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Fondly remembered by the children of The '90s and (to a lesser extent) The 2000s, "Cartoon Cartoons" was the name used by the Cartoon Network to distinguish its original comedy programming from older Animated Series imported from other sources, such as Warner Bros. or Hanna-Barbera. It's generally agreed upon that the first Cartoon Cartoon was Dexter's Laboratory, despite it premiering in 1996, a full year before the brand was introduced: that said, like most of the series below, it originated with a short produced for the What A Cartoon! Show. Plus, Cartoon Network itself counted it as one, so who are we to argue?

As time passed, the Cartoon Cartoons increased in number and acquired a unique identity, along with a distinctive musical jingle and a logonote . Premieres would eventually come to air on a programming block called Cartoon Cartoon Fridays, which was traditionally "hosted" by one of their characters, such as Bubbles or Eustace.

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Starting in 2003, Cartoon Network began phasing out the brand, with the last cartoon to be filed under it being Evil Con Carne. Re-runs of the Cartoon Cartoons aired on The Cartoon Cartoon Show, from September 2005 to June 2008. Ed, Edd n Eddy would be the last Cartoon Cartoon to end, completing its ten-year run with a Made-for-TV Movie in 2009, though a Johnny Bravo movie would be commissioned by Cartoon Network India and produced in 2011. Cartoon Network now refers to its in-house productions simply as "Cartoon Network Originals".

Compare Nicktoons, the branding used for Nickelodeon's original animated programming.


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Cartoon Cartoons:

  • What A Cartoon! Show (1995-1997): Technically not part of the Cartoon Cartoon lineup, but the animated anthology series serves as the origin for five of the shows listed belownote , with its successor series (The Cartoon Cartoon Show) serving as the origin for an additional six.
  1. Dexter's Laboratory (1996-1999; 2001-2003): A child genius with an inexplicable Central European accent uses his secret bedroom laboratory to create various problem-solving (and problem-creating) inventions. Sometimes we cut to see what some superheroes are doing, but either way — Dee Dee, get out of my la-BOR-a-tory!
  2. Johnny Bravo (1997-2004): A Casanova Wannabe constantly finds himself in bizarre scenarios wherein his incessant need to flirt with every attractive woman over the age of 18 and his own careless stupidity inevitably makes things worse. Many of these adventures also have him meeting a lot of celebrities both real and fictional, such as actor/comedian Don Knotts and the cast of Scooby-Doo.
  3. Cow and Chicken (1997-1999): Mama had a chicken. Mama had a cow. Dad was proud. He didn't care how! And you shouldn't either. A surrealist comedy series fueled by an occasionally dark sense of humor (the Devil, er, Red Guy is a main character, after all) and the impressive vocal range of its lead voice actor.
  4. I Am Weasel (1997-2000): A spinoff of the above show, starring a successful, hyper-competent weasel and an unsuccessful, dimwitted baboon whose jealously of the former results in many mishaps.
  5. The Powerpuff Girls (1998-2005): When a scientist attempts to create "the perfect little girl," an extra ingredient results him creating a trio of superpowered kindergarten-aged girls instead. Lacking in fingers and toes, but having a surplus in crime-fighting prowess, Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup dedicate their lives to defending their city. Cartoon Network's first Cash Cow Franchise.
  6. Ed, Edd n Eddy (1999-2009): A Freudian Trio of friends who all share the same first name use their summer break to concoct a wide variety of scams on the fellow children in their small cul-de-sac in their quest to get jawbreakers. Unfortunately for them, Failure Is the Only Option. Every single episode was directed by the creator himself, and it's notably the last Western animated production to use cel animation, only switching to digital ink-and-paint in the latter half of its run. The longest-running Cartoon Cartoon, the longest-running Cartoon Network series period, and the last of the Cartoon Cartoons to end.
  7. Mike, Lu & Og (1999-2001): A young New Yorker jokingly asks to be sent to a tropical island as part of a foreign exchange student program; her school acquiesces, dumping her on an uncharted island somewhere in the South Pacific. Befriending the island's bratty princess and soft-spoken inventor, she now attempts to recreate elements of modern life, clashing and learning from the local culture along the way.
  8. Courage the Cowardly Dog (1999-2002): A Horror Comedy about a dog who lives in the middle of nowhere with his elderly owners. It's a good life, except creepy things tend to happen in Nowhere, forcing our titular character to fight past his fears to protect his home from a myriad of paranormal and supernatural horrors. The things he does for love. Like EEnE above, the creator directed every episode.
  9. Sheep in the Big City (2000-2002): A sheep must leave his farm to hide in the titular Big City after learning that the sinister Secret Military Organization seeks to use him in their sheep-powered ray gun. No, the narrator doesn't know why they can't use a different sheep, either. Expect a lot of wordplay, non-sequiturs, lampshade hangings, and fake commercial breaks before and after the actual commercial breaks. Baa.
  10. Time Squad (2001-2003): An orphan boy from the early 2000s with a love for history gets recruited by bumbling Ambiguously Gay Time Cops to help them ensure that various historical events happen as planned. Don't expect much educational content outside the kid's exposition during mission briefings though — we're reasonably sure we would've heard if Eli Whitney invented flesh-eating robots before he made the cotton gin.
  11. Grim & Evil (2001-2002): A Three Shorts show that consisted of the below two series, Evil Con Carne and The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, the latter of which was the winner of the first "Big Pick", a contest in which viewers decided the next Cartoon Cartoon from a group of pilots (there was no Evil pilot, just a Billy & Mandy one).
  12. Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? (2002-2003): In an affectionate parody of 1970s/80s Americana and the artistic stylings of Schoolhouse Rock!, a young robot is given the task to attend a human junior high school to understand humanity. Was the runner-up in the first "Big Pick" and went on to be one of the most screwed of Cartoon Network's originals, prompting many a fan to ask the titular question.
  13. Codename: Kids Next Door (2002-2008): As part of a globe-spanning operation, a Five-Man Band must protect the sanctity of childhood by fighting adult tyranny with a large arsenal of 2x4 technology. Winner of the second "Big Pick" and known best for its Cerebus Syndrome, as the show went from small adventures poking fun at the usual gripes of childhood to more serious overarching storylines that had the kids tackling world-altering crises. Be Alert To The Lies Every Single Tricky Adult Tells In Obtuse & Nutty Situations. Got it?
  14. The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy (2003-2008): An absurd supernatural horror comedy about a ditzy boy, an evil girl, and death. Death as in The Grim Reaper, that is, who the duo gained ownership of in a game of limbo over the life of a hamster. Starting out incredibly cynical, the series would place more emphasis on the comedy part of "horror comedy" as time went on.
  15. Evil Con Carne (2003-2004): In an Alternate History where the League of Nations was never disbanded and world peace has been established, a billionaire arms smuggler (reduced to Brain in a Jar attached to a Russian circus bear) reigns over the titular arch-criminal organization and combats the League of Nations' forces in a grandiose attempt to conquer the Earth.

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