Every character on The Simpsons is missing a digit, and the prehistoric Flintstones family celebrated Christmas: proof that we don’t expect cartoons to be realistic. Still, it’s hard not to notice these glaring logical leaps in our kids’ favourite cartoons (most of which air on Treehouse).
1. Either Max & Ruby are the most independent children in the world or their parents are pretty irresponsible because their mom and dad have been completely MIA for five seasons. No wonder poor Ruby always seemed so stressed: She had to handle all the adult chores, like grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning and gardening, while minding her precocious little brother, Max. Season six brings big change to the rabbit cottage: Max & Ruby do, indeed, have parents, and they are featured prominently in the latest episodes. Maybe the network got tired of answering letters from befuddled parents.
2. Turn on Caillou in front of childless friends and the first thing they’ll ask is “Why doesn’t a four-year-old have any hair?” Caillou’s baldness is often blamed on the book series, which started when Caillou was much younger. The other question they might (rightfully) ask is why he is so incredibly bratty. This is where it gets more interesting: There are some pretty wild theories on the Internet about Caillou (think The Sixth Sense) that explain why every adult he meets is so interested in him and why his saintly parents put up with his constant whining.
3. Putting the earworm of a theme song aside, here’s what we don’t understand about the world of Bubble Guppies: The children are mermaids, yet their teacher, Mr. Grouper, is a fish who teaches them about the human world (like eating at a restaurant). The snails and other ocean creatures can speak, but the children’s dog is just a plain old pet. Wouldn’t he, too, have special qualities that help him survive underwater?
4. Let’s face it: Peppa Pig is the new Dora the Explorer, so we might as well get used to her. In Peppa’s world, families are divided by species and there doesn’t seem to be any crossbreeding. Peppa has yet to meet another (non-related) pig. So what happens when Peppa and George grow up? Who can they date?
5. Hazel, Posie and Lavender of Little Charmers may be sweet and well intentioned, but every charm they cast goes sideways. The plot point that sticks out most is that the three try to cover up their messy magic from Hazel’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charming, who are either the most trusting or most naive parents in this magical land. You would think Hazel would have lost her wand privileges by now.
6. Just to go back to Bubble Guppies for a second—they live underwater, so how and why would they go to the beach? Think about that one for a while.
7. In Justin Time, Justin’s companion, Squidgy, looks like a cross between a goldfish and a cheese cracker. Officially, he’s made out of Kooky Clay, which doesn’t explain his full set of teeth, ability to speak or lack of a lower body, which is quite noticeable when he goes skiing or rides a bike.
8. Toopy and Binoo are BFFs and can barely stand to be apart (which is really quite sweet). But can someone explain why Toopy the mouse is three times bigger than Binoo the cat? We didn’t think so.
9. My Big Big Friend’s Yuri, Lili and Matt create elaborate worlds with their imaginary friends (which would probably be pretty distracting in a kindergarten class). When they aren’t immersed in fantasy, the trio is sometimes tasked with watching Lili’s triplet siblings. Who trusts preschoolers to babysit three infants?
10. Do not adjust your television and don’t panic: You are hearing the same voice over and over again, even though the picture seems to change. Canadian voice-over whiz kid Gage Munroe is responsible for some of the most popular voices on kids TV, including stints as Matt on My Big Big Friend, Marshall on TVO’s PAW Patrol and Justin on Justin Time. Considering these shows are on constant rotation, you’d think they’d switch up the voices.
11. The team on Sheriff Callie, which airs on Disney Junior Canada, has it pretty easy on the job: The town isn’t exactly a hotbed of crime. But we do wonder why the sheriff, a cat, needs a horse—they are both four-legged animals. And can Deputy Peck fly? That seems like a useful skill for a law-enforcement officer.
12. In Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs, how does Harry fit in the bucket? And why are his elaborate adventures, each of which lasts about 10 minutes, never interrupted by an adult checking in on him?
13. The world of PJ Masks depends on child crime fighters because the town turns into a pre-K Gotham at night. The real mystery is how these sleep-deprived kids make it through the day without constant meltdowns. Maybe the diabolical Romeo, Luna Girl and Night Ninja just need a good night’s sleep.
14. Zack’s page-turning adventures on Zack & Quack take place in a pop-up book, meaning that the physical world is constantly changing and not bound by the laws of physics. Through his adventures, Zach trusts in his friends, including a sophisticated frog named Belly-Up, twin-sister squirrels named Hop and Skip and a hedgehog named Fluffy. All of these animals can speak, so why does Zack’s sidekick only communicate through annoying duck quacks?
15. In the great tradition of cartoon animals, Daniel of Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood begs the question: Where are your pants, dear? He wears a sweater with no bottoms.
16. Mike the Knight seems to take place in the Middle Ages, so where did Evie procure a scooter?
17. Dinosaurs are a mainstay on kids’ shows, but while we don’t expect historical accuracy on Dinopaws, we have to wonder if these dinos are anatomically correct. According to vigorous online debate, dinos have feet, not paws. We’ll leave this one to Nat Geo.
18. PAW Patrol deals with search and rescues—a pretty adult theme—so it’s interesting that the children are in charge. When the town is in trouble, Mayor Goodway turns to young Ryder to activate a group of brave puppies. Does this town have 911 dispatchers over the age of 10 or first responders that don’t have tails?
19. The Octonauts are fearless underwater explorers and problem solvers who use an octopod as their home base. It makes total sense that the group would be comprised of marine life like an octopus, a sea otter and a polar bear, but the cat, dog and bunny are head scratchers.
20. Since Peppa Pig rules the children’s programming club, we have a few more questions: Why are all of the animals (like Emily Elephant and Kylie Kangaroo) the same size? Why do the children live in different habitats (some are in homes, while others, like Rebecca Rabbit, live in animal-like abodes)? And why is their Queen human?