Cartoons and animated movies for children are all about entertaining and creating a world of magic, and while we can appreciate them, it’s also funny to watch them as adults and see so many examples of wacky logic. From Arthur wearing earphones that don’t fit his ears to SpongeBob soaking dishes when he lives underwater, to pretty much anything the classic Disney princesses did in their lives, these actions made us facepalm hard:
Donald Duck’s classic example
This example of funny cartoon logic is such a classic, it’s even been brought up by Chandler Bing in an episode of Friends – he was the one who first brought up the question surrounding Donald Duck’s wardrobe choices.
Donald wear a sailor shirt and no pants, and looks comfortable like that, but when he’s getting out of the shower, he always puts a towel around his waist, or tries to cover his parts when there’s no towel around… what is that all about?
No logic? No problemo
The main character from SpongeBob SquarePants is a sea sponge who lives with his pet snail in a pineapple and works as a fry cook at a fast food restaurant that serves meatless burgers made from underwater ingredients.
So yeah, normal logic doesn’t apply here, and perhaps that’s what makes this cartoon fun, and such a hit with both children and adults. Here’s SpongeBob, and not only is he blowing bubbles underwater, but he seems to be doing it while wearing a water helmet.
Not very Charming
This is a different type of funny cartoon logic – one that doesn’t involve wardrobe choices, or physics, but wacky explanations for how a character acts throughout a story.
How did we not notice this when we first watched this Disney film when we were kids? Prince Charming supposedly fell in love with Cinderella at the ball, but then he didn’t know what she looked like, and the best way for him to find her again was to put a shoe on every girl in the kingdom? Err… okay.
Goofy and Pluto
Goofy is a character who’s known for being, well, goofy. He’s not the brightest crayon in the box, let’s put it that way, but still, he’s more intellectually developed than other characters from the same universe.
Goofy is a dog, after all – an anthropomorphic dog who walks of two feet and wears pants, a turtle neck, a vest, and white gloves -, and he owns… a dog, Pluto, who walks on all fours and barks and grunts like most dogs would.
RIP Mr. Pig
In the famous Three Little Pigs short film, Fifer, Fiddler, and Practical Pig spend most of the story trying to protect themselves from the Big Bad Wolf, who manages to destroy the house made of straw and the house made of sticks, but is defeated by the house made of bricks.
The Pig brothers escaped from becoming someone’s meal, but apparently, their dad didn’t have the same luck. Look at those portraits tagged as “father” hanging on the walls! Ouch.
That electric bill
This is something we definitely didn’t think about when we were kids, because children are usually unaware that everything in life costs money (can we go back in time and warn our little selves not to grow up, because “it’s a trap!”?), but as adults, this is only a natural question.
How did Dexter’s parents not know about his secret lab? There was actually an episode where his mom is shocked by how much the electric bill cost, and she paid the electrician in pennies – but, apparently, none of the parents were very financially wise.
The world’s worst earphones
If you’ve been on the internet long enough, you’re probably aware of two things about this cartoon, even if you never actually watched one of its episodes. First of all, singer-songwriter John Legend looks like Arthur.
Second, Arthur wears the world’s worst earphones. Look at those things – they’re not even close to where his ears are located! Maybe they’re just for show? Like, he wants you to think he’s listening to music, but really, he’s secretly listening to all your conversations. Not cool, Arthur.
Aquaman, what are you doing?
The whole idea of superheroes is completely fantastical, but maybe the reason why they are so popular is because people want to believe they could be true. Wouldn’t it be amazing if those beings with extraordinary abilities would be real, and they dedicated their powers to protecting the world?
Aquaman here didn’t get the memo though, and wasn’t aware he should be keeping things at least kinda believable. Here he is, riding those fishes a) like it’s plausible, b) like it’s necessary, c) like it’s helpful at all.
Now that’s an interesting superpower
Unless you grew up using chopsticks in your house, it can be a real challenge to master the art of eating with those traditional Asian utensils. We know people who are afraid of going to certain restaurants because they’re ashamed of their poor chopsticks skills!
We’re sure those folks would love to have this very interesting superpower Bubbles here, from The Powerpuff Girls, is showing off – the power to handle chopsticks by will and nothing more.
That silky smooth skin
Again, this is not the type of detail that a child would pay attention to, but an adult? Yep, that’s definitely on our minds whenever we see an image of Disney’s Tarzan. Raised in the jungle by apes, and yet, he’s got no body hair?
Somehow, he’s silky smooth all over! We need Tarzan to drop that skincare routine asap, and while we’re at it, we want to know all about which conditioner he uses on his hair, because his locks are always looking a-mazing!
