There comes a moment in our lives when we look back at our childhood and wonder where all the time has gone. When we realize how long ago our childhood was, and how much time has passed since we were little kids with no worries or cares in the world. That moment is now.
As children, we grew up with some of the best animated shows that Cartoon Network had to offer. We fought Mojo Jojo with the Powerpuff Girls, yelled at Deedee with Dexter, chased girls with Johnny Bravo, and ran from the Kanker Sisters with Ed, Edd, and Eddy.
These shows shaped our childhood and helped us to become the people that we are today. That’s why we get a sense of nostalgia when we think about them. How would we know about true friendship without The Teen Titans or how to overcome our fears without Courage the Cowardly Dog?
However, there are many other Cartoon Network shows that also shaped our life and engaged our imaginations as children. These shows tend to be overshadowed by the more popular series and therefore get pushed to the back of minds.
It is time to take a trip down memory lane and give those shows the credit they deserve.
So, get ready for a blast from the past, because here are the 20 Cartoon Network Shows You Completely Forgot About.
20 Codename: Kids Next Door
Also known as KND, Codename: Kids Next Door featured five children who fought against adulthood and teen villains. Operating from their high-tech tree house, the kids were part of a global crime-fighting organization called Kids Next Door. Either you were in it, or you were old.
The Kids Next Door was originally part of another Hanna-Barbera show called Kenny and the Chimp. They were simply recurring side characters in the show that would get Kenny into all sorts of trouble. However, the pilot was changed, and the episode focused on the kids alone and then later developed into a fight against adulthood.
In 2001, Cartoon Network hosted its second Big Pick marathon, where viewers could decide next season’s newest original series. Kids Next Door won and therefore debuted in 2002.
It ran for six seasons, but the creator, Tom Warburton is still fighting to get a spin-off series. In 2008, he told fans that the season finale was never meant to be the finale of the show and that a revival could be seen in the future.
Warburton wrote a script for a spin-off called Galactic: Kids Next Door and a petition was started to make the series a reality.
19 Grim & Evil
During the summer of 2000, Cartoon Network hosted a 53-hour marathon competition called The Big Pick to determine the network’s newest series. Grim and Evil won the viewer poll with 57 percent of the vote and became its own series in 2001.
Each episode of the show featured two separate segments – The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy and Evil Con Carne. However, after one season, Cartoon Network split the segments into their own full-length series.
The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy was the more popular series and aired between June 2013 and November 2007. The show featured two kids, the dim-witted Billy and the cynical-yet-cunning Mandy, who became best friends with the Grim Reaper after beating him at limbo. Billy & Mandy was so popular that it was also made into three movies and a video game.
The second segment, Evil Con Carne was not as successful, and only aired for two seasons. The show was about an evil organization named “Evil Con Carne” that wanted to dominate the world. The leader, Hector Con Carne was blown up and the only parts of him that survived – his brain and stomach – were transplanted onto a circus bear.
18 Whatever Happened To... Robot Jones?
In 2000, Cartoon Network aired a 52-hour contest featuring 10 different animated shorts to be chosen for a spot in the network’s 2001 show line-up. Grim & Evil won the contest with 57 percent of the vote, but Robot Jones came in second place with 23%, and Cartoon Network decided to give it a chance anyways.
The show premiered in 2002 and featured a robot who attends middle school in a suburb in a futuristic version of the 1980s. In each episode, Robot Jones faces a common teenage concept in order to fully understand how humans behave. From dating to tackling gym class, Robot Jones tries to make adolescence somewhat more tolerable.
Interestingly, Robot Jones was voiced by Microsoft Word 98’s text-to-voice software during season one. However, after the first season, Cartoon Network’s executives forced the creator, Greg Miller, to find a Hollywood voice actor.
Throughout Robot Jones’ run, the executives pulled their support from the show and constantly changed its time slot. Eventually, Miller left the series, and Robot Jones was canceled during its second season.
Although it was never shown, the last episode was meant to show Robot Jones rallying a robot army to destroy the human life.
17 What A Cartoon!
Just about every successful Cartoon Network show was born on the What a Cartoon! show. However, few viewers remember the actual show.
In 1992, Fred Seibert became the president of Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc. As president, he wanted to try something that had never been done in television history.
He pitched a program consisting of 48 different shorts that would be used to find the next new original series to Cartoon Network. What a Cartoon! would be aired exactly how the original cartoonists envisioned their cartoon, without any intervention from executives.
Seibert got his bosses on board, and the company sent out the word about their program. They received over 5,000 pitches for the three slots.
