We'd like to point out that we're aware of the fact that some of the cartoons listed below did not originate in the '80s. However, they were on during the '80s, that's when we watched them, so they're '80s cartoons to us. It's like when we refer to bedwetting as "late '90s behavior." Without further ado...
CARTOON: The SmurfsLESSON: Communism works!
For naysayers who point to the Former Soviet Union as proof that communism is inherently flawed, may we merely direct your attention to Smurf Village, where everyone shares everything, wears similar utilitarian clothing, battles Gargamel and his turn-Smurfs-to-gold get rich quick schemes and obeys the dictates of a bearded, red hat-wearing, benevolent authority figure. Quoth Comrade Papa: "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs." Really, he actually said that.
How it affected us as adults:
Secret communist agendas ceased being dangerous
, or really any adjective of consequence, years ago. The worst thing communism does these days is make Ivy League students waste a couple of years wearing ugly clothes and attending boring meetings. However, the sexual politics of Smurf Village, with its one female for every 30 guys, did go a long way towards preparing us for freshman year of college.
CARTOON: PopeyeLESSON: Spinach is good for you.
Sure, it doesn't taste as good as candy, ice cream or opium, but it' full of essential vitamins and minerals that'll make your muscles explode like battleship cannons. If you want to triumph over the bullying Blutos of the world and win the affections of your own lovely, leggy Olive Oyl, pound a can of spinach at least once a day. Or put it in your corncob pipe and smoke it, like everybody' favorite ornery, mumbling sailorman. Toot toot!
How it affected us as adults:
You only need to look at the steroid scandal rocking Major League Baseball to see that Popeye
raised a generation that is willing to use performance enhancers. Also, it should be pointed out that Olive Oyl was the first anorexic sex symbol.
CARTOON: G.I. JoeLESSON: Knowing is half the battle.
The other half of the battle is kicking Cobra' terrorist ass. And with the coolest soldier codenames ever --Snake Eyes, Duke, Lady Jaye, Shipwreck-- winning the war on terror should be no problem. Good will always win out over evil, because good guys work together (Team Work! Cooperation!), while bad guys are ruthless cowards who turn tail and run whenever G.I. Joe' laser guns get to zappin'. As Sergeant Slaughter once said: "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people and neither do we."
Now that' some good strategery.How it affected us as adults:
Actually, we're pretty certain that our strategy for the Iraq War was conceived after a two day long G.I. Joe
marathon in the Pentagon. They just implicitly trusted that the good guys were going to win, that firing off our guns would make the bad guys run for the caves and that giving everyone cute nicknames was somehow endearing. When things didn't turn out the way they'd planned, the administration placed the blame on faulty intelligence, or in other words: "Knowing is half the battle, and we unfortunately didn't know shit."
CARTOON: Scooby Doo