Everyone claims that their generation had the best of everything. My parents claim that they had the best music (they didn’t), and my grandparents claim they had the best wartime draft (they did). However, one thing the 90’s can definitely stake a claim to is the most disturbing cartoon. Seriously, just about every cartoon that aired in the 90’s could have single-handedly created an entire generation of unbalanced psychotics. In fact, I am fairly sure they did.
1. ROCKO’S MODERN LIFE
Okay, let’s just mull over this picture for a moment. This is a doctor’s office. In this episode, Rocko visits this office after he falls ill with the flu. Now, I wonder why I hated the doctor’s office when I was a kid. Oh, that’s right! Because cartoons portrayed them as a cross between a medieval torture room and Dr. Fucking Frankenstein’s fucking fuck lab. There is poison gas, implied cannibalism, a bloody fucking hatchet, and x-rays of the severed heads of beloved cartoon characters Bart Simpson and Mickey Mouse. And are those ORGANS FALLING OUT OF A CABINET?! What the fuck?!
2. COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG
Now, I could probably make this whole list up from images from this show. In fact, every single episode of Courage was a horrific fuckfest of disturbing ideas and monstrous images. However, one of these has haunted me like a specter for over a decade. This is Freaky Fred. Fred is a psychotic barber with a overt fetish for follicles. He regales us with stories of failed past relationships that fell apart for totally normal reasons. Oh, wait. Never mind. They fell apart because Fred FORCIBLY SHAVED ALL OF THEIR HAIR OFF. Also, he is telling this to Courage while HOLDING HIM HOSTAGE AND SHAVING HIM. And let’s not forget (though we wish we could) that Fred recently escaped from a mental institution that houses only other crazy barbers. THERE IS A WHOLE HOSPITAL FULL OF THESE GUYS. Thanks television, now I’m never going to get my hair cut again.
3. REN AND STIMPY
Okay, not much to say here. Ren and Stimpy was an absurdly violent cartoon. Like, really, really fucking violent. However, ripping off someone’s skin is not violent. IT IS GRUESOME, HORRIFIC MURDER! Oh my god! My parents let me watch this! Everything about this image is awful. This is NOT cartoon violence. In cartoons, when someone gets hurt, they recover instantly. THEY DON’T QUAKE IN AGONY AND CLUTCH AT THEIR OWN SKINLESS FACE! Except, in the 90’s, THEY FUCKING DID!