As 2019 creeps closer and closer, you might find yourself thinking back on previous decades. While it might seem like just yesterday, the year 2000 was 19 years ago! While the first ten years of the new millennium certainly held some questionable decisions (seriously, what were we thinking making Von Dutch trucker hats popular?), one element of the Aughties that we can all agree on were the cartoons. After all, this was a decade that gave kids cartoons like Avatar: The Last Airbender and Ed, Edd n Eddy! With remakes, reboots, and revivals all the rage, some of the beloved cartoons from the Aughties are getting brought back for a new generation of viewers. But it shouldn't just be Avatar and Kim Possible getting another go; no, we think there are plenty of Aughties cartoons begging for a come back.
The new millennium saw Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and Disney Channel introducing scores of new shows, with many of these cartoons going on to find dedicated fan followings. But for every breakout hit of the Aughties, there was were plenty of bad, awful, and just plain old not good shows. So join CBR as we take a look back to the decade Paris Hilton and terrible miniskirts to bring you 14 Aughties cartoons begging for a revival (and 5 Aughties cartoons that should stay in the past.)
20 COME BACK: DANNY PHANTOM
Few early-'00s cartoons have earned the cult-like following of Danny Phantom. Debuting in 2004, this Butch Hartman created paranormal adventure series quickly became one of Nickelodeon's most popular action-oriented shows, and ultimately ran for a healthy 53 episodes. Missing from the airwaves since 2007, we think it's about time the Ghost Zone returned to TVs.
Taking major influence from comic books, Danny Phantom sent protagonist Danny Fenton on otherworldly adventures, battling insidious ghosts (and some not-so-insidious ghosts. Remember Box Ghost?) all while juggling his personal and superheroic lives. With action cartoons back en vogue, it's the perfect time for Danny Phantom to go ghost again.
19 COME BACK: THE MARVELOUS MISADVENTURES OF FLAPJACK
Innovators aren't always appreciated in their time. Case in point: The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack. Before Adventure Time came along and popularized cartoons with bizarre humor and an emphasis on world building, there was Flapjack, blazing a cartoon trail with strange gags and a weird world that helped the show to stand out from the other series on Cartoon Network. While Flapjack wasn't fully appreciated in its time, this weirdo cartoon has since become a cult favorite, and we think it's about time this innovative cartoon made a marvelous return.
Following perennially plucky Flapjack and the dour, duplicitous Captain K'nuckles as they embark upon wacky adventures and search for the legendary Candied Island, The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack prided itself on its bizarre world filled to bursting with strange, out-there, and sometimes downright disturbing characters. As creative as it was weird, the television landscape would be much more receptive to a show like The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack these days, making it the perfect time to bring this forgotten favorite back.
18 COME BACK: LLOYD IN SPACE
Disney has churned out so many cartoons over the years that is has caused some of the House of Mouse's properties to get lost in the shuffle. Such was the case with Lloyd In Space, which, despite running for three whole years, remains largely forgotten these days. But we argue that Lloyd In Space deserves a better fate, and that this fun cartoon is ripe for a modern day come back.
Debuting in 2001, Lloyd In Space took your standard "awkward kid dealing with school woes" trope and shot it into space, whisking viewers off to Intrepidville Space Station, where the titular Lloyd, an antenna-sporting alien, navigates the hazards of school life with the help of his strange friends, including a sentient pile of goo and a floating brain. Strange, yet all too relatable, Lloyd In Space stood out from your standard Disney cartoons, and we bet this out-there premise would find a big modern audience.
17 COME BACK: DAVE THE BARBARIAN
The concept of Dave The Barbarian is a simple one: what if Conan the Barbarian was really, really dumb? An absurdist parody of the sword-and-sorcery genre, Dave The Barbarian brought slapstick and sight gags to the Hyborian Age. Debuting in 2004, the medieval madness of Dave The Barbarian clashed with squeaky clean Disney Channel shows like Lizzie Maguire and House Of Mouse. Canceled after a single season, we think the time is perfect for Dave The Barbarian to return.
Following the misadventures of the incredibly powerful, incredibly cowardly barbarian Dave as he battled evil throughout the mystical land of Udrogoth, Dave The Barbarian was filled to bursting with ridiculous sight gags, fourth wall breaking humor, and general silliness. A little too out-there when it debuted back in the mid-'00s, we think viewers would be much more receptive to Dave's particular brand of wacky humor these days.
