Top 40 Adult Cartoons: From Classics to Modern Gems

In the realm of animation, a genre stands out that isn’t limited by age or maturity: adult cartoons. Shattering the conventional perception that cartoons are solely for kids, adult cartoons masterfully blend humor, satire, raw emotion, and depth to resonate with older audiences.

Adult cartoons have come a long way, from classic sitcoms that paved the way to contemporary masterpieces pushing the boundaries of storytelling. This collection of animated gems has it all, from biting social commentary to absurd hilarity and even the occasional existential crisis.

Dive in as we embark on a journey to uncover the top 40 adult cartoons that are perfect for those seeking something more than just light-hearted fun. It’s an animated world out there that’s waiting to be discovered.

Must-Watch Adult Cartoons

In this section, we delve into the fascinating world of adult cartoons. Here, animation meets sophisticated storytelling, tackling mature themes and sharp humor.

Whether it’s throwback classics that changed the game or newer productions redefining animation, we highlight the top 40 must-see adult cartoons. Get ready for a whirlwind of animated brilliance.

1. Super Drags on Netflix

Super Drags on Netflix

“Super Drags” is a Brazilian adult animated series available on Netflix that breathes life into the superhero genre with a flamboyant, humor-filled twist. At the core of its story are three department store coworkers who moonlight as superhero drag queens, combating homophobia, prejudice, and other societal ills.

The series stands out with its unapologetic LGBTQ+ representation and relatable characters, each with unique quirks and backgrounds. The vibrant animation style complements the series’ tone, effortlessly merging hilarity and heartfelt moments. “Super Drags” isn’t just about larger-than-life adventures but also about the complexities of identity and acceptance in a world that often frowns upon difference.

2. Final Space

Final Space

“Final Space” is an American adult animated space opera that perfectly balances comedy, drama, and high-stakes adventure. The show follows Gary Goodspeed, a well-meaning but hapless space prisoner, and his alien companion Mooncake as they navigate cosmic dangers. The series explores friendship, loss, and redemption themes amid the intergalactic escapades and time paradoxes.

“Final Space” stands out with its combination of beautifully animated space vistas, unique character designs, and complex narrative arcs. It’s an emotional rollercoaster packed with laugh-out-loud moments, heartbreaking revelations, and a must-watch for science fiction and animated storytelling fans.

3. The House on Netflix

The House on Netflix

“The House” is an anthology series on Netflix, standing out in the realm of adult cartoons with its unique storytelling approach. Each episode tells a different story linked by a single setting: a house. The animation style varies from episode to episode, reflecting the specific atmosphere of each narrative.

From dark comedy to horror and surrealism, “The House” explores diverse genres and themes, including the human condition, mortality, and identity. Its unconventional structure, variety of animation styles, and thought-provoking narratives make it a standout, perfect for those seeking a unique animated experience.

4. Agent Elvis – Adult Cartoon

Agent Elvis – Adult Cartoon

“Agent Elvis” is an intriguing twist on the spy genre. The titular character, Elvis, is a suave secret agent with the skills and charm to match. However, the twist is that Elvis is a cat – integrating anthropomorphic charm with high-stakes espionage. The series combines humor, action, and occasional doses of feline whimsy.

The crisp and stylish animation style matches the spy aesthetic while capturing the premise’s absurdity. “Agent Elvis” is a delightful blend of secret agent thrills and animal hijinks, providing a unique spin on familiar genres.

5. Harvey Birdman – Adult Animation Shows

Harvey Birdman – Adult Animation Shows

“Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law” is a surreal adult animated series reimagining well-known Hanna-Barbera characters in a modern-day law firm setting. The show follows Birdman, who has put his superhero days behind him and taken on a legal career, defending his fellow animated characters in court.

The series is known for its rapid-fire humor, satirical commentary, and references to pop culture and real-life legal cases. “Harvey Birdman” presents a playful spin on the legal drama genre, pushing the boundaries of satire while providing a nostalgic nod to classic animation, making it a must-see for adult animation enthusiasts.

