By Frankie Hart, April 6 2019 —
Every once in a while, I see nostalgia-bait posts on Facebook or Instagram attempting to grab my attention by appealing to my childhood memories. Pictures of Skip-Its, Floam, Lite-Brites, Tamagotchis and Beyblades litter the page. How many articles listing the various struggles of growing up in the 2000s are there?
Then I saw a collection of gifs from various children’s cartoons and the floodgates in my subconscious burst. Since that moment, my life has not known peace. These are the cartoons that agonize my very soul:
This monstrosity features animation from cut-out photographs, which could have been cool if the faces weren’t so carnally terrifying. Watching an episode with the intention to reminisce about my childhood instead unleashed a flurry of demons that now haunt me everywhere I go. Angela has replaced my every waking thought, flooding me with homicidal thoughts every time I see a girl who is either blonde, French or named Nanette.
As I lay in my bed attempting to float into pleasant dreams — perhaps of sheep grazing in a meadow — I instead see inhumanly morphed grey faces. Their mouths chatter and mock me in nasal tones as Mrs. Brinks’s giant hands wrap around my torso and crush me to death, releasing me from this hell.
It always bothered me that when this little girl was tasked with putting a customer’s shoes in her grandpa’s ‘fixing box,’ she would instead immediately put them on, probably before the customer even left. I lie awake at night and wonder, “What are the odds of getting warts after trying on 52 pairs of shoes belonging to complete strangers?” In sleep, I am plagued by dreams of Franny’s foot fungus.
This cartoon is pretty innocuous. However, I am tormented by the suspicion that this show, along with every cartoon episode in which a character shrinks for some reason, accidentally contributed to the giantess porn base.
I looked up an episode of this show on the official Johnny Test YouTube channel and it had 17 ads in a 21-minute episode. The volume of ads is rivalled only by the amount of whip-crack sound effects. Now that is horrifying.
Dave the Barbarian:
Can I be real with you for a moment here? I don’t recall exactly what episode it was, but I remember a shot panning across a castle and some sort of monster in one of the windows that scared the shit out of me at approximately age nine. The specifics are kind of hazy, but I’ll never forget the pounding in my chest and the blood rushing through my ears. No matter what, that fear will always be ingrained in the deepest parts of my brain.
Sometimes when I’m trying to navigate my house in the dark at night, my brain will suddenly conjure images of what I think could be the scariest thing to pop out from out of nearby doors. I’ll be trying to sleep and suddenly be thinking, “If there was a person secretly living in my house, where would they be living?” When I was younger, on occasion, a face with wide, bright eyes and teeth would flash in my mind, not unlike internet jump scares. But it’s not a face I’ve seen on the internet nor in real life. I’m not sure exactly where it came from. But I do know why this happens.
It’s from that episode of Dave the Barbarian. Maybe I became hooked on the adrenaline rush of terror. Maybe the fear became so ingrained that it’s hard-wired into me to periodically re-scare myself. Either way, it was definitely that show permeating my psyche. Making everyday existence a hellscape and every night filled with locking fear.
Sometimes I cry.
I cry in waves of heavy sobs until I’m choking on my own tears, and then the image flashes in my eyes again. Then I remember there is no escape.
Yvon of the Yukon:
In the introduction sequence, the eponymous Yvon is released from a block of ice by being pissed on by a dog. I think about this often.
There’s nothing more upsetting than living in Quebec.