10 Unintentional Body Horror Kids Cartoons from the ‘90s

Our parents were probably having nightmares while we were perfectly happy
10 Unintentional Body Horror Kids Cartoons from the ‘90s

I remember perfectly well plopping down after school with a grilled cheese to watch some cartoons. I also remember occasionally looking back at my parents faces to see a quizzical expression across them. At the time, I probably wrote it off as them not getting my young, No Fear T-shirt wearing generations humor. These Boomers couldnt grasp the intricacies of Rocko's Modern Life

Now, in retrospect, I realize that expression as slight disgust — not at the content of the shows in question, but at the fact that the vast majority of them were deeply visually unpleasant. In a variety of ways, too. Everything from unwelcome chimeras to just upsetting renditions of the human body, a really surprising amount of these cartoons were borderline body horror in retrospect. 

Dont believe me? Lets review…



Maybe the most commonly cited with regards to “yeah, what was that about?” is CatDog. Here, the lines and art themselves are perfectly smooth and respectable. It’s just the fact that the main character is a crime against god. Not only that, but the show constantly has to explore the challenges of their nightmarish anatomy. I remember my parents gently suggesting that this show was gross, and me fully not grasping why, to which I’d now like to say: I get it.



The subject matter is about as tame as tame can be — it’s just babies, and their curiosity about the world they’re growing up in. They mispronounce words, go on adventures, all standard kids’ cartoon fare. The problem is that every frame of this show is a showcase of misshapen skulls, exposed gums and rogue teeth that would make The Thing proud.

Cow and Chicken

Cartoon Network

I mean, yes, there’s the prominence of the visible ass. There’s also the central inclusion of a cow’s udders, which are thrown around like a medicine ball. The crown, though, might have to go to the character “Boneless Chicken,” who is literally a slack, boneless, goop suffering through a facsimile of life.

Hey Arnold!


The main character’s nickname is “football head,” and his parents never even consider taking him in for an MRI. I do think an underappreciated horror is that weird, fat bully on the left. I remember even as a kid, not liking when he was on screen. I thought it was because he was mean, but I now realize it’s because he looks like he’s made entirely out of vestigial tails.

Ed, Edd n Eddy

Cartoon Network

The body proportions weren’t pleasant to begin with, but it was when jawbreakers met mouth that this became supremely gross. Tacking their ear onto the outer edge? Awful stuff. If you saw this screenshot without context, you’d think it was some strange Russian cartoon called like Chernobyl Kids.

The Wild Thornberrys


They called this cartoon The Wild Thornberrys, but they just as easily could have called it Prominent Human Lips on Safari.

Courage The Cowardly Dog

We could talk about Grandpa’s concerning head shape, or Courage’s creative dental decay, but that all seems like Care Bears shit compared to the creature from the episode “Perfect,” which is unsuitable for each and every age.

Street Sharks

DIC Productions

I realize how many networks were looking to cash in on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with their own varieties, but TMNT managed something important: They made mutants look not so visually deformed. Street Sharks didn’t bother with that, and just asked, “What if David Cronenberg got a big check from a cartoon company?” The gums, the teeth, the abs. The abs were the real breaking point.


Mainframe Entertainment

It’s not like the character designs themselves of ReBoot were that unusual — outside of the weird, vaguely racist looking yin-yang robot, maybe? It more just suffered from coming out in the most awkward phase of the evolution of 3D animation. It might as well have been set in the Uncanny Valley itself.

Aaahh!!! Real Monsters


I understand that horror was the entire kit and caboodle here, but man, they didn’t have to go so hard. Ickis is fine. Take the lips off Oblina, and she’s not bad. But Krumm? What is almost certainly a testicle with inches long, stiff armpit hair? That’s before we try to parse what the fuck is going on with the Gromble. I wouldn’t let my children watch this just on the off-chance it awakened something in them.

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