Kids shows tend to be full of whimsy and wonder, but sometimes they can sidewind us and get extremely dark out of nowhere. Even Disney can get in on this. We don't always realize it as kids, but looking back on it, a lot of these moments are pretty messed up. Let's look at a few!
1) Rugrats - Making Chocolate Pudding
When Angelica "breaks her leg" and has to stay with the Pickles family, she starts making all sorts of ridiculous requests. The biggest, of course, is asking for chocolate pudding at 4 AM.
I think we can all relate to that last line, but still, wow.
2) Hey Arnold! - Depression and Alcoholism
There's a surprising amount of dark moments in Hey Arnold! Helga and her family in particular seem to be at the center of all of it, as Miriam Patacki seems to be something of a depressed alcoholic.
3) Spongebob Squarepants - Boredom
The times when Squidward gets bored are probably just a little too real for a lot of adults who watched this with their kids.
4) Toy Story - Sid's Toys
When Buzz and Woody get capture by Sid, a troubled child who likes to torture toys, we get to see some of the horrific results of what he does. They all turn out to be friendly of course, but still, pretty unsettling.
Click to the next page for more surprisingly dark moments from kids shows.
5) Batman: The Animated Series - Scarecrow
Dr. Jonathan Crane, AKA Scarecrow, is one of Batman's deadliest foes. He uses his fear toxin to cause people to hallucinate their worst fears, and when he first uses it on Batman, we get one of the darkest scenes in an already dark series.
At least we got one of the most awesome moments in the entire show out of it.
6) Sesame Street - Mr. Hooper Dies
Mr. Hooper, played by Will Lee, was one of the first human characters to appear on Sesame Street. When Lee passed away, the show decided to devote an episode to teaching children about the topic of death. The result is one of the darkest but most powerful episodes of the show ever.
7) Powerpuff Girls - Time Travel
Being a superhero is hard work, and I don't think any of them could be blamed for wanting to take a day off. But, when the Powerpuff Girls try to, they travel forward in time to find out that Townsville has become Hell on Earth. What's worse is, the surviving townspeople all blame them.
So not only do they get to see horrifying imagery, but they find out they'll never get to take a day off. Ever.
8) Courage the Cowardly Dog - All Of It
Seriously. This show was nothing but absurdly dark moments. I have no idea how this was marketed to kids.
Which was the most brutal?