"Man's Best Friend" is the 4th episode of season 2.
This episode was infamous as the banned episode by Nickelodeon, who refused to air it due to the violent content, and was one of the factors in John Kricfalusi's firing.
One day, George Liquor is standing outside of a pet store, watching Ren and Stimpy sleep in the window and gets the idea to adopt them as his pets. Upon arriving home, he introduces them to their new abode: a fish bowl from which the fish was rudely thrown out (and stole George's car as a result). The next day, Ren and Stimpy awaken to find George Liquor dressed as a drill sergeant to train them to be proper pets. Their first lesson is house training by doing butt-push-ups on a newspaper. Ren fails, but Stimpy easily does his business while reading about mudslides. He is given a cigar-shaped dog treat as a reward. Next they are taught discipline. To learn discipline, first they have to learn to disobey. George Liquor tells them NOT to go anywhere near the couch, then instructs them to do just that so they can be punished. When he begins to become enraged by them not following his orders, Ren freaks out and collapses to the floor sobbing, and a terrified Stimpy hurls himself onto the couch as George had instructed, only to be yelled at. Stimpy is scared, thinking he is going to be punished. Instead, George compliments him for following orders and gives him another dog treat. Then George asks Ren to ask him for punishment. But George insists that Ren is too "soft" for punishment and instead gives him 20 dollars and tells him to take the car and see a movie as well. Ren points out that the fish already took the car and it looks like George is going to be enraged. Instead, he gives Ren another 20 dollars for being a smart mouth.
Lastly, he teaches them go to protect their "master". But before they learn to defend, they have to learn to attack. Wearing a padded suit, he urges the two of them to attack him. Stimpy refuses because George is his "kind and beloved master", but Ren, who is sick of George Liquor and their treatment, picks up an oar and maniacally begins beating him up with it, much to Stimpy's horror. Again, Ren expects George to be enraged. Instead, he is impressed and calls him a champion and produces cigar-shaped treats for all of them. The episode ends with the three of them dancing with the cigar-shaped treats clamped between their teeth.
- Originally, a scene where George Liquor leg-wrestles with Ren and Stimpy was going to be in this episode, but never got past the storyboards.
- After Spumco was fired, Games Animations eventually produced it using archive audio and Rough Draft Korea's animation services. Ultimately, legal troubles with John Kricfalusi's ownership of George Liquor prevented them from ever airing the footage.
- The master used by TNN, which was also used for the DVD, inserts a commercial fade after George yells at Stimpy for sitting on his couch.
- "Man's Best Friend" was originally going to air on August 22, 1992 during the second season, but the episode was banned by Nickelodeon for excessive violence (Ren beating up George), tobacco references, and issues involving the production schedule. The episode did not see airtime until Adult Party Cartoon.
- The episode debuted on TV as an episode of Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon". Notably, the broadcast had a TV-MA rating.
- Spike's official episode lineup on their website considers "Man's Best Friend" a part of Adult Party Cartoon, but this episode is not counted as one of the three episodes from this series that didn't air in the U.S.
- George, however, was meant to make an appearance in Adult Party Cartoon, in an episode in which he and the pair go camping. However, this episode was never produced due to the show's cancellation.
- This is the first episode where George Liquor is voiced by the late Michael Pataki. Previously, he was portrayed by Harris Peet.
- This episode was meant to take place before "Dog Show", as George had apparently trained the duo by that point.
- John Kricfalusi considered this episode the turning point for Nickelodeon to let him go, but it was later revealed that constant missed deadlines, as well as creating a hostile work environment, were the factors of his termination.
- Sick Little Monkeys: The Unauthorized Ren & Stimpy Story - Thad Komorowski