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Much like Cartoon Network's other programming, Cow and Chicken is also remembered for its ability to push Cartoon Network's envelope on what can and can't be shown to kids on cable TV. It helps that most of the show's staff used to work on The Ren & Stimpy Show (including show creator David Feiss and such staff members as Bob Camp and Richard Pursel) and are known for appearing on cartoons that are known for dodging the radar (like episode writer Steve Marmel, who also wrote for The Fairly Oddparents and Yin Yang Yo!, or Charlie Adler, who's no stranger in doing voicework on a cable cartoon known for slipping in dubious "adult" jokes)

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General

  • For starters, this show set some kind of record for references to gender-bending and transsexuality, usually in the form of Mom and Dad referring to themselves as the opposite gender or characters frequently engaging in Pronoun Trouble.
  • There are also at least one Panty Shot per episode, from both male and female characters (a lot of people in this town seem to prefer briefs).
  • There's also the obvious implication about how Cow and Chicken were born.
  • Not to mention how Cow's toys are named Piles (hemorrhoids) the Beaver, Crabs (pubic lice — it was supposed to be "Craps," but Cartoon Network's censors turned it down) the Warthog, and Manure (literal crap past the radar) the Bear.
    • Which becomes doubly funny in the episode where someone steals Crabs and then delivers a ransom message by way of throwing bricks with words through the window. As Cow is reading them, she pauses for the briefest moment after 'I've got Crabs'.
  • The Red Guy (apart from the fact that he's Satan. The pilot episode "No Smoking" established that he is the Devil and even has Cerberus, the three-headed hound of Hades, as a pet) was always a champion of butt-related puns ("Ben Panced," "Ivan Panced," "Larry Lackapants," "Baron von Neinlederhosen," "Officer Pantsoffski," "Rear Admiral Floyd," "Mrs. Barederriere," "Geraldo Rearviewa," "Professor Hineybottom," "C.D. Heinie," and "Dr. Hiney," among many other pseudonyms).
    • Perhaps the worst of these, though, was an episode where the Red Guy appears as a sensitivity training school teacher named "Mrs. Beaver". Also, in terms of nudity-related puns, we have his character "Lance Sackless," the host of Canada's Funniest Home Vidiotsnote 
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  • Chicken's wattle, AKA the red dangling flesh growth chickens have beneath their beaks, resembles a scrotum in shape and texture. Best seen during close ups.
Season 1
  • Right off the bat, in the first episode, "Field Trip to Folsom Prison", Cow asked Chicken if he wanted to count her teats.
  • In the episode "The Girls Bathroom", Chicken sneaks into the girls bathroom at night to see what it looks like inside, with Flem and Earl outside. At one point, while in the bathroom, Chicken walks past a tampon machine and then tells the boys through walkie-talkies, "You guys, I think they can buy cigars in here!", to which Flem replies "I knew it!".
    • In the same episode, Dad says something among the lines of "Of course I've been in the girl's bathroom! Why, some of the best times of my life have been spent there! Oh, I could tell you some stories!" Chicken understandably asks to be excused at that point.
  • In "Supermodel Cow":
    • There's a few shots of Cow looking through the display window, made it look like she was looking up the skirts of the mannequins.
    • Chicken was thrown into a mannequin of a girl wearing a bikini. The "top" half of the mannequin fell off and landed on Chicken.
    • One of the magazines Cow appeared in was titled "Cowboy".
  • In "Part Time Job":
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    • Cow applied for a job at a milk factory, where her employer, Dr. Chunks, asked her to supply him with a "milk sample". Cue Cow going into a room and milking into a cup.
    • When Dr. Chunks drank Cow's milk, he stated that he'd never tasted lactation of that quality since he was a baby, a not-so-subtle reference to breastfeeding.
    • Chicken gave Dr. Chunks a milk sample of his own, causing him to spit it in disgust and kick him out. It's never shown where he got the milk from, but how do you think this happened?
    • The chicken farm jingle includes the line, "Nobody flips a boid, like Rear Admiral Floyd!"
    • Chicken yelped out in fear that he was too young to be put on a stick.
  • In the episode "Ballerina Cow", Red Guy is a demolition man, but has to pretend to be a talent scout in order to recruit Cow into destroying his buildings with her dancing. He hands his business card to Cow, and under his title, it says, "HOMEWRECKER." note  Cow points this out and Red responds with, "That's my talent."
  • The title card for "Confused" depicts Cow in masculine army clothes and Chicken gleefully tossing flowers around. Saying that someone is "confused" is a common term for denying their homosexuality. Not to mention their sensitivity trainer is a woman (the Red Guy in drag) named "Mrs. Beaver". And then it ends with Cow and Chicken signing "The Trolly Song," aka "the song that you only know all the words to if you're a flaming homosexual."
  • In the beginning of the episode "Headhunting in Oregon", Chicken is seen sleeping with a magazine that depicts a bottomless woman on the cover. Notably, he panics and swallows the magazine the instant Mom and Dad enter the room to wake up him and Cow.
Season 2
  • In "Sumo Cow", they actually got away with Chicken saying, "Gimme the freakin' money, loser!" when he begins bullying people.
  • The tribe in "Boneless Kite" are called the "As-Wi-Pe" tribe (It was actually spelled out as "asswi-pe" in the closed captioning).
    • Taken another step further, if you sat around to see the end credits, where a walla group for the tribe had the name spelled out as "Asswipe Walla".
  • The literal carpet-munching Badass Biker women in the episode "Buffalo Gals." In fact, most of that episode was packed with lesbian stereotyping (the biker who takes Cow under her wing is named "Munch Kelly," her calling card is a carpet sample with the female symbol [the cross with a circle on top] on it, Mom telling Dad that they're not after him as they chew on the living room carpet, and the girls playing softball with Cow saying, "I'll pitch and you catch!"). Sadly, the radar caught up with this episode, thanks to a Moral Guardian parent who wrote in and complained about it. It was pulled from rotation (and omitted on the Australian and Thai DVD releases, as well as North American streaming platforms, such as Netflix, iTunes and Amazon) and replaced with the episode "Orthodontic Police." However, it can still now be seen on many video websites, including YouTube ([1])
  • In "Journey To The Center Of Cow," Chicken is river rafting through Cow's stomachs when he comes across and enzyme that looks like a banjo-playing hillbilly who tell him he's got "a purdy beak." Later, when the beautiful female enzymes of the third stomach are fawning over Chicken, one of them fondles his waddle, which looks remarkably similar to a pair of testicles.
  • One of Cow's cheerleader chants in "The Bad News Plastic Surgeons" is "Two! Four! Six! Nine!"note . They would get away with this chant yet again in "Snail Boy", courtesy of Flem and Earl, who are dressed up as cheerleaders. Later, in the former episode, when the Red Guy is getting a pat-down from the police, he sounds a little... excited.
  • In "Yard Sale", after the Red Guy buys Cow and Chicken's house and starts mining on it, he declares it to be a "STRIP mining operation". Cue him acting like a stripper.
  • One episode features The Red Guy taking on a pirate persona, which also served as the episode's name. What was said name, you ask? Capt. Butz Pirate.note  Semi-averted in that this didn't quite make it past the radar, as the episode was later renamed to "Pirate Lessons", presumably after the censors caught on.