Time is relative
According to science, time is relative, meaning that the rate at which time passes depends on our frame of reference. This can probably explain why, in the Simpsons, the children of Apu and Manjula Nahasapeemapetilon seem to grow at normal speed…
…While Maggie, the youngest child of Homer and Marge Simpson, has been a one-year-old for decades. Maybe time passes faster for the Nahasapeemapetilon family because they’re so busy with the eight kids – or maybe it’s just wacky cartoon logic.
Imprisonment of the mind
Some motivational speakers and self-help authors have theorized about something called the “imprisonment of the mind,” or “inner mental prison” – the name may vary a little, but the concept is the same.
The idea is that people tend to confine themselves to their reality through self-imposed limitations, and if they learn to let go of those, they can find freedom and unlock numerous opportunities. Someone needs to tell that to those Smurfs, because they could totally get out of that cage!
That Disney magic
Watching old princess movies today is a hilarious experience, because we know too much to fall under their spell. That Disney magic is cool and all, and we can definitely still appreciate their skills, but some things that have worked in the past wouldn’t fly today.
Take the Snow White prince, for example. Dude stumbled upon a seemingly lifeless body in the woods, and decided to kiss it on the lips? Uh… Maybe don’t do that?
Don’t go chasing waterfalls
If we’re nitpicking here, we have to admit that Meowth is not really the only talking Pokemon in the world, but still, the observation below is valid and it really makes you think, doesn’t it?
Jessie and James from Team Rocket wake up everyday and look at a talking Meowth in the eyes, and still choose to go after some random Pikachu that can only mix and match the “words” pi, ka, and chu. They need to listen to TLC’s “Chasing Waterfalls” and value what they already have on their hands.
Watcha eating there, Donald?
Best case scenario, Donald Duck, below, is serving a roast chicken for dinner. Worst case scenario… maybe that’s another type of bird, and things are even darker than they might seem.
Maybe Donald did something bad, and that’s his way of making sure they can’t trace anything back to him – he would be basically eating the evidence. Also, isn’t it weird how the roast bird is about the same size as his nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie?
English teacher, American accent
This example of cartoon logic is something we didn’t notice even as adults, but now that it’s been brought to our attention, we can’t stop thinking about it. In Tarzan, he spends the first part of the movie using “animal language,” but when he does start to learn English…
…He speaks with an American accent, even though he’s being taught by an English girl. We probably never realized this because he doesn’t have that many lines in the movie, but how cool would it have been if he had developed a posh English accent?
SOs or siblings?
This is such a curious choice for cartoonists to make, because they can literally draw their characters whichever way they want, and for some reason, they frequently draw married couples who look like they are brother and sister.
Some of them could pass as twins, or as if they were put through that gender swap app that was all the rage a little while ago on social media. Look at the Dinkleberg family from The Fairly OddParents!
‘We did it!’
Dora the Explorer is a beloved cartoon that follows the adventures of Dora and her friend Boots, and while children enjoy the show and parents appreciate its educational value, everyone else is left kinda confused about it.
She’s multilingual, but can’t seem to locate things right next to her, and on top of that, she makes people uncomfortable. What’s more awkward – to answer her questions, or to sit in silence while she stares at you from inside the TV?
That can’t be comfortable
From the makers of Arthur’s earphones that sit on one’s cheekbones, comes Mr. Krabs’ earphones that sit on one’s eyeballs. Looking at the two images below made us feel squeamish, because boy, that cannot be comfortable.
We wonder if the people who make these cartoons draw earphones like that because they think it’s funny, or because they don’t have time to think of an alternative. The name of the appliance is EARphones, but they’re never near the characters’ ears.
Look who’s talking
We’re not sure what’s funnier about the scene below – the fact that Minnie Mouse, whose name is literally Minnie MOUSE, is scared of mice, or how surprised that little fella seems to be.
We can’t see the facial expression of the little mouse on the floor, but we can tell he’s surprised by Minnie’s reaction. It’s almost like he’s thinking, “What do you mean, ‘Eeek! A mouse!’? Look who’s talking!” It’d be like Goofy being afraid of dogs.
A lot of the clothes-wearing animals on this list are anthropomorphic, meaning they are non-human entities with human traits, emotions, and intentions, but that’s not the case of Tom, here, who’s very much a cat chasing a mouse who’s very much a mouse.
They go about their days wearing the same thing that a cat and a mouse would wear in nature – nothing -, but when they go to be beach, they wear colorful swimsuits. Maybe the cartoonists just wanted an opportunity to show off their fashion illustration skills, but yeah, it makes no sense.