Some of the first cartoons that were featured on the show included The Powerpuff Girls, Dexter’s Laboratory, Johnny Bravo, Cow and Chicken, and Courage the Cowardly Dog.
What a Cartoon! aired from 1995 to 1997. It was then re-branded as the Cartoon Cartoon Show between 1998 and 2002.
16 Megas XLR
Based on the same premise as Transformers, Megas XLR had everything a boy’s animated show needed-- action, robots, aliens, and all-around gut-culture.
The show was about a mechanic named Coop and his best friend Jamie, who find a robot from the future called MEGAS. Coop modifies MEGAS and replaces his head and control center with a classic muscle car. Hence, why he renamed it "MEGAS XLR."
Together, they must fight against an evil alien race and defend the world against destruction and utter chaos.
Megas XLR only aired for 2 seasons, but it had a huge cult following. It was ranked number 4 on ToonZone’s Toons of the 2000s, and many fans have tried various times to revive the show since its cancellation.
In 2012, fans started using the hashtag #BringBackMegasXLR on Twitter which caught the attention of the co-creator, Goerge Krsitc. He tweeted to his fans saying that they would meet to discuss bringing back the show.
However, during an interview in 2014, he revealed that Megas was written off as a tax loss and therefore couldn’t be revived without the network getting into legal trouble.
15 Time Squad
Imagine a world where all of the nations have merged into one, where everyone lives in peaceful utopia, where there are “no wars, no pollution, and bacon is good for your heart."
This is the premise of Time Squad. However, this future is threatened when the past starts to unravel. Abraham Lincoln is leaving his presidency to pull pranks, Winston Churchill becomes a nudist, and Eli Whitney invents flesh-eating robots rather than the cotton gin.
To save the future, the Time Squad – consisting of Otto Osworth, Buck Tuddrussel, and the robot Larry 300 – must travel back in time to correct the course of history.
According to the creator of the show, Time Squad is a “C-average student’s approach to history." However, it was well-received by many audience members.
The show ran for two seasons and received five Annie Award nominations.
14 Space Ghost Coast to Coast
Space Ghost Coast to Coast was developed as a late-night cartoon that would appeal to adults. Mike Lazzo, the creator of the show, drew inspiration from Jay Leno, who was recently installed as the host of The Tonight Show and David Letterman, who started his own show to compete with Leno.
Hosted by Hanna-Barbera cartoon character Space Ghost, the show featured many celebrities who appeared via a television screen. Space Ghost would interview his celebrity guests, who he originally believed to be other superheroes, and then derail the show by bickering with his director and bandleader, Moltar and Zorak.
Space Ghost Coast to Coast is considered to be the first fully-produced Cartoon Network original series. It first aired in 1994 and moved to Cartoon Network’s late-night block, Adult Swim, in 2004. Over the course of its existence, Space Ghost Coast to Coast aired 110 episodes over 10 seasons.
The show’s feat stoner humor and excessive awkwardness even inspired the creation of other Adult Swim shows such as Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Harvey Birdman, Attorney At Law.
13 Samurai Jack
Samurai Jack was created by Genndy Tartakovsky, the animator that brought us Dexter’s Laboratory and Star Wars: Clone Wars. Dissatisfied with the state of action cartoons, Tartakovsky wanted to make a series that addressed the lack of variety in the field.
Therefore, he created Samurai Jack as an action-adventure series about a samurai forced to travel in time to a dystopian world ruled by a shape-shifting demon named Aku. With his magic katana, Samurai Jack must travel back to his own time in order to defeat Aku and prevent him from taking over the world.
The show ran for four seasons before it ended in September 2004. Since the story was never concluded, Adult Swim ran a final fifth season, 12 years later in March 2017.
Samurai Jack won eight Primetime Emmy awards, six Annie awards, and an OIAF award. It was also created into two video games and its own comic book series.
12 Camp Lazlo
After the end of Rocko’s Modern Life, the show’s creator, Joe Murray kept a notebook of ideas for television shows and books. One of his stories focused around Lazlo, a spider monkey that attends a poorly run summer camp called Camp Kidney.
Originally, Murray wanted Lazlo to star in a children’s book. However, after much development, he decided that a book simply couldn’t contain all of his stories and ideas.
So, he reached out to Linda Simensky, who formerly worked with him on Rocko’s Modern Life, to pitch a television show. He originally named it 3 Beans, but Simensky said it sounded too much like a salad. Thus, they went back to the drawing board and Camp Lazlo was born.
The show was designed to evoke a sense of nostalgia in its viewers and remind them of their times at summer camp. In a world where many of the shows revolved around futuristic themes, Camp Lazlo was created to bring children back to the wonders of nature.
