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Netflix; Nickelodeon; Cartoon Network; Amazon
Best Animated Shows of the Decade

The Best Animated TV Shows of the Decade, and Where to Stream Them

The 2010s marked a renaissance for adult animation, producing some of the best TV shows, period

If you've been sleeping on Steven Universe or Bob's Burgers or Big Mouth because they're animated, then you've been missing out on some of the best TV shows of the decade. Cartoons aren't just for kids anymore, and the 201os marked a renaissance for adult animation, delivering some of TV's best shows, period.

But don't worry -- TV Guide has got you covered with a year-by-year guide to the very best animated shows that premiered in the 2010s. Not sure where to start? We've included live-action references to help you figure out which of these stellar series will be your next favorite.


Adventure Time

Cartoon Network

Adventure Time, 2010-18 (Cartoon Network)
Where to stream: Hulu, Cartoon Network
Why it's great: Described by its creator as "Candyland on the surface and dark underneath," Adventure Time is a trippy, Dungeons & Dragons-inspired tale of a brave boy and his shape-shifting dog in a magical post-apocalyptic world of princesses, demons, candy-people, and goblins. The show is whimsical and ridiculous but also surprisingly poignant, and its soundtrack is hella catchy. --Noelene Clark
Try it if you like these: Meatballs, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Star Wars: A New Hope

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Young Justice


Runner-up: Young Justice, 2010-Present (DC Universe)
Where to stream: DC Universe, Amazon (rent or buy)
Why it's great: You might be thinking, "Wow, yet another boring teen superhero team-up," but don't let the fact that you're probably familiar with all these characters dissuade you from binge-watching Young Justice. Truly one of DC's finest offerings, Young Justice is less interested in defeating the villain of the week than it is in sketching how difficult it is to be a young adult who believes in the impossible but isn't quite sure how to make it happen. The delicate and complex ways in which the ever-rotating cast members come together make for a brilliant portrait of what it means to choose your family, and how much farther we can go when we band together. --Krutika Mallikarjuna
Try it if you like these: Doom Patrol, Arrow, The Avengers


Bob's Burgers


Bob's Burgers, 2011-Present (Fox)
Where to stream: Hulu
Why it's great: Bob's Burgers is, on paper, a standard family sitcom about a man who owns a burger shop and his wacky family who help him run it. But beneath that bland synopsis lies one of the weirdest and sweetest takes on how family both defines you and challenges you to constantly rethink who you could be. Also, there's a surrealist edge that elevates the show, making you wish you could slip from our reality into the Belchers'. --Krutika Mallikarjuna
Try it if you like these: Fresh Off the Boat, black-ish, Parks and Recreation, Flight of the Conchords


The Legend of Korra


The Legend of Korra, 2012-14 (Nickelodeon)
Where to stream: Amazon (rent or buy)
Why it's great: Korra is a sequel to the acclaimed Avatar: The Last Airbender, but it stands on its own as a much darker and more adult story than its predecessor. The four-season drama is set in a steampunk world and centers on a brash and adventurous young woman who inherits incredible powers, but not necessarily the patience to hone and channel them responsibly. Luckily, she's surrounded by a cast of loyal friends who bolster, temper, and challenge her as she comes into her own as the hero she was born to be. That Korra also features one of TV's sweetest slow-burning romances is the icing on the cake. --Noelene Clark
Try it if you like these: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Jessica Jones, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

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Gravity Falls

Disney Channel

Runner-up: Gravity Falls, 2012-16 (Disney Channel)
Where to stream: Hulu
Why it's great: Brother-and-sister twins Dipper and Mabel get sent to spend the summer at their great-uncle's cabin in Gravity Falls, Oregon, where they discover a journal that helps them explore the town's supernatural mysteries. At the heart of the series is the relationship between the siblings, whose biggest adventure is surviving the joys and agonies of growing up. --Noelene Clark
Try it if you like these: The Goonies, The X-Files, Eerie Indiana, Stranger Things


Steven Universe

Cartoon Network

Steven Universe, 2013-Present (Cartoon Network)
Where to stream: Hulu, Cartoon Network
Why it's great: This Emmy-winning gem of a show centers on a half-human, half-alien boy named Steven and his adoptive family -- a lovable team of super-powered alien expats who protect the Earth from otherworldly threats. The mystery of Steven's heritage makes for a compelling series arc, but what makes the show truly special is its stellar original music and its uplifting message. It's a groundbreaking but gently told story that inspires you to be more courageous, forgiving, and kind to others -- and to yourself. --Noelene Clark
Try it if you like these: Doctor Who, Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman, ALF

Rick and Morty

Adult Swim

Runner-up: Rick and Morty, 2013-Present (Adult Swim)
Where to stream: Hulu
Why it's great: Rick and Morty is one of the smartest shows on television. It's also one of the most outrageous and offensive. If you like your buddy comedies with a heavy helping of space travel and a side of nihilism, then buckle in for a rollicking R-rated adventure. Or don't buckle in -- if you wind up splatted on the space cruiser's windshield, there are a million more versions of you from other dimensions, and some of them are bound to be better. --Noelene Clark
Try it if you like these: Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, Back to the Future, Red Dwarf, Black Mirror


