The Five Most Inappropriate Cartoon Characters Of All Time

The ’80s were a wonderful time for pop culture. Disco was dead, movies were defined by “Star Wars”, and “He-Man and the Masters Of the Universe” proved absolutely anything could be made into a half-hour toy commercial. Unfortunately, the ’80s proved that last one deeply, painfully true with these five who never should have been near an animation studio.

#5) Rambo

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“First Blood” is a great action movie, but it’s also a serious study of a Vietnam veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome, unable to return to civilian life. He’s pushed too far by the abuses of small-town police and has to return to the military because he’s too psychologically broken to do anything else. The sequel threw that all out for deciding one man could single-handedly win the Vietnam war, and then the third one saw Rambo buddying with those cuddly…Afghan…Islamic terrorists.

Seems like great fodder for an ’80s cartoon, right? Death, violence, psychological trauma, mistrust of authority…didn’t the Bugs Bunny cartoons have those? No, we meant when you saw them sober. Amazingly, nobody realized just how mindblowingly inappropriate making a cartoon out of an R-rated series of movies dealing with America’s still healing wounds from Vietnam was, and this thing actually made it to air.

#4) Beetlejuice

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Speaking of death, bleakness and violence, does anything really say “kid’s stuff” to you like a movie about the afterlife and yuppies moving into a charming country house and turning it into a trendy hellhole? Because kids totally care about the tension between urban values and country living. That’s something kids discuss a lot at grade school, along with trade imbalances and the latest episode of Meet The Press.

Granted, the cartoon is actually pretty fun in that early ’90s “we can finally admit boogers exist to kids” way. But we’re just wondering how many kids went down to the video store and saw their favorite hero, Beetlejuice, on a movie cover and insisted Mommy and Daddy rent it. Although come to think of it, that was probably healthier than most of the sitcoms on in the early ’90s. What distorts your sense or reality more: one Tim Burton movie, or a season’s worth of “Family Matters?”

#3) RoboCop

Beetlejuice-cartoon

“RoboCop”, the movie, is, no joke, one of the greatest action movies of the 1980s. Movie studios saw the work of Paul Verhoeven, a Dutch director who put out brutal satires of sexual mores and social hypocrisy (read: funny movies with lots of boobs), and thought “That guy should totally be making action movies!” So they handed him a story about a cyborg cop…which he turned around into a mocking satire of everything that sucked about Hollywood action movie. The gore, the violence, the fascist tendencies that were common in the genre, the mindless consumerism, the shameless pandering…all of it.

Then everybody missed the point completely and it became an enormous hit. Verhoeven’s been getting paid for years to call people morons to their faces. Nice work if you can get it.

Anyway, the brutal satire of “RoboCop” really doesn’t scream “children’s cartoon”, but this was the ’80s! By God, if there were toys that could be sold, the studio was going to sell them, and no fruity foreign director was going to get in the way of good business!

Somehow, we think Verhoeven just found it too funny to refuse.

#2) Godzilla

GodzillaCartoon

The original “Gojira” is a movie about a country trying to deal with the atomic bomb. Seriously, if you only know Godzilla from the goofier later movies, the first one’s kind of a jolt, what with the solemn choirs and the footage of people suffering from radioactivity and the woman holding her kids to her talking about how they’ll be with their dead father soon right before Godzilla stomps them flat (yes, that happened in the original).

It’s bad enough that was turned into basically a series of kiddie movies, but then the “Independence Day” guys got their hands on it and turned it into a giant iguana stomping New York for no explicable reason. Then this cartoon was made.

The cartoon’s substantially better than the movie, but still, there’s a reason that the iguana showed up in a later, real Godzilla movie…and got raped.

#1) Chuck Norris

Chuck-Norrisk-kommandos

Chuck Norris has had a lot of scary and inappropriate moments in his career, mostly due to his horribly inflated ego. “Walker, Texas Ranger” managed to handle sensitive subjects like AIDS and illegal immigration with all the subtlety of a wedgie while featuring Norris staring down a bear and revealing he keeps a rocket launcher in his pickup’s gun rack (we assure you: these are both real moments in the show). Meanwhile, he was cranking out a long series of terrible “Rambo” ripoffs mostly notable for being even more violent and stupid than the originals when he wasn’t turning out movies like “Sidekicks”, in which a teenager blatantly suffering from mental illness is encouraged to study martial arts instead of being given some anti-psychotics and told that fantasy and reality aren’t quite the same thing.

The guy has basically made a career out of beating up people he doesn’t like and announcing “I’m so awesome!” The only time he’s shown range was when Bruce Lee beat it out of him. What’s amazing is that this guy ever had a career.

