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  • Accidental Aesop: According to Bob Camp, he was able to convince Nick to let the crew make the notoriously gross "Ren's Toothache" by telling them that it would encourage kids to brush their teeth. He was only making an excuse, but as it turned out, several fans were so repulsed by the episode that it did convince them to brush their teeth more.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is Stimpy as stupid as he lets on? Some episodes cast him as a Mad Scientist, but he could also be a genius ditz: brilliant in the laboratory, breathtakingly stupid outside of it. Though considering how inane his inventions and scientific advice can be (the segment is called "Ask Dr. Stupid," after all), his skills at science are probably marginal at best.
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  • Anticlimax Boss: Used and Played for Laughs in "Robin Hoek"; before Robin rescues Maid Moron, he has to fight The Sheriff of Dodge City (George Liquor) who he defeats by whipping out a turkey baster and smothering him in a shot of gravy. Liquor immediately collapses and surrenders Maid Moron.
    George Liquor: "Thou hast besquirted me, O leotarded one! (falls over backwards, then raises his head) The maiden be thine! (passes out)"
  • Archive Panic: The original show ran for five seasons and 94 episodes (100 if you count Adult Party Cartoon), and including the bumpers, it would take almost 23 hours, or about an entire day without sleep, to watch the entire series in one sitting.
  • Awesome Art: Thanks to the show's heavy reliance on detailed storyboards, layout drawings being done in-house and a total lack of model sheets, it boasts some of the most fluid animation ever produced for television.
  • Awesome Music:
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    • "Dog Pound Hop", the show's theme song written and performed by Die Screamin' Lederhosen, a band consisting of Spumco staff members Jim Smith, Chris Riccarti and Scott Huml (John K. helped write the song too). Huml's bongo playing in particular is amazing. And then there's the extended version with an equally awesome sax solo.
    • "Big House Blues," from the pilot episode of the same name and later used as the end theme, also written and performed by Die Screamin' Lederhosen and featuring some amazing guitar work from Jim Smith.
    • The eclectic selection of stock sound cues have some very memorable tracks of music, particularly cues like Beethoven's "Pastoral Symphony" and "Clair De Lune", among other obscure pieces of classical music.
    • Cat Hairballs, done to the tune of "Jingle Bells." The accompanying music video is pretty good too.
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    • The Royal Anthem of the Canadian Kilted Yaksmen, which uses the melody of "God Save The Queen"/"My Country, Tis of Thee".
    • In the German dub it's absolutely beautiful. Especially when Ren harmonizes with Stimpy.
    • "Yak Shaving Day" from the Crock O' Christmas album.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • George Liquor is by far the most polarizing character of the show. He's either, while very disciplinary, an entertaining foil to Ren and Stimpy, or he's a harsh, unlikable asshole who puts said characters through hell to get them where he wants them to be. The fact that he's John K.'s Creator's Pet nowadays doesn't help matters.
    • Ren and Stimpy themselves might qualify too. Considering their notable flaws (Ren's mean-spirited behavior along with Stimpy's stupidity), one of them may be seen as being better than the other (sometimes for the reason that the other's flaw makes them be seen as unlikable to certain people). Of course, there are also those who Take a Third Option and like both, or neither.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The Royal Anthem of the Canadian Kilted Yaksmen.
  • Bizarro Episode: The series is very offbeat to begin with, but even then some episodes stick out like a sore thumb, such as "Haunted House" (which was an unmade Tiny Toons episode that Spumco was supposed to have a hand in, but ended up making for themselves).
  • Creator's Pet: Bob Camp admitted to shoehorning Wilber Cobb into more episodes simply because he felt bad for Jack Carter (his actor), who wasn't getting any other work at the time.
  • Ear Worm:
    • Many of the stock sound cues, including classics like "Pizzacato Playtime", "Screw on the Loose" and "Folli the Foal".
    • The Muddy Mudskipper TV show theme.
    • Cat Hairballs/cat hairballs/all over the place/Don't look now/here one comes/SMACK right in your face/HWARF!
    • The LOG song.
