Season 4 of Rick and Morty ended on a rather sad and depressive note with plenty of unresolved issues much like the show’s two main protagonists. While it’s tempting to do a re-watch marathon, knowing how it will end come the latest season would be akin to salting the wound.
Hence, to take the mind off of just how dark and dysfunctional Rick and Morty is, other similar cartoons ought to provide the much-needed respite. Some of these are light-hearted and positive while others are absurdist black or toilet comedies. All of them should keep fans occupied until the next season of Rick and Morty gets released maybe after what feels like a decade as fans eagerly await new episodes.
Updated on March 28th, 2021 by Kristen Palamara: Rick and Morty is an extremely popular series due to its engaging and smart storylines including exploring existential questions, unique and funny characters, and its rich universe full of animated adventures. Rick and Morty is notorious for taking long breaks inbetween new episodes and while there’s no show exactly like it on the air, there are other adult animated shows that fans can watch and rewatch including raunchy shows with flawed characters, shows with adventures every episode, and shows that try to reckon with existential questions about life and death.
15 Disenchantment (2018-)
Disenchantment is a new animated fantasy Netflix series from Simpsons and Futurama creator Matt Groening. The show centers on the misadventures of Princess Bean and her two friends Luci, a literal demon, and Elfo whose name is self-explanatory.
The three go on magical and at times dark adventures, similar to Rick and Morty, and the series even introduced a more scientific side of things even though it’s set in medieval times.
14 The Midnight Gospel (2020-)
The Midnight Gospel is an animated Netflix series that explores the existential questions of life and death through its characters in a surreal way. The series follows Clancy as he travels inside a universe simulator going on adventures and meeting new people along the way.
Rick and Morty has a similar setup as they travel the universe and the show frequently reckons with existential questions about life and death while meeting new and intriguing characters on their adventures.
13 Final Space (2018-)
Final Space is a newer sci-fi animated series that mostly takes place in space as the title suggests. It follows an astronaut called Gary who is working off a prison sentence when he meets an alien called Mooncake who is being tracked down so Mooncake’s powers can be used for evil.
The series follows Gary and Mooncake’s adventures through space in a comedic way similar to Rick and Morty.
12 The Awesomes (2013-2015)
The Awesomes follows a group of b-team superheroes who try to help townspeople with typically disastrous results. Mr. Awesome decides to retire and become the leader of this new team of superheroes trying to prove themselves as protectors.
The Hulu series follows the Awesomes team as they face government and media skepticism and criticism as they attempt to do their jobs.
11 BoJack Horseman (2014-2020)
BoJack Horseman follows a horse called BoJack who is a has-been actor who was most famous for his role on a sitcom where he played a single father to three human children. The series sees him reckon with his life after fame, addiction, anxiety, and depression.
There’s a large cast of characters of both humans and animals who are also struggling in their lives and careers. The original Netflix series reckons with existential questions of life and death and would be a show any Rick and Morty fan would enjoy.
10 Black Dynamite (2011-2015)
This hidden (and unfortunately, canceled) gem from Adult Swim is the cartoon version of the live-action film of the same name.
It’s a satirical jab at blaxploitation films of the 1970s and thus takes regular potshots at popular culture including everything from Richard Nixon to Michael Jackson. The main character himself, Black Dynamite, is voiced by Michael Jai White.
9 The Venture Bros. (2003-2018)
Since many Rick and Morty are already familiar with Adult Swim, they’d do well in checking out The Venture Bros. It’s the network’s longest-running original series and is a parody of many things from superheroes/supervillains to space-age or even spy fiction.
It follows the exploits of the Venture family, namely brothers Dean and Hank as their incompetence leads them to many dangers involving the family’s arch-nemesis, The Monarch. Thankfully, their trusty bodyguard Brock and their father unconventionally keep them safe.
8 Robot Chicken (2005-)
Robot Chicken is also one of the longest mainstays of Adult Swim. It’s a perfect recommendation for fans of Rick and Morty who can’t get enough of that show’s Interdimensional Cable skits. Each episode of Robot Chicken is an irreverent anthology of pop culture parodies.
