By Kiah 

Lately I’ve been struggling to find humour in the TV shows I watch.

Here is a list of adult animation episodes that I’ve found funny. 

Bob’s Burgers – It Snakes a Village –  S3 ep.18 

“For 100 bucks we will get that thing on tape. Cheating on his wife – taking bribes – shoplifting from a snake mall – giving up on his dreams.”  

“I’m glad you kids are excited because I am going to kill myself.” 


“You saved me Gene. I owe you my life.”  

“No thanks, I’ve seen it and I am not impressed.”

I’ve watched Bob’s Burgers top to bottom more times than I can count. It’s my go to for light-hearted viewing, and one of my favourite shows. For me seasons one to three are the funniest – maybe because they’re the most unfiltered. 

The best Bob’s Burgers episodes are usually full of puns, sarcasm, misunderstandings, singing at inappropriate times, lots of shouting, and Louise slapping someone.

This episode follows the Belchers as they take a trip to Florida to visit Linda’s parents. After finding out that the pool is closed, Louise and Tina decide to help kooky local Helen find her missing dog for the promised payment of $100. Meanwhile Linda learns that her parents are a part of a swinger community that they’re not fully participating in. 

This episode combines fast pacing with Bob’s disdain at the idea of his in-laws moving in with him, Gene’s extreme fear of snakes, Linda’s disgust at her parents sex life, a balloon fetish, and Louise and Tina’s incompetence as a team – all of this makes it one of the funniest. 

It seems like a lot to happen in one episode, but because the writers introduced the characters’ quirks within the first minute of the pilot episode this chaos is the norm for the Belchers.

The Jellies –  Invasion – S1 ep.9 

“A few months ago I was searching for other intelligent life forms that Black lives could matter to, so I sent a signal into outer space – it was a J Cole record.”

“J Cole trash, how dare you disrespect our race?”

“They chose first to infiltrate the government where they can easily kill our people on sight without question.”

“So they got the police department too?”


I didn’t know what to expect when I first started The Jellies. The name, screencap, and knowing it was Tyler the Creator’s show was enough for me to add it to my list. Finally watching it four years after it premiered, the show is exactly what I would imagine from Tyler – from the super bright colouring, to the dialogue, to the premise of a Black kid being adopted by what seems to be the only jellyfish family in a world of humans. 

The Jellies manages to parody celebrities, TV, society, and basically everything else without being cliché.

Having an episode dedicated to Cornell and co. fighting an alien invasion of killer mantises who appeared because they were offended by J Cole’s music is very on brand. And so is having a Black Signal instead of a Bat Signal (which is obviously a fist)  that summons Bloods, Crips, Beyoncé and the KKK, Prince’s ghost as a flying frog, and praying mantis in a New York cap and Timbs.

As someone who used to watch Loiter Squad and misses the ridiculousness of it, The Jellies helps to fill the void for me. 

The Boondocks – The Passion of Reverend Ruckus –  S1 ep.15

“Personally I hate Black people Ruckus, that’s why I did everything I could to make their lives miserable. Crack? Me. AIDS? Me. […]  And God has rewarded me.”

“White heaven is for decent, good, God fearing Christians who, well, hate everyone and everything relating to Black people.”

“Everybody gather round to hear the good news. God is White and he loves the White man above all others.”

As with most TV shows, I probably started watching The Boondocks way after everyone else. I didn’t know what it was about either. I just knew the protagonists were Black – which was enough. I was happily surprised to find each character being a satirical representation of particular archetypes within the African American community, 

Watching now, and knowing that social media is a place where people say what they’re thinking whether it’s offensive, misinformed, or wrong, I see that The Boondocks really isn’t much of an exaggeration of life today. Maybe with the exception of Uncle Ruckus.

In this episode Huey tries to stop a death row execution, and Ruckus strives for White heaven. Pairing a storyline that highlights the result of police brutality, and institutional racism with one showing Christianity being used as a tool to promote White supremacy made it particularly funny – since they are the antithesis of one another. 

It’s safe to say that Ruckus is one of if not THE most ridiculous characters I’ve seen on screen, and this episode is one of many that highlights that. His self hatred is presented in such an absurd way that I can only laugh. Him and all the other archetypes are funnily familiar which is what makes the show stand out to me.

The Midnight Gospel – Hunters Without a Home – S1 ep.3 

“Say you f***ed my wife.”

“You were napping and bringing rocks to life like some kind of dick. I looked out for her.”

“You were the one going to Lad’s – getting lap dances at Lad’s all the time.”

“I had a platinum membership! You don’t just get those that took years to earn.”

When I heard the creator of Adventure Time, Pendleton Ward, was creating a new animated show I knew I was going to love it. I was right. The thing I want the most when watching anything is to be surprised, and this show does just that.

I laugh when I’m nervous, uncomfortable, and even confused. The latter explains why I laugh so much whilst watching The Midnight Gospel.

I’ll be honest, I rarely know what is actually going on in the show, but that’s okay because most of the humour is found in the visuals themselves rather than the dialogue. Particularly because most of the time the dialogue is a complex conversation about life’s biggest questions, and what’s happening on screen is unrelated. 

It’s funny to me that Clancy’s interviewees are always ready to jump into a monologue about their chosen area of expertise even though the conversations are always impromptu.

In this episode Clancy visits an underwater planet which seems to be run by Darryl, a ‘fishman,’ and his cats. As they travel through this weird world they discuss the relationship between magic, mindfulness, and enlightenment. This abruptly ends with Darryl turning into a giant to fight his (also giant) friend over his wife. 

The Midnight Gospel gets from me a ‘why is this happening’ kind of laughter. Why are there cats on a boat, in the ocean, playing piano? Why are there fish with human faces?  Why are the cats also currency?  Why is there a flying unicorn that vomits ice cream? How did this turn into a battle caused by a love triangle? 

And all of this goes unanswered.

Big Mouth – The Hugest Period Ever –  S4 ep.2 

“Oh no, I accidentally left my X-acto knives in here.

No problem ma’am happy carving.”

“Excuse me sir, you need to be in a bin.” 

“I was raised in a post-racial household.”

“They make a six in one, so it’s soap, shampoo, a laundry detergent –“

“I feed it to my grandma to keep her sick so I can take care of her.”

A lot of the humour in Big Mouth comes from the hormone monsters being the unadulterated, crude versions of the main characters. They verbalise the thoughts you’d never say out loud, and really probably shouldn’t. 

I was wondering when Missy’s racial identity would be addressed. Leaving it until the fourth season was quite lazy, especially since the show focuses on teenagers and their anxieties. And joking later in the season that Missy was voiced by ‘a thirty seven year old White woman’ was…something, but I digress. 

This episode follows Missy as she visits her family in Atlanta, and ‘finds herself.’ This is done in the satirical, over the top way I expected. Watching her parents’ dynamic, seeing both how they brushed race under the carpet, and how they are each treated differently due to their race explains Missy’s confusion. Having Missy’s dad’s side of the family help her to unveil her ‘Black side,’ and seeing her hormone monster’s encouragement of this was funny, a little gimmicky, but funny.

By Kiah

One thought on “Looking for Laughter in Adult Animated Shows

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