Double Entendre 101: Adult Jokes In Cartoons That Have Us Wondering How We Didn’t See Them Before

By Aakash M December 26, 2023

This article was originally published on stories

Writers often add adult humor to their scenes, jokes, and cartoons. Cartoons are technically meant for kids, but nonetheless, it’s difficult not to take a look at them! There might have been many such moments in your childhood when you found your parents laughing during a particular scene in a movie or a cartoon, but you had no clue about what was happening.

But, as an adult, when you rewatch it, you understand what happened. Although you’re many years late, you get the joke now! These jokes aren’t so obvious to a kid. The humor is certainly dark, but most times, it’s really quick and subtle. So, let’s take a look at 45 jokes from cartoons you might not have understood as a kid!

Depression or Puberty?

Teens are rebellious, challenging, and even silly at times. No offense to this generation’s teens; that’s just how we were back in the day! Their moods are often changing, and they’re often searching for their voices and identity. Growing up is indeed tough.

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It’s also why some teens fall into depression while others fantasize too much, just like Timmy. This joke is pretty funny, and it’s weird how they included Dr. Phil in the joke. We’ll never know if Timmy is…lonely or just crying in his room.

Compensation At Its Best

Shrek movies were, and still are, the favorites of kids! These movies were indeed rib-tickling and entertaining, though they were also a bit gross at the same time. But, no matter how raw and filthy they got, we still loved them!

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Basically, every character in those movies was a mess. This is the kind of joke that The Powerpuff Girls would make, which is something you’ll see later on. Well, that question isn’t invalid because you never know who’s compensating for what with what. But Lord Farquaad is just compensating for his short stature…we guess.

Now We Know!

’90s kids know how popular the show Animaniacs was. Not only were the Warner siblings full of charisma, but they were also really confusing at times. What species were they, anyways? Were they half-dog and half-cat? How would that even have been possible?

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Well, anything is possible in the cartoon world, but the truth is that they weren’t a representation of any real-life animal. If you’ve watched the show, you know that Animaniacs got canceled. We believe that jokes like this one would’ve been the reason behind it.

Where Is This Doc From?

Kids weren’t aware of it, but Rocko’s Modern Life was full of dark humor and adult jokes. All these jokes would’ve passed right over the heads of children because the only thing that seemed out of the ordinary for most of them was the doctor with the weird name.

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But, we all get clarity on things as we get older. Now, we all know how inappropriate the name “Dr. Bendova” is. It sounds like an exotic name initially, but when you realize what’s happening, it weirds you out and makes you chuckle.

Not So Goofy Now, Is It?

Here is a DC cartoon you probably watched as a child. You might’ve watched the episodes, but you’d have surely missed their great humor. If you haven’t watched it, Teen Titans is a TV show based on young DC superheroes, much like the HBO show Titans.

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Young doesn’t always equal innocent, apparently. The show was mostly goofy until this episode. Beast Boy doesn’t seem to be happy with the way he is portrayed, and we can see why he feels like that. That’s not really a kids’ show moment! 

Getting to know the vegetables

We know that ratatouille is a renowned French dish, but all children and teens recognize this word because of the funny movie about Linguini and Remy’s restaurant adventure. Remy is a rat who’s also a chef and is amazing at what he does. This meme is about Linguini, though.

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Honestly, this little interaction is mind-boggling, and we’re still trying to find out what the chef meant when he said one could get “too familiar” with vegetables. We definitely don’t want to know what his boss does with the veggies when there’s no one around.

We’re not related!

We hope you all know about the story of Noah and his ark. It’s a biblical tale about the man who saved humanity and all the animals by picking one pair from each animal species and putting them on his ark when a great flood was lurking.

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In this episode of Animaniacs, you can see Noah letting two bunnies hop into the ark. This joke would’ve been slightly difficult to catch, but once Noah mentions that it’s a children’s show, your brain immediately tries to understand what the joke was all about. And it’s very…Game of Thrones-like!

Gone camping

Rugrats is one of the best shows ever, period. Honestly, we were confused about which jokes to include because they have so many! Take a look at this moment where the joke was too subtle, so you probably missed it as a kid.

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If you’re trying to understand what’s a “male-bonding” group, just check Stu’s hands. The hand gesture conveys the rest, and that’s all that needs to be known. Not hard to tell why Howard and his friends need to hide somewhere in the woods for their meeting, huh?