Which makes “Chuck Norris Karate Kommandos” kind of disturbing, reading less like a cheap kid’s show to move toys and more like an attempt to indoctrinate kids into the Cult of Chuck. The concept was created by Norris and we’re deeply, deeply concerned that Norris really does see himself as the leader of a team of “radically diverse” karate champions fighting a secret conspiracy headed by a man named “Super Ninja”.

Deadly_Dolphin_Norris

Mark our words, “Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos” is going to be a tragic document one day. Chuck Norris is going to burst into the Texas state house, kill a few doughy legislators with his bare hands, and then be gunned down proclaiming he saved the world from VULTURE. You heard it here first.

By Dan Seitz

Comments

  1. Steve says

    This is ALL BS biased that this person rants bout wanted the kids to watch Sponge Bob or Dora!!! I’ve was born in 89 and grown up watching Beetlejuice and the 80′s-90′s Godzilla cartoonshows, I haven’t watched the Rambo series or Robocop ones, but I’ve watched GI Joe!!! In those times NO one cared bout the “seriouness” of voilence and what not of the “political correctness” of the show, but instead it was HEROS saving the people and kicking bad guy’s fucking ass!!! Also I’ve seen and watched the Pre-War/During-War/After-War theme topics of Bugs Bunny, Popeye, Donald Duck and ALL Disney/Looney Tunes charcters of WW2 and the V-nam War and it was funny to poke things around and don’t get “butt hurt” about sterotypes!!! If you can’t take humor of ALL topics in cartoons you might as well be watching FOX News for your “humor” entertainment!!! As I see in Chuck Norris he is a Hero with Kung-Fu and what not with Batman saving the day and stopping villans and I don’t see NO rampage and what not said of going rouge… It’s complte and utter BS nonsense that this person didn’t grow up the right way of how TV cartoons was suppose to be!!!! I’ve also watched the movies and it was awesome!!!! Nuff said. Dan get your head out of the insecure pussy ass bitch mofos of parents that want to hide kids from the “voilence” and what not and rant and the REAL inappropriate Cartoons!!!

  2. Tresix says

    Another surprise to me was when they did a cartoon based off of the Kid N’ Play movie HOUSE PARTY. Yes, the same HOUSE PARTY that unloaded a bunch of “f” bombs, showed a couple in “the act”, and had one of the heroes trying to convince a girl to give him oral sex because his condom is broken. All subject matters that NBC saw fit to show to Saturday morning audiences.

  3. Not indocerinated says

    If this guy were anymore of a Lefty Liberal he would be Barney Frank. Quit you bitching.

    Chuck Norris rocks. Then and Now.

    RoboCop beat the bad guys.

    Rambo didn’t kill enough bad guys.

    And Beetlejuice was not that bleak. Maybe our society has become too disconnected with death. Death THE one thing all people on this rock have in common.

    The only point I remotely agree with you on is the Godzilla topic. But that is because I have spent the past three or four years studying the American/Japanese relationship from before the turn of the 20th century through World War II. Grow a pair and get over it.

  4. Chris says

    I remember the Rambo cartoon and I also rmemeber shaking my head over the disbelief tha they actually made a cartoon out of that tortured psychological character. I would be the first to say that all the Vietnam veterans and every soldier, sailor, airmen, Marine and even Coast Gaurdsman are all returning heroes, but to take the character of Rambo and turn him into kind of “Superfriend’ is actually quite absurd and bizzare.. GIJOe was a great cartoon show but no one actually got hurt or killed, but the Rambo cartoon was just as awful as “Super President” was in the 1960s. Yes, there was a Super President cartoon that debuted in 1966 three years after the Kennedy assassination.

  5. citizen says

    Don’t know about Godzilla or Beetleguice… But the Tales from the Crypt cartoon (hosted by the cryptkeeper) seemed a pretty odd choice to me.

  6. Scott says

    Sounds like a bunch of limp wristed ninnies who want to make the world appear fun and full of daisies… Heres where its at: The panty waists seem to think that giving a rubber to a kid is OK but violence even if in animated form isnt! Its obvious to me that so many have lost tthe sight of doing what is right and moral. There is nothing moral about telling a child its OK to have sex by handing them a condom but when it comes to using force to protect what is in fact good all of a sudden this is a problem? We played war when we were kids ALL THE TIME and its the damndest thing that none of my childhood friends turned out to be murderers. We got our asses welted when we did wrong and learned respect from it! We rode our bikes without helmets and our mothers ate tuna out of cans too! We got pocket knives at 7 and .22 rifles at 10 and to hear the limpwrists tell the story we must have cut eachothers throats and shot eachother. Well guess what! We didnt! Why? because we were taught respect! it isnt about what the child see’s! Its how he or she is taught to see it! and what meaning they are given in it! I was raised YES YOU KICK A$$ FOR RIGHT! and if yuo want to point fingers lets talk about the satirical ratialism of BUGS BUNNY since he is a favorite to bring up! WAKE UP AMERICA!

