Family Guy has demonstrated remarkable staying power thanks to its distinct characteristics, and it’s hardly surprising that other shows akin to Family Guy have emerged. Among the well-received adult animated series that share a similar theme are F is for Family, Harley Quinn, Venture Bros, and Happy Tree Friends.
Seth MacFarlane introduced this absurdist take on The Simpsons when the show debuted in 1999. While both series revolve around family units navigating humorous scenarios, Family Guy takes the concept to new heights with its off-the-wall humor.
In comparison, The Simpsons seem relatively tame, resembling an animated sitcom, while Family Guy adopts a sketch comedy format, loosely connecting various gags through an overarching storyline.
Adult Cartoons with Irreverence Similar to Family Guy
Influenced by the audience’s demands and the ever-changing landscape of animation and storytelling techniques, contemporary adult cartoons now stand on par with live-action series and movies across various genres.
If fans of Family Guy are seeking a temporary respite from their beloved show, here is a compilation of some of the finest adult cartoons currently available for streaming, along with the platforms where they can be accessed.
21Harley Quinn: Superheroes with a Comedic Punch
Finally, we dive into the comic book world with Harley Quinn. This show takes a well-known DC villainess and puts her in the center of an outrageous, violence-packed comedy. Like Family Guy, Harley Quinn takes established norms—in this case, the superhero genre—and upends them with gleeful abandon.
It’s a gutsy, boundary-pushing series that combines sharp humor, colorful animation, and surprisingly in-depth character development to give us a superhero show like no other. This proves that even the traditionally serious realm of comic books can be the perfect canvas for adult-oriented animation.
20Bob’s Burgers: A Wholesome Twist
Bob’s Burgers is a delightful surprise amid the zany chaos of most adult cartoons. It’s got the trademark quirky characters, including a family that runs a struggling burger joint, but it does so with unexpected warmth. This show doesn’t just make you laugh; it makes you feel a part of the Belcher family.
Sure, there are moments of absurdity, but they’re balanced with real, relatable dynamics. Its charm lies in its simplicity and kind-hearted humor, showing us that an adult cartoon doesn’t need to rely on shocking content to be engaging.
19Archer: Espionage Meets Absurdity
Lastly, we have Archer. Imagine if James Bond were a man-child who couldn’t stop spewing one-liners, and you get Sterling Archer. Just like Family Guy, Archer pushes boundaries with its humor but wraps it in the sleek sheen of an espionage thriller.
The result is an intoxicating mix of hilarity and suspense that keeps viewers returning for another shot. And just when you think you’ve got Archer figured out, it pulls the rug from under your feet and reinvents itself. Wildly unpredictable, always hilarious, that’s Archer for you.
18Futurama: A Sci-Fi Comedy Odyssey
Let’s blast off with Futurama, a science fiction wonder from the creator of The Simpsons. This is where witty humor meets wild space adventure. Futurama is as hilarious as imaginative, mixing slapstick humor with deep philosophical questions about life, the universe, and everything in between.
Like Family Guy, it’s replete with pop culture references. Still, its true genius lies in its clever use of sci-fi elements to create laugh-out-loud scenarios that are out of this world, literally and figuratively.
17King of the Hill: Subtle Satire and Texas Charm
Say “howdy” to King of the Hill, a delightful portrayal of an everyday American family living in the heart of Texas. This show trades in slapstick humor for more understated, character-driven comedy.
Just like Family Guy, King of the Hill uses humor to highlight societal issues, albeit less aggressively. It’s a loving send-up of southern charm, celebrating and lampooning suburban Texas life with subtlety and respect.
16Disenchantment: Medieval Madness Meets Modern Wit
Next, we travel to the medieval kingdom of Dreamland with Disenchantment. This show, another brainchild of Simpsons creator Matt Groening, marries fairytale-like escapism with irreverent humor. It features a hard-drinking princess, a mischievous elf, and a personal demon navigating a world filled with ogres, sprites, and walruses.
Much like Family Guy, it’s peppered with social commentary. Disenchantment layers this with a unique fantasy setting and an ongoing narrative, showing that the animation genre can have an epic scope.
15The Venture Bros.: A Parody Extravaganza
On to The Venture Bros., an adult cartoon that takes the action-adventure genre and injects it with a massive dose of comedic adrenaline. This show delivers laugh-out-loud humor, intricately woven story arcs, and a relentless wave of parodies.
It satirizes the likes of Johnny Quest and other Hanna-Barbera adventure cartoons while exploring themes of failure and familial relationships. The Venture Bros. showcases the power of parody, demonstrating that humor is often the best form of critique.
14F is for Family: A Raw Slice of the ’70s
F is for Family is a biting, funny, and often poignant portrayal of suburban life in the 1970s. The show grapples with generational clashes, evolving societal norms, and the trials of a working-class family.
While its humor can be as brutal as Family Guy’s, it’s often laced with a sense of nostalgia and the raw realities of family dynamics. The result is an adult cartoon that paints a multi-layered picture of the past, illustrating that humor, when used effectively, can be an excellent storytelling tool.
Olan Rogers creates Final Space, an immersive space opera that weaves together a rich tapestry of thrilling and scary encounters within a vast galaxy. Despite the seemingly straightforward premise of an unlikely alliance striving to rescue the universe, this relationship enables the show to flourish.
The tension lies in the fact that one-half of the duo possesses the power to obliterate worlds, yet it transforms into an unexpected brotherhood. Unlike Family Guy, which overlooks the significance of such connections, Final Space elevates the stakes to unmatched heights in adult cartoons.
12Aqua Teen Hunger Force
Aqua Teen Hunger Force, a Cartoon Network Adult Swim series from 2000 to 2015, revolves around a group of anthropomorphic fast food superheroes. With an ever-changing title, it stands out as one of the most eccentric shows in Cartoon Network’s late-night lineup.
