It's a common misconception that adult humor in children's cartoons is a sly slip-in from the writers to achieve some sense of one-up-manship against their censors. Getting a filthy one through the net is the goal, and the reward is a naughty chuckle behind their bosses backs.
However, clearly this is not the case. Think how much time you spent hogging the TV remote as a kid and how often your parents were with you while you were watching. The "slipped-between-the-cracks" jokes were for them, to give them a chuckle while your prepubescent minds hadn't ventured to the filthy side...yet.
Here are a some (though, certainly not all) of the best:
In this episode, Chuckie becomes obsessed with a blow-up clown doll called Boppo. As "bop" is a well known slang term for masturbation, the below sentence is anything but innocent:
"A kid his age should be outside playing with his friends, not sitting alone in his room bopping his Boppo."
When Phil and Lil's dad goes away, Tommy's dad says that he's gone off to do some "male bonding," before poking his index fingers together... though I'm pretty sure that's not how it works...
Grandpa Lou shows his dirty side when getting the boys ready for movie night. On renting them, 'Reptar Redux' & 'Reptar Come Home,' Gramps remarks that he's checked himself out Lonely Space Vixens for some private viewing.
Rocko's Modern Life
Throughout Rocko's Modern Life, Rocko lands a number of temporary jobs, one of which is being a phone sex operator. To an adult, the hints are pretty obvious but they completely escaped me as a kid. In this episode, everything gets a bit naughty; from the memo note: "Be hot, be naughty, be courteous to the customer called Mrs. Bighead." Wink, wink.
The not so subtle implication of the 'No Tell Motel,' is that it's a hotbed for prostitution. Aside from the blatant creaking of beds, the interaction with the motel clerk was enough to raise a few eyebrows:
"All full up, we won't have space for another 20 minutes. How long you want?"
"Just till tomorrow."
"All night?! *whistles* Ok!"
There were plenty of other sly references that slipped by the wayside...
For those of you unclear about what "felching" is... click here.
SpongeBob Square Pants
If SpongeBob and mates eating in a diner called Krusty Krab in a town called Bikini Bottom wasn't enough to gross you out, here are a couple more times the pineapple dweller & co got a little seedy down under.
From cheeky nose slips...
To perfectly placed ones.
From questionable inflatables...
To re-appropriation of cleaning equipment.
From prison shower jokes...
To Patrick's pet names.
Back in the day, we didn't really understand what Grandpa meant when he said he'd lost all his braincells at Woodstock. But now we know. You sly fox.
In fact, he was continuously a bit of an old player, even his face looks like a stretched out peen.
"Girlhood" tremble? Is that what the kids were calling it back in the day? Helga's love for Arnold got a liiittle bit weird.
No prizes for guessing the inspiration behind her make over, either.
Nudges and winks this way please.
The Ren & Stimpy Show
Ren and Stimpy were always a little bit messed up, let's be honest. As with all of the shows mentioned in this article, we could have chosen many more examples.
When Ren's cousin Sven comes to visit, he finds Stimpy hiding in a closet. He joins him in said closet and together they play the good old fashioned dress-up game, 'Circus.' Stimpy chooses to become a 'Sword Swallower.'
Also this. Ew.