20 Adult Jokes In Cartoons You Didn’t Understand As A Kid

Animators always seem to find a way to incorporate adult jokes into cartoons. There were some subtle and well-hidden moments that made our parents laugh while watching a show with us, and that went completely over our heads! Here’s a list of the most hilarious adult jokes in Hey, Arnold!, Rugrats and Doug. Don’t miss #16, #8 and #6!

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#20. Serious Themes

Doug was a television series focused on the life of teenager Douglas “Doug” Funnie”, while attending school in his hometown, Bluffington. We all waited to come back from school to watch Doug’s adventures with his classmates.

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There was an episode where Patti, Doug’s crush, became obsessed with losing weight. After fangirling over an actress, she changed her look and wanted to look just like her. With that aim in mind, she made her weigh loss chart with a little pun. If you think about it, this was kind of a warning about how dangerous these crash diets can be, since she ends up fainting cause of an empty stomach!

#19. Inappropriate Reference

Most episodes of Doug were about this 11-year-old boy and his made-up scenes. He had all these visions that would never come true, especially those regarding his crush, Patti.

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But in one of the scenes, there was a very subtle oral sex moment, just a little wink to the grown-ups in the audience. The banner actually said “I (heart) headcheese” but got cut off just for one scene.

#18. Where Do Kitties Come From?

Roger Klotz was the main antagonist of Doug. He starts as his enemy but they end up becoming friends. In spite of the happy ending, he did bully him and even embarrass him in front of his crush numerous times.

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There was one episode where Roger needed to have the classic sex talk because he never realized his cat was pregnant. I wonder if the kids really understood what mother and son were talking about.

#17. Hidden Jokes

The main character might be submerged in imagination sequences all the time, but he does manage to live a normal teenage life sometimes.

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There was an episode where Doug used the term “nut suckers” in a video-game rage. It might not be as obvious as other moments in the cartoon, but it was really funny. I doubt kids understood the reference.

#16. Lava Shooting Up Into The Air

Doug’s secret love interest is somewhat revealed after some incidents. They were kind of like Ross and Rachel for the young audiences. They get handcuffed together and almost kissed once, but we never get to see them date.

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There was a scene where Doug was explaining that his love for Patti makes lava gush from the volcano. I wonder how many of the audience really understood the phrase “The reason the lava keeps shooting up into the air“.

#15. Doug’s Sister

Doug’s older sister, Judith Anastacia “Judy” Funnie, was an overly dramatic teen and the exact opposite of Doug. They were polar opposites, actually. Very much unlike Doug, she was an outspoken and extrovert artist.

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There was an episode where Judy made a reference to the gay handkerchief code when helping Doug get dressed for his date with Patti. It’s clear the target audience for this joke was not the kids watching it!

Now enough about Doug, let’s move on to our next show!

#14. An Adult Movie In Rugrats

Rugrats was an animated children’s series focused on a group of toddlers, especially Tommy, Chuckie, twins Phil and Lil and Angelica. Their adventures usually became much grater in their imaginations and that’s what made the show so funny

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There was an episode where Grandpa Lou rented a sci-fi adult movie, although he called it an “after you go to bed” movie! The girl on bikini says it all, right?

#13. Male Bonding

Tommy’s dad, Stu, was an absentminded toy inventor who was best friends with Chas, Chuckie’s dad. He always saved the day and was a loving father and husband.

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When Stu explained that Phil and Lil’s dad had gone “male bonding,” he made the funniest gesture. One day, those kids will understand what those fingers stood for.

#12. Dr. Kevorkian

Tommy’s Yiddish grandparents were Russian immigrants, and they were always complaining about how things weren’t this way in the “Old Country”. To be honest, they were kind of annoying!

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Grandpa Boris was so bored after watching Stu’s home videos that he made a call to a doctor famous for partaking in physician-assisted suicide. Dial down the drama, it’s a kid show, for crying out loud!

#11. Diaper Action

Tommy is a 1-year-old white, bald and toothless boy. The series takes place in his family home and the episodes are usually centered around him and his family.

