- Audience-Alienating Premise: A rare episode-specific example.
- Awesome Art: The one thing most people will agree on is that whatever you think of the episode, all of the gruesome, horrifying content is animated very well.
- Bile Fascination: Gained notoriety through TV Trash's, Mr. Enter's and PhantomStrider's reviews.
- Bizarro Episode: This episode tries to be serious and delve into harsh real-world topics.
- Broken Base: It's the most polarizing episode in the series. Fans like it for its strong atmosphere, dark(er) humor, and stylistic qualities; detractors (especially The Mysterious Mr. Enter) hate it for its animal torture and excessively graphic visuals.
- Crosses the Line Twice: Was intended to be this.
- Dancing Bear: If there's anything nice (or at least not negative) that people who've seen this episode have to say about it, it's that the premise of a Zany Cartoon character like Ren going to therapy like a normal person is... unique, to say the least. To that end, John K. and Richard Prusel succeeded.
- Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: It's difficult to see exactly how this episode is supposed to be entertaining, considering its grim premise, excessive violence and frequent depictions of animal cruelty.
- Designated Hero: We're supposed to sympathize with Ren... only to find out that he used to remorselessly torture animals just because someone slapped his behind as a baby and he might be a Domestic Abuser towards Stimpy. Even after that, we're still supposed to want him to change, despite the fact that after hearing all that, most people won't think there's any hope for him TO change.
- Family-Unfriendly Aesop: The ending implies that people who go to the therapist are at risk of being institutionalized, especially if they are in danger of harming themselves or others. This fear is a major reason why people in need of help don't seek it.
- Fridge Brilliance: Ren being dressed as Mickey Mouse as a kid. Mickey wasn't any kinder to animals in his earliest cartoons.
- Glurge: In addition to the excessive physical cruelty, the episode's attempts to play said cruelty for sincere drama come off as shallow, if not even more disturbing.
- Harsher in Hindsight: The episode might as well be called "John Kricfalusi Needs Help," as he would later blame his history of abuse, mental instability and child grooming on "poor impulse control" brought on by two unchecked mental illnesses — ADHD and bipolar disorder, specifically — which he medicated with alcohol, a claim that others suffering from both illnesses found incredibly insulting.
- Moral Event Horizon: Saying what he did to Stimpy is presented as this for Ren, which even he found reprehensible, but it's revealed as a child, he tortured various animals, especially a frog.
Frog: HAVEN'T I SUFFERED ENOUGH!?
- To some, his true onscreen Moral Event Horizon was when he was just about to put the frog out of its misery... and chooses not to because he wants it to stay miserable.
Ren: (long, thoughtful pause) ...No.
- Never Live It Down: This is by far the most well known episode of the Adult Party Cartoon series. It's also the one with the most Nightmare Fuel in it.
- Older Than They Think
- According to John K., the premise for the episode was his belief that there had never been a cartoon about an Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist going to therapy. There's a good chance he never saw "Helga On The Couch."note
- Inversely, this was also ten years before Rick and Morty and eleven years before Bojack Horseman, both shows which were extremely well received for their depictions of an Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist dealing with the serious repercussions of his hilariously selfish antics. Humorously enough, not only was the former show created by a professed Ren and Stimpy fan, but there's a particularly gruesome episode about the main character going to therapy. Meanwhile, the title character in BoJack is often visually compared to Mr. Horse.
- Reviews Are the Gospel: Before The Mysterious Mr. Enter reviewed this episode, it was more of a Broken Base, with some people thinking it was one of the better episodes of the show. Now it's almost unanimously hated by Ren and Stimpy fans.
- The Scrappy: Ren's sadism is so exaggerated here that many people consider it distasteful than remotely funny, and those who loved Ren in the original find this Ren to be absolutely horrendous beyond savings.
- Squick: Among other things, Ren's parents passionately making out over the sound of their son revving up a chainsaw in preparation of giving the frog a Mercy Kill.
- Unacceptable Targets: The fact that Ren is torturing innocent animals is enough to upset many viewers, especially since these scenes are Played for Laughs.
- Unintentionally Unsympathetic: The story seems to be trying to make out Ren as someone who's broken by mental illness and wants to change for the better. Then Ren fondly looks back on, in order, mutilating a caterpillar, lighting ants on fire, licking a tick, ruthlessly torturing a frog until it begs for death and beating Stimpy for no good reason, while showing little to no remorse for any of this. Even if you do sympathize with him or want him to change, most people agree that, after he's done all of those awful things, there's really no hope for him to change.
- The Woobie:
YMMV / Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon" E2 "Ren Seeks Help"