There's nothing quite like escaping reality and plunging yourself straight into an interesting animated cartoon land.

While most all of us might be familiar with classic cartoons like The Simpsons and Family Guy, there are also all sorts of lesser-known favorites out there, lurking in the shadows of our collective societal memory.

Lucky for you, we've taken that deep dive down for you, right into animated TV obscurity. Keep scrolling to satisfy your inner nerd. I'm tellin' feels oh so good.


via: Freak-a

Aired: 1995-1997, Kids' WB! Birthed during the great animation renaissance of the 1990s, and executive produced by Steven Spielberg no less, Freakazoid showcased the adventures of one zany, amped-up superhero and all his kooky super villain rivals. Maybe not as well-known as Animaniacs, but still a classic throwback in and of itself.

Clerks: The Animated Series

via: Smodcast

Aired: 1997-1999, ABC A cartoon version of the 1994 live-action comedy, Clerks, this obscure animated series was a seemingly surefire hit that didn't do all that hot. Only two episodes of the show ever aired. All six, count 'um six, were later released on DVD. Seems pretty on-brand for Clerks though, if I'm being honest.

Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist

via: WNYC

Aired: 1995-1999 & 2002, Comedy Central Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist offered its viewers an animated look into famous standup comedians' sets by way of a therapist's lens. Totes heady.


via: Duckman Wiki

Aired: 1994-1997, USA Network This surreal, black comedy centered on a private detective duck, voiced by none other than Seinfeld's Jason Alexander. Plus, this gem was animated by Klasky Csupo...famed animators of Rugrats, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, and The Simpsons. Aka animation royalty! *Breathe, girl. Breathe out those raging fangirl vibes.*

Earthworm Jim

via: Sega Nerds

Aired: 1995-1996, Kids' WB! Based on a surreal video game, Earthworm Jim is a wacky space adventure, filled with tales of protecting the universe from all sorts of absurdist catastrophes. I mean, there's a character named Psy-Crow. Who wouldn't be down for that?

Bob and Margaret

via: nelvana

Aired: 1998-2000, Comedy Central Bob and Margaret was a Canadian/English cartoon, profiling the everyday mid life crises of 40-something couple, Bob and Margaret Fish. They didn't have kids. They did have two pooches named William and Elizabeth. Sounds like a dream life to me.

Fantastic Four

via: Wikipedia

Aired: 1967-1968, Fox This Hanna-Barbera classic was the very first animated TV series based on the Fantastic Four Marvel comics. Do you think they had any inkling as to the sheer magnitude of repeat remake tsunamis that choice was actually unleashing onto our subsequent summer blockbuster circuit? I think they did. I think they knew. *Shakes fist*

Baby Blues

via: Wikipedia

Aired: 2000, The WB Television Network; 2002, Adult Swim Released here and there on a few different networks, this Adult Swim animated series based on the famed comic strip takes place when Zoe is an infant rather than a toddler. So, if that's what you've been missing out on, go forth and scavenge for this golden ticket of a show.


via: Trope and Dagger

Aired: 1994-1996, Syndicated; 1996-1997, ABC This '90s Walt Disney Television Animation and Buena Vista production features moody gargoyles who relocate from medieval Scotland to NYC so that they can, you know, casually protect the entire city from mayhem. Dark? Check. Melodramatic? Check. Shakespearean even? CHECK. Yaas, Disney. Yaaaas.

Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law

via: Bitter Empire

Aired: 2000, Cartoon Network, 2001-2007, Adult Swim Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law profiled a superhero staffed law firm? My soul is all kinds of tickled.

Dog City

via: Muppet Wiki

Aired: 1992-1995, Fox This half-animation and half-live muppet Jim Henson masterpiece chronicled dog detective, Ace Hart's antics. He moves in and out between animated and real life. In real life he converses with his muppet animator, Eliot Shag. This is world traversing on another level, and I'm all about it!

American Dad!

via: Den of Geek

Aired: 2005-Present, Fox This presently airing Fox animated series, created in part by Family Guy's Seth MacFarlane, hasn't found quite as hearty of fanbase as its creative brainchild brother sitcom, but the end is not nigh. Straddling the line between farce and observational comedy, this obscure gem is totally worth a watch.


via: Filmweb

Aired: 1998-2000, Kids' WB! Marketed primarily toward children, this highly educational animated series had a Saturday Night Live-light style feel. Guys. This show was my JAM. I'm nerdy and I know it.

