Cartoons are traditionally for the younger population. However, for some of us, we never lose our connection with animated programming. Check out these top 5 cartoons that are more adult than you think!

5. Adventure Time

Premiering April 5, 2010 on Cartoon Network in the US, Adventure Time has become a cult phenomenon. Kids are attracted to it like flies to honey but so are a lot of adults. The visuals and story lines quickly blur together and to many it seems like a sugary confection that is easily overlooked. But doing so one can miss post-apocalyptic imagery, mutation, schizophrenia, and what looks like a gingerbread man suffering Alzheimer’s. No one episode exemplifies the subversive nature of whole but the show is best enjoyed in marathon sessions.

4. Regular Show

Another Cartoon Network production, Regular Show is anything but. Starring two hapless losers who work at a park, Regular Show is a perfect meditation on a stoner’s existence after high school if they happened to be a bluebird and raccoon. The series was based on the creator’s short about dropping acid while working the graveyard shift of an AM/PM. Watching the show compared to the original short little has changed but many tripping images remain. See the episode “Weekend at Benson’s” for reference.

3. Rocko’s Modern Life

A classic Nickelodeon show of the nineties, Rocko was a show about a wallaby, his best friends and the horror of suburban life. Many adult jokes were crude but almost subliminal in their appearance being sight or word gags relegated to the background. However two episodes were infamous for their explicit imagery: “Leap Frogs” & “The Good, the Bad, the Wallaby.” However, the writers took advantage of the title card to the fullest…

2. The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy

Billy & Mandy was more manic and disturbing than other children’s shows before or since. Characters were often killed or mutilated but never acknowledged the horror of the situation around them. The concept was dark focusing on two children who beat the Grim Reaper in a game and force him to be their best friend… forever. Many plots revolved around monsters, magic, the end of the world, chaos, or something horrible happening to the characters that is miraculously forgotten the next episode. The Christmas Special was especially odd as Gilbert Gottfried played a vampiric Santa Claus and the whole of the episode was seemingly invalidated when Billy declares, after saving Christmas no less, he is Jewish.

1. Courage the Cowardly Dog

More raw nightmare fuel exists in this show than any other cartoon ever made it seems. Take a lovable and happy dog and torture him till his mind breaks seems to be the recurring motif of this show. The violence is often goofy but the tortured reaction of Courage and his awareness that everything is abnormal make for a very unbalanced program. There also seems to be an absence of youth or children in this show, Courage’s two owners are a childless elderly couple who live on a remote and unproductive farm.

And there we have it, the 5 top cartoons that are more adult than you think. What are some other cartoons that are more adult than you would think?