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Top 10 Cartoon Shows of the 2010s

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Nick Spake. If you think quality animated programing died out in the ‘90s and early-2000s, you’re either getting old or you’re being a big baby. Join as we count down our picks for the top 10 cartoons shows of the 2010s. For this list, we’re taking a look at the game-changing cartoons that premiered or peaked in popularity between 2010 and 2015. However, we’re excluding anime. Special thanks to our users EirictheMammoth, Francis FNT and Brendan Sanville for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by Nick Spake.

Top 10 Cartoon Shows of the 2010s

If you think quality animated programing died out in the ‘90s and early-2000s, you’re either getting old or you’re being a big baby. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 cartoons shows of the 2010s.

For this list, we’re taking a look at the game-changing cartoons that premiered or peaked in popularity between 2010 and 2015. However, we’re excluding anime.

#10: “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” (2010-13)

Much like in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” established each major character with their own individual episode. After a big prison breakout, though, Iron Man, Thor, Wasp and others assemble for a superhero team-up of epic proportions. “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” could’ve just been a cheap cartoon tie-in for 2012’s live-action “Avengers” movie, but Marvel produced a sophisticated series that was true to its comic book roots, skillfully animated, and action-packed in all the right ways. So naturally Disney cancelled it after only two seasons…go figure…

#9: “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (2012-)

You’d think with two long-running cartoon shows already under their belt, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise would be officially exhausted. Yet, the new Nickelodeon reboot has taken all the best parts of previous incarnations to fashion what may be the franchise’s most impressive outing ever. The showrunners have worked in a number of their own inspired signatures too, including some Beauty and the Beast-style romance, ongoing parodies, morals that never feel forced, brilliant twists and unique animation, not to mention the catchiest rendition of the classic theme song you’ll ever hear.

#8: “Rick and Morty” (2013-)

If you took the inventiveness of “Doctor Who,” the characters of “Back to the Future,” and the meta humor of “Community,” you’d get “Rick and Morty.” Although the series is still young, Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland have created a universe where the possibilities are limitless, both in terms of sci-fi and comedy. The belching Rick and neurotic Morty’s adventures can take them anywhere, from foreign planets, to inside dreams, to the multiverse’s countless different realities. Wherever they go, we can’t wait to go along for another ride.

#7: “Regular Show” (2010-)

Any slacker who’s ever held a boring job will likely appreciate the off-the-wall lunacy of “Regular Show.” Centered on a Blue Jay named Mordecai and raccoon named Rigby, “Regular Show” always starts off with an everyday work-related scenario. Whether Mordecai and Rigby are setting up chairs or making hot dogs, they somehow always end up on wild misadventures involving mystical settings and beings. Funny and bizarre, the series demonstrates that excitement can be found even at the most tedious of jobs – especially if you have a good friend by your side.

#6: “Phineas and Ferb” (2007-)

Growing up, every kid likely dreamed of spending their summer vacations building rollercoasters in their backyards and traveling around the world. Chances are that you just ended up staying inside watching TV, though. “Phineas and Ferb” takes all of our summer daydreams and turns them into reality, encouraging kids everywhere to make the most of their free time through the tool of imagination. It does so with appealing candy colors, joyous music, and timeless characters. Oh, and there’s also a mad scientist and secret agent platypus, which are both awesome.

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

You wouldn’t think that a “My Little Pony” reboot would be anything more than a way to cash-in on another ‘80s cartoon. In a completely unpredictable twist of fate, however, “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” has helped to break down gender barriers. Although some view it as the quintessential girly franchise, “Friendship is Magic” has proven as popular or even more so with self-proclaimed Bronies than the little girls it’s marketed to. Cutesiness aside, the show’s crossover appeal isn’t all that surprising considering its individualist characters, intricate story, and sincerity.

#4: “Archer” (2009-)

While on the surface “Archer” might look like a comedy about spies, it’s actually a comedy about great characters. Animated or not, Adam Reed’s show has evolved into one of TV’s finest ensemble pieces of egomaniacs, psychopaths, sociopaths, and Cokey Monsters. It doesn’t even matter what the setting or premise is. As long as any of these characters are involved, the dialogue’s bound to be exceptionally crafted, the callbacks will be some of the sharpest since “Arrested Development,” and of course the voice actors will play off each other perfectly.

#3: “Gravity Falls” (2012-)

Let’s pretend this never made WatchMojo’s “Top 10 Hated Disney Animated Shows” list and appreciate “Gravity Falls” for the revelation in creativity it is. Earning comparisons to shows like “Lost,” “Twin Peaks” and “The Twilight Zone,” creator Alex Hirsch has fashioned one of the funniest and most addictive paranormal shows of all time, as well as one of the best stories ever told about a brother and sister. With numerous jokes and foreshadowing clues hidden in every frame, you’ll want to watch each “Gravity Falls” episode multiple times to catch them all.

#2: “The Legend of Korra” (2012-14)

The world of “Avatar: The Last Airbender” was far too sensational to restrict to three seasons of television. On par with the lore of franchises like “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter,” this universe had to be expanded upon. Enter “The Legend of Korra,” a marvelous follow-up set 70 years after the original series. Though it’s considered by some to be not as tightly written as “Avatar,” “The Legend of Korra” is a more than worthy successor with adult themes, breathtaking animation, fun new characters, clever callbacks, and inspired ideas. Best of all, M. Night Shyamalan wasn’t involved at all.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Bob’s Burgers” (2011-)
- “Teen Titans Go! “ (2013-)
- “Transformers: Prime” (2010-13)
- “Young Justice” (2010-13)
- “The Amazing World of Gumball” (2011-)

#1: “Adventure Time” (2010-)

After several seasons on the air, most shows eventually settle into a predictable groove. With “Adventure Time,” however, people never know what to expect whenever they tune in. Will we get a surreal episode, a laugh-out-loud funny episode, an emotional episode, an epic episode, or an episode changes everything we know about the characters we’ve come to adore? Whatever “Adventure Time” aspires to do, it almost always hits a bull’s-eye with its one-of-a-kind animation style, ingenious plotting, and endless creativity, transcending all the standard storytelling conventions we’re used to seeing.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite cartoon show of the 2010s? For more entertaining Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to

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