16 COME BACK: CODENAME: KIDS NEXT DOOR
Every kid has felt like adults have it out for them. Well, what if they actually did? Yes, in the world of Codename: Kids Next Door, parents exist solely to make the children of the world miserable, stomping out fun and forcing kids to eat broccoli. Thankfully, a covert agency of adult-battling kids dubbed the Kids Next Door exists, waging war against the insidious grown-ups from the shadows. One part James Bond and one part "Parents Just Don't Understand," Codename: Kids Next Door was unique, and is begging for a modern day reboot.
Operating from a massive treehouse base, the Kids Next Door (composed of five kids with codenames such as Numbuh One and Numbuh Two) use high-tech gadgets to battle a rogue's gallery of fun-hating adults, ranging from candy-snatching pirates to mysterious ice cream men. Inventive, action-packed, and strange, Codename: Kids Next Door is the kind of show that would work just as well these days as it did when it debuted in 2002.
15 COME BACK: TOTALLY SPIES!
Let's address the elephant in the room: to most, Totally Spies! is considered an off-brand Kim Possible. It's easy to understand why: both follow fierce female high schoolers who split their time between dealing with the tribulations of being a teen and saving the world as a spy. But, if handled properly, a Totally Spies reboot could introduce a new generation to these teenybopper spies, all while distancing the property from its more famous competition.
Debuting in 2001, Totally Spies! followed book smart Sam, tomboy Alex, and ditzy Clover as they attended high school in Beverly Hills while working as covert agents of the World Organization of Human Protection (or WOOHP). Balancing girl-power spy escapades with standard teen drama, Totally Spies! quickly became a hit among young girls. This is the type of formula that never goes out of style, ensuring that a reimagining of Totally Spies! could do well with nostalgic Aughties kids and a whole new generation of fans.
14 COME BACK: FOSTER'S HOME FOR IMAGINARY FRIENDS
You'd be hard pressed to find an '00s cartoon more polarizing than Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends. After all, this is a show that managed to spawn some of the most heartwarming stories to ever air on Cartoon Network, while also introducing the world to some of the most obnoxious characters ever invented (looking at you, Bloo.) Despite the mixed public opinion of the show, we think there's enough to love about Foster's that warrants bringing this creative cartoon back for another go.
Debuting in 2004, Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends introduced an entire generation of kids to the titular home, an orphanage populated by wild and wacky imaginary friends. Imaginative youngster Mac takes to visiting the home, where he strikes up friendships with everything from an overly polite basketball monster to a half-bird/half-airplane. Filled to bursting with imagination, Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends is the kind of positive, upbeat cartoon that works for any generation, making it perfect for a comeback. But maybe leave Bendy out of this one.
13 COME BACK: TIME SQUAD
File Time Squad under "blink and you missed it." Despite running for two whole seasons, this early-'00s Cartoon Network show practically flew under the radar, as the show struggled to click with viewers. These days, Time Squad remains largely forgotten, but we think its the perfect candidate for a modern day reboot.
Hitting airwaves in 2001, Time Squad followed a trio of hapless time cops as they traveled the time stream, fixing hiccups throughout time and setting famous historical figures on the right track. Composed of eager Otto, musclebound Buck, and perpetually worried Larry 3000 (voiced by Mark Hamill!), the time cops generally bumbled throughout time and embarked upon crazy misadventures. Relying on strange meta humor, Time Squad was a little too out-there circa 2001, but with Teen Titans Go! ruling the airwaves with its bizarre meta humor, we think it's high past time Time Squad made a comeback.
12 COME BACK: THE PROUD FAMILY
There was a time when cartoons were sorely lacking in representation. Despite the world of cartoons being free of limitations, free to use characters of any ethnicities and backgrounds, cartoons tended to skew towards primarily white casts. But then along came The Proud Family, showing that cartoons shouldn't be limited by race. It was a landmark show, and we think it's the perfect time to revisit Penny Proud and the gang.
Debuting in 2001, The Proud Family followed the trails and tribulations of the titular Proud family, composed of immature father Oscar, levelheaded mother Trudy, sassy grandma Suga Mama, troublemaking twins BeB and CeCe, and bright, cheerful middle schooler Penny. Featuring a large cast of characters of varied ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds, The Proud Family prided itself on representing people not traditionally seen in cartoons. As cartoons have become more inclusive over the years, its the perfect time to bring one of the trailblazers of ethnic representation in cartoons back to the airwaves.
11 COME BACK: CLONE HIGH
Clone High was the kind of cartoon with some serious muscle behind it. After all, the series was co-created by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (writers of The Lego Movie and directors of 21 Jump Street) and Bill Lawrence (creator of Scrubs), with Will Forte as the main character. Despite this comedic pedigree, Clone High failed to make much of an impact when it was on the air. Since then, the series has amassed a cult following, many of whom contend that this criminally under appreciated cartoon is due for a reboot.
