The Ren & Stimpy Show aired on Nickelodeon for five glorious seasons, and in all that time we learned very little by way of useful information. That was hardly the point. What we did learn (and by “we” I mean the collective millions of viewers who turned Ren Höek, a high-strung Chihuahua and Stimpson J. Cat, a warm-hearted naïve cat into cult heroes), was that the the show was frequently controversial, always off-color, and arguably some of the grossest fare on television.
Gross in the same sentence as Ren & Stimpy is redundant, but for some readers it might have been a while since you’ve taken a look at an episode or two of, arguably, the greatest cat and dog show to ever air, ever! That said, here’s a look at the top five grossest moments in Ren & Stimpy history, and that’s saying a lot.
1. Stimpy’s Magic Nose Goblins
In the inaugural season of this classic show, there was a segment at the end of a few episodes called “What’ll We Do Till Then?” which featured Ren saying ‘goodbye’ to the audience and Stimpy worried about what they’ll do in the meantime.
Episode two titled “Nurse Stimpy” ended with Ren telling Stimpy he can go play with his “magic nose goblins.” Stimpy, delighted with glee, kisses Ren on the head and dashes off to retrieve his “goblins.” We discover in short order that his “magic nose gobins” are in fact a collection of disgusting boogers that he picked himself and wiped off his finger on the underside of an end table. Classic R&S humor!
2. Ren’s Toothache
In Episode 7 of the first season, Ren is told repeatedly by Stimpy that he needs to brush his teeth. Of course Ren ignores him and goes to bed without brushing. That night Ren gets a horrible toothache. The next night Ren is again told to brush his teeth or else by Stimpy, but to no avail. That night in bed Ren grinds out all his teeth and is left with nothing but gaping sockets and frayed nerves hanging out of his mouth! When he opens his mouth we’re shown—with black stink lines — accentuating how bad his rotten mouth stinks and in just that moment it’s almost possible to smell the funk through your television speakers. Smell-o-vision would die a quick death if they chose this episode to demonstrate its power.
3. Ice Cream Bar
In the same episode, Ren is kept awake by Stimpy’s maniacal brushing, which is accompanied by the sounds of jackhammers and other industrial equipment in use. Ren ventures into the bathroom to see what all the ruckus is and is told by Stimpy that if he wants a classic good smile he’d better start brushing his teeth. We then get a close-up of Stimpy’s perfect chickletts.
Ren informs Stimpy he’s never brushed his teeth a day in his life and steps up to the mirror to crack a smile. We get a close-up of disgusting, green, cracked, and grit-covered teeth, complete with ominous green stink lines.
Ren and Stimpy Space Madness
4. Ren Eats Kitty Litter
Kitty litter, and in particular Gritty Kitty, is a mainstay feature throughout the series. In the very first episode, Stimpy hears an ad on the radio for a writing contest asking for a poem in 47 million words or less. The winner will receive $47 million. Of course Stimpy wins the contest and is ferried off to Hollywood, leaving Ren at home feeling lonely and dejected. At the end of the episode we see Ren sitting in a box of Gritty Kitty kitty litter eating it by the handful. He’s grinding up huge round balls of litter with grit and debris falling from his mouth, filling the gaps between his teeth, and even sticking to the fronts of them! Disgusting, truly. We love it!
5. Golden Hairballs
In Episode 16b in Season Two, titled “The Cat That Laid the Golden Hairball,” Ren discovers that cat hairballs are worth more than gold. Do you already see where this is going? Ren forces Stimpy to cough up hairballs on an assembly line, in what is arguably some of the grossest scenes in the entire series. The episode features Stimpy licking all manner of gross and hairy things to continue producing hairballs for Ren.
Finally, when his hairball gland turns to dust and he’s unable to produce any more, they both realize the episode is over they all start dancing in celebration.
Episodes of The Ren & Stimpy Show are available in a variety of media, including DVDs from Amazon and streaming video. If it’s been a while—or ever—since you’ve seen and episode or five, do yourself a favor and queue them up. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Did we miss any? Have any gross memories of your own from the show that you’d like to share? Leave us a comment.