    • The "Loop of Death" music from Adult Party Cartoon, which is a recording of the classic jazz song "Hold That Tiger".
    • HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY! For many parents at the time, this was one of those songs they hated the first time they heard it and grew to hate it even more because their kids would not stop singing it!
    • When you wish upon a side of beef, soon will come an end to all your grief...
    • The flute dance.
    • Both the iconic theme song and closing songs. Two of the only original pieces of music composed for the show and BOY are they catchy!
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • A literal example in Mr. Horse, since the character is based on Kirk Douglas.
    • Powdered Toast Man, for being a hilarious Large Ham. It also helps that the latter is voiced by Gary Owens.
    • And then there's Anthony's dad from "A Visit to Anthony".
    • And also the unnamed yak who goes bonkers in "The Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen".
  • Esoteric Happy Ending:
    • Ren and Stimpy's tearful reunion in "The Big Shot" is cut short by Ren slapping Stimpy for giving away his 47 million dollar fortune.
    • In "Rubber Nipple Salesmen", Ren and Stimpy succeed in selling their rubber nipples to a suburbanite couple... who then kick Ren and Stimpy onto the backs of a couple of crazed bulls that they ride into the distance.
    • "Powdered Toast Man" ends with PTM becoming president after saving the Pope; in office, he promptly burns the Constitution to start a fireplace (which was edited on American TV after it first aired) as he spends time with his lovely assistant.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: While the Games Animation episodes have their fans, most tend to ignore them in the same way that fans of Spongebob Squarepants ignore any episodes made after the movie. And neither party wants anything to do with Adult Party Cartoon.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: As with most of his work, John K.'s history of abuse, pedophilia and unchecked mental illness makes several episodes a lot more awkward than intended.
    • The romantic tension between Powdered Toast Man and his implied-teenaged assistant unfortunately resembles how John K. groomed two teenage animators in the late 90s and early 2000s. The fact that the character's secret identities are a clergyman and a Catholic schoolgirl, respectively, also comes off a lot grosser in light of the Catholic clergy sex abuse scandals of the 2000s.
    • The scene in "Rubber Nipple Salesmen" where it's implied that Mr. Horse (who, let's not forget, was originally voiced by John K himself) is doing depraved things to the walrus in his house. Most of the afore-mentioned grooming took place in John K.'s apartment. Mr. Horse's unhinged ranting beforehand makes it feel less like a joke and more like an on-camera confession.
    • There's a brief scene in "Stimpy's Fan Club" in which Ren reads a letter from a girl who's implied to have an abusive boyfriend. Awkward.
    • Ren's psychotic outbursts (such as in "Sven Hoek", "Stimpy's Fan Club", and APC's "Ren Seeks Help") and his generally unpredictable behavior become more terrifying than funny once you learn that John himself was suffering from ADHD and bipolar disorder, both of which went unchecked and were largely medicated with alcohol.
    • Similar to the above, once you learn that John K's toxic masculinity was largely due to his own hyper-masculine, disciplinary father, the show's obsession with jokes about cruel fathers (or "hell dads" as Billy West called them) goes from Black Comedy to completely disturbing.
  • Genius Bonus: In "Fire Dogs", Stimpy puts out the building fire with kitty litter; in real life, kitty litter is usually nonflammable, since it's often made out of ground up clay.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: While Ren and Stimpy: Adult Party Cartoon is quite unpopular in the U.S., it has a small but strong fanbase in Eastern Europe (mostly in Poland).
  • Growing the Beard: The show definitely got off to a good start, but the second season is universally considered a significant improvement over season 1's helter-skelter quality, and by many to be the series peak; Ren and Stimpy's personalities and voice work are more fleshed out, the drawings, animation quality and background art are much better (especially the episodes animated by Carbunkle) and the cartoons became much better in story structure, humor and pacing.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • "The Littlest Giant", where Stimpy (playing The Littlest Giant) runs away from home after a long time of torture by "the big, mean giants". Made harsher by the fact that nowadays, bullying victims have often done pretty much the same, or worse (just look what happened to Phoebe Prince, or the many kids who come to school with weapons to get back at their tormentors and end up on the news for causing yet another school shooting).
