10 Terrifying Toons from the Early 2000’s

10 Terrifying Toons from the Early 2000s

Angelina Garcia, Staff Writer

A mixture of Halloween spirit and nostalgia got me thinking about cartoons that were aired when I was younger, specifically cartoons that gave me the creeps.

10. Ed, Edd n Eddy

Despite how much I adored this series when I was younger, there were many moments that were definitely on the creepy side, as well as aspects about the show as a whole. The Kanker Sisters, the main antagonists of the show, never failed to thoroughly gross me out. Now, looking back at it, they probably appear to be even more terrifying because of the purgatory theory surrounding the show. Although, that specific fan theory  (which speculates that the cul-de-sac is actually a purgatory, and each character died at a different time during the 1900‘s) is fairly macabre, unrealistic and definitely a bit farfetched. I also always found it odd and creepy that adults were never fully shown on the show, in my mind I always thought of it as some abandoned children’s town that somehow ran on its own. 

9. Invader Zim

With a main character of the show being an alien who wishes to destroy the human race and Earth itself, you would think it might be near the #1 spot. However, I never really watched this show. It was canceled due to the amount of violence that was in it before the second season even aired, so I only have a brief memory of this show. I most vividly being more scared of GIR than I was of Zim himself; it was probably the dog costume.

8. Cow and Chicken

The fact that Cow and Chicken are siblings was probably the hardest thing about the show to adjust to, as well as the fact that they had human parents. As a child I was always wondering, “How is that even possible? Why would they do that?” As far as the creepiest aspect of the show goes, it’s probably the animation style itself. The amount of  wrinkles and extremely dramatic expressions and how completely red the Red Guy is made things uncomfortable, which only added to how weirded out this cartoon made me.

7. The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy

Not only was this a show that I watched frequently, but I also played the game I had of it on my Gameboy Advance SP just as frequently, if not more so. Looking back on it, I wonder why I loved the show so much. It’s really just about The Grim Reaper and what happens because he lost a limbo game to a boy who has the lowest IQ possible and his cynical friend. General Skarr was probably the character who frightened me the most, even though almost every characters frightened me at some point during the series. He only has one pupil.

6. Rocko’s Modern Life

It could be the amount of mentally unstable animals that make this show creepy, or now looking back on it, the amount of innuendos and double-meanings I never understood. Overall, the show doesn’t have an overall odd or creepy vibe to it, but the little things are why this show makes the list. I found Rocko’s toad neighbors, the Bigheads, to be completely repelling, from their voices to their attitudes. Rocko’s Modern Life also has a handful of creepy animations, whether it be how noodle-thin the character’s arms are or how their faces completely contort to display certain emotions. This is just one of those shows that just weirded me out with nothing fully backing it up, but rather a mixture of all these little things that aren’t weird at all on their own.

5. The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack

As a show that premiered in 2008 and may push the “early 2000’s” range, but how could this show not be included? It seemed that after the period that was filled with horrifyingly creepy cartoons died out, a grace period came after, only to be broken down when this show came out. Just looking at it, it’s a show about a candy-obsessed young boy who was raised by a whale and who’s best friends with a blue captain. I remember trying to watch this show and never being able to gain interest, mostly due to the animation style and obscure humor that’s really far out there. It was probably all of the secondary characters and how they were animated completely disturbingly.

4. The Ren & Stimpy Show

Mentioning animation once again, this show was animated so oddly that I never even knew that Ren is a Chihuahua and that Stimpy is a cat. I just assumed that Ren was a who-knows-what with overly bloodshot eyes who loved to yell at this dog-like friend. I always saw this violent show as just that, and as a show that’s graphic in terms of cartoons.

3. Courage the Cowardly Dog

Even though this cartoon was created specifically for the horror genre, I loved it. Out of all of the creepy cartoons from my childhood, this is one of the only ones that I can say I thoroughly enjoyed. I never really found it scary in most cases, although a few shows definitely frightened me a bit. I vividly remember an episode that involves a cockroach standing on its hind legs and answering a door. As a person who has a fear of cockroaches, that was horrifying and hasn’t been forgotten.

2. Aaahh!!! Real Monsters

A cartoon that’s centered around a plot about monsters going to school in order to learn how to scare humans; perfect for children. I never had the courage to watch this show, mostly because of how the main characters look like a deformed hand holding a pair of eyeballs, a striped fishing hook with dramatic lips, and some sort of hybrid between a cat and a bat with some gigantic ears. The terror I received from this show mostly stemmed from the commercials that would air between programs on Nickelodeon- even that short amount of time was enough to give me the creeps.

1. Mr. Meaty

Who thought this show was okay for children? This is the one show that I had to think about whether I wanted to commit to an image search- I ended up passing on that. Something about this show made it so hard to look away from when I was younger. Despite how disgusted and disturbed I may have been from what was going on, I kept on watching. Now when I look back at it, I wish it was a show that I completely avoided because even today, it just completely grosses me out. When you’re involving a cryogenically frozen CEO that’s over 100 years old and not completely dead, that’s a little bit too far.