Top 10 Kids' Shows That Adults Enjoy

Script written by Tiffany Ezuma. Think you’re too old for cartoons? We’ll see about that! For this list, we’ve picked shows that were targeted at kids but gained an adult following as well. That’s why we’re excluding those that were targeted at adults, like “The Muppet Show.” Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 kids’ shows that adults enjoy. Special thanks to our users Andy Roehl, kerry collins, vinyl scratch, nicholaswstephan, Juan Carlos Diaz Platas and Zachary Forest for submitting the idea on our Suggest Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Tiffany Ezuma.

Think you’re too old for cartoons? We’ll see about that! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 kids’ shows that adults enjoy.

For this list, we’ve picked shows that were targeted at kids but gained an adult following as well. That’s why we’re excluding those that were targeted at adults, like “The Muppet Show.”

#10: “Dexter’s Laboratory” (1996-2003)

Evil geniuses always make for good subjects, especially when they’re justkids. Dexter is an elementary school-aged scientist that speaks with some kind of pretentious accent, the origins of which are unknown. His lab is secret but his dumb sister Dee Dee often finds a way to break in and mess up his inventions. The show is fun and has many quirks, including an episode that was banned for its use of censored swearing.

#9: “Pokémon” (1997-)

Pokémon were everywhere when they first came out: the anime series captured the attention of millions as it told the story of Ash, a ten-year-old training to be a Pokémon Master. Along the way to defeating all the Leagues, Ash meets numerous Pokémon and tries to live up to the phrase, “gotta catch’em all.” The show is the longest running series on our list, with no imminent end in sight.

#8: “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” (2010-)

The cutest of the cute, “My Little Pony” is a cultural phenomenon that keeps reinventing itself with each new generation. The current show is a re-boot of earlier series and centers on several Little Ponies living in Ponyville, each of which represent aspects of friendship and the Elements of Harmony. The show has gained a cult following among adult males, who’ve adopted the term “bronies” as the name of their fandom. The bronies especially love the show for its animation, themes, and prevalence as meme-tastic elements.

#7: “Phineas and Ferb” (2007-)

Disney proved it still knows a thing or two about animated series with this show. “Phineas and Ferb” takes the problem of finding things to do during summer vacation and turns it into an exciting, music-filled adventure. Every episode sees its title characters come up with new ways to cure their boredom and annoy their sister Candace. The show’s humor often has double-meanings, with many jokes and references being aimed at adults. It’s also the Disney Channel’s longest running animated series.

#6: “The Transformers” (1984-87)

Who doesn’t want a transformer? This futuristic sci-fi show depicted the battle between giant robots that could change into cars, among other things. There were two camps of Transformers: the good guys being Optimus Prime’s Autobots and the villains being Megatron’s Decepticons. The show was high action and fast-paced and spawned an animated feature film, multiple spin-offs and the popular 21st century live action film series, and made fanboys for life.

#5: “Adventure Time” (2010-)

After being featured as a short in the “Random! Cartoons” series, “Adventure Time” hit it big on the Net and turned into a Cartoon Network series. With each episode running about eleven minutes long, the adventures of Finn and Jake in the Land of Ooo are silly, imaginative, and funny, all which makes it hard to turn off. With an average viewership between 2 and 3 million people per episode, it’s also one of the channel’s highest rated shows – and its’ easy to see why.

#4: “SpongeBob SquarePants” (1999-)

There’s just something appealing about SpongeBob. The show follows the sponge in his day-to-day life in Bikini Bottom while he works at the Krusty Krab and hangs out with friends Patrick Star, Sandy Cheeks, and his pet snail Gary. Spongebob’s slightly annoying laugh hasn’t stopped viewers from tuning in, as evidenced by the fact that he’s now the center of an $8 billion media franchise for Nickelodeon. Meanwhile, many celebrity fans have also made guest appearances, bolstering the show’s exposure and popularity.

#3: “Batman: The Animated Series” (1992-95)

This show took the popular DC comics superhero and followed his adventures in Gotham City. With its film noir style and its complex storylines, this take on the caped crusader was darker than other cartoons, which helped attract older viewers. The animation techniques even came with a nickname, “Dark Deco,” as a nod to its vintage style. Critics were so enamored by it that “Batman: The Animated Series” won multiple Emmys during its run.

#2: “Avatar: The Last Airbender” (2005-08)

It’s not often a cartoon is as critically acclaimed as this one, but “Avatar” was exceptional. After a century frozen in ice, Aang is the last of his kind and the long lost Avatar. Uniquely able to bend all three elements, he and his new friends must fight to free the world from the oppressive Fire Nation. Appealing to the youth it targeted as well as adults thanks to masterful storytelling, beloved characters, and seamless shifts between drama, comedy, and action; this series ran for three successful seasons. Just ignore the M. Night Shyamalan movie!

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Animaniacs” (1993-98)
- “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse” (1986-90)
- “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” (1993- 95)
- “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (1987-96)
- “G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero” (1983-1986)

#1: “Looney Tunes” (1930-69)

Who doesn’t love Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird, and the rest of the gang? Exactly. Produced during the golden age of American animation, “Looney Tunes” went from being a simple kid’s show to a cultural phenomenon. The comedic shorts were generally 6-10 minutes in length and focused on the hi-jinx of this lovable cast of critters, creating some of the most famous cartoon characters today. While winning several Oscars and generating multiple TV and movie spin-offs, it’s also ingrained itself in pop culture forever.
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