    Archie Bunker for president!

    Scott
    In Texas

  7. John says

    I’m gonna jump on the Chuck Norris defense for a sec. The man has made some pretty satisfying action flicks, mastered many types of martial arts and I mean straight up mastered, sparred with Bruce Lee, become a cultural icon, spent a great deal of time visiting and supporting our troops and created a foundation that works with youths (particularly at risk youth) to learn martial arts to teach them discipline, control and values. So what’s exactly wrong with a kids cartoon that has him inspiring those around him to fight evil? And what’s with the Chuck hate anyway?

  8. Ana says

    What about Sailor Moon for their skimpy outfits and that one episode where super skinny Sailor Moon wants to diet?Or Maxie’s World where one girl says “If I eat I’ll never get thin!”
    And we failed to mention Pepe le Pew [sp?].Horny skunk constanly chasing p*ssy…

  9. John says

    You want to point out violence well I got news for you everything on tv has to do with violence in some way. And the people saying Family Guy and South Park. South Park is rated mature and makes it obvious that it’s not for kids. Family Guy is on cartoon network but just during late hours. Plus it’s up to the parents to judge what their kids watch not your and not the networks. Get a f***ing life people.

  10. Rob says

    I don’t really agree with this. None of these shows bothered me and desensitzed because some movies bothered me. You’re looking at these shows at what they might imply, not the actual effect it has on a real child. I never seen a few of these shows but I can say that Beetlejuice was a very childish show and there was no dark feeling to it at all like the movie had.

    I agree with you about Chuck Norris, but as a side comment I would add that Barry in Sidekicks was not suffering from mental illness at all!
    I was a dreamer to as a child. Its an escape or sometimes just fantasize that you were a super hero or a ninja or someone like Chuck Norris. I would write a short story about it in english about some of them when I was a kid.

    I’d say more but Chuck Norris has probably already destroyed you ;-)

  11. Aaron says

    What? No Conan the Adventurer or Highlander: The Animated Series? I’d at least rank those over Godzilla and Beetlejuice.

  12. Alex says

    Godzilla doesn’t belong on the list; the Japanese made him a kid’s hero back in the 1960s, and the cartoon that came out after the US remake was hardly the first – I was watching Godzilla cartoons in the 1970s, and there was nothing wrong with it. Of the ones on this list, the only one I agree with is Rambo. I’ve even seen a children’s talking book of one of the movies!

  13. jerry says

    What about Hulk Hogan’s Rock’n Wrestling cartoon? That show was just down right awful and full of it is ok to beat up the goons. Then you would have to include Mr. T. It seems to me that all he did was rode around in his bus with his gang of kids and beat up the “fools”. I don’t agree with having Beetlejuice on the list simply because it deals with a zombie type character. Oh forgot about Louie Anderson just simply because he is down right annoying.

  14. John says

    I’m pretty sure Chuck Norris is going to roundhouse kick you in the back of the face for everything you just said.

  15. fatibel says

    First off, I think HeMan damaged more young psyches than the Rambo cartoon. Something about the way Beastman and Ram-man hung out together all the time in the minions locker room…
    But seriously, Rambo didn’t cozy up to Afghan terrorists in the third movie. He helped the Afghan Mujahedin fight back against the Soviet invaders (as if they really needed his help). They didn’t become terrorists until we invaded their country chasing after some other terrorists who were hiding there.
    Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it – some guy from the Light Brigade.

  16. Drikes says

    Also Tales from the Cryptkeeper and soon The Governator (or did the maid scandal pretty much kill that?)

  17. CheezeJesus says

    I can’t believe Ren and Stimpy isn’t on the list! Nor has it been mentioned even. That show had such inappropriate content, seeing it now, I’m amazed Nick even let it air for so long. It’s also an early 90s show, so it fits the criteria.

  18. mikel says

    Those who mention South Park and Ren and Stimpy have failed to realize they are cartoons for ADULTS. What makes the list what it was is they were originally intended for CHILDREN!!!!

    That picture of Norris and the spanish guy in a diaper quirtin’ water everywhere will haunt my psyche till the day I die…..

  19. se9f says

    They were earlier than these 80′s toons, but what about JOHNNY QUEST? Two men raising two boys? Race Bannon is a Rainbow Momma!

  20. Patrobit says

    You forgot a cartoon on Toxic Avengers (TOXIC CRUSADERS i think…) very dumb choices. What if kids see the movie for rent ????

  21. Wayne S Jensen says

    The only cartoon that warrants outright disdain (even if didn’t succeed which somehow it did) is Captain Planet and the Planeteers which was overtly marxist!

  22. Beck Olesen says

    Oh man, my son LOVED Godzilla when he was little. Nickelodean magazine profiled all the Godzillas in one issue maybe 16-17 years ago and my son made me draw a godzilla head on his arm like a tattoo to wear to daycare XD XD.

