Dot: To make a cheese sandwich?
Wakko: To make the FOX censors cry?
To say that Animaniacs got crap past the radar would be like saying Florida gets a bit damp during hurricane season. The way this show contended with censors over content was more like total war, with the radar hopelessly outmatched. Though there were times where the censors won, like when they toned down the violence against Sam Fondlesome/Dan Anchorman on "Broadcast Nuisance"note and banned the sexually-charged Minerva Mink cartoons, it should be noted that these were Pyrrhic victories and didn't affect the overall outcome of the war.
Backed by Steven Spielberg (who, at that time, was the 500-pound gorilla in the animation world) and Warner Bros.' decades-long belief that the idea of cartoons being strictly for children was for other studios, the writing staff considered it a day wasted when they didn't push the envelope and get at least one Parental Bonus or risque Late to the Punchline moment into the show. The material was snappy, the joke-writing knew how to entertain young and old alike, and Censor Decoys were deployed in a Zerg Rush. Even the staff members at the time were amazed at what they got away with...and the fans who grew up with this show in the 1990s are as well. Besides this list, there are many online articles and videos dedicated to showing all the jokes that viewers understand now that they didn't when they were younger.
General rule of thumb when watching (or rewatching) this show: If any of the characters (Yakko especially) says, "Good night, everybody" after a particularly dubious line, it means, "We got one over on the censors...again!"
Pinky and the Brain can be found there.
- Speaking of Censor Decoy blitzes, here is a deleted cel, from the cartoon "King Yakko", of Yakko distracting Prime Minister Nurse with his face wedged snugly in her chest.
- The lyric "We're zany to the max, there's baloney in our slacks!" from the theme song. Uhhh...
- The bouncing car up-and-down, up-and-down, up-and-down, up-and-down at the Drive-In Theater in "Drive-Insane". There was even a woman with a child who had to drag him away so he wouldn't ask questions about what was (allegedly) going on inside the car.
- Later in that same episode, there is a shot of the Warners jumping on Frau Hassenfeffer inside the car after Dr. Scratchansniff gets kicked out of the vehicle. Wakko in particular is laid out in a very... comfortable manner on her chest.
- At one point Dot and Wakko are looking Frau Hassenfeffer with big, toothy smiles. Frau is afraid they're gonna bite her, and Dot says "Not unless you want us to."
- In their version of Jack and the Beanstalk, Wakko plays the girl-harp, electing a sound that could charitably be called laughter, and ending in a sultry "That tickles!"
- This one, and it's even the page image:Yakko: Number-one Sister, dust for prints!
(time passes; pan over to Dot carrying Prince)
Dot: I found Prince!
Yakko: No, no, no, fingerprints!
Dot: (stares briefly at a grinning Prince, then back at Yakko) I don't think so. (tosses Prince out a nearby porthole)
- In their interview with the Nostalgia Critic, two of the three writers admitted that even they didn't know how they got away with that one, while another claimed to have no memory of it whatsoever.
- And they were just short of blatant in "King Yakko":Prime Minister Nurse: Your Highness, it's time to meet your Cabinet.
Yakko (to an actual cabinet): Hi there, how are you doing?
Prime Minister Nurse: Sire?
Yakko: Wait 'til we're alone...
- And in a clever Stealth Pun, when talking to the aforementioned cabinet, Yakko opens one of its drawers and peeks into it. And since he was talking to it like he would a lady, he was essentially peeking into her drawers!
- Here's another: Near the end of the episode, the Warners return to the castle. After Yakko kisses the Prime Minister Nurse's hand and Dot curtsies to her, Wakko extends his hand out as if to shake hands with her. As soon as the Nurse extends out her hand, Wakko hooks one of his legs into it, leans closer to her and gives her a very suggestive look with his tongue hanging out.
- In Calling Me a Logarithm style, Yakko and his sibs react with horror to a word that only sounds dirty a number of times:Beethoven: I am Ludwig Van Beethoven! Vorld famous composer, und pianist!
Yakko: You're a WHAT?!
Beethoven: A PIANIST!
Yakko: (smooch) Goodnight everybody!
