Guilt-Free Indulgence: Saturday Morning Cartoons

There’s something about staying late on Friday night to get up early Saturday to watch your favorite show with a bowl of sugary cereal. As a kid at heart, it never gets old. Over the years there have been a few significant shows that still stir up nostalgia and taught us important lessons at a young age. Here are some of our favorites that we refuse to forget:

The ‘80s:

Muppet Babies – Who can resist the cuteness of the childhood version of Jim Henson’s famous creations. Kermit, Miss Piggy, and the rest of the gang showed how essential imagination is as they conjured up wild adventures to entertain themselves and work together to solve any predicament they find themselves in. After all, it’s important to dream big.

Inspector Gadget – If the famous theme song didn’t get stuck in your head, Inspector Gadget’s multitude of mechanisms did. The perilous private eye was forever at odds with the mostly unseen villain, Doctor Claw. With help from his niece, Penny, and her dog, Brain, the show proved that friends and family are a great help. Plus, girls can be crime fighters without super powers.

The ’90s:

Hey Arnold – Hey Arnold is easily one of the most beloved of the decade. Living in a boarding house with his grandparents, Arnold and his fourth-grade friends navigate life in the big city. Even with the antics of his classmate, bully, and admirer, Helga, the distinctive personalities of the characters and their individual struggles taught viewers how people from different walks of life could come together.

The PowerPuff Girls – During the height of Girl Powers, these super heroines were crafted sugar, spice, everything nice, and a heavy dose of Chemical X. These butt-kicking kindergarteners worked together to keep the city of Townsville safe from the likes of Mojo Jojo, the Gang Green Gang, and Him. From working together to growing pains, these three “perfect little girls” grew up along with us.

The ‘00s:

Teen Titans – The anime-style show updated DC Comics’ crime fighting team to delight of many. After Robin strikes out on his own, he encounters other heroes including Raven, Starfire, Cyborg, and Beast Boy. Between bouts with supervillians like Slade, the H.I.V.E, and the Brotherhood of Evil, the heroes also deal with growing pains and limitations with their powers. Viewers were able to see that it’s tough growing up even if you’re fast, strong, or can shoot ultraviolet beams from your hands.

The Fairly Odd Parents – Ever since Cinderella, everyone’s has called out for a fairy godmother to save them. Timmy Turner is granted two fairy godparents, Cosmo and Wanda, to help him deal with his evil babysitter, Vicky, who constantly tortures him. While he’s able to have his heart’s desires and go on wild adventures, most of the time it gets him into more trouble than originally thought. Remember kids; be careful what you wish for!


My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic – While the toy line and original show began in the early ‘90s, this incarnation truly transformed the idea of magical horses. Twilight Sparkle, and her dragon, Spike, travel to Ponyville on assignment from Princess Celestia, she encounters a string of other ponies who embody the best qualities of friendship. While no pony is perfect, each can rely on her friends through any situation.

Adventure Time – Finn and his friend Jake, a magical dog, live and fight evil in the Land of Ooo. His otherworldly friends help him get in and out of trouble he creates due to his lust for adventure. His one weakness is his crush on the Candy Kingdom’s Princess Bubblegum. As Finn’s prone to random exclamations, don’t be surprised if viewers become better Samaritans and randomly blurt out, “Algebraic!” or “Oh my Glob!”