This better not give my sleep paralysis demons any bright ideas.
While I've never seen this kids show (it was suggested on another one of our Aussie nostalgia posts), but I'm just going to classify it as weird based on the images I saw when I googled it. Now, excuse me while I go and bathe my eyes with bleach.
This isn't an Australian kids show (the Brits made this one), but it's been televised here enough that I'm including it. With character names like Iggle Piggle, Makka Pakka and Upsy Daisy, who are doing lord knows what in the Ninky Nonk and the Pink Ponk (a real sentence that I just typed), there's definitely a cooked quality to In The Night Garden.
I mean, Iggle Piggle is right there, waving a red flag (well, blanket) at us. Also, you would be lying if you said Makka Pakka didn't look stoned. Plus, there are all these creepy theories and deep dives about this show that add to its weirdness.
Aussie millennials will remember this '90s kids show featuring Elly, a ghost, who was helped by Jools to try and solve her own MURDER. Yes, you read that right, and no, I don't know how something covering death and murder was green-lit as a children's show in Australia.
Perhaps we're built differently or something, idk. If that wasn't cooked enough, the last episode revealed that Elly wasn't actually murdered. Nup, she was the victim of a senseless tragedy and hadn't passed on because she wanted to clear the name of the man accused of killing her. That's some traumatic shit right there.
Many Australians may have forgotten the cursed existence of Plasmo, so I apologise for unearthing these memories in your brain. While there were some cutesy characters in this kids show, there was also Coredor, who my co-worker accurately described as a "vulva-faced maniac".
Sure, kids may not have caught on, but I'm sure a fair few parents, and surely the animators, would have noticed how Coredor's face so plainly resembles genitalia. Also, let's not forget that when old mate was feeling angry or passionate, his face flaps would flail open. Or perhaps, let's do forget.
The premise of having children's books read out sounds like a lovely idea for a kids show, right? Unless they're being narrated by a creepy worm with black, dead eyes and a sly smile that would rival even the most confident of fuck boys on Tinder. The Book Place was — and still is — the stuff of cooked nightmares.
This floating, dismembered face from Mulligrubs better not give my sleep paralysis demons any ideas because that shit still scares the bejesus out of me as an adult. WHO THINKS THIS IS A ZESTY, FUN MASCOT FOR CHILDREN? Psychopaths, that's who.
From the weird plot lines, to the extremely '00s looks (which would most likely be considered on-trend today, considering the whole Y2K revival — but minus all the elements of cultural appropriation, of course), everything about The Tribe hinged on the cooked side. Looking back, Aussies frothed this NZ-produced show, but now it feels dated and kind of eerie, especially since the main storyline revolves around adults being wiped out by a ~mysterious~ virus. Thank you, next!
Oh, to be a fly on the wall of the Johnson And Friends writers' room, where someone decided that an accordion and hot water bottle would be besties with the children of Australia. It's a big no from me, especially to the creepy-ass hot water bottle who looks like he's screaming and in constant pain.
Kill it with fire is pretty much all I have to say in response to revisiting the existence of these demonic-looking creatures known as "boohbah". Why do the Brits insist on creating these horrific aberrations with glassy, unblinking eyes that should only belong in nightmares and definitely not on children's shows?
It's just a puppet, it's just a puppet, it's just a puppet — but why does this fucking puppet have to be so cursed-looking? The blush on its cheeks, while intended to give Mr. Squiggle a rosy appearance, instead looks like blood and as a reminder to children to not run with sharp pencils in the classroom. I suddenly have the strong urge to grab a baseball bat and smash this thing to pieces before it grabs my leg in the middle of the night.
IMDb describes Gogs as a "comedy", but then goes on to mention that "Grandpa's solution to everything is to hit it on the head with his club, Mother has no idea how to look after her baby and they all indulge in bodily functions in public." If that doesn't raise some red flags, I suggest you indulge yourself with a hit from Grandpa.
This claymation kids show was downright traumatic, frequently showing this family of cavemen pissing themselves or being killed in various painful situations. The most troubling aspect of the show, however? The fact that the baby has the face of a 50-year-old man.
If there ever was an Australian kids show that could be described as one big, confusing fever dream, it would have to be Parallax. Parallel universes (which included different versions of the same characters), demon-like creatures called Kremlins and a bunch of other random sci-fi elements thrown together were touched on in the show's short-lived history.
Jeopardy was truly in a league of its own and was basically like The Blair Witch Project, but for Australian kids. Featuring shaky camcorder footage, UFOs and a bunch of batshit storylines (creepy twins, students time-travelling to an alternative timeline where they had died, the red-eye virus), it was both terrifying and incredibly addictive to watch. In fact, I believed it to be a fever dream until I rediscovered it as an adult — and I can attest to the spookiness of the show holding up.
Ah, yes, the doll — or reanimated, mummified corpse, as I like to consider it — that gave every Australian nightmares in the '90s. What an achievement for the team of Lift Off. EC was meant to represent "every child" in Australia through its faceless, genderless appearance, but instead it looked like a soulless creature that had clawed its way through the depths of hell. Give it a one-way ticket to the sun, I say. And, of course, let us not forget about the menacing one-eyed succulent named Beverley who will eternally haunt our nightmares.
Was that a terrifying fever dream or the plot of a Round The Twist episode? It's most likely the second option, considering how often this Australian classic delved into cooked storylines, with some involving a propellor penis, cabbage patch babies and a young boy getting pregnant and giving birth via his mouth after meeting a tree dryad. Iconic stuff, really.
Out of all the kids show listed here, Soupe Opéra has to be the most cooked of all time. Why? Because there was no rhyme or reason attached to these fruit and vegetable transformations. They just happened and were accompanied by the booming sound of an opera lady singing "SOUUUUPPPEEE OPERRAAAAA" at the start of each segment, followed by my personal favourite, the "BOM BOM BOM" part. It was Frankenstein-esque really — there was no plot, no cliffhanger, no character development, just cursed animals being made that served as nightmare fuel for Australian children watching.