    And yeah Toxic Crusaders was loosely based on the TROMA film Toxic Avenger LMAO talk about inappropriate.

    The Mutant League (football) back in 1994, mutants playing football, with jokes like ‘his head got kicked off and they mistook it for the ball’ I think it was taken off air for the violence, but my son was 3 and he loved it, I think he cried when it ‘went away’.

    Also the old Conan the Barbarian cartoon, the opening theme showed a skeleton being thrown directly at the camera LOLLL My son and I watched it every morning, even I enjoyed it. Lots of sword fights, skeletons, etc.

    Naaaah. The only thing in appropriate about a lot of those cartoons is how bad the animation is. Kids love that stuff.

  23. Beck Olesen says

    This is at Mikel Sept 1st.

    Agree with the SouthPark originally being made for adults, but honey, Ren and Stimpy first aired on NICKELODEAN early mornings on weekends, it was definitely made to air to kids.

    Also as far as that goes, by the time my son was 7 he was watching family guy, south park, beavis and butthead, and later ATHF, everything on Adult Swim. How did he turn out? Just beautiful…he never smoked or drank, he never took drugs, he opened doors for girls, he was polite to adults and well spoken, he was knowledgeable about current events, movies, music…..He also loved to go to the skate park, and to GWAR concerts (we went together) but also went to Church, he listened to Tom Waits, Johnny Cash, as well as Dimmu Borgia and Slipknot. A very grounded and well rounded person.

    All of that by age 15. I think watching things like Family Guy or SouthPark actually gave him important issues to think about, because they do both bring up political, religious, race issues, etc.

  24. Andy says

    You know, these days it’s kinda surprising to read a single sentence about Chuck Norris without all the meme. I praise you for avoiding any “Chuck Norris Facts” reference in this article. And damn the Internet.

    And yea, I agree with everything else you wrote. The problem is exactly as you said in the Robocop entry: if the higher-ups see anything as “marketable”, they’ll milk it for what it’s worth. That’s why we had these cartoons-that-weren’t-supposed-to-be-for-children-but-ended-up-being-anyway (though I kinda enjoyed the Beetlejuice cartoon, which I saw when I was about 10).

  25. WolfGirl1964 says

    These cartoons were great in the day I can remember my brothers watching them you want inappropriate Catwoman Wonder Woman almost any cartoon depicting a female character true we looked at guys through the eyes of cartoon men and non ever really compared unless they were in high school and on steroids and those rarely lasted past high school and if a cartoon is inappropriate it’s up to the parent to shut the thing off or change the channel in my house the question was asked what do you want to watch when we answered as long as it was suitable it got placed to that and the remote taken away we were banned from watching the tv if we got up and changed the channel

  26. Lavender Darwin says

    Robocop cartoon made no sense at all: a man brutally mutilated by criminals and turned into a cyborg…? for kids?

  27. kimmy says

    Ren and Stimpy was a cartoon made for kids…it was on nickelodeon and was almost as horrible as friggin spongebob that should be rated PG13..LOL. Whats up with the “capping” (I thought I would throw a little 90′s slang in there ) on Family Matters, what did it ever do to you??. In addition to Ren and Stimpy, nickelodeon’s 2 stupid dogs should be added, they were pretty raw.

  28. SC says

    Not to be a killjoy but you do realize that the kid from Sidekicks Jonathan Brandis killed himself?

  29. drewp says

    ppl dont read cartoons of the 80′s not 90′s dumbasses southpark is a 90′s cartoon… 2. Hes right in a way but if u gonna hit those 5 cartoons lets see here now GI Joe ahh yes my fav how Duke who was a E-4 which is a staff sargent have control over his troops, which obviously he was not the highest ranking non commission officer, about war against the “terrorist” Cobra??? hmm… and we are in war with “terrorist”, or captain planet another favorite use magic to summon a GOD lol… fire, earth, wind, water, or heathcliff and the catillac cats, its cool to live on the streets homeless and survive, and ways on how to survive in america!! Cmon people cartoons were anti government since the 60′s, do your research and learn “history” or (His-Story) in order to kno something and “lie” about it u have to know truth!!!

  30. shinitaru says

    I know that were going for an ’80s theme here but if we want an “All Time Worst” then leaving out Schwartnegger as “The Governator” is a tragic mistake. That cartoon is epically bad.

  31. Shigoki says

    You forgot about Ren & Stimpy. Want something more disgusting? I cant thing of anything worst I had seen on TV

  32. CASS says

    Everything you just said was hypocritical. None of these shows effected me in any violent way. As a matter of fact, these were really awesome shows when I was a kid. Beetlejuice was my hero! And its okay to have some type of violence in a kids show. Something other than rainbows and butterflies and lame fart jokes.

    Just lighten up.

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