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The longer and harder you look at something, the more grotesque it's going to get. Which is why you should never examine private parts or innocent TV shows too closely. Unfortunately, we did both.

Here are six more classic kids' shows that are actually set in terrifying universes.

6
Doug: Where Mentally Insane Children Are Left to Suffer

Doug chronicles the trials of a sixth-grade boy as he moves to a new town and attempts to fit in. To cope with his daily anxieties about schoolwork and bullies, Doug frequently escapes into his imagination. Good for him! Too bad it keeps almost killing him, and nobody cares.

The Nightmare:

First off, Doug is not just escaping into harmless daydreams. He is a full-blown schizophrenic suffering from vivid hallucinations and delusions. He physically acts out his fantasies, often incorporating objects from the real world. For example, when Doug thinks he's dancing with his favorite band, he's really dancing with himself.

And when he thinks he's in prison, he's really next to a bike rack.


"This raises troubling questions about all the sodomy."

We know what you're saying. "What are you talking about, Cracked? It's just a kid with an active imagination! Didn't you ever crawl into a cardboard box and pretend you were Solid Snake? It's not hurting anyone!"

Well, actually, it's hurting Doug. In one episode, he starts "daydreaming" while sitting in the middle of goddamned traffic:


He'll have plenty of time to dream once he's in a coma.

In another, he blanks out while behind the wheel of a soapbox racer flying down a hill, only waking up when he smashes the fuck into another car:


You know, he should probably just start wearing a helmet at all times.

In yet another episode, Doug convinces himself that he's actually Durango Doug, an expert horseman, and chooses to ride an untamed colt way above his riding ability. He nearly dies after he smashes into a tree.


See? What'd we say about the helmet?

And the worst part? Nobody thinks this is a problem.

Doug repeatedly hallucinates in front of friends and family, and they just laugh it off. For example, in the episode "Doug's Secret Admirer," Doug's sister finds him talking to his alter ego Smash Adams in the bathroom mirror. Thinking nothing of it, she kicks him out of the bathroom so she can take a shower.


He takes his sense of reality shaken and stirred.

Either Doug's world is filled with the most oblivious, self-absorbed people on the planet or there just simply is no medical care for children in his universe. The latter case would explain the rampant disease that is apparently causing everyone's skin discolorations.


Will someone please give Skeeter the Heimlich before he asphyxiates?

5
DuckTales: A World Economy Revolves Around a Magic Coin

Quick! What's the first thing you think of when you hear "Scrooge McDuck"? It's probably an image of a cartoon duck diving into a pool of gold coins. In the same way that Donald Duck is defined by untethered rage, Scrooge McDuck is nothing but a ball of greed. Getting, keeping and counting his money are his top three priorities, with Huey, Dewey and Louie running a distant fourth through sixth.

Now, the fact that Scrooge loves money isn't in itself so terrible. But do you know how he got it?

The Nightmare:

Scrooge McDuck has an amulet that attracts wealth like a money magnet in the form of a magic dime he acquired as a boy (duckling?). The minute the dime is out of Scrooge's possession, as in the episode "Dime Enough for Luck," he starts losing money fast. And when someone succeeds in stealing the dime, as in "Duck to the Future," that person becomes rich and powerful instead of Scrooge.


They also gain the ability to do this without landing in a wheelchair.

So it's great for Scrooge, or whoever else has the dime, but sucks for anyone else trying to make their way in the world honestly -- all are subject to the economic whims of McDuck's all-powerful dime. For every miraculous trade he makes in the stock market, someone else is losing money. If you've poured your life savings into a startup business, you'd better hope that McDuck invests in you instead of your competitor, because whoever he invests in is going to succeed, even if they're selling burgers that are 50 percent human hair. If McDuck shorts your car company's stock, your shit is about to be subjected to a long string of crippling bankruptcies and layoffs.

And considering how rich Scrooge is, his impact on the world is staggering. Scrooge's accountant, Fenton, actually tells us how much money Scrooge has in the episode "Liquid Assets." It's more than $947 trillion. That's roughly 13 times the planet's gross domestic product.


Fenton's sexual harassment suit is still pending.

Even after Scrooge passes away, his nephews will just take control of his dime and continue its tyranny as the world's ultimate puppet master, the entire cycle of human endeavor and aspiration nothing but a cruel charade until all but the McDuck family wind up as emaciated corpses in a pauper's grave (A woo ooh!).

