YMMV / The Ren & Stimpy Show

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Stimpy. Really, is he as stupid as he often implies? Or is it just a false stupidity as a reason to be funny? Since it may be arguednote  that it's incredibly smart to be a Mad Scientist.
  • Aerith and Bob: "Ren" is an actual name in real life, but "Stimpy" isn't. In fact, it's actually a nickname for his real name: "Stimpson." Which is also not a real name.
  • Anticlimax Boss: Used and Played for Laughs in "Robin Hoek"; before Robin rescues Maid Moron, he has to fight The Sheriff of Dodge City (George Liquor) who he defeats by whipping out a turkey baster and smothering him in a shot of gravy. Liquor immediately collapses and surrenders Maid Moron.
    George Liquor: "Thou hast besquirted me, O leotarded one! (falls over backwards, then raises his head) The maiden be thine! (passes out)"
  • Archive Panic: The original show ran for five seasons and 94 episodes (100 if you count Adult Party Cartoon), and including the bumpers, it would take almost 23 hours, or about an entire day without sleep, to watch the entire series.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The opening theme song, "Dog Pound Hop", written and composed by Jim Smith and John K himself.
    • The eclectic selection of stock sound cues have some very memorable tracks of music, particularly cues like Beethoven's "Pastoral Symphony" and "Clair De Lune", among other obscure pieces of classical music.
    • Cat Hairballs, done to the tune of "Jingle Bells"
    • The Royal Anthem of the Canadian Kilted Yaksmen
    • No wonder, since this is the melody of "God Save The Queen".
    • In the German dub it's absolutely beautiful. Especially when Ren harmonizes with Stimpy.
    • "Yak Shaving Day" from the Crock O' Christmas album.
    • The ending theme has amazing guitar music.
  • Awesome Art: John Kricfalusi famously never used model sheets for the characters. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, many of the episodes look very well animated.
  • Base-Breaking Character: George Liquor (American) is by far the most polarizing character of the show. He's either, while very disciplinary, an entertaining foil to Ren and Stimpy, or he's a harsh, unlikable asshole who puts Ren and Stimpy through hell to get them where he wants them to be. The fact that he's John K.'s Creator's Pet nowadays doesn't help matters.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The Royal Anthem of the Canadian Kilted Yaksmen.
  • Bizarro Episode: The series is very offbeat to begin with, but even then some episodes stick out like a sore thumb, such as "Haunted House" (which was an unmade Tiny Toons episode that Spumco was supposed to have a hand in, but ended up making for themselves).
  • Ear Worm:
    • Many of the stock sound cues, including classics like "Pizzacato Playtime", "Screw on the Loose" and "Folli the Foal".
    • The Muddy Mudskipper TV show theme.
    • Cat Hairballs
    • The LOG song.
    • The "Loop of Death" music from Adult Party Cartoon, which is a recording of the classic jazz song "Hold That Tiger".
    • HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY
    • When you wish upon a side of beef, soon will come an end to all your grief...
    • The flute dance.
    • No love for the theme song? Like the show or hate it, its theme WILL get stuck in your head and you'll love every minute of it.
    • The end theme is also very catchy.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: A literal example in Mr. Horse, since the character is based on Kirk Douglas, as well as Powdered Toast Man for being a hilarious Large Ham. It also helps that the latter is voiced by Gary Owens
    • And then there's Anthony's Dad from A Visit to Anthony's and the Yak that goes bonkers in The Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: Ren and Stimpy's tearful reunion in "The Big Shot" is cut short by Ren slapping Stimpy for giving away his 47 million dollar fortune.
    • In "Rubber Nipple Salesmen", Ren and Stimpy succeed in selling their rubber nipples to a suburbanite couple... who then kick Ren and Stimpy onto the backs of a couple of crazed bulls that they ride into the distance.
    • "Powdered Toast Man" ends with PDM becoming president after saving the Pope; in office, he promptly burns the Constitution to start a fireplace (which was edited on American TV after it first aired) as he spends time with his lovely assistant.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: The Games Animation episodes and the Adult Party Cartoon episodes might as well have not existed in the eyes of some fans. The Adult Party Cartoon gets this much more universally, however.
  • First Installment Wins: The first two seasons are considered some of the greatest TV cartoons ever made. Fans were heavily divided the Games era episodes. (i.e. Seasons 3-5), but the reception of them has become more positive in recent years. And the less said about the Adult Party Cartoon revival, the better.
  • Genius Bonus / Truth in Television: In "Fire Dogs", Stimpy puts out the building fire with kitty litter; in real life, Kitty Litter is usually nonflammable, since it's often made out of ground up clay.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: While Ren and Stimpy: Adult Party Cartoon is quite unpopular in the U.S., the Short Runner does have some strong fanbases in Eastern Europe (mostly in Poland).
