Culture The Best Kids Shows Grown-Ups Should Be Watching  

Amanda Tullos
2.1k votes 473 voters 11.9k views 14 items

List Rules Vote up the television series for children that adults can enjoy too.

What makes a children's program stand out is when it can be enjoyed equally by both children and adults. A smart series offers kid-friendly storylines and humor that entertain the younger audience while also capturing the minds of the older audience.

Because parents are likely to watch along with their kids, it really does matter if the program appeals to adults, too. Not only does it make the viewing experience more enjoyable, but kids shows can bring older viewers back to an imaginative, joyous time in their life. And who doesn't want to feel like a kid again?

There are tons of cartoons and live-action series to choose from on TV today. To help you turn back time and pick the best shows to watch, we've gathered a list of some of the best current kids shows that grown-ups should be watching.
1 274 VOTES

Gravity Falls


Gravity Falls is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Kids Shows Grown-Ups Should Be Watching
Photo: Disney-ABC Domestic Television

Gravity Falls ended after only three seasons, but the series continues to gain followers as people pick up on its clever premise. The show follows twins Dipper and Mabel as they spend the summer with their Grunkle Stan in the mysterious town of Gravity Falls.

The series falls somewhere between Twin Peaks and The X-Files, but appropriate for kids. For every kid-friendly joke or pun, there are smarter, subtle laughs adults appreciate too. Furthermore, Gravity Falls boasts genuinely creepy moments to scare the kids, and heartwarming moments the entire family can enjoy together.

Also Ranked

#39 on The Best Cartoons of All Time

#31 on The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made

#46 on The Best Adult Cartoon Shows in TV History

#34 on The Greatest Cartoon Theme Songs of All Time

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2 220 VOTES

Adventure Time


Adventure Time is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Kids Shows Grown-Ups Should Be Watching
Photo: Warner Bros. Television Distribution

Adventure Time takes place in a magical realm and involves a boy and his magical dog - who can shapeshift. The characters live in a post-apocalyptic world called Land of Ooo, where strange and mysterious happenings frequently occur to the surprise of virtually none of Ooo's denizens. The absurdities of the show, from the Korean-speaking Rainicorn to catastrophes solved by simple algebra, provide entertainment for children and humor for adults.

Plus, anyone of any age can find humor in Lumpy Space Princess.

Also Ranked

#32 on The Best Cartoons of All Time

#76 on The Best Shows Currently on the Air

#32 on The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made

#41 on The Best TV Shows Streaming On Hulu

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3 100 VOTES

Steven Universe


Steven Universe is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Kids Shows Grown-Ups Should Be Watching
Photo: Cartoon Network

A show with an entirely original backstory, Steven Universe features characters, animations, and subject matters you rarely see in kids shows, or really any TV shows at all. In the world of Steven Universe, a group of heroes called Gems keep the world safe from attack; the titular Steven, a half-human, half-Gem boy, helps to keep the peace alongside other Gems. The show draws much acclaim for not only its unique premise but also its takes on sexuality and gender, both of which are explored deeply in this show. In doing so, it teaches kids about concepts such as gender fluidity and sexual orientation without judgment, concepts that even parents could learn a thing or two from.

Also Ranked

#89 on The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made

#59 on Sci-Fi Shows You Should Be Watching Now

#81 on The Best Adult Cartoon Shows in TV History

#97 on The Greatest Cartoon Theme Songs of All Time

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4 179 VOTES

Regular Show


Regular Show is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Kids Shows Grown-Ups Should Be Watching
Photo: Warner Bros. Television Distribution

This Cartoon Network series follows friends Mordecai and Rigby, a bluejay and a raccoon who work as groundskeepers in a local park. The characters, all 20-something-year-old slackers, will do anything to avoid fulfilling their jobs. Because of this, many other 20-something adults can relate!

Mordecai and Rigby often get entangled in misadventures with their friends, which include a ghost and a man with a lollipop head. The unorthodox pairing of characters makes for a bizarre viewing experience, albeit one that works. Kids remain unfazed by talking birds and candies and are just here for the adventures, but parents find entertainment in watching these strange events unfold.

Also Ranked

#90 on The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made

#25 on The Best Adult Cartoon Shows in TV History

#77 on The Best TV Spinoffs

#8 on The Best Children's Cartoons with Adult Humor

103 76
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