Related Videos

Another Top 10 Controversial Cartoon Episodes

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Jamie Leslie. There just isn’t one list large enough to encompass all of the shockingly offensive moments in the world of animation. That’s why we’re giving you another one. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down another top 10 controversial cartoon episodes. For this list, we’ve looked at episodes from your favorite television shows that have either been banned, protested, criticized, or all of the above. From violence to racial and cultural insensitivity, the shocking material in these toons may make you want to reprogram your TV settings or tell your children to leave the room. Just a quick note: some of the images and themes of the cartoons on this list are regarded as highly offensive, so watch at your own discretion. If you didn’t see an episode you thought should be on this list, be sure to check out our first video of the Top 10 Controversial Cartoon Episodes. Special thanks to our users Jack Walrath, Mitch Deans, Alex Canas and Cavery210 for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
Share
WatchMojo

You must register to a corporate account to download this video. Please login

Transcript
Script written by Jamie Leslie.

Another Top 10 Controversial Cartoon Episodes


There just isn’t one list large enough to encompass all of the shockingly offensive moments in the world of animation. That’s why we’re giving you another one. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for Another Top 10 Controversial Cartoon Episodes.

For this list, we’ve looked at episodes from your favorite television shows that have either been banned, protested, criticized, or all of the above. From violence to racial and cultural insensitivity, the shocking material in these toons may make you want to reprogram your TV settings or tell your children to leave the room. Just a quick note: some of the images and themes of the cartoons on this list are regarded as highly offensive, so watch at your own discretion. If you didn’t see an episode you thought should be on this list, be sure to check out our first video of the Top 10 Controversial Cartoon Episodes.

#10: “SpongeBob, You’re Fired!”
“SpongeBob SquarePants” (1999-)

In this TV special serving as the 11th episode of the animated TV series’ 9thseason, Mr. Krabs discovers that he can save a nickel more by discharging his prized fry cook. This means that SpongeBob is forced out of his position and left unemployed. In an attempt to cheer him up, Patrick introduces his best friend to the joys of not having a job, describing the event as “Fun Employment.” The two then slack off for the rest of the day, ignoring all responsibilities and duties. Though SpongeBob eventually realizes what he’s doing and starts looking for a job at several fast food joints, the episode’s representation of unemployment sparked heavy political debate and pulled into question the real message it was sending to the youths and underprivileged.

#9: “Dial M for Monkey: Barbequor”
“Dexter’s Laboratory” (1996-2003)

In this early episode of the Cartoon Network series, Monkey is celebrating his birthday with all of his Justice Friends at a barbecue they hosted for him. After being rudely interrupted by the titular evil alien and his partner Silver Spooner, Monkey is forced not only to save his birthday barbecue, but the whole universe. Why’d this episode get banned in countries like the U.S., Canada and the UK, you ask? It raised criticism regarding its stereotypical depiction of homosexuals via the Silver Spooner character, and also included the depiction of an inebriated character via the show’s parody of The Incredible Hunk, known as Krunk.

#8: “Buffalo Gals”
“Cow and Chicken” (1997-99)

Paired with a segment entitled “Cow and Chicken Reclining,” this first part of episode 7 from season 2 of the Cartoon Network series following the titular animals garnered such debate and criticism that it was only ever broadcast on TV once. While the show’s humor has always been unconventional, the sexually suggestive content featured on “Buffalo Gals,” along with the heavily implied stereotyping of lesbians, led the network to ban the segment and have the episode air with a replacement segment in the future instead.

#7: “Last Horizons”
“TaleSpin” (1990-91)

This Disney cartoon series came under some heat with the temporary ban of this particular episode. In “Last Horizons,” Baloo is welcomed into the legendary city of Panda-La with open arms only to realize that this reception was all a ruse for Emperor Wan Lo to overtake Cape Suzette. The fictitious Asian nation’s attack is dangerously reminiscent of Japan’s Pearl Harbor attack against the US Naval base in 1941. Aside from the WWII reference, the episode also contained various offensive Asian stereotypes, which led to the ban.