  • Growing the Beard: The show definitely got off to a good start, but the second season is universally considered a significant improvement over season 1's helter-skelter quality, and by many to be the series peak; Ren and Stimpy's personalities and voice work are more fleshed out, the drawings, animation quality and background art are much better (especially the episodes animated by Carbunkle) and the cartoons became much better in story structure, humor and pacing.
  • Harsher in Hindsight / "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • While it's less funny and more genuinely emotional, "The Littlest Giant", where Stimpy (playing The Littlest Giant) runs away from home after a long time of torture by "the big, mean giants". Made harsher by the fact that nowadays, bullying victims have often done pretty much the same, or worse (just ask the corpse of Phoebe Prince or the many kids who come to school with weapons to get back at their tormentors and end up on the news for causing yet another school shooting).
    • Several moments in light of allegations over John Kricfalusi being a sexual predator:
      • The romantic tension between Powdered Toast Man (whose secret identity is that of a clergyman) and his Catholic schoolgirl assistant. After the Catholic clergy sex abuse scandals of the 2000s, this comes off as really unsettling. Even moreso when it came to light that John Kricfalusi sexually harassed numerous underage female employees of his.
      • This scene where it's implied that Mr. Horse is doing depraved things to the walrus in house becomes a lot less funny in light of John K's own sexual harassment and possession of child porn allegations.
      • Knowing that Rev. Jack Cheese is meant to be a parody of John K. takes on a more sinister light, given that John K. and clergymen share a reputation when it comes to sexually abusing minors.
      • There's a brief scene in "Stimpy's Fan Club" in which Ren reads a letter from a girl who's implied to have an abusive boyfriend. This is a lot creepier with the knowledge that John Kricfalusi had underage girlfriends that he mistreated for years.
  • He Really Can Act: How can you go wrong when the two leads are voiced by John Kricfalusi and Billy West? (And eventually just West?) While Kricfalusi isn't well-known for his voice acting, he turns in a few genuinely terrifying performances as Ren, usually when he freaks out (see his threatening Stimpy and Sven in "Sven Hoek" and his almost Shakespearean monologue when he contemplates killing Stimpy in "Stimpy's Fan Club.") West also gets in a few great performances, particularly the insane yak in "The Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen." West never wanted to work with Kricfalusi again after the original Spumco episodes, but boy, did it work.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In "The Big Shot!", one of Stimpy's lines in the Muddy Mudskipper cartoon, "I'm huntin' for a wabbit!" and "Blow me down!" Billy West (Stimpy's voice actor) would become the primary voice actor for Elmer Fudd starting with Space Jam. He also voiced Popeye in the 2004 TV special, Popeye's Voyage: The Quest for Pappy.
    • In this clip from "The Altruists, Ren is using a groinsaw.
    • Anthony's dad from one episode bears a striking resemblance to a certain memetic senator from the Metal Gear franchise. Demonstrated here.
    • Many have noted that Powdered Toast Man's lovely assistant bears an uncanny likeness to Elizabeth from BioShock Infinite.
    • "You could get BEAVER FEVER!!"
    • In the Games Animation episode, "Superstitious Stimpy", Ren hides in Stimpy's spittoon to avoid further bad luck. Seven years later, in the very first Adult Party Cartoon episode, "Onward and Upward", Ren and Stimpy move into a spittoon in a bar.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Ren in 'Stimpy's Fan Club'.
  • Memetic Mutation: The LOG song, from a recurring fake-ad bumper in the series.
    • "HAPPY HAPPY, JOY JOY!" note 
    • Ren's infamous catchphrase "You eediot!"
    • Ren gets angry [1]
    • The "Ren Snaps" sequence from "Stimpy's Fan Club", where Ren imagines himself as President, pressing "The Button" which atomizes Australia, has become a popular meme on YouTube called "You Dare Not Agree With X", where a picture of X character is photoshopped over Ren.
    Ren: WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON'T AGREE WITH ME?! DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU'RE DEALING WITH?!
    • "You're the pitcher, I'm the catcher!" note 
    • "Don't Whiz on the Electric Fence!" note 
    • The Loop of Death from Adult Party Cartoon seems to be gaining this status.
    • "You SICK LITTLE MONKEY!" note "
      • Also from Stimpy's Invention, after Ren tries on Stimpy's stay put socksnote : "YOU FILTHY SWINE! I WILL '''''KEEL''''' YOU!!
    • "No sir, I don't like it!" note 
    • The History Eraser button segment from the end of "Space Madness", especially for the over the top delivery of the "Jolly, CANDY like button!" line from the announcer.
    • Surprisingly, Anthony's Dad, due to his visual similarities to a certain crazy US Senator with superhuman abilities. NANOMACHINES, SON!