While often cruder than Family Guy, Aqua Teen presents a cast of remarkably memorable characters. From the uproarious Master Shake and the easily provoked Carl to the straight-laced Frylock, each member of the Aqua Teen ensemble delivers consistent comedy.
11The Ren & Stimpy Show
Originally targeted towards younger viewers, The Ren & Stimpy Show aired on Nickelodeon in the early ’90s. However, its explicit humor and dark comedic style endeared it to parents instead.
Ren & Stimpy’s audacious jokes, tackling subjects like politics, religion, and substance abuse, made it a standout among other shows on the network. The show even spawned a spin-off called Ren & Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon, which received a TV-MA rating.
Marvel Comics showcases an array of extraordinary characters that find their perfect fit in adult animation. Hit-Monkey exemplifies this phenomenon as the animation team fearlessly presents a compelling portrayal of this lethal primate. Created by Daniel Way and artist Dalibor Talajić, the character merges with the soul of a hitman, embarking on a quest for vengeance.
Hit-Monkey’s decision-making process reflects a fascinating complexity as he contemplates whether violence alone is the path to follow. Although it takes a few episodes to gain momentum, Marvel’s Hit-Monkey is a unique experience. Rarely does Family Guy delve into storylines of such profound intricacy.
9The Cleveland Show
The Cleveland Show, a short-lived spin-off series of Family Guy, is often labeled by its parent show as “the Black version of our show.” While it may not match the strength or humor of Family Guy nor possess equally endearing or well-developed characters, The Cleveland Show shares a similar sense of humor and features many of the same voice actors.
Despite being underrated and receiving complete dismissal from viewers, it is not as terrible as perceived. There are enjoyable aspects worth revisiting in The Cleveland Show, making it worthy of reconsideration.
8The Simpsons: The Icon
One cannot talk about adult cartoons without a nod to the show that started it all. The Simpsons, the seemingly immortal sitcom that debuted a full decade before Family Guy, revolutionized the world of animation. Its satirical depiction of a dysfunctional yet loving family has influenced every animated sitcom that came after it.
The humor of The Simpsons is sophisticated, subtly ingrained in the DNA of its narratives. It invites us into the heart of American suburbia, and though it may have a yellow-skinned, four-fingered family at its center, its themes are universally relatable.
The mid-2000s Adult Swim hit Metalocalypse followed the fictional death metal band Dethklok’s exaggerated adventures over four seasons. With its satirical approach to metal subculture, the rock star lifestyle, and sociopolitical events, Metalocalypse stood out as a distinctive and unique series.
Unlike Family Guy, which lacks a definitive rhythm and covers various subjects, Metalocalypse establishes its unmistakable identity. It confidently sets itself apart, refusing to imitate or emulate other elements of pop culture.
6Big Mouth: Hormones and Hilarity
Next up is Big Mouth, an animated gem that dives headfirst into the hormonal whirlpool of adolescence. The show treats puberty as a monstrous transformation (quite literally) but does it with a wit as sharp as a teenager’s mood swing.
It navigates the tricky waters of growing up with a bluntness that’s as refreshing as awkward. Just like Family Guy, Big Mouth isn’t afraid to go there, but in this case, “there” is the confusing, embarrassing journey of adolescence we’ve all endured.
5Rick and Morty: A Sci-Fi Mind-Bender
Enter Rick and Morty. This madcap sci-fi extravaganza spins tales of the multiverse while testing the limits of animation (and the viewer’s sanity!).
Picking up where Family Guy left off, this show tosses existential dread, family dysfunction, and quantum mechanics into its blender of adult humor. Who knew watching a super-intelligent, alcoholic grandpa with his eternally nervous grandson could be this fun and mind-bending thought-provoking?
Justin Roiland and Mike McMahan create Solar Opposites, showcasing several similarities to their sister shows Rick and Morty. However, the series strives to craft captivating, unique storylines centered around an unconventional family.
Focusing on a clan of extraterrestrial beings who have escaped their decaying planet to establish a new life on Earth, the show portrays humanity through their otherworldly lens.
With its humor laced with remarkable self-awareness, Solar Opposites possesses a distinctive advantage over shows like Family Guy, thanks to its unconventional protagonists.
3BoJack Horseman: The Emotional Heavyweight
Family Guy uses humor to navigate choppy societal waters, but BoJack Horseman takes it further. Beneath the vibrant veneer of this anthropomorphic wonderland lurks a melancholic underbelly.
BoJack takes the adult in ‘adult animation’ very seriously, making us laugh while pushing us to confront realities like depression, addiction, and existential crises. BoJack Horseman reinvents the genre by adding a pinch of somber realism to the zany chaos.
2South Park: Pushing the Boundaries
If there’s one show that doesn’t shy away from controversy, it’s South Park. Its cut-out animation style starkly contrasts the provocative topics it tackles head-on. South Park has built its legacy on shock value by taking on everything from politics to pop culture. While its crude humor might not be everyone’s cup of tea, there’s no denying its influence.
Much like Family Guy, it holds up a fun-house mirror to society, distorting and exaggerating realities to trigger thought and laughter. With South Park, the creators have turned animation into a tool for socio-political commentary, making it as provocative as it is hilarious.
1American Dad: More than Just a Spin-Off
American Dad, also hailing from Seth MacFarlane’s twisted comedic brain, dodges being a Family Guy clone with aplomb. Yes, it’s got the talking pet and the naïve parents, but it tackles a whole new range of issues, wrapping them up in a cloak of satire as thick and delicious as a New York cheesecake. Aliens, super-intelligent goldfish, and neo-conservative satires, anyone?