There have been some fantastic animated television shows over the years; from The Flintstones, ThunderCats and SpongeBob SquarePants to The Simpsons, South Park and Family Guy.
However, not all animated shows are that great or memorable – in fact, some of them have practically sullied our TV screens with their awfulness!
In this article, we’ll be running you through a collection of thirty of the worst cartoons in the history of television animation..
30. Napoleon Dynamite
2004’s Napoleon Dynamite was a bona fide cult classic of a movie, so when an animated series was announced in 2010 – with Jon Heder even voicing the character – fans of the movie were excited.
They were wrong to be.
It was terrible! Not being able to see Heder’s expressionless face meant Napoleon Dynamite lost its magic. The humour in general didn’t translate well to animation and it was cancelled after only six episodes.
29. Allen Gregory
Allen Gregory was an animated sitcom (apparently) about a pretentious seven-year-old – voiced by Jonah Hill – who was raised by his two fathers, Richard and Jeremy.
It just wasn’t funny. There was no wit, no charm, the characters were nearly all wholly unlikable and, quite frankly, it was absolutely cringe-inducing.
Unsurprisingly – and much to the relief of pretty much EVERYONE who knew it existed – it was cancelled after just seven episodes.
28. The Problem Solverz
The Problem Solverz was all about a group of characters called Alfe, Roba and Horace, who operated as detectives in their troubled town, Farboro.
It really wasn’t very good, as the characters and stories were uninteresting and poorly developed – but they weren’t its main problems.
Visually, it was hideous – seriously, it was a barrage of abuse on the human eye – and it should consider itself extremely lucky to have last for two seasons and twenty-six episodes.
Breadwinners was a cartoon about two best friends – in the form flightless anthropomorphic ducks – named SwaySway and Buhdeuce.
They flew around their water-based planet of Pondgea in a rocket-powered van delivering bread to the citizens.
It was ridiculous and completely unfunny – relying on an especially lowbrow brand of toilet humour to get by. It was messy, noisy and violent, and it emphatically failed to strike a chord with kids of any age.
26. Sanjay and Craig
Sanjay and Craig was a cartoon that followed the adventures a twelve-year-old boy named Sanjay and his best friend Craig, who was a talking snake.
It was very juvenile and unfunny, but it also suffered in the way it told its stories.
Something about the characters’ adventures/misadventures seemed… pointless. There was no rhyme, reason or general logic behind everything they did. It just seemed off – yet, remarkably, it lasted three seasons and sixty episodes.
25. Rob Dyrdek’s Wild Grinders
Rob Dyrdek’s Wild Grinders was a series based on a successful toy-line that was produced by Mattel and loosely based on the life of professional skateboarder and reality TV star Rob Dyrdek.
It wasn’t great – and it was rather problematic due to the stereotypes it presented surrounding skateboarding culture, as well as the name calling and the main character’s disrespect towards adults.
Unbelievably, it still lasted two seasons, which totalled fifty-two episodes.
24. The Nutshack
The Nutshack was a Filipino-American adult animated sitcom about two distant cousins – Phil, from the San Francisco Bay Area, and Jack, from the Philippines – who lived with their uncle, Tito Dick, in south-suburban Daly City.
There was literally nothing good about this show – it was just awful.
It did somehow manage to last two seasons – which was quite surprising – but, to put that in context, it was only sixteen episodes in total.
23. It’s Punky Brewster
It’s Punky Brewster was an animated spin-off of the live action television sitcom Punky Brewster.
The show used both the same premise and cast as the original show, but it added a magical sprite/leprechaun gopher named Glomer to proceedings – which effectively meant it jumped the shark massively, as the original show was far more grounded in reality.
The show lasted for two seasons – rather inexplicably – which totalled twenty-six episodes.
22. Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm
Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm was an animated series based on the popular Mortal Kombat fighting video game series.
It focused on a group of warriors assembled by Raiden – including series mainstays Liu Kang, Sonya Blade and Sub-Zero – to defend Earthrealm from invaders who entered through portals from various other dimensions.
It was garbage – an utter train wreck! There wasn’t enough fighting, the one-liners were horrendous and it even attempted to give life lessons – yes, a Mortal Kombat cartoon! It lasted for thirteen episodes.
21. Extreme Ghostbusters
Extreme Ghostbusters is part of the hugely popular Ghostbusters franchise and a follow-up to the far superior The Real Ghostbusters.
It featured a completely new team of Ghostbusters – as well as familiar characters Slimer, Egon Spengler and Janine Melnitz – and while it wasn’t as bad as most shows on this list, it was too adult and dark to interest it target audience.
It lasted just one season – although that one season was a whopping forty episodes!