Camp Lazlo ran for five seasons and won three Emmy Awards. The characters from the show even appeared in a McDonald’s Happy Meals commercial.
11 The Moxy Show
Making its debut in 1993, The Moxy Show was a mash-up of different Hannah-Barbera cartoons linked together by scenes of 3-D animated characters called Moxy and Flea. It is considered the first original series on Cartoon Network, although Space Ghost Coast to Coast is Cartoon Network’s first fully produced original series.
What makes The Moxy Show truly unique is that it was the first real-time, live cartoon. A puppeteer wearing a motion capture suit acted out Moxy’s movements, while a technician controlled his facial movements.
The characters were even laid out in front of a physical set, and the show was sometimes aired live so that Moxy could talk to viewers that called in during commercial breaks.
As brilliant and innovative as The Moxy Show was, it is now known as a lost series. Cartoon Network has seemed to distance itself from the show and it’s nearly impossible to find full episodes of the series. It has been dubbed one of the rarest Cartoon Network programs to be seen after 2000.
10 Cow and Chicken
Cow and Chicken was originally created by David Feiss as a bedtime story for his daughter. However, when he was called on to submit ideas for What a Cartoon!, he pitched the story and Cow and Chicken debuted on the show in 1995.
The animated short was an immediate hit and fans started mailing letters to Hanna-Barbera, requesting more Cow and Chicken episodes. Therefore, in 1997, Cow and Chicken became its own full-fledged series.
The show focused on a typical suburban family, living in Anytown America. However, the son is an 11-year old chicken and the daughter is a 7-year old cow. What are the mom and dad? You never see any part of them, except for their legs.
The daughter and son are sometimes terrorized by a red-man with no pants, and all three of them are voiced by the same actor: Charlie Adler.
9 Squirrel Boy
Probably one of the most obscure Cartoon Network shows, Squirrel Boy was created during a dark age for the network. However, with other shows such as Krypto the Superdog and Atomic Betty debuting around the same time, Squirrel Boy is actually one of the most memorable shows of 2006.
The show centered around the classic tale of a boy named Andy and his pet squirrel, Rodney J. Squirrel. Rodney was full of get-rich-quick schemes and the two of them went on some insane adventures together.
Of course, they aren’t the only human-pet duo in this universe. Andy and Rodney have arch-enemies. A boy named Kyle and his pet parrot, Salty Mike constantly pick on them.
Squirrel Boy aired for two seasons and 52 episodes. Although it got decent reviews from critics, it ended up being hated by viewers and Cartoon Network quickly took it off their lineup.
8 Hi Hi Puffy Amiyumi
Hi Hi Puffy Amiyumi was based on a J-Pop group called PUFFY, which created and sang the theme song for Teen Titans.
Sam Register, the creator of the show, was a fan of PUFFY and wanted to spread their fame to the rest of the world. Therefore, he created a cartoon that centered around the duo and their travels around the world on their tour bus.
Yumi Yoshimura, the younger of the two band members, was depicted in the show as a cynical rocker with blue hair and eyes. She loves heavy metal, studded jewelry, and combat boots. On the other hand, the older member, Ami Onuki, is drawn as a peppy and cute pink-haired girl. She is extremely optimistic and loves bubblegum pop.
Hi Hi Puffy Amiyumi was the only cartoon of its time to be entirely produced in the United States, despite its Japanese influences. It was eventually canceled in its third season, leaving five episodes unaired.
7 The Life and Times of Juniper Lee
The Life and Times of Juniper Lee was created by Judd Winick, a comic book writer/artist who worked on Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Batman, and Marvel’s Exiles. According to him, the show was inspired by elements of The Simpsons and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
The series focused on the life of a girl named Juniper Lee, who lives in a town filled with magic, monsters, and demons. Juniper has been named the protector of her world and must fight the forces of evil to maintain a balance between the human and magical realm.
However, this role requires her to not only balance the worlds, but also balance her crime-fighting life with that of a normal teenage girl.
Although the show ran for three seasons, there was a fourth and fifth season planned. Therefore, the third season ended on an unexpected cliffhanger.
6 My Gym Partner’s a Monkey
When a spelling error changed Adam Lyon’s name to “Adam Lion," he is transferred to a middle school for anthropomorphic zoo animals. Not only must Adam adjust to middle school, but he must also learn to fit in with his crazy classmates.
However, Adam quickly finds a friend in his gym partner, the ever-so-eccentric spider monkey, Jake. For 96 episodes and four seasons, the two of them battle the challenges of adolescence and puberty alongside the animals of Charles Darwin Middle School.
