Many people are unaware of what swim shows are. Well, the term swim shows come from another popular term Adult Swim.
Adult Swim is often abbreviated as “as”. Adult Swim was an alternative to the Cartoon Network shows which were mainly cartoons for kids. Adult Swim was aired at night and was aimed at adults. Adult Swim is not a particular genre. Rather, one should consider it as a river, of which, adult animation features, comedy, mockumentaries, etc. were tributaries.
Such shows were and continue to be still popular for their sexual themes and depiction of nudity, violence, and strong language.
Swim shows were experimental and surreal. Kids today might not find it relatable but back then, depiction of such themes was frowned upon by a large number of people.
Top 15 Best Adult Swim Shows (2022 upd): RANKED: TV Series
1. Rick and Morty
This is the newest adult swim show that this generation might relate to. The show is essentially about Rick, who is an alcoholic and a sociopath. Rick lives with his daughter, Beth’s family.
Morty on the other hand is his grandson, with whom Rick takes on absurd intergalactic adventures.
Morty is morally well established but a little dumb. Rick keeps building gadgets and introduces his dimwit grandson to “fun” adventures.
The show is considered fit for adults only due to its strong language and use of words like “fuck”, “shit”, etc.
Apart from the use of abusive language, there are also sexual references which even though kids might not understand at a young age, are considered inappropriate for them.
The show has several references to masturbation and you might even see bare butts while watching the show. To top it all off, Rick and Morty have an episode that is all about fighting off Horses’ sperms.
2. Family Guy
This show is about a family and the weird but funny situations they often find themselves in.
The Family Guy in this case is a man named Peter Griffin and his family consists of his wife, two teenagers, a baby, and a dog. The baby’s character is quite opposite of how babies are in real life.
Family Guy is filled with sexual jokes, dark humor, and strong language.
The show is not meant for children or people who are easily offended.
The jokes in this show are not related to sex but are often dark in many ways. Family Guy was also heavily criticized for its racial humor, depiction of violence, and disturbing images.
Till now, many viewers wonder how the show was ever allowed in the first place. Though the show has been canceled on TV, you can still watch it on some OTT platforms
3. The Venture Bros
The Venture Bros is one of the most loved and cherished shows of the Swim show lovers.
It was an animated series like most other swim shows. The Venture Bros was based on the various adventures of the Venture family.
The Venture family consists of Hank and Dean Venture (nice but incompetent teenagers), their father, Dr. Thaddeus “Rusty” Venture, the family’s bodyguard, Brock Samson, and his gradual replacement, reformed supervillain, Sergeant Hatred.
Another member of the Venture family is the family’s arch-nemesis, The Monarch.
Thaddeus Venture is an emotionally insecure man and has an ethically compromised character.
He is also a scientist though. On the other hand, Brock Samson is aggressive and violent. The other notable character, Sergeant Hatred is a “cured” pedophile. These extraordinary characters should be enough to give you an idea as to why the show was canceled.
4. Aqua Teen Hunger Force
Like the name suggests, this animated series had three fast-food items that were personified as characters who solved mysteries. However, for the better part of the show, they just make fun of each other.
Unlike the other swim shows of the time, this cartoon or show didn’t have as much explicit nudity or sexual references.
However, such references did exist.
The show has moderate sexual references. The “objectionable” dialogues are however carefully spread throughout the show. Aqua Teen Hunger Force was definitely not the first swim show, but it was one of the first shows that garnered the attention of people.
In the show, the brain of the trio of mystery-solvers is a box of fries, its name is Frylock. Another character named Master Shake is a talkative fellow.
Most of Master Shake’s talks are aimed at the third character of the trio, which is a meatball. The Meatball’s name is Meatwad.
5. Children's Hospital
We are sure that by now you have an idea that a significant setting in the show is a Children’s Hospital.
This show revolves around a group of doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff.
The group of doctors and staff in question is usually engaged in conversations and activities related to their social lives, dark humor, and other life aspects.
The group’s focus only changes when they are required to treat a child for real.
One of the many notable things about the show Childrens Hospital is that the location of the show is said to be in Brazil for no reason. Later, the location also moved to Japan even though the show was entirely shot in Los Angeles in The United States.
6. The Boondocks
The Boondocks is the story of two kids who have moved to Chicago. Their grandfather, Freeman, is their legal guardian. The two kids in question are named Riley and Huey Freeman.
The Freeman kids have moved to the suburbs to live with their grandfather and this show is the story of their adventures and how their lives unfold in Chicago.
Grand-dad Freeman had hoped to ignore his grandchildren and spend his last few years in peace but Riley and Huey leave no stone unturned in torturing their grandfather.
The Boondocks does have some sexual references which make the show inappropriate for children but in spite, of the strong sexual references, the show does not contain exclusive nudity.
Some episodes of the show have been in controversy but the show is still all for depicting pre-pedophile content. Its episode “The Story of Jimmy Rebel” is an example.
7. Check It Out with Dr. Steve Brule
The naïve and socially awkward Dr. Brule watches the doctor checking out the various aspects of everyday life. As the show progresses, Dr. Brule shares information regarding his private life, most of which is surprising, shocking, and absurd.
Throughout the show, the character of Dr. Brule is joined by characters who update him about movies and the like.
The show is loaded with absurdness. For example, Brule can’t stop talking about boats. Such is his fondness for boats, that he even has a few of them back home.
However, as soon as he gets on a boat, he starts throwing up. The essence of the show lies in the character of Brule who is creepy at times but also just plain sad at some other times.
It is different from many adult swim shows as it is not animated. Most shows of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim were animated.
8. Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law
Most adult swim fanatics call it the funniest swim show on Adult swim. The story revolves around the character Harvey T Birdman who serves at the Stebben & Stebbins law firm.
