'Rocko's Modern Life' Is The One '90s Cartoon Every Millennial Should Revisit ASAP
In a world where how to adult memes are ever present and nostalgia for the '90s shows no signs of slowing down, there is one '90s cartoon everyone should revisit — and that cartoon is Rocko's Modern Life. When you were an actual child of the '90s, there were probably cartoons you loved more. Rugrats spoke to your adventurous daydreams and Recess understood the playground hierarchy you faced at school everyday, but Rocko's reluctant journey through adulthood is the show you need right now.
What makes Rocko's Modern Life such a hilarious cartoon is, while it appealed to children, it was not necessarily aimed at them. Unless you were an alarmingly sophisticated and worldly five-year-old, there is just no way you got the show's social commentary, and you certainly did not understand all of those innuendo laden jokes. You saw an adorable wallaby, his turtle and cow BFFs, and his cute dog Spunky all going on wacky adventures. But, everything that made Rocko's Modern Life truly great was lost on you.
If you track the show down now, you are going to relate to Rocko so hard it will actually scare you. What you had no way of knowing the first time you watched the series is Rocko was basically a future millennial. It is all right there in the intro: he starts out as a happy kid, goes to college where he gets lots of knowledge, but no common sense, and then he is booted out into the "real world" to figure out how this whole life thing works. Rocko is you and me and everyone who has ever wished they could just skip the whole being an adult thing.
Rocko was a smart show designed to reflect the struggles every generation of new adults go through. Rocko deals with a scary boss, he has dating woes, and he takes truly terrible jobs — like working as a phone sex operator — to make ends meet. Through it all, his strongest source of strength are his friends who also act as his family. Heffer is a bundle of enthusiasm and confidence who forces Rocko to face life with optimism, while Filburt is his deeply neurotic friend who just wants to stay inside where nothing bad can happen. None of the characters are perfect — well, maybe Spunky — but they face everything together.
Sure, when you go back and watch Rocko's Modern Life , some of the references are going to be dated. For instance, Peaches, the devil's assistant in hell, uses a pager, and there is an episode where Rocko and Heffer end up on a Maury Povich type show that is '90s-tastic. But, for the most part, Rocko is all too real. From holding a garage sale to pay a pizza delivery man to hellish trips to the DMV and dealing with credit card debt, Rocko's struggles are universal.
Rocko is a character you can now laugh with, rather than at. His desire to live his best life and the thousand tiny, mundane obstacles standing in his way will make you cringe, laugh, and nod in agreement. Rocko's Modern Life was a fun distraction when you were a kid. Now, it is legitimately brilliant TV you will be better off for watching. Trust me, it will be a hoot to revisit this classic.
Image: Nickelodeon; Giphy