I must have played a different
game. While most of amib
's comments seem on target, two things stick out as having nothing to do with the Earthbound I know.
I've played Earthbound fairly recently and don't recall much bathroom humor. There are some weird slapstick jokes, and a whole lot of unfunny dialogue, and (I stand corrected on this point - thanks Kyle3) one of the random townspeople indeed says "Don't stand too close to me, I just farted, heh heh," the game is hardly South Park.
Then, there's the "general low challenge". The game was hard. I've died far more often in EarthBound than any Final Fantasy game. The complaints that "leveling up is tedious" and "99.9% of the battles are 'press A a bunch of times'" seem to cancel each other out. If you spent hours fighting pointless battles to make the game easier, you missed the point. What I admired in Earthbound was that, compared to most other RPGs, the battle system was actually challenging, yet the game was still possible to get through without specifically trying to "level up".
Now, getting off of the "response to another writeup" theme - there's one aspect of this game which hasn't been covered. The music. Sure, the music is pingy and often repetitive, but it grabs you by the throat and makes you like it. Every cheesy artifact of old-style video game music seems perfectly appropriate for the situation. And though some of the battle themes will make you clutch at your eardrums in pain, every once in a while, there's a track which stands out as being truly good - Tessie's theme is a once-in-the-game treat, and Paula stands out by (contrary to most RPGs) actually having a theme more interesting than that of her male companions. (This goes along with the more prominent reversal of RPG gender roles: Paula has the ass-kicking magic spells, while Ness is the healer.)
Given these nifty aspects of the game, it's really too bad about the quests. I'll make the point more strongly: they really are fucking tedious. I'd go back and play the game now if, for example, it weren't for the whole desert area. Damn those desert monkeys.