Ed, Edd n Eddy was probably one of the weirder cartoons out there in the 90s. But if there is anything cartoon history has taught us it’s that cartoon weirdness has often led to brilliance. This show is no exception to that. The premise of the three Eds trying to scrape for money by pulling off a series of elaborate scams resulting in humiliating failure is something that could easily wear thin in only a couple episodes. The characters however, drove this show and gave the premise of each episode its life.
None of the three Eds are the perfect heroes together or apart but they are so different in their personality and each one leaves some sort of impression. Ed is easily the funniest of the three. He’s completely dim-witted but has such a positive vibe around him. Every time he has a joke it always hits. Edd aka Double D was easily the most intelligent of the bunch but never got annoying or bossy with his smartness. While Eddy is the least likable of the three in his selfishness and greed (as exemplified in one episode where he let Kevin give his friends wedgies and use them as piñatas) and often results in the three getting in trouble he does get his comeuppance towards the end which is often fun to see. At heart however there is a family-like bond between the three, which makes them believable.
The cul-de-sac kids are a mixed bag. Rolf is easily the funniest of the bunch with his unusual traditions (the That’s My Horse song is an example that is just so hilariously strange in what it’s describing and its dance). Jonny’s is also a likable character with his imagination, which leads to some genius moments with his wooden board named Plank. Ed’s sister, Sarah is easily the worst of the bunch. She’s bossy, spoiled, and short-tempered towards the Eds. She’s a lot like Angelica from Rugrats without any of the charm. Jimmy is a funny character through his timid attitude but often loses his appeal when paired with Sarah which happens in a lot of episodes. Kevin is the typical jock of the group. In contrast to the rest of the show where the premise’s comedic value is driven on its characters, the comedic value from him is largely driven on the premise. While there are others these are the ones that remain the most memorable throughout the show. And regardless of what the characters were like, much like the Eds they all felt like a unique unit and their different personalities worked off each other well. Like most character-driven movies and shows you could have all these characters just talking to each other in a room and it probably would have been fine.
Both the dialogue and animation are strong points of the show. The animation in the characters’ designs and movements is very cartoony which helps drive the Eds goofy schemes to get rich. In regards to the writing, there is just so much dialogue in the whole thing that still holds comedic value today. One of the episodes involves the Eds breaking the fourth wall (and even discovering cartoon logic). It proves to be both hilarious with the way the Eds react and in a meta sense. The imagery and writing have inspired countless Internet memes.
Ed, Edd, n Eddy ran for 11 years and in all those years the show succeeded in staying true to the heart of the show which was its characters. It’s not particularly deep or thought-provoking but it derives its humor through its unusual but unique characters.