Most of us remember Ed, Edd, & Eddy (at least vaguely). It was one of those cartoons from the 2000s that people will either swear is the best thing to ever happen to animation, or will try to pretend didn’t exist. While you might remember Eddy’s never-ending quest for jawbreakers and Ed’s outbursts of “BUTTERED TOAST,” you may not have thought about some of the show's more serious psychological implications.
See, Ed, Edd, & Eddy may be a kid’s show, but there are times when it’s too real. Prepare to have your nostalgic memories stomped on - things are about to get depressing. From social problems like child abuse and bullying to mental illnesses like obsessive compulsive disorder and PTSD, the kids from Peach Creek have problems no amount of jawbreakers can solve.DISCLAIMER: This was not written by a medical professional, so take what you read here with a grain of salt. Also, it's about a cartoon, so maybe stop taking silly stuff so seriously.
At the end of Ed, Edd n Eddy's Big Picture Show, we meet Eddy’s older brother, who Eddy had been hyping up to his friends in an attempt to make himself look cool.
His brother definitely does not live up to the hype - actually, he’s super abusive. The dude twists Eddy’s leg in a sadistically violent way, holds him upside down by the crotch, and slams him repeatedly against a wall. All while mocking Eddy for wanting to spend time with him.Eddy’s brother gets his comeuppance in the form of a Kanker sister attack, but there are other, less obvious signs of child abuse that don’t get addressed. Ed’s parents, for example, seem to completely ignore him, except when it comes to disciplining him for fights started by Sarah.
Double D’s parents seem to only communicate via post-it note, and they don’t seem to ever be home. While none of this is as blatant as what Eddy goes through with his brother, neglect is still abuse. It really makes you want to buy these kids some jawbreakers.
The Kanker Sisters want the Eds to be their boyfriends, and they pursue that goal as relentlessly as the boy’s pursue their neighbor’s quarters. This is already pretty questionable. Aggressively demanding that someone go out with you and refusing to take no for an answer is sexual harassment. Locking someone in a bathroom, shoving them into the stall, and forcibly kissing them while they’re screaming for help… is just straight-up sexual abuse. Like, full stop, it just is. Yes, even if the victim is a boy and his abuser is a girl.
While the Kanker sister’s excessive attention is a running gag that’s played for laughs, if you actually think about what’s happening, it’s skin-crawlingly creepy. Also, it's highly likely that the Kanker's were abused themselves. Inappropriate sexual behavior at a young age is often a sign of sexual abuse from an adult.
Edd, AKA Double D, has a severe case of obsessive compulsive disorder, AKA OCD. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, OCD symptoms include fear of germs or contamination, worries about harm coming towards oneself or others, ordering or arranging items in a particular, precise way, and more.
Edd displays pretty much all of these symptoms. While fear of harm is fairly reasonable (considering how often Eddy puts him in danger), the kid hasn’t realized that cartoon logic applies and no one is going to be seriously hurt. He’s the one who puts the brakes on Eddy’s schemes, always. He compulsively labels everything, a habit learned from his parents, and meticulously organizes his possessions.Most noticeable, and perhaps most debilitating, is his fear of germs and contamination. Whether it’s spot-cleaning places Ed touched with sticky hands or wearing a face mask and gloves to avoid catching a cold, cleanliness is always on Edd’s mind. In "Cleanliness Is Next to Edness," being unable to shower after getting covered in garbage causes Edd to suffer a nervous breakdown. Seriously, the poor kid cries, talks to himself, and even starts hallucinating. It's an honest-to-goodness break with reality.
According to The Mayo Clinic, intermittent explosive disorder involves “repeated, sudden episodes of impulsive, aggressive, violent behavior or angry verbal outbursts in which you react grossly out of proportion to the situation.” While most of the characters have had disproportionately violent reactions at some point, the one who best fits this description is Sarah.Sarah reacts to seemingly minor problems with screaming and violence. For example, when her brother hugs her, she responds by yelling “touch me again and I'll beat you to a pulp!” This is typical - pretty much anything she doesn’t like is going to result in threats and/or punching. The only person who is exempt from her wrath is her best friend Jimmy - not even Double D, her crush, gets away unscathed.