An absurdist takeoff of teen high school dramas, Clone High saw perpetually clueless Abraham Lincoln, mopey Joan of Arc, and party boy Mahatma Gandhi attending the eponymous high school, all while dealing with robot butlers, talking peanuts, and songs from Marilyn Manson about the importance of the food pyramid. The show received outspoken criticism from Indian viewers over the cartoon's portrayal of Gandhi, but with a bit of touch-up, Clone High would be a perfect candidate for a modern day Adult Swim reboot.
10 COME BACK: MEGAS XLR
Who knew that a lifetime of lazing around and playing video games would make a man the perfect candidate for piloting a massive mech? At least, that's what Megas XLR proposes, as couch potato Coop takes control of the eponymous giant robot, embarking up crazy cartoon misadventures. Filled to bursting with pop culture nods and adult jokes, Megas XLR was always a little too strange for Cartoon Network, but we think it would be a perfect candidate for a modern Adult Swim reboot.
When mechanic Coop finds a giant robot in a New Jersey junkyard, he does the only logical thing and replaces the robot's head with a classic muscle car. Together with his slacker best friend Jamie and no-nonsense intergalactic pilot Kiva, the crew of the Megas XLR set out to protect the Earth from the insidious alien race known as the Glorft. One part loving homage to giant robot anime and one part ridiculous adult comedy, Megas XLR is the kind of concept that is begging for a second chance.
9 COME BACK: MY LIFE AS A TEENAGE ROBOT
Dealing with high school, burgeoning feelings towards boys, and getting along with your Mom is difficult enough for most teenage girls. But make that teenage girl a highly-advanced robot tasked with defending the Earth, and everything becomes much more complicated. One part Dawson's Creek and one part Astro Boy, My Life As A Teenage Robot blazed a trail of teen girl butt-kickery on Nickelodeon. With shows like She-Ra and Star Vs The Forces Of Evil bringing back female-starring action comedy cartoons, it seems like the perfect time to bring My Life As A Teenage Robot back.
Debuting in 2003, My Life As A Teenage Robot followed XJ-9, or "Jenny" as she prefers to be known, as she juggles the drama of high school and battling the forces of evil. With equal parts comedy and action, My Life As A Teenage Robot was the kind of show with something to offer for everyone, and would work just as well on modern TV as it did when it debuted.
8 COME BACK: THE WEEKENDERS
Growing up, there was nothing quite like getting together with your best friends and just going where the wind takes you. Maybe you'd grab a slice of pizza, or go check out the arcade. There was never a concrete plan, and that was just fine. The Weekenders perfectly captures this feeling, and it's the kind of feeling that resonates with kids of any decade, making this early-Aughties favorite perfect for a revival.
Best friends Tor, Carver, Lor, and Tish live for the weekend, using those two precious days to explore their hometown of Bahia Bay and generally hang out. A low key show that was less concerned with wacky antics and more on the interplay of its characters, The Weekenders was like Disney Channel's answer to similarly chill Hey Arnold!, with the beach setting of Rocket Power. An early innovator of the "characters just kinda hanging out" genre that now rules cartoons, The Weekenders is begging for a modern day reboot.
7 COME BACK: FILLMORE!
Have you ever thought "Hey, there aren't nearly enough buddy cop shows that are also cartoons for kids?" No? Well, we don't blame you, as this would make for one strange combo. Yet, Disney's Fillmore! managed to make this mash-up work perfectly, and we'd hazard that the show's strange combination would work just as well with modern audiences as it did when it debuted in 2002.
When perpetual delinquent Cornelius Fillmore is caught stealing chalk, he's given a choice: either join the school's Safety Patrol, or spend the rest of the year in detention. Fillmore opts to join the force and is quickly partnered with goth girl Ingrid Third. Together, these middle school safety officers bust up tartar smuggling rings and illegal frog races, all while solving mysteries that threaten the school. A send-up of hard boiled cop dramas set at a middle school is a great idea, and we'd love nothing more than to see this cult favorite get a revival.
6 COME BACK: THE GRIM ADVENTURES OF BILLY AND MANDY
Before strange cartoons chock full of references to adult pop culture were the norm, there was The Grim Adventures Of Billy And Mandy. Weird before weird was cool, Grim Adventures was practically choked with obscure shout-outs, bizarre jokes, and weird gags. As shows like Teen Titans Go! and The Amazing World Of Gumball amass legions of fans with adult references and out-there jokes, we think it's about time the OG returned to reclaim its throne.
