9 Animated Shows On Netflix That Adults Will Love

Because you’re never too old for cartoons.

by Mary Kate McGrath
Originally Published: 

Many '90s kids grew up watching cartoons and eating sugary cereal on Saturday mornings. Those days may be over, but you that doesn’t mean you have to stop watching cartoons. There are plenty of animated shows on Netflix that adults will love. These series expertly combine the whimsy of the cartoons you grew up on with adult themes in ways that will both transport you back to your childhood and feed your desire for well-crafted and more mature shows.

Animated series for adults have been popular for years — after all, The Simpsons is the longest running scripted series in primetime TV history. And over time, cartoons has only risen in popularity, with shows like Rick and Morty, Futurama, and Avatar: The Last Airbender finding success and inspiring passionate fanbases. Streaming has also helped create opportunities for more cartoons to cross over into the mainstream. Netflix has produced a number of critically-acclaimed original animated series, like BoJack Horseman; funny cartoons, like Big Mouth; as well as become a streaming home for popular anime, like Haikyu!!.

The options for adults who love animated series are pretty much unlimited for anyone with a Netflix subscription. But here are the nine series we think are worth adding to the top of your “to watch” pile.


Big Mouth

Big Mouth is the hilarious, filthy brainchild of comedians Nick Kroll and Andrew Goldberg. The show depicts puberty in all of its glorious awkwardness, and many viewers have fallen in love with the delightfully crass comedy. As an added bonus, several familiar and funny actors lend their voices to the show, including Jordan Peele, John Mulaney, Maya Rudolph, and Jessi Klein.



The Simpsons and Futurama producer Matt Groening created this fantasy series for Netflix. The show takes place in Dreamland, and follows the partying princess Bean and her pals, the elf Elfo and demon Luci. Together, the trio must overcome challenges as they encounter ogres, sprites, imps, and trolls.


Neo Yokio

This Netflix Original follows Kaz Kaan, a high-society demon slayer who navigates life in Neo Yokio with his friends, Yoko and Gottlieb, all while trying to avoid his nemesis, Arcangelo Corelli. Created by Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig, the show’s voice cast includes Jaden Smith, Jude Law, Susan Sarandon, Tavi Gevinson, Jason Schwartzman, and The Kid Mero and Desus Nice.


BoJack Horseman

This popular series follows a failed '90s sitcom actor who is disillusioned and self-loathing. Also, he's a horse. Many people have connected with the series over the course of its six-season run, thanks to its smart depictions of mental health, addiction, and sexuality.



This feel-good sports anime is about so much more than volleyball while also being only about volleyball. Following an underdog high school team with big ambitions, Haikyu!! rarely shows characters lives or interests outside of practice or games. But watching these boys learn how to work as a team and explore and expand their individual limits is some of the most heartwarming and heart-pounding television we’ve seen. —Sadie Gennis


Avatar: the Last Airbender

This show may not have been made for adults, but that doesn't mean that fans of all ages can't enjoy this animated series. The show follows four nations — the Water Tribe, the Earth Kingdom, the Fire Nation, and the Air Nomads — in which citizens of each are masters of their elements. Aang, a long lost Airbender, teams up with Katara and Sokka to master all of the elements and defeat the Fire Nation. There's a reason this show still has a cult following after all these years later; it's a magical and entertaining adventure for all ages.


Tuca & Bertie

Tiffany Haddish and Ali Wong star in this animated sitcom about the joys of friendship between two female bird-women. The series is surreal, whimsical, and filled with madcap delights, while also exploring the anxieties and traumas that many face in their thirties. While we may never forgive Netflix for canceling Tuca & Bertie after one season, we can rest easy knowing it will continue on Adult Swim. So catch up now and prepare to become obsessed. —Sadie Gennis


Hero Mask

In this biotechnological universe, London prosecutor Sarah Sinclair teams up with elite detective James Blood to uncover a conspiracy involving his nemesis, who was long thought to be dead. The show is perfect for any fan of sleuth series and sci-fi, as the central mystery involves the creation of bio-masks.


Super Drags

For fans of RuPaul's Drag Race, a few of the voices on this new animated series will sound familiar. Trixie Mattel, Ginger Minj, and Shangela lend their voices to the English dub of this Portuguese series about three co-workers who lead double lives as superhero drag queens. The series tackles timely political commentary while also serving up adults-only humor.

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