Let’s just begin by saying no, we will not be repeating the same offensive characters that have been talked about for years. So, can we get them out of the way now? The Native Americans in Peter Pan are an awful racial stereotype, the Siamese Cats in Lady and the Tramp are a racial stereotype, all of Aladdin is a racial stereotype, and King Louie in The Jungle Book is a racial stereotype of Louie Armstrong himself. Then we have less offensive stereotypes like Speedy Gonzalez who was actually banned for a few years. But guess who voted to bring him back because they thought he was a positive influence? Mexicans! The same with Foghorn Leghorn who was your “average” womanizing hick, but too well-loved to ban. However, everyone knows about all of these characters and their controversy. That’s why we’re going to try to talk about the ones that you probably never thought of.
Before we get started, I need you to look up the “Censored 11.” This consisted of eleven Looney Tunes cartoons that were deemed too ethnically stereotyped for contemporary audiences. Though there were many Asian stereotypes, for the most part, the banned set (which can only be found online) had African-American stereotypes that were far too harsh for our time. Since there are eleven of these and many characters in them, we won’t go over them here. Instead, we’ll bring to light some of the most offensive animated characters to ever grace our TV screens! Prepare to snarl and scowl the whole way through.
30 Her Name Is Dinah
Okay, this one is so bad that no one even knows her name, which FYI, is Dinah. The woman from Tom and Jerry is described as a “heavy-set, middle-aged African-American woman” which is totally okay. That is, if you want everyone called Mammy to fit that picture. But it’s not just her name, her whole aura and belief that she is a housemaid is bad enough. But if you want a specific instance, just take for example a certain scene where dice, bobby pins, and a razor fell from a table. Seems like three normal things to be sitting on a table right? Not so much. There’s this derogatory thought that all black people like craps, wear tons of pins, and that their weapon of choice is an old-fashioned razor.
She was so offensive that in certain episodes, they change her into a skinny white woman…really? And yes, it is still the same character.
29 Anyone Need A Spoon?
Not sure if his name is worse than the stereotype or not. Silver Spooner from Dexter’s Laboratory is a herald of a galactic culinary entity. Since he is silver and surfs around on a spoon, he is obviously a spoof of Marvel’s Silver Surfer. But that is not the point. Who cares about that when he’s so offensive to the LGBT community? His love of men is shown by his “catty demeanor, his ballerina-like motions, and his adoration for gay icon Judy Garland.” That, and of course, his dramatically feminine voice and loyalty to the male entity he serves.
The episode about him in Dexter’s Laboratory was banned.
Could have guessed that, but the reason we could not. It wasn’t anything offensive that got him banned but rather a copyright deal with Marvel.
28 Sarah Silverman Is The Worst
Not many people will think about this one, but remember that Comedy Central show Drawn Together? No, it was not for kids, but as kids, no one knows that. Honestly, every single character was offensive. Captain Hero was chauvinistic and lecherous. Foxxy Love was your typical sassy black soul-singer. Ling-Ling was your stereotyped fake-Japanese-speaking exchange student. Clara was a religious bigot. Seriously, it doesn’t get better as we go on. But while all those are god awful, there’s one that cannot be forgiven.
That character is Bleh, Clara’s mentally challenged cousin. Her condition was the result of her mother drinking while she was pregnant. She wears a helmet, corrective shoes, and is suggested to have Strabismus, Malocclusion, and Cerebral Palsy. She can’t talk, but rather, makes donkey-like sounds when distressed. What’s worse? She actually has a physical relationship with one of the main characters (Hero) and is super objectified!
27 Making Serious Conditions A Joke
Another time that people with serious disorders are made fun of. In Total Drama: Revenge of the Island, the characters are literally given labels. One well-meaning teen is known as The Multiple Personality Disorder. He is shown to have different personalities, all whom he cares for deeply, including the evil Mal (which literally means bad in Spanish). He will often switch alters unknowingly with no recollection of what happened.
In short, Mike is used to make Dissociative Identity Disorder a joke and the condition is used to label him.
This doesn’t allow him to be himself as he is only seen as his condition. This happens in Total Drama a ton (ex. Stacy, Cameron, Brick) and it really isn’t okay as it makes those with these conditions feel inferior.
26 Worst Asian Stereotype
Literally known as the “main antagonist of the series (King of the Hill),” Kahn Souphanousinphone is one walking stereotype. Although it was funny when the guys asked him if he was “Chinese or Japanese” that’s about as far as the humor goes. For those who are unaware, Kahn is a Laotian who works in the information technology industry as a systems analyst. His favorite place to visit is a country club and he’s incredibly strict with his daughter and her “practice.”
It gets worse. He knows martial arts, drives a Subaru, and spent time in the Killing Fields, which is “a name given to the sites in Cambodia in which the notorious Khmer Rouge had eliminated and buried large numbers of people.” He is the absolute worst representation of someone from anywhere in Asia.
