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Radar / Rocko's Modern Life

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Somehow, this one managed to make it three seasons past the radar...though it did come back in the revival movie

"Mary had a steamboat, the steamboat had a bell, Mary went to heaven and the steamboat went to heeeey, Rocko... cattle!"

Despite being on Nickelodeon, a kids’ networknote , Rocko's Modern Life had a virtual laundry list of "adult" jokes and innuendo that, for the most part, got by without the censors intervening. This show did a better, subtler job of getting away with these kind of jokes than its contemporaries at the time (including John Kricfalusi's The Ren & Stimpy Show, although that had a bigger emphasis on shock value) and is a forerunner (along with Animaniacs) to how most works from the late 1990s to the present (especially late 2000s/early 2010s Cartoon Network shows) get away with dubious content.


Here is the video of this site's Top 40 past the radar jokes.

  • "No Pain No Gain":
    • There's a scene where Heffer was sitting at a weight training station with his back to the camera. All we see is his arms moving back and forth. A woman comes up and asks if he needs any help, to which he replies. "Yeah" then holds up a plate, a pair of chopsticks, and says, "These plastic things can't cut my burrito."
    • At the gym, there's a scene where a guy lifts weights, but since they're too heavy, we get a wonderful graphic, gory shot of his arms falling off, complete with blood and bones.
      • What is even more surprising is that the show has had a TV-Y rating since 1997 and shows with a Y-rating usually don't show blood unless the character is getting a minor wound and almost never shows gore.
    • When Rocko and Heffer play basketball, Heffer throws the ball so hard that it breaks down the wall of the showers, revealing naked women who cover themselves in embarrassment. One of them isn't even bothering covering her breasts.
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    • One of the exercise machine levels for Rocko is Deliverance, complete with "squeal like a pig" (which here is only tickling a pig with a feather).
    • At the sauna and juice bar, when Heffer accidentally makes Rocko spill his drink, he tries to clean him up by swiping Mrs. Bighead's towel, which results in Mrs. Bighead naked and forced to flee using a piano to cover herself.
  • "Sand in Your Navel":
    • Rocko chases a bird that kidnapped Spunky. The bird flies over a nude beach. Rocko slips out of his swim trunks and goes in (but not before a blue-shaded censor slaps a black box over his butt).
    • The hippo lady asks Rocko to help apply lotion. He agrees but the lotion makes the hippo slippery and he winds up in Marshmallow Hell. It's taken Up to Eleven because he is literally stuck between the Hippo's breasts. She angrily throws him into the water and when he climbs out he has a buoy in his shorts.
    • A crab exclaims a single phrase in Spanish before running away: "Oi! Mi culito me pica!" It translates to "My ass itches".
  • "Bedfellows":
    • There is a scene where Rocko is kept up all night with Heffer's snoring. He solves the problem by using a cattle prod on Heffer's behind, and Heffer says "Mmmmm, Sheila?"
    • Heffer throws a nudist party with Bev taking a perverted interest in it (and even had her own at the end of the episode).
  • In "To Heck and Back", Heffer goes to Hell. In Hell, there is a sign that has the word "HECK" on it. Underneath the C and the K, there are Ls. Then, when Heffer corrects Peaches about where he is, Peaches slaps a hand over Heffer's mouth and says, "Censors!".
  • "Flu-in-You-Enza":
    • The episode features a scene in a hospital, where a call for "Doctor Philiac, Doctor Ned Crow-Philiac" is heard.
    • The crazy doctor Ben Dova (who, according to the hippo nurse, is a mental patient who was supposed to be strapped to the bed) reaching down (below the black) and asking him to cough, then doing something to him that involved a rubber glove and ended with Rocko walking shakily out of the doctor's office. Later, Dr. Dova appears as a pro wrestler, and is introduced as "the proctologist of pain".
    • The bluejay smoking in the waiting room, then coughing up his heart and dying. You can also a bloody knife and chainsaw in the doctor's office, and a blood-soaked operating table. The radar pretty much said, "Screw it!" — and this was only in the third episode.
