Top 5 Best Cartoon Network Shows Ever

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Cartoon Network is considered one of the best cable TV channels when it comes to airing fun and entertaining animated shows. Cartoon Network has been around for more than 30 years, so it is not surprising that the channel has already produced and aired countless popular shows.

Let us explore the golden era of animated entertainment as we delve into the Top 5 Best Cartoon Network Shows Ever. From nostalgic gems reminiscent of 60s cartoons to modern masterpieces that redefine lively storytelling, join us on a journey through the animated landscape that any fan, young or old, would gladly spend their free time indulging in. Say goodbye to the top 50s cartoons, as these Cartoon Network classics have secured their place as the pinnacle of animated brilliance.

Courage the Cowardly Dog

“Courage the Cowardly Dog,” an American animated horror comedy television series created by John R. Dilworth for Cartoon Network, offers a unique portrayal of the life of an anthropomorphic dog cohabiting with an elderly couple in the desolate landscape of Nowhere.

The show, which premiered in 1996, takes the trio through bizarre and frequently disturbing misadventures, often involving the paranormal or supernatural elements. With its dark, surreal humor and atmospheric storytelling, “Courage the Cowardly Dog” stands out as a one-of-a-kind animated series.

The roots of the show trace back to the seven-minute animated short titled “The Chicken from Outer Space.” Notable for its beautifully crafted animation, the series introduces deep and sometimes downright evil characters, creating a delightful sense of terror for viewers, particularly in memorable encounters with entities like the fetus blob from Hell, Freaky Fred, the tree with a human face, the big fungal foot, and many others.”

Ed, Edd n Eddy

Retro TV on a bed with snacks

Created by Danny Antonucci for Cartoon Network, ‘Ed, Edd n Eddy’ is a Canadian American animated comedy series that marks the sixth installment in the Cartoon Cartoons lineup. Set in the suburban town of Peach Creek, the show follows the misadventures of three boys – Ed, Edd (also known as ‘Double D’ to avoid confusion with Ed), and Eddy, collectively known as ‘the Eds.’

Under the unofficial leadership of Eddy, the trio perpetually devises schemes to earn money from their peers, all in pursuit of their favorite candy: jawbreakers. The all-mighty jawbreaker is a shiny sphere of sugar that holds a special place in the hearts of many. Capable of breaking your jaw if you dared to attempt devouring it all at once. The series wrapped up its escapades with the final film, ‘Ed, Edd n Eddy’s Big Picture Show,’ marking the end of an era filled with laughter and jawbreaker-fueled schemes.

Dexter’s Laboratory

Genndy Tartakovsky’s creation, Dexter’s Laboratory, unfolds the tale of a genius boy inventor with a clandestine laboratory concealed in his room. Engaged in a perpetual struggle with his mischievous older sister, Dee Dee, Dexter constantly finds his experiments inadvertently thwarted. The rivalry extends beyond his family, as Dexter faces Mandark, a fellow boy-genius who serves as his neighbor and classmate.

Across four seasons and 78 full episodes, the series garnered significant acclaim, clinching three Annie Awards and receiving nominations for four Primetime Emmy Awards, four Golden Reel Awards, and nine additional Annie Awards.

However, Dexter’s journey wasn’t without its controversies. The show had to remove specific episodes, including one featuring a spoof character, Silver Spooner, perceived as a stereotype of gay men. Another episode, containing rude censored language, never aired on live television but found its way to the public through Adult Swim on YouTube in January 2013.

Adventure Time

“Adventure Time” secures its position as one of the top 5 best Cartoon Network shows ever through its exceptional attributes. The series stands out with its innovative storytelling, weaving whimsical adventures with profound themes that resonate across age groups.

The characters, from the central duo Finn and Jake to many supporting roles, are richly developed, adding depth and complexity to the narrative. The Land of Ooo, the show’s fantastical setting, showcases meticulous world-building, complete with its mythology and history.

Beyond its entertainment value, Adventure Time has become a cultural phenomenon, leaving an indelible mark on popular culture with iconic characters and catchphrases. A snippet of the show’s charm lies in its ability to seamlessly blend humor and emotion, creating a unique viewing experience that captures both the imagination and the heart. Whether exploring the depths of the Land of Ooo or delving into the complexities of its characters, Adventure Time has carved its place as a timeless and influential animated masterpiece on Cartoon Network.

Scooby-Doo

A replica of Scooby-Doo’s Mystery Machine

This show, created by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears in 1969, is a timeless masterpiece that has etched its place in animated history. Inspired by Frank Sinatra’s iconic song “Strangers in the Night,” the lovable Great Dane Scooby-Doo embarked on countless adventures, solving mysteries and unmasking villains with his human companions. Notably, ABC production once deemed Scooby’s nephew, Scrappy-Doo, a negative influence on kids.

Despite this, the show has triumphed, earning the distinction of holding the record for the most episodes in a cartoon comedy series. In 2004, Scooby-Doo reached a significant milestone, celebrating its 350th episode, surpassing even the long-standing benchmarks set by renowned series like The Simpsons and Tom and Jerry. This achievement solidifies Scooby-Doo’s enduring legacy and significant contribution to animated entertainment.

Other Great Cartoon Network Shows You Can Watch

Cartoon Network has produced many memorable shows that have entertained audiences of all ages. While the top 5 best shows are well-known, there are several other standout series that deserve recognition. In this section, we will look at some additional Cartoon Network shows that have made a big impact and continue to be fan favorites.

