Cartoons are a staple of just about every kid's childhood, everyone loved waking up early on a weekend just to watch their favorite cartoons before heading out to play for the day. When it came to these cartoons there were three basic networks that we all loved to watch. There was The Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, and of course, Nickelodeon. Nickelodeon has been home to many great shows over the years, and kids everywhere loved to watch it. There were cartoons like, Ren And Stimpy, CatDog, Dora The Explorer, SpongeBob, and The Rugrats, all shows that most of us can remember watching as kids. Some of us even still watch these shows today as adults, because let’s be honest, they are pretty addicting and actually kind of funny.
These shows were aimed primarily towards children, and so you would think that they would all be kid-friendly, but you would be wrong to think this. Over the years the creators of these shows found clever little ways to stick in some not-so-PG humor for their viewer's parents to catch on to, but there were also the shows that didn’t even bother trying to hide the inappropriate content. As kids, most of us did not catch on to these things, but now that we are all grown up it is so easy to see the things that we missed as children. Which now leaves a lot of parents infuriated, and wondering how on earth these shows were ever even aired in the first place.
Here are 25 infuriating facts that you didn’t know about Nickelodeon shows, until now.
25 The Rugrats All Grown Up
In the year, 2003, The Rugrats was given a spin-off where we could see all the babies grown up. This was a long time coming, I mean after all how long could they stay babies? This was a great idea at first, people love to see their favorite childhood characters reimagined into adults, and people loved it at first. Apparently, though, there was a great deal of waiting involved with this show, because it took an entire two years just for them to air one season of it. It is pretty obvious why this infuriated the show’s viewers. I mean, wouldn’t you be upset if you had to wait two whole years just to finish one season of your favorite show, especially in today’s world where binge watching is the cool thing to do? The show came to an end in the year, 2008, when the creators felt that they had finally given the characters the ending that they deserved, but still fans were not happy about it.
24 When She Was Weak In The Knees... (Hey, Arnold!)
Hey, Arnold! is another popular Nickelodeon show from the early 2000s, that most people will likely remember watching at some point in their life. This show was about a young boy named, Arnold, who lived in a boarding house with his grandparents deep in the heart of a huge city. Although children probably never caught on to the adult humor and subtle hints that we found in this show, re-watching it as an adult will most certainly leave you wondering how you never noticed these things before. Remember Helga, Arnold’s secret admirer? Well, Helga was the same age as Arnold was, yet she was often times seen in the show writing some pretty detailed poetry. In fact, the stuff that Helga was writing about while she was supposedly a fourth grader, was stuff that most of us didn’t start learning about until at least the seventh or eighth grade. For instance, Helga would often times include in her article the following line, “Oh Arnold, you make my girlhood tremble”. This seems like a bit much for a show that was meant for kids, if you ask me.
23 Stranger Danger, Doug's Neighbor
Doug was another show that came out during the same time as both, The Rugrats and Ren and Stimpy. It turns out that the 90s was a crazy time for cartoons, most of which would never even be considered to be aired in today’s society. Doug was about an adolescent boy named, Doug (obviously), who experiences some pretty typical problems while attending school. There was not much to say about this show when it came to negative or infuriating things, but there was one thing that really stood out.
It is no secret that Timmy always gets pushed off to the side, his parents don’t seem to care about him, and he is always put into the care of an evil babysitter.
In one episode his neighbor was even caught up in a tree with no clothing, watching the kids through a pair of binoculars. This was obviously very controversial, parents everywhere were furious, but the creators got away with it, since they really didn’t show anything in the cartoon.
22 Did No One Catch This? (Rocket Power)
Who remembers Rocket Power? This show was kind of awesome, and way too short-lived. This series ran from 1999 until just 2004 and it was basically just about a group of friends who played sports, surfed, and got into a little bit of trouble here and there. Sounds like a pretty simple and to the point show, right? Well, as always, some parents found a reason to be made about it. This was reason was that in Rocket Power, Reggie’s dad was a huge user, and they didn’t even try to hide. One would think that the creators might make it very subtle, so that maybe the occasional adult would catch on to it, but they were just outright honest about it. In today’s society, this isn’t really looked at as a big deal anymore, as it is growing to be increasingly more accepted. Back then, however, it was something that got people into a lot of trouble, was looked at as one of the worst things that someone could do.