6. Bojack Horseman

Bojack Horseman

“Bojack Horseman” is a critically acclaimed adult animated sitcom on Netflix that masterfully balances humor, satire, and deeply poignant commentary on life and mental health. The series follows the eponymous character, a washed-up T.V. star from the ’90s struggling with substance abuse and self-destructive tendencies.

Despite being fraught with setbacks, Bojack’s journey of self-discovery and redemption forms the series’ emotional core. With its distinctive animation style, “Bojack Horseman” uses anthropomorphic characters to explore mature themes like depression, addiction, and celebrity culture. The series is famed for its sharp, dark humor and profoundly human characters, making it a standout in adult animation.

7. Inside Job

Inside Job

“Inside Job” is a Netflix animated series that offers a humorous and satirical take on conspiracy theories. The show revolves around Reagan Ridley, a genius scientist working for a shadowy organization responsible for maintaining global conspiracies. The animation style is vibrant, with exaggerated character designs that perfectly complement the absurd and humorous plot.

“Inside Job” cleverly critiques corporate culture, government conspiracies, and the idea of power structures. It’s filled with clever references and unexpected twists, making it a delightful watch for adult animation and satire fans.

8. Human Resources

Human Resources

A spin-off from the successful adult animation “Big Mouth,” “Human Resources” dives into the world of the emotional monsters introduced in the original series. The show expands on the universe of its predecessor, showcasing the lives of these creatures responsible for human feelings.

It balances humor and emotional insight, exploring the complexities of the human condition through its unique premise. The animation style remains consistent with “Big Mouth,” bringing the same bold, colorful designs to the screen. “Human Resources” is a must-watch for those who enjoyed the heartfelt humor and unique take on adolescence and growing up in “Big Mouth.”

9. The Great North

The Great North

“The Great North” is an animated sitcom that immerses viewers in the life of the Tobin family, living in the wilds of Alaska. Despite its remote setting, the show delves into universal family, love, and self-discovery themes. Though quirky and eccentric, the characters are relatable, providing a unique blend of heartwarming and laugh-out-loud moments.

The animation style brings the Alaskan wilderness to life with a vibrant color palette and detailed backgrounds. “The Great North” showcases the trials and tribulations of a single dad raising his kids in the last frontier, serving up a perfect mix of humor and familial warmth.

10. M.O.D.O.K.

M.O.D.O.K

Marvel’s “M. O.D.O.K.” on Hulu is a stop-motion animated series that offers a comedic take on one of Marvel’s most infamous supervillains – the Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing (M.O.D.O.K.). The series delves into M.O.D.O.K.’s life, juggling his world-dominant aspirations with his mundane family life.

The series’ unique animation style, reminiscent of action figures, perfectly complements its satirical tone. It not only offers action-packed sequences but also presents relatable familial struggles and personal crises, all while retaining a comedic edge. With its unique take on the superhero genre, “M. O.D.O.K.” is a standout in the realm of adult animation.

11. Rick & Morty

Rick & Morty

“Rick & Morty,” an animated science fiction sitcom, has firmly established itself as a titan of adult animation. The series centers on the interdimensional adventures of cynical genius scientist Rick Sanchez and his good-hearted but easily influenced grandson, Morty.

Balancing outlandish sci-fi elements with darker themes and existential questions, “Rick & Morty” is known for its clever humor, inventive plotlines, and richly developed characters.

The animation style, with its intricate detailing of fantastic and grotesque landscapes, underscores the tonal complexity of the series. It’s a wild and often philosophical ride through space-time, making it a must-watch for any fan of adult cartoons.

12. Aggretsuko

Aggretsuko

“Aggretsuko,” a Netflix original series, presents a unique blend of cute animation style with adult themes. The show follows Retsuko, a red panda office worker in Tokyo who lets off steam by singing death metal karaoke. “Aggretsuko” is a relatable exploration of workplace frustrations, societal pressures, and personal growth.