25 Weinstein Of Toons
Pepé Le Pew must be the literal worst example of a gentleman in history. He is a full-on womanizer, stalker, and harasser, of women. You can complain about his French stereotype all you want, but the real problem is that he refuses to leave Penelope Pussycat alone. The original concept for Pepe was chasing a male cat who disguises himself as a skunk in order to scare away predators. What he gains is the attention of Pepe, the French lady’s man. At the end, Pepe is revealed as a philandering American skunk named Henry with a wife and children. Seems appropriate.
What is so uncool is that Pepe is glorified and seen as everything a woman could want. But in reality, he’s an awful example of what a man should be. Not taking no for an answer is not okay.
24 Not All Centaurs Are Shiners
If they wanted to make all centaurs shoe shiners, then go right ahead. But to make the little black centaur shine the majestic centaur with flowy white hair’s shoes? Get real! Sunflower from Fantasia could have been a likable character. She was sweet and loyal. But do you know what the worst part is? Not that she was a shoe shiner or that she put flowers in the centaurs’ tails but the fact that she was half donkey rather than half horse is what really gets us.
The other centaurs are very rude too. For example, whenever she adds flowers to one’s tail, it slaps her in the face and the flowers fall off. That is so not cool! Can Sunflower get her own movie, please?
23 Who Framed Jessica Rabbit?
Yeah, you probably know this one, because Jessica Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit is the most objectified character in any 90s kids’ movie. Did you know that she is the top most searched cartoon character on inappropriate sites? Now that’s misuse if we ever saw it! Her famous line, “I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way,” says it all. It’s not about what her personality is like, she really was created to be this seductive woman by a man.
Her personality isn’t necessarily a problem as if she looked different, her flirtatious nature would be more cute than sultry. She’s actually very compassionate, sweet, smart, and caring. And yet, no network would accept her these days because she is just too much! Especially for kids. Maybe pull up the dress and put on some leggings and we’ll talk.
22 Far Too Gung Ho
Since G.I. Joe is a war franchise, it seems that they should get a little bit of a free pass. But the character of Gung Ho goes a little too far. While he is known for his selfless bravery, strength, and perseverance, he is also known to be your typical America racist. In one episode called The Invaders, the G.I.s all spout off racist comments. However, characters like Dusty seem to be pretty mild and friendly about it. Dusty says stuff like he and [insert offense name for Middle Eastern man here] have a lot in common, and that, “He likes the desert as much as I do!”
But Gung is not so nice about it.
He says, “There's nothing' I hate more than a Ruski!" Which literally means Russian. Yep, he is saying he hates Russians…that is all.
21 The Root Of Middle Eastern Slang
Hadji Singh is one of the main characters of Hanna-Barbera's 1960s Jonny Quest, as well as the 90s revamp. He is known as Jonny’s adoptive brother and the Sultan of Bangalore. His looks and turban-wearing can pass, but the fact that he has mystical prowess and an infinity for hypnosis is another thing. Is that just because he wears a turban? In general, he’s a really cool character and was a favorite for many kids, but in reality, he was overly stereotyped. Not to mention you can’t even say his first name these days because it’s a derogatory insult.
It should be noted that the word can be used as a term of respect, but troops stationed in Iraq, as well as other American soldiers, have made it a very offensive name.
20 Red Hot Riding Hood
This is an MGM character that appeared in Tom and Jerry, MGM shorts, and other features. Her main job is to be a love interest to the Wolf (or McWolf) and Droopy. She is based on Little Red Riding Hood (the most over objectified child character) only as an adult. To give you an idea of what her role is like, her three shorts are Red Hot Riding Hood, Swing Shift Cinderella, and Little Rural Riding Hood.
Most of the time, she dances on stage like Jessica Rabbit and makes Wolf go all nuts and pop his eyes out. This whole plot inspired many future creators of cartoons who wanted to make male characters appear as if they are attracted to a woman without becoming inappropriate. Guess it didn’t work.
19 Blowed Off By A Japanman’s Machine Gun
Cotton (King of the Hill) may have had his good points, such as being able to live without shins and reaching the rank of Colonel in the Texas State Militia. But that’s about the extent of his good points. He’s a tough son of a gun, but he’s also a royal jerk. He claims to have joined the military at 14, lying about his age. He uses the word Nazzy to refer to his enemies in WWII and claims to hate all things Japanese, who he used a derogatory term for.
Even though he was an awful father and treats Hank and his wife like they are nothing, his stories are the worst part. For example, he once “hibachi’d” a group of Japanese soldiers after getting them intoxicated. His wife is the same age as his son, and he is one of the most gender bias characters in any show…ever.
18 Literal Demise For Children
Okay, so when did it become okay for The Grim Reaper to star in his own kids’ TV show? The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy was one messed up show. With the idiot Billy and the morbid sociopath Mandy, it’s hard to pinpoint the most offensive part. So we’re going to go with Grim himself. The Lord of Death who is the main protagonist of the series. As one lady who has banned it from her home puts it, Grim is, “Encouraging depressive thoughts and tendencies in the very young.”
