The 8 Best Adult Swim Shows, Ranked

By day, Cartoon Network is still the kid-friendly animation powerhouse it’s always been. When this channel goes to sleep, Adult Swim comes out to play. This late-night block of programming is for those who grew up with 90s and 2000s cartoons, bringing out the next step in the channel’s bizarre evolution. He also helped bring some of the best new forms of television of the last 20 years.

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Their shows offer a unique brand of dark humor, leaning heavily on the weird, the surreal, the existential and even the disturbing. They brought us colorful characters, hilarious comedy, and genuinely harrowing, reality-questioning content. Many of them garnered both strong controversy and a loyal cult fanbase that thrives to this day as the channel has grown.

Space Ghost: Coast to Coast

space ghost

Hanna-Barbera’s legendary superhero becomes the space ghost host with the most, with the help of former enemies – the leader of the house group Zorak and the director Moltar. Using both animation from the original series and live footage of real-life celebrities, Space Ghost interviews various guests, often addressing his crew’s disruptions and his general misunderstanding of the nature and careers of his guests.

Although this show originally started on Cartoon Network, it set the stage for things to come. It eventually moved on to a quirky premise and surreal, outlandish, but somewhat subdued humor.


Your pretty face is going to hell

Hell Gary

Gary is a demon. All he wants to do is fulfill his quota: put certain humans on the path to eternal damnation. The problem is that he’s not the smartest or baddest demon of the bunch, which leads to questionable results and literal hot water.

The show offers a fun re-examination of hell as a daily workplace filled with demons just trying to do their jobs (usually failing) and Satan as a senior manager who delights in putting his employees in difficult situations. . It acts like a typical working comedy in many ways, which makes it even funnier when the violent and horrifying subject matter deliciously undermines it.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force

strength of hunger

A little like Space Ghost: Coast to Coast, it started on Cartoon Network but soon moved to Adult Swim to become the face of the network’s early years. The Hunger Force is made up of three sentient fast food products – Meatwad, Master Shake and Frylock – all living together in a New Jersey (or Seattle) apartment. The trio often engage in antics and misadventures while dealing with their enemies and allies – including neighbor Carl Brutananadilewski, the Mooninites, the Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past from the Future, and Dr. Weird.

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The trio themselves are a delightfully mismatched bunch, from Master Shake being a shameless narcissist, Frylock being the exasperated “straight man”, to Meatwad being childishly naive. Nonetheless, these three became one of the most recognizable teams in cartoon history and helped make this show the cult powerhouse it has become.

The Eric André show

Eric Andre

It can create a surprisingly strong debate about whether the most surreal person to ever host a talk show is Space Ghost or Eric Andre. Indeed, the famous comedian brings a particular brand of zaniness to his talk show part; part sketch show, part surreal art.

With his co-host, Annibale Buress, he speaks with many celebrities, often pranking them in crude, terrifying, and downright bizarre ways. Andre often flips the switch on the big picture almost as quickly as he built the setup, resulting in a viewing experience where you never quite know what to expect.

Smiling friends

Smiling friends

This series is one of the newest among the channel’s lineup, but that hasn’t stopped it from proving to be a huge hit. Charlie and Pim work together at the charity Smiling Friends, helping people with their problems, which is easier said than done in this world filled with deep, weird personalities, appearances or general problems. strange.

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The show is mostly 2D animation, mixed with a bit of stop-motion, live-action, and other forms of animation. Of course, aside from its typically surreal nature, the show brings together delightfully charming characters who genuinely care about each other and want to make people happy. No matter how absurd it all gets, That’s what Smiling friends is all about.

The Boondocks


Ranked among the most controversial anime series in history, The Boondocks revolves around two black children living with their grandfather in Woodcrest, Illinois. Based on the comic of the same name, it largely deals with African American life in the 2000s, each character’s relationship to their culture, and how they fit into the world around them. .

Indeed, much of the show’s social/political criticism and general vulgar attitude has made it a talking point among critics and audiences alike. As a result, he became one of the most well-known adult animated shows of the past 20 years.

Robot Chicken

Robot Chicken

seth green and Matthew Senrich are the minds behind perhaps the most unique sketch show in recent memory. Robot Chicken is an animated stop-motion animated series featuring action figures and plush toys from famous movies, TV shows and video games. It seems to have made it its mission to sully every entertainment brand currently in circulation today. Name an IP, and there’s a good chance Robot Chicken sketched it.

Each episode ends with the intro, the story of a mad scientist turning a roadkill chicken into a robot. He then forces the robot chicken (get it?) to watch dozens of sketches, lasting from 10 seconds to 9 minutes.

rick and morty

rick and morty

It just might be the crown jewel of Adult Swim, garnering more mainstream response from critics and audiences seen on the channel for years. rick and morty revolves around the titular duo of alcoholic, aggravated and depressed scientist Rick Sanchez and his anxious and far more moral grandson Morty.

The show deals with Rick and Morty’s adventures on alien planets and other dimensions while dealing with the complex their family relationships – including dissatisfied mother Beth, insecure father Jerry and apathetic daughter Summer. This modern classic combines fast-paced, absurd humor and existential dread in a beautifully unpredictable package.

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