  • The Powerpuff Girls: Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup, the pint-sized superheroes, fight crime in Townsville, combining action and humor with a dash of girl power.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: A unique combination of animation styles and witty humor, this show follows Gumball Watterson and his family in the fictional city of Elmore.
  • Teen Titans: Featuring a team of young superheroes, Teen Titans explores the challenges and adventures faced by Robin, Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy, and Cyborg as they protect Jump City.
  • Regular Show: The surreal and hilarious escapades of two friends, Mordecai and Rigby, who work at a park and encounter supernatural elements and eccentric characters.
  • Steven Universe: A coming-of-age story with a touch of magic, Steven Universe follows the adventures of a boy with unique powers and his gem-powered friends as they protect Earth.
  • Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends: Set in a world where imaginary friends exist, this heartwarming series follows Mac and his imaginary friend, Bloo, as they navigate the challenges of Foster’s Home.
  • Ben 10: The adventures of Ben Tennyson, who can transform into various alien forms with the help of his Omnitrix, combine action, sci-fi, and a touch of humor.
  • Johnny Bravo: The comical misadventures of Johnny Bravo, a self-absorbed but lovable man with a big ego and a knack for getting into amusing predicaments.
  • Samurai Jack: A visually stunning series follows Jack, a time-displaced samurai, as he battles the evil Aku in a quest to return to his own time.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: Dark humor and supernatural elements characterize this series, focusing on the macabre and humorous adventures of Billy, Mandy, and the Grim Reaper.
  • Cow and Chicken: The comedic escapades of the anthropomorphic cow and chicken siblings, who navigate surreal and absurd situations in their everyday lives.
  • Young Justice: This animated superhero series explores the lives and adventures of a team of young heroes, including Robin, Superboy, and Miss Martian, as they tackle threats to the world.
  • Rugrats: A beloved classic, Rugrats takes us into the imaginative world of babies like Tommy Pickles, Chuckie Finster, and twins Phil and Lil DeVille, exploring their everyday adventures and discoveries. Ever heard the Rugrats theme song? It is instantly recognizable with its playful melody and opening with baby laughter. The nostalgic theme evokes memories of Tommy, Chuckie, and the gang’s imaginative escapades.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: A group of five kids with different skills and codenames work together as a secret organization to fight against adult tyranny and save kids everywhere.
  • Justice League: Iconic DC superheroes, including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and others, join forces to protect the world from formidable threats in this animated adaptation.
  • Mao Mao: Heroes of Pure Heart: Combining action and humor, this series follows Mao Mao, an ambitious cat, and his friends as they embark on heroic adventures in the kingdom of Pure Heart.
  • The Flintstones: A Hanna-Barbera classic, The Flintstones transports viewers to the prehistoric town of Bedrock, following the humorous antics of Fred Flintstone and his family.
  • Tom and Jerry: The iconic cat-and-mouse chase between Tom and Jerry remains a timeless classic, filled with slapstick humor and clever animation.
  • The Looney Tunes Show: Featuring iconic characters like Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, this series modernizes the classic Looney Tunes characters in a hilarious sitcom setting.

Interesting Facts About Cartoon Network

Cartoon mock-up of a television

Cartoon Network has been a beloved part of many childhoods, offering a wide range of animated shows that have left a lasting impact. Here are some interesting facts about Cartoon Network that you might not know.

  • Launch Date: Cartoon Network was launched on October 1, 1992. It was the first 24-hour network dedicated solely to animated programming.
  • Original Programming: The network’s first original series was “The Moxy Show,” which debuted in 1993. This paved the way for many other successful original programs.
  • International Reach: Cartoon Network is available in over 185 countries and in more than 30 languages, making it a global leader in children’s entertainment.
  • Successful Spin-offs: Shows like “The Powerpuff Girls” and “Teen Titans Go!” have been spun off from original programs, achieving their own significant success and fan bases.
  • Diverse Content: Cartoon Network has consistently produced diverse content, including action, comedy, and fantasy shows, appealing to a broad audience.
  • Awards: The network and its shows have won numerous awards, including Emmy Awards and Annie Awards, highlighting the quality and impact of its programming.
  • Adult Swim: Launched in 2001, Adult Swim is Cartoon Network’s nighttime programming block aimed at older audiences. It has become known for its edgy and innovative shows.
  • Popular Reboots: Cartoon Network has successfully rebooted several classic shows, such as “Ben 10” and “The Powerpuff Girls,” introducing them to new generations of viewers.

Conclusion

The list represents a diverse and timeless collection of animated masterpieces that have left an indelible mark on viewers of all ages. Each series has contributed to the rich tapestry of vibrant storytelling and the network’s ability to blend humor, creativity, and emotional depth.

As these shows continue to be celebrated for their innovation, character development, and cultural impact, it’s evident that Cartoon Network has played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of animated entertainment. The legacy of these top shows resonates, reminding us of the enduring power of animation to captivate and enchant audiences across generations.

Additional Suggestions

  • James Harrison, a former player for the New England Patriots, said he would spend his free time watching Cartoon Network instead of tuning into the matchup between the Steelers and the Jaguars, both considered frontrunners in the NFL Superbowl odds.
  • Who doesn’t remember the all-mighty jawbreaker from Ed, Edd n Eddy? It is arguably one of the most iconic food items in the show and is often credited for making real jawbreaker candies popular in the early 2000s.
  • Genndy Tartakovsky, the creator of Dexter’s Laboratory, is also known for creating Star Wars: Clone Wars.
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