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Children’s TV Shows From The Nineties That (Unintentionally) Left Us Traumatised

They just don’t make ’em like they used to…

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Animals of Farthing Wood (1993-1995)

denofgeek.com / Via denofgeek.com

Oh look, an adorable cast of woodland creatures, what could possibly go wrong…? Apparently, for this plucky troupe of foxes, birds, voles and other miscellaneous endangered species – EVERYTHING. One of the early episodes featured baby mice being bird-napped and eviscerated on a bed of razor-sharp thorns.

That’s not even getting into what us pesky humans put these poor animals through. Still, the whole thing certainly left a lasting impression upon all of us, not least as to the plight of hedgehogs on busy A roads.

Round the Twist (1989-2001)

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I challenge you to not be able to sing that theme tune after all this time. This surreal Australian TV series followed the adventures of the Twist family, and, judging by the content of the episodes, their slow descent into madness.

Whether it was that unfortunate time when 13-year-old Pete was impregnated by a tree, or the time they grew creepy extra fingernails out of their hands, Round the Twist regularly toed the line between genius and insanity. It left us disorientated.

Five Children and It (1991)

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If you go down to the beach today, you’d probably be actually quite surprised if you came across a smelly naked mole rat goblin that refers to himself as a ‘sand fairy’.

This was the premise of a delightful early nineties series based upon the books by E. Nesbitt. Throw in some quintessential English accents and a rather constipated 'wishing face' and you have yourself a TV classic that gets only funnier and creepier with time.

False or True (1993-1996)

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Could that presenter have been any more intense? This trippy CBBC caper would offer you a range of unusual scenarios then demand to know whether they were either a) false or b) true. Simple enough, but what marks it out in my mind was the sheer insanity of some of the scenarios presented.

It’s rare to find any remaining footage of the series online, and my memory is a little hazy, but I do credit it with giving me an irrational fear of having a spider crawl into my brain and lay eggs and hatch out millions of tiny little spiders. Nuff said.

Tots TV (1993-1998)

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There were too many examples from the nineties of ragdoll puppetesque forms with blankly smiling faces and dead eyes to choose from, but Tots TV I feel exemplifies the style.

The series followed the adventures of Tilly who was French, Tom who was a bit of a dork, and the androgynous Tiny. This ramshackle ménage-trois all lived in a ‘secret house’ that today looks like this. Creepy, creepy, creepy.

Come Outside (1993-1997)

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Ok, hear me out on this one. On the surface, the adventures of Auntie Mabel and her mischievous collie-cross Pippin were nothing but harmless fun with aeroplanes.

But for my sweet, childish self, the stakes were just too damn high. Every single episode was spent on the edge of my seat going ‘please-don’t-let-anything-happen-to-the-dog-please-don’t-let-anything-happen-to-the-dog.’ I refused to watch the series ever again after Auntie Mabel accidentally left Pippin on a bus.

Moomin (1991)

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Let me get this straight: A group of anthropomorphic hippo hybrids live in a valley having whimsical adventures all day while their mum stays home making jam and their father writes his memoirs?

You couldn’t make this stuff up, only illustrator and writer Tove Jansson did just that. The Moomins have found many forms over the years, but one that is sure to stick out in every child of the nineties’ mind is this spoony Japanese reworking.

Whether the theme tune fills you with a warm sense of nostalgia or causes you to hyperventilate, these preposterous creatures are sure to have left a big impression.

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