Adult animated shows have their origins back in the 1920s and 30s. Even networks like Disney produced movies that dealt with a variety of themes like alcoholism, drug addiction and s*xuality. But it was The Simpsons that eventually changed the history and future of adult animated shows.
The shows aimed at an older age group usually have adult themes and explicit language that only an adult or teenager would understand. And since animated series are not difficult to fund, it allows fringe experiments to be done and executed.
Networks like Netflix, Fox, MTV and Adult Swim have given fans a bunch of hilarious cartoons to choose from. Even though selecting a show is not always an easy task, it sure can be made simpler.
A rundown of the best adult animated shows
10) The Simpsons (1989 – present)
The Simpsons is an animated show about a politically incorrect family. The sitcom revolves around Homer, (a fat, childish father) Marge, (a hardworking homemaker) and their children Bart (a rebellious ten-year-old prankster), Lisa (an eight-year-old genius who is underappreciated) and Maggie (a silent 1-year-old who always saves the day).
With a total of 715 episodes (33 seasons), The Simpsons still continues to amaze people with its sardonic depiction of American life.
9) Beavis and Butt-Head (1993 – present)
This animated show tells the story of two metal-head teenage idlers, Beavis and Butt-Head, and their indifference, stupidity, trashy sense of humor and the inability to attract women. The show originally ran on MTV from 1993 to 1997. And was revived for one season back in 2011. But, as Comedy Central has announced, the controversial show is currently up for a second revival consisting of two fresh seasons.
Here's a tweet proving the fact that the show undoubtedly left a mark on its audience.
8) South Park (1997 – present)
The story of this animated series deals with four boys, Stan Marsh (an average 4th grader), Kyle Broflovski (a lone Jew), Eric Cartman (the unethical, loud antagonist), and Kenny McCormick (a boy from a poor family with a muffled speech). And these four boys living in the fictional town of South Park go on hilarious adventures together.
The show conveys many important messages through its humor and deals with social issues by being offensive. South Park first aired in August 1997 and has evolved with time ever since.
7) Futurama (1999 - 2013)
Philip J. Fry is a 25-year-old delivery boy who freezes himself in the 90s for 1000 years. After waking up, Fry meets Leela (a one-eyed alien) and Bender (an alcohol powdered bending robot). They all met Fry's very old Great Great... nephew, Hubert J. Farnsworth, and start working for Farnsworth's Planet Express Delivery Service. Their coworkers are Amy Wong and Hermes Conrad. There's also the crew's doctor, Dr. John Zoidberg.
The show depicts the story of this group taking risks traveling around the universe and delivering packages. Futurama ran on Fox from 1993 to 2003 and on Comedy Central from 2008 to 2013.
6) Family Guy (1999 – present)
Family Guy features the Griffins family and the crazy scenarios they find themselves in, in their everyday lives. The main characters are Peter (a clumsy father), his wife Lois (a homemaker) and their children Meg (a frequently bullied teenage girl), Chris (an overweight, idiotically awkward teenager), Stewie (an evil, genius infant), and their anthropomorphic dog Brian.
This animated series entertains people with satirical jokes that are extremely offensive (for which it got canceled twice) as well as incredibly funny. The 20th season of Family Guy is currently being aired.
5) Bob’s Burgers (2011 – present)
This animated series focuses on the Belcher family which includes Bob, his wife Linda, and their children Tina (13, desperately looking for love), Gene (11, the only son who can do anything for anything to nothing) and Louise (9, power-loving, creepy youngest daughter).
The family owns a burger shop on Ocean Avenue. Bob's burgers are delicious but the business still doesn't run well as the kids aren't good at selling the burgers. There's also Jimmy Pesto, Bob's rival who owns a pizzeria right across the street.
The show showcases the family pulling through the craziest of events throughout its 150 episodes.
4) Gravity Falls (2012 – 2016)
The story presents the adventures of 12-year-old twins Dipper and Mabel Pines, who are spending the summer with their great-uncle in the town of Gravity Falls. Finding the town strange and peculiar in every way, they try to know more about its secrets. Dipper discovers a cryptic journal that helps them find out about the mysteries of Gravity Falls, and so the twins use it to fight the mysterious events that take place.
The animated show ran from 2012 to 2016, providing viewers with a total of 40 episodes.
3) Rick and Morty (2013 – present)
Rick and Morty is an award-winning animated show by Adult Swim. The animated series mainly orbits Rick, a sociopathic, alcoholic, highbrow scientist, and his grandson Morty, a timid, good-hearted boy who goes on adventures around the universe with his grandpa, Rick. The other important characters are Summer, Morty's elder sister, Beth, Rick's daughter and Morty's mother, and Jerry, the father of Morty and Summer and the husband of Beth.
This adult animated sci-fi series has five seasons with the sixth one in the making.
2) BoJack Horseman (2014 – 2020)
This animated series is about BoJack Horseman, an anthropomorphic horse, who was once a 90s Hollywoo(d) star, currently planning his comeback with an autobiography ghostwritten by Diane Nguyen. The story features BoJack's agent Princess Carolyn, roommate Todd Chavez and former rival Mr. Peanutbutter, and brilliantly masks subjects like depression and addiction with comedy.
Throughout the six seasons, consisting of 77 episodes, it has excellently addressed social issues without ruining the fun part of the satire. The show was so good that someone tweeted:
1) Big Mouth (2017 – present)
Big Mouth is an animated series that follows a group of 7th graders who are struggling with puberty. Like shoulder angels, they are troubled by hormone monsters. The group of 7th graders includes Nick Birch, Andrew Glouberman, Jessi Glaser, Jay Bilzerian, and Missy Foreman-Greenwald. The monsters pestering the teenagers are Maurice, Connie, Mona, Rick, Tyler and Gavin.
So far, Big Mouth has had 5 seasons consisting of 31 episodes and has successfully entertained adults worldwide.
Note: The list is subjective and reflects the views of the writer.