On 4/20, the best pot references in kids' shows

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"I learned it by watching you!"
Kids' shows have always had small jokes designed to go over the heads of the little ones and appeal to the parents in the audience. Or if not the parents, at least to the creative teams on the shows themselves, as they try to stave off serious depression after realizing that they've committed a huge part of their lives to making, say, the Smurfs movie. So it only stands to reason that, to ameliorate the shame of such a gig, drugs might be involved. And it follows, then, that some in-jokes about said drugs might slip in. Maybe.

Or maybe it's just that because of 4/20 and the proliferation of Denver dispensaries,we have green on the brain. You be the judge.

7. H.R. Pufnstuf

This classic would easily top this list ... if it weren't so damn obvious. I mean, really. Even flying as high as Witchiepoo on the Vroom Broom, the drug references in this show are head-slappingly obvious. The only argument to be made here is that the show isn't so much about pot, but rather acid. But given the name (Pufnstuf? Really, Sid and Marty Krofft? What were the names you turned down for this show? Roladubie? Smokabol? Takahitnpassiton?), not to mention those bags under H.R.'s eyes? I'm going with the pot.


6. Sesame Street

This one is debatable--or at least, it's been denied for years. But the character of Snuffleupagus has long been said to be a pot reference, what with the slow speech, the droopy eyes, and the habit he had of forgetting things like his own name. The original idea that no one could see ol' Snuffy except for Big Bird might suggest to some that he was meant to be some sort of hallucination. Besides, that issue was solved back in 1985, when producers thought that having a secret friend that Big Bird doesn't tell adults about might lead to molestation issues--and that's no fun at all. Stick to getting high, kids!

5. Speedy Gonzales

Ai-yi-yi-yi ... Speedy singing about smoking the pot? Mel Blanc would be ashamed. Or, I guess, really excited. I guess you could make the point that it's just a line in the song, and not so much an admission of the smoking of mouse-chronic. Or an arguably racist joke. Let's just stick with the reefer reference, shall we?


4. Popeye

Stay with me on this one, because it's one of the least obvious, and depends on myths surrounding marijuana back in the 20s and 30s. Spinach, for one, was at the time a common slang for ganja. It was also said to confer to users some form of super-strength and toughness. Sound familiar? Add to that the fact that Popeye's always smoking something in that pipe? And it all adds up to fatties--and I'm not talking about Wimpy and Bluto.


3. Puff the Magic Dragon

Another classic 60s series that never lived down the rumors of its marijuana-origins. Jackie Paper (rolling papers), and the "autumn mist" (pot smoke) of Honilee (Hanalei, a town in Hawaii with notoriously strong weed) ... it all makes sense. Of course, it was hotly denied by Peter, Paul, and Mary for years, who claim that it's about childhood innocence. But if you look at them in later years? The long-term effects of the munchies seem pretty apparent.


2. Pippi Longstocking

This is a proto-hippie who lives in a commune of sorts, wears denim and goes barefoot, lives by her own rules, and (like Popeye, earlier) has the super-strength that was once connected to pot smoking. Not to mention that she sits around constantly smoking a pipe, eating everything in sight, and generally thinking that she's awesome and hilarious. I mean, come on. The girl is totally high.

1. Scooby Doo

The worst case of the munchies ever on record. And seriously, the smoke from the Mystery Machine as it pulls away? That's not coming from the tailpipe, friend.


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10 comments
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