Author Existence Failure: Not death-related, but many scripts and concepts that John K. pitched to Nick before Spumco was fired were later finished or adapted by the Games crew. Among the episodes fully realized at Games include: "A Yard Too Far" (John K. pitched this as a remake of the Yogi Bear cartoon "Pie Pirates"), "Magical Golden Singing Cheeses" (it was originally meant to be a Stimpy's Storybook Land outing), "Stimpy's Cartoon Show" (Wilbur Cobb was originally visually different than how he turned out, among other changes), and "Ren's Brain".
Breakthrough Hit: John K. is well known throughout the animation world all thanks to Ren & Stimpy, which has both positive and negative connotations. On the one hand, John K. created a groundbreaking cartoon that ushered in a new era of Deranged Animation and Getting Crap Past the Radar. On the other hand, John K.'s later works haven't matched up or exceeded the success of Ren and Stimpy, most cartoons (the ones that aren't pre-school edutainment or gritty action shows) since the 1990s seems to be a clone of R&S, and, because of the show's success, the days of animators and cartoon writers trying to emulate the Looney Tunes (which are adult at times too, but actually have restraint and balance that with antics kids of all ages will enjoy) are pretty much dead. See "Creator Backlash" below.
Creator Backlash: John is actually pretty critical of the original show, and he warns his fans not to study his cartoons—"For everything we did right, there were a ton of mistakes." John even claimed once that he can't really enjoy watching his own cartoons, because all he can see are the mistakes he made on them. Some episodes he singled out for criticism include;
"The Littlest Giant", mainly for it's very slow pacing and sparse gags. He derogatorily nicknamed it "The Littlest Jokes".
"Marooned"; he felt that the premise had merit, but was undermined by the episodes horrible timing (which was freelanced to another company) and some artistic mistakes that came from having to rush aspects of the episode.
John K:"Marooned had great ideas, but the execution fell short; the timing was horrible. We freelanced the timing on that one and it was just way too slow...We just rushed through it, and so you see a lot of really bad mistakes. You see the aliens at the end, the giant brain guys. They're on overlays, but we were rushing through it so fast that you can see the tear lines around them—they're on cut-out pieces of paper glued to cels. It looks awful."
He also considered the episode "Black Hole" a failure for several reasons;
John K:"Its a complete failure. In every aspect it's bad; it's drawn bad, there's no direction to it at all, the timing's bad. It's a winner by default; somehow the premise managed to get through, even though the specific story points don't illustrate the premise very well. It was lucky."
"Monkey See, Monkey Don't". While the episode wasn't directed by him, he singled this particular episode as "the worst Ren and Stimpy cartoon ever made." (of the first two seasons)
"Nurse Stimpy" is another episode that turned out so bad, that John flat out disowned it and refused to put his name on it—mainly for the cuts Nickelodeon wanted and many artistic failings; "The timing was bad. The drawings are bad. The colors are bad. From an artistic standpoint, to me, it's a really ugly cartoon."
Billy West does not like talking about working on the show and refuses to work with John Kricfalusi ever again, citing having a bad experience with him on and off it. In particular, Kricfalusi demanded West quit the show alongside him in order to force the network to hire him back even though West needed the job and could have been blacklisted alongside Kricfalusi had he done it and failed.
Defictionalization: The LOG toy from Blammo, which initially only existed as a parody commercial, eventually did become a real Ren and Stimpy related toy.
John K noted on the DVD commentary for Sven Hoek that there was Ren and Stimpy fan website dedicated to the Loyal Order of Stupids, Sven and Stimpy's "club", called "Members of the Loyal Order of Stupids".
Executive Meddling: Nickelodeon messed about with this show extensively due to censorship issues and John K's inability to make deadlines. The later ending up being the final straw as he was ultimate fired for not getting the new episodes out on time
John K's firing is a controversial topic subject to much debate. For years, John K claimed he was done in over content and portrayed himself as a martyr but when Adult Party was launched, former colleages Billy West and Bill Wray came forward to call John K out on lying and that his laziness was what really got him fired.
Characterization also was affected, since John K was allegedly asked to place more genuinely heartwarming moments in the series as well as make Rena more ultimately kind intentioned character. Ironically these elements were mostly depleted after John K left.