Back in the day

Woodstock was insane, and whoever attended the festival never forgot it. Decades went by, and the world couldn’t be more different now than it was then. At the time of the festival, every single attendee was a hippie and was living like there was no tomorrow.

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Well, there was a tomorrow; they just didn’t think about it. Pretty hard to imagine a grandparent attending such a festival and partaking in all the crazy activities. Well, if your grandpa or grandma looks like they’re missing a brain cell, maybe it’s because they were at Woodstock and did some illicit stuff!

Too creepy, too quick

Watching TV or movies with your friends and family is one of the best things, and it’s a great bonding activity. It’s just you, your loved ones, some popcorn, drinks, and a lot of enjoyment! If there are kids around, make sure to pick G-rated stuff.

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We think many people would have agreed that this scene was too problematic for a kid’s show. The scene is indeed entertaining, but a bit weird too! The grandpa makes the scene creepier with his joke. Just putting it out there.

Meat obsession

No matter what our gender, sexuality, relationship status, race, caste, creed, or nationality is, we are all humans at the end of the day. People often forget this fact, for their own benefit sometimes, but that’s something we should always keep in mind.

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He likes meat, which is why he’s not married. We get that, but we’d really want to double-check and ask the officer what kind of meat he is referring to. Children would’ve been very confused during this scene if they had been paying attention to their dialogues. 

Fast isn’t always good

No matter what generation you’re from, DC superheroes were probably around when you were a child. If you like superheroes, they probably have been even bigger parts of your childhood. DC superheroes are always busy saving the world, but they also find the time to throw in a couple of jokes every now and then.

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He’s the fastest, but children don’t understand why that’s not always the best thing. If you look closely, even Flash is smiling at that joke! He knows that she got him good! This joke is one of those that you’d have ignored as a child because you were too innocent to get it.

Blindfolds

Piñatas started out as a Latino thing, but it didn’t take long for them to become a popular accessory at every single birthday party. To hit the piñata, the birthday gal or guy has to wear a blindfold. Although one powerful strike knocks the thing open, it takes a while to get there.

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Even the adults play this game sometimes, as you can see in this Johnny Bravo scene. She just remembered the last time she was blindfolded, and we can tell that the scenario and the purpose were completely different. How could this naughty joke have aired on a kids’ show?

Altered thoughts

The Powerpuff Girls are simply amazing. They are tiny, insanely dangerous, and most of all, they look adorable. These qualities made The Powerpuff Girls an instant hit! The girls played a really important role by giving young girls some positive representation.

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They weren’t the most innocent of the bunch, though, and this scene above just proves our point. The Powerpuff Girls were accidentally created. We all know the background story. And it’s funny that some of us were created by accident as well. Just a different type of accident…

So ironic!

We hate to break it to you, but if you’re unfamiliar with the story of the Three Little Pigs, you’ve been living under a rock. The good thing is that you can get out of it. You’re here, so you’re reading this, and since that’s the case, you have Internet access. Read the story!

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We know that these two images look disturbing, but the pig brothers are just paying their father the respect he deserves by hanging his photo on the wall. To be precise, they’re hanging a picture of their father’s last-known remains. That must be a bad reminder for them.

Hide it

Without a shadow of a doubt, SpongeBob SquarePants is one of the best and the most influential shows of all time. The humor is certainly vague, but it’s a show that can be watched by both adults and children. Not this particular scene, though.

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Unlike all their funny, clear, and open-ended jokes, this joke is a bit different, and we pity Patrick. He, like most kids, thought that he was indecent because he was showing his genius. We just wanted to know why Patrick would call that his genius. Talk about guys thinking with their…

Old enough

When you’re below the age of 18 (or 21), there are a lot of restrictions. You cannot purchase alcohol, you can’t drive a car, and in most cases, engaging in a romantic relationship isn’t the best thing to do, although it happens all the time. So, kids are always eagerly waiting to enter adulthood.

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Only when you reach adulthood do you realize how simple life was as a child or a teen. This girl was definitely not talking about voting. And we’re honestly surprised Daphne didn’t look mad as this girl openly flirted with Fred!

Burn!

Earlier, we mentioned the relevance of The Powerpuff Girls, as they were the face of girl power in the cartoon industry. They have basically shown all of us that we don’t really need a big strong man to save the day! 