    • After Rocko swallows the comically large pill he got from the doctor, he reads the jar and discovers too late a warning on the back saying that the pill was not to be taken orally, indicating that it was actually a suppository.
    • Not to mention the name of the episode itself. Think about it...
  • "Sucker for the Suck-O-Matic":
    • Right after Rocko, Heffer and Spunky leave the house, there are naked fairies flying around some flowers. When the Suck-O-Matic sucks it up, a fat, shaved gopher in underwear is seen holding binoculars, looking up and panting.
    • One bit has Rocko pointing at a rebus-like design that shows a dog minus two baseballs as he says, "Gee, maybe we should try the neutering device later."
    • Another joke like it was made in "Ed Good, Rocko Bad" when an unnamed dog says "Somebody neuter me!"
    • The episode opens with Heffer watching a Presidential motorcade that ends up being shot at by a gunman. The reporter also says "Oh my God", which is unheard of in kids shows. He then turns the TV off stating it was boring. To make things even worse, the scene is a reference to the radio coverage of a little incident called the JFK Assasination.
    • Heffer says "My God!" towards the end of the episode.
  • "Carnival Knowledge":
  • In "Hair Licked", Rocko enlists Filburt to take a picture of him for the newspaper so he can get a promotion at his job. Before Rocko and Heffer enter Filburt's trailer, several women leave (and all that's shown are their legs). When Heffer comes in, he says, whilst blushing: "I spilled my puffies..." It didn't help that said women's legs had the uber-high, Jessica Rabbit-esque high heels... and they were followed out by a pair of bare rabbit legs.
  • There was also the recurring joke of Heffer's stepbrother, Peter, being Ambiguously Gay— like his introduction in "Who's for Dinner?", where he is seen going to cheerleader practice dressed in a female cheerleader's outfit, and his father screams while his mother says, "We were afraid to tell you." Then in "An Elk for Heffer", where Heffer is chosen to go through his manhood rite of passage, Heffer asks his dad, George, why Peter can't do it. Peter sarcastically replies, "Oh, yeah, like I'm really gonna do it," then adds, "I'm going out." George suspiciously says, "Where are you going?" Cut to Peter in a tutu and ballet tights, grumbling, "Here we go again: judge, judge, judge."
  • On one of the DVD sets' during the "How to Draw" feature for Filburt, Joe Murray states that Filburt wears glasses because "He touched himself too much when he was younger."
  • While nearly the entirety of "Leap Frogs" was this trope because of the premise involving Mrs. Bighead attempting to satisfy her needs by cheating on her husband with Rocko (at least before it was pulled from rotation, though it's now on the Shout! Factory DVD set)note  pay attention to the nature documentary Bev and Rocko watch near the beginning. The female frog in that show has breasts with nipples in plain sight.
    • When Rocko and Bev are in her bedroom, Rocko gets accidentally thrown into the ceiling fan, getting his fur shaved clean off. When Bev catches him after he falls down, she looks at him seductively and says: "You shaved! ...For me?" Now what does that remind you of?
    • Bev attempts to spike Rocko's drink with spanish fly, which has powerful aphrodisiac effects.
    • There's the scene of Rocko walking around in underwear and Bev walking around in a bath robe. Just as Bev is going to pay him for doing chores for her, Mr. Bighead comes home, as Bev is quick to kiss Rocko at that moment, wanting him to get the wrong idea. Rocko then literally falls apart in pieces as he nervously try to convince him that it's "not what he thinks". Yeesh. No wonder this episode got pulled off the air.
    • Another scene had Bev ask Rocko what he thinks about her eyes. Guess what the eyes are supposed to be stand-in for?
      Bev: Rocko, what do you think about my eyes? Hmmm? (Cartoonishly shoves eyes at Rocko.)
      Rocko: Yeah, they're...lovely.
      Bev: Touch them!
      Rocko: (Intimidated, he does) Oh... yes... Very soft and ...veiny.