BoJack Horseman


BoJack Horseman, 2014-Present (Netflix)
Where to stream: Netflix
Why it's great: The sadcom to end all sadcoms, BoJack Horseman stars Will Arnett as the voice of BoJack, a washed-up actor clinging to his last bit of clout in a world where humans and anthropomorphic animals live side-by-side. The series is a brilliant exploration of the ways in which people (horses) hurt each other, and what it really takes to be a better person (horse) than you used to be. Don't be fooled: This isn't a redemption story, it's a painfully realistic, hilariously empathetic look at a man (horse) who is his own worst enemy and the people who give him a reason to try. --Krutika Mallikarjuna
Try it if you like these: Entourage, Extras, Episodes, You're the Worst


We Bare Bears

Cartoon Network

We Bare Bears, 2015-Present (Cartoon Network)
Where to stream: Hulu, Netflix, Cartoon Network
Why it's great: This Annie Award-winning toon is as relatable as it is adorable. Griz, Panda, and Ice Bear are roomies and best buds, trying their best to fit in in a modern-day, human-majority San Francisco. The show keeps things light, sweet, and funny, but it will hit home for anyone who's ever felt like an outsider. --Noelene Clark
Try it if you like these: Master of None, Fresh Off the Boat, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Star vs. the Forces of Evil

Disney Channel

Runner-up: Star vs. the Forces of Evil, 2015-19 (Disney Channel)
Where to stream: Hulu, Disney Now
Why it's great: Star vs. the Forces of Evil is the epitome of bubblegum goth. The titular fearsome princess from an otherworldly dimension is sent to live with the very human Diaz family on Earth after proving to her parents that she's not quite responsible enough to handle magic yet. Star's punishment turns into an eye-opening adventure that's a delightfully sweet culture clash. And of course, there are also those forces of evil and the absolutely epic battle royales facing Star and her human best friend, Marco. --Krutika Mallikarjuna
Try it if you like these: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lucifer, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

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Animals., 2016-18 (HBO)
Where to stream: HBO Now
Why it's great: Animals. is one of the darkest entries on this list. In fact, it would be fair to call it a pitch-black comedy. Venturing into the wilds of one of the most inhospitable places on earth -- New York City -- the show spends each episode with a different NYC native, from pigeons who are questioning their gender presentation to bed bugs wondering if they're living up to their potential to rats who let their chance at love pass them by. Animals. examines the existential woes that plague city-dwellers all over the world, sparing no one and nothing. We're all just rats in a cringe-worthy race. --Krutika Mallikarjuna
Try it if you like these: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Louie


Big Mouth


Big Mouth, 2017-Present (Netflix)
Where to stream: Netflix
Why it's great: There is nothing more foul, perverted, or sickeningly heartwarming on TV than Big Mouth. From the baffling mind of Nick Kroll, this semi-autobiographical series follows young Nick and his middle school friends as they move through the absolutely horrific experience of puberty. Aided by hormone monsters -- yes, these are literal monsters voiced by legends like Maya Rudolph -- these formerly sweet, gentle children navigate perpetual horniness, masturbation, fluid sexuality, and the most terrifying teen experience of them all: having a crush. --Krutika Mallikarjuna
Try it if you like these: The Edge of Seventeen, Sex Education, Superbad, Good Boys, Booksmart




Aggretsuko, 2018-Present (Netflix)
Where to stream: Netflix
Why it's great: A red panda walks into a mind-numbing desk job and walks out a heavy metal star. OK, maybe the second half of that sentence happens only in her fantasies, but this delightful snack of a show is perfect for anyone who is just punching the clock every day. The monotony of adult life is perfectly parodied in this escapist, bite-sized comedy. --Krutika Mallikarjuna
Try it if you like these: Office Space, The IT Crowd, Getting On, Corporate



Runner-up: Disenchantment, 2018-Present (Netflix)
Where to stream: Netflix
Why it's great: From the creator of Futurama and The Simpsons, Matt Groening, comes a feminist fantasy adventure series about a princess who would rather drink and fight than learn the graces more becoming of a young royal. A must-watch for any D&D nerd who constantly picked fights with their mom. --Krutika Mallikarjuna
Try it if you like these: Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Game of Thrones, Xena: Warrior Princess

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Amazon Prime Video

Undone, 2019 (Amazon)
Where to stream: Amazon Prime Video
Why it's great: This gorgeously rotoscoped drama packs an intense story into only eight addictive 25-minute episodes. Starring Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul) and Rosa Salazar (Alita: Battle Angel), the show focuses on a woman who survives a catastrophic car accident and discovers upon waking up that she possesses the ability to manipulate time, and might be able to prevent her father's death more than a decade ago... or is it all in her head? --Noelene Clark
Try it if you like these: Safety Not Guaranteed, Donnie Darko, Russian Doll, A Scanner Darkly

Tuca & Bertie

Runner-up: Tuca & Bertie, 2019 (Netflix)
Where to stream: Netflix
Why it's great: Tuca & Bertie is the hangout comedy stoner girls have been waiting for their entire lives. The raunchy, surrealist comedy about a toucan (Tiffany Haddish) and a songbird (Ali Wong) who are best friends tackles everything from mental health to sobriety to the #MeToo movement to the devastating heartbreaks that female friendships often serve up. But most importantly of all, Tuca & Bertie manages to do all this with its tiddies out (literally) and is guaranteed to leave you crying in a haze of laughter. --Krutika Mallikarjuna
Try it if you like these: Broad City, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Friday, The Great British Bake Off

This article was originally published in December 2019