Adult Jokes in Kids' Cartoons
A surprisingly large number of cartoons and kids' movies have adult jokes sneakily added for adults' enjoyment. Let's take a look at just a few examples of raunchy, rude and subtle jokes that go way over the kids' heads—and leave you shocked and amused, and wondering "did that really mean what I think it meant?" Hats off to companies that managed to squeeze these jokes in without coming under fire. Sometimes you'll watch a movie or cartoon that you enjoyed as a kid, and suddenly notice lots of jokes you didn't happen to understand as a child. Here are some examples below.
"Promises You Don't Intend to Keep"
"Well, there's the usual things. Flowers, chocolates, promises you don't intend to keep."
- Cogsworth, Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Cogsworth, the Beast's tightly wound pendulum clock, says this when the Beast is trying to think of a gift or a surprise to give to Belle. Is Cogsworth suggesting that men make promises to women that they don't mean? Maybe this is poking fun at how men clumsily say things that they think women want to hear, without being able to fulfill their promises. Either way, it's a pretty funny dig they added in the cartoon that I certainly didn't notice as a child.
"Making the Baby's the Fun Part."
In the 2005 movie Robots, a robot couple set out to 'make a baby'—by building it from a box. It doesn't stop the writers sneaking in an adult joke, though. The mother insists that making the baby is the fun part. Well, who wouldn't agree with that?
"Compensating for Something"
"Do you think maybe he's compensating for something?"
- Shrek, Shrek (2001).
When he says this line, Shrek is referring to Lord Farquaad's castle, which happens to be very slim and very tall. A running joke in Shrek is that Lord Farquaad is of extremely short stature, and the height of his castle might be compensating for that. There's also the chance that Shrek is referring to something of Farquaad's other than his height, however. I'll leave you to decide that. After all, at this point in the movie, Shrek and Lord Farquaad haven't yet met, so how would he know if he was short or not? Something to consider.
As a child, I didn't notice this joke either. It's only when I grew up that the line made me laugh.
"Doubloons! Don't Drop 'Em!"
"Look, Gary! Doubloons! Don't drop 'em!"
- Spongebob, Spongebob Squarepants.
A gay prison shower joke, in a Nickelodeon cartoon? Never! Well... maybe.
Spongebob finds bars of soap whilst dressing as a pirate—and warns his pet snail, Gary, not to drop them. Why would Spongebob not want to drop soap when he's in the shower? It couldn't be the reason I think it is... could it? I'll let you decide on that one.
Spongebob Squarepants is actually full of more naughty jokes and gags that kids won't notice, but you will. Click here for more Spongebob jokes.
"Lonely Space Vixens"
"I rented you boys some movies. Reptar Come Home, Reptar Redux. And my personal favourite, Lonely Space Vixens. That's for after you go to bed."
- Grandpa, Rugrats.
I'm amazed that such a seemingly innocent cartoon like this had such a naughty adult joke in it—one that still went way over my head as a kid. No wonder my dad was chuckling behind me when I was watching this episode. Looks like even cartoon grandpas enjoy adult films—at least he's waiting until the kids are asleep to watch it.
"You Make my Girlhood Tremble"
"Arnold, you make my girlhood tremble."
- Helga, Hey Arnold!
No explanation needed for this one. Hey, she could be talking about her... shoulders? Hands? Feet? Maybe, maybe not...
"Sugar Honey Iced Tea"
"Oh, Sugar Honey Iced Tea!"
- Marty, Madagascar (2005).
This was a way of putting a curse word into a kid's movie without making it blindingly obvious. Marty says "sugar honey iced tea" when his lion friend, Alex, is angry with him and starts to chase him. Still don't get it? Take a look at the first letters of each word. Well played, Dreamworks.
"Consider Yourself Lucky"
"Hey, they cut my cord!"
"Consider yourself lucky."
- Baby, Rugrats, the movie.
Another joke from Rugrats—this time, referring to circumcision. During a song in the Rugrats Movie, "This World is Something New to Me", newborn baby 1 notices that her cord has been cut by the doctor, and baby 2 looks into his diaper, and says (in a noticeably male voice), "Ha! Consider yourself lucky!" Not much else he could be referring to, really...
With so many adult jokes hidden in kids' movies and TV shows, it's easy to wonder what parts of your childhood are riddled with dirty references. Know any more raunchy one-liners in children's shows? Share them below.