    • In the beginning of the episode, Bev is shown watching a romance movie on the TV. The movie ends with the characters french kissing.
  • Throughout the series, the main characters' favorite fast food chain is called "Chokey Chicken"note  — until midway through season four, when the censors finally caught on. It was changed to "Chewy Chicken" although a concept art for "Static Cling" shows it's back to being called "Chokey Chicken" again.
  • "Canned":
    • One of the jobs Rocko takes on is that of a "specialty phone operator", which turns out to be a phone sex line, portrayed by him on the phone saying "Oh baby, oh baby, oh baby!" in an unenthusiastic monotone to somebody on the other end. This was made even clearer by a poster hanging in Rocko's cubicle reading "Be hot, be naughty, be courteous", and made clearer still when they showed both his and Mrs. Bighead's Oh, Crap! reaction when they recognized each other's voices (and with them both immediately hanging up).
    • Rocko's first job after he gets fired from Super-Lot-O-Comics is a tattoo artist where he gets swallowed by a rhino known as Mr. Horny.note  Yeah, that doesn't sound wrong out of context...
  • "Closet Clown" was just one big Does This Remind You of Anything? that shows Ed's clown obsession as either an allegory of being a cross-dresser or being a homosexual. The others aren't quite so happy about the fact that Rocko likes Rainbows, though.
    • The movie even has a "Clown Bar" visible in the background on Ed's drive home.
  • "Hut Sut Raw":
    • In once scene, Rocko is seen picking berries from a bush and then accidentally grabs a bear's berries, causing the best to run in pain with his hands on his crotch. Sadly, this was one of many innuendos that only made it past the radar the first time around. The reruns in America have the scene cut just as Rocko is about to pick the berries from the bush, but a lot of overseas airings (some of which from countries where the censorship is a lot tighter than what America dishes out — i.e., the UK and Australia have the scene uncut.note )
    • Filburt goes to a lake to get some water when he sees a bunch of fish about ready to kiss. It then cuts to Filburt looking very embarrassed. A few minutes later, Filburt returns to the group and tells them not to drink the water since the "fish are dating" in it.
    • There is a camper with a bumper sticker that says "Take my guns away and I'll kill you."
  • "Schnit Heads" (which, much like "Who Gives a Buck" note  and "Carnival Knowledge" note  is a very dubious pun that no sane kids' show would consider using for humor) is basically the writers saying, "Hey, how much sausage innuendo can we get past before the censors notice?" as well as an old-school Simpsons-style satire on organized religion (or cults).
  • The Credit Card Plot episode "Who Gives a Buck?" — of which the title itself is questionable at best — features Heffer watching a television channel called 'The All Scottish Show'. When the name of the show appears on the screen, the acronym it forms can clearly be seen.
    • When Rocko has to buy Spunky a new dog bowl, the sleazy salesman invites he and Heffer to take a ride on a train through the store with the stipulation that they must "sit" "Doggy Style".
  • In "Rocko's Happy Sack", during Rocko's tirade about how he went through hell to beat the supermarket sale deadline and should pay the $1.50 for groceries instead of $150.00, one of the things he mentioned is being "threatened by your Gestapo security guards" (even though that scene never appeared in the episode). Kinda tame, but these days, you'd never see a Nickelodeon cartoon make a light reference to Nazi Germany (the Gestapo were Hitler's secret police force). There's also Rocko speaking to a customer, who unknowingly has Spunky in his shopping cart, cased in plastic. The customer goes on a rant that the "world would be much better without sea mammals". Another customer, who happens to be a gorilla, overhears this, gets mad because his manatee wife is crying her eyes out at such abusive speech, and beats the jerk up.
  • In "Rocko's Happy Vermin", the episode where all of Ed's bugs crash at Rocko's house, there is a scene where a female caterpillar turns into a butterfly. Her boyfriend then turns into a screw, symbolizing that he got "screwed" over.