Where’s the border?
This was actually a joke in one episode of The Simpsons – Bart said he had one question about hair, because he didn’t know where his hair started. It went head, head, head, hair, with no visible division. “Where’s the border?” he asked, and his siblings also started to freak out.
The image above doesn’t help either, and if anything, it makes things even more confusing, because Lisa’s skeleton has five fingers of her left hand, when the series’ characters famously have four fingers on each hand.
Getting the job done
As we can see below, SpongeBob uses a cloth to wash dishes, and our initial reaction was disappointment, because we were wondering whether he used himself to wash dishes; but on second thought, did we want to see that? Probably not.
Although, we’re probably missing the funniest part about how he’s getting the job done. Notice how he’s soaking the glasses and the spatula and everything else inside a bowl with water and soap, but… he’s underwater – everything’s already soaked!
The funniest rock paper scissors
We are pretty sure that a lot of the cartoon logic examples on this list were oversights, but this case right here is one where the writers were having fun laughing about the rules of the game.
We couldn’t help but to laugh out loud when we rewatched this scene from The PowerPuff Girls, where the three superheroes rock paper scissor with those fingerless hands, and say, “scissors beat paper!” Yes, Bubbles somehow lost to Buttercup.
Not a perfect fit, then
The whole deal of the glass slipper created by the Fairy Godmother for Cinderella to wear at the royal ball is that it was a perfect fit (and also, it perfectly matched the color scheme of her ball gown and head accessory).
And yet, when the clock strikes midnight and she flees the castle, one of the slippers fall from her foot and is left behind on the stairs. This can only mean one of two things – either it wasn’t really a perfect fit, or… Cinderella had sweaty feet.
We know the truth, Dexter
Perhaps the most logic-defying element about Dexter’s Laboratory is not the fact that the boy-genius has a huge laboratory he’s managed to keep hidden from his parents…
Perhaps what we’ve been overlooking all this time is fact that a boy-genius who’s created such inventions as the Quadraplex T-3000 Computer and the Multi-Formic Megabot can’t seem to build a security system capable of stopping his sister. We know the truth, Dexter – you actually want her there!
Fly like a bird
We’re confident this is not what Mariah Carey meant when she sang her song Fly Like a Bird, because this is not the way birds are meant to fly. Well, perhaps this explains why Launchpad McQuack, from DuckTales, is not particularly good with planes.
He seems to be able to fly them alright, but he rarely lands them safely – if you recall the original series from 1987, his catchphrase was “If it has wings, I can crash it.”
Setting a bad example
Disney movies are not educational content, and we hope parents are reminding their children about this, specially when it comes to the older princess films, which have morals that are somewhat eyebrow-raising in today’s standards.
Everyone knows that kids should be taught not to talk to strangers, but those princesses in the movies seem to have skipped this important lesson. Not only do they talk to strangers, they marry them after barely going out on a first date.
Isaac Newton sighs loudly
Thankfully, animated cartoons were not a thing back when Isaac Newton was alive, because the scientist who developed the theory of universal gravitation would probably not enjoy the constant breaking of the laws of physics.
We bet he would specially dislike the Looney Tunes episodes with Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner. A running gag from the series involved the Coyote falling from a high cliff – but gravity usually didn’t kick in until he looked down.
A little privacy here!
This might be lacking on logic, but we’re actually with Jerry on this one. Sure, he doesn’t wear clothes on a daily basis – except when he goes to the beach, in which case it’s time to reach for those stylish bathing suits -, but that doesn’t mean Tom can peek on him while he’s taking a bath.
Any bathroom-related moments are supposed to be private, unless otherwise stated, and Tom was obviously not given consent to join in, so walk away, dude!
The wrong message
All those beautiful visuals, the gowns, the scenery, the catchy tunes, the charismatic characters… They make us sink into the story and not really pay attention to some weird details about Disney movies.
Beauty and the Beast is supposedly a story about how looks don’t matter, but all these years, had we been looking at the wrong message? Was the “tale as old as time” actually about… Belle’s Stockholm syndrome after being held captive by the Beast?
That’s a good question
How Zubat is holding Squirtle is a question that will bother Pokemon fans for generations. He doesn’t have hands or feet, and it almost looks like Squirtle is superglued to him, which would probably hurt when they reach their destination.
But also, this example of cartoon logic made us think of a movie logic. Seeing Pikachu’s ride reminded us of Lord of the Rings, and how some people say the Fellowship could have simply used the eagles to easily fly into Mordor.