21 Rocko's Modern Life Has More Secrets
Rocko’s Modern Life has earned itself a third spot on our list, for none other than the “no tell motel” episode. As if the name of the hotel was not enough, the creators went a couple of steps further and made this one of the most inappropriate episodes ever to air on Nickelodeon. The hotel has a sign out front that clearly states that it has something called wawa beds, which we later learn means waterbeds.
When Rocko and Heffer get to the front desk, they ask how soon a room could be available and the man at the desk tells them that it will be ready in 20 minutes.
The man then asks them how long they intend to use the room for, and they say all night, this shocks the front desk man, implying the hotel was actually used for some inappropriate behaviors. When Rocko and Heffer enter the room they get into their bed and the scene then pans out, and squeaking of the bed is heard, insinuating that they did the deed.
20 The Creepy Rugrats Theory
Who didn’t love The Rugrats while growing up? It was a totally cute and fun cartoon about the lives of a bunch of babies and one little girl named, Angelica. The Rugrats ran from the year, 1990 all the way up to 2006! Normally we would not buy into silly fan theories, but the theory that came about with this particular show made so much sense, that we just had to include it.
Rumor has it that all the babies in this show are actually just a figment of Angelica’s dark and twisted mind.
As the theory goes, Chuckie passed in 1986 along with his mother, that’s why Chaz is out of sorts so often. Tommy was born in 1988, but he was stillborn, that’s why Stu is always spending so much time in the basement developing toys. The DeVilles had ended a pregnancy voluntarily in 1990, and Angelica couldn’t figure whether it would be a boy or a girl thus creating the twins. To some, this might seem a bit far-fetched, but to others, it makes total sense.
19 How Did This Get Past The Censors (Rocko's Modern Life)
Any true 90s kid will remember this hilarious animated sitcom that centered around the lives of an Australian Immigrant Wallaby named Rocco and his group of friends. His friend were primarily made up of a steer named Heffer, a turtle named Filburt, and his dog Spunky. If any Nickelodeon show was going to infuriate people, it was definitely this one, because beyond its cute characters it was packed with crude adult humor. This left many adults wondering how they got away with airing it as a TV show in the first place.
There is one episode in particular that stood out in terms of being inappropriate for kids...
In one episode we get to see Rocko working as usual, it seems as though his job is just a typical desk job answering phones, but things take a very unexpected turn when he answers the phone, and we learn that he is actually working for a grown-up phone service. In fact, he even had a note taped to his cubicle that said: “be hot, be naughty, and be courteous”. You probably didn’t notice this as a kid, not many of us did, but looking back on it as adults we can definitely see why it was canceled.
18 Hey, Arnold! Stereotypes City Kids
The creators of Hey Arnold definitely were not shy when it came to Helga’s feelings towards Arnold, and apparently, they weren’t exactly shy about their thoughts on inner-city kids either. If anything is going to infuriate the viewers of a show, it is going to be stereotyping a certain group of people. We like to think that all people are equal, and that no one should be singled out for where they come from, how they look, what gender they are, or even their age, but the people who made this show just couldn’t seem to help themselves. We already learned that this show took place in the heart of a really big city, so obviously it was about a bunch of city kids. City kids that the creators portrayed as poor, among many other things. They stuck very close to the typical stereotype of city kids, and it kind of gives it’s viewing audience false ideas of what people are like from certain areas.
17 They Start Too Young... (Dora The Explorer)
Dora The Explorer is said to be a great learning show for toddlers everywhere, and it was actually the first bilingual cartoon of its time, making it a huge step for cartoons across all networks. Most people these days have seen at least one episode of Dora, and let’s be honest, that darn theme song really gets stuck in your head. Sure, it sounds like a great show that opens doors to learning, but there are some slight issues with it as well. Dora is usually seen traveling the world that she lives in without any parents or adults at all, which could very well give kids the idea that it is OK to go out without their mom or dad. This makes the world, to toddlers, seem like a friendly inviting place, when we all know that to be far from the truth. Let’s not forgot about that sly fox, swiper, either. He certainly is creepy, and he stalks Dora everywhere she goes. Does he actually want the things that she is searching for, or does he actually want Dora? The world may never know.