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Do we even need to talk about this innuendo? Her quote can imply so much stuff, from fragile masculinity to men’s inability to…appreciate empowered women. That smirk is evil, and she knows that she just dropped a bomb on the men who are trying to assert their dominance!

Dee Dee’s shenanigans

We have multiple Dexter’s Laboratories memes, and here’s one. This joke wouldn’t be such a surprise for Dexter fans because we know this cartoon is off the rails. And for those who have never seen a Dexter joke, this image is pretty self-explanatory.

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Honestly, this picture gave us a really good laugh, and the joke was well-written. It’s really subtle. and the wordplay is simply the best! Dee Dee was leaving the third clue for Dexter, and the little kid was eager to get it back.

Ancient times

Hercules is a wonderful Disney movie, and it should certainly get the appreciation and love it deserves. It has everything in it, from great characters, mythology, songs to an interesting plot. Who doesn’t remember Megara and the singing ladies? The fights between the powerful make it even better!

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This meme is a bit unique because, unlike all the items on the list, there’s no adult joke here. It’s just some Roman numerals, and there’s no double meaning behind it! It’s just IX-I-I, which means 911! Now, the question is: how does one even type Roman numerals on a phone?

Not mine!

We said it before, and we’ll say it again: the Shrek trilogy is a cinematic masterpiece. It’s certainly hilarious, but what makes it unique is the ironic jokes targeting society. This meme from the second Shrek movie is simply amazing.

@moviedetail/Twitter and Buzzfeed

Knights were pepper-spraying old Shrek, and they found some catnip. The Puss In Boots says that it’s not his, but that’s what everyone would say if they were caught possessing catnip. It’s bizarre, but we can see what they did there!

Tiny and little

Those who have watched Ratatouille know that Linguini and Remy were inseparable, and they had a pretty productive relationship, too. While Remy cooked the delicious stuff, Linguini gave Remy the means to do it. That’s a big thing because nobody would allow a rat in the kitchen.

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This scene shows Linguini coming clean and revealing who’s the real chef. But he’s trapped. His stutter is understandable, and he has no way out of the situation. If he completes his sentence, he’s going to get ostracized. If he doesn’t complete it…well, you can see what the scene is implying!

A hook

If we talk about the best Pixar movies of all time, we know that Toy Story is going to top that list. Although Andy’s story has ended, every fan is eagerly waiting for the upcoming prequel. Toy Story is a movie you can watch without ever getting bored of it. 

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At first glance, it might look as if the toys are a result of the creativity of a mischievous boy’s mind. Looking further into the matter, you can see that the hook is being used to grab things. It’s an interesting placement for that hook, isn’t it?

A note for you

We, for one, don’t think that Ed, Edd, and Eddy was a show for young children. It was a hilarious show about three boys trying to understand adolescence. That’s why the show is full of jokes that are hilarious but totally inappropriate for little kids.

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We completely missed this scene when we watched the show because it was one of those quick moments that you miss if you blink an eye! See those notes? Squint your eyes, and you’ll decipher what they say. It’s important advice, but we’re more interested in understanding how someone spotted this tiny joke!

He’s doing what?

This is probably one of the best Rugrats jokes that we have. It’s also one of the most iconic moments in the cartoon’s universe. Parents wouldn’t be able to control their laughter upon seeing this, and children wouldn’t be able to understand.

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Chuckie’s friends are worried for him after seeing his obsession with Boppo, his clown doll. That itself says a lot, but let’s move ahead. We agree that he should be playing outside, but “Boppin’ his Boppo” has a funny tune. Kids would laugh at that without understanding what they’re referring to.

Magazines

Adult jokes in cartoons are often harmless because children never pay attention to them, and even if they do, the jokes fly right above their heads. Even though we understand the jokes now, that’s not where our focus was when we were watching it.

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This example is an exception. Daffy Duck is reading a Playduck magazine, which is undoubtedly a spin-off of a real-life magazine with a name very close to Playduck. Although Bugs Bunny seems disappointed, we know he sneaked a peek as well.

Took it too far

Who doesn’t love some drama? Sometimes, watching comedies, tragedies, or dramedies is a great way to take your mind off the daily stresses of life. But there are some questionable elements here as well, like Oedipus Rex. We say so because he fell in love with his mother and killed his father.