Beethoven (confused): But zat is vat I am! A pianist!
Yakko: I think we've heard enough out of you! (proceeds to wash out his mouth with soap)
- When the Warners are forced to attend educational classes:Teacher: Yakko, can you conjugate?
Yakko: Who, ME? I've never even kissed a girl.
Teacher: No, no, no! It's easy. I'll conjugate with you.
Yakko: (to the audience) Goodnight, everybody!
Teacher: You don't understand. I'll go to the board and show you.
Yakko: (to the audience) Don't look.
- In the same episode as above, Ms. Flamiel, the teacher, pulls a pen from out of her dress to write F's on the heads of Yakko, Wakko and Dot.Yakko: Ooh, what else you got in there?
- In one episode, Dr. Scratchensniff got a parking ticket and Yakko was his legal representation in traffic court. There was a bit of a running gag that was obvious enough for us kids to get:Judge: Have you subpoenaed the witness?
Yakko: Have I what?
Judge: Subpoenaed! Subpoenaed! Have you subpoenaed the witness?!
Yakko: I most certainly have not! You should be ashamed of yourself for even suggesting it!
(later, while he's questioning the meter maid that gave the ticket)
Yakko: Why did you give Dr. Scratchensniff a ticket?
Meter Maid: His parking meter had expired. That's a violation of the Burbank Penal Code.
Yakko: The what?
Meter Maid: The penal code! The penal code!
Yakko (to the judge): You know, the two of you oughta get together.
- When the Warners are forced to attend educational classes:
- In the Rita and Runt short "FrankenRunt", Rita sneaks into the lab and crawls up the operation table where Runt was strapped to. She also crawled under the sheets, then pops her head out above Runt to face him.Rita: Having fun?
- Also, this exchange later in the same episode:Runt: Gee, that Dracula sure was a weird guy.
Rita: What was with that bat fetish, anyway?
- Two words - Minerva Mink. When a character gets created for the sole purpose of doing an homage to the old Tex Avery "Wolfy" shorts and their over-the-top Wild Takes, it's bound to have some crap getting past the radar.
- In the first Minerva short, the blind date that her friend set her up with turned out to be a very good greaser. Greasers often have a cigarette dangling from their mouth, but the censors wouldn't allow it. Solution? Show him put a lollipop in his mouth in his first appearance and then have the lollipop stick dangling from his mouth like a cigarette.
- It is also a subversion. Sadly, the radar caught up with this series and, outside of some quick appearances, the Minerva cartoons only lasted two episodes. On the other hand, there were many Minerva comics, where even humans are aroused by her.
- In "Hercule Yakko", Minerva does a wild take upon seeing a photo of Marita and her large diamond.
- There were a few scenes when Hello Nurse would be called to escort the Warners away; Yakko and Wakko would sometimes be staring at her breasts.
- Or:Yakko (practicing a polite greeting with Hello Nurse): "How do you do... that thing with your mouth?!"
- In one episode, the Warners constantly foil a hunter's attempts to shoot their pet turkey.
Yakko: We're not pheasants! We're not even birds! But I'd like to give you a bird! Here! (Wakko stuffs a turkey down his jacket)
- Or when Beethoven calls them peasants:
Minerva Mink: Give me the bird!Dot: We can't, it's a family show. note
- Also done in "This Pun For Hire" while fighting over a bird statue.
- How did this get past the radar in "Taming of The Screwy"?(while the Warners screw around with a sculpture of Dr. Freud on Scratchanstiff's desk)
Wakko: Ooh, a giant Pez dispenser! (to Yakko) Want one?
Dr. Scratchansniff: Stop playing with my bust!
Yakko: (aside glance, smooch) Goodnight, everybody!
- It's not just the Warners getting in on the action. In "Slappy Goes Walnuts", a video explained:"The squirrel likes to hide his nuts in many odd places where the sun doesn't shine on 'em."
- From "Never Give Up Hope" (Wakko's Wish):
- THIS episode, "My Mother The Squirrel", is this trope all over. Highlights include this gem:Slappy: (having had enough of the baby bird hiding under her butt) "This thing is starting to become a pain in the... well, you know."
