Underrated Animated Shows Everyone Needs to Watch

Animated television has evolved in recent memory to rank amongst the rest of TV’s greats. The art form continues to garner a lot of respect due to classics such as King of the Hill, South Park, and Bojack Horseman. We’re not talking about those today. Instead, we’re focusing on the hidden gems.

In this article, we’ve listed out some fun shows you may have never heard of. There are also some classics that you’ve probably overlooked over the years. Nevertheless, these animated TV shows will last in your memory for a long time, even if you’re looking for something casual. Now, without further ado, let’s get into it!


F is For Family
Photo Credits: Bill Burr, Michael Price.

F can also mean familiarity, as F is For Family is reminiscent of The Simpsons. The family dynamics and working-class issues are dealt with humorously and punchily, making it easier to watch after a long day. The show portrays a dysfunctional Irish-American family trying to navigate suburban Pennsylvania in the 70s. The show is inspired by the life of stand-up comedian Bill Burr, who is the series’s co-creator. He voices Frank Murphy in the show, a character known for profanity and short temper. Like The Simpsons, F is For Family has numerous catchphrases uttered by eccentric characters that make it more memorable as you continue watching. Unfortunately, some profanity is involved in this adult animated sitcom, so it might not be suitable for a family get-together.


Over The Garden Wall
Photo Credits: Patrick McHale, Katie Krentz.

Moving on to something more adorable and dark simultaneously, we have Over The Garden Wall. This show is a beautifully animated coming-of-age tale between two brothers who get lost in a magic forest. In their quest to find their way home, they encounter all sorts of mysterious creatures, some creepy and some adorable. On their journey, Wirt and Greg, the brothers in the show, somehow cross paths with a mysterious old woodsman and a bluebird named Beatrice. Wirt is an antsy teenager, while Greg is a ‘head-empty,’ carefree little boy. Since this show has only ten episodes, you’ll probably binge-watch it in one day or even one sitting. However, each episode plays a significant role and story that will all make sense in the end. The show aired on Cartoon Network in 2014 and has been a hit ever since. Hence, if you’ve missed this underrated animated TV show, watch it now!


Photo Credits: Mike Judge, Glenn Eichler, Susie Lewis.

Truthfully, you may have seen screencaps of Daria as memes or reaction pictures online but have never really bothered to figure out what show it was from. This deadpan, cynical girl, Daria, stars in her own self-titled show set in high school. Surprisingly, the cynicism is tolerable, and the storytelling is rather intelligent. This title is a spin-off of Beavis and Butt-Head, which Mike Judge created. Daria herself is a recurring character on the show. This time, she has her own show, partnered up with her best friend, Jane Lane. It is essentially a satirical take on shows set in high school. Daria paved the way for more outlandish, cynical shows like Rick and Morty to take place in the current world. It is also an excellent portrayal of teenage culture in the 90s and early 2000s.


Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends
Photo Credits: Cartoon Network, Craig McCracken, Lauren Faust, Mike Moon.

Those who lived their teen years in the 2000s had some of the best shows, and Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends is one of those gems. Hence, we’re bringing it back for the newer generation. This is a colorful and fun show that you could watch as a casual pastime, no problem. There’s a lot to love in the show, which showcases childhood imaginary friends coming to life. As the children outgrow their imaginary friends, they get moved into the orphanage until another child comes along and adopts them.  Part of the reason the show is so loved is its message to its viewers – that supporting your friends is important. That, and friendship and loyalty, are something we should all treasure. Aside from that, it is an aesthetically pleasing show with lovable characters that you would soon hold near and dear. That said, make sure you put this underrated animated TV show on your list now!


Xiaolin Showdown
Photo Credits: Kids WB, The WB, Christy Hui.

It’s something for the martial arts and action fans out there, with a diverse cast of characters with differing personalities. What sets Xiaolin Showdown apart from its animation design is its engaging story that will keep you wanting more. Additionally, the world-building and character growth are excellent. In a way, Xiaolin Showdown mixes and matches Eastern and Western cultures. You get the martial arts, action, and philosophy of Eastern cultures with the humor and characters from Western culture. Don’t let its simple appearances deceive you. This show has a deep and complex lore set into its storyline that will engage you. You’ll follow the adventures of Omi, Kimiko, Raimundo, and Clay as fellow young martial art students on a quest to collect magical artifacts. All this prevents these powerful relics from falling into the wrong hands.


