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Ren Seeks Help (Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon")

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Ren Seeks Help (Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon")
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"This time, I've gotta do something about it. I'll seek help. I'll do it for you!"
(gets worse and murders someone)
Part of Season: 1
Episode Number: 2
Air Date: July 3, 2003
Writer: John Kricfalusi and Richard Pursel
Director: John Kricfalusi
Previous episode: Onward and Upward
Next episode: Fire Dogs 2


Ren Seeks Help is an episode of Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon". It follows Ren finally feeling guilty about something abusive that he did to Stimpy, so he seeks to a therapist to help him and tells his darkest childhood stories and why he became such an abusive psychopath in the first place.

Plot

After commiting a horrible act towards Stimpy, Ren realizes how cruel he can be, and decides to get psychiatric help to do something about it.
You monster!!! - Stimpy

Why It Can't Be Helped

  1. As opposed to the original Ren & Stimpy series, this episode has a cold, cruel vibe to it, and also feels more like a Ren & Stimpy horror creepypasta than an actual Ren & Stimpy episode or some fictional Lost Episode that isn't really meant to exist like Dead Bart or Squidward's Suicide. Yet, this episode, in particular, is treated as a comedy, when it all has material that works for a horror show with torture and drama.
  2. Misleading title: While Ren does seek help, he only went to Dr. Horse to share memories of what he did in his youth, he does NOT get any help AT ALL.
  3. Ren is at his absolute worst here, as he mentions how he enjoyed tormenting bugs when he was little and also kills Mr. Horse after he is called crazy. This has since butchered Ren as a character and he is another example of why he suffered the worst amount of Flanderization in this show, especially for a character that was beloved in the '90s. Worst of all, he hardly gets any comeuppance for his horrific actions.
  4. Stimpy's crying is extremely ear-piercing, although we do feel bad for him after Ren argued with him.
  5. Downright strange title card with Ren making an extremely disturbing and grotesque face, with Stimpy making a rather questionable face.
  6. Continuing from WICBH#3, the episode has horrifying moments of Ren tormenting animals:
    1. Most notably, Ren is shown pulling legs off of a caterpillar, while it screams in agony.
    2. Ren licks a tick impaled in a stick with his tongue that has a sharp curl on the end.
    3. And we simply cannot forget about the frog. Ren finds a frog. He then rides his tricycle onto the frog against the wall, causing its guts to go out. He attaches jumper cables to the frog and starts a car, electrocuting the frog. The frog then collides with a pole and gets set on fire.
  7. It is more or less a morbid rip-off of the episode Ren Needs Help from the original Ren & Stimpy, but with more disturbing imagery, even though that episode was conceived right after John Kricfalusi was fired from the original show.
  8. Overly dark humor.
  9. Ren does not even get punished by his parents; there is an instance where the audience think he is going to be punished, but his mother allows Ren to use a chainsaw instead of a gun to end the poor frog who wanted to die.
  10. The ending is underwhelming yet very disturbing. It shows the severely mangled frog trying to shoot himself with a gun, but he still survives. Why end the episode like a Looney Tunes cartoon for all the stuff everybody went through? It's off-putting and somewhat insulting to the Looney Tunes cartoons that it just becomes confusing.
  11. Seven plot holes (and animation errors):
    • Ren somehow gains demon-like horns on his head while attacking Mr. Horse, almost as if he transformed into a demon.
    • Ren has a fourth toe and the fifth finger on his arm after he goes crazy even though Ren normally has three toes and four fingers and an animal control guy's hand being bitten off of his left arm to his right.
    • Ren's father is a priest. Priests, Catholic ones at least, cannot get married.
    • While Ren is attacking Mr. Horse by scratching him, he appears to not have his clothes on, but when he is about to get the gun, he has his clothes on.
    • The bitten hand, which has five fingers, suddenly has four in the next scene where Ren digests it.
    • A pool of Stimpy's tears appears in the next shot, which shows the floor like the previous scene without transition.
    • Logic fail: Ren somewhat screeches like a cat while killing Mr. Horse, even though he's a chihuahua.
    • Ren became rabid so suddenly after Mr. Horse called him crazy and said that he's a horse.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The concept of Ren's past that caused him to be crazy is great, but was terribly executed. This kind of thing works in a horror show, but in a comedy show, it feels out of place, as stated in WTS #1.
  2. Depending on your view, Ren getting taken away to a zoo can be seen as comeuppance of the horrible actions he did throughout the episode.
  3. Mr. Horse is the only tolerable character in the episode, especially with his line: Psychologist? Are you nuts? I'm a horse!

Reception

Ren Seeks Help was universally panned by critics, audiences, and longtime Ren and Stimpy fans. It is often considered the worst episode of the series. This episode got the series canceled before the remaining were on DVD. It currently sits at a 3.3/10 on IMDb. Being the lowest rated in the whole series. Phantomstrider considers this the worst cartoon episode and the worst cartoon of all-time. Well-known cartoon devotee Thad Komorowski was move favorable on the episode, giving it four and a half out of five stars on his Sick Little Monkeys: The Unauthorized Ren & Stimpy Story book, and calling it "a grim classic". Besides that, It was largely hated.

Trivia

  • This episode was originally written in 1991 for the original show's second season when the first season of the original Nickelodeon's Ren & Stimpy series finished production and started airing until 1992 according to John Kricfalusi, however, Nickelodeon declined the idea as of it being too intense, so 11 years later, the idea was sent over to Ren & Stimpy: Adult Party Cartoon.
  • Despite Richard Pursel still loving this episode, he hates the parts of Mr. Frog being suicidal, tortured, and brutally abused by Ren.
  • Phantomstrider harshly criticized this episode in his video, " Top 10 Worst Cartoons " and considers this episode to be the absolute worst cartoon of all time. However, this was later replaced by the South Park episode, "HUMANCENTiPAD".
  • Ren's father was inspired by the combination of John Kricfalusi's father, Mike Kricfalusi, and his Unitarian minister grandfather.
  • The Mr. Horse's line from the ending of this episode, "Are you nuts?! I'm a horse!" became an internet meme.

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