30 Fun Facts You Never Knew About Your Favorite '90s Cartoons

Updated on July 3, 2019
Rachel M Johnson profile image

Rachel M. Johnson is a lover of all things pop culture. She's been writing about music and entertainment online for over two years.

The '90s were arguably one of the greatest decades for television and cartoons. Chances are if you grew up during this time you often were watching your favorite cartoons on either Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon (or both if you were a serious lover of animation). Let's take a trip down memory lane with some fun facts you might not know about your favorite '90s cartoons.

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1. Little Richard recorded the theme song for The Magic School Bus.

2. Flea, the bassist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, voiced Donnie on The Wild Thornberrys from 1998-2004.

3. Arnold from Hey Arnold! (1996) actually got his start as a supporting character of a series of claymation cutaways called "Penny." When Craig Barlett was pitching show ideas to Nickelodeon, executives liked the Arnold character so much they asked for him to be created into a cel animated show.

4. For The Ren & Stimpy Show, Billy West based Stimpy's voice on Larry Fine of The Three Stooges.

5. The Powerpuff Girls was first created in 1991, when show creator Craig McCracken drew a birthday card for his brother featuring the mock title for a fictional show entitled Whoopass Stew! The Whoopass Girls in: A Sticky Situation.

6. Seth McFarlane (Family Guy, American Dad) and Butch Hartman (The Fairly OddParents, Danny Phantom) both began their animation careers on the show Johnny Bravo.

Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers as the voice of Donnie from The Wild Thornberrys.
Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers as the voice of Donnie from The Wild Thornberrys. | Source
The character of Arnold in a "Penny" claymation.
The character of Arnold in a "Penny" claymation. | Source
Stimpy & Larry Fine of The Three Stooges.
Stimpy & Larry Fine of The Three Stooges. | Source

7. The character of Cartman from South Park was partially inspired by All in the Family patriarch Archie Bunker, as he is often portrayed as aggressive and prejudiced. Creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker based some of Cartman on what they thought Archie was like as a child.

8. Doug originally started out as doodles in Jim Jenkins' notebook. David Campbell convinced him to turn the drawings into a children's book, which was unsuccessful before becoming a show.

9. In a New York Times interview, Dexter creator Genndy Tartakovsky said the reason the titular character had a Russian accent was because, "He considers himself a very serious scientist, and all well-known scientists have accents."

10. The iconic characters of Beavis and Butt-Head were inspired by creator Mike Judge's childhood friends. According to Judge, Bobby Beavis was "kind of an athletic kid" who had lived three blocks from him during college. Butt-Head's inspiration was a 12-year-old who called himself "Iron Butt" because he would claim he never got injured by a kick to the rear.

11. Mojo Jojo from The Power Puff Girls was voiced by the character Ghostface from Scream.

12. On Courage the Cowardly Dog, the names Muriel and Eustace are taken from the middle names of Chandler Bing and Ross Geller of Friends.

South Park's Cartman & Archie Bunker.
South Park's Cartman & Archie Bunker. | Source
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13. Chuckie Finster from Rugrats is based on Devo frontman, Mark Mothersbaugh. The band is best known for their chart-topping classic, "Whip It." The Lego-hat wearing lead singer was also the composer for the cartoon.

14. Each of the main characters in Spongebob Squarepants represent the seven deadly sins. They are the following: Spongebob (lust), Patrick (sloth), Squidward (wrath), Sandy (pride), Mr. Krabs (greed), Plankton (envy), and Gary (glutton). Though this fact started out as a fan theory, it was later confirmed by a writer and voice actor.

15. Actors Johnny Depp and Marlon Brando were huge fans of Beavis and Butt-head and would often do the characters' voices on the set of their film, Don Juan DeMarco.

16. The Powerpuff Girls names were based on Flora, Fauna and Merryweather from Disney's Sleeping Beauty.

17. The actual finale for Angry Beavers was never aired because the creators made Daggett and Norbert address the fact that the show was about to be cancelled.

18. Elizabeth Daily, the voice of Tommy Pickles on Rugrats, actually recorded an episode while she was in labor with her daughter. She said, "The engineer was like: 'Your contractions are coming really quickly now.' And I was like: 'No, I'm fine.' Very soon after that, I had my daughter."

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19. Some people claim an episode of Johnny Bravo predicted 9/11. In a scene from an episode that aired on April 27, 2001, a movie poster appears to show a burning tower emitting smoke with the ominous words, "COMING SOON."

20. Animator John Kricfalusi got the idea for Ren of The Ren & Stimpy Show after seeing a picture of a chihuahua in a sweater. He once said, "It's a very funny picture, because here's a psychotic looking monster in a cute sweater."

21. Ed, Edd n Eddy is Cartoon Network's longest running series, having ran for 11 years.

22. All the children on Rugrats were voiced by women, including Tommy, Chuckie and Phil.

23. Cow and Chicken began as a bedtime story creator David Feiss made up for his daughter. It would ultimately turn into a cartoon that was far less innocent and full of double entendres and secret dirty jokes.

24. Rugrats is the only Nickelodeon show to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They received it in 2001 in honor of the show's 10th anniversary celebration.

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25. When Dragon Ball Z (1996) began airing in the United States, the episodes were heavily edited from the original Japanese show and many of the controversial episodes were never released. Of the 67 Japanese episodes, only 53 aired.

26. Rocko's Modern Life (1996) was created when show creator Joe Murray saw a kangaroo at the zoo that was oblivious to the chaos around him.

27. Futurama got its name from an exhibit at the 1939 World Fair.

28. When Pokémon director Masamitsu Hidaka was told the series would go worldwide, he worried viewers would perceive Brock as a racial stereotype. He was therefore written partially out of the first season. When the character received a positive reception, he was written back into the show as a main character.

29. Aaahh!!! Real Monsters first premiered in 1994, and shares a similar concept to Pixar's Monsters, Inc. (2001). Some people believe Pixar stole the idea from the show, about monsters in their secret world and scaring humans.

30. In Animaniacs (1993-1998), whenever someone says something that could be interpreted as a dirty joke, Yakko blows a kiss to the audience and says, "Goodnight, everybody."

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    © 2019 Rachel M Johnson

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