When dim bulb Billy and and cynical Mandy manage to trick a Jamaican-accented Grim Reaper into eternal friendship, the trio embark on strange misadventures filled with references ranging from Akira to Escape From New York to Blacula. Reveling in weirdo humor, The Grim Adventures Of Billy And Mandy managed to blaze a strange trail that many cartoons continue to follow to this day. This is a cartoon beginning for a revival!
5 STAY IN THE AUGHTIES: TEACHER'S PET
Want to know how rough Disney's movie output was in the early to mid-2000s? Look no further than Teacher's Pet. Yes, a largely forgotten Disney Channel series that ran for only two short seasons got a full-blown theatrical feature, which bombed at the box office and slipped into obscurity. While the failure of Teacher's Pet at the box office may have shocked the House Of Mouse, it wouldn't have shocked any Aughties kid unlucky enough to have watched the TV show.
Debuting in 2000, Teacher's Pet followed peppy dog Spot as he decides to pretend to be a human boy and attend school with his nervous owner, Leonard. Featuring art direction from Gary Baseman, the artistic designer for beloved board game Cranium, Teacher's Pet certainly had a unique look, but all the visual design in the world couldn't save the show from the fact that it was super dull. If there's one thing worse than a bad show, it's a boring show, and it is this crime that ensures that Teacher's Pet will forever remain in the Aughties.
4 STAY IN THE AUGHTIES: KAPPA MIKEY
Cartoons designed to cash in on current trends to age like milk. If a show is solely seeking to ride the coattails of whatever is popular, odds are the show is going to look ridiculous in a couple of years. Such was the case with Kappa Mikey, an anime-aping show so spectacularly lame that it is a minor miracle this mess of a cartoon even made it to the airwaves in the mid-'00s.
As anime and manga experienced an explosion of popularity in the mid-2000s, Nickelodeon trotted out Kappa Mikey, marketed by the network as the "first American anime." In actuality, Kappa Mikey was a satire of anime and Japan, albeit run through a lens of constant fart jokes and poor animation. Sure, anime is ripe for parody, but Kappa Mikey lacked wit or imagination, and we doubt many Aughites kids are clamoring for a revival of this show.
3 STAY IN THE AUGHTIES: SUPER DUPER SUMOS
We're guessing Super Duper Sumos was originally going to be titled "Hey Kids! Butts!", but it didn't market test well. Yes, Super Duper Sumos was one of a handful of shows to debut in the early-2000s that seemed obsessed with booty, but Super Duper Sumos was far and away the worst of the bunch.
Following plus-sized brothers Booma, Mamoo, and Kimo as they used their ample posteriors to battle Evil, Inc., each episodes was essentially an excuse to discuss butts. The sumos didn't high fives; they slapped their butts together. The sumos didn't fight with their hands or feet; they battled using their butts. The butt talk was nonstop, and for anyone over the age of three, it was less "funny" and more "kind of worrying." Any discussion of bringing back Super Duper Sumos should kindly BUTT out.
2 STAY IN THE AUGHTIES: MY GYM PARTNER'S A MONKEY
Again with the butts! While My Gym Partner's A Monkey wasn't quite as derrière-obsessed as Super Duper Sumos, this forgotten Aughties cartoon did draw a good chunk of its jokes from the fact that one of the main characters, a hyperactive monkey, loved to discuss his caboose. If this doesn't give you an idea of the caliber of the humor of My Gym Partner's A Monkey, well, buckle up.
Set in Charles Darwin Middle School, the show followed human boy Adam Lyon who, due to a clerical error, is transferred to the all-animal school and promptly paired up with excitable simian Jake Spidermonkey. Filled with fart jokes, loud animal noises, and general screaming, My Gym Partner's A Monkey isn't just not funny; it's borderline obnoxious. This cartoon can stay far, far away from modern airwaves.
1 STAY IN THE AUGHTIES: JOHNNY TEST
We'd like to think Johnny Test was born when an executive asked "Could we make a show that substitutes the same whip crack sound effect in lieu of jokes?" Who knows if this is what actually spawned this Aughties cartoon dumpster fire. It's possible this show was simply placed upon the Earth by the Devil himself as punishment for man's hubris. Who's to say? Whatever its origins, we can definitively state that Johnny Test is really, really bad.
Debuting in 2008, Johnny Test followed the adventures of the titular boy genius and his talking dog best friend, Dukey. Clearly not satisfied letting this humdinger of a poop joke do the comedic heavy lifting, Johnny Test opted to have the same stock whip crack sound effect accompany any sudden movement. The standard Johnny Test episode had around 100 whip cracks. We are not kidding. Yet, the cartoon ran for 117 episodes before mercifully being dragged behind the wood shed. There are plenty of bad Aughties cartoons, but Johnny Test definitely takes the terrible cake. Leave this abomination in the past.