Special Report

The 15 Best Animated Sitcoms of All Time

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

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

15. Disenchantment
> Series run: 2018-Present
> IMDb user rating: 7.2/10
> No. of IMDb votes: 52,628
> Cast: Abbi Jacobson, Eric André, Nat Faxon, John DiMaggio

Legendary cartoonist Matt Groening (creator of “The Simpsons”) co-created this fantasy comedy, which takes place in the medieval kingdom of Dreamland. Follow rebel princess Bean and her magical companions through a series of crude misadventures.


Source: Courtesy of Cartoon Network

14. We Bare Bears
> Series run: 2014-2019
> IMDb user rating: 7.9/10
> No. of IMDb votes: 13,617
> Cast: Eric Edelstein, Demetri Martin, Bobby Moynihan, Keith Ferguson

A trio of bear siblings are desperate to enter normal society in this off-kilter comedy. Creator Daniel Chong based the series on his previous webcomics and later followed it with a film adaptation. It’s rendered in a painterly style that’s reminiscent of children’s book illustrations.

Source: Courtesy of Fox Film Corporation

13. King of the Hill
> Series run: 1997-2010
> IMDb user rating: 7.3/10
> No. of IMDb votes: 48,364
> Cast: Mike Judge, Kathy Najimy, Pamela Adlon, Johnny Hardwick

From Mike Judge — creator of “Beavis and Butthead” and the iconic movie “Office Space” — comes this animated sitcom about life in small-town Texas. At the heart of the series is propane salesman Hank Hill and his quirky family. It ran for 13 seasons and won two Primetime Emmys along the way.

Source: Courtesy of HBO Max

12. Close Enough
> Series run: 2020-Present
> IMDb user rating: 7.9/10
> No. of IMDb votes: 7,452
> Cast: J.G. Quintel, Gabrielle Walsh, Jason Mantzoukas, Kimiko Glenn

Blending absurdist humor with relatable characters, this sitcom follows a group of friends as they grapple with adulthood and the occasional mutant spider. It airs on HBO Max and holds a 100% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes.


Source: Courtesy of Netflix

11. Big Mouth
> Series run: 2017-Present
> IMDb user rating: 7.9/10
> No. of IMDb votes: 63,165
> Cast: Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Jessi Klein, Maya Rudolph

Teenage puberty is messy business and this Netflix comedy makes it that much messier, with help from graphic content and a talented cast. Maya Rudolph has earned two Primetime Emmy awards for her voice-over performance as Connie the Hormone Monstress.

Source: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Television

10. The Life & Times of Tim
> Series run: 2008-2012
> IMDb user rating: 8.2/10
> No. of IMDb votes: 6,126
> Cast: Steve Dildarian, M.J. Otto, Nick Kroll, Matt Johnson

An unassuming New Yorker can’t stay out of trouble in this cult comedy, which aired on HBO for three seasons. Each 30-minute episode breaks down into two 15-minute segments and puts its protagonist through tremendously awkward situations. Creator Steve Dildarian recently followed it with a new series, “10-Year-Old Tom.”


Source: Courtesy of Cartoon Network

9. The Amazing World of Gumball
> Series run: 2011-2019
> IMDb user rating: 8.2/10
> No. of IMDb votes: 26,034
> Cast: Dan Russell, Teresa Gallagher, Kerry Shale, Kyla Rae Kowalewski

Welcome to the amazing world of Gumball the cat, whose duplicitous schemes yield disastrous results. The British series employs a variety of animation techniques in bringing its unique visual style to life. A film adaptation and series reboot are both currently in production.

Source: Courtesy of Fox

8. Bob’s Burgers
> Series run: 2011-Present
> IMDb user rating: 8.1/10
> No. of IMDb votes: 71,109
> Cast: H. Jon Benjamin, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, John Roberts

The surprise hit that few saw coming tells the story of restaurant owner Bob Belcher and his hilarious family. For 12 seasons and running, the show has balanced outlandish plots and characters with heartfelt themes. An upcoming film adaptation is slated for release in 2022.

Source: Courtesy of Cartoon Network

7. Family Guy
> Series run: 1999-Present
> IMDb user rating: 8.1/10
> No. of IMDb votes: 316,517
> Cast: Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green, Mila Kunis

Those seeking “good old fashioned values” won’t find them anywhere near this raunchy sitcom from Seth MacFarlane. Chronicling the exploits of Peter Griffin and his crazy cohorts, the series leaves no subject or standard unscathed. It’s currently in the middle of its 20th season.


Source: Courtesy of Cartoon Network

6. Regular Show
> Series run: 2009-2017
> IMDb user rating: 8.4/10
> No. of IMDb votes: 35,113
> Cast: J.G. Quintel, William Salyers, Sam Marin, Mark Hamill

Creator J.G. Quintel drew from his previous student films when crafting this surrealist sitcom and its wild characters. When not groundskeeping at a local park, best friends Mordecai and Rigby embark on zany misadventures. Anything but regular, the show won a 2012 Primetime Award for Outstanding Short-Format Animated Program.

Source: Courtesy of 20th Television

5. Futurama
> Series run: 1999-2013
> IMDb user rating: 8.4/10
> No. of IMDb votes: 221,333
> Cast: Billy West, John DiMaggio, Katey Sagal, Tress MacNeille

Pizza delivery boy Philip J. Fry wakes up 1,000 years in the future to discover a world that’s as dysfunctional as it is advanced. So goes this animated sitcom from co-creator Matt Groening, who once again puts lovable characters within a satirical framework. The series ran on Fox until migrating over to Comedy Central for its final seasons.


Source: Courtesy of 20th Television

4. The Simpsons
> Series run: 1989-Present
> IMDb user rating: 8.6/10
> No. of IMDb votes: 381,356
> Cast: Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Harry Shearer, Julie Kavner

A modern television revolution kicked off with this groundbreaking series, which was more or less flawless during its first nine seasons. Still running to this day, “The Simpsons” continues to channel American archetypes and experiences through its uniquely satirical lens.

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

3. BoJack Horseman
> Series run: 2014-2020
> IMDb user rating: 8.7/10
> No. of IMDb votes: 129,512
> Cast: Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie, Aaron Paul

Anthropomorphic animals occupy Hollywood in this tragi-comic satire, which premiered on Netflix in 2014. Former TV star BoJack Horseman grapples with addiction and depression as he tries to revitalize his career. It opened to mixed reviews and gained both critical acclaim and a dedicated fan base over time.

Source: Courtesy of South Park Studios - Comedy Central

2. South Park
> Series run: 1997-Present
> IMDb user rating: 8.7/10
> No. of IMDb votes: 344,908
> Cast: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Isaac Hayes, Mona Marshall

All bets were off when this animated sitcom debuted on Comedy Central, introducing its own brand of unfiltered adult humor. Co-creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone haven’t let up in the time since, even as the show veers toward more topical issues. Thanks to a recent deal with Viacom CBS, viewers can expect plenty more episodes and two feature films by the year 2027.


Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Television Distribution

1. Rick and Morty
> Series run: 2013-Present
> IMDb user rating: 9.2/10
> No. of IMDb votes: 436,258
> Cast: Justin Roiland, Chris Parnell, Spencer Grammer, Sarah Chalke

An alcoholic super-scientist and his grandson traverse multiple galaxies and dimensions in this massively popular sitcom. Each episode delivers breakneck humor at the speed of light and often centers on a potential catastrophe. The show’s origins can be traced to a “Back to the Future” parody from co-creator Justin Roiland.

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