12 Reasons Why Growing Up With 90s Cartoons Made You A Better Person

by Dan Scotti

When I was your age – insert old man holding a cane sitting on rocking chair voice – we didn’t have our mom’s iPhone to borrow and play games on whenever we felt bored.

We didn’t have TV screens embedded in the back of our SUV headrests, and we sure didn’t have our own laptops to use before entering high school, let alone grade school.

We had cartoons and, to be honest, life was simpler because of it. We would race home from school every day, toss down our backpacks, grab a bag of Goldfish and – bam! – nothing else mattered.

We would transport ourselves into the world of cartoons, and in that world, we became better people. There was always a lesson to learn -- even though it was packaged slightly differently than what we were used to seeing inside the classroom -- and always a story to tell.

In today’s world full of YouTube stars and digital apps, these traditional cartoons, the kind you watched on television, have become an endangered species. I can’t help but feel like kids these days – cue the old man voice again – are just kind of missing out.

Here are 15 reasons why kids who grew up watching cartoons have it better.

1. They were something to wake up for.

Weekends aren’t really for waking up early, but back when we were younger, this wasn’t so much the case.

The "old" idea of “cartoons and cereal” didn’t just materialize out of thin air -- it’s what kept us awake and alert well before we should’ve really been.

2. You could draw them.

Cartoons gave us the perfect inspiration to doodle in the back of cursive class in elementary school. Nowadays, it’s definitely a lot harder to draw characters from "Frozen" considering they’re 3D, and completely computer-animated.

3. They showed you it was OK to be politically incorrect at times.

Good ol' 90s cartoons weren’t always politically correct, but we understood things didn’t always have to be in order to avoid any malicious intentions.

Cartoons might have carried some “questionable” content matter, but people usually understood they weren’t trying to offend anyone – they were just made to be laughed at.

4. You realized life could be really gross.

Anyone who has seen an episode of "Ren and Stimpy" probably knows life can, at times, be really f*cking gross. It also showed us gross things can be pretty funny, too, and life doesn’t have to be so prim and proper.

5. There always was a lesson.

Although the “moral of the story” usually wasn’t packaged very neatly, and rarely clear to see, every cartoon did manage to teach us a lesson – if you kept your eyes and mind open to it.

6. You got a sexual education without even realizing it.

There were tons of sexual innuendo built into each episode of "Hey Arnold" and "Rugrats" you probably didn't even realize.

That’s the beauty of cartoons, though: You were familiar with the birds and the bees long before sex-ed class.

7. They showed you two-dimensional figures could be attractive.

I would still cuff Debbie Thornberry today, fully aware of the fact she’s a two-dimensional drawing. I mean, she had the whole grunge thing working for her – almost like Kurt Cobain meets Kate Moss... with more cleavage.

Only cartoons could make this odd attraction even remotely normal.

8. There were diverse characters, every color under the sun.

Most of the time, cartoon characters didn’t belong to a specific race. I mean, look at "Doug" for instance. Skeeter was teal; Roger, the bully, was green. There wasn’t any racial injustice.

9. They proved it was OK to wear the same thing every day.

Cartoons also taught us it’s perfectly chill to wear one outfit every single day, without even considering an alternative. Also, very low-key, Arnold, from "Hey Arnold" started the whole plaid shirt around the waist fad long before Tumblr.

10. They showed us what commitment means.

Watching "Pokémon" after school on a weekly basis was our first real taste of commitment. We realized the importance of priorities, and probably even did our homework a day or two in advance to accommodate theism.

Whether you know it or not, "Pokémon" made you a better boyfriend/girlfriend.

11. They were one of the first things we had to defend.

Cartoons were probably the first thing you had to take a firm stance on. Whether it was your parents, or your friends, people might've tried telling you “Oh, that show stinks,” but you were always quick to speak your mind on their behalf.

12. They taught us patience.

There was no such thing as “on demand” back in the day – especially not for cartoons. If you wanted to watch your favorite shows, you had to wait a week between each episode. Today, you can watch an entire series during one chain-watching binge on Netflix.

Back in the day, you had weeks of suspense in between each episode.