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Various cartoons and toy lines, specially in the late 1980s and early 1990s, used repulsive slimy creatures and ooze to appeal kids. Keywords were "gross","slime" (or if you're British "gunge") and "ooze".
Toys often focused on some gimmick based around some gunge-based liquid, and most of these franchises had an obsession with the toxic waste theme. That meant lots of villains, and sometimes heroes, based on mutant abilities, bizarre chimeras and distorted bodies.
The theme gradually went away when more conventional comic book heroes started getting their own cartoon adaptations.
- The Real Ghostbusters got that directly from the movies. Its toy line sold all sorts of ugly ghost creatures that looked closer to extreme mutants than spirits. It also included synthetic "ectoplasm".
- The formula was copy-pasted for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which included "ooze" and featured humanoid creatures covered with garbage and insects. The 2012 series took this trope Up to Eleven, with some truly terrifying enemies.
- Similarly Swamp Thing; both were kid-washed animated versions of violent comics. The latter succeeded only as a toyline, since only five episodes were made. Toxic Crusaders, of The Toxic Avenger fame, got a slightly better deal with 13 episodes.
- Mighty Max was created as a toyline specifically to cash on that trend, although its animated version was toned down with a graphic style closer to Batman: The Animated Series.
- Creepy Crawlers was also spawned from a toyline, this time without the stylish look upgrade for the cartoon.
- Initially, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers cashed that cow too, with many of their adversaries looking like Otto Mann's acid dreams (Rita Repulsa probably took lessons from Rob Zombie himself).
- Goosebumps is not far from that.
- Tales from the Crypt and its animated series were kind of the sophisticated version of that.
- The Mutant League games are a nice example; they even spawned a cartoon that lasted more than one season.
- The Masters of theUniverse villains, the Evil Horde, got an entire playset based around this concept, the Horde Slime Pit. A claw would reach up to ensnare an action hero, and then a dinosaur skull would open its jaw to drop the official "slime," a green semisolid that came in a canister, similar to the Ghostbusters product above.
- In its early years, Digimon fit the bill, what with creatures made of feces, rotting hunks of flesh kept alive by cybernetics, eyeless killer beetles, and other certified oddities. This was phased out by the end of Adventure 02.