Despite its deceptively simple art style reminiscent of “Hello Kitty,” it offers a nuanced commentary on modern life, sexism, and personal identity. Its balanced blend of humor, heartfelt emotion, and societal critique makes it stand out in the adult animation scene.

13. Gravity Falls

Gravity Falls

While “Gravity Falls” might seem like a children’s show at first glance, its complex plot, layered humor, and nuanced characters have garnered a significant adult fanbase. The series follows the Pines twins, Dipper and Mabel, as they spend a summer with their Great Uncle Stan in the mysterious town of Gravity Falls.

The show’s distinctive charm lies in its perfect balance of supernatural adventures, emotional depth, and comedic timing. Its richly detailed animation and cryptic mysteries engage viewers of all ages. “Gravity Falls” offers a nostalgic journey into childhood curiosities and fears alongside a compelling supernatural narrative that keeps viewers hooked.

14. Solar Opposites

Solar Opposites

From the creators of “Rick & Morty,” “Solar Opposites” delivers an engaging mix of sci-fi hijinks and social commentary. The series centers around a family of aliens stranded on Earth, navigating their way through the peculiarities of human culture. It combines bizarre extraterrestrial adventures with sharp humor and cultural critique, resulting in a unique viewing experience.

The animation style resembles “Rick & Morty,” but the show carves its identity with distinctive characters and plotlines. “Solar Opposites” is a quirky, fun-filled adventure that offers plenty of laughs and thought-provoking satire.

15. Tuca & Bertie

Tuca & Bertie

“Tuca & Bertie” is a Netflix original series from the team behind “Bojack Horseman.” The show revolves around two bird-women friends navigating their thirties, dealing with personal anxieties, career aspirations, and life changes. The series is lauded for its relatable depiction of female friendship, nuanced exploration of mental health, and vibrant animation style.

It seamlessly merges surreal humor with moments of profound emotional depth. “Tuca & Bertie” presents an unflinchingly honest portrayal of life’s messiness, capturing the heartache and joy of modern womanhood in a wonderfully animated world.

16. Big Mouth

Big Mouth

“Big Mouth” is a Netflix original that dives into the awkward, cringe-inducing world of puberty with unflinching honesty and humor. The show revolves around a group of middle school friends dealing with adolescence’s physical and emotional turmoil, guided (or misguided) by their “hormone monsters.”

Despite its surreal elements, “Big Mouth” portrays the universal experiences of growing up, from the confusion of bodily changes to the emotional rollercoaster of young relationships. With its unique blend of crude humor, heartfelt moments, and eye-catching animation, the series captures the essence of adolescence in an insightful and hilariously relatable way.

17. South Park

South Park

“South Park” is a groundbreaking adult animated sitcom known for its edgy humor, satirical commentary, and biting social critique. Set in the titular Colorado town, the series follows the misadventures of four boys: Stan, Kyle, Eric, and Kenny.

Despite its simplistic animation style, “South Park” tackles a broad range of topics from politics to pop culture, often courting controversy with its irreverent approach. The show’s charm lies in its ability to mix lowbrow humor with intelligent satire, resulting in a cartoon that is as thought-provoking as it is hilarious.

18. The Simpsons

The Simpsons

“The Simpsons” is an iconic fixture in adult animation, offering a humorous, often satirical look at a middle-class American family. The series follows the Simpson family and the various inhabitants of Springfield, each character more memorable than the last.

From Homer’s blundering antics to Lisa’s precocious wisdom, “The Simpsons” brilliantly parodies the American lifestyle, offering a mix of slapstick humor, social commentary, and heartwarming moments. With its bright, expressive animation and memorable catchphrases, “The Simpsons” has left an indelible mark on popular culture.

19. Futurama

Futurama

From the creator of “The Simpsons,” “Futurama” is a science fiction sitcom that takes viewers to the 31st century. The series follows the adventures of Fry, a delivery boy cryogenically frozen and awoken a thousand years into the future. Alongside a colorful cast of human and alien characters, Fry navigates a world of advanced technology and bizarre intergalactic predicaments.

