The Best Kids Shows Grown-Ups Should Be Watching

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
    921 VOTES
    Gravity Falls
    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.

  • 2
    675 VOTES
    Adventure Time
    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.

  • 3
    583 VOTES

    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.

  • 4
    312 VOTES
    Samurai Jack
    Photo: Warner Bros. Television Distribution

    Samurais and sci-fi, two more adult-oriented themes, combine with Cartoon Network's distinctive animation in the form of Samurai Jack. Popular enough that the network rebooted it again in 2017, Samurai Jack utilized simple but beautiful visuals to tell a story that falls a bit on the mature side of what you typically expect from kids shows. Its sophisticated look combined with a genuinely captivating tale of a feudal samurai stuck in the distant future makes Samurai Jack a show anyone can appreciate.