15 Kids Show Stinkers That Don’t Hold Up

15 Kids Show Stinkers That Don’t Hold Up

They can’t all be Teletubbies and Boobahs. Every once in a while, a real stinker of a kids show gets made. Here are a few such stinkers…

ABC’s Pac-Man and Rubik, the Amazing Cube Block

Pac-Man was the first cartoon based on a video game, and was actually pretty popular, lasting 42 episodes and two specials. Rubik, on the other hand, was taken out back and euthanized after 12 episodes.

Johnny Bravo

It’s an incredibly fun character — sans the constant attempted forcible kissing. Unfortunately, if you take out that part, you have about one Vine’s worth of content every episode. 

Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm

They had to tone down this hyper-violent game to run on USA Network in 1996. They took out all the blood, and put these mortal enemies on the same team against some generic robotic baddies, thus removing every familiar and interesting element from the franchise. It only lasted 13 episodes.

Darkstalkers: the Animated Series

Darkstalkers was a Mortal Kombat-inspired fighting game that was popular enough to jump mediums to comic books, regular books and anime. It also had a one-season syndicated cartoon that, similar to Mortal Kombat, was stripped of enough gore and violence to make it nearly unrecognizable to fans. 

Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future

The world simply wasn’t ready for this multimedia extravaganza, and frankly, it still isn’t. It was produced in a combination of live-action and animation, and Mattel released a bunch of toys that would interact with the episode when pointed and fired at the screen. The plot sounds like a Tim Robinson sketch: 22nd-century guerilla fighters try to destroy the robots who took over Earth following the Metal Wars.

Garbage Pail Kids

Perfect social commentary as trading cards; horrible idea for an ‘80s cartoon series. The animated series was yanked from American television before it even debuted. A 2012 remake of the movie was proposed, but ultimately canceled — but there’s reportedly a series in development at Max.

Street Sharks

This was a cynical attempt to wriggle into the wallets that parents had just opened for the wildly popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And it worked! At least on my parents — I had a couple Street Sharks, and I loved them dearly.

The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange

The Annoying Orange franchise (yuck) started as a horrible YouTube series in 2009 and shouldn’t have lasted longer than a single Quibi, but has instead amassed over 700 episodes and spawned video games, merchandise and this two-season abomination on Cartoon Network.

Fred: The Show

Another horrible voice, this time emanating from a human boy. YouTuber Lucas Cruikshank created Fred Figglehorn, a panic attack come to life, and Nickelodeon exposed him to an unsuspecting public via three movies and one horrid TV series.

Angela Anaconda

This gaggle of bobbleheaded stop-motion freaks was probably on the first draft of the VHS from The Ring, but even Samara was like, “This is a little unsettling, no?”

Planet Sheen

This shameless Jimmy Neutron spin-off from 2010 has one of the lowest IMDB ratings for an animated show, at 2.9 out of 10.


This little French menace is getting a reboot on Peacock. It’s time to start ordering Freedom Fries and Freedom Toast in protest once more. 

The Pebbles and Bam-Bam Show

This Flintstones spin-off portrayed the fan-favorite babies as teenagers. While the kids grew up, the subject matter, ironically, became more family-friendly, and they never tackled the difficult subjects (unemployment, gambling addiction) that their predecessors did.

The Censored Eleven

This refers to 11 Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies episodes banned for blackface and other messed-up racial stereotypes. 

The Adventures of Paddy the Pelican

Each episode of this 1950s cartoon starts out with 15 seconds of disembodied laughter, like a bad TikTok. Its animation looks like a precocious fourth grader ripping off Looney Tunes, and the voiceover sounds like a drunk birthday clown putting on a puppet show. Honestly, of all the shows on this list, this one is the most worth checking out.

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