Many kids TV shows and cartoons from our past, and even today aren’t just for kids. It’s something that you end up realizing once you re-watch those classic shows now that you’re an adult. The truth is actually, many of those shows and cartoons get better with age. You start to recognize all those jokes that you missed in those WB, Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon TV shows because you weren’t old enough to get allusion, satire, and parody.
Now that you’re a little older, you will find yourself laughing all that adult humor they sneak into all of these shows and relating more to the characters. There is something cool about finally being in on all the jokes and maybe just a tad sad about realizing that maybe your childhood wasn’t all that innocent.
In honor of being both a little older and wiser it’s time that you treat yourself to a nostalgic cartoon and tv marathon, and have a look-see at some of the latest kids TV shows. The older shows have added layers of value because now you can revisit them, and it’s like watching an entirely new show, because of all the things you will notice the second time around. To get you started here’s a list of kid TV shows and cartoons from the past and present that is even better because you’re an adult. You won’t be disappointed!
When you watch SpongeBob Squarepants, you can’t help but feel like a kid again as the show transports you back to those carefree fun days. Those days that we as adults don’t seem to get enough of. If you never watched this show growing up here’s your chance to appreciate all the subtle humor that SpongeBob bought. However, now when you watch it as an adult you will be laughing at all the nuanced jokes. You might even want to start acting like a sponge and soak up the humor, fun, and life lessons from one of the most favorite sea character, SpongeBob!
Henry Danger is about a 13-year old boy who lives in the town of Swellview and ends up landing a part-time job after school as Kind Danger, the sidekick of the well-known superhero in town named Captain Man. In this Nickelodeon hit many masked jokes are aimed at adults so you definitely won’t feel left out, and you’ll find yourself laughing so hard at the sarcasm. The characters on this kids TV show as time goes on will grow on you, and the rivalry and banter between Captain Man and Kid Danger will leave you rotfl. If nothing us it will bring out the kid in you and will make you smile.
Who didn’t love to run around as a kid screaming “Cowabunga!”, And watching the turtles fight crime and scarf down pizza. Watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles now as an adult is way better because you now can appreciate the depth of the characters, and you will notice many things you didn’t as a kid.
Like, for instance, the fact how blatantly April O’ Neil’s character boils down to little more than Lois Lane with more of a no-frills wardrobe and different colored hair. Think about it. They're both journalist that had the same basic personality type. They both had a deep yearning to uncover stories that often got them in trouble and at times required superheroic rescues. Interesting right!
Image: Disney Channel
That’s So Raven, ran from 2003 to 2007 and every teenager back then would have loved to have the ability to see glimpses of the future. This show was funny week after week watching Raven Simone and her two friends come up with hairbrained schemes while trying to change the outcome of what she thought she had seen in her flashes; which wasn’t always correct. Her clothes were cute, her lines were sassy and comedic. Let's not forget she was a Psychic; sort of. Can't get any better than that.
As an adult now watching re-runs of this kid TV show, you really appreciate the friendships that the teens had in the show, as well as Raven’s famous clap backs. Hilarious! She was not putting up with the bullies and the haters at her school, and now we notice even more how such a badass she was. We love Raven more know than ever because she’s not the skinny cheerleader type or the most popular kid in her class. She was the girl you wanted to hang out with, and as an adult, we realize even more we want more friends like her in our lives.
The Loud House is about an 11-year old Lincoln who has five older and five younger sisters who’s presented as sort of an outcast out of the bunch. As an adult, the storyline is grounded and relatable for an animated series. You have episodes that deal with hand-me-downs, getting to finally sit at the adult table instead of the little kids' table, and grabbing that last slice of pizza. All things that many can say “this happened to me as a kid.”
It’s fun to watch a cartoon that you can somehow relate to, and The Loud House is one that gives you the feeling that these episodes came from actual experiences. It’s refreshing to watch a cartoon that embodies diversity like this one does, because back when we were kids, we didn’t have characters like Lincoln’s best friend Clyde who has two dads, or Luna Loud, one of his older sisters who is bisexual.