“Futurama” balances humor, sci-fi elements, and emotional depth, resulting in a uniquely entertaining viewing experience. Its clever wordplay, intricate plots, and futuristic setting make it stand out in adult cartoons.

20. Family Guy

Family Guy

“Family Guy” is an adult animated sitcom known for its irreverent humor, pop culture parodies, and unconventional storytelling. The series revolves around the Griffin family, particularly the bumbling and clueless patriarch, Peter. Episodes often feature non-sequitur cutaway gags, mocking cultural conventions and referencing everything from films to historical events.

Despite its often outrageous humor, “Family Guy” occasionally offers moments of unexpected poignancy, showcasing the characters’ deeper complexities. Its bold comedic style and engaging characters make “Family Guy” a memorable entry into adult cartoons.

21. Archer

Archer

“Archer” is an adult animated series that ingeniously blends the world of espionage with workplace comedy. The series revolves around Sterling Archer, an incredibly skilled but self-absorbed spy, and his interactions with his eccentric International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS) colleagues.

Known for its quick-witted dialogue, stylized animation, and a blend of action-packed and hilarious scenarios, “Archer” offers a unique viewing experience. The series consistently evolves, presenting a new theme or setting each season, from space adventures to 1940s noir. This constant reinvention and dynamic character interactions make “Archer” stand out in adult animation.

22. Bob’s Burgers

Bob’s Burgers

“Bob’s Burgers” is an animated sitcom that charmingly captures the daily trials and triumphs of the Belcher family, who run a struggling burger joint. The series stands out with its distinct humor, memorable musical numbers, and genuine depiction of familial love. Each family member, from the endearingly awkward Tina to the wildly imaginative Louise, is uniquely quirky and thoroughly relatable.

“Bob’s Burgers” strikes a heartwarming balance between slice-of-life comedy and eccentric adventures, set against a vibrant animation style that perfectly complements its lovable characters and their humorous escapades.

23. Disenchantment

Disenchantment

“Disenchantment,” a Netflix original from “The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening, takes viewers to the medieval fantasy kingdom of Dreamland. The series follows the hard-drinking princess Bean, her elf companion Elfo, and personal demon Luci as they navigate the absurdities of life, death, and everything in between.

“Disenchantment” stands out with its distinctive animation style, reminiscent of Groening’s previous works, and its blend of humor, fantasy, and unexpectedly dark themes. It cleverly subverts traditional fantasy tropes while delivering a compelling storyline filled with wit, charm, and colorful characters.

24. Hit-Monkey

Hit-Monkey

“Hit-Monkey” is a Marvel animated series that combines the crime, action, and superhero genres distinctly unusually. The titular character is a snow monkey transformed into a vengeful assassin after a traumatic event, guided by the ghost of an American hitman.

The series delivers high-stakes action, dark humor, and supernatural elements, all within a visually striking animation style. “Hit-Monkey” balances its bizarre premise with a surprisingly emotional narrative, offering an unconventional superhero tale that stands out in the crowded field of comic book adaptations.

25. Invincible

Invincible

“Invincible” is an Amazon Prime adaptation of the Robert Kirkman comic book series. It revolves around Mark Grayson, a regular teenager whose father is the most powerful superhero on the planet. After inheriting his father’s powers, Mark begins his journey as ‘Invincible,’ navigating the challenges of being a young superhero.

The series combines dynamic and often brutal action sequences with emotional depth, creating a compelling narrative that both embraces and subverts traditional superhero tropes. With its detailed animation style and mature storytelling, “Invincible” offers a complex and gripping exploration of power, responsibility, and identity.

26. The Venture Bros

The Venture Bros

“The Venture Bros” is an animated series that serves as a deconstruction and satire of classic adventure cartoons and comic books. The show follows the often-failed exploits of the Venture family, which includes insecure super-scientist Dr. Thaddeus “Rusty” Venture, his earnest but naive sons Hank and Dean, and their gruff bodyguard, Brock Samson.

