You might see the word “sitcom” (situation comedy) and think only of live-action fare — until you remember that animation occupies a significant swath of this cultural landscape. The trend dates back to the early 1960s, when “The Flintstones” and “The Jetsons” took viewers to the deep past and distant future, respectively, while maintaining the vivid characters and inevitable conflicts that the genre is known for.
Using animation as a way to creatively expand upon the sitcom’s underlying format is a tradition that continues to this day. (For something long-form instead — here are the greatest animated movies of all time).
Of course, no discussion of animated sitcoms would be complete without mention of “The Simpsons.” First introduced in a series of shorts on “The Tracey Ullman Show” in the late 1980s, the iconic family kicked off their own debut season in December of 1989. The show soon captured the zeitgeist in every direction, changing the standards of television comedy, rocking the culture at large, and paving the way for more animated fare. One might say that we’ve been living in the shadow of those early seasons ever since. (These are the best classic TV shows available to stream.)
Another feat pulled off by “The Simpsons” was its ability to tackle adult subject matter without losing a cartoonish edge. And while successors such as “Family Guy” and “South Park” dialed up the mature content, they nevertheless retained the visual aspects of classic animation. Then we have shows like “Bob’s Burgers” or “King of the Hill,” which are mostly family-friendly in spite of the occasional adult theme.
To determine the 15 best animated sitcoms, 24/7 Tempo reviewed all animated television shows tagged with the keyword “sitcom” on IMDb, an online movie database owned by Amazon. We ranked the shows based on an index consisting of average IMDb user rating and IMDb popularity score. Only those with at least 5,000 IMDb user votes were considered. Data was collected in October 2021.
Click here to see the 15 best animated sitcoms
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