    • John K claimed that he got the rights to George Liquor back from the show on the conditions that Liquor "never becomes a child molester or mass murderer." While that never happened with Liquor himself, the former turned out to be the case for his creator.
    • "Powdered Toast Man vs. Waffle Woman" featured a scene where New York City (including the World Trade Center) is destroyed by Waffle Woman's syrup attack. The episode also features a couple of angry Arabs. Unsurprisingly, this episode was banned in the US after the World Trade Center was destroyed for real on September 11, 2001.
  • He Really Can Act
    • This was one of Billy West's first major voice acting gigs and his performances as Stimpy proved right away that he had the chops. He gives the character an innocence that's both hysterically funny and, occasionally, quite tender. His double-duty as both characters in the Games episodes also prove his verticality. He also gets a few great performances as various side characters, particularly the insane yak in "The Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen."
    • Also, say what you will about John Kricfalusi as a person, but he turns in a few genuinely terrifying performances as Ren, usually when he freaks out (see his threatening Stimpy and Sven in "Sven Hoek" and his almost Shakespearean monologue when he contemplates killing Stimpy in "Stimpy's Fan Club"), despite not being well-known as an actor.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight
  • Hype Backlash: Even before John Kricfalusi's bad habits made him so unpopular, the show had such a distinct voice that it became easy to love or hate. In addition to the show's particular brand of violent, vulgar humor, it's drawn several criticisms for sluggish pacing (usually in regards to gags which relied on overly long pauses and slow-burns) and melodrama for melodrama's sake which even the Games episodes were frequently guilty of. The frequent schedule slips were also an easy joke among animators and animation fans at the time.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Ren in "Stimpy's Fan Club".
  • LGBT Fanbase: Thanks to the ambiguity of Ren and Stimpy's relationship, the show is surprisingly popular with gay men. See Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales below.
  • Memetic Mutation: The LOG song, from a recurring fake-ad bumper in the series.
    • "HAPPY HAPPY, JOY JOY!"note 
    • Ren's infamous Catchphrase "You eediot!"
    • Ren getting angry.
    • The "Ren snaps" sequence from "Stimpy's Fan Club", where Ren imagines himself as President, pressing "The Button" which atomizes Australia, has become a popular meme in the 2000s on YouTube called "You Dare Not Agree With X", where a picture of X character is photoshopped over Ren.
    Ren: WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON'T AGREE WITH ME?! DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU'RE DEALING WITH?!
    • "You're the pitcher, I'm the catcher!"note 
    • "Don't Whiz on the Electric Fence!"note 
    • The Loop of Death from Adult Party Cartoon seems to be gaining this status.
    • "You SICK LITTLE MONKEY!"note 
      • Also from Stimpy's Invention, after Ren tries on Stimpy's stay put socksnote : "YOU FILTHY SWINE! I WILL KEEL YOU!!!"
    • "No sir, I don't like it!" note 
    • The History Eraser button segment from the end of "Space Madness", especially for the over the top delivery of the "Jolly, CANDY like button!" line from the announcer.
    • Surprisingly, Anthony's dad, due to his visual similarities to a certain crazy US senator with superhuman abilities. NANOMACHINES, SON!
    • After the name of the villains from The Force Awakens was revealed to be "The Knights of Ren", it immediately spawned memes mixing Star Wars and Ren and Stimpy together, including names like "The Knights of Ren Hoek" or "The Knights of Stimpy". John K (who loathes the Star Wars series and hasn't even seen the newer movies) said on his Facebook that he is not amused by this connection, and refuses to draw commissions based on it.
    • Actually, it would just be better to say that the entire series is an example. If there was an article called "Vindicated by Memetic Mutation", this show would be a prime one.
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: The show's homoeroticism was described by producer Jim Ballentine as being written by "angry, cynical young men who probably hate fags." Nevertheless, it's picked up a strong following among gay men for it's "queer subtext."
