When people hear the word cartoons, they probably straight away think of Looney Tunes or Cartoon Network’s many different shows if they’re younger. My point is, they most definitely think of childish entertainment. But what about adult cartoons? While the genre remains overlooked by too many grown-ups, adult cartoons can be as intense, inventive, fun and sad as any other forms of entertainment. Because I’m not yet a mature cartoons master, here’s a list of the best adult cartoons I’ve personally watched.
Exploring both mature and immature themes through a wildly inventive lens, these are a selected few of the top adult cartoons that will provide laughter and enjoyment, guaranteed. Keep in mind, these shows are listed in no particular order.
Although I started watching Futurama when I was a youngster, I wholeheartedly think the 7 seasons long show is perfect for an adult audience. Released in 1999 and created by Matt Groening, who is also the brains behind The Simpsons, the show follows Philip J. Fry, a pizza delivery boy who woke up in the year 2999. Soon enough, he falls for a one-eyed ship captain and befriends an alcoholic robot. What’s not to love?
Speaking of Matt Groening, he also co-created this adult cartoon fantasy sitcom for Netflix. Switching between a range of classic fairy tale tropes, Disenchantment sends an alcoholic princess on various misadventures along with a demon named Luci and an elf named Elfo. Think of it as a PG-13 Disney show.
First released on Netflix in 2014, Bojack Horseman is the streaming platform’s first adult cartoon and arguably still one of the best. Set in a world where talking animals and humans coexist peacefully, the cartoon tells the story of Bojack Horseman, a once-popular TV star who now lives in a state of perpetual malaise and depression. As Bojack navigates his way through Hollywood in search of love, success, and mostly a reason for being, Los Angeles’ typical show business gets satirised from every angle.
Although it took me a few episodes to really get absorbed by the show, Bojack Horseman has since then made me laugh, like a lot, and cry quite a bit too. A must-watch!
I mean, Daria is a 90s classic. As a spin-off of Mike Judge’s earlier animated series, Beavis and Butt-Head in which Daria Morgendorffer appeared as a recurring character, this series follows her as the main one. Set during Daria’s high-school years, the cartoon depicts the world according to a smart and somewhat misanthropic teenage girl and her best friend and aspiring artist Jane Lane.
Also streamed on Netflix, this adult cartoon is the sex education I wish I had received when I was younger (and hornier). Big Mouth delivers an uncompromising exploration of teenage puberty by following a group of boys and girls as they respectively experiment with newfound arousals and emotional problems. Maurice and Connie, the show’s two hormone monsters are a nice addition to an already hilarious cartoon.
Who said adult cartoons can’t be stupid? Bob’s Burgers follows a burger joint owner Bob as he tries to juggle his wife and kids with Jimmy Pesto, the obnoxious owner of a competing restaurant. Tina, one of Bob’s kids, is just the gift that keeps on giving.
Happy Tree Friends is as dumb as it gets—and I have to admit, I love it! This 1999 cartoon comedy might look like a children’s show at first but viewers are quickly delved into graphic violence and constant death. The series follows silly woodland creatures and their disastrous misadventures.
Set in the 1970s, the Netflix cartoon goes big on adult language and crude laughs. Frank Murphy lives in the suburbs and mainly loves two things: his family and TV. Bonus: the show’s opening credits are enough to get you hooked.
Again, a classic. Since 1997, the adult cartoon has touched upon every facet of society and hit the bullseye more often than not. Many believe that South Park has predicted a bunch of real-life events such as Donald Trump’s presidency—oh-oh. Watch it yourself to make that judgement.
Last but not least, I had to include this one. Few adult cartoons have entertained so many generations in such a short time. Rick & Morty follows Rick, an alcoholic genius and his grandson Morty as they traverse time and space and live through numerous (hilarious) adventures.