16 The Wild Thornberrys
One of the slightly less popular Nickelodeon cartoons that came about was, The Wild Thornberrys. The Wild Thornberrys was a show that depicted a rather unusual family whose middle child talked to animals. This family was made up of a mom, dad, their two daughters, their youngest son, and of course, a monkey named Darwin. At first this seemed like a totally normal and harmless cartoon for kids, but once parents really began watching it with their children, some concerns were raised.
For some reason, the youngest son, Donnie, was never dressed and only ever wore a diaper.
Not only did this cartoon make kids grow curious about wild animals and possibly lead them to think that it is OK to interact with potentially dangerous creatures, but it also showed a lot of poor parenting. Donnie would run around the wilderness alone, and he acted like he was one of the animals, but I guess you would too if you were raised in the wilderness by parents who were too busy to take care of you.
15 Invader Zim Led To A Real Attacker
Invader Zim was a very short-lived show, airing for only a mere two years before being canceled. It revolved around an alien named, Zim, whose mission was to conquer earth with the help of his robot, Gir. This show had a slightly older demographic, but the people who did watch it absolutely cherished it, as you will soon come to learn.
This show had its reputation tarnished in one of the worst ways possible, and it was actually no fault of the shows at all.
Scott Dyleski was a young boy who was convicted of ending his next door neighbor. What might this have to do with Invader Zim, you ask? Well, it turns out that during his trial Scott said that an episode of this show is what led him to have a fascination with human body parts. In the episode, Dark Harvest, Zim collects organs in an attempt to appear more human. After that, the show’s ratings dropped and it was ultimately canceled.
14 Dora And Friends Grown Up — A Lot
As if the infuriating news about Dora The Explorer was not enough, we ran into some big issues with its spin-off, Dora And Friends. Dora And Friends is a show that shows Dora all grown up, still needing help to find her way to places, but this time with her grown-up friends along for the ride. At first, this seemed like an okay idea, something that little girls aged 5 to 10 might get into. However, parents became outraged when they got their first looks at Dora’s “grown-up” look. Dora now had long beautiful hair, long legs, makeup, and even wore leggings. That's right, leggings. How horrible, right? Well, apparently some parents actually did think that it was pretty horrible. They felt as though their kids should have a female role model that does not just live up to the typical gender roles, but it was just a cartoon.
13 The Secret Truth About SpongeBob SquarePants...
SpongeBob SquarePants is a cartoon that takes place under the sea and circles around the lives of several aquatic animals. It has been one of Nickelodeon’s biggest cartoons ever and was a huge hit with not only children, but adults as well. There are a lot of fan theories in place when it comes to this show, most of them being false, like for instance the theory about SpongeBob and Patrick being lovers.
There is, however, one fan theory that has been proven to be more than just a theory...
And that is that the characters of the show are a result of nuclear testing. It turns out that in 1946 the USA did a nuclear testing at Bikini Atoll. One of the bombs was let off pretty far under the water, leading to the theory that this is how SpongeBob’s home came to be. It certainly would explain all the weird talking fish, but then again it is just a cartoon so, maybe we shouldn’t be looking too far into this.
12 Spongebob Making A Squidward Balloon
It was just a matter of time before we found something else inappropriate in an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, because it really is just packed full of funny little jokes meant for the adults who are forced to watch it with their children. In the above picture, we see Spongebob making a balloon version of his “pal” Squidward, who know isn’t really his pal. The problem with this scene is very clear, or at least to most of us it was. They couldn’t have used something a little less similar to make the Squidward balloon? We have a feeling that they did this on purpose for the parents who watch, I mean after all, this show is known for its discreet adult humor. Fun fact, SpongeBob was actually originally supposed to air on Comedy Central, but they toned things down a bit and made it into a kid's show instead.
