Deadly meatballs, a song about processed food, and a bean survey will remind you why you loved the series.
Animaniacs was a mainstay of 1990s animation, its legacy earning fans long after it was canceled. The series, which followed the absurd antics of the Warner siblings Yakko, Wakko, and Dot, was a collection of fast-paced and funny short segments best known for their obscure, dark comedy that appealed to adults as much as the young audiences it was marketed to. The series is notorious for hidden innuendos and somewhat revered for its pop cultural playfulness (which covered everything from historical figures to music to food).
Thanks to Hulu and Stephen Spielberg’s Amblin TV, you can once again enjoy it with (or without) the kids. The streamer and studio announced they are reviving the series for two seasons, and in addition, Hulu is letting fans stream all five seasons starting now. For the Animaniacs lovers out there who may have forgotten its proclivity for dining and food jokes (Wakko was a true lover of snacks, after all), here are nine food moments to look out for in your re-watch.
“Be Careful What You Eat”
Easily the most memorable food moment of the series, “Be Careful What You Eat” is essentially a catchy food song about the chemicals injected into prepackaged food. In true Animaniacs fashion, the siblings’ spirited and educational music ride through the aisles of a grocery store takes a rather dark turn, illustrating what can happen when you consume a ton of processed foods. Like much of everything in the Animaniacs, it’s a funny cautionary tale.
In this season one episode, Slappy and Skippy spoof fiber filled bran cereals with their own fictional morning meal, “Branimaniacs.” The cereal, which is chalk full of crunchy bran, tasty fiber and giant sugar cubes in the shape of Slappy’s head, might be nutritionally lacking for a young kid, but older viewers will immediately understand its power to “attack all of your digestive tracts.”
Gold Eggs and Meat
When Yakko, Wakko, and Dot get caught by a giant after venturing up a beanstalk, they have to wriggle their way out of getting eaten. Using their typical backhanded charm, the three siblings stop the giant from eating the “three tiny weenies” by preparing him gold eggs and meat, a play on Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham. Not only do they squeeze the golden egg out of the giant’s goose (a reference to popular fairy tale "The Golden Goose"), but after offering him the plate, they proceed to speak in Green Eggs and Ham rhymes.
“Ice Cream Song”
With the volume of songs that came from the Animaniacs series, it shouldn’t be a surprise that a few were outright dedicated to food. Unlike “Be Careful What You Eat,” the “Ice Cream Song” isn’t a clever cautionary tale. It’s mostly just Yakko, Wakko and Dot singing the names of ice cream flavors. But as they sing, you can watch them whip up an ice cream sundae so delicious it makes the other characters turn on each other.
This season three episode is a parody of the Rudyard Kipling poem “Gunga Din.” As characters cross the desert, we see Flavio and Marita Hippo cry that they have run out of Perrier and Evian. They request Gunga Dot to provide them more. The segment, which soon unfurls into a series of drink demands from various characters, eventually sees a run in between Dot, Pinky, and the Brain, resulting in the formation of the Indian Ocean.
"Would You Like to Take a Survey?"
When the siblings venture to the mall to buy a gift for Dr. Scratchandsniff, they run into two, loud older women eager to get their answers to a survey. Oddly, their questions are focused on the subject of beans. The two women cover everything from whether the three would like to eat beans themselves and eat them with actor George Wendt to how many bean-eating movies they’ve seen and if they’d like to eat George Wendt’s beans. To make it even funnier, the two survey ladies appear sporadically throughout the trio’s mall trip, forcing them to find creative ways of escaping their bean-based survey.
If you know Wakko, you’ll know that his serious taste for food tends to get him and his siblings in some tricky situations. (Remember Wakko’s hiccups after drinking too much ice cream soda?) In season one’s “Meatballs or Consequences,” Wakko dies from a Swedish meatball overdose, forcing Yakko and Dot to travel to go to Hell and back to save their brother. Of course, they make it out, but only after annoying Death… well, to death.
In “Mobster Mash,” these mischievous siblings bump heads with an Italian mobster inspired by The Godfather’s Vito Corleone. Dressing up as waiters and a waitress, Yakko, Wakko and Dot heckle and harass Don Pepperoni at an Italian restaurant. They kick the episode off with “The Pasta Song,” before working Pepperoni up into some serious heartburn by offering him the same menu items using two different names. That includes Calamari (which they also call squid), pasta (or noodles), Ham (or prosciutto), and even drink (or beverage).
Fear the Fruitcake
The mean and grumpy Mr. Plotz (the “CEO of Warner Bros.”) gets paid a visit by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future in the form of Yakko, Wakko, and Dot in “A Christmas Plotz.” They converge on Plotz’s holiday to help reform his distaste for fruitcake (he has a whole office for placing the unwanted cakes he’s been given), and it eventually works. Plotz embraces the fruitcake lover inside himself, but the weight of that love crushes him—literally. When the siblings drop a giant gifted fruitcake on Plotz house, he becomes trapped until Easter.