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Even saying something like that feels quite uncomfortable, so we can only imagine how uncomfortable it would feel when you’re watching Hercules and this scene comes on. Parents wouldn’t really be able to explain this to their kids if they asked who’s this Oedipus guy.

Making an extra buck

In one of the episodes from Dexter’s Laboratory, Dexter fires his annoying sister and employs a new girl to be his assistant. When you see Candi, you can see that she’s really cute and attractive, but she’s nowhere qualified for the job.

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This moment proves that she’s not fit for the job. She just said that she’d charge Dexter extra if she danced with him! Well, that implies that she could be an exotic dancer who gets paid to dance. It’s odd to watch for kids, but it’s also a wrong business decision for Dexter.

Lacking subtlety

We are looking at adult jokes from cartoons, but sometimes, it feels like these jokes go a bit too far. There’s no problem when there’s subtlety, but when the joke’s right on your face, things get uncomfortable, if you know what we mean. Check this joke.

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It takes a bit longer to understand this joke. But once we did, we couldn’t tell if the joke as appropriate even for adults. We know that the wordplay is funny and witty, but it’s absolutely unnecessary and inappropriate at the same time. We can see why the show got canceled.

Too bad for him

In the earlier days in European countries and a few other places, people would give a lot of sacrifices to gods. In most cases, they sacrificed animals. But, we have often heard legends of human sacrifices, with the condition being that they were virgins.

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He doesn’t seem too happy to be called a virgin. We all know how this character is overly confident, so it’s easy to see why he wouldn’t be worried about his life but rather about the fact that someone implied he’s not the lady’s man he is.

Bad timing…

The Amazing World of Gumball is an amazing show, and this scene is perhaps one of the best ones. This scene is one of those scenes that only gets better every time you give it a watch. If you haven’t seen it, you must! 

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Gumball enters the room, and it looks like he can’t believe what he has seen. They’re both pretty stunned, and they have no explanations, either. Well, it’s pretty obvious what Banana Joe was up to, and Gumball entered the room at the wrong time.

Metaphor

Scooby-Doo was one of the most popular cartoons for children back in the day, and the show is still a fan favorite. Which kid wouldn’t want to watch a show about four friends and their furry pet embarking on supernatural and magical adventures?

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That’s certainly the good part, but many of you probably missed the jokes with dark humor, like this one. No offense to the women out there, but this joke is a killer! Such comments can be hilarious – unless they’re repeated every time, in which case it becomes insulting.

Having the talk

The show Doug is a bit different. It’s certainly not a show every kid would’ve watched, but it’s a show that people fonder of as they grow older. Roger’s cat gave birth to three kittens in the third season’s first episode.

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Everybody was baffled because they all thought that his cat was a boy! His name was Stinky. This picture shows that Roger wasn’t only confused about Stinky’s gender. There’s some additional confusion going on as well, if you know what we mean.

A fairly odd moment

The Fairly Odd Parents, like its name, is a pretty odd show that gets really entertaining sometimes. The show is filled with adult jokes that would go over the heads of every child watching the show, and this joke is yet another one of them.

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This joke is pure gold, and we do feel bad for Timmy’s dad. Being a parent is one of the best things in the world, but it requires a lot of sacrifices. Parents stop chasing their dreams to focus on their children, just like Timmy’s dad. They shouldn’t put the blame on the kid, though.

Movie buff

SpongeBob SquarePants is back at it again, and we need to point out that although kids mainly watch it, it’s a show that adults can also enjoy! There’s nothing better than watching SpongeBob and Patrick’s shenanigans. It’s a bit unconventional, but it’s hilarious!

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When his pet entered the room, SpongeBob was caught watching something he shouldn’t be watching. Sometimes, doesn’t it feel like Gary is smarter than SpongeBob and Patrick? Nonetheless, the main question is why SpongeBob, the sweetest guy ever, would be watching such things!

Umbilical cord

Once we reach a certain age, we start noticing that boys and girls are indeed biologically different. As kids, our curiosity often makes us wonder and learn why one gender is so different from the other. This image from Rugrats explains that difference.

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Surely, the baby in the first image is a girl, whereas the baby in the bottom image is a boy. These babies started inspecting their bodies and differences right after they were born! It didn’t take long for the boy to realize that his “umbilical cord” was still there.

