YMMV / Rocko's Modern Life

  • Ass Pull: Played with in "Manic Mechanics". Rocko breaks his car, and all seems hopeless....until he notices a "Broken/Fixed" switch on the engine.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Tends to happen fairly regularly, but possibly the most notable instance is the scene with the naked fairies and the shaved voyeur gopher in "A Sucker for the Suck-O-Matic".
    • Heffer being abducted by aliens who look like him in the episode Cruisin. Even though they went into the Bermuda Triangle and went through a time warp, this makes no sense in relation to the rest of the episode.
      • Also, the following exchange in "Bye Bye Birdie":
    Heffer: Hey Rock, do you want to move to France? (not taking eyes off TV)
    Rocko: Not really. No. (eyes also glued mindlessly to TV)
    Heffer: Yeah, me neither. (and they just continue watching TV)
    • Though they don't move there, Rocko and Heffer do go and visit France in a later episode.
  • Cargo Ship: Canon: Spunky's forbidden romance with a mop.
    • The Psychiatrist was shown later to be wining and dining said mop.
      • And how does Spunky get over it? He falls in love with a fire hydrant!
  • Cult Classic: The show was never quite as popular as The Ren & Stimpy Show or SpongeBob; the best it could manage was this. (The cult fanbase, though, was enough so that the show was on MTV for a brief while.)
  • Ear Worm:
    • R-E-C-Y-C-L-E, recycle! (It's also a handy way to remember how it's spelled...)
    • The Theme Tune to the show (originally sung by none other than The B-52s), and to the Show Within A Shows (The Fatheads, The Bloaty and Squirmy Show, Wacky Delly, etc.).
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Dr. Hutchinson, who was actually intended to be this according to Joe Murray and managed it wonderfully.
    • Bloaty and Squirmy.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Heffer's eating habits are mostly Played for Laughs, but then you realize that that aspect of the character was inspired by Joe Murray's struggle during his teen years with binge eating.
  • Growing the Beard: Not that season 1 wasn't good or anything, but the show really began to shine in season 2, many agree that season 3 is the best season the show ever had. The show becomes more of an ensemble comedy, with episodes focusing on Heffer, Filbert and the Bigheads.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In "A Sucker For the Suck-o-Matic", Heffer is channel surfing and we hear a reporter say this: "The official motorcade is just coming around the corner now, and... oh my God! There's a burst of gunfire!" This is really not funny considering the mass shootings of the '10s.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: On April Fools' Day 2013, The 90s Are All That announced they'd air a lost episode of the series, which turned out to be a picture of mayonnaise. 3 years later, an hour-long special was announced. Looks like Rocko is back for real.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In one episode there's a plumber named Dr. Phil. In the fourth Scary Movie Dr. Phil claims he's really an electrician.
    • Episodes written by Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh like to feature characters named "Ferb".
    • "Heff in a Handbasket," The episode where Heffer sold his soul to be on a game show, was once pulled due to its blasphemous content. Eventually, the episode did air again on June 6th, 2006 (6/6/06) on Nicktoons TV. Guess the Nickelodeon censors didn't see why would this be inappropriate.
    • In one episode, Filburt has a tube of a toothpaste-like substance called "Spirit Away". It's also funny if you're a Touhou fan, as Ran has a spell card called "Yukari's Spiriting Away".
    • One episode features Heffer choking to death, and the Grim Reaper comes and mockingly tells him he was killed by his own gluttony. Heffer cries, "I'M A GLUTEN!!!" This was a good long while before the anti-gluten diet craze.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Depending on the Writer, Ed Bighead could be considered this. Particularly in episodes like "Teed Off", where he suffers ins spite of not really deserving it.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Misaimed Fandom: "Who's For Dinner?", the episode where Heffer discovers he's adopted, was lauded upon it's premier as "groundbreaking". Joe Murrey was confused as to why everyone but him was taking such a ludicrous story seriously.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Has its own page.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Someone had the bright idea to make it wall to wall Escort Missions, with your having to keep Spunky out of danger as he mindlessly wanders through the levels.
  • Seasonal Rot: A mild version. There was never a moment when the show full-on jumped the shark, but you can that the show had definetly peeked by the middle of it's fourth and final season.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Upon it's premier, "Whacky Deli" was beloved for it's sheer unabashed randomness and Stylistic Suck, which is now a dime a dozen on YouTube and [adult swim].
  • So Cool, It's Awesome: Even as a "short runner" (or considered short in comparison to some of Nickelodeon's other animated shows), this show remains one of the '90s most universally well-liked cartoons. The fact that it never experienced true Seasonal Rotnote , had mostly likable and sympathetic characters and its clever writing/humor which only becomes funnier with age also helps.
  • Squick: The end of the episode "The Fatlands", not only does Dr. Hutchinson give Rocko all of the fat that she sucked out of Spunky... Heffer ends up eating that fat!
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Though it doesn't affect the show as a whole, most people agree that the original theme song from season 1 was better than the B-52's version.
  • Vanilla Protagonist: Rocko himself. He is the Only Sane Man of the in-universe in contrast to the much quirkier and inane side characters.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Aside from the hidden dirty jokes and crude humor (some of which has been cut from reruns), the show's deals with themes you'd find on adult cartoons like The Simpsons (back when it was the sitcom to watch to laugh at jokes about how hard modern life can be), such as infidelity, immigration, racism (shown as "animalism" on the show), death, and cults.
  • What an Idiot: Heffer. For example, in "Suck-O-Matic", the gang is at the mercy of a monster vacuum cleaner with no means of escape, and only catches a break when said vacuum chokes on a potato chip. Heffer's first action? Remove the potato chip.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Addressed by series creator Joe Murray: "What most people fail to appreciate is that if I was on drugs I never would've gotten anything done."
  • The Woobie: Rocko, especially during the first season.
    • Also Spunky.