Radar / Cartoon Network

It's no secret that Cartoon Network's radar system has a lot of screws loose in terms of airing dubious content...and not just on their primetime-to-late-night [adult swim] line-up. Their daytime original programmingnote  all proudly push the limits of their TV-Y7 rating, and their imported theatrical cartoon shorts collectionnote , despite most being Edited for Syndication, pushes the limits of their TV-G rating. As of 2010, however, most of their original programming airs with a TV-PG rating in an attempt to "age up" the programming and get more ratings from their Periphery Demographic (older kids and parents who watch cartoons with their kids for either Moral Guardian or nostalgia reasons), even though the TV-Y7 for fantasy violence (FV) rating still appears on some of their programming (mostly their syndicated shows, like Tom and Jerry Tales and Pokémon, but The Amazing World of Gumballnote , We Bare Bears, and the 2016 reboot of The Powerpuff Girls are the current exceptions).

Whether it's classic cartoons or original programming (both in the past and nownote ), Cartoon Network's shows work hard to smash the stereotype that cartoons are kids' stuff, and the examples below are shining examples of this.


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    Time Squad 
  • The show may not have had a long life on Cartoon Network (started June 2001; ended November 2003), but it left behind a glut of crap that got past the radar. Any given episode has one or more of the following:
    • The near-constant references to The Larry 3000's ambiguous homosexuality. By the time season two rolled around, you had episodes like "Day of the Larrys" and "Ex Marks the Spot" that pretty much tossed ambiguity out the window.
    • Drug humor (season one's "Eli Whitney's Flesh-Eating Mistake" and season two's "Pasteur Packs O'Punch" had Larry acting drunk; in "Betsy Ross Flies Her Freak Flag," Betsy Ross and George Washington's army all have red-rimmed eyes and act like stoners. On top of that, there was a strange, white cloud around the "Magical Farm Place Farm").
    • Black Comedy, in the form of several instances of child abuse and neglect being played for laughs (Otto's life in the orphanage as seen in "Eli Whitney's Flesh Eating Mistake" and "Orphan Substitute," Otto getting left behind on the island on "Hate and Let Hate" for most of the episode, an unnamed child getting a piano dropped on him during his birthday party on "The Clownfather," and Otto getting injured while Tuddrussell tries to be like a father to him in "Father Figure of Our Country.")
    • Phallic and oftentimes autoerotic innuendo (Tuddrussell's laser gun magazine folding out like a Playboy centerfold on "Kubla Khan't"), among other scenes involving Tuddrussell's guns (cf. "Hate and Let Hate," where Larry gets a Personality Swap after accidentally firing off one of Tuddrussell's guns).
    • Freudian imagery that some viewers wouldn't notice the first time around
    • Lines of dialogue that come off as rather...risque.
    • Some racial/ethnic stereotyping (Larry saying the orphans looked cute with their "black faces" [which they got from mining coal] in "Orphan Substitute"; Atilla the Hun portrayed as a Mort Goldman-esque Jewish stereotype in "A Thrilla at Atilla's")
    • Even a couple of the titles were iffy, particularly "To Hail With Caesar" and "Big Al's Big Secret".

    Ben 10 
  • Ben 10: Alien Force:
    Julie: Well, I'd better hit the shower.
    Ben: Me too. Uh- I mean, uh...
    • In Albedo's debut episode,, we are treated to this delightful exchange between Kevin and Gwen while Ben and Albedo are battling:
      Gwen: Find something to touch!
      Kevin: Huh? (confusedly reaches hand toward Gwen before realizing what she actually means) Oh.
    • Just minutes before, Albedo rattles off a few downsides to being human (Ben specifically), ending with "scratching myself in places I suspect are inappropriate!"
    • In another episode, the team is on the moon, using spacesuits originally meant for an Arachnichimp, meaning they have an extra set of arms.
      Kevin: What am I supposed to do with the extra arms?
      Ben: You never used to have problems using your arms. That's what the girls say!
      Kevin: Which girls?
    • Also, Rath, an Apoplexian, has an unusually large middle claw which becomes even larger when he's angry.
    • In the second season finale, Azmuth revealed the Highbreed are all inbred and sterile.
  • In Ultimate Alien, Zombozo and Kevin fight with mallets, with Zombozo declaring "Mine's BIGGER than yours!", and Kevin replying "It's not the size that matters, it's how you use it!"
    • We got this gem in "Computer Games":
      Humongosaur: Um, one of my balls fell off.

    Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends 
  • The episode "Busted" has Bloo, after an unsuccessful attempt to glue together Madame Foster's stone bust of herself together again using toothpaste after he breaks it, stating, "A bust this big needs ample support!"
  • In a later episode, Coco tries to get a single room after Eduardo already asked for it. When Mr. Herriman claims that Eduardo needed it more, Frankie starts to object and is about to explain, why a girl can't share a room with three boys when the scenario just switches. Once we are back at Harriman's office, he's sweating and utters something along the lines: "I-I-I never knew there were so many... special "needs" for women.... Ms. Coco gets the room." Frankie Foster smiles delightful and a bit mischievous. We are left to guess, what she just told him about girls... Not that we couldn't guess.
    • Not to mention that they slipped in these lines...
      Bloo: No, sheets!
      Mac: BLOO!!
      Bloo: No, sheets. Sheets, bed sheets.

