10 Best Cartoon Network Shows Of All Time
The best Cartoon Network Shows of all time defined our childhoods. We’ll be taking a look at some of the best Cartoon Network shows to come out since it first hit the airwaves in 1992, but we’re excluding reboots and Adult Swim series. Cartoon Network has grown a lot since its start in the ‘90s – and these shows are the cream of the crop.
For this list, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best Cartoon Network shows to come out since it first hit the airwaves in 1992, but we’re excluding reboots and Adult Swim series. Also, be sure to check out our previous lists of the Top 10 Cartoon Network cartoons of the 1990s, 2000s, and the 2010s.
10“Codename: Kids Next Door” (2002-08)
In a world ruled by adults, only one organization has the tools and the means to fight back for the freedom of kids worldwide: The Kids Next Door! With their amazing two-by-four technology, nobody gets the job done better than Numbuhs 1 through 5 of Sector V.
But not everyone can be a Kids Next Door operative. Only those under the age of 13 can join up; but once they do, they have to be prepared to face bizarre adult villains, obnoxious teenagers, greedy candy pirates, or worse – The Delightful Children From Down The Lane.
With a unique view of the world from a kid’s point-of-view – either you’re in, or you’re old.
9“Star Wars: The Clone Wars” (2008-14)
Though the Star Wars prequels have had mixed results according to fans, The Clone Wars TV show is a welcome addition to the expanded universe. Taking place between Episodes 2 and 3, this Cartoon Network series chronicles the Grand Army of the Republic –including Anakin Skywalker and his new apprentice, Ahsoka – as they take on the droid armies of the Separatists.
Fans may debate about whether this show is canon or not; but with what it has to offer, it might as well be. Filled with plenty of action, interesting faces both old and new, and some of the best storylines in the Star Wars expanded universe; the force is strong with this series. It’s about to get stronger, too, as a seventh season was announced in 2019.
8“Courage the Cowardly Dog” (1999-2002)
Who else is brave enough to deal with some of the strange creatures and ghastly people in the middle of Nowhere? Ironically, it’s Courage the cowardly dog. Abandoned as a puppy, he was found by the kind and motherly Muriel, and her bitter old husband, Eustace.
When spooky things start happening in Nowhere, Courage will naturally scream for his life; but he is not afraid to step up against danger to protect his family… even if Eustace treats him like a “stupid dog.”
The elderly couple is usually oblivious when things get hairy, but Courage knows when something’s going wrong.
7“Teen Titans” (2003-06)
Being a teenager isn’t easy; so try being a kick-butt teenage superhero while you’re at it. It’s one thing to be dealing with insecurities, putting up with each other, and finding that special someone, but now you have to pile on battling evil criminal masterminds, and teenage villains-in-training.
But through it, all, the Teen Titans – Robin, Starfire, Cyborg, Beast Boy, and Raven – rise up to the challenge and fight for truth, justice, and pizza.
While they go head to head with the show’s main villain, Slade, among many others, we get to enjoy watching our favorite adolescent heroes grow with every battle life throws at them – for better or for worse. It’s just a shame “Teen Titans” had to go so soon.
6“Ed, Edd n Eddy” (1999-2009)
For most kids, summer is a time for having fun in the sun. For Ed, Double D, and Eddy, summer only means two things: cash and jawbreakers! The Eds are the perfect mismatched trio: Eddy is the greedy leader of the crew, Double D is the neat freak genius who rocks the pedal steel guitar, and Ed is the lovable goofball who loves chickens.
Together, these three best friends try to scam their oddball neighbors out of their money to buy jawbreakers… but it doesn’t always end well for our favorite dorks. When they aren’t scamming the other kids, they can also be seen trying to fit in with the popular crowd or running away from the love-struck Kanker Sisters.
5Steven Universe (2013-)
Who doesn’t love a good coming-of-age story? Meet Steven Universe, a young half-Gem/half-human training to protect Beach City and the earth with the under the guidance of his guardians, The Crystal Gems – Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl. Steven’s an excitable kid who looks for the best in everyone – including the Gems… which is good because he finds out some pretty deep stuff about them.
In addition to the usual Cartoon Network brand of comedy, this series also offers its viewers stunning visuals, beautiful music, and some of the most fascinating sci-fi world-building on TV as we dive into the Gems’ origins. Watching Steven learn and mature as he grows to become a formidable warrior and caring friend is an incredibly gripping story.
4“Dexter’s Laboratory” (1996-2003)
It’s hard being a boy genius… especially when you’re the smartest one in the house. Good thing Dexter’s got his secret laboratory, where he can perform some of the greatest experiments the world has never seen. And no one else knows about his secret lab… except for his ditzy older sister, Dee Dee.
She constantly breaks into Dexter’s lab, which means trouble for his experiments. But the only thing worse than his STUPID sister is his academic rival, Mandark. Even though Dexter’s a scientific mastermind, there’s still a lot about life that even he doesn’t understand – like arcade games or girls. But that’s okay, even the smartest boy ever has a lot to learn.
3“Samurai Jack” (2001-04; 2017)
From the creator of Dexter’s Laboratory and the first incarnation of Star Wars: The Clone Wars comes the tale of the warrior out of time. After fighting the evil shapeshifter, Aku, the nameless Samurai is sent to a future where the demon is at his most powerful.
Armed only with his magic sword, the Samurai –now called Jack- must find a way to travel back to the past and strike Aku down once and for all. This Cartoon Network show is animation gold – with some of the most creative and gorgeous visuals you’ll see, and an atmosphere that serves as an homage to classic samurai films.
Throw in an easy-to-follow story, action to spare, and plenty of humor, and you’ve got an instant CN classic.
2“Adventure Time” (2010-18)
Would you believe Nickelodeon rejected this show? Well, in this case, their loss is Cartoon Network’s massive gain. This unusual rating magnet follows Jake the Dog and Finn the Human as they protect the Land of Ooo from all kinds of absurd characters… including the princess-stealing Ice King and the deadly Lich.
First-time viewers may take one look at the colorful visuals and think this is just another silly cartoon… but it is anything but. There are plenty of silly moments for sure, but it also approaches some dark and disturbing territories, as well as philosophical themes. Along with some brilliant storytelling, it all adds up to one pretty “mathematical” animated series.
1“The Powerpuff Girls” (1998-2005; 2016-17)
Add some Chemical X and what do you get? The perfect little superheroines, that’s what. With their awesome superpowers, Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup protect the City of Townsville from evil. Blossom is the brainy leader who’s as cool as her ice breath. Bubbles is the joy and laughter, but she can also be pretty hardcore. Buttercup is the brawn, but she doesn’t come without her sensitive side.
Together, they take down giant monsters and dangerous foes like Mojo Jojo and HIM. So if there’s trouble in Townsville, you can be sure that the day will be saved; thanks to the Powerpuff Girls.
What’s your favorite Cartoon Network series of all time? Let us know in the comments!