oddvark’s only problems centre around late homework assignments and grump teachers. So there’s this one episode where Arthur’s classmates, whose names I can’t be bothered to research, form a band, presumably for the school’s “enjoyment.” Arthur’s dog friend drops a sick beat to a clarinet and piano accompaniment and says, “Six! Six six! The number of the beast!” Um, for those innocent souls who aren’t aware, 666 is the area code and telephone number of Jesus’s greatest enemy and God’s clumsiest angel always falling from places, Satan. That means that innocent G-Rated Arthur features children as devil worshippers. It’s most likely an offhand joke but it explains so much about Arthur’s world.
19 Johnny Bravo Never Shied From Adult Jokes
Johnny Bravo was a Cartoon Network show that had no business being labeled a kid’s show. The show was about a man who was trying to be some weird James Dean/Elvis hybrid and whose only stated goal was getting with as many women as possible. So it comes as little surprise that they included this dirty gag. A woman, voiced by none other than legendary Farah Fawcett, gets blindfolded at a children’s party. She recollects that she can’t remember the last time she was blindfolded then suddenly remembers and chuckles to herself knowingly. Whoa. If you didn’t catch the gag, you might want to tune into Nick Jr. Blindfolding your partner is something that healthy adults and repressed hunky billionaires do Anastasia Steele.
18 Subtle Dirty Joke On Boy Meets World
I cannot believe the network let this slide on Boy Meets World. Faced with her first F ever, Topanga protests to Mr. Feeny that she never failed in her life. And when he tells her that there’s a first time for everything, Cory says that argument doesn’t work on her. That joke would’ve flown over many little kids’ heads. They must’ve thought he just meant she’s stubborn. Well, she does stand her ground — but not in the way that kids knew about. Around their age, girls and boys can start to pressure each other to take their relationship to the next level. Although it would’ve been too on-the-nose, the joke would’ve been even more perfect even she had never gotten a D before.
17 Rocko's Modern Art
Based on the work I’ve done excavating adult jokes in children’s television shows, I can tell you that Rocko’s Modern Life is one of the worst offenders. Apparently geared towards children, the show nonetheless has some of the most boldly inappropriate gags on TV. It seems Rocko can’t even send or receive a piece of mail without adding some crude flourish. The letter is addressed from the “All Scottish Show” which forms an acronym that I’m not even allowed to write on this website. If you enjoyed that, I highly recommend googling some of the other adult jokes in the show — they range from Rocko working as an adult phone operators to several references about getting a little too friendly with yourself.
16 Fifty Shades Of Jimmy Neutron
The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius was always a clever show. I’m not even talking about when they make references to adult or lewd humor; it’s just got some serious comedic chops. So this next example should not be a shocker. During one episode, Jimmy’s parents get duck-taped together. Jimmy’s mom mentions how she hates being tied up while Jimmy’s dad kinda likes it. They then share a suggestive glance. Oh my. I’ll admit that I am so innocent on the inside that I originally thought Jimmy’s dad just meant he liked being close to his wife — but nope! It seems Jimmy’s dad’s been reading Fifty Shades of Grey and wants to try some stuff out.
15 Tales For Tails
I’ve said this a lot, but I cannot believe they let this slide — especially on Sonic the Hedgehog, a children’s show from way back no less. Censors were even tougher back then. In this episode in particular, Bunnie Rabbot is reading a scary bedtime story to Tails. It must be a heck of a thriller because Tails looks mighty afraid. Or maybe it has something to do with Bunnie’s line of dialogue: “Nastier than a one-eyed snake.” Now, some of you may not know what that means. Bless you. If you’re a man, you possess a one-eyed snake. I hope Tails has no idea what Bunnie is talking about. She looks like she’s insulting the male organ and hitting on the child fox all at once. No wonder he’s so scared.
14 Adult Imagery On Powerpuff Girls
Okay, so The Powerpuff Girls has its own fair share of risqué material — and unlike some of the other entries here, there’s nothing left to the imagination. There’s no, “hmmm maybe TheGamer is seeing things that aren’t there.” Not here, no sir. Do you remember the mayor’s secretary on the show? She was walking objectification. Literally. The camera was angled only on her chest and we never saw her face, implicitly stating that nothing else about her mattered. So there was one time where she came into “sharpen the mayor’s pencil” and as she sharpens it, you can see distinct imagery in the placement of her fingers on the pencil. There’s only one thing on the mayor’s mind — and apparently, Cartoon Network’s.