- And:Skippy: You want me to bring him back to his nest?
Slappy: No, Skippy... I'm actually starting to enjoy it.
Skippy: Goodnight, everybody!
- In "Wakko's America", Wakko gets a Daily Double in classroom Jeopardy!. When asked if he wants to wager all of his money or part of it, he answers with "I'll blow the wad!" As he said it, the facial expressions on Yakko and Dot made it seem like even they weren't sure they'd get away with it.
- 'Course, it could have been missed because "blow the wad" is also real gambling slang.
- Even outside of gambling, it's a standard English idiom, and the term comes from the way old firearms would have to be reloaded.
- It also might have made it because Wakko's delivery of the line and accent make it a little hard to discern exactly what he says after "the".
- 'Course, it could have been missed because "blow the wad" is also real gambling slang.
- There's a really quick shot of Wakko sipping from a straw stuck in a barrel labeled "Grog" during "The Ballad of Magellan". That's right, a children's cartoon show managed to include a Funny Background Event that beer commercials still aren't allowed to depict.
- Dot's worst "Where the hell were the censors on this one?" moment was in the Pocadotas bit:John Smith (holding his hand out to shake Dot's): This is how we say "hello."
Dot (with an expression and tone that screams suggestiveness) Wanna see how we do it?
Yakko: (mmm-wah) G'night everybody!
- Also in that short:Dot: [I'm] painting with the colors of the passing wind.
Wakko: Did you say 'passing wind'?!
Dot: OH FOR THE LOVE OF HUMANITY, DO NOT GO THERE!
- There is also the moment from "The Three Muske-Warners" where Yakko is doing a presentation on Squeezie Cheese and Dot is dressed in a showgirl's outfit with a blonde wig while presenting an oddly phallic shaped bottle of cheese paste, she then hugs it and it sprays up in the air.
- Also in that short:
- The Warners have defeated today's villain by casting him into a giant chocolate Easter bunny, so they donate him/it to the children's home, where he's carried off by a crowd of children. Then:Yakko: "Wait 'till they get to the creamy filling!" (waggles eyebrows)
- "Oh Lake Titicaca, yes Lake Titicaca / Why do we sing of its fame? / Lake Titicaca, yes Lake Titicaca / 'Cause we really like saying its name! Titicaca!"
- One of Brain's best moments: "I'd say puberty was inordinately kind to you."
- Hello Nurse gets in on it, too, in "This Pun for Hire":Hello Nurse: How come I always get the booby prize?Dot: I'm not touching that one.
- Also in "This Pun For Hire", when Minerva Mink appears, Wakko starts pounding on bongo drums he grabbed in the previous scene with a pleased look on his face and screeching like a monkey. Yakko's reaction was no better.
- Come on you guys! We're gonna play "truth or dare."
- Will Hays tells Googily Goop to take off her suggestive outfit — cue "Goodnight, everybody".
- From the same short, Wakko's nose has sprung to life and has taken residence in Googily Goop's picnic basket, Wakko asks if she's seen his nose and she replies "Oh do you mean the cherry? It's right in here" as she pulls out a pie which the nose pops out of and the censor tells her to watch what she says.
- In "Temporary Insanity", Wakko eats Mr. Plotz's paperweight.Thaddeus: And give me back my paperweight!
Wakko: Okay, but you'll have to wait a while.
Yakko: (blows kiss) Goodnight everybody!
- In "Take My Siblings, Please", there's a scene where Yakko summons a group of busty chorus girls to "romp" with him. Bad enough already, but then comes a later bit where all the ladies are walking away groaning in exhaustion. Yakko, being Getting Crap Past the Radar personified, just has to make it sound even worse.Yakko: C'mon! One more romp? I'll even get in front this time!
Wakko: Warner Brothers would be very unhappy with you. They'd sue your pants off. (Pulls troll's trousers, snapping them back, troll grabs crotch area and moans in pain)Wakko: You should eat my brother. He's way meatier than I am (Cut to the Chorus girls tiredly walking away from Yakko's romping)
- Wakko's interaction with the troll in the episode has a couple of... well... endowment jokes.
