As an adult, you have to act like a grown-up. You are expected to outgrow cartoons, chocolate milk, and temper tantrums. These unspoken rules about adulting can be confusing because one does not simply drop chocolate milk when they reach 21. Not to mention, cartoons are timeless! You are still allowed to enjoy the best adult cartoons as you grow older.
Today, there is a new wave of cartoons with themes that are smart and satirical. We are now past the fact that cartoons are exclusively for children, and violence, sex, high-brow dialogue, and existential dread are now animated for your cynic viewing. Don’t worry, the best adult cartoons can still tug at your heartstrings even after taking on the harshest truths of everyday living. It might not be all rainbows and unicorns, but there are still moments that will help you remember what it’s like to be a kid.
We have rounded up 40 of the best adult cartoons there are. Check out the new and old cartoons that never fail to entertain people in times when it’s inappropriate and sometimes leave us with childlike wonder.
Inside This Article
- 40 Best Adult Cartoons to Toon Into
- Rick and Morty
- The Simpsons
- South Park
- Bojack Horseman
- Love Death + Robots
- Regular Show
- Family Guy
- Steven Universe
- Bob’s Burgers
- Big Mouth
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars
- One Punch Man
- Black Dynamite
- Adventure Time
- Cowboy Bebop
- Avatar: The Last Airbender
- F Is for Family
- Robot Chicken
- Beavis and Butt-head
- Trailer Park Boys Animated Series
- American Dad!
- Gravity Falls
- King Of The Hill
- The Venture Bros
- Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law
- Drawn Together
- Paradise PD
- Central Park
- The Cleveland Show
- Batman: The Animated Series
- Attack on Titan
- Aqua Teen Hunger Force
- Space Ghost Coast to Coast
- Where Can You Watch Adult Cartoons?
- What Is the Difference Between Adult Cartoons and Kids’ Cartoons?
- Final Word
Picture Back to the Future’s Marty McFly and Doc Brown with four drinks in with the crazy meter set to 13 out of 10. That’s basically Rick and Morty for you. This show features mad scientist Rick and his grandson slash failed moral compass, Morty, in intergalactic space and time travel adventures.
Rick and Morty is one of the best adult cartoons out right now, dealing with nihilism and loneliness with doppelgangers and intergalactic wars and orgies. This show is an Adult Swim original that has shocked the world with its cultural impact that it brought a dipping sauce back from the past.
Laugh your trousers off or get incredibly depressed. You just don’t know what you’ll get from each Rick and Morty episode. But, one thing is for sure—you will appreciate its pop culture references and unexpected profound effect that’ll have you screaming Wubba Lubba Dub Dub!
You can’t have a list of the best adult cartoons without the original, the great, and the incomparable yellow standard for animation, The Simpsons. Still up and running, and now at its 31st season!
The Simpsons follows Homer, Marge, Lisa, Bart, and Maggie—the poster child for the dysfunctional American family. The show sincerely pokes fun at the American culture of clownery, people glued to their TVs, meaningless careers, alcoholism, sexism, and many other -isms. Despite its satire, it’s never cruel and or pessimistic, which makes it an enjoyable adult cartoon for the times.
It might have shed its usual charm after three decades and counting. But, you can’t deny its quintessential influence that paved the way for the best adult cartoons available now.
One of the first things to come to mind when people hear adult cartoons is South Park. Starring raunchy and foul-mouthed grade-schoolers, South Park tries their best to offend average viewers with its satirical commentary in each episode.
South Park has been infamous for its aggressive mockery of current events, but that’s also what makes it highly watchable. The show is definitely one of the best adult cartoons today, standing strong against the test of time since its first episode in 1997.
You can discover and rewatch South Park episodes on their website, where all of the episodes are up for streaming. And did we mention it’s free?
Bojack Horseman is a Netflix Original that demands and deserves your attention. It’s a different kind of adult cartoon that rightfully earns its place as one of the best there is. Bojack Horseman takes on the most problematic issues in adult life that many shows dare not touch on like, depression, failure, substance abuse, and just all things rock-bottom.
You might think the show is a whole bummer, but it will still make you laugh out loud amidst misery. We can confidently say Bojack Horseman is the most relatable animated show. Inside its world of animal people and human beings coexisting like it’s the most normal thing, you’ll find yourself animated as a pink cat agent, army jacket-wearing Vietnamese millennial, and a reverse centaur.