13 The Nick Jr. Figures Are Messed Up
This is a TV spot for Nick Jr. I’ll go ahead and let you keep looking at it. Take your time. Yes, that’s real. Some animator decided it would be a good idea to have green goo shoot the cartoon stick figure up in the air. More bewildering still, the executives at Nick Jr. presumably went “BRILLIANT!” and rubber-stamped the whole thing. Suffice it to say, the spot is lacking. Now I can hear you say this is all rather innocuous and I’m just trying to fill a quota — WRONG. This Nick Jr. ad is legitimately off-putting. They’re not wearing any clothes, for goodness’ sakes. That stick figure is enjoying the gushing green goo in ways that are not appropriate for a children’s network.
12 David The Gnome Gets Dark
Ever hear of David the Gnome? Me neither. Well, it was a show about a gnome named David in the early nineties. Teaming up with his fox friend Swift, David and his wife save adorable forest critters from trolls, and presumably freak out many children by standing still in gardens. The show ran for eight years. By all accounts, it was family friendly fare— except for the last episode. In the final episode of the show, David announces that he and his wife have reached four hundred years old and that’s the age that all gnomes have to, uh, kick the bucket. David and his wife and Swift climb a mountain and then perish at a tree. It’s an episode way darker than any children’s show ought to be. You can only assume the writers were bitter about getting canceled or something.
11 Just Four Guys Enjoying A Bubble Bath
The Flintstones, featuring Mad Men social standards and teaching kids to become addicted since the 1960s. One of Hanna-Barbera’s all-time heavyweights, The Flintstones is replete with all manner of questionable episodes and content that have not aged well with time. Take, for example, this out of contest bubble bath all the men are enjoying. Now you might say this is socially progressive — after all, it’s a notch in the belt for LGBT advocates everywhere — but the conservative nature of the show begs to differ. This screenshot really is supposed to be an innocent bubble bath, which makes the gay overtones all the more hilarious. Let’s be real, though. Cavemen weren’t homophobic like some people today. They had to cuddle for warmth and they needed all the love they could get.
10 Angry Parents: A Netflix Original
Oh, parents got maaaaaad about this. There’s a Netflix Cartoon series called Maya the Bee, which you’ve never of because why should you? Well the show made headlines in September. One vigilant mother notice that during one scene, there was an image of the male anatomy drawn on a cave wall. And it could leave nothing to the imagination. It seems animators can’t help themselves from putting a little something of themselves in all that they work on. Netflix opted to pull the whole episode and issued an apology to angry moms and dads everywhere. I don’t know why they didn’t just turn it into a building by drawing on some windows. That’s what I always do.
9 Making Some New Nemos
Nature is beautiful. The Magic School Bus was all about honouring nature no matter how uncomfortable it made parents, you got a problem with that? Take this episode in particular. The kids get shrunken down and visit the ocean in fish eggs. Well Nemo’s dad or something comes along, looking to make a new Nemo or something, and ends up fertilizing the eggs the children have hidden in. I don’t know if this technically means that they just had their first time… with a fish. Man, Miss Frizzle, you’re a great teacher and I love the emphasis on “show, don’t tell” but maybe don’t endanger the lives of the students every waking hour of every waking day? Just a thought.
8 Meowths Love Milk
Uh… Pokémon? Just what the heck is going on here? I know they say cats like milk but isn’t this taking things a little too far? This clip feels like something Ash accidentally wandered in on, something behind the curtain in the aggressively G-Rated Pokémon universe. I wonder if Meowth is just getting a snack or they’re getting ready to do other things. It makes you wonder how Pokémon treat each other when there’s nobody around to watch. Like, if they drink each other’s milk, do they also eat each other? I think we know they do. Kinda weird 4Kids was totally cool with adding this but any scene with Misty’s belly button had to be cut because THE YOUTHS WILL GO INTO A FRENZY!
7 Happy Birthday, Mr. Joker
If there are any Harley Quinn fans out there, then you’ll love to hear about one episode of the old Batman: The Animated Series. It’s a mind-boggling sequence I couldn’t believe a children’s network let go to air. So to surprise The Joker, Harley Quinn covers herself in sticky frosting and lowers herself into a pie. When The Joker appears, she pops out of the pie and asks him if he wants to try “some of her pie.” It’s supposed to be a parody on the old Marilyn Monroe Happy Birthday, Mr. President song. Needless to say, there’s a lot you can interpret from her dialogue the visuals. It’s virtually impossible that the network didn’t know what they were doing. They WANTED your mind to go to the dirty bad no-no place.