  • In "Bye Bye, Birdy", Filburt's pet bird Turdy at one point snatches off Mrs. Bighead's bikini top, causing her to smile suggestively and say, "Such a naughty bird".
  • "The Big Question":
    • Dr. Hutchison's mother, the widow Hutchison, doesn't want a turtle and cat together, paralleling some people's disdain for any marriage that isn't considered "traditional" or "normal" (interracial, homosexual, inter-religious, etc). It turns out that it's because she was married to one, who is Paula's father. She hates turtles because she thinks they're irresponsible and don't care about their children. The implications pile up.
    • The same goes for Grandpa Wolfe's "racism" toward the "beaver" (Rocko) and how Heffer can't tell Grandpa Wolfe that Rocko is a wallaby, because Grandpa Wolfe hates wallabies even more than beavers, reflecting the inbred racism in old folks.
    • Furthermore, at the end of the first part, while at Hutchinson's class reunion, Filbert had expressed concern that she and her homecoming king had feelings for each other. To this, they both (and Rocko, who goes along without knowing why they are) begin laughing hysterically. It's never explained in the episode why they wouldn't be together, the implication is that the king is gay (you notice how long he's holding Rocko after the fact, right?)
  • In "Gutter Balls", upon being asked by Ed Bighead if Rocko and his friends would like to go bowling, Rocko tells him that they are already playing a game. Rocko shows him a paddle, and the camera pans over to a board game with a monkey in the middle of it. They were literally playing Spank The Monkey.
  • In "The Good, the Bad, and the Wallaby", a farmer puts a milking machine on Heffer, and he receives very sexual pleasure out of it. At the climax, he gets stars in his eyes and he falls backwards. In the original version, he had hearts in his eyes, but Nickelodeon didn't allow it. In fact, they had no real problem with the scene itself. They just made the suggestion of using stars instead of hearts. In a later scene near the end of the episode, Heffer hugs the milk machine and says he'll miss it. The overall scenes were later cut in America for reruns and are unfortunately not on the DVD.
  • "Road Rashed" has Rocko and Heffer going on a road trip, and eventually find themselves at a No-Tell Motel (named No Tell Motel, no less) to spend the night. When Rocko requests a room for the night, the clerk asks "The whole night?" then whistles in amazement. The next shot shows the outside of the hotel, with Heffer dreaming about Sheila, and the sounds of bed springs rocking. Rocko angrily calls his name in annoyance.note  The clerk also states they had had a "premature departure" (slang for premature ejaculation), and is also quite clearly stereotypically Asian. Quite tellingly, this scene was actually censored in reruns.
  • In "Clean Lovin'", Rocko's dog, Spunky, feels attracted to a mop, and when he first sees it, he approaches it while dragging his butt on the floor. While he does this, a couple of scenes are cut in-between; the first is a train entering a tunnel, and the second is someone putting white-ish creamy butter on a piece of toast. Then he touches the mop rather suggestively. Yeah, he really likes that mop...
    • When Rocko later looks for Spunky, he hears squeaking and panting from a closet. Upon opening it, he sees Spunky having a very satisfied look on his face, embracing the mop. What makes it worse is that he made a bottle of detergent nearby tip over and stain the floor, making it look like a puddle of cum beneath him. Rocko berates him for this.
    Rocko: What were you doing in there? No, don't tell me. It's sick, it's wrong! Do you know the filth I've mopped up with that thing?!
  • "Popcorn Pandimonium":
    • At the beginning of the episode, we briefly see an exercise show called Sweating in your Undies, with a Richard Simmons lookalike shown exercising before his pants fall down, revealing his bare butt, causing him to blush (and Mr. Bighead, Rocko and Heffer to freak out at the sight). (The name is a pun on Simmons' Sweating to the Oldies exercise tapes.)
    • When the movie theater catches fire, and Rocko is the only one who notices. (Everyone else thinks it's 3D effects of the movie they're watching. Rocko screams that there's a fire (shouting "FIRE!" in a crowded theater), but everyone else just shushes him.