Solar Opposites
Photo Credits: Justin Roiland, Mike McMahan.

Another one for those who enjoy casual shows with humor and cynicism is Solar Opposites. Although fans of Rick and Morty may have heard of this show before, it’s one of the lesser-known shows created by Justin Roiland and Mike McMahan. This explains the similar-looking animation and design regarding world-building and cynicism. The episodes are short, and there are only around 8 to 11 per season, which makes for a short and fun watch. It is more of a sitcom vibe, and even if it is an adult animation, the jokes are on the mild side. There is a parallel storyline, with one end depicting the alien family while the other depicting humans that have been shrunk and imprisoned in a terrarium known as ‘The Wall.’ Solar Opposites is arguably more intense than Rick and Morty but has less of the witty banter for which the show is known. In this title, a family of aliens takes refuge in the middle of nowhere America as their home planet gets destroyed. At the same time, they have a pupa in their care that they’re waiting to mature, consume them, and destroy Earth.


The Awesomes
Photo Credits: Michael Shoemaker, Seth Meyers.

It would be remiss not to have something about the superhero genre on the list, and The Awesomes is a great addition. The show tackles real-life issues with superheroes, but with a catch – their superpowers can’t solve these real-life issues. It’s a quirky and relatable show for the average Joe, that’s for sure.  It all starts with the head of the family, Mr. Awesome, retiring from fighting crime. So naturally, this leads to his son stepping up to create his own team of superheroes.  As a somewhat goofy show with an interesting premise, you would be done with an episode (and perhaps a season) within the blink of an eye. It is the brainchild of Seth Meyers and Michael Shoemaker, which makes the writing of this underrated animated TV show even more promising.


Photo Credits: Greg Weisman, Frank Paur.

You wouldn’t think a show about gargoyles would be interesting until you start watching this gem right here. Contrary to its animated portrayal, Gargoyles has a complex story that keeps it adrift. You’ll be highly engaged by the twists and turns of its story, which is always a plus point for a show to be memorable. In Gargoyles, the Manhattan Clan now has to deal with a city that is aware of its existence and fears them. These creatures are nocturnal and turn to stone in the daylight, their lives dedicated to protecting the city. The show has almost a Shakespearean vibe, as they use Shakespeare’s works as a point of reference. This might sound overbearing and serious, so we recommend this for those looking for something more in-depth and fulfilling. Put aside the idea that Gargoyles are a myth that lives in children’s imagination.


Photo Credits: Brendon Small, Tommy Blacha, Adult Swim.

Metalheads unite! Metalocalypse is a unique and exciting insight into metalhead culture that bears a strong stigma in society. If you’re a music lover or interested in metalhead culture, this is an underrated animated TV show designed for you. The show takes this unique, controversial culture and makes light of it in a rather refreshing and fun take. It is dubbed a parody of the Metalhead culture. It’s almost as if telling its viewers that it shouldn’t take things too seriously. Metalocalypse centers on the fictional death metal band Dethklok. The storyline follows the band’s rise to fame with all sorts of dark content depicted in its storytelling. As some depictions of violence and death are in the show, it would not be suitable for a family viewing.


Atomic Betty
Photo Credits: Atomic Cartoons, Trevor Bentley, Mauro Casalese, Rob Davies, Olaf Miller.

Finally reaching the last on the list, we’ve decided to go for a more family-friendly approach with a strong female lead – Atomic Betty. If you’re tired of rewatching those, this is an excellent alternative to popular shows like Totally Spies and Kim Possible. It has a highly catchy opening theme, a bonus to our ears, and is a super easy watch. You can casually tune in to Atomic Betty to rest up after a long day. This show is another take on the double-life superhero as Betty is a typical 12-year-old girl by day and an interstellar crime fighter by night. Each episode brings a new crisis that Betty has to solve without revealing her identity. She’s also paired with two sidekicks – an alien pilot named Sparky and a robot named X5.

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