If you want to laugh and reflect on the things you hate about yourself, the horse from Horsin’ Around is here to accompany you. Bojack Horseman is one of the best comedy shows on Netflix you can binge anytime when you want something with a lot of heart.
One of the best Netflix shows available for bingeing is Love Death + Robots. This anthology series celebrates animation in all shapes and sizes. Each episode is unique and will either keep you on the edge of your seat or just give you a good time.
Love Death + Robots is perfect for science fiction and fantasy fans as each episode poses as a love letter to the genres. This show features world-class animators with CG animation that is simply beautiful, tantalizing, and scarily realistic.
Follow a displaced ordinary joe who has been frozen in time and his interplanetary exploits in the year 2999. This Matt Groening masterpiece is the best adult cartoon for those who want The Simpsons with a sci-fi twist.
Philip J. Fry befriends an alcoholic robot after waking up 1,000 years later. He thinks his luck will finally change after slacking as a pizza delivery boy in his time, but as soon as he wakes up, he gets employed by a mad genius as a delivery boy in the Planet Express ship.
Futurama is a must-watch thanks to its clever dialogue, sporadic heartbreaking scenes, lovable characters, and a will-they-won’t-they romance you can’t help but root for. This show’s satirical humor provides profound commentary that can roast today’s society and the next 1,000th.
Imagine Bond, James Bond, and Austin Powers with their best qualities combined and then add the most uncool manchild you know. And you will have Sterling Archer, codename Duchess. Since its first episode in 2009, Archer has been bringing ultra-referenced dialogue and action sequences that always work out for the maladjusted employees and agents of the International Secret Intelligence Service aka ISIS (an amusing coincidence, we know).
Archer is more than its spy missions and misadventures, and for that, it’s among the best adult cartoons you can watch now. The show has excellent character development and epic roasts, that’s too clever for television. The hilarious back and forth banter in the show is the highlight of each episode. However, the relationship between mother and son in the show takes the cake on this one too. Because funny enough, Archer’s mother, Mallory, is the boss of ISIS and his life too.
First things first, there’s nothing regular about this show. Mordecai and Rigby are blue-jay and raccoon best friends who work as groundskeepers at the local park. However, leaf-raking and garbage collecting aren’t the only things that keep them busy in their mundane lives. Summoning Satan, defeating big toy corporations, and engaging in world-ending battles are just some of the many things Mordecai and Rigby do to amuse themselves.
The Regular Show is the best adult cartoon that children can enjoy too. The show’s random and outrageous episodes are enough to keep people of all ages entertained for a whole day of relaxing.
Family Guy is definitely fearless. It pushes so many envelopes at the edge all at once, without any regard for feelings or common courtesy. It’s one of the best adult cartoons available now that you can just enjoy without using your brain so much—it doesn’t require it, to be honest. You can sit back and relax and watch the most anti-sitcom sitcom.
This adult cartoon features an awfully flawed family in an equally flawed America trying to survive every day after being thrown into a crazy situation after crazier conflicts.
When you see Steven Universe you might think twice as to why it’s even considered as an adult cartoon. It’s a cheery and optimistic show made for kids. However, when you watch it, you’ll be immersed in its wholesome universe and find yourself reminded of the things that matter most to you, which is what most adults need from time to time.
Steven Universe is a bright kid who is half crystal gem. He fights alongside his crystal gem friends to protect Earth from alien invasions with moving speeches, hugs, and necessary violence. This show is able to convey themes that are sometimes the hardest to translate without being preachy or overly righteous, like love, acceptance, and forgiveness.
This show is one of the best fantasy TV Shows to stream on Netflix now, with mystical creatures and proper lore that will keep you hooked episode after episode. Steven Universe is also not short of musical numbers that speak from the heart and are just absolute fire.
When you think of the best adult cartoons, Bob’s Burgers might not be the first one on your list, but it is part of ours for a reason! Bob’s Burgers is an underrated adult cartoon that is just naturally funny and clever, with so much heart.
This show doesn’t rely on overt cynicism or gross-out humor to be relevant. Bob’s Burgers charm is enough to keep you glued to your screen, embracing its fascinating mundanity and well-thought-out musical numbers.
