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Headscratchers / The Ren & Stimpy Show

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  • Ren's last name is "Hoek", which is a German surname. If that's so, then why does he have a vague Mexican accent? Is it because he's a chihuahua? The breed did originate from Mexico, but his cousin Sven speaks in a German accent and is most unmistakably German. And Ren calls Stimpy a "cucaracha" note  while he's sleeping in "Big House Blues". Maybe one of Ren's parents is German and the other is Mexican.
    • Women, when they marry, take their husband's last name. Ren's mom's last name was changed to Hoek when she got married. Ren, upon birth, took his father's last name. That would mean Ren's father is German and his mom is most likely Mexican. Which means Ren is indeed a Mexican chihuahua with his father's German last name.
    • Ren's voice is based on Peter Lorre. It's not a Mexican accent, it's Hungarian/German.
  • OK, here's something I'll never be able to tolerate: why in the world does Stimpy have fingernails over his gloves!? It just looks so weird, even by R&S standards. And they obviously went the extra mile to have the fingernails there, because common cartoon form is excluding them.
    • The artistic style of the show was to include human characteristics that could get dirty, look yellow and pain unsightly. Fingernails added a lot of this where a smooth finger wouldn't have had as much detail nor as many places for the grime and mucus to build up.
    • Obviously the gloves were made from human hands.
    • It's similar to the mammalian Disney characters, whose hands are nearly always portrayed in white gloves. I'm wondering if the "glove" is really the white skin, complete with lines and cuffs, of their palms and fingers. Stimpy just has one better by growing nails.
    • Maybe it's John K's joking homage to the absurd trend of cartoon characters wearing gloves? Maybe after too long, they actually graft to one's hands and become part of them.
    • Stimpy's first material possession was a litter box and his gloves are the same colour as the area around his eyes, so in all likelihood those are his actual hands. It could be a sight gag based on how cat paws are sometimes called mittens if they're a different color to their legs.
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    • It also makes more sense than Ren's hands. A cat having gloves with fingernails drawn on them is technically more believable than a dog with real fingernails on his actual hands.
    • How is that more believable? I saw it's his fingernails showing through the gloves.
  • What did Ren mean in the episode "Insomniac Ren" when he thought, "Sleep. Maybe I'm too smart to sleep. Yes, that's it. Stimpy's asleep, and he's an idiot."
    • Smart people think too much to sleep, but stupid people don't think at all.
    • He was probably questioning the concept of sleeping.
    • Another interpretation is that Ren wasn't thinking clearly at that point, due to lack of sleep.
    • IIRC, Ren was wondering just why he was having such a hard time falling asleep. His sleep-starved brain probably came up with the explanation that, if Stimpy's asleep, and Stimpy is an idiot, then you have to be an idiot to be able to sleep. Since Ren was not able to sleep, he must not be an idiot then.
  • In "Big Baby Scam", Ren and Stimpy are starving, and decide to pay two babies $50 bucks to assume their lives as pampered human children. Why, pray tell, couldn't they use the $50 bucks to buy something to eat instead?
    • Rule of Funny. There'd be no need for the episode plot if they did just that.
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    • Besides, they could get more than fifty bucks worth of food if it all went well.
    • For that matter, what were two naked human infants, (granted they could walk and speak intelligently) supposed to go off and do?
  • Which board game does "Purecheesy" in "Sven Hoek" reference? This troper does not live in an English-speaking country, so perhaps it's called something different in my language...
    • It references Parcheesi.
    • Going back to this, what game is "Gamey" supposed to be? Scribble is obviously Scrabble, Monotony is Monopoly, Purecheesy is Parcheesi, and Misery Date is Mystery Date, but Gamey is lost on me.
      • "Gamey" is probably just a generic, open-ended joke that's really more a play on the word "game" than has a specific origin in one particular board game.
  • When Ren and Stimpy pressed the History Eraser Button, they get erased from history. In that case, why is "Ren and Stimpy" written down afterwards, when there never was a Ren and Stimpy?
    • Because it was moving to a logo on a wall and you got to see that get erased.
  • Further... why does the spacecraft HAVE A HISTORY ERASER BUTTON?????
    • 'Cause John K. sez it does. Really though, it's just that kind of show.
  • We all know that Ren can be a complete bastard at times, but at others, he's portrayed as a genuine loving, caring companion to Stimpy. (We can't say that about innocent animals he has no emotional attachment to, but we can clearly say that about Stimpy.) He's shown to, usually, only flip out and hit Stimpy when something major happens, (such as Stimpy giving away eighty-seven million dollars.) Even when Ren was at his worst- such as Stimpy's Fanclub, or Sven Hoek, he never laid a finger on Stimpy, as much as he wanted to. So what did he do to Stimpy in "Ren Seeks Help" that was SO TERRIBLE, it resulted in Stimpy sobbing hysterically and kicking Ren out of the house? Did Ren actually RAPE Stimpy or something? As effed-up as his character is, Ren doesn't seem like the type of person who would do something THAT terrible to his one true, genuine friend.
    • That is why Ren needs to get help, for some reason he went too far that time, or his normal actions got out of hand.
    • It could just be all the years of abuse finally pushed Stimpy so far that a single cherry-tap could break him.
    • According to John Kricfalusi, an argument between the two is what caused it to happen.
    • A missed opportunity in this troper's opinion. A late reveal gag could have explained Ren simply said something incredibly mild like 'Stimpy, you're a bit silly sometimes.' The joke would be a combination of last straw and over-reaction.
  • I know that there was behind-the-scenes drama with John K. and Nick, but how come the DVDs don't have the Nickelodeon name on them at all? They're just branded as "MTV Networks".
    • I believe this was because the gross-out humor of the show went too far for them to use the Nickelodeon name, so they ended up using the MTV Networks name instead.
  • OK, this troper noticed this and it makes Nickelodeon a bunch of hypocrites. OK, I read that one of the three things Nick hated about the show was Ren (the other two were "weird stuff" and "gross closeups"). They hated Ren because he's too mean to Stimpy and they wanted him to be NICE to Stimpy. Now, when John Kricfalusi got fired and Games took over the series... Ren is still mean to Stimpy despite Nickelodeon taking over the show...WHAT THE HECK! WHY DID THEY ALLOW REN TO BE MEAN TO STIMPY DESPITE WHAT THEY SAID BEFORE?
    • As far as one can tell, "Ren should be nice to Stimpy" was never actually a demand the channel made, which would solve that mystery rather handily. Ren was free to continue being unpleasant to Stimpy because they'd never demanded otherwise. Even if that had been the case, however, it wasn't as though Kricfalusi was the only person involved in the production who stood up for it. His firing was linked to a heck of a lot more problems than just the show's content, and even after his departure, there were still plenty of old production members to argue for the show's content.
  • Not to mention the fact that most of Nick's programming has "weird stuff" and "gross closeups". Nick even seems to be trying to make SpongeBob into the next Ren and Stimpy.
  • Something always got me about "Stimpy's Big Day/The Big Shot". Ren and Stimpy missed each other. How come Stimpy didn't invite Ren to come out to Hollywood to live with him? He had 47 million dollars so that would have been more than enough to support them both.


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