      Wilt: Yeah, that's really sucking! (Referring to a vacuum cleaner sucking in Bloo)
      Eduardo: *Sigh* There's no pleasing this guy.
  • The TV movie Destination Imagination originally called for Bloo to say "peeved" when the climax kicked off, but the voice actor misread it and, for some reason, left it in.
    Mr. Herriman: Good heavens, what's happening!?
    Bloo: YOU PISSED HIM OFF! THAT'S WHAT'S HAPPENING!
  • The episode "Affair Weather Friends" has Bloo hanging out with a boy named Barry while Mac's at school and when Mac finds out about it from Duchess, he heads of to an ice cream shop, where his behaviour is like that of a man Drowning His Sorrows.
  • If one looks into Terrence's room, they can spot a box of tissues and a bottle of lotion.
  • In "Squeeze the Day", Mac suggests while he and Bloo are home alone, they watch Frankie's videos that are for "grown-ups only." We see them watching a video looking shocked. It turns out to be a dramatic period piece that a kid like Mac would find really boring.
  • In "Squeakerboxx", when Bloo goes through Frankie's room to find a toy elephant that she took away from him, he accidentally picks up Frankie's bra and then tosses it in understandable embarrassment.
  • In "The Bride to Beat", Bloo has a pair of conversations with a suicidal imaginary friend who seems like he's going to jump off the roof. Both times, Bloo pushes him off.
  • In "Mac Daddy", Mac and Bloo's argument about Mac possibly creating a new imaginary friend sounds a lot like an argument about romantic infidelity.

    Other 
  • While I Am Weasel was cut from the same cloth as Cow and Chicken, it was very light on dubious content. However, that isn't to say that the show was completely clean. The Red Guy from Cow and Chicken was still there and still had names that referred to his state of undress (Lance Sackless, Cleo-Pantless, Tallulah Bottoms, etc), the episode "I.R. Bush Pilot" has Weasel as an OB/GYN and a pilot (making the title one of the most sexual puns ever made on a Cartoon Network show that wasn't on [adult swim]), and "This Bridge Not Weasel Bridge" had a line about a worker who was coming home to his wife and the son he never knew he had (possibly because his wife had him with another man).
  • While Camp Lazlo did not get as much dubious content as Joe Murray's other cartoon, there were some gems.
    • The hot dog episode "Beans and Weenies" is filled to the brim with jokes about Raj and the buns he made with his mother.
    Raj: My mother had the best buns in the village!
    • When Samson complains about sleeping on the uncomfortable stools at Acorn Flats, Edward tells him to use "stool softener".
    • In "Edward's Big Bag", Edward and Lazlo are in the same sleeping bag. Edward, feeling around in Lazlo's bag, remarks that Lazlo's pajamas are very soft and downy. Then Lazlo tells him that he "sleeps in the nude". Cut to a clearly traumatized Edward in the corner of the tent shuddering in terror.
      • From the same episode as above:
    Edward: There's a party in my pants, and you're invited.
    • In "Clam the Outlaw", after Clam catapults the Camp Kidney bus into the lake with Lumpus inside, Lumpus walks out of the lake, and tells Slinkman to get a rope. Slinkman mistakenly thinks that Lumpus wants to lynch Clam, but Lumpus, seeing his assistant's bewildered expression, explains that he just needs it to tow the bus out of the lake.
  • My Gym Partner's a Monkey had one right in the opening sequence!
    Adam: Going to this school is a pain in the-
    Jake: ADAM!
    Adam: What? I was going to say "neck".
    Jake: Oh, that's OK then.
    • Though this one is probably a very minor case since the initial word the rhyming scheme implied was only "butt" (the preceding line was "... I don't know what.")
    • In "Flesh Fur Fantasy", Windsor Gorilla had his classmates draw nude pics of him in a human costume.
    • In "Animal School Musical", Adam gets hit in his "Lower stomach area" when it's pretty clear where the ball actually hit him. And later on, when Ingrid Giraffe starts forcefully kissing Henry Armadillo dressed as Adam, he says he feels funny in his "lower stomach area".
  • The obscure Mike, Lu & Og has a few moments. For example, "Losing Lancelot" has Mike and Og going out on a boat to save Lancelot from sharks and Margery thinks the two are "too young to go out on a boat alone". Plus, we see Og run without his loincloth on in "Hot Couture" (though we only see his butt). Not to mention that the What A Cartoon pilot doesn't give backsides to Lu's bra and Og's loincloth.
  • The nanoscopically short-lived series of shorts, Sunday Pants, might be seen as an example of the censors doing their job. However, twice, the word 'damn it' were shouted by characters, on prime time. It's arguable that the censors probably did this just for laughs and that the series was ending anyway. Since then, Sunday Pants has never been mentioned or even acknowledged by Cartoon Network.
  • Ninjago - In the episode Snakebit, this happens literally: the second S in the "Ed n' Edna's Scrap and Junk" sign fails to light up for a moment. Wait for it...
  • Robotomy! Far too many examples to list, but all you need to know is that the people behind ''Superjail!" worked on it and, despite some intervention from Standards and Practices, the show got away with a lot, mostly rude language ("sucks", "screwed," and "sexy" were said a few times), drug parallels (the "Field of Screams" episode had a performance-enhancing drug), mild sexual content (including one episode that featured a cross-dressed robot hooker), and over-the-top cartoon violence.
  • Joey to the World sadly didn't get past the radar (in one of the rare times that Cartoon Network's censors actually did do a competent job at monitoring content — that wasn't found in a Looney Tunes cartoon). The Cartoonstitute short was credited as being "created by Cartoon Network", and they were putting it as a candidate for a comedy series...sadly, theories have it that the creator didn't know he was supposed to produce something for children, and the end result was something that would have had a nice home on [adult swim].

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