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15 Criminally Underrated Adult Cartoons That Deserve More Recognition

Updated June 2, 2020 8.8k votes 1.4k voters 25.6k views15 items

There are so many great adult cartoons out there, but many of the lesser popular ones are often overshadowed by big shows like South Park and Bob's Burgers. Many of the shows you forgot about are often the most underrated adult cartoons. Whether the show was older, short-lived, or quickly replaced by a new show, they are all underrated for one reason or another.

All of these underrated shows had great qualities to them, but they never truly got their chance in the spotlight. Adult cartoons are full of a wide variety of unusual concepts, many of which people either love or can't stand. Sometimes, these shows just don't have the right audience for their time, and they often get low ratings despite having a large fan base. So, here are some of the most underrated adult animation shows out there. All of them deserve more recognition than they got.

  • Mission Hill is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 15 Criminally Underrated Adult Cartoons That Deserve More Recognition
    Photo: Adult Swim

    Andy French in Mission Hill is a 24-year-old aspiring cartoonist. He's been in a post-college slump for the past 3 years, which means he has difficulties finding a girlfriend or holding a job. His nerdy teenage brother, Kevin, ends up moving in with Andy and his long-term friend, Jim. The three unlikely roommates have to learn to deal with each other as they come across many peculiar situations throughout the show. 

    From 1999 to 2000, Mission Hill was aired on the WB, but it later switched to Adult Swim in 2002. The creators initially planned for the show to have 18 episodes, but it ended up getting cut short with only 13 episodes due to poor ratings. While it was created by Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein, former executive producers of The Simpsons, it never gained enough popularity because of its short run.

    Totally underrated?
  • The Oblongs is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 15 Criminally Underrated Adult Cartoons That Deserve More Recognition
    Photo: Adult Swim

    The Oblongs was a very short-lived show that only had 13 episodes from 2001 to 2002. It first premiered on The WB, but it was removed before the last 5 episodes even aired. So, Adult Swim later picked it up and aired the final episodes. Due to its short time on air, it was easily forgotten despite having big names like Will Ferrell in it. 

    Bob, Pickles, Biff, Milo, Beth, and Grammy make up the Oblong family. They all live together in a valley that's consumed by pollution and radiation, which is what causes all 6 of the characters to be disabled and deformed. All the waste is caused by the rich people that live above the Oblongs' home. Therefore, the show was brilliant not only due to its unusual humor, but also because of its commentary on social situations. 

    Totally underrated?
  • Metalocalypse is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 15 Criminally Underrated Adult Cartoons That Deserve More Recognition
    Photo: Adult Swim

    From 2006 to 2013, Metalocalypse ran on Adult Swim. Comedian Brendon Small helped create this unique show, but it didn't have the same popularity as other popular adult cartoons at the time. Initially, Small hoped to continue the show for at least one more season, but his plans were not approved.

    The show was about a death metal band that went by the name Dethklok. The band was made of 5 members: Nathan Explosion, Skwisgaar Skwigelf, Pickles, William Murderface, and Toki Wartoot. The series had a lot of dark content for a comedy, and it covered topics such as death, violence, and the negative sides of fame. Therefore, the dark humor of the show wasn't for everyone.

    Totally underrated?
  • Sealab 2021 is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 15 Criminally Underrated Adult Cartoons That Deserve More Recognition
    Photo: Adult Swim

    You might recognize the characters from this show because they're originally from an old Hanna-Barbera cartoon called Sealab 2020. Unlike this adult cartoon, Sealab 2020 was an educational show from 1972 that taught viewers about the environment. However, Sealab 2021 used the old animation, but changed it so that all the characters were insane. For example, Captain Hazel is the leader of the crew, yet his conception of reality is a bit fuzzy. Also, Lieutenant Jodene Sparks always travels around in an office chair, not because he's disabled, but just because he's lazy.

    This entertaing show ran on Adult Swim from 2001 to 2005. The concept was unlike anything that had ever been done before, which is likely why so many viewers were interested in it. However, it's often forgotten because it was overshadowed by Aqua Teen Hunger Force, which came out around the same time.

    Totally underrated?
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