Hoppy news: Cartoon bunnies Max and Ruby's parents aren't dead after all

One of the biggest mysteries of the cartoon world was solved over the weekend when two new characters hopped into the picture.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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  • Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year"​ award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Gael Cooper
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Sure, they look sweet and innocent, but we all thought Max & Ruby knocked off their parents long ago.

Nick Jr.

There are many unanswered questions in the cartoon world. How come Goofy can walk and talk like a human, but Pluto can't, even though they're both dogs? Why does "The Jetsons" theme song do nothing but recite the family's names? How could Wile E. Coyote afford all those Acme products? And where are Max & Ruby's parents?

That last question was answered on Sunday, when Nickelodeon aired two new episodes of animated kids' show "Max & Ruby" that finally, after five full seasons and 14 years, actually showed the two bunnies' parents.

Not a parent or someone with horrible insomnia that can only be soothed by Canadian-American animation? Then you may not know about "Max & Ruby," a half-hour long cartoon series which began airing in 2002. (It's on Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. in the U.S., and Nick Jr. and Nick Jr. 2 in the U.K.) Ruby is a bossy 7-year-old bunny and Max is her annoying younger brother. Until now, they've lived a child's dream of having no parents around, only a grandma bunny they don't live with. Trust us, people have noticed.

Creator Rosemary Wells told Nick Jr. her reasoning. "We don't see Max and Ruby's parents because I believe that kids resolve their issues and conflicts differently when they're on their own," she said in an interview that's no longer online. The parents were seen in a family picture hanging on the wall, and for five seasons, that was it.

But on Sunday, "Max & Ruby" returned with new episodes for the first time since 2013, and who should show up at last but Mr. and Mrs. Bunny? Social media immediately hopped to it to discuss the matter.

It was a big weekend for "Max & Ruby." Not only were Mr. and Mrs. Bunny introduced, but Max, who could previously only spit out one or two words at a time, is suddenly speaking full sentences and attending preschool. Only took 14 years. And we thought bunnies were fast.