What’s funnier than going through puberty? Watching someone else go through with it. Big Mouth is another Netflix must-watch for those who want to laugh-out-loud about some kids going through the most painfully confusing period of their lives.
Nick Kroll and his friends created this adult cartoon to not only just poke fun at puberty-cursed middle schoolers but also enlighten adults. You never know; you might’ve missed out on something when you were going through puberty.
Big Mouth was just recently released, but it has already earned its place in the best adult cartoons list because of its weird and extremely funny episodes that are binge-worthy.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars is another cartoon marketed to children but was inundated by its adult fan base because, well, it’s Star Wars. Despite being animated, Clone Wars has a genuine Star Wars feel and can fill the Star Wars-shaped void you had since the prequels premiered.
The show provides a thrilling ride in a galaxy far, far away, with new characters like Ahsoka Tano, who is getting a new show on Disney Plus, and old adversaries like Darth Maul.
Anime has been providing adults a great source of animation content for years. So, it’s only fitting that they hold a place or two or three in the best adult cartoons list. One Punch Man is arguably the most “meme’d” anime character because of his bald egg-head that speaks true to some adults.
The show’s protagonist, Saitama, a seeming product of a lazy artist, is so powerful that he can defeat anybody with only one punch. The show is a parody of every power-up anime like Naruto, Fairy Tail, and Dragon Ball-Z, with hyper, sensationalized action scenes and hilarious dialogue that is as charming.
One Punch Man is one of the best anime series on Netflix to watch out for because each episode packs a serious punch.
An Adult Swim classic, Black Dynamite follows a former CIA agent who is on a mission to avenge his brother’s death, clean the streets of crime and drugs, and stick it to The Man.
Black Dynamite is the best adult cartoon you can watch anytime, with all the episodes now available on HBO Max. This action-packed comedy show will have you rolling and longing to be part of Black Dynamite’s crew.
How does one even begin to describe Adventure Time? One of the qualities of the best adult cartoon is being able to evoke all emotions from animated objects and at the same time make you laugh. Well, that’s what Adventure Time does to its viewers.
Adventure Time will forever be one of the most unique cartoons ever. It’s nonsensical, unexpectedly emotional, and psychedelic that will have you trying hard to dissect each episode but will remain positively empty-handed. Adventure time is both dumb and profound, and you won’t be able to stop watching.
Another anime masterpiece is Cowboy Bebop. A sci-fi noir animation series that will have you questioning your existence, appreciating jazz, and feeling all kinds of emotions during a violent fistfight among space cowboys.
Cowboy Bebop has set a unique bar for many anime or adult cartoons. It’s one of those shows that will leave you with more than you came for. The show follows a ragtag group of bounty hunters that will save the world when the price is right.
Avatar: The Last Airbender is a favorite among children and adults. It’s not traditionally an adult cartoon, but its extensive fantasy world has transported people of all ages into an immersive animated escape where we all want to be as cool as Toph, ride Appa, and hang out with Uncle Iroh.
Definitely one of the best cartoons ever made, Avatar was able to provide sincere societal and political commentary, touch on tyranny, and the moral complexity of that’s inside each person. This show is a must-see for both kids and the kids at heart.
In this quasi-autobiographical Netflix cartoon, comedian Bill Burr transports us to the 1970s, with plenty of profanity and dark humor. F is for Family is one of the best adult cartoons that employs the classic sitcom formula of a dysfunctional family in dysfunctional America but still manages to bring something fresh to the table.
This show follows the boisterous Irish-American Frank Murphy and his family, who live in the suburbs where everyone is just as loud and over-the-top. F is for Family is perfect if you want something classic yet something new.
Robot Chicken is a stop-motion adult cartoon that makes up for a different kind of humor that is just fun and absurd. Co-created by actor Seth Green, the show mixes all the pop culture references you can think of and produces the most entertaining episodes that are perfect for mindless late-night TV.
Back when MTV was cool as it thought it was, Beavis and Butt-head graced people’s TV screens with their casual stupidity and couch reveries. The show is one of the earliest adult cartoons that kept teenagers and adults company in the 90s.
Beavis and Butt-head are more than their couch though they go on dumb escapades and adventures, wreaking havoc in their friendly neighborhood like proper teenagers.
This adult cartoon focuses on the residents of the Sunnyvale Trailer Park in Nova Scotia. If you want some redneck fun, the Trailer Park Boys are here for the first time to not disappoint.
