Missouri’s Top 10 Nostalgic Cartoon Shows

Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

Animation allows for the creation of extraordinary worlds that delight the senses, tickle the funny bone, and impart powerful messages onto the audience. Given this, it’s really no wonder that the impact of kids’ cartoon series often stretches well into adulthood.

Celebrating the cartoon heroes of our youth, BetMissouri.com decided to take a small detour from our typical coverage of the fight for legal Missouri sports betting. We turned to Google Trends, which compared the state’s search engine interest against other topics from Feb. 27 to March 5, 2024, regarding cartoons released in the 1980s, ‘90s, and early 2000s. We measured this data to create this list of the top 10 animated shows that have a nostalgic glow, according to Missouri residents.

Missouri’s Favorite Childhood Cartoons

Rank Show Search Interest Score
1. SpongeBob SquarePants 51
2. Arthur 29
3. The Powerpuff Girls 17
4. South Park 16
5. The Fairly OddParents 14
6. Recess 13
7. Rugrats 10
T8. Blue’s Clues 6
T8. Kim Possible 6
10. Pokemon 5

Number One Show Goes Swimmingly

It’s official: “SpongeBob SquarePants” is Missouri’s favorite cartoon series throwback. Debuting in 1999 on Nickelodeon, the series will officially turn 25 this year. During that time there have been 14 seasons, nearly 300 episodes, and three feature films. But there’s no stopping the titular yellow sea sponge, with Season 15 already green lit, and a new movie titled “The SpongeBob Movie: Search for SquarePants” set to hit theatres in late 2025.

Next up on our list, “Arthur” ranks as Missouri’s second-favorite nostalgic cartoon. America’s favorite aardvark first appeared in a series of children’s books written by author and illustrator Marc Brown. Then in 1996, PBS adapted the character into animated form. The show aired for more than 250 episodes before wrapping up its 25-season run in 2022.

Meanwhile, “The Powerpuff Girls” come in at No. 3 on our list. The Cartoon Network series followed three kindergarten girls who acquires superpowers when their mad scientist caretaker Professor Utonium accidentally poured “Chemical X” into the concoction of “sugar, spice, and everything nice” that he mixed while trying to create the “the perfect little girls.” It only ran for six seasons, but the girl-power themed series was a big hit, with the height of Powerpuff-mania culminating in a 2002 film adaptation, “The Powerpuff Girls Movie.”

Long-Lasting Show At No. 4 Appeals To Adults

“South Park” lands as Missouri’s fourth favorite nostalgic cartoon. The only entry on our list geared toward adults, the satirical series has been skewering current events, politics, and celebrities from its broadcast home on Comedy Central since the late 1990s.

At No. 5 we have another Nickelodeon series, “The Fairly OddParents.” The series premiered in 2001 and follows 10-year-old Timmy Turner and his two fairy godparents, who grant him wishes. These typically backfire. A live-action spinoff series premiered on Paramount+ in 2022, with an animated revival of “The Fairly OddParents” reportedly coming to Netflix later this year.

The next five nostalgic cartoons include such titles as “Rugrats,” “Blue’s Clues,” and of course, “Pokemon.” The original anime “Pokemon” landed in America in 1997, just ahead of the first two video games’ release date. That helped cement a children’s entertainment empire still going strong to this day.

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Jeff Parker

Jeff Parker is an entertainment writer for BetMissouri.com. A writer for film, television and the internet, Jeff is a life long movie buff, with a Masters Degree in Popular Culture. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he works full time as documentary filmmaker and producer.

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