  • Misaimed Fandom: Animator Howard Beckerman once said that the reason this show was popular was because genuinely Ren and Stimpy loved one another. However, John K. insists that any and all heartwarming moments and tearjerkers are strictly parodic or "fake" pathos, satirizing the idea that you could get an audience to cry over anything if you used the right storytelling tricks. Now try telling that to a fan of the show and see how many of them actually though the pathos was anything by 100% effective, if not necessary, in properly balancing out the Vulgar Humor.
  • Moe: Stimpy; C'mon now, don't deny it!
  • My Real Daddy: Even before John K. was ousted for his history of pedophilia and generally abusive behavior in 2018, people often credited Bob Camp & co as the show's real creative force, pointing his involvement in many of the series' best episodes, the fact that he directed 80% of the series, and the poor reception to John K's solo projects.
  • Nausea Fuel: One of the reasons why Moral Guardians and Media Watchdog groups hated the show almost as much as they did old-school Simpsons was because of how gross the show got. Now has its own page.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: The general opinion of the episodes made at Games Animation is that, while not terrible per se, they're nowhere near as biting or well-animated as the ones made by John K. and Spumco. On the other hand, Adult Party Cartoon seemed to prove that the creator wasn't much better without the crew to keep him grounded.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: The outrage from Moral Guardians' for the show's Vulgar Humor, Nick firing John K. during it's peek popularity and John K. himself eventually becomes better known as a bully and a pedophile than as an animator are greater common knowledge these days than any of the cartoons themselves.
  • Padding: The crew admitted to holding on several shots and frames longer than they had been intended if episodes ran short or to make up for lost airtime when production dragged on too long. The bumpers otherwise served this purpose.
  • Seasonal Rot: Though not as universally despised as they once were, the Games Animation episodes are generally agreed to be a step down in quality, toning down the melodrama and cutting more corners in the animation.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: The show is to TV animation what Snow White is to animated features or Mario Kart is to racing games. It cannot be overstated just how unlike anything else it was when it debuted. In a market still dominated by cheap, corporate approved shows based on licensed characters, here was a show created by a core team of artists who wrote and designed everything themselves. It was the first hugely popular TV show to be entirely storyboard-driven rather than script-driven and the focus on visual storytelling pushed the limits of low-budget TV animation, resulting in some of the most fluidly-animated cartoons every created since The Golden Age of Animation. To say nothing of the particular brand of absurdist, politically incorrect humor that Moral Guardians had all but driven to extinction by that point, which both kids and adult cartoon fans embraced wholeheartedly. Everyone ripped it off immediately and while the more blatant R&S clones like The Shnookums & Meat Funny Cartoon Show and The Wacky World of Tex Avery were DOA, the fundamentals of the show (broader art, edgier humor, creator-driven content, shows being storyboard-driven rather than script-driven) became the norm within five years and have remained so to this day. Even the gross-out humor is now considered a product of it's time, especially compared to the downright repulsive reboot.
  • Signature Scene: The "Happy Happy Joy Joy" sequence from "Stimpy's Invention" is by far the most iconic scene in the series.
    • The scene from "The Cat That Laid the Golden Hairball" where an exhausted and hairless Stimpy passes out on the conveyor belt and gets stamped on the butt.
  • Song Association: Due to it using so many stock music cues, some of these pieces of music have become strongly associated with the series.
  • Squick: All you need to do is look on this show's nausea fuel page to get some examples.
  • Superlative Dubbing: The show is relatively obscure in Germany, but has an excellent, highly acclaimed dub. The voices are completely different from the originals, and yet they maintain the spirit of the characters; the dialogue inflections are great (most of the time), and both Santiago Ziesmer and Oliver Feld inject energy and an abundance of emotion into the dub. Ziesmer is great at conveying emotion and even manages to sound scarier than John K. at times, and Feld, who is even better, displays more range in one role than he does in his entire repertoire. You have got to hear him to believe it; he very nearly bests Billy West at times. His voice is expressive and yet completely natural. Just watch any episode and you'll find out. The director of the dub is Nadine Geist, who while not always allowing everything dubbed, seems to really know how to push her actors to the limit. The best dubbed episodes are: Weltraumkoller ("Space Madness"), Robin Hoek and Schwester Stimpy (Robin Hoek and Nurse Stimpy), Der Kleinste Riese (The Littlest Giant) Stimpy's Sohn (Son of Stimpy), Stimpy's Fanclub and Koeniglich-Kanadische Yakreiter im Kilt (Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen).