The Trailer Park Boys Animated Series gives the boys more freedom in their cartoon form to do more of their gross, but incredibly hilarious schemes.
Another classic American family in the most American America sitcom recipe is on our list. Seth Macfarlane brings another adult cartoon to your screen to prove that families are the most entertaining thing to watch. Despite being almost identical to its brother cartoon, Family Guy, American Dad has its charms and a cross-dressing alien to win you over.
American Dad is one of the best adult cartoons out today, with all the episodes available on Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. You can follow C.I.A. agent Stan Smith and his family, who tries very hard to keep their American values in check.
An HBO animated series, Animals makes our list of the best adult cartoons to tune into. This show focuses on the animals that inhabit the not-so-sunny New York City and their lovelorn dilemmas, which you can’t help but relate to.
Animals feature big celebrities like Emilia Clarke, Jesica Chastain, and Anthony Mackie to voice their New Yorker rats, pigeons, cats, pugs, and many more. The show is snappy, funny, and occasionally poignant. It’s like The Secret Life of Pets, but with fewer humans and more mating advice for rats.
Disney’s Gravity Falls is a series for kids, but after watching one episode, you won’t be able to stop watching. This show is one of the best cartoons that adults can easily enjoy with their kids or just with themselves because why not.
Gravity Falls features the summer of twins Dipper and Mabel in their Grunkle (great-uncle) Stan’s shop of cons, The Mystery Shack. Zombies, affectionate gnomes, and obnoxious unicorns are just some of the fascinating creatures that lurk in the small town of Gravity Falls. The show has a dark secret that slowly but satisfyingly unravels itself in each episode.
Gravity Falls is an endearing cartoon that leaves a lasting impression on its viewers. While solving the town’s mysteries, you uncover life’s simple delights that make it worth fight for.
The titular protagonist and her various sarcastic, nihilistic remarks on daily suburban living are the life and blood of Daria. A spin-off of the Beavis and Butt-Head series, Daria represents a different kind of teenager in the 90s.
Daria is among the best adult cartoon you can watch anytime if you want to relive your teenage years where you’re just too cool for school. The show follows Daria and her deadpan charm as she lives through high school and goes through life’s many firsts.
From the creator of Beavis and Butt-head, King of the Hill is another adult cartoon that can stand the test of time. The show might have some controversial views that simply can’t fly by in today’s society, but isn’t that the essence of a great adult cartoon? Addressing life’s major issues in perfectly timed humor and animated violence.
King of the Hill is about a typical family in Texas doing classic sitcom tropes while being extremely laughable and sincere.
Adult Swim’s longest-running adult cartoon is The Venture Bros, and it’s been running successfully for a reason. Not because Dr. Rusty Ventrue has an unlimited supply of his sons, but because the action and comedy the show provides its viewer is just *chef’s kiss*.
The Venture Bros highlights the many failures of the Venture family but also shows how they get back up every time. The show is full of pop culture references and witty humor that will have you laughing after a day’s hard work.
Harvey Birdman, former superhero turned attorney for your favorite animated characters, is one of the best adult cartoons right now. This Adult Swim gem features Harvey Birdman’s cases to acquit beloved characters like Scooby-Doo and Shaggy from drug possession, while he also works on call for his notorious boss Phil Ken Sebben.
The show offers nostalgia like no other and serious laughs for adults who just want to have a good time.
Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons and Futurama, has another adult cartoon under his belt that takes on the fantasy genre in classic Groening animation style. Disenchantment is about the alcoholic Princess Bean in her adventures to avoid royal duties. The show takes jabs at the classic fairy tale clichés that are more outdated than classic.
Drawn Together is the animated hat thrown in the ring during the rise of reality TV in the early 2000s. This show is definitely one of the best adult cartoons with its raunchy, lewd, and shock humor that we’re positive will not be greenlighted today.
This adult cartoon parodied every known cartoon character that children love, like superheroes, princesses, and even Pokemon. Drawn Together is not for the faint of heart so, watch with care.
Welcome to Paradise, a made-up town where the cops are notoriously terrible. And not in the corrupt context, but in the sense of being genuinely inept. Naturally, this adult cartoon makes for excellent Netflix binge-watching with three seasons to keep you entertained.
