Watchworthy

The Best Kids Shows Grown-Ups Should Be Watching 

Amanda Tullos
Updated July 1, 2020 4.9k votes 1.1k voters 29.5k views 18 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.
Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
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.

Do adults enjoy this?

More Gravity Falls 

‘Gravity Falls’ Fan Theories That Make Us Wish The Show Never Ended #115 of 375 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #35 of 482 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made

Where to watch
Regular Show is listed (or ranked) 2 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.

Do adults enjoy this?

More Regular Show 

16 Times Regular Show Spoke to Your Post Collegiate Malaise #611 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #95 of 482 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made

Where to watch
Adventure Time is listed (or ranked) 3 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.

Do adults enjoy this?

More Adventure Time 

Small Details Fans Noticed In 'Adventure Time' That Made Us Say 'Oh My Glob!' #512 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watchlisted on Longest Running Animated Series

Where to watch
Steven Universe is listed (or ranked) 4 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.

Do adults enjoy this?

More Steven Universe 

Totally Possible Steven Universe Fan Theories #106 of 482 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made #100 of 728 The Best Cartoons of All Time

Where to watch