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Best 90s Cartoon Network Shows

Strange and silly, the best 90s Cartoon Network shows kept kids entertained for hours.

By Bethany TiamatPublished 7 years ago 5 min read

"Only 90s kids will remember" is a trendy tagline that epitomizes the nostalgia shared amongst those born between 1990 and 1999. This period was right before the age of smartphones took away from the true creativity of many TV animators.

Regardless of the cynicism, however, many cartoons from this era are amazing, and have earned a special place in the nostalgic fan's heart. In this article, we will be taking a trip down memory lane with these 90s Cartoon Network shows that any 90s kid will definitely miss.

The Powerpuff Girls

The Powerpuff Girls TV series was one of the best 90s Cartoon Network shows. It was a 2D animated show featuring three young superhero girls, Blossom, Buttercup, and Bubbles, the accidental creation of Townsville scientist, Professor Utonium.

The show was revered for its distinct, appealing and strong, female characters. Blossom, the red Powerpuff, acts as the mature leader of the three. Buttercup, the green Powerpuff, is the tomboy of the group, taking note for her aggressive attitude and Bubbles, the blue Powerpuff, is the innocent, most childish (and clearly the best) of the three.

Johnny Bravo

“Hey, Mama!” was the iconic catchphrase of character Johnny Bravo, a buff, yet clueless man with a solid black shirt, blonde, funky hair, and star of one of the classic 90s Cartoon Network shows. The comedy of the show was simple yet effective with the basic premise being that Johnny wants to score women, but his naive nature only winds up getting him into trouble.

Cow and Chicken

David Freiss, who also brought you The Ren and Stimpy Show, was responsible for one of the hit 90s Cartoon Network shows, Cow and Chicken, starring—you guessed it: a cow, aptly named Cow, and a chicken, named Chicken (shocking).

The two are antagonized by the Red Guy, a crude and raunchy depiction of Satan if he was a barn animal. Fans of this show are primarily disappointed with what’s displayed on Cartoon Network in modern times, given that the humor in Cow and Chicken often relied on material that would be deemed inappropriate in today's society, likely prompting its cancellation.

I Am Weasel

Another brainchild of David Feiss, I Am Weasel revolves around I.M. Weasel, a furry creature admired by many of his peers for his charming persona and devilish good looks (for a weasel, of course). In contrast, I.M. Weasel is foiled by I.R. Baboon, a hideous creature lacking in wit, looks, and anything even remotely superb.

This 90s Cartoon Network show originally started off as a segment of Cow and Chicken, but thanks to its fans admirations, gained its own spin-off show that last a total of 79 individual episodes.

Courage the Cowardly Dog

Next to the Goosebumps series, Courage The Cowardly Dog was one of the most well-known 90s Cartoon Network shows. For children, it was an introduction into the horror genre. The show features Courage, a silly, cute, pink dog with large, floppy brown ears and whom can only speak gibberish, except with the occasional English voice over for comedic effect.

Courage lives in The Middle of Nowhere with his owners, Muriel and Eustace. Eustace doesn’t seem to enjoy dogs that much, but Muriel loves him.

Each episode features a different terror plotting to harm Courage’s owners, who, despite his overwhelming fears, must work up the courage to save them, himself, and his home. Despite the show being officially canceled in 2002, Cartoon Network occasionally gives reruns of the show, particularly on its Boomerang marathons, which features reruns of all beloved 90s shows that were canceled.

Dexter's Laboratory

Move out of the way, Hannah Montana, because while Miley Cyrus may have been concealing a life as a pop star, Dexter McPherson had a much bigger secret in this 90s Cartoon Network show. He’s a secret genius scientist, crafting daily inventions that save humanity!

Despite his notable efforts, Dexter’s decision to keep his brilliance secret was because of his parents, who could potentially ground him for his actions. The only one who knows of Dexter’s laboratory is his pestering sister, Dee Dee, who often destroys his creations in her negligence.

Additionally, Dexter’s nerdy, quirky nature, while beloved by fans, makes him the target of Huber Elementary School bully, Mandark, whom Dexter often plots revenge against.

Ed, Edd n Eddy

What 90s show trio other than The Powerpuff Girls is loved by 90s kids? The answer is simple: Ed, Edd n Eddy,one of the most loved 90s Cartoon Network shows. The show features three protagonists, who are all adolescent boys simply trying to survive their youthful years, and like many adolescent males, are motivated by two things: girls and candy (or in their case, jawbreakers).

What makes this series so notable is the individual characters each complete with their set of quirks, yet in spite of their contrasts, still manage to be the best of friends. Ed is the tall, absent-minded friend, who loves chickens and horror movies. Edd, or more commonly referred to as "Double D" (because of the dual D's in his name), is the smarter of the three, but certainly the most paranoid.

And finally, Eddy is the leader of the group who dreams high and schemes the next adventure for his trio. The moral of the show is simple yet powerful: no matter what your differences are, you can always bond with someone over the smallest of things, including similar sounding names. No wonder why 90s kids miss this hit show.

Pinky and the Brain

Much like how I Am Weasel premiered on Cow and Chicken, Pinky and the Brain was seen as great among 90s Cartoon Network shows. This show premiered on the Animaniacs originally before rising to its solo performance. The plot involves two mutated laboratory mice (hopefully Dexter wasn’t the mastermind behind this) whose humor primarily relies on poking fun at other popular mediums, such as novels, shows, or classic movies. Perhaps this was the first engagement with parodies for 90s kids.

2 Stupid Dogs

As the title suggests, 2 Stupid Dogs is about two dogs who aren’t very bright, and are only known by Big Dog and Little Dog. While the animation style leaves little to admire, taking a more mundane and simplistic flair than other 90s cartoon shows, the goofy, innocent humor was enough to garner this show a 70-80 percent rating on average.

Why these amazing 90s Cartoon Network shows were terminated despite their fan base which is still loyal to this day is beyond many. Hopefully with enough outcry we can get returns, reboots, or even spin offs of our beloved shows.

comedylistpop culture

About the Creator

Bethany Tiamat

I love three things: books with yellowed pages, long walks on beaches with my german shepard Dany, and dishes incorporating fried onions.

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    Bethany TiamatWritten by Bethany Tiamat

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