Cartoons are made for kids, but they’re made by adults — adults who understand that parents make up a good deal of their audience. Because of that, sometimes animators bury sexual innuendos, drug references, dirty one-liners or other adult-themed jokes within the spit-shined world of their shows. Sometimes subtle, sometimes not, the jokes are intentionally crafted to fly over kids’ heads and kerplunk into the ears of older viewers. And there are more than you might think. SpongeBob SquarePants is once caught watching sea anemone porn; the grandpa on Hey Arnold! talks about getting baked; hell, even Rugrats got in on the action. Here, for your viewing pleasure are 50 very adult jokes shoehorned into classic kid’s cartoons.
Animaniacs: Prince vs. Prints
The Animaniacs was full of subtle adult humor that flew over kids’ heads, including this genius line where Dot’s confusion of prints versus Prince leads to an extremely dirty innuendo.
Powerpuff Girls: ‘Accidental’ Friend
The Powerpuff Girls explain to their new friend Robin that the Professor created them in a lab by accident, which prompts Robin to reveal that she came into existence under the same circumstances. The Professor’s face says it all.
The Flinstones: Barney’s Three ‘Heads’
Fred and Barney’s trip to the costume shop leads to a beautifully subtle joke about Barney’s two “heads.”
Looney Tunes: Hungry Like the Wolf
Every time he sees a beautiful woman, this wolf’s body involuntarily springs up to resemble a certain organism. Hell, there’s even the great boing-oing-oing noise.
Regular Show: ‘Huge Balls’
A lot of cartoons sneak some genital-themed wordplay into their work; as the team from Regular Show proved, it’s sometimes as easy as talking about a venue famous for hosting elegant balls. You see where this is going.
Rugrats: Grandpa Loves “Lonely Space Vixens”
When Grandpa is left to babysit Tommy and Chuckie, he reveals that he will be enjoying some space-themed adult content once they go to bed. Grandpa’s got needs, too.
Batman: Harley Quinn’s Pie
Harley Quinn is never shy in her attempts to win over the Joker’s heart. But this one takes the, um, cake.
Ed, Edd, n’ Eddy: ‘Snow Job’
Eddy can’t resist the obvious pun when using a homemade snowplow.
Powerpuff Girls:Pencil Sharpening
When the mayor is surprised by his buxom guest, some not so subtle No. 2 sharpening takes place.
SpongeBob SquarePants: Weiner Chant
They don’t all need to be clever. Sometimes, animators just want an excuse to have their characters chant “weiners.”
Johnny Bravo: Love is Blind(folded)
Sometimes an innocent game of pin the tail on the donkey brings out some not so innocent memories.
Hey Arnold: Grandpa’s drug habit
Fried those brain cells at Woodstock, eh Grandpa?
SpongeBob SquarePants: TV After Dark
Based on his reaction when Gary walks in, SpongeBob’s anemone viewing is, in his world, more than just a nature show.
Dexter’s Laboratory: Twister
Nothing to see here. Dexter’s mom and dad are just playing a friendly game of Twister.
Adventure Time: The Tiers of Love
Jake the Dog explains the “tiers of dating” to Finn, but warns Finn to stay away from “tier 15.” He’s just not ready.
Looney Tunes: Daffy’s Erotic Reading
Don’t worry, Daffy only reads PlayDuck for the articles.
Rocko’s Modern Life: Talk Dirty to Me
Remember: Be hot, be naughty, and be courteous.
Justice League: Done in a Flash
Hawkgirl delivers a sick burn on The Flash when she points out why speed isn’t always an asset.
Looney Tunes: Bug Bunny’s Light Reading
Bugs won’t truly understand until he takes a more practical approach.
SpongeBob SquarePants: He has hair?
Damn you, Sandy Cheeks for making us all briefly imagine Spongebob’s porous hair down there.
Cow and Chicken: Tasty Carpet
The episode has been banned and largely scrubbed from the internet. Nothing subtle about a motorcycle gang that literally munches on carpet.
Invader Zim: Probing Day
Zim is a bit too excited about his desire to pass “probing day.”
SpongeBob SquarePants“Your Genius is Showing”
Thanks for covering it up, Patrick.
Freakazoid: Man Meat
Officer Grover reveals his affection for “meat” is the reason he’s unmarried.
Spiderman: ‘Goop in my Hair’
Spiderman’s web has always been the source of dirty jokes; Black Cat’s hair-conscious remark is one of the funnier ones.
Courage the Cowardly Dog: Steamy Streaming
Muriel gets a little too hot and bothered when she and Courage accidentally stumble on some adult-themed internet content.
Teen Titans: Perfomance Proficiency
Kory accidentally drops a sex innuendo and reveals the details of her nightlife with Nightwing.
SpongeBob SquarePants: Adult Sleepover
Spongebob explains the difference between a child’s sleepover and an adult’s sleepover.
Rocco’s Modern Life: In the Style of Dogs
There’s only one way to properly hop on this ride.
Batman: Harley Strikes Again
Queen of subtlety Harley Quinn is back, using any double-entendre she can to win the Joker.
The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack: I Want Candy
Captain Knuckle’s candy withdrawals look awfully familiar.
Popeye: For Adult Eyes Only
We know how fond popeye is of Oliveoile. One time he got so fond of her that the animator had to break the fourth wall when Popeye’s...ahem...imagination got the best of him.
Gravity Falls: Let’s Talk About Sex
Dipper rightfully declares “goodbye, childhood” at the end of this little chat.
Batman Beyond: Ride on the Wild Side
Not cool, man.
Dexter’s Lab: Hot for Sister
Dexter’s button gets pushed a little too well by his sexy Dee Dee replacement.
Rocko’s Modern Life: Got Milk?
Heffer is a little nervous about his surprise milking, but he warms up to it.
Hey Arnold: Sausage Party
Thanks, but no thanks, gramps.
A Tale of Two Kitties: Give me the Bird
A middle finger joke and Hay’s Code reference? Well done.
Teen Titans Go!: Finger-Lickin’ Good
Beast Boy doesn’t go full American Pie, but he comes pretty damn close.
SpongeBob: Nose Goes
Imagine Squidward’s surprise if it wasn’t his nose.
Two Stupid Dogs: Young Elvis
The titular dumb canines are offered a young Elvis stamp, but it turns out to be younger than they were probably expecting.
Dexter’s Laboratory: Trophy Wife
On a treasure hunt organized by his sister Dee Dee, the pint sized scientist discovers this not so subtle clue on his neighbor’s pants.
Looney Tunes: Daffy’s Strip Tease
Was Mr. Meek hunting for dinner or for love?
Father’s Day Off: Goofy’s Wandering Wife
Goofy doesn’t seem to understand what’s been happening with his wife and the milkman.
Looney Tunes: Pepe Le Pew’s Hobby
Few cartoon characters have aged worse than Pepe Le Pew has.
Private Snafu: “Booby Traps”
The name of the cartoon is ‘Booby Traps.’ What else is there to say?
Invader Zim: Right in the Squeegly Spooch?
Poor Zim. We sincerely hope his squeegly spooch recovers quickly.
Rugrats: Bros Being Bros
Tommy’s dad talks about “male bonding” and make this gesture.
Steven Universe: Game Night
Who among us hasn’t stayed up all night playing video games?
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