Birdman is called a third-grade lawyer because he picks up the cases that nobody else does.
The show is full of comedy scenes and most of them are not intellectual comedies. Such scenes are mostly about foolish mistakes or the timing of a particular incident. For example, in one scene, “I’m taking the boys, Benton! And there’s not a darn thing you can do about it”.
He storms outside saying these but reinters immediately and says “forgot my keys”. Other scenes in the show have similar comedy and though it might not sound funny at the moment, once you start watching the show, it’s difficult to stop.
Home Movies is about the story of a young kid named Brendon. Brendon has to put up with Paula, his divorced mother, and his soccer coach, who he considers completely unintelligent.
But Brendon loves to make movies at home. For this purpose, he uses his family’s video camera and carries out his fantasies before the camera.
His friends, Melissa Robbins and Jason Penopolis help him make movies in their spare time.
Brendon also has an adopter sister named Josie, who lived with them. His coach John McGuirk is an alcoholic and is a short-tempered man.
Although the show does not have as much abusive language, violence, aggression, or sex, some people consider it inappropriate for children because they believe that the jokes made in the show won’t sit right with them.
10. The Eric Andre Show
One of the famous swim shows, The Eric Andre is a light talk show where Andre attempts hosting a talk show in an environment that does not go along with his desires.
The environment is bizarre and Andre tries to pull pranks on his show. Sometimes he is successful but other times, he is the victim.
Most viewers opine that the show has extremely mature content and is therefore not suitable for young viewers or kids.
Andre however states that the idea is not to creep people out or scare anyone but simply to make them face absurd drama.
As far as nudity goes, Eric constantly appears on the show naked with only a small black box covering his private parts. This view yet again makes the show unsuitable for children.
11. Joe Pera Talks with You
This is one of the best shows and is a must-watch. Joe Pera Talks with you is one of those shows, you either get a hang of it or you don’t, from the start. There’s no in-between.
The show stepped onto the absurd bandwagon, where the person, in this case, Joe Pera talks to you. The character is a fictionalized version of Joe Pera but everything else that the show deals with is true.
The show does have some sexual references but those are only mild. The character makes a few moderate sexual references here and there on the show.
For example, when he mentioned that he got laid by a “giant milf”. Apart from that, this show is quite mild as compared to most other shows of the time.
Apart from these sexual references, the show shows the use of alcohol as well, but again mild, and some sentimentally tense moments.
There is also the use of severe curse words. These factors make the show inappropriate for children and young viewers.
12. Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem
This show centers around a larger-than-life melodic death metal band named Dethklok. Metalocalypse has often been termed as a parody and a pastiche of heavy metal culture. Metalocalypse is popular for its depiction of violence, aggression, the cons of fame, and other macabre content as well.
The representation of themes is considered inappropriate for children, as a result, the show is considered fit for adults and the mature audience only.
Metalocalypse is undoubtedly people’s favorite cartoon metal band and the show’s fan-following was phenomenal as well.
The show has a considerable amount of sexual references and in some episodes, the references are more explicit than the others.
The characters are shown as perverts too but Toki Wartooth is comparatively less perverse than the rest of the band members who are too explicit when referring to sexuality.
Toki on the other hand stresses other forms of physical intimacy such as hugging and kissing, etc.
Delocated is the story of a family and a family man named Jon. Jon and his family have a problem though.
The problem is that Jon has testified against the Mirminsky family, one of the families from a Russian Mob. Now, as a result, Jon and his family have to go through a witness protection program.
However, they decide to appear on a show which doesn’t seem like a good idea for a family undergoing a witness protection program.
In order to protect themselves, Jon and his family start wearing ski masks and have their voices changed surgically.
The show is more or less about the adventures and life of Jon and his family who move to a loft in New York to star in the reality show after having lived in a quiet suburb for years.
14. Robot Chicken
You might be wondering what could be the significance of “robot” and “chicken” being put together. Here, the robot chicken doesn’t refer to a robot built in the shape of a chicken.
The chicken in question is the title character of the show who was quite ordinary at the start.
However, it gets interesting when this ordinary little chicken was run over by a car.
The chicken was then brought back to life by a crazy scientist named Fritz Huhnmorder. Fritz then tortures the chicken by making it watch random selections of TV shows.
The outline of these torturous sessions makes up the episodes of the Robot Chicken show. Robot Chicken also often features single episodes with special themes. These special themes include Star Wars and DC Comics
15. YOLO: Crystal Fantasy
The show is about two Australian girls, Sarah and Rachel, who are party girls and are looking for fun, entertainment, and positive vibes in Wollongong city. Sarah’s husband dies suddenly and she immerses herself in grief, and ultimately pottery.
The story is of two women and their adventures in the bizarre city.
The show has everything that makes it fit for an adult or mature audience, including but not limited to violence, sex, drinking, and swearing. There are strong sexual innuendos in the show and gory fantasy.
Emotional troubles include the portrayal of the death of close ones and therefore YOLO: Crystal Fantasy is not considered appropriate for small children or audiences who are not yet mature.
The themes of the show are death, sex, and aggression in both forms: sexual and anger. These themes and portrayal of such scenes can be harsh on children’s minds.
These are some of the most popular and highly-rated adult swim shows of all time. Most of these are still available on web platforms like Netflix or Disney Hotstar. If you like some adult content skillfully blended with cartoons, then adult swim shows can be your pick.
Most of these shows form an essential part of their childhood for the 90’s kids. The references to shows like Rick and Morty or Family Guy, etc. can still be found in various shows. They also make for great print choices on casual clothing today. Watch these shows and prepare yourself for power-packed entertainment.