Ahhhhh, cartoons. Could there be anything better than laying on the sofa at the weekend after a long weekend of work/school, with a mug of tea or hot chocolate in hand, still in your dressing gown, watching a few cartoons? (Or, more likely, a whole day’s worth of cartoons?) Answer: nope. We all have our favorite cartoons, but have you ever wondered what everyone else thinks? Take a look at the best cartoons of all time – ranked in order of epicness.
35. Adventure Time
There’s not one episode of Adventure Time where we’ve thought, ‘nah, this isn’t for us.’ Each episode is expertly crafted, and we’re just so jealous of the lives Finn and Jake the Dog lead. I mean, what could be better than protecting the Land of Ooo from all of its enemies and foes? Answer: There’s nothing better than that.
The ‘90s was a time where Tv channels were dominated by cartoon after cartoon. But X-men stood out. The show ran from 1992 until 1997 and truly got into the spirit of the original comics. And you know what was even better? They brought in so many of the best characters. Sure, there’s movies and stuff now. But this was the X-Men OG.
Okay, let’s be honest. We absolutely love Spider-Man. So, of course, we’re going to watch every single thing that features our favorite superhero – including the animated series. The cartoon first aired in 1994 and became a staple in any ‘90s kids TV viewing. This series was the first of the Spider-Man franchise to truly take inspiration from the comics, and for that… we give them credit. We love you, Spidey.
Animaniacs wasn’t just a kids cartoon – anyone would find this one funny. Each episode featured parody after parody and had us in stitches. The show followed the life of Yakko, Wakko and Dot and each episode came with a surprise – really, there were three mini-episodes in the one big episode. Bonus.
31. The Road Runner Show
As much as The Road Runner show had the same concept storyline for each episode – we still had to watch each one because we just had to keep up with what Road Runner was up to. The series ran from 1966 until 1973 and had a pretty good run, but it soon was overtaken (quite literally) by cartoons of better caliber.
30. Dragon Ball Z
Dragon Ball Z has one of the biggest fan bases known to the cartoon world. Everyone just loves a bit of Dragon Ball Z. The show was aired on Cartoon Network – the God of cartoons – from 1989 until 1996, and we still watch re-runs today because we miss the amazingly choreographed fight scenes so much. And there were so many characters and storylines you could never get bored.
29. Kim Possible
How cool was Kim Possible? We really wanted to be her when we were younger, because she wasn’t just your average high-school cheerleader. Oh, no. That wasn’t enough for Kim. She wanted to save the world, too. No biggie. We also had a weird crush on her friend, Ron Stoppable (you know, the guy with the naked mole rat).
28. Ed, Edd n Eddy
Our lives were definitely not as adventurous as these guys. This American-Canadian cartoon ran from 1999 and followed the life of, of course, Ed, Edd, and Eddy. They didn’t really have a clue about anything in life, but they were determined to have a good time. And we respect that.
27. Pinky and the Brain
Pinky and the Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain. Pinky and the Brain first appeared on Animaniacs before getting their own cartoon series from 1995-1998, and followed the life of the mouse who intends to take over the world… and, well, and Pinky. Unfortunately, Brain’s plans never result in him actually taking over the world, but we liked to watch him try.
26. Phineas and Ferb
Phineas and Ferb had the same idea as Ed, Edd, and Eddy. They just wanted to have the time – well, in their case, the summer – of their lives. They try anything they could possibly do – travel in time, build a roller coaster or meet some dinosaurs. You’ve got to give them top marks for imagination.
Aww, DuckTales. Weren’t they cute? This cartoon was the first one of Disney’s syndicated cartoons and featured the original Donald Duck. These little Scottish Ducks were just adorable, and we really felt for Huey, Dewey, and Louie each time they had to move on to their next uncle. Unfortunately, DuckTales came off the air in 1990, but we still remember the cartoon in our hearts.
24. Courage the Cowardly Dog
The title kinda gives it away – he was a pretty cowardly dog. But it didn’t stop him from trying. Some people didn’t really think much of this cartoon, as they often found it a bit dark – but we love a bit of dark humor here and there, so it was right up our street. Unfortunately, the show ended in 2002, and we’re still not sure if we’re over it…
23. The Pink Panther
Doo-doo, doo-doo, doo-doo, doo-doo, do… well, you get the picture. The Pink Panther first came onto our screens in the Swinging Sixties and became one of the most popular cartoons of all time. And let’s not forget the movies OR the delicious cookies that came from the cartoon…
22. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
You just can’t say Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles without singing it in the way the cartoons did. It’s just impossible. We don’t feel the Ninja turtles get enough credit – because they’re awesome. They’re turtles, AND they’re Ninjas? We need to meet the creators of this one and give them a handshake for that genius…
21. The Bugs Bunny Show
What’s up, Doc? We all love Bugs Bunny. How could you not love him? Of course, he’s a part of the Looney Tunes franchise, but was found to be so popular they gave him his own show. But he was still joined by some of his Looney Tunes pals. It got moved about throughout its time on the Cartoon Network, but we still made time to watch it.
20. Justice League
Justice League ran from 2001 until 2004 on Cartoon Network, and we absolutely loved it. The show brought together all of our favorite characters from the DC universe and was based on the comic books. The initial series only ran for two seasons before it was replaced, but it still holds a place in our hearts.
19. The Jetsons
The Jetsons world was super cool. They had holograms, flying cars, inventions, and aliens. And the family were pretty cool, too. The series followed the life of George Jetson, his wife Jane, their daughter Judy and their son Elroy. Oh, and they had a robot. We told you they were cool.