What she means is, Grim makes it easier for kids to become depressed.
He makes it cool and something to aspire to do. That’s not something that would be or should be allowed on TV these days with certain rates so high already.
17 Flapjack Deserves A MeToo
What’s worse than a naïve and gullible young boy who is easy to take advantage of? The same boy who is actually taken advantage of. This one isn’t one that many will catch but it is one that you’ll wish you would have. It was first noticed by mothers who for some reason felt uncomfortable with their children watching it. What was found out was that Flapjack seems to have a relationship with just about everyone on the show. As in, he is a kid and they are...ahem…not. A human raised by a whale is going to have some problems but getting taken advantage of isn’t one you’d expect.
The kid is constantly bullied and there are child-adult relationship overtones throughout the entire series. If you don’t believe, go watch it again.
16 From Funny To Foul
The potty humor in this show is ridiculous, and Chowder is the worst of them all. When kids start learning what explosive diarrhea is, then you know that the show is bound to offend someone. The thing is here, when Chowder first aired, the boy was fairly normal, but as time went on, the offensive language and innuendo got worse and Chowder himself seemed to lose his own intelligence. He had become a mentally ill, obese object to make fun of.
In short, aside from inappropriate language and terms, the character of Chowder would not be allowed in shows today because he encourages kids to make fun of the underprivileged. The show is often compared to Fanboy and ChumChum, another similarly offensive kids show of the same time frame.
15 Patty’s Well-Known Secret
While the Bouvier sisters have a lot on their plate of offensiveness, the biggest portion is that of Patty’s love life. Patty is one of Marge’s two twin sisters, the other being Selma. While them being chain-smokers is enough to ban them from television, the fact that Patty is gay will make the fact for sure. Maybe not the fact, but rather how it all happened. After revealing to her family that she was coming out of the closet, she got engaged to someone named Veronica. On their wedding day, it was revealed that Veronica was a man and thus not someone Patty would be attracted to.
Before the episode aired, a warning came out that told everyone the episode would involve a gay couple.
After this, The Simpsons got some backlash and it isn’t likely that they will allow Patty to shine in that way again.
14 Another Pocahontas Story
Remember that show Babar the Elephant? The beginning of the series starts off with Babar’s mother going all Bambi’s mother and then him being taken in by The Rich Lady. Whenever he returned to the other elephants, he quickly became king. But do you really know what each character represents?
The hunter that ended his mother was dressed in “full colonial regalia.” Then, he meets a standard rich lady who dresses him as a human and teaches him to act like a human rather than an elephant. He even learns to drive. Whenever family visits, he quickly humanizes them as if they aren’t good enough the way they are. As if they should be ashamed to not wear clothes. When they travel home, the mothers who visit last are still unclothed as they walk beside the car their children are riding in.
13 Happy Birthday, Mr. Pan
The truth about Tinkerbell is that Disney admitted that they modeled her after Marylin Monroe. Now it doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of the icon or not, but she was 100% not a good role model for kids. Tinkerbell is in love with Peter Pan (a child) and jealous of every girl in existence. But more than anything, her whole appeal is about her body. No matter how small she may be, every woman wants her body and so does every man. Just in different ways.
Most people don’t see a problem with her, but if you’ll notice, in newer representations of her, her skirt sure is a lot longer. Now, why would they make her outfit so much more modest instead of keeping her like she was?
12 Fear HIM And His Tendencies
What’s there to say about a villain whose name isn’t even allowed to be said? The announcer simply calls him HIM because his real name is too intense for children. To be precise, he says that HIM is, “so sinister, so evil, so scary, so horribly vile. that even the utterance of his name strikes fear into the hearts of men.”
The man is obviously Lucifer as there’s no other explanation.
He feeds off of negative energy and his true form brings on the apocalypse. Besides being the devil himself, what really gets people riled up is that he’s supposed to represent everything that is evil. And you know what? He is said to be gay. Which means they're suggesting that some gay people are just evil. I’m surprised they are letting him back in the PPG reboot at all.
11 Nothing Like Elvis
Can you say chauvinistic pig? At least Pepe was a confused skunk. Johnny Bravo is a human with egotistical problems galore. If you don’t remember exactly what he was like, then listen to these scenes where he got really out of hand. When working at the Troubled Teen Hotline, he asks a girl he’s on the line with, “Hello, teen hotline. Your boyfriend left you? Why? What are you wearing?” This, of course, gets him fired, but what’s done is done.
Another instance is when Little Suzy invited him to her birthday and he says, “I’m busy. Call me back in 15 years when you’re a coed.” Meaning, he’d talk when she was legal. Then of course, whenever he is thrown into a volcano as a virgin sacrifice, the volcano spits him out. How…interesting.
The remastered soundtrack release comes as part of ICO's 20th-anniversary celebrations.