    • After the name of the villains from The Force Awakens was revealed to be "The Knights of Ren", it immediately spawned memes mixing Star Wars and Ren and Stimpy together, including names like "The Knights of Ren Hoek" or "The Knights of Stimpy". John K (who loathes the Star Wars series and hasn't even seen the newer movies) said on his Facebook that he is not amused by this connection, and refuses to draw commissions based on it.
    • Actually, it would just be better to say that the entire series is an example. If there was an article called "Vindicated by Memetic Mutation", this show would be a prime example.
  • Moe: Stimpy; C'mon now, don't deny it!
  • My Real Daddy: Following the allegations of pedophilia and predatory behaviour by John K. in 2018, it became far more common for people to credit Bob Camp & co as the show's real creative force, pointing his involvement in many of the series' best episodes, the fact that he directed 80% of the series, and the poor reception to John K's solo projects.
  • Nausea Fuel: One of the reasons why Moral Guardians and Media Watchdog groups hated the show almost as much as they did old-school Simpsons. Now has its own page.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: Once John K. was fired and production was moved to Games Animation, fans felt that the show's quality went downhill since the creator wasn't there to overlook production. However, depending on who you ask, this was subverted when John K. returned to make the infamous "Adult Party Cartoon" a decade later. Not to mention some have started to come around on the Games episodes.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: Between the uproar caused when it was released and John Kricfalusi being a pedophile, many only know of this series solely because of the controversy it has caused rather than because they have seen it.
  • Seasonal Rot: The Games episodes, though not as universal as it once was.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: The show was Nickelodeon's first big breadwinner and hugely popular in its prime, and many of the shows elements, particularly its humor and drawing style, were shocking and unprecedented when it first hit the air. As a result, it ended up becoming one of the most ripped off cartoons of all time, to TV cartoons what Snow White is to animated features and what Mario Kart is to racing games. Nearly everything the show pioneered that was considered unique and groundbreaking when it first appeared have since been so heavily imitated that they're now considered ubiquitous elements of contemporary cartoons—much to John K's chagrin, since he felt that those cartoons only copied the many, many mistakes he made on the show, instead of what he felt he did right. Though, unlike most cases of "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny, this show is still as raunchynote  and disgusting as it was back in the 1990s (even more so, now that the fans who watched this as kids have grown up), so much so that it has a 12 rating in the UK (and the song "The Lord Loves a Hanging" song was cut, because the BBFC objected to portraying hanging oneself as a fun activity and not a painful, excruciating death) and Common Sense Media's website put this series as "Unsuitable for Anyone Under 15."note 
  • Signature Scene: The "Happy Happy Joy Joy" sequence from "Stimpy's Invention" is by far the most iconic scene in the series.
  • Song Association: Due to it using so many stock music cues, some of these pieces of music have become strongly associated with the series.
  • Squick: All you need to do is look on this show's nausea fuel page to get some examples.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Dr. Brainchild from "Blazing Entrails" only appeared once.
  • This Is Your Premise on Drugs: When reviewing the Fire Dogs game, The Angry Video Game Nerd called the show Looney Tunes on crack.
  • Ugly Cute: Both of Ren and Stimpy qualify!
  • Uncanny Valley: That female anthro chihuahua with a realistic head (whom Ren falls for) in "Marooned".
  • Vindicated by History: Ironically, the allegations against John K. seems to have caused this with the Games episodes; while many still consider them to be an example of Seasonal Rot, there are some who either came around, or at least feel that the Games episodes were actually fine in their own right. At this point, the Games episodes are, at the very least, a Contested Sequel to the Spumco episodes rather than universally hated by fans like in the past.
  • "Weird Al" Effect: The LOG song is very well remembered from the show, but very few people realize that besides being a parody/homage of old toy commercials, the titular song borrows its melody directly from vintage Slinky commercials.
    • The "Loop of Death" music from an episode of Adult Party Cartoon is actually an old jazz number called "Hold That Tiger", and the recording used is from an old Betty Boop cartoon.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Or better yet, What Do You Mean You Don't Agree With Me?
  • What Do You Mean, It's For Kids?: Just look up an episode. Any episode. You will be surprised when you find out that it was rated TV-Y7 during its airtime, while containing suicidal jokes, the use of the word crap and loosely censored "hell", racist jokes, tons of Getting Crap Past the Radar, Ren's disturbingly realistic mental breakdowns, Body Horror, loads of Black Comedy and disturbing images, among many other things. The show came out at a time when cable television was starting to offer edgier content that you could only to pay to see. This meant that nobody was really certain exactly who would be watching it.
  • The Woobie:
    • Stimpy, at times. Especially true in "Son of Stimpy" and "The Littlest Giant".note 
    • Ren counts at times too, though usually he's more of a Jerkass Woobie.
    • Egg Yolkeo goes through a LOT of crap in his episode, before being accidentally eaten by Stimpy, so soon after learning how to say "I love you, Daddy"
    • This show, of all things, managed to make us feel bad for a sentient fart in "Son Of Stimpy".
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