With its complex character development, dark humor, and intricate storylines, “The Venture Bros” brilliantly subverts and parodies the adventure genre tropes. Its unique blend of action, comedy, dramatic undertones, strong voice cast, and striking animation make it a memorable entry in adult animation.

27. Regular Show

Regular Show

While “Regular Show” initially comes across as a children’s cartoon, its surrealist humor, mature themes, and nostalgic references to 1980s and 1990s pop culture have endeared it to adult viewers. The series revolves around the exploits of Mordecai, a blue jay, and Rigby, a raccoon, who turn their everyday tasks at a local park into extraordinary adventures.

The show seamlessly combines slice-of-life elements with surreal and often absurd scenarios, creating a unique and entertaining viewing experience that resonates with audiences of all ages.

28. Harley Quinn

Harley Quinn

“Harley Quinn” is an animated series that offers a bold, irreverent take on the iconic D.C. Comics character. The show follows Harley after she breaks up with the Joker and strikes out on her own, aiming to become the Queenpin of Gotham City.

With its dark humor, graphic violence, and character-driven narratives, “Harley Quinn” is a brilliant exploration of villainy, friendship, and personal growth. The series’ distinctive animation style, witty dialogue, and complex characters offer a fresh and exciting perspective on the superhero genre.

29. Samurai Jack

Samurai Jack

“Samurai Jack” is an animated series that masterfully blends action, fantasy, and philosophy. The show follows a samurai prince, known only as Jack, who is sent to a dystopian future by the evil demon Aku. Each episode presents Jack’s quest to return to his time, showcasing epic battles, existential quandaries, and a variety of animation styles.

Known for its minimalist dialogue, visual storytelling, and cinematic scope, “Samurai Jack” offers a unique viewing experience that appeals to both action lovers and those who appreciate deeper thematic exploration.

30. The Boondocks

The Boondocks

“The Boondocks” is an animated series known for its sharp social commentary and satirical humor. Based on Aaron McGruder’s comic strip, the show follows the adventures of the Freeman family in the predominantly white suburb of Woodcrest.

“The Boondocks” blends biting satire, anime-inspired animation, and insightful race, culture, and politics commentary. Despite its often-controversial approach, the series provides a thought-provoking and often hilarious examination of American society through the lens of its memorable characters.

31. Steven Universe

Steven Universe

“Steven Universe” is a groundbreaking animated series that effortlessly balances fantasy, adventure, and emotionally nuanced storytelling. The show follows the life of Steven Universe, a boy who lives with the ‘Crystal Gems’ – Pearl, Garnet, and Amethyst, three magical alien guardians who protect Earth.

While Steven goes on fantastical adventures, the series equally focuses on his coming-of-age story, dealing with relatable issues like love, identity, and self-acceptance. Known for its vibrant animation, compelling characters, and innovative handling of mature themes, “Steven Universe” is a multi-layered show that appeals to viewers of all ages.

32. Metalocalypse

Metalocalypse

“Metalocalypse” is a show that combines the worlds of heavy metal and animated comedy. The series follows Dethklok, a fictional band considered to be the most successful and powerful in the world. Despite their enormous fame, the band members are often incompetent in dealing with their everyday lives.

With its blend of dark humor, brutal violence, and affectionate parody of the metal genre, “Metalocalypse” offers a unique and hilarious viewing experience. Its detailed animation style and engaging plotlines make it a standout show in adult cartoons.

33. Clone High

Clone High

“Clone High” is an animated sitcom that offers a unique twist on the high school genre. The series is set at a high school populated by clones of historical figures like Abraham Lincoln, Joan of Arc, and Gandhi, who deal with typical teen issues.

Known for its clever humor, satirical take on high school dramas, and commentary on social issues, “Clone High” is a refreshing and inventive addition to the world of adult animation. Its distinct animation style, memorable characters, and balance of humor and emotional depth make it a must-watch series.

34. Aqua Teen Hunger Force

Aqua Teen Hunger Force

“Aqua Teen Hunger Force” is an adult animated series known for its surreal humor and unconventional plotlines. The show revolves around three anthropomorphic fast food items: Master Shake, Frylock, and Meatwad, who live together in a suburban area in South Jersey.

