Adult animation is nothing new. Adults have watched animated movies since animation has been a thing, some of which have become cult classics. Heavy Metal (1981) Wizards (1977) and Akira (1988) are just a few that come to mind. Seeing how Animated movies did so well, it was a no-brainer to air animated shows that adults could love as well. This type of television show was smart because if kids also enjoyed the show, they would grow up watching it continuing to support the show allowing some of the ones on this list to remain on television even after 30 years. With so many animated shows to watch, it is hard to know which ones are the good ones. Here is a list of the top ten animated shows for adults.
10 Robot Chicken
“Your mother is so fat that Ben Kenobi said, “that’s no moon, (gets up in Luke’s face) that’s yo’ mama!”-Emperor Palpatine
Robot Chicken was created by self-proclaimed nerd and child star Seth Green along with his friends Matthew Senreich and Mike Fasolo. Robot Chicken is unique because of its use of stop motion animation and real-life toys as well as Claymation. Green inserts pop culture as much as possible from Star Wars to DC Comics, no one is safe. It is almost an animated SNL. For anyone who grew up with action figures this show is like those childhood moments caught on tape. The show premiered on February 20th, 2005, has lasted over 10 seasons, and is still going strong today.
9 Rick and Morty
“Morty, you gotta flip ‘em off. I told them it means “peace among worlds.” How hilarious is that?!”-Rick
Rick and Morty Premiered on December 2, 2013 and after 4 seasons and 41 episodes, it is still on the air. Creators Justin Roiland (Fish Hooks) and Dan Harmon (Community) first worked together on Channel 101 where they collaborated on an animated short spoofing the Back to the Future franchise. Years later when Harmon was fired from Community and approached by Adult Swim, he and Roiland resurrected their old, animated characters and remade them as Rick and Morty.
8 Bob’s Burgers
“kids are terrible. Why do we keep making them?”-Bob
Bob’s Burgers is one of those animated shows that takes an everyday normal looking family and displays the strange and quirky characteristics each member has. It premiered on January 9, 2011 and after 11 seasons and 205 episodes, there is no end in sight for this hilarious animated comedy. The show is about the Belcher family and the restaurant they run together. When I first watched this show it gave me huge Home Movie’s vibes and when I found out that Loren Bouchard was the creator, it all made sense (seeing how Bouchard also created home movies with Brendon Small). Also, H. Jon Benjamin doing the voice of Bob is one of the best voice casting decisions I have ever seen.
7 Aqua Teen Hunger Force
“I’d kill someone in front of their mama for a ten speed”- Meatwad
Aqua Teen Hunger Force may be the strangest concept on this entire list, but hilarious none-the-less. The show is about the life of three anthropomorphic fast-food items: Master Shake, Frylock and Meatwad who live next door to the human Carl Brutananadilewski. It is actually a spin off show of the also hilarious animated show Space Ghost Coast to Coast. The show ran from December 30, 2000 until August 30, 2015 with 11 seasons and 139 episodes.
6 Beavis and Butt-Head
(911 call while Butt-head is choking) 911 dispatcher: “Have you performed the Heimlich on him?” Beavis: “Have I licked his rectum? No, but there was this one time me and Butt-head were playing truth or dare…
Bevis and Butt-head first appeared in an animated short by creator Mike Judge called “Frog Baseball.” After seeing the short, MTV hired Judge to create an entire series around Bevis and Butt-Head. My first introduction to them was in a comic book released to help promote the show. The show had two lives, one was from March 8, 1993 to November 28, 1997 and the first revival of the show was on October 27- December 29, 2001 and a second revival is set to air this year. It had one successful film, Bevis and Butt-Head Do America, and a spin off show, Daria. The character of Hank Hill on King of the Hill is also tied into the Bevis and Butt-Head universe.
“Good news, everyone! I’ve taught the toaster to feel love!” –Professor
What happens when a pizza delivery man is frozen in ice and sent 1000 years into the future? A great show is what happens! Futurama was created by Matt Groening and ran on Fox from March 28, 1999 until August 10, 2003, but then came back on Comedy Central from March 23, 2008 until September 4, 2013. Sometimes, a good show just refuses to die! The show is about a delivery service in the future with employees consisting of a one-eyed captain, a lobster alien medic and a robot Bender, named Bender.
4 King of the Hill
“I don’t have an anger problem; I have an idiot problem!”-Hank Hill
On January 12, 1997 Mike Judge gave the world the best gift one could give, aside from propane and propane accessories, that gift being King of the Hill. While Judge was still working on Bevis and Butt-Head he had the idea for King of the Hill and began working on it. This became Fox’s longest-running series with 13 seasons and a total of 259 episodes. Time magazine named it one of the top 100 greatest television shows of all time in 2007.
3 Family Guy
You’d better watch who you’re calling a child, Lois. Because if I’m a child, you know what that makes you? A pedophile. And I’ll be damned if I’m gonna be lectured by a pervert. – Peter
When Seth MacFarlane created and released Family Guy in January of 1999, no one knew the longevity this show would have! In 2021 it is still one of the most watched shows on television with 19 seasons consisting of 360 episodes. The show has won many awards including 8 Emmys. Almost every episode has a quotable moment, and it is typically from head of the house, Peter.
2 South Park
“I am NOTHING like Family Guy! When I make jokes, they are inherent to a story! Deep situational and emotional jokes based on what is relevant and has a point, not just one random interchangeable joke after another!”–Cartmant
Another show with a ton of longevity, South Park has been consistently making viewers laugh since August 13, 1997. The show was created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone and the early episodes were done with cutout animation and gave a different feel to animation than the shows that were running at the time. With over-the-top shock factor and ability to tie in ridiculous things going on in the media, South Park continues to hit it out of the park today, after 23 seasons and 308 episodes.
1 The Simpsons
“I think the saddest day of my life was when I realized I could beat my dad at most things, and Bart experienced that at the age of four.” – Homer
The last show on our list is the longest running animated American series, longest running American sitcom and the longest running American scripted primetime television series. It premiered on December 17, 1989 and is still airing today after 32 seasons and 695 episodes. The show has spawned comics, video games and movies that only fuel the love of the show. The Simpsons have won 34 Primetime Emmy Awards, 43 Annie Awards and 2 Peabody Awards.
Written exclusively for TheLastPicture.Show by Jacob Ruble
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