Ren & Stimpy premiered on August 11, 1991 as one of the original three Nicktoons, along with Rugrats and Doug. Throughout its run, the show was controversial for its off-color humor, sexual innuendo, dark humor, adult jokes, and violence which were rare for children's television animation of the time. This controversy contributed to the production staff's altercations with Nickelodeon's Standards and Practicesdepartment. The show ended on December 16, 1995, with a total of five seasons and 52 episodes.
Ren & Stimpy received widespread critical acclaim, and has developed a cult following. The series is often cited as paving the way for animated shows like Beavis and Butt-Head and South Park. A spin-offfor adult audiences, Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon", aired in 2003 on Spike, but was cancelled soon after its debut.