As children we all watch cartoons, especially on a Saturday morning when there is no school to attend. Some of us even still watch them today as adults, and some are forced to watch them with our children. Cartoons for children are fun, innocent entertainment. They keep our little ones occupied and can make for some good old family bonding time. There are different networks on television that specialize in just playing cartoons such as, cartoon network, nickelodeon, and even the Disney channel and with screens being everywhere that we go today, watching these cartoons is easy to do on the go.
Children's shows seem like harmless and funny entertainment, but what a lot of us don't know, is that there are hidden meanings and secrets behind all of our favorite shows. Some children's shows, although we do not notice it as kids, actually have a lot of adult humor in them and don't really seem like they are meant for kids. Others originally started out with different names, and some have secrets behind them that no one would have ever guessed. So in this article, we are going to go over a list of 15 of our favorite children's shows, and some of the secrets behind them.
12 SpongeBob Squarepants - There's A Secret Octopus
Anyone who has ever watched a cartoon in their life has seen at least one episode of Spongebob squarepants. He's a funny sponge that lives under the sea. The show has a very catchy theme song that almost everyone knows the words to, and it is probably the most popular kids show of all time. This show, however, has quite a few mind blowing secrets that most of us probably did not know.
For instance, the creator of the show, Stephen Hillenburg, is actually a marine biologist, and that's how he got the idea for it. SpongeBob Squarepants, originally supposed to be called SpongeBoy Squarepants, was supposed to air on cartoon network, but instead, nickelodeon picked it up. But the most shocking secret of all though? Squidward isn't actually a squid! WHAT? Mind blown! The creators say Squidward is an octopus, but they did not give him 8 legs because he looked, “burdened with 8 legs."
11 Tom And Jerry - For Adults Or Kids?
Tom and Jerry, an American classic, got its start in the year 1940. It is about a cat (Tom) and a mouse (Jerry) who are constantly fighting each other, as cats and mice do. It aired on cartoon network and was a big hit and rather than an actual show it was more of a series of short films showing the cat and mouse in some type of rivalry.
Tom and Jerry weren't always Tom and Jerry though. When it first started out they were called Jasper and Jinx. Another thing people might not realize is that, like many things from that time frame, the show contained a lot of racial slurs. There was one episode where Tom darkens Jerry's face with cigar smoke to woo a female feline. In another episode, Tom uses 'blackface' to "trick Mammy Two Shoes." Many people stated that the show was made for adults as much as it was made for kids. This also includes the show's criticism for having too much violence, along with its racial slurs.
10 Pokemon Sends Kids To The Hospital
Who doesn't know the animated series called Pokemon? It became a TV sensation in the 90s and even made a comeback over the last year with a gaming app. But what a lot of people don't know is that one particular episode sent over 700 (we repeat 700) children to the hospital. No, we are not kidding. The episode aired on December 16th, 1997, and was broadcast in Japan. The episode followed Ash and his friends as they bring down evil inside a Pokeball transmitter machine. The accompanying noises and flashing light was strong enough to give kids seizures and other symptoms like nausea. According to news reports, "barely thirty minutes" in kids were in need of help. The show was pulled from the air, but the controversy still remains.
9 The Flintstones - Promoting The Puff
From 1960 to 1988, The Flintstones was a beloved cartoon family, so much so they had cereal and vitamins named after them. Few people know, though, that the Flintstones were actually supposed to be the FlagStones and that Fred and Wilma were drawn to resemble cave men. An even bigger secret about the Flintstones (the producers definitely want us to forget) is that the beloved cartoon family did a commercial for cigarettes. Yes, you read right. When the cartoon family showed up on television smoking cigarettes under a tree to promote a nicotine brand... you can believe it caused controversy. People thought that, because the show was directed at kids, they were aiming the advertising towards children. The producers received plenty of backlash for this, but the show went on for many years after.
8 Powerpuff Girls And... Sleeping Beauty?
Sugar, Spice, and Everything nice. The three ingredients the professor used to create his three little superheroes in his lab. The girls - Buttercup, Daisy, and Blossom - are always fighting crime and saving their city from their arch nemesis, Mojo Jojo. Did anyone realize that in multiple episodes, the animators of the show are seen in portraits on the walls? A sneaky little way to get themselves into the show and, leave their mark, so to speak.
But the most shocking secret of all is the hidden connection between the three girls and... wait for it... Sleeping Beauty. In the Disney movie, the three fairies share the same Powerpuff girl color scheme - red, blue, and green. And, most importantly, the fairies in Sleeping Beauty have the names Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, which correspond to the Powerpuff Girls' personality which are "the sweet one, the spunky one, and the tough one."