Franchise Killer: The cancellation of Ren and Stimpy: Adult Party Cartoon put the kibosh on the franchise.
God Does Not Own This World: Probably one of the most Shakespearean and operatic instances of this trope, since Bob Camp, Chris Reccardi, Bill Wray and other Spumco-ites from the first two seasons chose to stay with Nickelodeon and the show after Kricfalusi was fired.
Keep Circulating the Tapes: The short "Chicken in a Drawer", which was absent from the second DVD set for some reason. A large number of episodes on all the DVD sets of the original series featured cuts, ranging from only a few seconds to a minute in some instances. This was due to Nickelodeon tampering with footage from the negatives after Kricfalusi's firing for the reruns of them. Although he got the episodes as close to the originals as he could for the sets, he couldn't get all of the original footage back.
The Other Darrin: Billy West replaced John Kricfalusi as Ren when Kricfalusi was fired, which is funny because West originally auditioned to play both Ren and Stimpy when the show was in pre-production. West also took over as the voice of Mr. Horse and Mrs. Buttloaves following Kricfalusi's termination.note For the record, West began as Ren during season 2, as certain episodes during that time were finished by the Games crew (and thus, were in various stages of production, including voice acting). Examples of season 2 episodes where West voices Ren include "Monkey See, Monkey Don't", the oath segment in-between "Stimpy's Fan Club", "The Great Outdoors/The Cat That Laid the Golden Hairball", and a few random lines in "A Visit to Anthony".
Gary Owens replaced Darrin J. Sargent as the voice of Powdered Toast Man after the first PTM bumper.
Eric Bauza replaced Billy West as Stimpy in "Adult Party Cartoon" due to West being involved in other projects and wanting nothing to do with John K. or Ren and Stimpy after the 1990s.
Harris Peet originally voiced George Liquor in "The Boy Who Cried Rat" (in the short scene of George chasing Ren and Stimpy away from his trash) before being replaced by Michael Pataki.
In the Mexican Spanish dub of Adult Party Cartoon, Igor Cruz replaced Alfonso Obregon as Ren halfway through, and Stimpy was recast from Jose Luis Orozco to Jorge Ornelas.
Schedule Slip: Word of God the reason behind Kricfalusi's firing. The Simpsons even made jokes about it with a bit where an episode of the show was up for an animation award but was not even finished yet...
Short-Lived Big Impact: At 5 seasons and a spin off (the last two of which and the spin off are barely talked about nowadays) this show did not last so long as the two other shows in the original Nicktoons line up, Rugrats and Doug, which continued in some form or another for the better part of a decade. And yet, R&S is among one of the most influential cartoon shows of the last twenty years, spawning dozens of imitators and being the Trope Maker for the Grossout Show genre.
Talking to Himself: Both main characters were voiced by Billy West after John Kricfalusi, Ren's original voice actor, was fired.
Un-Canceled: "Adult Party Cartoon" (though most disappointed fans wouldn't count this).
What Could Have Been: Obviously, if John K. and his team hadn't been fired. Word is that season 3, had Spumco been kept on, would've mixed in more dramatic outings (similar to "Stimpy's Fan Club" and "Son of Stimpy") with the comedic shorts. Given how good they got at visual acting towards the end of their work on R&S, that would've been interesting to see.
Episodes like "A Visit to Anthony", "Fake Dad" and the aforementioned "Stimpy's Fan Club" were only partially finished when Spumco was fired and were mostly completed by Games. How much better these episodes would have turned out if John K. had been able to finish them is unknown.
In 1993, Nickelodeon was planning on making a Ren and Stimpymovie, along with a movie of Rugrats and Doug. Only the Rugrats and Doug ones were made (Albeit the Doug movie being made after it was bought by Disney), with the Rugrats one being successful enough for a string of sequels.
Billy West was supposed to be the voice of both Ren and Stimpy when the show first started. He got his wish when John K. was fired and Games Animation came in to make episodes.
The show was going to be a song written and played by Kurt Cobain. Sadly, John K. rejected the music sheet (by tossing it in the trash just after Cobain submitted it to Spumco Studios) and decided an instrumental was better.