RANKED! 20 Saturday Morning Cartoons That Literally Made The ’90s
Back in the ’90s, times were tough for kids. There was no YouTube or social media to fill our time. Being grounded from video games was something that happened more often than not. But there was always one constant, one thing that we could always depend on: Saturday morning cartoons. All networks would march out the very best in entertainment all morning long to launch us into that glorious weekend. Drama, comedy, sometimes horror, Saturday morning cartoons had a bit of everything. We sang their praises loud and held our FOX Kids Club membership cards high! The days of Saturday morning cartoons are dead, but they will never be forgotten. So let’s look back at the ’90s and rank the very best cartoons to grace our living room screens.
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MC Hammer was everywhere in the early '90s -- so much so that he got his own Saturday morning cartoon. What other rapper, or even singer, became so popular with kids that they got their own Saturday morning cartoon? He had magical shoes and would tackle all the social issues that kids faced in the world. We learned a lot about life thanks to Hammerman.
Brought in by the creators of the Batman animated series, this superhero had weird powers and odd humor that we loved. It fit right in with all the oddball cartoon comedies of the '90s. No wonder we grew up so strange. We're still waiting to see Freakazoid cosplay at a Comi-Con.
18. 'Earthworm Jim'
No video game was as insane and weird as Earthworm Jim back in the '90s. There was mass confusion over everything happening at every moment, while being one of the best games of all time. So it was a welcome sight to see all of the weirdness brought to our TVs on Saturday morning.
17. 'The Tick'
Recently brought back on Amazon, we got two live-action Tick shows and comic books to go along with the old animated series on FOX. This show featured comical superhero antics that had us all going around the house yelling “Spoon!”
No one knew what this thing was other than there was always a weird saying that we’d run around the house chanting, driving out parents crazy with every “houba houba” we could shout. He had a really long tail and still remains a quiet classic that many don’t remember, but should.
15. 'Tales from the Cryptkeeper'
HBO brought Tales From the Crypt to your parents, and since kids were thirsty for their own taste of horror, we got a kids version in Tales from the Cryptkeeper, which would see the launch of many more horror theme shows, both cartoon and live action.
14. 'Darkwing Duck'
Saturday mornings would get a little dangerous with Darkwing Duck. A nice refresh of superhero humor after some of the seriousness of Batman and X-Men, this show brought us a great NES game to go along with it.
13. 'Spider-Man: The Animated Series'
Much like X-Men, Spider-Man brought life to a lot of great storylines from the comics. This cartoon was even bigger when the video game Maximum Carnage came out and Venom appeared on the show.
12. 'Pinky and the Brain'
Spinning off from their short bits on Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain got their own show extending their adventures of what they did every single day, trying to take over the world.
This is one of the few shows that still holds up today when you watch it as grown-up. The weird adult humor that you didn’t understand much as a kid is on full display now and you nod your head with a smile wondering how the heck they got away with it back then. This show also introduced us to a ton of amazing characters.
10. 'Eek the Cat'
This show was not only entertaining and crazy, but its theme music was awesome. The '90s had some of the best theme music for shows ever but as the kids say today, the theme music for Eek the Cat was a banger.
9. 'Bobby's World'
Howie Mandel hit it big with kids in the '90s with Bobby’s World. He had been around the stand-up scene for years but kids didn’t really know much about him until this show. We all had imaginary adventures like Bobby and wish we had an uncle as cool as Uncle Ted.
8. 'Captain N: The Game Master'
If you were a Nintendo kid, this was your show. Everyone wanted to be Captain N and team up with Kid Icarus, Simon Belmont, and fight the forces of evil and Mother Brain. This show was packed full of NES references that made every Sega Genesis fan jealous.
If you grew up slinging sarcasm, you probably have Garfield to thank for that. Dry humor and wit came from a double dose of Garfield in the Saturday morning cartoon and in the Sunday morning newspaper comic.
6. 'The Real Ghostbusters'
A Ghostbusters cartoon had been around for a while with a giant gorilla and human friends, so after the movies came out they had to name this cartoon The Real Ghostbusters. It had some great moments that continued the stories from the movie, especially the episode where the Ghostbusters took on the Boogeyman.
5. 'Muppet Babies'
Muppet Babies was some of the best Saturday morning comedy. At times it was totally self-aware and dove into some serious pop culture references. Sadly, with all the music and movie clips included on this show, we will never see a proper DVD release with the licensing issues.
Kids everywhere loved Beetlejuice, but since the movie wasn’t really aimed at kids, coming up with the cartoon was probably difficult. If you watch an episode of the show after watching the movie, you’ll wonder what the heck was going on. Beetlejuice and Lydia as best friends going on spooky adventures? Beetlejuice was the bad guy in the movie!
3. 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'
Turtle fever was at an all-time high in the early '90s. Movies, cartoons, cereal, pajamas, soap, cookies -- everything had TMNT on it. You could even go to Burger King and get a kid’s meal that included a VHS of a couple of episodes on it like “The Case of the Killer Pizza.”
2. 'Batman: The Animated Series'
After Tim Burton’s Batman movies came out, we got the TV show that was a soft spinoff from the movies. We were introduced to some of the best storytelling on Saturday mornings with episodes like “Harley and Ivy,” “Heart of Ice,” and of course “Almost Got 'Im.”
1. 'X-Men: The Animated Series'
This was a close as you could get to serious adult-style TV drama as a kid. They brought all the storylines from the comics to life and it was the most riveting TV to kids at the time. We'd all gather around on the playground on Monday mornings to discuss the latest Dark Phoenix episode.