Wakko: My bottom's sore from all this romping.
- Same episode, Wakko excuses himself (before Yakko summons the chorus girls)
- And before that, Dot chides the troll saying that she can't be eaten because she's a little skinny thing. Her skirt falls down exposing her underwear, then she pulls it back up quickly with a giggle. The troll seemed to enjoy that as well.
- And then there's the "Package" conversation. Unfortunately, the video was pulled, but it went something like this:Dr. Scratchansniff: As you know, when nature calls, you have to pick up the phone and say "Hello, I got your message. I've got a package for you."Wakko: "I've got a package for you"? Excuse me?Wakko: Yeah, but I never said "package"!
- Yet another example:Hello Nurse: (singing) I don't know what to say the monkeys won't do.Yakko: For a nickel, I'll give you a clue.
- In "Garage Sale of the Century", Wakko has broken Papa Bear's (the same Papa Bear who appeared in a series of Chuck Jones cartoons unofficially known as "The Dysfunctional Bear Family" cartoons) garage opener and he tells him he can fix it, when he puts it back together he experiments with it and discovers he can move things up and down. Two women in skirts walk by. He gives a sly smile and wiggles his eyebrows, pointing it at them. Before he can press the button Dot stops him and says "That'll be enough of that." Yakko says "Every boy needs a hobby."
- During "A Christmas Plotz", Yakko (as the Ghost of Christmas Future) performs an elaborate musical number, complete with chorus girls:"Let me know when those costumes get heavy!" (growls suggestively)
Yakko: Hellooo nurses! Say, why don'tcha stop by the Warner Tower so I can show you my stamp collection?Chorus Girl: But Yakko, you don't have a stamp collection!Yakko: Alright, then, you can open my mail.
- Even earlier, Yakko talks with one of the chorus girls during the musical.
- One Slappy Squirrel short featured Slappy arguing, with her usual aplomb, with a boorish woman in a movie theater.Boorish Woman: Well, I never!
Slappy: Well, you should; it's fun!
- In another Slappy Squrriel short, Candy Chipmunk makes a game show appearance and wins a wet bar, among other things.
- During the song, "A Quake!" (which is audacious enough, airing a jaunty musical number about the highly-destructive 1994 Northridge earthquake a year after it happened) Yakko makes this clever pun.Yakko: Whose fault? Whose fault? The San Andreas Fault! 'Cause Mr. Richter can't predict 'er kicking our asphalt!
- From the same song:I ran outside with neighbors
Their faces filled with shock
Mostly 'cause I'm standing there
In nothing but my socks!
- From the same song:
- At one point in "Meatballs or Consequences", the Warners ask The Grim Reaper if he'll be their father and they suggest fun things to do together; at one point, Yakko mentions watching the adult channel together — a suggestion that gets Yakko and Wakko to wiggle their eyebrows suggestively and shout "Hello Nurse!"
- This little bit from "Slappy Goes Walnuts":Skippy: That was just like in "Prehistoric Slappy"!Slappy: Actually, it was "Cave Girl Slappy", 1932, directed by Piz Peeners; ah, but let's not be anal...
- "Anal" in this sense is short for "anal-retentive"—meaning, "Overly meticulous" or "Prone to making detailed corrections." Not sexual, but it will still capture the ire or perverted interest of those whose minds are in the gutter.
- Anticipating the follow-up question, 'Piz Peener' (dirty though it sounds) is an homage to classic Looney Tunes short director Friz Freleng.
- In the Warners cartoon, "Ragamuffins", after the bakery owner eats the Warners' candy car, Yakko gets angry and yells out some inaudible yet questionable dialogue represented by a flurry of horns, possibly implying that Yakko is swearing at their boss.
- In the Goodfeathers episode "Ta Da Dump, Ta Da Dump, Ta Da Dump Dump Dump" Pesto accuses Squit of calling him ditzy when he said dizzy. When he rants about being called a "dim witted blonde bombshell here to titillate him," he inflates his chest to an enormous size.
- Goodfeathers segments occasionally use "coo" in place of dirtier words - in "Goodfeathers: The Beginning," Pesto even says "hey, coo you!"
