While viewed by many as simple, sugary entertainment, there are some great lessons to be learned within our favorite cartoons. Here are some of the best cartoon episodes for teaching lessons.
1. The Pigeon Man- Hey Arnold, S1, E7
In this classic episode, Arnold befriends Vincent Schiavelli, known in his neighborhood as the Pigeon Man. While out taking a walk with Arnold, Vandals destroy Vincent's Pigeon coop. Vincent decides to leave in search of a place where he may be more accepted, but not before thanking Arnold for reminding him that there are good people in the world.
The Lesson: Do not persecute those who are different from you, and always try to see the good in people.
2. Miss Nose It All- All Grown Up, S2, E3
After Angelica breaks her nose right before her first big party with the school's popular crowd, she attempts to avoid the embarrassment of attending by conning her way into a Hospital admission. While there, she meets a young boy named Spencer, who suffers kidney problems.
The Lesson: Don't stress over the small stuff. Chances are, there is someone in the world much worse off than you.
3. A Special Kind Of Champion- Alvin And The Chipmunks, S6, E74
Knowing that he will never be the strongest competitor on his Track Team, Alvin has given up even trying. Hoping to encourage Alvin, his Coach assigns him the task of training a boy named Louie for the upcoming Special Olympics. Alvin immediately dismisses Louie due to his leg brace, believing he has no chance of winning. Louie, however, has little interest in winning. He only wants to try his best.
The Lesson: Winning isn't everything. If you have truly given your all, that is enough.
4. The Stoop Kid- Hey Arnold, S1, E3.
Stoop Kid lives on a stoop in Arnold's Neighborhood, spending his days harassing passersby. When it is revealed that Stoop Kid is afraid to leave the stoop, he becomes the laughingstock of the neighborhood children. Arnold decides to help, building Stoop Kid's courage until he can finally leave the stoop.
The Lesson: Try to venture outside your comfort zone once in a while.
5. The Great MacGrady- Arthur, S13, E5
Mrs MacGrady, the beloved cafeteria at Arthur's school, is diagnosed with Cancer. Each of Arthur's classmates handle the news in different ways.
The Lesson: Cancer is not always a death sentence. While not specifically stated, Mrs MacGrady appears to be in remission by the episode's conclusion. A good one to show children if they have a loved one suffering from the disease.
6. Switched- Teen Titans, S1, E7
When polar opposites Raven and Starfire have their bodies switched by the evil Puppet Master, they must learn to work together and harness each other's powers in order to save their friends.
The Lesson: Try looking at the world from another's perspective. You may learn something new.
7. Edge Of Disaster Part 1- Dragons: Race To The Edge, S2, Ep 8
With the other Dragon Riders away and Ruffnut captured, it is up to Tuffnut and Astrid to defend Dragon's Edge from an attempted invasion by the Dragon Hunters. As the situation seems hopeless, Astrid must finally listen to Tuff's more unorthodox ideas.
The Lesson: It often pays to think outside the box.
8. The Slide- Rugrats, S2, E22
Chuckie develops a phobia of the slide after becoming trapped on one much too big for him. With help from his friends, he overcomes his fear.
The Lesson: No fear is too great to overcome.
9. Christmas Everyday!- Fairly Odd Parents, S1, E13
After what he believes to be his best Christmas ever, Timmy wishes that it could be Christmas every day. Soon, everyone begins to grow tired of Christmas, and the other Holiday mascots begin plotting against Santa Claus, angry that their own holidays will never come to pass.
The Lesson: Be patient. The best things in life are worth waiting for.
10. Ripped Pants- Spongebob Squarepants, S1, E2
Spongebob becomes an instant sensation when he rips his pants at the beach. Hoping to impress Sandy with his new popularity, Spongebob begins ripping his pants all over the place. The joke soon grows old, and Spongebob takes it a step too far by pretending to drown.
The Lesson: The classic story of the boy who cried wolf, told in a whole new way. Basically, don't lie.
11. And She Was Gone- As Told By Ginger, S2, E20
When Ginger writes a poem about a girl who wants to disappear, her friends and favorite Teacher fear that she is depressed. Meanwhile, Carl tries out his new disappearing powder on Noelle Sussman, who he believes to be a nobody. He realizes he has made a terrible mistake after Noelle is revealed to enjoy the same weird things as he does.
The Lesson: A couple in this one. Although Ginger was actually fine, remember to always watch out for your friends. Also, do not judge a person's value before you have gotten to know them.
12. The End pt.3- Teen Titans, S4, E13
After Robin helps restore Raven to her true self, she must draw on every last bit of her power to defy destiny and defeat her demonic Father, Trigon. Failure would mean the end of the Universe.
The Lesson: Who your parents are does not define who you are. Family is more than blood.
"You may have created me, but you were never my father. Fathers are kind, fathers protect you, fathers raise you. I was protected by the monks of Azarath, I was raised by my friends. They are my family, this is my home and you are not welcome here."
13. Find Her, Keep Her- The Many Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh, S1, E4
Rabbit rescues a baby bird, Kessie, when she is thrown from her nest during a storm, and takes on the responsibility of caring for her. Despite some early hiccups, he soon grows to care for Kessie deeply. When Winter arrives, and Kessie's instincts spark a desire to fly South, Rabbit struggles to give her his blessing.
The Lesson: Sometimes, you have to let go of those you love. If they love you in return, they will always find their way back, as Rabbit learns when the adult Kessie comes to visit him in 'A Bird In The Hand'.
14. Showdown At Teeter-Totter Gulch- Rugrats, S2, E4
When Tommy and Chuckie visit a new playground, they discover that the children who play there are terrorized daily by a bully known as the Junk Food Kid. Tommy takes it upon himself to deal with the problem.
The Lesson: Don't be a bully.
"I first met Tommy when he was eight days old. I don't know what happened during those eight days, but he just doesn't like seeing people pushed around"- Chuckie.
15. Veteran's Day- Hey Arnold, S4, E71
Grandpa Phil and Mr Johannsen take Arnold and Gerald on a trip to Washington, hoping to teach them that Veteran's Day is more than just a day off School.
The Lesson: Always respect those who served during War Time. Even small jobs were important.
What did you learn from your favorite cartoons?