Episodes often feature bizarre scenarios, from encounters with monsters to surreal adventures. Despite its seemingly nonsensical premise, “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” delivers unique humor and unexpected narrative twists, making it a cult favorite among adult animation fans.

35. Beavis and Butt-head

Beavis and Butt-head

“Beavis and Butt-head” is an iconic animated sitcom known for its distinctive humor and satirical take on youth culture. The series follows the misadventures of two socially awkward, heavy metal-loving teenagers, Beavis and Butt-head.

Their antics, often resulting from their lack of social judgment, are humorously contrasted with their insightful commentary on music videos. The simplistic animation style, character-driven humor, and biting social satire make “Beavis and Butt-head” a memorable and influential series in adult animation.

36. King of the Hill

King of the Hill

“King of the Hill” is an animated sitcom that humorously captures the everyday life of the Hill family in the fictional town of Arlen, Texas. With its nuanced characters, clever humor, and subtle social commentary, the series provides a heartfelt and often hilarious portrayal of small-town life. Hank Hill, the family’s patriarch, is a hardworking propane salesman who embodies traditional American values.

The series’ strength lies in its detailed depiction of relatable characters and situations, making it a standout in adult animation. It offers a unique blend of down-to-earth humor and poignant moments that resonate with viewers, showcasing the beauty in the mundane aspects of life.

37. Happy Tree Friends

Happy Tree Friends

“Happy Tree Friends” is an animated series known for juxtaposing cute animal characters with graphic violence. The show’s cutesy, brightly colored characters engage in innocent activities that invariably escalate into disastrous, often gory results.

This stark contrast between the adorable aesthetics and the unexpected violence lends “Happy Tree Friends” its unique, darkly comic appeal. Although not for the faint-hearted, the series’ subversive humor, creative scenarios, and unpredictability make it a distinct entry into the realm of adult cartoons.

38. The Ren & Stimpy Show

The Ren & Stimpy Show

“The Ren & Stimpy Show” is an animated series that broke the mold with its bizarre humor, surreal animation style, and controversial themes. The series follows the misadventures of the emotionally unstable chihuahua Ren and the dimwitted cat Stimpy.

Known for its gross-out humor, disturbing imagery, and absurd scenarios, “The Ren & Stimpy Show” was a trailblazer in adult-oriented animation. Despite its controversial nature, the series’ innovative animation and unique comedic approach have made it a cult classic and a significant influence on later adult cartoons.

39. Trailer Park Boys Animated Series

Trailer Park Boys Animated Series

The “Trailer Park Boys Animated Series” continues the original live-action show, following the misadventures of Ricky, Julian, and Bubbles in their trailer park home. Transitioning to animation pushes the series’s absurd humor and bizarre scenarios even further.

While maintaining the charm and humor of the original series, the animated format introduces surreal elements and exaggerated antics that create a unique, entertaining experience. The series blends crude humor, lovable characters, and outlandish situations, making it a fun addition to the adult animation genre.

40. Robot Chicken

Robot Chicken

“Robot Chicken” is an animated series with its unique stop-motion animation style and rapid-fire, sketch comedy format. The series parodies various pop culture topics, from movies and T.V. shows to video games and celebrity culture.

With its irreverent humor, creative animation, and quick, punchy sketches, “Robot Chicken” offers a fun and often absurd viewing experience. Its ability to consistently surprise and entertain viewers with its imaginative scenarios while providing sharp social commentary makes it a standout in adult animation.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the world of adult animation is as diverse and engaging as any live-action medium. From the relatable humor of “King of the Hill” to the surreal adventures in “Rick & Morty,” each show offers unique storytelling, compelling characters, and a distinctive artistic vision.

The mature themes and innovative narrative styles highlight the versatility of animation as a medium, challenging the notion that cartoons are exclusively for children. Whether you’re seeking biting satire, emotional depth, or a good laugh, an adult cartoon perfectly suits your taste, proving that animation knows no age limit.