In 1986, a cartoon called Ghostbusters was released that had nothing to do with the more popular franchise of the same name.
However, contrary to common opinion, it was not copying the Ghostbusters we all know and love – it was actually based on a less popular live action TV show of the same name from eleven years earlier (which is why it was the other Ghostbusters cartoon that had to call itself “The Real Ghostbusters“).
It was, however, attempting to exploit the success of the Ghostbusters movie – and it failed. With its weird characters (a gadget-inventing ape, really?) and poor writing, it felt like a poor imitation, even though it wasn’t.
19. The Wacky World of Tex Avery
The Wacky World of Tex Avery was a French-Canadian-American cartoon, which was a homage to Tex Avery – an American cartoonist who was known for his work at Warner Bros. and MGM.
The show was split into segments – Tex Avery, Freddy the Fly, Power Pooch, Maurice & Mooch, Genghis and Khannie, Einstone and Pompeii Pete – all of which were poorly animated and highly unfunny.
Still, the show somehow managed to last for sixty-five episodes!
18. Dumb and Dumber
Now, the less said about the prequel and sequel, the better but 1994’s Dumb and Dumber is a bona fide comedy classic as far as movies are concerned.
Unfortunately, that only heightens the disappointment that comes with the fact that the cartoon series of the same name was absolutely awful.
In spite of its stellar voice cast – which included Matt Frewer, Bill Fagerbakke and Bronson Pinchot – it emphatically lacked the humour of the movie (unsurprisingly, this was mainly due to the lack of Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels) and lasted just thirteen episodes.
17. Gilligan’s Planet
Gilligan’s Planet was the second animated spin-off of the sitcom Gilligan’s Island (the first being The New Adventures of Gilligan, which wasn’t too bad).
It featured almost all of the cast from the original show in voice roles and the premise was that the same passengers who got shipwrecked in the sitcom were now space-ship-wrecked on distant planet.
It was ludicrous, quite frankly, and kids didn’t fall for the overuse of the same characters in far-fetched setting. It lasted one season, which was comprised on thirteen episodes.
16. Yo Yogi!
Yo Yogi! featured Yogi Bear and several other popular Hanna-Barbera characters – including his friends Boo-Boo Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Snagglepuss and his girlfriend Cindy Bear – depicted as 14-year-old crime fighters.
It was incredibly boring and a cheap attempt at modernising a classic, but it really didn’t grasp its own source material – it was essentially a bad Muppet Babies wannabe.
It last for a mere thirteen episodes (plus a Christmas special) and it killed Yogi Bear as a franchise for almost thirty years, until Jellystone! was announced in 2019.
15. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
As popular as 1978’s Attack of the Killer Tomatoes has become as a cult movie, the fact is it isn’t very good – so it was quite weird to see a cartoon spin-off of the franchise (especially one aimed at children).
The animated Attack of the Killer Tomatoes series was actually based on 1980’s Return of the Killer Tomatoes – the original movie’s sequel – and it was awful. It couldn’t decide what kind of cartoon it wanted to be and regularly contradicted itself – and the stories and characters were poorly written.
It aired for two seasons – the second of which saw a change in animation style (which was confusing to viewers), becoming the first ever Saturday morning cartoon to be computer animated – totalling twenty-one episodes.
14. Potato Head Kids
Potato Head Kids was a spin-off of the Mr. Potato Head character franchise – and, in this cartoon, Mr. Potato Head played an adult figure in the lives of the titular children, who were a varied bunch of anthropomorphic potatoes with different personalities.
The basis for the series was just nonsensical and it all seemed a bit pointless – and none of the characters were interesting to boot.
It lasted for twenty-three very boring episodes.
13. Beverly Hills Teens
If you think we’ve only liked watching young, rich people be awful on television since the turn of the millennium, you’d be wrong!
Beverly Hills Teens was, rather unsurprisingly, set in Beverly Hills, California, and it followed a fictional “Teen Club”, which consisted of a group of wealthy kids of around sixteen years of age.
It was full of irritating characters and stereotypes and was, frankly, just awful – yet its one season consisted of a whopping sixty-five episodes.
12. Maxie’s World
Maxie’s World was about the titular straight-“A” student, cheerleader, and surfer girl, who attended Surfside High School in California. In addition to her school and social life, Maxie had adventures solving crimes and investigating mysteries as host of her own TV show.
It was essentially a highly irritating Barbie rip-off and, to make matters worse, it crossed over with the aforementioned equally excruciating Beverly Hills Teens.
The show lasted for one thirty-two episode season.
Foofur was a cartoon about the everyday misadventures of the skinny blue titular bloodhound in the town of Willowby.