11 Caught In The Act Of... (Ren And Stimpy)
The show Ren and Stimpy circles around the lives of a psychotic chihuahua, Ren, and his best friend Stimpy. This show came about around the same time as The Rugrats did, but it certainly did not go over as well with parents as The Rugrats. This show was riddled with disturbing moments, some of which made us question the sanity of the person who created it. How disturbing could a children’s cartoon on Nickelodeon be, you ask? Well, let’s think back to the episode where Ren gave a very detailed and gory description of how he had planned to attack his best friend and his cousin. Doesn't sound very child-friendly, does it? Well, it only gets worse from here, because in another episode Ren and Stimpy somehow managed to find themselves in a bathtub with a man and a woman, and while they did not show much, it was pretty clear what was going on here.
10 The Worst Rugrats Had To Offer...
Surprise, surprise, another thing about the Rugrats that infuriated people everywhere. When this show first started out, there was a certain community of people who were full of joy when they learned that this cartoon would feature a Jewish family, as not many cartoons ever have. At least, not in a positive way, but that joy turned to anger when they quickly realized how this Jewish family was being portrayed. In the show, Tommy’s grandfather was pictured with a huge nose, big ears, and everything that you would imagine the typical Jewish stereotype to have.
This, of course, greatly offended the Jewish community, and rightfully so.
I mean, after all, this was a common stereotype used by the Germans during World War II. Maybe it was an honest mistake on the creators part, and they just didn’t know how else to portray Tommy’s grandfather, but it is certainly something that should have been changed.
9 Re-imagining One Of The Rugrat's Moms
Earning yet again, another spot on our list, we have The Rugrats (again). What else could have angered people about this show? Sure, it probably seems like we covered all of our bases by now, but there is one more huge deal about this show, that needs to be talked about. Apparently, the creators of this show were just starting to get really bored with what they were doing, and they really hated one of their characters, Didi. So, they decided to have a little fun with her one day in their free time. The creators decided to draw up some sketches of Didi, that certainly was not for children’s eyes. These were sketches of the character re-imagined as a more attractive woman who wore some very revealing, adult outfits. Of course, this would have been fine had it stopped right there and no one ever found out about it, but they decided to take things one step further. The creators brought in the voice actress who played Didi and had her some things that definitely were not PG, and then they began showing it off to people. You would be hard-pressed to find those images today, but maybe if you look hard enough you’ll get lucky to see what we are talking about.
8 Rocko's Modern Life And Pleasure
We already know that Rocko was one of the most inappropriate children’s shows that we have ever seen, but things get way worse than we ever could have imagined. From adult themed jokes, all the way to adult themed games, there was not a single thing that the creators felt the need to leave out, despite it being a show for kids. For instance, the chokey chicken restaurant was an obvious way of the creators placing some adult innuendos in the show, and then there was that game that Rocko just loved to play where he would slap a monkey’s bare behind. Of course, a lot of this raised questions while the show was still airing, which lead to a name change for the restaurant, making it the chewy chicken. If you did not catch on to some of these things as a kid, then we encourage re-watch this show, because you will be in awe of how much you didn’t catch on to, the first time around.
7 When No One Else Cares... (The Fairly Odd Parents)
As a kid, the show, The Fairly Odd Parents, was very entertaining. It began to air in the year, 2001, on Nickelodeon and has been on ever since then. It is one of the biggest successes that this network has had, but some people are starting to question why. This show is all about a little boy named, Timmy Turner, who is given a set of fairy godparents to help make his life easier, since he has things so hard. This is where the show starts to get a little sad, and maybe it is only something that people who have kids of their own catch onto, but it is definitely something worth mentioning.
It is no secret that Timmy always gets pushed off to the side, his parents don’t seem to care about him, and he is always put into the care of an evil babysitter.
The parents of this little boy are always reminding him that he was nothing, but a mistake, and it is clear that they want nothing to do with raising him. It isn’t really the kind of influence we would want in our children’s lives, but it also makes us wonder if maybe this is the creator telling a hyped up version of his own childhood.