Season 3

  • The episode "Horn Envy" has Cow going to extreme lengths to enhance her tiny horns to impress a boy. Why no, it doesn't have anything to do with A-Cup Angst (it helps that this episode was written by a woman). And if all of that was too subtle, the title card features Cow wearing a bra on her head and stuffing it with toilet paper!
  • In "Me An' My Dog", Chicken at one point slaps a "Missing" poster for Cow's imaginary dog, Kevin, to the back of an obese woman sitting next to a man at a diner. The woman gets angry and slaps the man sitting next to her, apparently thinking that the man groped her.
  • In "Lost at Sea", Flem and Earl have a dream about getting merried to Cow... at the same time. They have a baby that looks like Earl, but with cow udders.

Season 4

  • In "Cow's a Beauty", Cow loses her bikini bottoms during the swimsuit part of the beauty pageant. Dad promptly uses his foot to cover Chicken's eyes and tells his son not to look.
  • The final episode, "The Ballad Of Cow And Chicken", got away with a quick castration joke.
    Red: "The fight was fixed, I was there that day!"
    (Joe the Dog socks Red square in the face)
    Joe the Dog: "Never say 'fixed' 'round a dog!"
    Teacher: "...He'd say."
    Red: (slurring) "You're right there, Joe—I should have said 'spayed'."
    (Red tumbles over and passes out, Joe does a quick Aside Glance towards the audience)
Comic Books
  • In two issues of the old Cartoon Network Presents comic books (they were the precursors to the later and better-known Cartoon Network Starring and Cartoon Cartoons comic books), the word "Hell" is slipped in, uncensored.
    • In the story "Recycling Daze", Chicken, Flem and Earl come to Red Guy's junk yard, where the sign reads, "We'll give you a hell of a deal".
    • Meanwhile, in the story "Mayhem on the Midway", Red Guy introduces Cerberus as "The Three-Headed Hound of Hell".
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