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There was an episode where Tommy seemed to be doing something naughty in his diaper while looking for a screwdriver. I’m sure many of the younger ones in the audience failed to notice the joke here.

#10. Lil Is Actually A Girl

Phillip Richard Bill DeVille and Lillian Marie Jill DeVille were Tommy’s next-door neighbors. They were nicknamed Lil and Phil and were your typical fraternal twins.

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They looked so similar that you could barely tell whether they were a boy and a girl. Once, Tommy noticed his body and Lil’s were different, thus realizing that boys and girls don’t have the same anatomy.

#9. Playboy Magazine

The babies’ parents are usually running around while the kids have their adventures. When they do make an appearance, they are portrayed as easily distracted. The babies are usually free to make a mess wherever they want.

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When Lil went through her dad’s desk drawer, we can clearly see that he had a Playboy magazine in there. I wonder what came to the kids’ heads when they saw a woman wearing rabbit ears.

#8. Cradle Attraction

This episode was a parody of the movie Fatal Attraction. Chuckie gets a new girlfriend, a girl named Megan who had just moved into the neighborhood. She befriends all the babies, except Chuckie.

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She picks on him and eventually they realize she has a crush on him. They end up breaking up because she was picking on another boy! Who would’ve thought that this kids’ show included love triangles!

Now let’s move on to our last cartoon show!

#7. Helga And Arnold’s Relationship

Hey Arnold! was one of my favorite shows during my childhood years, and Helga was definitely one of my favorite characters. While Helga constantly bullies Arnold and pretends to hate him, she actually has a crush on him! She seems to be very obsessed with him, in fact… to the point of making an Arnold shrine in her bedroom closet.

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There was a scene where Helga talks about how Arnold makes her “girlhood” feel, which I don’t think I understood at the time! These kids were not so innocent after all!

#6. Helga’s Mom

Something young viewers may not have noticed is that Helga’s mom, Myriam, had an alcohol problem. Although this is just a theory, it is actually not as farfetched as it sounds!

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The show always referenced Helga’s mom Miriam’s drinking problem. She was shown slurring her words, drinking “smoothies” she made herself, and she usually fell asleep at random places. In some episodes, she was shown doing community service, maybe because of a DUI?

#5. Woodstock

Since Arnold’s parents went missing while in a humanitarian mission, the boy lives with his grandparents Grandpa Phill, a cheery and funny old man with a heart of gold, and Grandma Gertie, a very upbeat and enthusiast lady.

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But in one episode, Grandpa Phil once admitted he didn’t have many brain cells left because he had done drugs as a hippie teenager. To be precise, he said he didn’t have many brain cells left “since Woodstock“. Even if kids knew what Woodstock was, I’m sure they didn’t get the reference.

#4. Raunchy Scene

There’s an episode where Helga and Arnold join Mr. Simmons’ dinner, and when they leave you can see Joy is standing in an awkward position. An Peter seems to be eating something… but not exactly Thanksgiving dinner.

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This scene may seem inexplicable out of context, but when watching the episode as a kid, I’m sure no one noticed this. It wasn’t after the scene went viral that people started noticing what was going on in the background!

#3. Blushing

There’s an episode where Lila has a crush on Arnold, and when she’s asked by Timberly if she wants to join them at the baseball game, Arnold has a flustered expression.

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But when Arnold blushed at the thought of a threesome, I’m all sure young minds watching just thought that he was embarrassed because of Lila’s crush. Since he does blush a lot during this episode!

#2. Hidden Sign

Arnold’s best friend is Gerald Johansen, an athletic and smart boy who values his friendship with Arnold very dearly. But let’s go back to one of the episodes in which they go out for some outdoor fun.

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The episode Eating Contest has Arnold and Gerald sitting under a sign in the background that looks pretty sketchy to me. Try my sausage? What’s that supposed to mean?

#1. Storytime

The show is full of little adult jokes and innuendos that make it past the radar. Most of them just fly right over your head when you are just a kid.

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Remember that time Grandpa Phil almost told a story about hooking up with a French woman in a barn in front of the kids? Arnold and Gerald look bewildered in the back seat, so I guess they knew where the story was going.

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