Mission Hill

via: Fanpop

Aired: 1999-2000, The WB; 2002, Adult Swim Mission Hill's got soul-searching twenty-somethings misadventuring in a quintessential "big city." I mean, when Just Shoot Me's Brian Posehn is gracing your cast, can you really ever go wrong?


via: Entertainment Weekly

Aired: 2009-Present, FX FX's animated spy comedy Archer is still airing strong. But also, the fact that he works for "International Secret Intelligence Service," aka ISIS, in the first few seasons? I feel like we don't have hardly enough memes yet about that connection.

Pepper Ann

via: Pepper Ann Wiki

Aired: 1997-2000, ABC Pepper Ann, Pepper Ann, much too cool for seventh grade! No one's cooler than Pepper Aaaaaaann. I woke up every Saturday morning to watch this One Saturday Morning favorite. But also, remember that One Saturday Morning intro? Classic!


via: Shout Factory

Aired: 1994-1996, ABC; 1996-1997, syndicated; 1999-2001, Cartoon Network This Canadian sci-fi, adventure/action show was the first entirely computer-animated half hour tv series. It follows a Guardian trying to keep the Mainframe safe from viruses. So basically, it was the '90s version of me policing my dad's spam email opening tendencies? Cool cool.

Rocko's Modern Life

via: Collider

Aired: 1993-1996, Nickelodeon Rocko, the Australian wallaby. Heffer, the gluttonous cow. Fillburt, the anxious turtle. Man, this show had it all.

Sabrina, The Animated Series

via: Sabrina: The Animated Series Wiki

Aired: 1999-2001, ABC & Disney Channel Remember when the live action version of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch went off the air and we were all super sad? But then the animated version came around, the dreary clouds parted, and we could all finally breathe again? Just me? Alright. That Spooky Jar though, you guys! That. Spooky. Jar.

Sealab 2021

via: YouTube

Aired: 2000, Cartoon Network; 2001-2005, Adult Swim This Cartoon Network and then Adult Swim show was a satirical parody of the original 1970s Sealab 2020. An environmentally-themed parody? Where has this treasure been all my life?

Space Ghost Coast To Coast

via: Popshifter

Aired: 1994-2001, Cartoon Network; 2001-2004, Adult Swim Space Ghost Coast to Coast was an animated, parody, talk show?! I mean, literally anything is possible when you're drawing it into being. I love humanity.

Spider-Man: The New Animated Series

via: Netflix

Aired: 2003, NBC Maybe you know it as MTV Spider-Man? I mean, Neil Patrick Harris was in it. Enough. Said.

Star Trek: The Animated Series


Aired: 1973-1974, NBC Can you believe the animated Star Trek series was the first Star Trek series variety to win an Emmy Award? Pretty, pretty cool, animated Star Trek. Pretty cool indeed.

Superman: The Animated Series


Aired: 1996-2000, The WB Superman: The Animated Series had all sorts of complex themes and quality animation. This one was definitely a must-see for comic book-lovers everywhere.

The Critic

via: Christine Cavanaugh Tribute

Aired: 1994, ABC:1995, Fox Loveable, nebbishy Jon Lovitz starred in this animated ode to New York City. His character, elitist film critic Jay Sherman, hosted review show, Coming Attractions. His catch phrase was, "It stinks!" So many things were right about this one.

The Oblongs

via: TV Tropes

Aired: 2001, The WB; 2002, Adult Swim The Oblongs are your typical New Jersey family...but also doused in radiation and completely deformed?? Coooooool.

The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show

via: Man of Steel and Voice of America

Aired: 1979-1981, ABC A stretchy superhero saving the world? I could totally get into that.

God, The Devil, and Bob

via: Carsey Werner

Aired: 2000, NBC; 2011, Adult Swim Religious pressure kept this gem of an obscure cartoon from more widespread consciousness. I mean, the Devil does choose a porn-loving beer guzzler to save the world... I've never wanted to watch something more in my entire life.

The Tick

via: Samantha Dunaway Bryant

Aired: 1994-1996, Fox This '90s animated series follows The Tick, an invulnerable and mildly dim-witted superhero, on his quest to keep The City safe. Now there's a live-action series version of The Tick coming Amazon. OMG! And Whoopi is in it?!? My heart is honestly bursting with anticipation right now, y'all.

Todd McFarlane's Spawn

via: Big Shiny Robot

Aired: 1997-1999, HBO This suspenseful HBO horror series earned an Emmy win. Understandable. I mean, I feel like following a betrayed, dead Vietnam vet reincarnate to seek revenge feels Emmy-worthy. I see you, HBO.