Who growing up didn’t think Kim Possible was awesome in High School? She had tons of friends, was a campus superstar, and let’s not forget she was a secret agent. Each episode was filled with sarcasm, fun, and useful life lessons that kept us watching each week. Being an adult and watching now you will love her for being such a strong female protagonist that is shown being a girly girl and a badass in the same instance, which is presented to the audience as both things being compatible. That in itself is a valuable message, and now some years later you will adore Kim a lot for that.
If you were born in the ‘90’s it’s a safe bet that you were a big fan of The Fairly OddParents. It was a staple in many childhoods to watch the crazy adventures of Cosmo and Wanda as they granted wishes to young Timmy.
However, there as some bizarre storylines that probably went over your heads as a youngster, and when you re-watch some of these episodes as an adult, you will take notice to the many adult references in each episode. The Fairly OddParents have some of the most hilarious jokes you will ever hear in a cartoon, and you will bust out laughing from all the jaw-dropping lewd humor.
Image: ABC Studios
When this show became a lineup on ABC’s TGIF line-up, Cory, Shawn and Topanga were free-wheeling six graders with little responsibilities and naïve about the rest of the world, and as kids ourselves we loved tunning in every week. Throughout this time were busy being emotionally invested in Cory and Topanga’s relationship and learning life lessons from the trials and tribulations of many of its characters on the show, in the process failed to notice the adult jokes in Boy Meets World.
It’s so much fun re-watching episodes now and laughing so hard from all the dirty jokes that might just break your brain a bit. Also, let's be honest, from the slang to the jean jackets this show was the epitome of the '90s and its great times looking back to see what we thought was so cool back then. Remember that reunion episode that got everything wrong when it came to their futures. Most of us can truly relate to this.
This was what all the fans of Boy Meets World had been waiting on for years; Ben Savage and Daniel Fisher reunited as their characters, married with kids living in New York City. Watching the show as an adult is great because turning into Girl Meets World brings us back to that part of our childhood we oh so cherished to see our favorite characters all grown up.
Also, we get to watch these relatable characters navigate through marriage, careers, love, friendship, and one of the craziest and most fulfilling roles ever; as parents. If you thought these characters understood you back in the Boys Meets World days you’ll feel it even more as watch them in the spin-off.
It’s fun to watch this show for sentimental value, but it’s more fun to watch this cartoon now because of all the many off-kilter jokes that nobody got as a kid but are both too obvious and hilarious now. As adults, it's great being able to watch a show that has characters we can relate to, and Rocco is definitely one of them.
It’s fun to watch Rocco live his new life in the states, surrounded by an array of nosey and annoying neighbors, as well as with a never-ending pile of laundry and just trying to live his best life each day. Isn’t that most of us; just trying to make our way in the world. Thank you, Rocco, for having similar struggles and making us laugh in the process.
As a kid watching Full House, you probably thought that this family was as perfect as one could go get, and you wanted o to be apart of the Tanner family because they always seemed to have fun, had their stuff together, and could solve just about any problem within a half an hour. However when you watch now as an adult, you start to notice that the Tanners weren’t picture perfect, and that’s what makes this show even better.
Every adult at some point in their lives endure struggles and watching Full House now you will notice they were all having hard times at one point or another. Whether it’s Joey trying to find a job as well as break into the comedic industry or hot Uncle Jessie wishing he didn’t have to be an exterminator but instead be the front man in a famous rock and roll band. After watching an episode, you come away feeling good about yourself and your life, because hey even the squeaky clean family that lived in San Francisco didn’t always have their *hit together!
This cartoon will be forever be known as a family classic in households all across the nation. As a kid, we found this show funny and cool because we all thought how awesome it would be to have a dinosaur as a pet. If you watch it now, you will see that The Flintstones was always meant for an older audience, and how hilarious the satire is, and you’ll notice certain aspects of the show that probably flew over your head as a younger viewer.
Many of those jokes were totally risqué as a child, but you’ll find yourself doubled over with laughter when you re-watch episodes. You’ll realize too that you and your significant other probably argue over many of the same things that Fred and Wilma does and you’ll get a kick out of the banter that goes on between them.