My Gym Partner’s a Monkey was well-received by viewers and critics alike. It was a huge rating-success and boosted Cartoon Network’s viewership by millions. The show debuted with a two-episode premiere which was watched by 1.3 million children, and ranked as the #1 television broadcast for boys between the ages of 2 and 11.
However, all good things have to come to an end, and the show ended in 2012.
5 Class of 3000
You probably remember André 3000 from his role in Outkast, but did you know that he also created, produced, and voiced a character on Class of 3000?
In the show, André 3000 voiced Sunny Bridges, a jazz musician with plans to retire from the music business. However, when he returns to his home of Atlanta, Georgia, he is met by one of his fans, Lil D. Lil D convinces Bridges to continue with music and tells him to teach music at Westley School of Performing Arts.
Although the show won an Emmy, it was canceled due to budget problems and a lawsuit.
In 2008, a Boston postal worker named Timothy McGee sued André 3000, Cartoon Network, and Turner Broadcasting for $2 million. He alleged that he proposed an animated series called The Music Factory of the ‘90s to Cartoon Network 10 years earlier, and that his proposal had the same characters, artwork, story lines, and concepts as Class of 3000.
4 Sheep in the Big City
Every TV character dreams of running away to the big city. However, for Sheep, he was forced to leave his home.
Sheep was living the good life on a farm with his friends... until a Secret Military Organization came looking for him to power its Sheep-Powered Ray Gun. With a sheep-shaped hole in the ray gun, Sheep knew that the farm and his life were at stake, so he ran away to the big city.
In the city, he must learn how to adjust to life and win over his love, Swanky the Poodle.
Sheep in the Big City was similar in style to Rocky and Bullwinkle, which generated an older fan base. Every episode was divided into three chapters – named after some pun on the word sheep – and in between each episode, there were fake advertisements or small skits.
The show ran for two seasons and was even the highest-rated premiere for a Cartoon Network original series at its time of release.
3 The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack
The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack was the start of the weird, distorted cartoon genre that took off on Cartoon Network. It inspired similar shows such as Adventure Time and Regular Show. However, few people remember where it all started.
The creator of the show, Thurop Van Orman, was inspired by his dreams of marine adventures while growing up in Florida. Therefore, he pitched the idea of Flapjack to Cartoon Network in 2001.
The show centered around a boy named Flapjack who was raised by a talking whale named Bubbie. Flapjack and Bubbie led a typical life until they discovered a pirate named Captain K’nuckles. The pirate convinces them to go in search of a land called Candied Island and the three of them are thrust into a world of misadventures.
Van Orman’s first pitch was rejected, but he wasn’t discouraged from trying again. He received a lot of feedback and re-pitched the concept. His second pitch was successful, and Flapjack aired in 2008. The show went on for three seasons and was nominated for Emmy, Annie, and Golden Reel Awards.
2 Mike, Lu, and Og
Mike, Lu, and Og are all on an island where no one goes. A girl named Mike applied to be a foreign exchange student on a tropical island. However, she landed on a lost island called Albonquetine, which is inhabited by descendants of a British shipwreck.
On the island, she encounters Lu, the self-proclaimed princess of the island, and Og, a 7-year old genius who loves to invent things. Many of their adventures throughout the series focused on Og’s inventions going awry.
Originally aired as part of the What a Cartoon show, Mike, Lu, and Og was basically a child’s version of Gilligan’s Island, with hints of Rugrats and Peanuts animation styles. It was extremely obscure and lacked the excitement of many of the other shows during its time. Therefore, it was quickly forgotten and left in a dark corner of our mind.
1 I Am Weasel
I Am Weasel was originally a part of the Cow and Chicken show from 1997 to 1999. However, it was so popular that it was spun off into its own series from June 1999 to early 2000.
The show was a play on the popular nursery rhyme, “Pop Goes the Weasel” and its theme song even reflected the rhyme’s musical tune.
Much like the nursery rhyme, the monkey chases the weasel throughout all of his adventures. However, despite what I.R. Baboon does, he is always outsmarted and outshined when “pop goes the weasel.”
I.M. Weasel always comes out on top and is depicted as the hero of the show. However, the monkey can’t let this be and adds to the show’s iconic slapstick humor by doing some idiotic and wacky things.
The show ended after 5 seasons in a major season finale. At the end of the series, Weasel, Baboon and the Red Guy are the last people on Earth and it is revealed that I.R. Baboon is actually the true star of the show.
Do you remember any other Cartoon Network shows that we forgot about? Let us know in the comments!
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