Some cartoons are basically like childhood friends - you treasure them, you remember all the funny moments they brought to your life, and you know them inside and out. They are pop icons that somehow can unite people together thanks to their awesome characters, cool animations, and gripping plot lines.
Then there are some cartoon series out there that make people wonder what people were smoking when they decided to greenlight them. Despite the fact that they are downright awful, some of the worst cartoons out there actually had some pretty long runs.
As a geek, it's hard to watch the following cartoons without wanting to smack someone. These are, if you ask us, the worst cartoons that ever aired.
(Note: For the sake of this list, we're omitting cartoon series that were produced with the sole intent of promoting toys that were made before the series aired. Otherwise, we'll end up with a bunch of things like Winx, Go-Bots, and other terrible cash grabs instead of shows that legitimately just sucked.)
Bucky And Pepito
This 1950s and 1960s cartoon series is everything that modern television viewers don't want to see, making it one of the worst cartoons that ever aired. Cartoon maverick Harry McCracken noted that the show “set a standard for awfulness that no contemporary TV cartoon has managed to surpass.”
Visually, it's a catastrophe. It's poorly made, excessively low budget to the point that voiceovers just sound horrible, and really unfunny.
Oh, and it's also racist to the point that most people who would watch this today would be appalled by it. Pepito, as the name infers, is a total Mexican stereotype - barefoot, sombrero-wearing, and of course, talks in a wonky accent.
The Chop Socky Chooks
This Cartoon Network series featured a bunch of chickens that had kung fu fighting skills. It wasn't funny. It was a desperate attempt to cash in on the "cool factor" of kung fu - much like it's equally bad counterpart, Skunk Fu.
The reason this show's episodes ranked way worse than Skunk Fu deals with the fact that the chickens were racial stereotypes - and pretty egregiously so. (Really? A disco stylin, afro-wearing chicken? A slanty-eyed chicken with glasses and Fu Manchu mustache? Come on.)
It's offensive. It's lame. It's kung fu chickens. It's one of the worst cartoons that ever aired.
1959 must have been a very, very weird year.
During the late 50s, Cambria Productions began to experiment with a number of different animation styles. The bizarre animation now known as Synco-Vox superimposed people's mouths onto the animation background. Much of the remaining animation was a really creepy blend of live action and animation.
During the shows' times, this was actually not seen as creepy. Rather, Clutch Cargo had become a surprise hit and was syndicated throughout the United States by 1960.
The characters are actually not too bad considering that it's from the 1950s, and the fact is that it left a pretty big legacy when you take everything into account.
Even so, this show is really unsettling to watch, especially when you take into account how flat the actor's voices and facial expressions really are. A word of advice with this cartoon - don't watch it while on acid.
The Annoying Orange Show
This Cartoon Network show was the first foray into giving a YouTube cartoon series its own syndicated show. It was about as successful as you'd expect it to be. To start, the entire cast is a bunch of fruit with Synco-Voxed mouths doing all the talking.
Said fruit occasionally get smashed, because of course it does. It's insanely annoying, and the show had them go on stupid adventures that didn't make much sense either.
Yeah, this used to be funny back in the 2000s. We didn't get it back then, either.
This show, one of the worst cartoons, only aired for one season, primarily because the titular character is the kind of Hollywood-style jerk that you'd want to punch if you met him at a bar. Worse? He's a seven-year-old kid who talks like a hyper pretentious, incorrigibly snobby modeling agent.
The entire set of characters are woefully terrible people - save for Allen Gregory's sister, Julie. That being said, it's one of the only cartoons that has gotten less than a ONE STAR rating from multiple critics.
Labeled as "nasty and brutish" by USA Today, this show was such a train wreck that only seven episodes were ever aired on FOX before it was canned.
The Wacky Races
This was production house Hanna-Barbera's attempt to come up with a way to use all of the characters that were slowly disappearing in popularity into a brand new, profitable television show. Kids love racing, so why not put all their hackneyed characters into a bunch of cars, right?
Well, the premise seems great if you're in a boardroom, but not if you're an actual kid. The races were dull, the characters never really had any sort of dimension, the plot lines were all the same, and the villains weren't really that evil.
Legit, all the villains ever seemed to do was an evil laugh and wear purple.
Somehow, a lot of people ended up liking the show back in the day. But, is it really something that awesome? Not really. It was boring, even for its time.
Secret Mountain Fort Awesome
Taking a cue from Ren and Stimpy's gross humor, Secret Mountain Fort Awesome was an attempt to cash in on the surreal-awkward-gross animation craze of the late 2000s and early 2010s.
This entire show followed a bunch of monsters that looked like they were originally doodles on a middle schooler's notebook that lived in a fort and tried to make do in a world filled with humans. The Disgustoids, as they were called, had daily struggles that were unfunny and just odd.
Admittedly, this show does have a cult following, although it's one of the worst cartoons, and there are moments where you can get a chuckle from it. The problem is that it's a little too adult-oriented and a little too metalhead-oriented for a typical Cartoon Network show.
As a result of the mismatch in audiences, Secret Mountain Fort Awesome was pulled off air - but not before it won an Emmy. (Now, we're not going to say that it's that good, but whatever, it happened.)
As for creator Peter Browngardt, he called pitched the show a "learning experience" that helped him get footing for his newer, more popular series, Uncle Grandpa.
The animation is actually the best part of this show, and that's not a good thing at all.
This was the first cartoon series to ever be directly marketed towards the Filipino audience in America - and was a catastrophic failure at it. The entire series basically made fun of urban culture, had cringe-inducing humor, and was incredibly poorly voice acted.
If you're a fan of watching urban culture get excorciated in an unfunny manner, this show will still suck. It's just...awful.
12 Oz Mouse
Every single one of these shows at least made an effort to try to look like a good show. Animators worked to make those shows look at least somewhat good, and made a point of being in budget. This show didn't bother to do that at all.
It's literally a terrible show with no plot, squiggles drawn as characters, and no background sounds aside from the characters talking. It's stark to the point of unbearable.
This show is so awful that even IMDB called it the worst cartoon ever created. Its pilot episode also got a very impressively bad 2,000 dislikes on YouTube within its first week. This is a hard-to-win honor in the sense that most people would have to try to actually make a cartoon series this bad.
The first big strike against this show comes from the way that the creators of the show animate the characters in a way that is viscerally awful. Look at the show. It's hideous. Like, absolutely, utterly appalling.
As bad of an eyesore as the animation is, the series's characters are even worse. The characters tend to be two-dimensional, and the hero of the entire Problem Solverz show seems to be kind of a jerk. It's not a lovable cast - at all.
The plots don't make much sense, either, since the problems they solve are inanely stupid and filled in with surreal, downright weird stuff. For example, one episode had the Problem Solverz team find cereal for a kid - that's it. The only problem was that the kid's cereal was created by an insane fish...somehow.
If this sounds like a cartoon that an art major would make, you're correct. It was actually the brainchild of a member of a respected art collective - however, Cartoon Network forgot that kids don't really want artistic statements in their cartoons.
This show was so bad that it was not even announced as cancelled since no one would care; Cartoon Network just refuses to air it anymore.