Top 5 adult animated television shows of all time


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For a few decades, animation was only for kids. Either the shows were tailored right to them or they were clean enough to be enjoyed by the whole family. What a terrible world...

Luckily, something happened in the late 80's: adult animation went mainstream. Suddenly, it was ok to be older than 10 and watching cartoons. Some of the shows were amazing, while others were terrible and others were just plain odd.

With so many adult animated shows in the past 25 years, it can be hard to choose the best five. Here's my case for the top 5 best adult animated series of all time:

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Top 5 adult animated television shows of all time

  1. 1. Top5 AdultAnimatedTelevision Shows Of AllTimeBy Mike Leins | Cartooniphile.comFor a few decades, cartoons were only for children. Either they were filled with kid-friendlystory lines or they were “PC” enough that everyone could enjoy them. What a terrible world...Luckily, something fantastic occurred in the late 80’s: adult animation went mainstream. All of asudden, it was cool to be in college and watching cartoons. Sometimes the shows were good,other times they were odd and still others were just plain terrible.With so many adult animated shows in the past 25 years, it can be hard to choose the best five.Heres my case for the top 5 best adult animated series of all time:5) ArcherArcher is quite possibly the best thing to happen to television in recent history. Few othershows have the wit, timing and storytelling that never fails to crack me up on a weekly basis.Archer is the 5th best adult cartoon in history.Archer follows the life of Sterling Archer, the sex-obsessed, heavy-drinking top agent at aninternational spy agency. Despite being surrounded by idiots even dumber than himself, Archeralways finds a way to save the day, get the girl, get her drunk and get himself laid.After years of adult animated shows that (sometimes literally) were nothing but fart jokes,Archer was (for lack of a better phrase) a breath of fresh air. Though there is plenty of shockvalue, like the countless women Archer sleeps with (one being the fat co-worker) or theamount of blood spilled in any given episode, Archer manages to have some of the funniestdialog on television. At any moment, a random phrase from 15 minutes ago cam come fullcircle and become a joke.Every character on Archer has a distinct voice, from their dialect to their actions, to the pointwhere you could read their dialog and know who said it. The characters share some of thedeepest relationships on TV, from the Archer-Lana-Cyril love triangle to the Archer-Maloryunsolved childhood/motherhood issues.A perfect James Bond parody with ridiculous comedy, tons of wit and plenty of filth, Archer isdefinitely in my list of best adult animated series of all time.
  2. 2. 4) Beavis and ButtheadSure, the Simpsons opened the door for edgier animation, but Beavis & Butthead blasted downthat door. Possibly the dumbest, yet funniest, and most real show of all time, Beavis andButthead is the 4th best adult cartoon in history.It looked like The Simpsons would be the worst thing for kids to watch, and then MTV threw usBeavis & Butthead, softening the impact of everything else out there. A show about two kidshanging out, watching music video and just being idiots just so happened to resonate with 90’skids more than anything else.The series raised all kinds of hell, from kids imitating Beavis & Buttheads moronic actions tohelping pave the way to the TV rating system. The duo even had a theatrical release film, Beavisand Butthead Do America.Although the show loses some serious points for lack of great storytelling, the impact the seriesmade, and its ability to return to television over a decade later, makes it one of the best adultanimated shows of all time.
  3. 3. 3) Family GuyBy the late 1990’s when we thought we had seen in all, Seth MacFarlane arrived. After a fewyears of animating children’s cartoons, Seth brought to the table one of the raunchiest, mostterrible and insulting programs we had ever seen. Family Guy is the 3rd best adult cartoon inhistory.Another record-breaking series from Fox, the show centers on the Griffin family from RhodeIsland. Peter (the idiot), Lois (the sane one), Chris (the Peter-in-training), Meg (the ugly one)and baby Stewie (the evil one), along with the family dog, Brian (the pretentious one) spendtheir days living lives of greed, lust, violence and every other major sin known to man.Every episode is filled with hilarious moments, mainly from the flashback cutaways, which havenow become a standard in all animation. Sometimes the storyline will make little or no sense,which will inadvertently lead to even more laughs.Family Guy has had a hell of a ride through the years, starting with a 3 season run &cancellation. A few renewals later, the show officially came back to series after massive DVDsales and even led to another two series for the creator, Seth MacFarlane, who continues to getwork of all kinds, animated and live action.The show is weird, funny, screwed up, nonsensical and just plain good in too many ways for itto not make the list of best adult animated shows of all time.
  4. 4. 2) The SimpsonsNo, it’s not the best of all time, but it sure as hell is number 2. The show that made it possiblefor everything that followed it, The Simpsons is the 2nd best adult cartoon in history.The Simpsons is the first adult-friendly animation since The Flintstones or The Jetsons. Thoseshows were meant to be family friendly and especially appealing to kids. Certainly not edgy inthe least by today’s standards. Once The Simpsons arrived, the game was changed forever.Surprisingly enough, it even came to be considered a family friendly show after a while.The Simpsons is about a regular blue-collar, yellow-skinned family from suburbia. The familyhits all the classic characteristics, the idiot father and husband, the smarter but willing to getalong mother and wife, the douchy son, the smart daughter and the baby. Lucky for us, thesepeople are just a bit more screwed up than most families. Through it all, The Simpsons alwaysmakes it a point to have a good message at the end of every episode.Since premiering in 1989, The Simpsons has been syndicated around the world, translated intohundreds of languages and has made over 400 episodes. This series has outlasted nearly everyscripted television series in history.The Simpsons is undoubtedly the benchmark for adult animation. Everyone who creates anadult animated series gives credit to The Simpsons for inspiration. This series will go down inhistory as one of the best adult animated shows, and one of the best comedies, of all time.
  5. 5. 1) South ParkWhat’s not on the list yet? Only one left! If The Simpsons couldn’t do it, only South Park could,being (IMHO) the best adult animated show in history.South Park managed to raise a crazy amount of hell with its premiere in 1997. A show with 3rdgraders talking like sailors, one of them dies every week and a talking piece of Christmas poo?Suddenly everything else was squeaky clean by comparison.Even the slightest conservative viewers were turned off. The lucky few who stuck around,however, were treated to some of the sharpest social commentary ever to hit the airwaves.Nearly every episode brought to light some worldly injustice, tore it to shreds, and taught us alesson. More often than not, the audience themselves could learn about their own hilarioushypocrisy.The show has been despised by nearly every group in America at one time or another sued bydozens of companies and individuals and still manages to get away with murder each and everytime. At this point, South Park is pretty much unstoppable, allowed to make fun of anythingthey want in any fashion they choose.The values & morals of the Simpsons, the filth of Beavis & Butthead, the wit of Archer, theoccasional ridiculousness of Family Guy all combine into one series known as South Park: thesingle best adult animated series of all time.
  6. 6. The Future of Adult AnimationAdult animation has come a long way in just 25 years. The bar was set, raised, raised again andraised yet again. At this rate, these five could be considered crap by the standards of 10 yearsfrom now. Though, somehow I doubt that.No matter what, Im sure us adult animation fans are in for some great, raunchy, disgusting,crude and vulgar stuff!Be sure to check out more of my adult animation commentary and news updatesat