#6: “Homer’s Phobia”
“The Simpsons” (1989-)

Although the animated sitcom had already touched on gay/lesbian themes in previous episodes, this specific episode was the first to fully focus on them and thus was both the most praised and criticized for it. When Homer befriends a shop clerk named John and later figures out that he’s gay, the Simpson patriarch begins to adopt homophobic behavior towards him and develops fears that John’s sexuality will influence his son. Despite a lot of viewers being unimpressed with Homer’s character and the presentation of homosexuals in general, the episode ironically received positive critical response for its anti-homophobia message.

#5: “Br’er Rabbit”
“Song of the South” (1946)

This dated film is yet another swept-under-the-rug reminder of Disney’s very different take on kid-friendly animation. The live-action/animated musical features an implied ex-slave referred to as Uncle Remus who exhibits highly offensive racist stereotypes. The NAACP described the character as presenting an “idyllic master-slave relationship” in their public statement, for despite being post-Civil War, in other words, post-slavery, Remus and his companions were often depicted as subservient to the family that once owned them. Aside from the controversy about the live action sections, “Song of the South” also featured animated segments around Br’er Rabbit that were subsequently aired on TV. These ignited debate because of suggestions that the figure signifies enslaved Africans and depict them as tricksters, which isn’t always a positive thing. As such, the entire film has yet to have been released for personal viewing, but its signature song “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” is still widely recognized today.

#4: “Rude Removal”
“Dexter’s Laboratory” (1996-2003)

Little kids swearing is never a good look for a children’s cartoon series. When Dexter comes up with the ingenious idea to separate the rudeness within him and his sister, their clones wreak havoc in their home lives and speak in a way we’ve never witnessed the characters speaking before. This banned episode ran into trouble with its excessive use of profanity and despite being censored with beeps, the bad words being said were still clearly decipherable. The characters also depicted various cultural stereotypes as the nice Dexter and Dee Dee spoke with English accents, while the rude clones spoke with a New York City one. As a result, “Rude Removal” never actually aired on TV and was only viewable online over a decade after its production via Adult Swim’s YouTube channel.

#3: “Return of the King”
“The Boondocks” (2005-14)

This satirical comedy took a very interesting stance on the famed activist and humanitarian Dr. Martin Luther King, and although the episode addressed many of the country’s socio-political issues, there were many viewers who couldn’t get past how it was all presented. In “Return of the King,” Dr. King awakens from a 32-year coma after surviving an assassination attempt and discovers the outcome of his years of civil rights activism. When he takes the stage to deliver a speech, he loses his temper and shouts the n-word - more than once. The episode was not received well by civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton, who claimed it desecrated black historic figures.

#2: “Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips”
“Merrie Melodies” (1944)

Yet another cartoon that was unfortunately a victim of its time. While we’ve all at one point enjoyed Bugs Bunny’s regular shtick, it comes off almost cringeworthy in this short’s racist depiction of the Japanese. For instance, one of the soldiers Bugs comes into contact with is drawn as a height-challenged man with exaggerated Asian features, and is shown wielding a machete while muttering Japanese gibberish. The Bunny also uses racial slurs throughout. Back in the day, this WWII propaganda animated cartoon served to portray American enemy soldiers as lesser and inferior. The only thing it serves as today is an embarrassing reminder of the past.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

“In Support Of”
“Pepper Ann” (1997-2000)

“Spider Web”
“Peppa Pig” (2004-)

“Partial Terms of Endearment”
"Family Guy" (1999-2003; 2005-)

#1: “Heroes”
“Beavis and Butt-head” (1993-97; 2011)

America has tolerated a lot from these nonchalant teenage misfits, but this episode went a bit too far. After the boys watch a riveting episode of “COPS,” they illegally obtain guns from the owner of a skeet shooting establishment and haphazardly fire them outdoors. One of Butt-head’s shots hits a commercial airliner and sends it hurdling down to its doom. The banned episode was not only criticized for its blatant disregard of firearm safety, but also for the inhumane mocking of the trapped passengers of the demolished aircraft.
Comments

Sign in to access this feature

Related Blogs