7 Sesame Street - What Does It All Mean?
Okay, this isn't a cartoon but we had to include it. Sesame Street has been one the longest running kids shows that's out there, it started in 1966, and still lives on today. The show seems to be a childhood show that all kids watched at some point because our parents all thought that it was super educational for us, but theory has it that there is actually a darker meaning behind the characters that appear on the show. There is some speculation going around that all of the characters’ personalities are based off of different mental issues. Cookie Monster is said to have a binge eating disorder, the Count counts so much because he has OCD, Telly is said to have severe social anxiety, and Oscar The Grouch is anti-social. Whether this one is true or not, it definitely makes sense. We definitely will not be looking at this show in the same way after learning about this secret.
6 Rugrats - Is Tommy Real?
The Rugrats was a very popular children’s show from 1994 all the way up until 2012 when they ended the series with Rugrats All Grown Up. For any 90’s baby this was a must watch cartoon, we all loved rooting for Tommy and could not stand Angellica, but this popular show has a very dark theory behind it. Fans who used to watch the show have stated that Angellica has a severe mental disorder and she created the babies as an alter ego - so yes, that means Tommy, Chuckie, and the twins are NOT real. Another shocking secret is that Chuckie mother's died within the timeline of the series. In the beginning episodes, the characters speak about her but she never becomes a main character, and by the end, the writers write her off.
5 Max And Ruby - What About Their Parents?
Max And Ruby targets a younger audience, it is a show about two rabbit siblings big sister, Ruby and her little brother, Max. In the show, Max is always messing things up and getting himself into quite a bit of a mess, leaving sister Ruby to fix things and teach him right from wrong, but where is mom and dad in all of this? This is where the show takes a darker turn. Rumor has it, although not confirmed, that the reason that Ruby and Max do not have parents in the show is because their parents died in a car accident one day on their way to pick Ruby up from Bunny Scouts. It is said that Max was in the car when the accident occurred and although he survived that accident he did end up with brain damage, which explains why he is always messing things up. As of now this is just a theory that fans came up with to try and make sense of why there are no parents and the creators have not commented on it.
4 Rocko's Modern Life - Pulled From The Air
A throwback for us 90’s babies. Rocko's Modern Life was a huge hit with the kids, however, it only lasted for three years. Rocko was a wallaby that moved from his home country to the United States, realizing that it wasn't quite as great as he thought that it would be. Rocko was seen in every episode facing every day annoying life tasks, but to help him get through it he had his dog, spunky, and his best friend, Filburt.
Rocko's modern life gained a lot of attention from adult who began paying attention to the show, after they realized that the show was littered with adult humour and jokes, and not all that kid friendly. In one episode, the show took it too far when Rocko's neighbor said she needed "a little attention from a man." She then tried to pursue her teenage neighbor, and tried to trick him into seeing her without clothes. Yes, that happened, and execs were just as shocked so they pulled the episode. Although most kids didn't catch on to the jokes, the show was taken off of the air.
3 The Fairly OddParents - Ran Out Of Blue Ink
The Fairly Oddparents was a cartoon that featured little boy, Timmy Turner, who was granted a pair of Fairly Odd Parents to help make his life slightly easier. Timmy is seen overcoming everyday obstacles with the help of his Oddparents and trying to get away from his babysitter, vicky, all while avoiding the evil Mr.Crocker, who is onto him and his little fairies.
Did you know the show was supposed to be called Fairly GodParents, but upon writing up the script they decided to change it, since the fairies were so...odd. The fairy, Wanda was inspired by Fred Flinstones wife, Wilba. Whereas Cosmo was a completely original design. And Timmy's hat, a staple, was actually supposed to be blue but the creators "blue marker ran out of ink," the pink was used instead. It's hard to imagine Timmy without his pink hat.
2 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Originally All Red
The teenage mutant ninja turtles is a show that all little boys seem to love to watch. It started out as a comic series and made its way to the television in 1987. The turtles, love to fight crime and eat pizza, and it is no wonder why everyone loves this show, but did you know that the turtles did not always wear different colored headbands? Originally, all of the teenage mutant ninja turtles wore red bandanas, but upon making an appearance on TV, producers decided to give them each their own color so that they could be more easily identified. Raphael now wears red, Michelangelo wears orange, Donatello wears purple, and Leonardo wears blue. It is easy for us to understand why the switch was made, and it definitely helps us in figuring out who is who.
1 Mickey Mouse - A Name Inspired By War
Mickey Mouse has been around for a very long time, 80 years to be exact, he is number one most watched cartoon of all time and the face of Disney. So how did this lovable mouse come to be? During World War II, the word Mickey Mouse were used as a secret passcode among intelligence officers, and at that time Mickey Mouse was actually named Mortimer. Walt’s wife urged him strongly to change the name to Mickey Mouse when she heard it being used because she knew that it was the perfect fit. It is a good thing that she did, because Mickey Mouse sounds way more friendly and than Mortimer. Mickey Mouse has since then become one of the single greatest cartoons characters of all time and there is not one person that doesn't like him.