This was one of my favorite shows on Cartoon Network as a child… up until a certain point. But when the global pandemic hit in March 2020, I experienced regression as a way to relieve stress. For me, that was to regain interest in some of my favorite childhood TV programs – starting with “Codename: Kids Next Door.”
This list features my favorite episodes, which not only includes a little bit of the plot summaries, but also what I enjoyed about them. I will avoid spoilers, as well.
So, without further ado, let the list begin:
Operation G.R.O.W-U.P. – Season 1
The delightful childrens’ father demands that they harm the kids next door. So, one of the ways they do so is turning Number 1 into an adult with an age-changing device. He then has to part ways with the organization.
Two weeks later, the other members from Sector V (their designated treehouse) find Number 1 driving an ice cream truck, but he has betrayed them. Later the other kids go to the delightful childrens’ mansion, where they turn their butler into a baby. But they need to turn Number 1 back into a kid.
This episode is split into 2 parts. One of my favorite moments include when Number 1 demands that the delightful children hand over the age changing device. Because he is now an adult, the delightful children have to do what he says. Their response is, “No fair.” I also enjoyed the line when the kids next door and the delightful children battle each other with the ice cream from Number 1’s ice cream truck and Number 1 says at some point, “See you in preschool.”
But one flaw is when the delightful children look at their now-baby butler, and say, “Oops.” I notice this causal reaction numerous times in movies and shows where people turn into babies. The characters barely react like that’s no big deal.
Although turning people into babies is, obviously, not possible in real life, we would freak out if someone we knew turned into an infant. I also think if there was someone with a weapon or device that would turn people into babies, it would be treated as a state-of-emergency. We’d either go into a strict lockdown or have to evacuate.
Anyway, I still enjoyed this episode.
Operation M.O.V.I.E. – Season 2
The kids next door and lots of other children are watching a rainbow monkey movie. But Number 4 hates it and tries to sneak into an adult movie… only to be denied access since he is underage. So, he disguises himself as an adult with high sticks and a beard. But what he discovers is that the theater is a meeting with all the adult Villains, like Mr. Wink and Mr. Fib (from “Operation C.O.W.G.I.R.L.”), and many more. They want to hurt him.
There are some memorable moments in this episode, such as when Number 4 bit off the seat in front of him because of his anger over the film. I thought about how he would have to pay for that damage in real life.
Speaking of real life, when Number 4 wanted to buy a ticket to the adult movie, which was rated R, the man told him that he couldn’t. But the reason was because the film was adults-only.
However, the R rating actually means that anyone under 17 has to be accompanied by an adult. The rating where only grown-ups would be admitted would be the NC-17 rating. That rating isn’t used very often.
And while on the topic of adult material, there was a line that Number 4 said that had glossed over my head as a child. But as an adult, I got the joke, and it wasn’t the cleanest.
Nevertheless, this episode pleased me a lot.
Operation F.A.S.T-F.O.O.D. – Season 2
It’s Number 3’s birthday, and the other kids next door surprise her. After she blows out the candles on her cake, she gets to make a wish that she can ensure will come true. Her desire is to lead a mission. So, the kids go to a fast food restaurant, where Number 3 tells the barista that she is on a mission… only for him to place her in between bread and other condiments. Then he gives her to a family of sharks driving a car filled with water. The kids next door have to save her before the sharks return to the ocean.
One of the perks of this episode is when Number 4 assumed that the new kids’ meal included a kid on a bun was a typo. I thought to myself, Yeah, right. However, a huge flaw is that the sharks who have Number 3 drive recklessly and break numerous driving laws. I kept thinking to myself, Where are the police when you need them? I literally lost patience over the fact that no cops went after them, nor did any passenger on the streets call the police on the crazy drivers. Not only that, but the evil barista never got arrested.
This issue has come up numerous times in the show – where no form of law enforcement seems to show up or arrest anyone. If you want to learn more about my feelings about that, you can read this post about the unanswered questions of “Codename: Kids Next Door.”
Regardless of that problem, I enjoyed how the sharks roared with each other as ways to communicate. I also admired the subtitles placed so that the viewers know what the sharks are saying in their own sounds.