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4
Gargoyles: The Gargoyles Live With Constant Internal Hemorrhaging

Gargoyles is about a winged species of animals who act as powerful guardians during the night and revert to stone ornaments during the day. If you're already excited by the prospect, know that the conversion from stone to flesh involves a KICK ASS STATUE EXPLOSION. This happens every night, with muscular mythical creatures busting out of concrete shells, ready for action, baby!


"Orgy tiiiiime!"

The Nightmare:

The mechanism for the process is obvious from the above picture: During the day, every inch of the gargoyle's body surface grows a thin layer of stone. Under that is the fleshy body -- if you prick them, they bleed; tickle them, they laugh; poison them, they die. But most importantly, once again, they bleed.

Now look at this:

We see that the gargoyles love to keep their mouths open when they turn to stone, probably because they're hard asses. And the inside of his mouth has turned to stone. So in this form, how far down his throat and windpipe does the stone go? Because all of that is going to shatter into sharp chunks come nightfall. How much of that shit would wind up in his stomach, or lungs? How long do they spend coughing up or shitting out stone shards every evening? Even if a gargoyle didn't strike a screaming pose, his nose and ears are still open all the time. Even a careful gargoyle is looking at rock shards in his sinuses and inner ears.


And mullet.

Now, some of you might be thinking that the gargoyles must have really tough interiors, like Kirby or Adam Richman. You're wrong. In the episode "Protection," one gargoyle eats a hot pepper and experiences severe pain. If the acids of a fucking pepper hurt a gargoyle so much that he screams in agony, shattering stone should be absolute torture. And it gets even worse. Over the course of the series, we see that the gargoyles forget about the sunrise all the friggin' time -- they end up totally surprised and turn to stone at the worst possible moment.


"Shit, did I leave the stove on?"

So, what happens when they're caught with their pants down? And when we say that, we're talking about poop. Say the gargoyle is urinating or defecating and the sunrise hits. Yes, now he is frozen all day in a hilarious position. But more importantly, the surface of the gargoyle includes the inside of his urethra and colon. And when he wakes, again -- boom! -- stone-shattering time.


"Shitting bricks would actually be an improvement."

The life of a gargoyle is simply a bloody mess, slowly being torn apart from the inside by rocky shrapnel.

3
Jem: A Truly Outrageous Legal System

The incredibly '80s cartoon Jem is set in a world where rival rock bands compete for the top of the chart through various publicity stunts. The Holograms, Misfits and Stingers star in movies, appear in TV interviews and hold countless benefit concerts to ensure that they are always in the public's eye. It's kind of all they do. So Jem was like a prophetic vision of reality TV.


"Can somebody get Aja a human-sized guitar?"

The Nightmare:

So, the bands are constantly trying to undermine each other as they hog the spotlight. So what kind of harmless pranks do they play to try to boost their own record sales? After all, they're just making mischief -- no one is getting hurt, right? Well, here's bad guy manager Eric Raymond hiring someone to bomb Starlight Mansion, a fucking home for orphans:


"Perfect, totally inconspicuous."

Holy shit! Also, he kidnaps at least four people during the show's run, which means his list of felonies approaches Suge Knight levels. But that's just the start.

We actually went through and counted. In Jem's 65-episode run, characters commit 157 serious crimes that should have led to jail time. Yet none of the bands or the evil manager ever do any time in the slammer. There are no legal consequences whatsoever, even though people get hurt and nearly die on dozens of occasions.


"At night ... I can still hear the screaming ..."

By our count, the rival band the Misfits commits 28 acts of reckless endangerment, ranging from driving cars through restaurants to messing with explosives on movie sets. On top of that, there are four incidents of theft, 10 of vandalism and seven of kidnapping, including a time when they put Jem in a fake house and psychologically tortured her in an attempt to discover her identity. And then there was that time when they interrupted Congress ...


"Fuck your democracy, we're musicians!"

Somehow, the criminal justice system repeatedly turns a blind eye to this rampant rocker-on-rocker crime and domestic terrorism. And it's all because these musicians and managers have money that can buy their freedom. In fact, Eric Raymond says as much. After getting off scot-free on a kidnapping charge, he gloats, "It's amazing what lawyers can do when you pay them enough." Oh yeah, he says this just moments before assaulting Jem. Truly, truly outrageous.


"Hey, kids! THIS IS THE WORLD."