6 The Dark History Of Gak
If you have ever watched Nickelodeon as a child, then you probably remember that gross green slime that they just loved to dump on people’s heads. It started out on one of their game shows and from there the slime was everywhere, they were even using it during awards shows. This green stuff was not always called slime though, in fact, before it was called slime it was called Gak. Nickelodeon was selling Gak in containers similar to those that silly putty were put into, but it ended up raising a lot of questions when people realized that Gak was the name given to a very dangerous substance. It turned out that Gak was actually the street name for the most power thing you can find on the street and when people learned about this they became curious whether it was a simple mistake, or if they were actually in a way trying to push it onto these children. Shortly after that happened it was changed from Gak to Slime.
5 Adventure Time Could Have Been On Nickelodeon
OK, so this one might not exactly be a Nickelodeon show, but it certainly could have been. Adventure Time is currently aired on Cartoon Network, and it is about a boy named, Finn and his best friend, Jake. This show has been a huge hit with kids ages 10 and up and it is still running strong to this day, they even made a video game out of it! It is safe to say that this has been a huge success in the cartoon world, but before it began to air on Cartoon Network, there was the possibility of it being aired elsewhere. Nickelodeon had been asked not once, but twice, if they would like to be the network to air this gem of a show, but they respectfully declined each time. This was a decision that they are, no doubt, kicking themselves in the behinds for right about now.
4 The Legend Of Korra Walked The Sad Path...
The Legend Of Korra, a show that some of you may know well, while others probably never even heard of it. This was a show with true potential, and there was not a single thing wrong with it. So, how then did it end up on this list? Well, Nickelodeon decided to never really give The Legend Of Korra the chance that it truly deserved. Instead, they gave the show a poor time slot, where kids were usually asleep, and insufficient funding. I guess they did not have high hopes for this one, which is a shame, because there was some true potential for an awesome show here. Due to the lack of funding and the poor time slots, the show was quietly switched over to an online-only show and fans were furious when they heard the news of this. Of course, the episodes can still be found online, but it’s not quite the same.
3 Hey Arnold Is Back At It Again
Just when you thought that you had heard it all about this show, Hey Arnold is back with another dirty little secret. Perhaps the creators were hoping that no one would really catch on to this one, kind of like the cartoon version of an easter egg. In one episode as Arnold and Helga are walking past a window, you can see a man who appears to be standing behind a woman doing some pretty inappropriate things to her, but if you had seen the previous shot, then you would have understood what it actually was.
The previous shot was of a man eating a turkey.
Now, go look at this picture again. You see it now, don’t you? We are not certain of whether the creators were trying to make the second shot look inappropriate, but we have a pretty good feeling that they were. I mean, let’s be honest here, the photo does look pretty wrong.
2 Ren And Stimpy At It Again
With this being one of the most inappropriate children’s shows in all of TV history, it is no wonder why this is showing up again. This entire show is littered with humor and images that only an adult would understand, and hopefully not a child. Although many of us loved this show, it really is no wonder why it was canceled. I mean, just take this picture as an example. Sure, it may look to a young child as if they are just cutting wood in a strange way, but anyone who has grown up a bit knows what this really looks like, and the expressions on their faces certainly do not help one bit. It is safe to assume what the saw is supposed to insinuate, and the wood was clearly just put there to make it so that it could make the final cut to be aired on TV for all of the kids.
1 All Of The Good Ones Were Canceled
This next one doesn't exactly have to do with one show in particular, but rather all the shows on Nickelodeon. More specifically speaking, the ones that were canceled. I mean, what could be more infuriating about Nickelodeon’s shows, than the fact that all the good ones have been canceled. Sure, the majority of them were highly inappropriate, and could have been a better fit for a network like Comedy Central, but boy did we love those shows. Besides, we were kids at the time, and half of the stuff on this list we never even noticed until our adult years, when our brains became dirty and polluted just the creators of the show. These shows were great, and maybe it was because they overstepped the boundaries a bit, but the shows today just seem too dull to truly enjoy. Thankfully to the internet however, we can find episodes to some of these shows with just a little searching.