Animaniacs - One Flew Over the Cuckoo Clock - Original version
Remember that show, Animaniacs? If so, there is one episode you may know, called “One Flew Over the Cuckoo Clock,” in which Slappy Squirrel is put into a nursing home for retired cartoon characters.
You can find both parts to the final version on YouTube, but one video that I have yet to see surfacing on the internet is the original, darker version of the episode. As you may remember, this was already one of the darker episodes in the series, but the version you’ve probably seen is incredibly light-hearted compared to the one originally meant to be aired. The producers of the show, however, liked the story, and decided to clean it up to make it suitable for airing.
The original episode is as follows: As usual, the episode starts with Slappy flipping through the channels, watching the ridiculous topics of the talk shows. The episode continues as you would’ve seen it in the revised version until Skippy walks into the kitchen to see the toaster smoking.
“Aunt Slappy! What are you doing?” He asks her. “Toasting my hat, what else?” She replies. Skippy runs forward to the toaster, pulling the hat out, which had caught on fire during its time in the toaster. Skippy then tries to shake the fire out, but it spread to his fur, the flames engulfing him as high-pitched screams and the clock saying “cuckoo” four times rings through the treehouse. Slappy screams her nephew’s name, horrified, upon realizing that he had been killed by the flames.
A tear glints in her eye, and she says “Hm, roasted squirrel. Squirrels who eat other squirrels, next on Maury!”, the insanity starting to show more prominently in her voice. Slappy then begins to peel the scorched fur from Skippy’s flesh, tearing off chunks of the meat and shoving them into her mouth. Sirens can be heard in the distance, and are the only sound besides Slappy repeating the word “Cuckoo” over and over again for about a minute before there is a knock on the door.
Two officers stood there. “Miss Squirrel, is everything okay?”, they asked, peering into the house. One officer sees Skippy lying on the kitchen floor, and pushes past Slappy, headed toward the kitchen. Upon a brief interrogation with Slappy, they decided that she was unstable and brought her into a mental institution for retired cartoon characters.
Slappy was taken to the institution, where she tried to escape several times, each time repeating the words “Skippy needs me. Where is he? Where is Skippy?”
“Miss Squirrel, don’t you remember what happened to Skippy?” A nurse asked her once she had failed her last attempt at escaping.
“Of course I do, Skippy came home from school, and we watched television together and had lunch.”
“Miss Squirrel,” the nurse said in a sympathetic whisper, “there was an accident, remember? Skippy was burned. Fatally. You tore the flesh from his bones and ate it. You cannibalized him. Your own nephew. Skippy is dead. That’s why he hasn’t been visiting.”
Slappy started to scream in agony at the nurse’s words. The screaming became louder and louder, until it was almost deafening, and then an orderly was seen approaching Slappy with a needle. The screen went black.
After about ten seconds, the picture faded back in, showing Slappy in a straight jacket. She sat on her bed, rocking back and forth. “Slappy needs me with him,” she whispered. Slappy screamed once more, before brutally beating her head against the wall. The sound grabbed the attention of one of the doctors, and he came into the room with the same nurse who had given Slappy the sedative earlier, having the nurse hold her down. The doctor looked at Slappy with an expression showing genuine sadness, a strange thing to see in Animaniacs. A few barely audible words were whispered between the nurse and the doctor. The only one I could make out was “lobotomy.”
The picture cut to Slappy in a sterile-looking room, still in her straight jacket. The doctor moved in slowly, as if not to startle his patient. When he got close enough, he inserted the leucotome through her eye socket, and the screen went blank, all except for Slappy’s face, as she stared blankly at the camera. The credits then rolled, playing unusually ominous music for the show.