- In a Tiny Toons cameo from "Noah's Lark," Noah is checking in the animals two-by-two, and has this conversation:Buster & Babs: Buster and Babs Bunny. No relation.
Noah: Who am I to judge?
- And then, in comes the two mice, ie, Pinky and the Brain with Pinky dressed in drag.
- Upon finding out the Warners are in Hell, Wakko tears his way up a spiral staircase back to Earth, gathers up a snowball and then heads back down and tosses it onto the ground, where it promptly melts.Wakko: They were right — it didn't have a chance!
- And then Yakko's "Freeze Frame," which proceeds to freeze Hell over.
- In the Pinky and the Brain segment "Meet John Brain", Larry Kling is interviewing Suzanne Slimmers on her "Thigh Monster" invention. When asked how she stays so thin, she replies, "Thigh Monster, of course!" She then demonstrates how to use it: she presses her elbows between it, making her breasts bounce in the process. Kling remarks, "I could watch this for hours!"
- And in "Baloney and Kids":Baloney: (after a buxom assistant has brought a blackboard onscreen) Wanna sing the Imagine Song?
Yakko: Uhhh... not really. Say, is that cute girl coming back?
Baloney: Cute girl? Goshems, Yakko, I don't know what you're talking about!
Yakko: There's a shocker.
- In "Our Final Space Cartoon, We Promise" they not only make a blatant butt joke but lampshade how much the show's getting away with. When the Warners wake up from suspended animation:Computer: Please, return to your sleeping chambers. The process does not begin until we are close to Pluto.
Yakko: No thanks. If I sleep any longer, I'll be close to Goofy.
Wakko: Just as long as we don't get too close to Uranus.
Dot: (pulls a disgusted face) I thought we discussed cutting that line.
Yakko: We did.
- Another Uranus Is Showing joke at the end of the song "Yakko's Planets", which left out that planet in its lyrics just so we can get this brilliant piece of dialog:Yakko: Well, that's our solar system.
Wakko: You forgot Uranus.
Yakko: Goodnight, everybody!
- "Survey Ladies":Yakko: So what are we going to get Dr. Scratchy?
Dot: Ooooooh, how about an outfit from Oedipus Rex Men's Wear?
Yakko: Nah, his mom would hate those.
Wakko: What about some Freudian Slips?Yakko: Nah, he makes his own!
- In the same scene:
- This is even funnier if you recall the "Stop playing with my bust!" joke from Temporary Insanity.
- One episode has the Animaniacs collect pantyhose for the war effort. And who comes to collect them but J. Edgar Hoover (the FBI director who may or may not have crossdressed, which, at the time of Hoover's term as FBI director, was considered taboo).
- In a faux advertisement for a soda called "Soak", a group of women are excitedly watching Flavio as he works and drinks the soda. The tagline of the ad is "Come on, get soaked!"
- The Macarena parody "Macadamia Nut" features some Grade-A booty shaking from Dot, Hello Nurse and Minerva Mink
- Guardin' the Garden has Adam and Eve in it... naked, of course. While no startling body parts are shown, the fact they have clearly attractive Fanservice characters on screen in the nude is surprising. Using Biblical characters is itself a little surprising.
- In the Betty Boop parody cartoon, the warners sing a theme song lampshading how Boop was considered too risqué at her time... with Dot outright singing the words "She's a tramp!"
- In "The Carpool" after continuously switching seats:Ed: Just pick your seats.Wakko: Will they let us do that on TV?Yakko: Goodnight everybody!
- In "Moby or Not Moby," Yakko tells Captain Ahab that "[he's] gotta go on shore-leave more often." Or, in more direct and common parlance, Ahab needs to get laid.
- In "One Flew Over the Cuckoo Clock", one of the talk shows Slappy sees while looking for The WB channel is The Jerry Springer Show.
- As CR pointed out, there's probably a special reason Katie Ka-Boom has such violent outbursts all the time...
- (end credits roll: Yakko, Wakko and Dot appear at the tower door for The Stinger)Dot: There's that smell again!...(They look down at something out of frame)All: Ew.