18. The Powerpuff Girls
How amazing was the Powerpuff Girls? We all had our favorite one and were super jealous of all of their talents. Who knew kindergarten kids could have superpowers and save the world? They were pretty talented. The show proved so popular it even won an Emmy and was nominated for many other awards.
17. The Fairly OddParents
Nickelodeon’s Fairly OddParents was the ultimate cartoon. The show follows the life of Timmy Turner and his two fairy godparents – and we were super jealous of Cosmo and Wanda. The show ended in 2006, but they started filming again in 2008 because it’s just that good.
16. Popeye the Sailor Man
Popeye is one of the oldest cartoons on this list, first coming onto our screens in 1932! The muscly, spinach-eating sailor’s series normally just resulted in him getting punched by various nogoodniks, and fighting back to win the heart of Olive Oyl. It was weirdly entertaining, and is a true classic.
Rugrats was the ultimate insight into the lives of toddlers – did you know they could talk, make schemes and get up to all kinds of mischief? Well, yeah, every day toddlers do that too, but these guys did that on a whole other level. We loved Chucky, and we just despised Angelica. Nowadays, they’re all grown up in a new spin-off series. How did that happen?
14. Teen Titans
Teen Titans was another DC creation. The show featured teenage superheroes learning how to fight and battle to save the world. We never got called upon to be a Teen Titan, and it’s something we’ve been bitter about ever since we watched it.
13. Family Guy
Of course, we had to have Family Guy on this list. Family Guy’s creator, Seth McFarlane is an absolute genius. The show started in 1999 and is still going strong today, following the lives of one of the most dysfunctional families ever. It’s not for everyone, but we absolutely love it.
12. South Park
Ahhh, South Park. This was the cartoon that we were never allowed to watch because our parents deemed it ‘inappropriate’ and ‘rude.’ Nevertheless, we still watched it when our parents weren’t home or round a friends house, because we just had to keep up to date with the goings on in South Park. And it seems to be a pretty big deal, considering it’s still as popular as ever.
Pokemon, you gotta catch ‘em all! Let’s be honest, we’ve watched this show way too many times to even be classed as acceptable now. This cartoon was often criticized by true Pokemon fans, but we still enjoyed it because it was Pokemon. And we just really, really love Pokemon.
10. Dexter’s Laboratory
We always used to wish we could be as smart as Dexter – although he could keep his pesky sister, Dee Dee. We were always a bit confused with Dexter though. He lived in America and had an American family, so why did he have a European accent? But we’ll let him off because we just loved his secret laboratory and this hilarious cartoon.
9. Avatar: The Last Airbender
Okay, so we’ve all drawn an arrow on our head in pen at one point or another. The Last Airbender only ran for three years, but it was three wonderful years. During its run, the cartoon gained critical acclaim for it’s amazing animation and storylines. Although there are some people who think it’s a cheap Anime knockoff, we don’t agree. It’s one of the best cartoons, so has made a worthy spot on this list.
I mean, there was no way Futurama wasn’t going to be amazing considering it was the love-child of Simpsons creator, Matt Groening. Futurama is the ultimate future sitcom that pulls together some of the funniest group of characters ever – Fry, Leela, and Bender. Some of the episodes can get pretty dark sometimes, but we can’t get enough of it. Neither can everyone else, considering it’s still going today.
7. Batman: The Animated Series
Batman has had so many movies and TV shows made about him that we can’t believe his head can fit through any doors anymore. But the original animated series was pretty epic, spanned from 1992-95 and was everyone’s typical ‘90s after-school cartoon. We reckon every superhero movie or cartoon should look to this one for inspiration…
6. The Flintstones
The Flintstones is the best prehistoric comedy cartoon we’ve ever watched – because we won’t watch anything else. The series ran from 1960- 1966 (which makes us feel super old) and spanned over six seasons. But it didn’t just stop there. The cartoon series then branched out into spin-offs, movies, remakes and specials – and it was yabba dabba doo.
5. SpongeBob SquarePants
This cartoon series taught us everything we need to know in life – namely, who lives in a pineapple under the sea. When you think about, the concept for this cartoon is really quite odd. A sea sponge who lives in a pineapple, who is friends with an astronaut-squirrel and a starfish wearing Hawaiian shorts. Huh? Nevertheless, we’ve still watched every episode.
4. Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!
Jeepers! Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! Is THE Scooby Doo cartoon. Sure there’s been other cartoons, and movies – but this was the original. This cartoon series was the first one to include the Mystery machine and the gang, and of course, the baddies would have got away with their evil plans if it wasn’t for those pesky kids.
3. Tom and Jerry
Tom and Jerry is a classic. How could you not love Tom and Jerry? This cartoon was the ultimate cat-and-mouse game and first came onto our screens back in the ‘40s. It’s since won seven Oscars and have inspired so many other characters within other cartoons – like Itchy and Scratchy from the Simpsons.
2. The Simpsons
Evergreen Terrace was like our second home. We spent so much time watching Springfield, sometimes we thought we actually lived there! Well, we definitely paid more attention to the Simpson household than we did our own. This epic series followed the lives of our favorite family – and we all had our favorite character. (Psst, ours was Lisa). The series is still running today, making it the longest-running American prime-time TV series ever…
1. Looney Tunes
Looney Tunes just nab the number one top stop for the most epic cartoon EVER! And we think they’re deserving winners. The animated series began in 1960 and is still running today because the world just can’t get enough of the ‘Tunes. It features some of our favorite cartoon characters ever… Road Runner, Tweety Pie, Bugs Bunny, Sylvester, Yosemite Sam and Daffy Duck. Congrats, guys!