Kid’s TV Shows That Had Shockingly Adult Themes

When you watch older episodes of The Simpsons now that you’re an adult, some shocking revelations happen.

In one future scene where Bart is in bed with his teacher, he makes the comment, “Now I know why they call you Mrs. Hoover.”

That’s one example of a TV show often listed as being for kids, but having more of an adult theme. Here are some of the others to consider.

1. The Animaniacs

This kid’s show is the entire reason why lists like these exist. You can’t get past the fingerprints joke, but that wasn’t the only shockingly adult humor put into the series. It also used a lot of social and political commentary at a time when that wasn’t generally accepted in cartoons. When you can make jokes about the incompetence of the censors who regulate content and get away with it, you know you’ve got a winner.

2. Bob’s Burgers

In one episode, Bob urges Gene to serve a customer. He replies, “Why do I have to be molested?” That’s when the answer comes back: “You won’t get molested. You’re fat.” Several of the jokes haven’t aged well on the series, and most of them are ones that even make adults cringe.

3. Spongebob Squarepants

Although you’ll get fast one-liners about soap in the shower and deep innuendo that you can sometimes miss, two facts stand out about this cartoon. First, Spongebob’s nose is often mistaken for a different appendage. Secondly, Gary caught him watching a real-life sponge on television, forcing a quick channel change and denials.

4. Adventure Time

The crazy imagery and silly comedy of this kid’s show are clearly meant for them, but some adult themes take place. It starts with the initial concept. Everyone lives in a post-apocalyptic landscape where people mutated because of nuclear war. That makes each joke a little harder to stomach.

What were some of your favorite shows as a kid that ended up having some shockingly adult themes?