    • As Rocko and Heffer run out of the entrance because of the movie theaters getting flooded with popcorn, there's a sign above which says: "666".
  • "Power Trip" when Rocko becomes a corrupted boss and is being mean to Filburt. The one who helps him snap out of it is a comic book hero named "Really Really Big Man". He tells him to "gaze into the nipples of the future", as he shoves his super nipples into Rocko's eye sockets, like mentioning nipples wasn't already bad enough. Then when Rocko is cured and thanks him:
    Rocko: Thanks, Really Really Big Man. We have all been touched by your bigness.
  • "Love Spanked":
    • Rocko enters a romantic game show. Long story short, he gets to choose between three women, who all appear in silhouettes, and they're each introduced individually. The last silhouette is that of a very attractive woman who enjoys spending a lot of time on the couch note , which makes Rocko a little too eager. As he tries to run towards her, his thought bubble is that of a jackhammer rapidly hitting the ground. Throbbing manhood, much?
    • Rocko's lusting over Melba in the first scene, and his heart's bounding. It pounds out to his chest... and then retreats all the way to his ball sack (as evidenced by the hair).
    • Rocko's date with the girl rabbit. He wants to walk her back to her house, but all she wants to do is "trade math equations, baby." Make what you will of that.
    • During the aforementioned game show, one of Rocko's potential dates is said to have an unbearable Fetish for short wallabies.
  • In "Cabin Fever", Rocko, Heffer and Bev decide to play a card game. The next shot you see them, their clothes are on the table as part of the kitty (the pile of money you throw in when you place bets in most card games). Any adult can figure that they're playing strip poker.
  • In "Unbalanced Load", a donut shop called Felch Donuts can be seen in the background of O-Town. It would be wise not to Google what "felch" means.
  • "From Here to Maternity": When Filburt and Dr. Hutchison's egg hatch, there's four kids: a daughter and three sons. The daughter looks like Dr. Hutchison (complete with hook), two of the sons look like Filburt, and the third son looks like... Heffer with Filburt's glasses, which makes it look like Heffer and Dr. Hutchison had an affair. This flies fairly well, though, as Heffer had sat on the egg to provide it warmth, so kids would be none the wiser.
  • "Camera Shy" has the Chameleon brothers publish Rocko's home movie, including scenes of him naked that Heffer had shot to prank him. With some difficulty they manage to buy all the tapes before they get out, but when they try to erase them, they discover one that isn't theirs. "Toads in Love" featuring the Bigheads...
  • In "Boob Tubed", Rocko watches a horror movie called "Night of the Shaved Kittens".
  • "The Emperor's New Joe"
    • Rocko walks past a fountain of a naked man who is built to look like he's peeing out the water, except that his genitals are covered by a flyer for the new cafe.
    • The Chameleon Brothers tell Rocko about their past as servants for a mighty czar in a kingdom known as Balzak, which sounds an awful lot like "ballsack".
    • The Czar of Balzac (represented by Heffer) forces his citizens to listen to a song he sings where the only lyrics are "I love your butt," claiming it to be a #1 hit from London.
  • "Hair Licked": When Filburt's taking pictures of Rocko that he can use for the newspaper, he says "Work with me, Rocko, give it to me, baby!" No, that doesn't sound like sex talk at all. Nope. (in fairness, though, it is what most photographers — specifically the ones who work with models and supermodels — to get the sexiest/most vivacious shots from them).
  • The ending of "Nothing to Sneeze At", where Ed's trying on of fake noses is portrayed as giving Bev an orgasm.
  • "Belch of Destiny" has a flashback of how Heffer's father got his wife to marry him. There are suggestive sounds coming from the car, implying, uh, something. It was actually just Heffer's dad making armpit fart sounds, but still....
  • From "Kiss Me, I'm Foreign": "WHAT IN THE HELLlllloooo."
  • "Born to Spawn" had a beach called "Shell-less Beach", where shell-less turtles were seen lying down in their underwear. The episode's title is also kind of risque, since "spawn" can mean to produce offspring.