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2
Danger Mouse: The Animal Apocalypse

The '80s British cartoon Danger Mouse is the story of the world's greatest secret agent mouse and his cheeky hamster assistant, Penfold. The mouse and hamster repeatedly save the world from the clutches of evil. That is, they save it when they aren't busy bickering over something incredibly British, like whether Penfold left biscuit crumbs on the carpet.


"Crumbs, DM!"
"God, I hate you."

The Nightmare:

In this world, humanity is almost completely gone and a new animal civilization is rising to takes its place.

Although populated by many intelligent animals, the world of Danger Mouse is clearly a world built by and for humans. Around London, we see statues of human kings, as well as person-sized pillar boxes, snooker tables and red telephone booths.

Yet despite the city being historically human, there doesn't seem to be any blokes or lasses left in it. London looks strikingly like it did in 28 Days Later, complete with barren streets devoid of life.

In fact, every scene of London in the entire run of Danger Mouse shows it as a deserted post-apocalyptic city where DM can fly around at high speeds and confront enemies without the worry of any civilian casualties.

Either something devastating has happened, or everyone is on vacation at the same time.

To add insult to injury for the absent human race, in the episode "Lord of the Bungle," we find out that the prime minister of Britain is in fact a bird (and we mean a chicken, not a young woman). And she is just one of many animal rulers that have risen to displace the humans. In the episode "Die Laughing," Egypt is run by a lion, and the nuclear powerhouse of the Soviet Union is run by bears.


The apocalypse may have been a racist.

It's of some consolation that America is still run by human beings ... although the USA doesn't seem to be in the best of shape. The president is human, alright, but he is so worried that Danger Mouse will hurt him that he surrounds himself with Secret Service agents, and the two never see each other face to face. The paranoia is never really explained, but it probably has something to do with the fact that Washington, D.C., is also a deserted post-apocalyptic city.


Which means it was pretty much the same as the real D.C. during the '80s.

Eventually, Danger Mouse travels to the future and discovers that the world has descended into a cat-dominated idol-worshiping police state. That's right: The animals are so bad at ruling the world that a species that sleeps 20 hours a day ends up conquering it all. Good show.


"If I break his neck, will you let me go?"

1
Dora the Explorer: Dora Is Stalked by Omniscient and Omnipotent Strangers

Dora the Explorer follows the bilingual adventures of a little girl who travels almost anywhere. She goes to the tops of mountains, under the sea and even off into outer space. To aid her on these peligroso travels, Dora often turns to the camera to ask for advice.

The Nightmare:

So, when Dora turns to the screen and asks what she should do next ... who the hell is she talking to?

"Well, Cracked, she's talking to the little kids at home! It's interactive! The kids shout back to the TV, and it appears that Dora does what they say!" Yeah, but ... from Dora's point of view, how does this work? The answer is apparently that Dora's life is controlled by a powerful, ever-changing mass of strangers.

This entity makes choices about Dora's travels, picks items from her backpack, scares off Swiper and even can reach into Dora's world and physically help her. For example, during "The Great Polar Bear Rescue," the stranger helps Dora pull her cousins into a helicopter.


"OK, but next time we're making you do a Sophie's Choice between them."

And where is this all-knowing mass of strangers in Dora's universe? For instance, if we're watching the show, suddenly we'll see Dora in her home, and she'll start talking to us as if we are standing behind a table in her living room:


"Eyes in the wall, tell me who dies tonight."

So, what is she seeing? Who is she talking to?

And she can see us. In every episode, Dora starts off minding her own business in her house or in the woods or wherever, then is suddenly confronted by this powerful entity (us) who now has complete control over whether or not she is going to survive her next adventure. It's bad enough for kids to talk to strangers, but Dora is immediately placing her life in these strangers' hands as she crosses some dangerous rapids or climbs a mountain.


Even the monkey knows that this is bullshit.

And by the way, what is going to happen when Dora gets older? Are these strangers going to keep appearing in her house? What if she's getting dressed, going to the bathroom or being intimate with someone? After all, currently she can't even go to bed without someone staring at her. Muy espeluznante!


"AWAKEN! YOU EXIST ONLY FOR OUR AMUSEMENT, WHORE!"

Eh, maybe we're overthinking this. Never mind.



For more TV universes that should terrify you, check out The 7 Most Soul-Crushing Series Finales in TV History. Or read about the 6 TV Shows That Completely Lost Their Shit.

If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out Does Green Day Have a Yoko Ono Problem?

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