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Dr. Brainchild, who only appeared in the episode "Blazing Entrails".
  • This Is Your Premise on Drugs: When reviewing the Fire Dogs game, The Angry Video Game Nerd called the show Looney Tunes on crack.
  • Tough Act to Follow: The first two seasons are considered some of the greatest TV cartoons ever made. Fans are heavily divided on the Games era episodes. (i.e. seasons 3-5), but the reception of them has become more positive in recent years. And the less said about the "Adult Party Cartoon" revival, the better.
  • Ugly Cute: Both Ren and Stimpy qualify!
  • Uncanny Valley: That female anthro chihuahua with a realistic head (whom Ren falls for) in "Marooned". Justified since she's really an alien in disguise.
  • Vindicated by History: The Games Animation episodes had the misfortune of being overshadoweded by the monstrous popularity of the first two seasons and the controversy of John K's firing, creating a narrative that Nickelodeon was too chicken to stand by the show's edgier content and just wanted something safe that made them money. Divorced from that, most would agree that the later seasons merely aren't as good as the classic first two seasons, just ever so slightly more conventional and with more filler episodes (the first two seasons had only 18 episodes combined. This, plus the Schedule Slip, made each episode all the more special), but were perfectly good cartoons in their own right, with several episodes that are just as funny as the Spumco ones. The creative staff who were labeled sellouts for migrating over to Games were themselves vindicated after John K.'s reputation took a nosedive in The New '10s, especially after Adult Party Cartoon proved that he needed them much more than they needed him.
  • "Weird Al" Effect:
    • Fans of the LOG segments may not be aware that the famous jingle is a parody of the original Slinky jingle.
    • The "Loop of Death" music from an episode of Adult Party Cartoon is actually an old jazz number called "Hold That Tiger", and the recording used is from an old Betty Boop cartoon.
    • A generation of young adults are familiar with "You fat, bloated EEDIOT!" as a catchphrase of Ren's. A likely smaller percentage will recognize it as being paraphrased from Joel Cairo's breakdown near the end of The Maltese Falcon, or that Ren's voice and persona were largely based on characters played by Peter Lorre to start with (Billy West described Ren as "part Peter Lorre, part Burl Ives and part South of the Border").
    • For many people, the "Happy Happy Joy Joy" song is just an Ear Worm with random and sometimes creepy Non Sequitur moments. It is actually a parody of actor Burl Ives who was also famous for singing nursery rhymes. The random "animal" lines are directly lifted from his songs, while the most violent lines are from his movie roles, most notably The Big Country. Needless to say, all these quotes are nowadays more associated with "Happy Happy Joy Joy" than anything else.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Or better yet, What Do You Mean You Don't Agree With Me?
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Just look up an episode. Any episode. You will be surprised when you find out that it was rated TV-Y7 during its airtime, while containing suicidal jokes, the use of the word "crap" and loosely censored "hell", racist jokes, tons of Getting Crap Past the Radar, Ren's disturbingly realistic mental breakdowns, Body Horror, loads of Black Comedy and disturbing images, among many other things. The show came out at a time when cable television was starting to offer edgier content that you could only to pay to see. This meant that nobody was really certain exactly who would be watching it.
  • The Woobie:
    • Stimpy, at times. Especially true in "Son of Stimpy" and "The Littlest Giant".note 
    • Ren counts at times too, though usually he's more of a Jerkass Woobie.
    • Egg Yolkeo goes through a LOT of crap in his episode, before being accidentally eaten by Stimpy, so soon after learning how to say "I love you, daddy".
    • This show, of all things, managed to make us feel bad for a sentient fart in "Son Of Stimpy".
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