"Kids" cartoons that could be almost treated as "Teen/Adult?"

Avatar image for nintendoboy16
#1 Posted by nintendoboy16 (36593 posts) -

So, you ever see some cartoons said to be intended for kids, but you realize that they could ALMOST be seen as more for teens and adults, like say almost to the level of The Simpsons (though to be fair, how many kids WEREN'T watching The Simpsons, lol)?

Here's what I think qualify:

Rocko's Modern Life - One of Nickelodeon's raunchier shows on their kids blocks.

Invader Zim - Same as above

Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy

Total Drama series

Regular Show - It was even TV-PG, yet still dodged Adult Swim. lol

Animaniacs - Seriously, just look up any montage and it is filled with adult jokes the show provided. Amazing how much the 90's could get away with it.

Ren and Stimpy - Even had an "adult" version on Spike that was so bad, Billy West refused to return for it.

What can you think of, and if you can, why?

Avatar image for davillain-
#2 Posted by DaVillain- (38163 posts) -
  • Real Adventures of Johnny Quest - That action series went too far when it comes to killing and boy, that series did alot of things that got bypass Adult Swim standards.
  • The Proud Family - Some could say this predates the Boondocks
Avatar image for ezekiel43
#3 Posted by Ezekiel43 (1801 posts) -

I was surprised by the number of people killed in Samurai Jack when I watched it first half of the year. Like in that episode The Four Seasons of Death, where the psycho scientist is turned into leaves with his own poison.

Avatar image for uninspiredcup
#4 Posted by uninspiredcup (35086 posts) -

Loading Video...

Avatar image for uninspiredcup
#5 Edited by uninspiredcup (35086 posts) -

@ezekiel43 said:

I was surprised by the number of people killed in Samurai Jack when I watched it first half of the year. Like in that episode The Four Seasons of Death, where the psycho scientist is turned into leaves with his own poison.

Season 5 is the point where it jumped to something aimed at an older audience while still keeping the humor. Aside from the obvious blood and humans dying - as opposes to the previous restrictions of "robots" when it originally aired.

Loading Video...

Netflix should get their shit together and snap up Genndy Tartakovsky.

Avatar image for ezekiel43
#6 Posted by Ezekiel43 (1801 posts) -

@uninspiredcup said:
@ezekiel43 said:

I was surprised by the number of people killed in Samurai Jack when I watched it first half of the year. Like in that episode The Four Seasons of Death, where the psycho scientist is turned into leaves with his own poison.

Season 5 is the point where it jumped to something aimed at an older audience while still keeping the humor. Aside from the obvious blood and humans dying as opposes to the previous restrictions of "robots".

Loading Video...

Netflix should get their shit together and snap up Genndy Tartakovsky.

Which made sense, because the original fanbase had become adults between seasons 4 and 5, myself included. I knew exactly why that joke about looking like a penis was in there.

Avatar image for uninspiredcup
#7 Edited by uninspiredcup (35086 posts) -

While we're at it a very obvious one is DragonballZ, much like S5 of Samurai Jack, it kept the humor from the original show but featured more adult themes, violence, blood and deaths. For Western audiences in the late 90's where anime was still a niche' thing outside of Pokemon, it was nothing short of groundbreaking really. Probably wouldn't get away with it today - indeed, Super doesn't.

Loading Video...

Avatar image for AcidTango
#8 Posted by AcidTango (1704 posts) -

The DC animated universe series (Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, and the Justice League)

Avatar image for nintendoboy16
#9 Posted by nintendoboy16 (36593 posts) -
@uninspiredcup said:

While we're at it a very obvious one is DragonballZ, much like S5 of Samurai Jack, it kept the humor from the original show but featured more adult themes, violence, blood and deaths. For Western audiences in the late 90's where anime was still a niche' thing outside of Pokemon, it was nothing short of groundbreaking really. Probably wouldn't get away with it today - indeed, Super doesn't.

Loading Video...

Given that Dragon Ball had been always recommended for teenagers when Viz Media released the manga and FUNimation released the Uncut DVD's, not sure I'd count that as it was censored down for kids from it's original Japanese release.

Avatar image for sakaixx
#10 Posted by sakaiXx (6087 posts) -

Samurai Jack was quite violent.

Avatar image for davillain-
#11 Posted by DaVillain- (38163 posts) -

@nintendoboy16 said:
@uninspiredcup said:

While we're at it a very obvious one is DragonballZ, much like S5 of Samurai Jack, it kept the humor from the original show but featured more adult themes, violence, blood and deaths. For Western audiences in the late 90's where anime was still a niche' thing outside of Pokemon, it was nothing short of groundbreaking really. Probably wouldn't get away with it today - indeed, Super doesn't.