Great disguise, guys
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is one of the most popular animated series in television history, but still, if you think about it, the story is so absurd. They’re giant mutant turtles who live in the New York sewers! Who were raised by a giant rat! And they were trained in Japanese martial arts!
The story’s a lot to take in, which is probably why we never noticed the fact that they wear masks over their eyes, as if that would keep people from identifying them – the giant mutant turtles who live in the New York sewers.
Ariel is fascinated by all things related to the human world, but indeed, we never thought how little sense it makes that she’s so impressed by a Dinglehopper (aka a fork) when it looks so much like something she’s seen all her life.
Her father wields a mighty trident, which looks similar to a fork, but is much more impressive. Perhaps finding magic in the little things is a good trait to have, but she’s overdoing it with this one.
The beauty of the internet is that you can share your thoughts with everyone in the world, and we’re thankful for it, because we have found so many hilarious examples of cartoon logic we had never noticed before.
Take this moment from The PowerPuff Girls, for instance, where Buttercup, Blossom, and Bubbles are sneaking past Professor Utonium’s room while he’s sleeping, tiptoeing like fools when they can literally float in the air. We would never walk again if we could fly!
How does he know where to stop?
Considering that Bugs Bunny is an anthropomorphic character, it’s only natural that he would exhibit behaviors that are exclusive to humans, but we would normally expect something like walking on two feet or wearing clothes (or, in his case, a pair of white gloves).
But shaving his beard? That’s on a whole new level. How does he even know where his beard ends, and the rest of his fur starts? We can’t stop thinking about that now.
A unique shoe size
In the US, the average shoe size for women today is between 8.5 and 9, but all shoe sizes are fairly common. Not for Cinderella, though. Cinderella apparently has a unique shoe size that not a single person in the entire kingdom has, and that makes no sense. How small can her feet be?
Fun fact: in the traditional tale recorded by the Brothers Grimm, Cinderella’s sisters were so eager to fit into the slippers, one of them cut off her own toes, and the other one cut off part of her heel.
Such a beautiful family
Mr. Krabs and Pearl Krabs are perhaps the most unusual duo in his series full of unusual characters, because he’s a crab who’s the father of a teenage whale. We have to assume Pearl got her looks from her mother, although her identity and whereabouts were never explained in the series.
We wonder if this is actually a Kung Fu Panda situation. If you watched the movies, you might remember Po is eventually shocked to find out that Mr. Ping, the goose, is not his biological father.
Don’t try this at home
Tom and Jerry is the type of cartoon for children that would probably not fly today, due to their running gags involving violence. In his efforts to get Jerry, Tom uses all sort of weapons and explosives, and in retaliation, Jerry gets even more creative.
We watched Tom getting smashed, electrocuted, and sliced too many times, and yet, he was always fine after that. No wonder they served as inspiration for The Itchy and Scratchy Show, the fictional animation featured on The Simpsons.
Ah, to be an adult watching a children’s film, listing all the things about the story that make no sense in the real world. Here’s a fun plot hole about The Little Mermaid that could have changed how the movie went.
Ariel is apparently literate, since she read and signed Ursula’s contract, and yet, when she goes to the human world, she never thinks about pantomiming her way into getting some pen and paper to communicate with Prince Eric. Maybe they never heard of pantomime, under the sea?
A very helpful ID… not
How funny would it be if our real-world identity documents were as helpful as this one from Hey Arnold!, the cartoon about a fourth-grader who lives with his grandparents? It would certainly be difficult to get carded anywhere.
In case you can’t read it, the document says, “Name: Arnold. Birth: Yes.” lol Some logic that is, but of course, what could we expect from a cartoon in which the main character’s head is shaped like a football?
Justice is served
Le Quack is the secondary antagonist of the show Courage the Cowardly Dog. He’s a French con artist duck who always tries to steal large amounts of money, and he’s described as “decisive” and “skilled,” but honestly, we have our doubts about that.
Look at this scene where he’s handcuffed by the cops, for example. Does that even make any sense? You don’t exactly need to be an evil mastermind when the handcuffs are twice the size of your wrists.
When no spidey sense is tingling
The first Spider-Man animated series aired on ABC from 1967 to 1970, and it didn’t exactly become a huge hit, but in recent years, the internet started transforming many scenes from the show into memes, and there’s a very good explanation for that.
The animators had extremely low budgets, and there are several moments from the show, including the one above, that just make people laugh, and not on purpose, but because of its simplistic art style.
Times have certainly changed, and in today’s princess movies, you won’t find a main character whose entire purpose in life is to find the love of their life and get married, or wait until they’re rescued by a strong man.
