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The Ed, Edd N Eddy Details That Are Darker Than You Think

"Ed, Edd n Eddy" is a one-of-a-kind cartoon that's emblematic of the era. The three titular boys terrorized the cul-de-sac for six seasons on Cartoon Network from 1999 to 2009, and the show's unique art style, energetic storytelling, and over-the-top comedy made it a hit with kids everywhere. And yet, what sets it apart from other animated shows of the 2000s is just how adult the show can be at times.

The show is known for having some suggestive, downright raunchy small details only adults would notice. A few examples include Eddy's collection of dirty magazines, Edd's book titled "Birds, Bees, and Sweaty Palms," and a note in Edd's bathroom from his parents that says "don't touch yourself." These subtle little details must've had the animators giggling hysterically whenever they slipped one in an episode — but the adult themes of the show go even further than those small jokes.

Alongside the show's adult humor are some darker details that would pass over the head of most kids, but would definitely give adult viewers some pause.

Ed's troubled home life

Throughout the series, we're given subtle hints that Ed's home life is pretty messed up. Ed lives in the dark, dingy basement of his home, in a disgustingly messy room. While it could be easy to chalk this up to Ed simply being a messy young boy, his sister's room is much nicer and filled with nicer items, potentially showing parental favoritism. Ed also suffers from terrible personal hygiene, and this combined with the state of his room and his relegation to the basement makes it seem like his parents don't care enough to make sure he's taking care of himself.

As if that wasn't bad enough, there's one episode where Ed, Edd, and Eddy hear a "shriek of terror," and Ed loudly yells "Dad's Home!" Ed associating a terrifying female scream with his father is certainly a red flag. Perhaps even more telling is a later episode where Ed's parents literally remove the stairs to the basement to keep him from leaving his room. These little details make the whole situation seem a lot more like downright abuse than a lack of attention, and it begs the question of whether or not the animators were trying to explore something a bit darker than we normally see in kids' television.

Edd is neglected by his parents

Edd's parents are hardly ever home and communicate with their son almost exclusively through post-it notes they leave behind whenever they're out of the house. It's a running gag that his parents leave way too many notes around the house for him, but when you actually think about it, the whole situation is quite sad.

Edd's parents almost never see him, and it seems that he is utterly neglected when he is home. On top of that, the notes they leave him treat him like a servant more often than not. The notes will leave him menial chores like "please repair curtain fringe today" or "wash the phone," and it almost seems like his parents are just trying to keep him busy while they're not around.

Even without the obvious neglect that comes with parenting via sticky notes, the appearance of Edd's home with all those notes taped around it makes it seem like something you'd see in an insane asylum or in "Memento." Maybe there are more issues regarding Edd's parents than meets the eye. In any case, the notes represent yet another more serious detail that may have slipped past us as kids.

Eddy is physically and verbally abused by his brother

Eddy is normally the ringleader of the group, often leading the other two in their schemes and tricks on the other neighborhood kids, but just like the other two, his home life is also disturbing. Eddy's abuse comes at the hands of his unnamed older brother, who appears in the 2009 film "Ed, Edd, and Eddy's Big Picture Show," which served as the series finale.

In the movie, Eddy's brother is revealed to be a sadistic bully who verbally and physically abused Eddy, and when the Eds first meet him he twists Eddy's leg around in a horrific game of "Uncle," just because he can. What's most disturbing about this is the way that Eddy had kept the truth about his brother hidden for so long (having told his friends for years how cool and smart his brother was), and how keeping all that trauma bottled up inside him affects him down the line.

Later in the same movie, while arguing with Edd, Eddy suddenly breaks down into tears and calls himself a loser, before hitting himself on the head repeatedly. It's clear in that moment just how much self-hate he's been harboring, and with the introduction of Eddy's brother, it's clear where those issues come from.

It's a poignant moment where Eddy actually experiences some real character development and faces his troubled past, but it's definitely darker than what we would expect in a children's cartoon.