It would seem that nothing is off-limits to these guys from Twilight to even Spongebob Squarepants. Their jokes are often crass and tend to ruin the fandom for anyone too emotionally invested in a particular show or film. It’s all in good fun, of course.
7 Solar Opposites (2020-)
At first glance, one might mistake Solar Opposites for an episode of Rick and Morty. That’s because Justin Roiland, Rick and Morty‘s co-creator, is one of the people responsible for this alien family comedy cartoon.
Some might even say that it feels like an expanded version of an Interdimensional Cable skit from Rick and Morty or one of the many dimensions of that show. Either way, it’s worth watching in Hulu for Justin Roiland’s brand alone and a crossover with Rick and Morty seems inevitable.
6 Mr. Pickles (2013-2019)
Speaking of an adult cartoon that feels like it came from the hellish depths of the minds of whoever wrote disgusting Interdimensional Cable skits, Mr. Pickles from Adult Swim is relentlessly crude– in a funny way. It features over-the-top shock and gore with lots of satanic iconographies.
The whole show revolves around the dog protagonist, Mr. Pickles who is living a double life as a Satanist while protecting his disabled and clueless human boy owner. The most shocking part of the show is that Mr. Pickles isn’t even the evilest character.
5 Steven Universe (2013-2020)
Now on to lighter and Rated G or E cartoons, Steven Universe is a Rick and Morty adventure if Morty chose the escapade and if the whole multiverse was not messed up and nihilistic. That doesn’t make it boring though unless you’re Rick Sanchez.
Steven Universe is about Steven and his three Crystal Gem friends who are guardians of worlds. Steven himself is also part-Crystal Gem and is entrusted to save worlds in various adventures. Apart from the charming story and characters, the soundtrack is also what’s going to keep viewers coming back for more.
4 Adventure Time (2010-2018)
Rick and Morty don’t delve much into fantasy parodies but when they do, their episodes feel like a mature-rated version of Adventure Time. It’s one of Cartoon Network’s most successful shows in the previous decade and holds its own weight well, perhaps even timelessly.
Adventure Time is the therapeutic and psychedelic romp of best friends Finn and Jake as they go around the post-apocalyptic land of Ooo helping the Candy Kingdom and getting into adventures that are the Rated G or E-equivalent of a psilocybin trip. The show’s music, for that matter, is top-notch as well.
3 Gravity Falls (2012-2016)
Apparently, Alex Hirsch, the creator of Gravity Falls, is a close friend of Justin Roiland of Rick and Morty. As such, fans shouldn’t be surprised to see some Rick and Morty Easter eggs here and there in Gravity Falls and vice versa.
Gravity Falls is also a wacky series of adventures of Dipper Pines and his twin sister Mabel as soon as they set foot in the small, weird, and paranormal town of Gravity Falls. Don’t be fooled by the Disney channel tag, it’s brimming with dark and adult humor and innuendos.
2 The Regular Show (2009-2017)
Like any good comedy show featuring two partners with chemistry, The Regular Show follows nearly the same format as Rick and Morty. Each episode is a short journey where the two protagonists are constantly placed in situations out of their control.
The difference is that Mordecai and Rigby, the show’s heroes, are humble working-class average Joes, except they’re anthropomorphic animals. Their friends are also equally weird and inhuman which is part of the show’s allure.
1 Invader Zim (2001-2006)
Last but not least a kids’ cartoon that was way ahead of its time (and its rating) from Nickelodeon, Invader Zim. It’s a morbid and darkly unapologetic sci-fi show that follows the story of Zim, an alien from the planet Urk whose sole mission is to singlehandedly invade Earth to earn approval from his superiors.
The problem is, he’s incompetent and a human boy named Dib made him out. What follows is a human vs. alien rivalry done unlike any other in cartoons with frequent dashes of absurdist humor and unhinged characters where Zim appears to be the most stable and most human, ironically.
NEXT: Rick And Morty: 5 Reasons The Show Could Dip In Quality With So Many Episodes (& 5 It Won’t)
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