But in the past, that’s exactly the type of protagonists that little girls were looking up to, such as Ariel, who literally changed everything about herself and left her family and friends to try and be with a man she didn’t even know.
That perma-tan line
There are many people who love to sit under the sun when they’re on vacation, and they wear their tan lines like a badge of honor – they’ll even do unhealthy things to get those lines quickly, like not wear sunscreen, or be exposed to the sunlight for way too many hours at a time.
Those folks would probably love to hear about this guy’s secret, because his tan lines don’t seem to fade at all; he’s got a perma-tan!
So many levels of cartoon logic
The funny thing about questioning the logic in a cartoon or an animated movie is that once you start, there’s no right answer about where you should stop. So sure, we can laugh about the fact that Jasmine questioned if it’s safe to ride…
…Even though she has a tiger for a pet, but in her mind, that pet is family! She’s probably right about questioning the safety of hopping on a sentient. Flying. Persian. Carpet.
Justice for Wile E. Coyote!
Wile E. Coyote is probably the most misunderstood character from the cartoons we watched when we were young. He was always painted as the villain, but all he was doing was trying to get a meal. Plus, he was always so creative, and he was such a great artist.
Fun fact: in 2016, a street artist who was apparently inspired by Wile E. Coyote and his unsung talent, painted a cartoon-style tunnel on a wall, and someone tried to drive though it.
Pretty much any cartoon will have hilarious examples of cartoon logic, but we doubt there are any titles out there as “rich” as SpongeBob SquarePants. Take the scene below, for instance, where Mr. Krabs shows SpongeBob the Krusty Pool.
He plans to use it to increase his profits, and he even tries to create an “endless summer” so he can keep it open all year long. At the moment, though, the pool is empty; there’s no water in it; and they’re under the sea.
You ask very good questions
In this episode of Phineas and Ferb, Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz asks a question we had never thought of asking before, but now, we can’t stop thinking about it. In case you can’t see it, he wants to know how come in the desert, there are always cow skulls.
And what happened to their body? Did those parts go die somewhere else? That’s a very good question, Dr., but then again, you’re talking to a teal platypus who’s a secret agent for the Organization Without a Cool Acronym.
Whatever works for you
When we were children watching Dragon Ball, we were too involved with the characters’ journey to realize this weird thing about them – why did they yell all the time? Our ears are too sensitive now to go through a whole episode without reaching for the remote control.
We don’t understand the logic of how yelling makes you stronger, but maybe it’s just something that you feel – like when you stub your toe on the corner of some furniture, and cussing makes the pain go away faster.
As far as we can remember, almost every episode of Scooby-Doo ended with the gang unmasking the “monster” who turned out to be just another petty human wanting to ruin someone’s day, but to be fair, there actually were a few actual ghosts and supernatural creatures on the show.
Still, the phonie to monster ratio is quite unbalanced, and Shaggy and Scooby should know by now that the bad guys are more afraid of them than the other way around.
Prepare for trouble
One of the most beloved running gags in Pokemon was how Team Rocket would show up in the most bizarre costumes and disguises that don’t disguise anything at all, and still, Ash and his friends would fall for it.
Sure, put then in a Swan Lake-inspired costume, or have them pose as old hermits; Jessie’s magenta hair and James’s blue/purple hair don’t make them stand out at all, not to mention their voices, and the fact that they have a talking Meowth.
The most useless ears
Here in the real world, our ears are working overtime, and they’re holding our glasses, earphones, masks, and earrings. We’re surprised they haven’t started to talk just to say something like, “oh, I’m sorry, do you want me to hold your bag as well?”
Meanwhile, in the cartoon Arthur, the main character has the most useless ears in show biz. Those glasses are just staying in place by the power of his will, because even his nose doesn’t seem to be doing anything.
Someone watched the episode of The Fairly OddParents where Timmy is “overwishing” and is told he has Over Wishing Disorder, and they got real mad about the choices that the cartoon boy was making.
Sure, theoretically, Timmy could wish for the end of any illness in the world, but come on. This is not even a case of cartoon logic, but of unrealistic expectations. What ten year old boy would ask for something noble and selfless like that, when they could get a Swiss ski resort with pizza-delivering octopuses and a chocolate snowboard?
No judgement here
People are laughing about the fact that Belle, after being taken by the Beast, befriend his furniture, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do to stay sane when you’re in a situation like that.
She was all alone, with no family and no friends around, in an environment that was completely foreign to her. Honestly, we have felt just as alone as she did, and that’s when we started talking to our television. We’re not judging you, Belle, this is a safe space!