Perhaps the most recognizable and talked-about aspect of Animaniacs that is solidly meant for adult amusement is the proliferation of sexual innuendo. Yakko and Wakko are constantly howling at an array of busty, Jessica Rabbit-esque female characters with their resounding “Hello, Nurse!” But even though their sister Dot is critical of their overenthusiastic libidos, she commits her fair share of ogling, shmoozing, and even kissing many handsome male counterparts to these “nurse” types. But the sexy shenanigans go beyond mere catcalls and whistles.
In the episode “Hercule Yakko,” itself a reference to Agatha Christie’s famous detective Hercule Poirot that would likely miss a young audience, Yakko asks Dot to “dust for prints.” She dutifully does so, and when she calls for her brother’s attention with the singer Prince in her arms, he admonishes her: “No, no, no — fingerprints!” Dot takes a look at Prince and replies, “I don’t think so,” implying something far more lewd than searching for clues.
And in “Wakko’s America,” the Warners are playing Jeopardy in class when Wakko chooses the question asking him to name all 50 state capitals. When asked how much of his winnings he will wager on this endeavor, he fearlessly proclaims: “I’ll blow the whole wad!” Yakko and Dot look understandably shellshocked before Wakko launches into his song about the state capitals, answering the question perfectly — but unfortunately not in the form of a question!