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The Ren & Stimpy Show (Seasons 1 & 2)
Happy Happy Joy Joy! Happy Happy Joy Joy!
Genre: Comedy
Slapstick
Animated sitcom
Running Time: 22 Minutes
Country: United States
Release Date: August 11, 1991-December 16th,1996
Network(s): Nickelodeon (1991-1995)
MTV (1996)
Created by: John Kricfalusi
Distributed by: MTV Networks
Nickelodeon
Starring: John Kricfalusi (1991-1993)
Billy West
Harris Peet
Cheryl Chase
Mark Hamill
Gary Owens]]
Tommy Davidson
Seasons: 5
Episodes: 52 (full episodes)
93 (general)
Previous show: N/A
Next show: Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon" (2003)


The Ren & Stimpy Show is an American animated series created by John Kricfalusi for Nickelodeon. The series features Ren, an manly, yet emotionally unstable chihuahua, and Stimpy, a good-natured, smart, but dimwitted cat. It premiered on August 11, 1991 as one of the original three Nicktoons, along with Rugrats and Doug. Throughout its run, the show was controversial for its off-color humor, sexual innuendo, dark humor, adult jokes, and violence. This controversy contributed to the production staff's altercations with Nickelodeon's Standards and Practices department. The show ended on December 16, 1995, with a total of five seasons and 52 episodes.

Why These Seasons Rock

  1. It helped forever change the scope of television animation, influencing the future of it and starting trends that are continued to be used today such as:
    • Episode title cards at the beginning of each episode.
    • Bright harmonious color palettes.
    • Strong and well-developed reliance on gross-out humor that was done right in this show, especially when you compare this to how it was always done wrong afterward, MrEnter explains this in two of his videos, the Top 10 Worst Cartoons of the 1990s and his review of this show.
    • Fantastically grotesque close-up shots that SpongeBob SquarePants would be influenced from.
    • Strong inspiration from the Golden Age of Animation.
    • Being creator-driven instead of merchandise-driven.
  2. Great, unique characters such as Ren. Stimpy, and Mr. Horse.
  3. The episode plots are creative.
    • Not to mention that the show can seem dumb and mindless, they actually put a smart way with its nonsense that it challenges the viewers' brain.
  4. Great music, especially the catchy theme song.
  5. Smooth animation, particularly in the episodes animated by Rough Draft Studios and Carbunkle Cartoons.
    • This was due to John Kricfalusi's policy to "draw expressively, not well" and to never draw the same expression twice, which allowed the show to stay highly fluid.
  6. Awesome voice acting. Billy West, who voices Stimpy and Ren (Seasons 3-5 only), is one example.
  7. The Last Temptation was an okay finale despite having a horrible ending.
  8. It can also have heartwarming and emotional moments, not only wacky and hilarious moments.
  9. Speaking of humor, it is very enjoyable and in good spirits.
  10. Had so many amazing songs, including the "Happy Happy, Joy Joy" song.
  11. All of the episodes remained to exist on DVD sets and internet video sites, as of 2020.
    • Also, the clips of the show returned in NickRewind's YouTube channel in October 2018, and the rest of them in February 2019. Later the show itself returned to Amazon Prime Video on March 18, 2020.
  12. Awesome catchphrases like YOU EEDIOT!, You sick little monkey!, Oh Joy!, You fat bloated eediot! and more.
  13. Great homage to many animators from the Golden Age of Animation, especially Bob Clampett and Tex Avery.
  14. Many memorable episodes, such as:
    • Big House Blues (the series' pilot)
    • Stimpy's Big Day
    • The Big Shot
    • Space Madness
    • Fire Dogs
    • Untamed World
    • Stimpy's Invention
    • Man's Best Friend (the banned episode)
    • Powdered Toast Man
    • Out West
    • Rubber Nipples Salesmen
    • Sven Hoek
    • Ren's Toothache
    • Haunted House
    • Mad Dog Hoek
    • Son of Stimpy
    • Stimpy's Fan Club
    • A Visit to Anthony
    • The Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen
  15. The German DVD of the complete series released in 2013 by Turbine Classics, is the first and truly uncensored DVD of the series, unlike the American DVDs released from 2004-2005, which had a lot of scenes cut out.