Cow and Chicken – Straightforward

Cow and Chicken was one of those shows that you might not have liked initially, but as you watched it, you grew fond of it with time. The premise of the show, combined with the grotesque sense of humor, leaves a lot of space for adult jokes.

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In this scene, Cow is searching for a part-time job because he wants to pay for some toys that he wants. He comes across Dr. Junk, and the rest of it is just some amusing wordplay. What is going on over at Cartoon Network’s studios?

Benefits

Just a disclaimer. If you haven’t watched Zootopia yet, you should certainly watch it! It’s one of those movies you could watch multiple times and laugh every time you watch it. When we were rewatching this movie, we came across this particular scene.

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Here, Officer Judy talks about the ability of rabbits to reproduce quickly. She certainly caught Nick by surprise, which is pretty much visible from his facial expression. This movie is a kids’ movie, but it shows how adult jokes work better when nobody expects them.

Three heads are always better

As we move further and look into more of these cartoon scenes, we realize that the possibility of a kids’ show not having any kind of innuendos is not that high. This is not necessarily bad. After all, it’s not like children will understand the actual meaning of the jokes.

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Such jokes will only confuse a child while the adults are busy laughing their hearts out. This scene from The Flintstones could make you chuckle and feel a bit uncomfortable. If you don’t understand the joke, come back a few years later because you’re too young for it.

Alone with the blackboard

Everybody knows about Tarzan’s story. He was raised by gorillas in the jungles of Africa, which is also a pretty interesting story for a kids’ show. Weirdly enough, according to Disney lore, people say that he’s allegedly Anna and Elsa’s lost brother.

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Tarzan had weird manners, but he was intriguing, which piqued Jane’s interest right away. As you can see, she’s describing her first encounter with Tarzan with the help of a blackboard. She looks pretty immersed in her thoughts, and her dad asked the right question!

DNA situation

Batman is undoubtedly one of the greatest superheroes of all time, and you know how it is with him – you either love Batman or you hate him. There’s nothing in between, and he’s not just your good guy superhero who saves the day in his magical suit.

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Batman’s technically an anti-hero since he represents the darker side of doing good deeds. But, no matter how gray or dark things get for him, this scene was gold. His DNA was all over the town because of his fights! Anyways, kids wouldn’t have cared about this because they likely didn’t even get the joke.

Crushing

Doug is an awkward character because he’s shy and clumsy. He also has some tricks up his sleeves, and that would confuse the children and entertain the adults. He crushes big-time on Patti Mayonnaise. So, it’s obvious that he’s going to act weirder when she’s around.

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In this scene, he’s showing off his science project, which is a volcano that spills lava. Firstly, that’s a bit too direct. He explains his passion for Patti in a very smooth way, but if he thinks that’s going to help him get her, he’s wrong.

Don’t be like this!

If you liked the Disney princesses as a kid, you must know who Belle is. She’s easily recognizable because of her yellow dress and the red rose. She’s a pretty girl, but she’s also a strong and intelligent woman, which is why so many people love Belle.

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But the beast wasn’t a beast. He was just a man. You can see how he’s in some sort of a romantic crisis. He’s also asking for help, but his friend isn’t really doing a good job. Those are some really sarcastic suggestions, but we all know there’s a bit of truth to that.

That hurts

Like Cartoon Network, even Nickelodeon has had its fair share of adult humor and dark jokes in cartoons. Although these jokes are not as sophisticated as the others, they’re still hilarious. They’re also pretty blunt compared to what we have seen in this article.

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This scene is from one of the episodes of Rocko’s Modern Life. While picking berries in the forest, Rocko picks up a berry that’s hanging low. Right then, a bear jumps out of the bush in pain. Neither of them said a word, but we can tell that Rocko grabbed something else!

Capital letters

We have a pro tip for you. You are missing out on a lot of stuff if you haven’t watched Madagascar or Penguins of Madagascar yet. Now that you have the tip, you must watch those movies! It’s not just a kids’ movie. They’re hilarious, and even adults will have fun watching them.

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Alex and Marty have a complicated relationship due to obvious reasons. Zebras and lions don’t really get along, but these two had additional problems. If you missed the joke, just read Marty’s last line and put the capital letters together!