And while all those things might sound alright by themselves, when you combine them together (and realize that the Transformers are also in there somewhere), then we've got one of the strangest cartoons of the '80s, if not ever. Here are the 10 best -- by which we mean craziest -- examples.
10) The Phantom Brigade
While fighting in Carpathia, Cobra Commander gets a gypsy (Romania's full of 'em) to summon three ghost soldiers for him: a Roman soldier, a World War I pilot and a female Mongolian, who, like all Mongolians, has arrows who can turn things to ice (how did they ever stop ruling Asia with those things?). Turns out the Joes have to pull a Nightmare on Elm Street and give the ghost's mementoes a decent burial to get them to chill the fuck out. In the end, an unnamed skeleton - you assume it's one of the ghosts, but at this point it could be General Patton for all we know - beats Cobra Commander into dropping the trinkets. And we're left with a beautiful image of the ghost pilot heading off into the sunset with his ghost girlfriend, presumably to have some largely transparent World War I ghost sex.
9) Primordial Plot
Sure Cobra has fleets of powerful weapons and vehicles at their disposal, what's the best way to rule the world? Clearly, it's to replicate Jurassic Park by cloning three dinosaurs and mind-control them to attack the Joes. Not thousands of dinosaurs. Not hundreds. Yep, their plan for world domination is to make three reptiles - and they're not even gun-firing-or-armored reptiles - fight the other most heavily armed and technologically advanced armies in the world. Also, Destro has rocket gloves that let him fly. So there's that.
8) G.I. Joe and the Golden Fleece
7) Worlds Without End Parts 1 and 2
A team of Joes (conveniently containing red-shirt background characters Flash, Steeler and Clutch) get sent to a creepy alternate universe where Cobra won the war and all but six Joes were MIA and three of those were killed (they never say who got killed and how, but we're betting Bazooka died of friendly fire). Of course, the usual alternate reality clichés apply: national monuments are changed (the Lincoln monument becomes the Cobra Commander monument and Mount Rushmore is now Washington, Lincoln, Cobra Commander and Destro) and sexy outfits reign (Cobra female officers just wear shirts and bikini bottoms!). Oh, and one of Joes (probably Steeler, but who can tell those three apart), freaks out and thinks they're in hell. In the end, the three non-essential Joes stay behind to help a good Baroness and Destro fight a Cobra civil war. Who wins? The viewers, of course!
6) Cobra Claws Are Coming to Town
When the Joes do a charity toy drive for the local orphanage, Cobra comes up with the only logical plan to take advantage of the situation: Shrink themselves to toy size and donate themselves to infiltrate the Joe base and steal the Joe vehicles to destroy a local town. The townspeople go for it, even though it's clearly a bunch of Dreadnoks - we guess anyone riding a green motorcycle is a Joe in civilians eyes. Despite having to fight with Cobra weapons, the Joes end up winning solely because Polly the Parrot gets blown up to a hundred times his normal size (oddly, he becomes only twice as annoying.) This one really highlights the love/hate relationship between Shipwreck and Polly, Shipwreck clearly hates him and calls the giant parrot "his worst nightmare come true" -- although it's a nightmare he perpetually allows on his shoulder. Unsettling.