Loading Video...

Given that Dragon Ball had been always recommended for teenagers when Viz Media released the manga and FUNimation released the Uncut DVD's, not sure I'd count that as it was censored down for kids from it's original Japanese release.

Back in the 90's, Dragon Ball (not Z) actually showed Teenage Bulma fully butt naked on TV and it was uncensored. When I saw that, I could've swarn it's Adults only but so far, the rest had fart jokes and even showing underage girl (aka ChiChi) all sexy looking. If my Mom had saw this back then, she probably would have banned me from watching a kids cartoon adult in disguise lol.

But DBZ however was for preteens indeed.

Avatar image for uninspiredcup
#12 Edited by uninspiredcup (35086 posts) -

Donno about America but in UK (during the 90's) it definitely showed blood, people getting stabbed, dying etc...

Loading Video...
Loading Video...
Loading Video...

@nintendoboy16 said:

Given that Dragon Ball had been always recommended for teenagers when Viz Media released the manga and FUNimation released the Uncut DVD's, not sure I'd count that as it was censored down for kids from it's original Japanese release.

Avatar image for npiet1
#13 Edited by npiet1 (2533 posts) -

Adventure Time - Lot of Adult Jokes and was cancelled due the wrong demographic being the majority to older

Adventures of Gumball- Also a lot of adult jokes

Young Justice - Was also cancelled due to the wrong demographic but later revived and more adult orientated. Dealing with issues like human trafficking.

legend of Kora.

Avatar image for speeny
#14 Edited by Speeny (1983 posts) -

This is going to be a very close call & some people won't agree with me but I'd honestly say Rugrats. The adult humour is incredibly clever & logical. I watched a few of the seasons only a few years back & enjoyed them thoroughly.

I guess usually anything Nickelodeon has something for adults too.

Most Cartoon Network shows I'd consider as well: Courage the Cowardly Dog, Johnny Bravo, even the Powerpuff Girls.

Avatar image for AsadMahdi59
#15 Posted by AsadMahdi59 (7122 posts) -

@speeny: I remember this random episode of ppg where Bubbles ripped off a bad guys claw and shoved it into his throat...

Also Regular Show is what I though of when I read the thread title.

Avatar image for speeny
#16 Posted by Speeny (1983 posts) -
@AsadMahdi59 said:

@speeny: I remember this random episode of ppg where Bubbles ripped off a bad guys claw and shoved it into his throat...

Also Regular Show is what I though of when I read the thread title.

It's been so long since I've seen any of The Powerpuff Girls that I wouldn't remember! It was a really great show though.

Avatar image for PSP107
#17 Posted by PSP107 (17527 posts) -

@nintendoboy16:

Cartoons had subliminal messages when I was growing up.

Avatar image for mrbojangles25
#18 Edited by mrbojangles25 (44419 posts) -

Avatar: The Last Airbender was a really mature show. Obviously it was made for children, but the themes, conflicts, characters, and so forth all dealt with very adult problems. A kid is given a responsibility that is way too much for him to handle, so he runs away and get's trapped in ice. Meanwhile, a tyrant and his nation tries to wipe out other nations, and a group of kids form a rebellion where they practice guerrilla tactics to defeat a superior enemy.

A lot of Disney animated movies, especially from the 80's and 90's, dealt with some mature stuff.

Ren and Stimpy is, well...it's Ren and Stimpy. Might've been on Nickelodeon but it probably should not have been.

Star Wars: Rebels deals with oppression, killing en masse, guerrilla warfare, and themes that are generally beyond most children.

Avatar image for shellcase86
#19 Posted by shellcase86 (4528 posts) -

@AcidTango said:

The DC animated universe series (Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, and the Justice League)

Great call out. Had to stop blindly letting my kid watch these without screening them first.

Also, Regular Show, Adventure Time, and Gumball come to mind.

Avatar image for heathen75
#20 Posted by HEATHEN75 (819 posts) -

I remember these guys from the early 90's. Done by the creator of Ren and Stimpy. I remeber their first villain was Stinky Butt the Fowl who would shoot rotten eggs out of a chicken's ass at people.

Avatar image for pillarrocks
#21 Posted by pillarrocks (1557 posts) -

Regular Show, it has alot of adult jokes in it.

Avatar image for judaspete
#22 Posted by judaspete (3137 posts) -

@AcidTango said:

The DC animated universe series (Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, and the Justice League)

Was thinking this too.