In the series, Foofur inherited his dead master’s mansion, opened it up as a home for strays, then lived with the constant threat of being evicted by greedy lawyer Mr. Escrow – and it covered “lighthearted” topics like poverty, homelessness and the class war. Fun, right?!
It lasted two seasons, totalling twenty-six depressing episodes.
10. The Brothers Grunt
The Brothers Grunt was an MTV black comedy about brothers Frank, Tony, Bing, Dean and Sammy – all of whom were named after famous vocalists of the 1950s.
The pale, rubbery humanoids – who repulsed everyone who watched the show – were distantly related to human beings, and they wandered around in their underpants, searching for their lost brother Perry. It was all very tasteless.
There were twelve episodes of the show – and that really was more than enough.
9. Coconut Fred’s Fruit Salad Island
Coconut Fred’s Fruit Salad Island was set on an island inhabited by anthropomorphic fruit, including the weird and wacky Coconut Fred – a silly coconut with the magical ability to materialise anything he thinks about.
It was a clear rip-off of SpongeBob SquarePants and its humour was far too loud and over-the-top – even Rob Paulsen, who voiced Fred, hated it.
It was so bad that season one was cut from its intended thirteen episodes to nine. The show then went on a five month hiatus bore the final four season one episodes were aired as a makeshift second season. Thankfully, that was that.
MoonDreamers was a cartoon about a group of celestial beings who created and delivered pleasant dreams to the children of Earth.
The concept of the show was great – but it was such a huge wasted opportunity. It was boring, the character design was hideous (they looked like creepy little demons) and the theme tune was excruciating.
The show lasted for a total of sixteen episodes.
7. Paw Paws
Paw Paws was about a group of Native American bear cubs, forced to regularly defend themselves from their enemies, The Meanos, who were led by the evil sorcerer Dark Paw.
It was basically a poor Smurs rip-off, with a mish-mash of inaccurate native culture and boring, stereoptypical characters – which made it kind of racist, quite frankly.
Just twenty-one episodes of this awful show were made.
6. Pixel Pinkie
Pixel Pinkie was a cartoon about two girls – Nina and Anni – one of whom (Nina) received a mobile cellphone on her birthday, which housed a digital genie named Pixel Pinkie who could grant wishes – but both girls had to keep it a secret.
The supposed humour comes from the wishes regularly going wrong, but it wasn’t actually funny, the voice acting is appalling and it essentially just rips-off The Fairly OddParents.
Still, it somehow lasted for two seasons, which totalled fifty-two episodes.
5. Popeye and Son
Popeye and Son was about Popeye, his long-time girlfriend Olive Oyl, and their son named Popeye Junior – who inherited his father’s ability to gain superhuman strength from eating spinach (preferring burgers, like Wimpy – much to nobody’s amusement).
It had no grasp on the original Popeye source material, the character design and animation was poor, and the storylines were often very dull.
Only thirteen episodes of the show were ever made.
4. The Brothers Flub
The Brothers Flub was about a pair of alien brothers, called Guapo and Fraz, who worked as couriers and travelled throughout the universe delivering packages to different planets in each episode.
It didn’t really have any charm or substance – and most of the humour was just cruel and mean-spirited – which meant it simply wasn’t very enjoyable to watch.
The show’s one season lasted for twenty-six episodes.
3. Mega Babies
Mega Babies was about a trio of babies in New York City named Meg, Derrick and Buck, who fight off evil monsters and aliens.
It feels like a cheap rip-off of Rugrats – except the babies in this cartoon fail at everything. The animation is also very shoddy and the humour fails massively – with most of the attempts relying on bodily excretions like snot, vomit, faeces and drool.
Somehow, it amassed fifty-two episodes over two seasons.
Kissyfur was about the titular bear and his father Gus – a duo who had previously joined the circus.
One day, their circus train derailed (killing goodness knows how many animals!) and the bears escaped to a new life in the swamps of Paddlecab County, where they protected the locals from the local bumbling alligators Floyd and Jolene and created a boat tour business – a truly ridiculous concept.
The show lacked humour, wit and imagination – but it still lasted two seasons, comprising twenty-six episodes in total.
1. Rubik, the Amazing Cube
Based on the cubic toy puzzle of the same name, Rubik, the Amazing Cube was about a magic Rubik’s Cube who could fly through the air and possessed other special powers – but he could only come alive when the coloured squares on his sides had been matched up.
It was a ridiculous opportunistic concept that was every bit as dull and terrible as it sounds. Why would anyone have thought a cartoon about an inanimate, plastic polyhedron would be interesting?!
It had a one-season, thirteen-episode run before being cancelled. Thank goodness!
What do you think of our list? Did you actually enjoy some of these cartoons? Let us know!