6 Bob The Builder Swears Like A Sailor
Bob the Builder is a famous British character on television in the UK. Bob is everybody’s favourite blue-collar worker. He teaches children the value of building things with their own two hands and he does it in a family friendly atmosphere — except for that time he dropped nonstop Bombs after hurting himself. Yes, that’s exactly what happened. The Bob the Builder Special Christmas episode features the benign builder doing a comedy routine as he runs around the room and swears like Bob the Sailor. Parents lost their minds — as they have done for pretty much everything on this list. The UK channel said it was Bob’s thick accent. Yeah. Sure. If you’ve never been around a construction site, the workers are the happiest little angels who would never say dirty no-no bad word no matter who stressed.
5 This Was Terrible Timing
If you aren’t a UK native, you may not have heard about Jimmy Saville. He was a famous television and radio personality who was posthumously outed as major offender against children. From 1955 to 2009, there were hundreds of cases of Saville abusing children in his dressing room. This came out before the Harvey Weinstein and #MeToo movement phenomenon we’re currently experiencing. Well, that backstory is, unfortunately, necessary to understand how the BBC messed up royally. A children’s puppet show called The Tweenies featured a Saville impression in 2001, complete with his Yorkshire accent and mannerisms. But days after Saville’s crimes came to light — the episode was re-aired by accident. It was an astonishingly tone-deaf move at the time. The BBC pulled the rerun and promptly apologized.
4 Fireman Sam Puts Out A PR Fire
Fireman Sam is a famous British children’s television show on Channel 4 that occasionally has been known to indulge in Islamophobia. Just kidding. Sort of. In one episode in 2016, Sam is seen to slip on a piece of paper — and it’s a page from the Quran. Internet-savvy audiences (who presumably spend their days binging Fireman Sam episodes) were quick to pause and read the Arabic. The producers called it an unfortunate error and said the paper was supposed to be illegible. I suppose it’s plausible they chose a page from the Quran because it looks like illegible squiggles to someone who can’t read the language, but that’s not that much better. There’s also the possibility that someone is waging their on Anti-muslim war from behind the scenes.
3 The UK Chickened Out Of Showing A Progressive Love Scene
Steven Universe, made from some of the minds behind Adventure Time, is a hilarious forward-thinking show. It boasts a lot of progressive attitudes, including a LGBT relationship. One episode sees Rose Quartz and Pearl embrace and kiss. Yeah, Cartoon Network had the nuts to take nuts entirely out of the equation and we say go them! Unless you’re the UK censor board for Cartoon Network. They removed the scene under the grounds that physical intimacy of any sort would make their local viewership uncomfortable. They said they also remove more traditional physical couplings as well, which seems to give legitimacy to their claim, but we’re not buying it. Likely, there’s a miffed executive in the UK who can’t handle the callbacks to her own misbegotten romances and now she can’t stand to see two women happy together.
2 The Magic Seinfeld
To quote George Bluth in Arrested Development, “someone saw Seinfeld last night.” Miss Frizzle is referencing a very specific moment of the iconic show — and it’s a treat just for the adults watching who have already shrunken to molecular size and understand how science works, thank you very much. Yes, among the many cultural gems Seinfeld has given us, shrinkage awareness might be among the best. For those too young to know, one episode of the classic sitcoms features chronic complainer George Constanza getting walked in on without his clothes on. The woman laughs and apologizes, but not before George shouts “I was in the pool!” The whole matter of shrinkage comes into play. Miss Frizzle is talking about it, but I think we get her double meaning.
1 Pokémon Gets Censored In America
In an episode of Pokémon titled The Beauty and The Beach, Misty enters a beauty contest to win money for an old man whose restaurant is closing down. The man stares at Misty for a long time, and when she catches him staring, he remarks that she reminds him of his granddaughter — in the American version anyway. If you thought that exchange was a bit strange, you’re not off. In the Japanese version, the old man tells Misty that they could have had a lot of fun if he knew her when she was younger. Yikes. Yes, that means exactly what you think it means. Even after hearing him be such a creep, Misty agrees to win him money for his restaurant when she should sue him.