Operation C.A.M.P. – Season 1
As the kids next door are checking this camp where children are making wallets, but are possibly under spells of an evil counselor, Number 2 and Number 3 find an abandoned baby. But when they return to the treehouse, they reveal to the other kids that the infant was actually a baby skunk, whom they named Bradley. Claiming themselves as Bradley’s new parents, they focus on taking care of him. But Number 1 won’t tolerate that since he wants everyone to focus on the mission to save the campers from Camp Lemmeouttahere, the same place where those kids produced wallets.
This episode remains one of my favorites since I was a child. I especially loved Bradley the skunk, even though he made the sounds of a human baby.
Although it was cute when Number 2 and Number 3 formed a bond with Bradley, as an adult, I know that would not be okay in real life. Just because you find a baby animal without its parents, that doesn’t mean you can take it and claim yourself to be its new parent. This would likely lead to harsh consequences since it violates wildlife protections laws.
Nevertheless, many things that wouldn’t be okay in real life are fine onscreen.
Operation C.A.B.L.E-T.V. – Season 1
An evil half-man and half-baby named Mr. B has taken control of the kids next doors’ satellite to run his own TV channel. When he asks his secretary if she got everything needed, she answers by saying, “I don’t know… maybe.” But Mr. B hears it as “baby.” So, he yells at his secretary, claiming that he is not a baby and only looks young. When she tries to explain, Mr. B fires her.
Shortly after that, the kids next door warn Mr. B not to mess with their satellite. But when they see him, they don’t take him seriously since he looks like a talking-baby. However, when he offers a chance for the kids next door to have their own TV show and spread their message to the world, Number 1 gladly accepts it.
They end up performing a dance number as the opening of their show-in-progress, which angers Number 4. When only Numbers 1 and 3 stay on the set, Mr. B tells them that their first episode is about battling a wicked robot who won’t let kids do their homework.
However, this whole “offer” turned out to be a trick to get Mr. B take over their satellite with an age-changing device that will turn everyone in the world into babies. That way, no one will ever call him “baby” again. This leads to higher stakes.
There are many aspects I enjoyed about this episode. For example, I found the idea of a half-man and half-baby creative. Although Mr. B is a villain, I do feel sorry for him a bit, besides looking young..
For example, he has to wear diapers, because he can’t control his bladder and bowel muscles. He is also incapable of doing certain tasks on his own, although he does claim that he has a mortgage, pays taxes, has 3 ex-wives, and owns homes in Europe.
Another imaginative element is that his baby ray can affect inanimate objects, too. It can turn a film camera into a basic one and a chair into a high chair. It even transformed the evil robot into a toaster. Toast even popped out of it. Lol.
Operation C.A.K.E.D. – Season 1
The delightful children’s guests are singing a bizarre and inconsiderate Happy Birthday song. The delightful children demand they sing it again, and they don’t sound pleased about it. Promptly after, the kids next door break in, set stick bombs off to have the guests evacuated, and then Number 1 asks for the delightful children to hand over their birthday cake. But they make them play party games instead. When Number 4 refuses, the delightful children’s friend, Laura, gets upset and transforms into an angry humanoid being, called the big badolescent. She yells in a deep voice for party games at that moment. So, the kids next door agree to play the games.
This is not just the first episode of the series, but also the first one I watched when everything in the world shut down at the beginning of the pandemic. I loved when Number 3 hit the pinata, which was made over Number 1. She ended up hitting her other friends since she had a blindfold.
One moment that was completely unbelievable was when a bunch of hamsters pulled the delightful children’s mansion for a certain reason (not saying what). I thought to myself, Sure a bunch of little hamsters could pull such a big building. I don’t think even elephants could do that. But whatever – cartoon logic.
Another part that seemed odd was how the delightful children were completely okay with the kids next door attempting to take their birthday cake, like they’ve done previous years. You’d think they would have had them ejected. Oh, well, maybe that’s more cartoon logic.
Despite the flaws in these episodes, they still remain my favorites. In fact, I didn’t enjoy every “Codename: Kids Next Door” episode. Some displeased me, such as “Operation T.H.E.-F.L.Y.” That episode had no sounds, other than background music. And with some episodes, I was just neutral with them, such as the Pirate and Cowgirl episodes.
Nevertheless, this is still childhood nostalgia to me.