The newest addition to the adult cartoon genre is Apple TV’s charming Central Park. The show features a family of caretakers who lives in Central Park, New York. The Tillerman family tries to fend off an heiress who wants to build condos out of the park while breaking into musical numbers that you’ll find yourself singing in the middle of the afternoon.
Another Seth MacFarlane family special, The Cleveland Show, holds a place in the best adult cartoons ever made. It’s a spinoff series about former Family Guy neighbor Cleveland Brown and his big move to Stoolbend, Virginia, to pursue his old high school flame.
The Cleveland Show is a goldmine of witty one-liners that will make you go—oooh snap! The show will also make you cry with laughter thanks to its charming and natural humor.
We sure don’t have a shortage of Batman content these days with the Dark Knight always seems to be making an appearance every year. But, if it’s not enough, you can always check out Batman: The Animated Series. This series is not exactly an adult cartoon, but its noir and complex themes can satisfy your need for something deep, entertaining, and of course, all things Batman.
One of the best adult cartoons available for bingeing now is Castlevania. The show combines western and anime styles to bring you a demon-plagued fantasy world where Dracula breaks all hell loose after his human wife was burned at the stake.
Castlevania follows monster hunter Trevor Bellmont as he saves the world of Wallachia, violently killing creature after creature. This show has enough action and lore to keep you on the edge of your seat in each episode.
Anime sensation, Attack on Titan is one of the best adult cartoons you need to watch. This anime centers on a world where giant humanoids eat human beings just because they can.
Violence, blood, politics, and a whole lot more blood ensue throughout the show as they try their best the defeat the monsters looming outside their mighty walls. However, they forget the ones inside. Attack on Titan also provides profound societal commentary that is extremely relevant today as we too have titans in real life.
Mark Grayson, a kid who becomes a superhero under his father’s guidance, is the protagonist of this epic superhero narrative. You’ll go through an emotional rollercoaster watching Mark try his best to become good like his father in a series of missions and near-death experiences.
Invincible is particularly new but has already earned plenty of critical acclaims for us to confidently declare Invincible one of the best adult cartoons we’ve ever seen.
Aqua Teen Hunger Force—if you’re having a hard time making sense of that, wait till you watch the show. This adult cartoon is another Adult Swim brain fart that is as ridiculous as its other shows.
The show features three fast-food items living together as roommates as they go through misadventure after misadventure. Aqua Teen Hunger Force is indeed a force to be reckoned with, and if you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself hungry for the upcoming feature film because you already went through all 139 episodes.
Space Ghost Coast to Coast follows a retired Hanna-Barbera superhero turned late-night show host, Space Ghost, as he interviews other superheroes like Hulk Hogan and Denzel Washington. You don’t know what you get from each episode of Space Ghost, as its humor can be subdued in one episode and incredibly zany in the next. But, one thing is for sure, this show will make you laugh one way or another.
Space Ghost Coast to Coast is one of the best adult cartoons because it paved the way to the renaissance of unconventional adult cartoons in the 90s.
Thanks to the internet, there are a lot of streaming services available for you to watch the best adult cartoons. Here are some of the streaming platforms you can subscribe to tune into your favorite adult cartoons.
- Amazon Prime Video
- HBO Max
- Disney Plus
- Adult Swim Official Website
- Apple TV+
- Paramount Plus
Animation can be confusing for most children because as soon as they see cartoons, they automatically assume it’s for them. But, these days there are more adult cartoons than animations made for children. One can never be too careful because if interchanged with the other, it can cause trauma while affecting utter indifference to the other.
The main difference between adult cartoons and kids’ cartoons is the rating of the show. If the show garners an 18+ age group rating and above, to state the obvious—it’s not for children. Cartoons that get an 18+ rating feature extreme violence, sex, substance abuse, and blatant profanity, which children have yet to comprehend.
The best thing about being an adult is you can do whatever you want without needing your parents’ approval. And that includes you finally being the TV remote master and choosing the program for the night. If you want to watch something wholesome, go ahead and rewatch your favorite Backyardigans episode. If you want something edgier and cool, by all means, play Spongebob Squarepants because Spongebob is always cool.
No one really outgrows cartoons—if anything, you grow with them. The best adult cartoons are here to provide you with animations that you see yourself in and can’t help but laugh at. But your childhood cartoons are also just here if you need them.