Who remembers running home after a long day of school to watch your favourite shows on Cartoon Network? Whether it was the action-packed Samurai Jack or the more surreal Courage The Cowardly Dog, it was a rather significant part of our childhoods. And some shows have even been worth watching in the later years, as we went from children to teenagers. Adventure Time is one of those shows that captured our attention even when we were growing out of our Cartoon Network obsession.
Nevertheless, they have a very warm place in our hearts, so it'll be tough to find the ten best, but we took a crack at it!
We Bare Bears
We Bare Bears is a new episodic series on Cartoon Network that started back in 2015, which might not seem like a long time ago, but was, in fact, four years ago. The series revolves around the humorous antics of three brotherly bears, Ice Bear, Grizzly, and Panda in their quest to do... well, whatever it is bored bears do! There are fun times to be had, with the bears attempting to create a Cupcake ATM in one of the episodes, which quickly spirals into a disaster. What makes this show so good is that despite the general trend of the newer shows on Cartoon Network not catching the attention of those who grew up watching it, We Bare Bears is still savvy enough to embrace modern pop culture.
Johnny Test follows the protagonist of the Test family, Johnny, who is often experimented on by his two genius sisters, Susan and Mary, which results in hilarious hijinks. Their genetically engineered dog, Dukey, follows Johnny around on his adventures as they get up to no good and fight Mole Kings, super agents Mr. Black and Mr. White, as well as the spoiled rich kid, Bling Bling on his neverending quest to attain Susan's affections. The inventiveness of the genius sisters, as well as the adventurous nature of Johnny Test himself, made for a simple set of personalities that everyone could relate to. If you didn't love the sisters, you loved Johnny, and that's what made this show so good.
Ed, Edd n Eddy
Eddy, Double Dee, and Ed are three very close friends who live on a cul-de-sac with several other characters and their show revolves around them thinking up different ways to scam their neighbors out of quarters, just so they can run to the candy shop to purchase jawbreakers. Eddy often comes up with the schemes, Double Dee is the brains who figures out how to do things, and Ed does the heavy lifting. Because of how many different ways the Ed Boys would go on to try and raise money, it captured the imagination of everyone who watched the show. It encouraged fans to take the initiative and everyone loved them for it.
Amazing World Of Gumball
Gumball Watterson is a 12-year-old male blue cat. He has an adopted goldfish brother, Darwin, and they attend a school in Elmore together. Gumball also has a baby sister, Anais, who is a pink bunny. Gumball resembles his mother, who is also a blue cat, and Anais resembles her father, who is also a pink bunny. The Amazing World Of Gumball revolves around a whole host of diverse characters. It shows multiple different backgrounds, different styles, ethnicities, and is very, very open to change. Considering how much diversity there is in the modern world, this show encompasses all of that and implies acceptance of people regardless of their backgrounds, and that's what makes this show worthy of being on this list.
Codename: Kids Next Door
Codename: Kids Next Door is the story of kids versus adults. In a large treehouse, there operates a group of five kids and they are Numbah'd from Five down to One. These adventurous kids from different backgrounds, styles, and tastes were all unique. And yet, they were all relatable and had a fun dynamic with each other. Numbah Five was the eldest and became the new leader of the entire KND and Numbah One was the coolest, so you wanted to be a part of what he was a part of. It taught the idea of togetherness, of belonging to something bigger than just yourself, and never, ever racing to be an adult. It made you treasure being a child.
Courage The Cowardly Dog
Courage the Cowardly Dog is a show that most people would remember as weird because, to be fair, the show was rather weird. There were episodes that could only be described as surreal and it involved a scared little pup known as Courage, who lived with Muriel and her husband, Eustace. Together, they lived in the middle of Nowhere, but mindboggling stuff happened, and while Eustace was too busy with his television, it's up to Courage to save Muriel from bad things. He taught those who were rather shy and who avoided conflict that it was okay to be afraid. The valuable lesson the show taught was that to be brave, to be truly brave, one had to be afraid. And that made people fall in love with the pink little pup.
Benjamin Tennyson was only ten years old when he found the Omnitrix, a powerful watch that allowed him to transform into aliens it had already captured. This was the start of the great saga of Ben 10, created by Man of Action Studios, which has spawned several incarnations and multiple series. In the original series, Ben, his cousin Gwen, and their Grandpa, Max, go around the United States where Ben battles foes and the villainous Vilgax, who wishes to take the Omnitrix for his own nefarious gains.
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This show was simple with its attraction. It was about a young child, with a kind heart but who lacked the ability to protect those in need. It was about how when you find yourself with power, it's your duty to use that power responsibly. It was an excellent moral lesson that became an integral part of the Cartoon Network line-up.
Adventure Time was one of the series that the young fans of Cartoon Network grew to love as teenagers and, in some cases, as adults. It follows the adventures of Finn the Human and Jake the Dog, as they go about doing their thing, saving princesses and vanquishing foes, and there's a surprising amount of depth and realism in it.
The characters are well developed and grow fantastically, there are sub-arcs, seasonal arcs, and episodic arcs, which all tie very neatly into each other. The younger fans of the show loved it for what it was and the older fans loved it for what it aimed and succeeded to be.
Samurai Jack is an action-packed adventure of one Jack, a Samurai from ancient times whose hometown is attacked by the evil Aku. Armed with his holy Katana, that was forged by Odin, Ra, and Rama for the sole purpose of defeating Aku, he battles the great monster and is almost successful in slaying him until Aku opens a portal to the future. Jack is flung eons into the day of tomorrow, where the world is already ruled by Aku and he scrambles to save the world of the future, as well as the world of the past, from the terrible clutches of Aku. The action sequences are intense, the storyline is dramatic, and Jack is a mysterious samurai that you can't help but cheer for. He's the perfect, quiet, kind protagonist and it'd be a sin not to have him on this list. Especially since his show was renewed for a dramatic final season.
Teen Titans (not the new Teen Titans Go, the original) is a favourite of fans everywhere. It is so popular that it has gotten a live-action series, a reboot, and there are rumors of a final sixth season for the original 2003 series as well. The show revolves around the heroism of the dark and mystical Raven, the childish and aloof Beast Boy, the powerful Cyborg, the confused and beautiful Starfire, and their leader, the boy wonder, Robin. The show carries with it meaning, as well as a core message, and still has time to pack in gorgeous animation and an excellent style. All in all, it's the complete package with a bit of everything, from intense storytelling, to complex characters, to just enough of the humor to keep things interesting.