Bad Qualities

  1. Even though this is one of the most beloved Nicktoons, not only of the 1990’s, but out of them all, it started a bad trend of gross out shows that are still there to this day (although they are rare now). On top of that, the animation can sometimes look pretty bad.
    • Fil-Cartoons animation is considered the worst, due to having various animation errors, with the infamous scene of Stimpy having black eye dots in Stimpy's Breakfast Tips (though John Kricfalusi kept that in because he thought it was funny). Even Bob Jaques hated working with the studio (calling working with them "damage control" and had to fight tooth-and-nail for them to submit passable animation for the episode Stimpy's Invention) and caused John Kricfalusi being credited as Raymond Spüm in Nurse Stimpy, due to the horrible quality of the animation of the episode.
    • In some cases, both Ren & Stimpy's heights are inconsistent.
  2. Some scenes are EXTREMELY disturbing like this one.
  3. Many of the jokes are inappropriate for their target audience.
  4. But not as bad as all of the episodes from the Adult Party Cartoon.
  5. Ren can be unlikable at times. He even tried to execute Stimpy twice. Though, he is not as unlikable as he is in the Adult Party Cartoon series.
  6. Some episodes have some scenes cut from the original episodes either for censorship by unfair reasons or were cut out to keep up the time slot.
  7. The show went downhill in the _Stimpy_Show_(Seasons_3-5) Games Animation era (1993-1996) after John Kricfalusi got fired from Nickelodeon for infamous things in 1992 and Bob Camp replacing him in the control of the series as creative director and supervising director. Due to this, the show suffers from more restricted animation and less clever plots and writing, as well as spawning some bad episodes.
  8. The notoriously disturbing bedroom scene in Stimpy's Fan Club.

Trivia

  • John Kricfalusi was very good friends with Danny Antonucci, the creator behind Cartoon Network's Ed, Edd n Eddy.
  • John Kricfalusi was accused of sexual allegations towards Katie Price and Robyn Byrd in 2018, which was heard from BuzzFeed to Cartoon Brew.
  • The pilot "Big House Blues" was in production from 1989, and finished either on the same year, or 1990 before its release on cinemas and Nickelodeon's debut of the show.
  • Nickelodeon banned "Man's Best Friend" due to one scene where Ren beats up George Liquor with an oar.
  • In 2019, will have a documentary about the show, interviewing the writers of the show, Stimpy's voice actor, Billy West and John K. himself, the documentary was made in a crowdfunding on Indiegogo with $300.000 earned. But however, the documentary doesn't have a release date yet.
  • In an interview in 2004 from the DVD of the first two seasons, when John Kricfalusi was asked if Ren & Stimpy are gay, he said: "I don't know if they are gay or not. That's their own business." However, he confirmed Ren & Stimpy are gay in an interview with San Francisco Examiner in 1997: "Totally. In Ren's case, it's not completely by choice. He'd rather have a beautiful human woman if he could get away with it. Since he can't, Stimpy's easy. Stimpy's madly in love with Ren."
  • The song "The Lord Loves a Hangin'" from the episode Out West of Season 2 was censored in the first and second seasons DVD in the United Kingdom, because according to the British Board of Film Censors: "The subject of hanging is presented as comedic, fun, and risk-free, on the grounds of potential harm to the likely audience and by the Video Recordings Act 1984".
  • The real reason why Ren & Stimpy was cancelled by Nickelodeon, was due to a budget freeze in 1995 at Viacom, which resulted in the series being cancelled in the same year.
  • In 1990, lead singer of Nirvana, Kurt Cobain visited Spümcø and wanted to write a song for the series, but the crew thought it was awful and threw it away. Later believed their decision was a mistake due to the success of Nevermind. Existence is unconfirmed since he committed suicide in 1994.
  • Carbunkle animator and founder Bob Jaques almost died working on "Stimpy's Invention".
  • The relationship of Ren and Stimpy was inspired by the relationship of Sourpuss and Gandy Goose from Terrytoons.
  • The only episodes from Seasons 3-5 that credited John's involvement as writer for episode scripts he wrote are "Stimpy's Cartoon Show", "A Yard Too Far", "Ren's Brain", "Bass Masters" (premise only along with Richard Pursel), and "Lair of the Lummox".
  • Seasons 3-5 had eight episodes written by John Kricfalusi (only three remained to have him uncredited), and only thirteen where he is producer (albeit uncredited, either they were the same episodes that were written by him, or episodes he was only producer before or after his termination from Nickelodeon). Therefore, only thirteen of his scripts were picked up during Games Animation's run for the series from 1993-1995.
  • "Magical Golden Singing Cheeses" was originally going to be in Season 1, but was cancelled and rejected by Nickelodeon for reasons unknown. However, after Seasons 1-3, it was reworked into Season 4 and was heavily reworked with John K. remaining uncredited due to his firing from Nickelodeon in 1992. According to John himself, it was "mostly the same except it was "slower" than preferred, plus the giant underground was originally going to be a Lummox that was mostly cramped in space instead".
    • To date, that was the only episode made for Season 4 written by John Kricfalusi despite his termination.

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