I think we need to bring back mean spirited humor in cartoons

the_joker

Active Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2009
Messages
763
It seems that I probably haven't seen that many "mean-spirited" cartoons.

Some cartoons that are mentioned a few times (Ed, Edd, n' Eddy, Invader Zim, Billy and Mandy) aren't that "mean-spirited" to me.

In the case of Ed, Edd, n' Eddy, terrible things do happen to the Eds and the other kids (usually the former), but some of the enjoyment came from one of the kids (or at least Eddy) asking for trouble. Kevin was intentionally written as a jerk who has a pretty special hate toward Eddy, so he didn't bother me that much. There were a few kids in the show that bugged the hell out of me, but it was more because I found them terribly obnoxious.

For Invader ZIm, Zim is hardly nice, but his incompetence despite whatever intelligence he might have is his most prominent trait. I suppose that's why it's fun seeing him be sort of mean. I guess the human characters not named Dib were pretty mean since they treat the 2 main characters like crap, but those other human characters are also more stupid than mean, so I guess that's why I don't think the show was that mean-spirited. And I know Gaz is a straight-up jerk, but she wasn't that prominent in the show.

As for Billy and Mandy, Grim is irritable, but that's especially because he's stuck with 2 weird kids against his own will, so his attitude made sense. I guess Mandy could be mean, but she wasn't malicious and didn't actively hurt others. However, it was weird when the show painted her as "evil incarnate" in some episodes since she's more blunt and indifferent than straight-up mean. The show was more about the weird stuff that the main characters cause or get involved in like Invader Zim, so I also didn't see the show as mean-spirited.

I saw a post about Timmy's parents in The Fairly Oddparents being brought up, and I lost interest in that show because the show made the characters too obnoxious at some point, with Timmy and Cosmo becoming loud idiots being the worst examples. Timmy's parents weren't even supposed to be that mean; they were neglectful because they were pretty selfish, but they still cared about Timmy deep down. Later seasons seemed to have forgotten about the latter, so that's another strike against the show screwing up its own characters.

I haven't seen The Simpsons, Family Guy, or South Park in a long while, but I think those shows being blunt about about their mean-spirited humor made such humor more tolerable.

I think the bottom line is that a mean-spirited comedy show can work, but as @Dudley said, it can be easy to screw them up since unlikable characters in other shows have caused some damage.

One example of this is Bloo from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. I'm not sure if the show was overall mean-spirited or even how often, but Bloo being a dick when he was never like that in the show's premiere pretty much turned me away from the show. I still don't know why Mac would consider someone like him a best friend especially since he knows that Bloo is more trouble than he is worth. And Mr. Herriman constantly being a self-righteous dick toward Frankie also got tiring because Herriman was often shown as incompetent at his job and dealing with other imaginary friends. Frankie even proved his worthlessness one episode. Still, the show did have some good episodes like "Good Will Hunting" and "Destination Imagination", but they aren't enough to save the show.
 
Last edited:

dumbfoolkid5

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2012
Messages
1,958
Location
New Orleans LA. US
Wait, why do you dislike Looney Tunes? :(
It's mean spirited and psychology scaring to me. I still have thoughts of those cartoons from childhood and it still haunts me today. Maybe not all but most of them. I hate them and can never see them. I hate their sense of humor. The same with Animaniacs old Disney and Hannah Barbera shorts and shows like the Flintstones, Jetsons Top Cat and ESPECIALLY TOM AND JERRY! hate them.

Sent from my SM-G781U using Tapatalk
 

BattleForBFDIFan4

Active Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2020
Messages
108
Location
Philippines
It's mean spirited and psychology scaring to me. I still have thoughts of those cartoons from childhood and it still haunts me today. Maybe not all but most of them. I hate them and can never see them. I hate their sense of humor. The same with Animaniacs old Disney and Hannah Barbera shorts and shows like the Flintstones, Jetsons Top Cat and ESPECIALLY TOM AND JERRY! hate them.

Sent from my SM-G781U using Tapatalk
I'm pretty sure the slapstick comedy makes it cruel but I still like it regardless.
 

SmileyToonatic

Active Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2015
Messages
173
There still are “mean spirited” cartoons nowadays. Teen Titans Go comes to mind. Robin is the punching bag of the entire show and that’s the joke. It’s like that almost every episode. It can be funny, sometimes not. To me, there is nothing wrong with mean humor, just depends on the execution. Some shows mastered it like Camp Lazlo, Duck Dodgers, Johnny Bravo, to name a few. SpongeBob still relies on this too. Total Dramarama is a current show that relies on torturing a character too, Chef. I find that show funny as well. When done right, mean humor comes off as more humorous than it does cruel. Plus, mean-spiritedness can be somewhat subjective. There are some shows people find mean that I didn’t. I feel like every show has at least some cruelty meant to be funny. It’s pretty opinionated. I feel like it’s a trait that’s always here.
 
Last edited:

Spotlight

Who's on Discord?

Latest profile posts

Happy birthday Bakugou!
Here's a late April Fool's joke from Dan Povenmire that's hilarious and actually pretty nice. It's not intended as such, but still.

Today was the 1st time I've played Puzzle League DS (European name of Planet Puzzle League), on a DS emulator of course. I enjoyed playing it for an hour. My highest chain is X7. I wish I could get a chain of X13 and up if I was fast enough to form matches.
Having watched today's Vampirina episode, her performance was definitely a highlight.

Happy 75th birthday to Tim Curry. I have many fond memories of watching his various performances in various shows and movies.

Featured Posts

Top