  • "The Lounge Singer" has a scene where Filburt performs at a nudist club called "Nudist Swine Las Vegas Chapter".
  • This exchange between Ed and Bev at the end of "Ed is Dead: A Thriller". And it's only shown in silhouette.
    Bev: Wh-what are you doing?!
    Ed: You thought I was kidding, eh? [looks as if he's grabbing Bev's neck]
    Bev: Stop it Ed, stop it. Y-you're scaring me!
    Ed: STOP IT?! I'm not gonna stop till I'm through!
    Bev: Oh, oh! You beast!
  • From "Tickled Pinky": "Then the bungee jumping, the wall of death, flying over the Andes with a Brazilian soccer team..."
    • At the end of the episode, Heffer's fat (after he got liposuction) tells him to "get bent".
  • At the end of "I Have No Son," the Fatheads call the audience "hosers," which is Canadian slang for drunks.
    • When Rachel (then known as Ralph) pulls out the donut from her pocket, it's quite obvious from everybody's reaction that they thought she was pulling out a gun.
  • The Christmas Episode at one point has Mrs. Bighead order Ed to close his robe, Heffer's leg falling off when he gets frozen while selling Christmas trees, and the anthropomorphic cloud struggling to make it snow is played similarly to someone suffering from constipation.
  • "Cruisin'":
    • A flashback shows a younger Grandpa Wolfe whispering something into Winnifred Wolf's ear, which causes her to slap him in the face.
    • Early in the episode, Rocko refers to Grandpa Wolfe as "Methuselah" (which is more of a Parental Bonus, though Bible references in Western children's cartoons are few and far between).
  • In "Hypno-Puppy Luv", Heffer orders a pair of X-Ray specs, which he ends up using on Rocko, Filburt and the Bigheads at the end of the episode.
  • The sneak peek of the upcoming film is showing a return to form already. Outside the O-Phone shop, one of the ads promotes the O-Watch, inviting the audience to "Look like a tool!" Then the trio hit up a food truck which sells them "wiener tacos" and "taco tacos (inside another taco)" which can be pretty easily seen as analogs to reproductive organs.
  • During the second part of "Wacky Delly", Rachel returns home to get her father's help with destroying the titular cartoon. When she gets there, Ed is chasing Bev around their living room, with Ed being inside a giant hamster ball and Bev giggling like a maniac and her eyes very dilated. The implication being the two of them are most likely stoned and are in the middle of some sex game. To further support that, Bev doesn't even notice Ed's stopped chasing her and is still running around.
  • In "Snowballs", Heffer has to use the restroom at the ski resort, but the attendant charges him $10 (twice the price since he is heftier), so Hef refuses. He walks offscreen, and we hear a zipper being undone. After a few seconds, the zipper is heard going back up, and we see the name "Heffer" written in the snow. In the original airing, tinkling noises were added to make the joke clearer.
  • In "An Elk for Heffer", George (Heffer's father) said they need to talk. Heffer asks, "Is this about the birds and the bees?" He says "No. There comes a time in every man's life..." Heffer interrupts with, "So it is about the birds and the bees."
  • In the "Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling" special, Spunky is watching something on a laptop with lust only to reveal he was looking at mops.
    • Chokey Chicken makes its grand return.
    • Bev has a seductive picture of Ed among the postcards that Rachel sent her. Then Bev says that it wasn't supposed to be there.
    • In the scene where Rocko, Heffer and Filburt search for the Bigheads' child so that the Fatheads special could be made with the involvement of the original creator, one part has the trio asking a monkey washing what appears to be two big pink rocks, in front of a building resembling the Taj Mahal. The pink rocks turns out to be the backside of a female elephant, who freaks out over being spied on while bathing. Heffer even takes a picture with his phone before the three leave.
    • Ed and Bev join Rachel at the end of the episode, with Bev holding up a green freezy-pop and saying it looks like Ed in the morning. Ed slyly says "I resemble that comment", in case viewers mistook it as more innocent at first.


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