Based on the wildly popular Garbage Pail Kids trading cards, the main segments of the series followed five of the GPK's: half-punker/half-yuppie Split Kit, dripping, oozing Clogged Duane, Elliot Mess, whose body parts were rearranged carelessly, faceless Teri Cloth, and the elastic, body stretching Patty Putty. Each episode also featured a movie spoof featuring other well known GPK's such as Nat Nerd, Savage Stewart, Green Dean, and others, as well as lots of filler segments, including "Garbage Pail Awards," "Would We Lie to You?," bad jokes in "Garbage Pail Groaners" and silly commercials for products like Anti-Kissing Cream and Cootie Detectors.

Produced by CBS and scheduled to air in the fall of 1987, the show was ultimately pulled off of the schedule in the USA, however, it did air elsewhere around the world. American audiences (who hadn't bought bootlegs of the show) finally got their first exposure to the series when it landed on DVD in 2006.