Even though this show was about babies, doesn’t mean that it was entirely innocent. It was a show that had been aimed at kids, but never once talked down to them. Watching Rugrats as a kid, that adult humor probably went right over your head. For instance, you most likely missed the first time around when you the show that Grandpa Lou was definitely into some rather interesting videos, especially the one about space vixens that does not seem G-rated in the slightest bit.
Rugrats was never meant just for kids with all of its witty references, and now watching the cartoon as an adult you begin to realize that Tommy and the gang are asked to deal with mature questions about insecurities, relationships, and morals that are now deeply relatable to all of us.
Hey Arnold! has remained a classic because it was never scared to tackle the hard topics like adult illiteracy, class warfare, all in a light-hearted way that was quite impactful. Surprisingly, there are a few episodes of Hey Arnold! that is pretty dark, and throughout all the shows are quite a few adult jokes. Watching this cartoon as an adult is without a doubt an enlightening experience, especially when you come to realize that Helga’s mom was clearly an alcoholic. Her demeanor was undoubtedly the result of way too many alcoholic “smoothies,” and to quote Phoebe Buffay from Friends Helga's mother was “a little floopy.”
Every last one of the characters in Doug is so fun, and as a kid most of us enjoyed them, but an adult you can appreciate them for the somewhat goofy exaggeration of real people that they actually were. Like many teens, Doug Funnie lived pretty much in his head. His fears seemed quite normal for a teenager, but now watching as an adult you almost feel sad for the kid.
This show was way more profound than you first thought as it explained pain, anxiety, and boredom in a way kids could totally understand. Watching it now you will find yourself can feeling Doug’s pain, and even though it may be a bit depressing to remember some of the things you went through when you were is age, you will realize that you relate a lot more to him now than versus when you were a kid.
This TV show follows two twins Phoebe and Max who have superpowers and their mom, dad, and a younger sister who also has powers. These two may be twins, but that’s where their similarities end. Phoebe is a super student, and is always in a good mood and looks forward to being a superhero someday, and Max is a supervillain.
The Thundermans is so funny! Even the parents will have you cracking up. Watching this an adult you can fully appreciate the characters making quick-witted and sarcastic comments. The kids are kind of bratty to one another, and you’ll find it amusing especially if you’ve gone through sibling rivalry yourself.
You were not a true kid of the ’90s unless you watched Nickelodeon classic Kenan and Kel. Hands down this will be forever one of the best TV Shows On Nickelodeon. Kenan and Kel were genuinely funny, and from start to finish, this show goes for laughs each episode. Even watching it now you will find yourself rolling on the floor laughing because it's just strictly comedic.
Now that we are adults it is fun to watch a show that's just looking to make you laugh without giving you a super serious episode and moralize here and there. It’s the best stress reliever, and its some of the most celebrated slapstick humor. Every second of this show is full of laughs, and it’s the best feeling to be able to lose yourself and just laugh non-stop for a half hour.
This show is fun to watch as an adult because as you watch Zendaya’s character navigate through those teenagers years, we can see a little piece of her in ourselves, well minus the undercover spy part. Her bff is a girly girl, and she’s more of a tomboy and somewhat of a “nerd,” and it's refreshing to watch the show and see that K.C. is happy with the way she is, proving that everyone should love themselves even if they don't fit the status quo. Girlpower!
As an adult, we can now appreciate this message, and this show is packed with a decent amount of rude humor which is definitely funnier as an adult. The little sister who ‘s a robot has the best one-liners and gives the best side-eye. The parents on the show have great chemistry as well, and we all want a partner in life that we can laugh with, enjoy each other’s company and kick a little butt together if we have to. Those are couple goals right there!
For many millennials, Sam & Cat was a TeenNick fan's dream, mainly because it featured many of its viewers favorite supporting characters from iCarly and Victorious! It was also a match made in dirty joke heaven, but many of these jokes you probably missed if you watched the show as a kid. Sam & Cat followed the blueprint of Romy and Michelle, Beavis and Butt-head and even Thelma and Louise.
Watching this show as an adult is hilarious. You get the jokes, and you realize how this show is chaotic vaudeville goof, and relief from anything wholesome and sweet which from time to time is needed in life. In the shows best moments you now notice how they were testing the limits of explicit slapstick; like a little Jackass, Jr. Straight comedy!