Top 10 Cartoons with Surprisingly Amazing and Complex Plots

The Top Ten
1 Avatar: The Last Airbender Avatar: The Last Airbender is an American animated television series that aired for three seasons on Nickelodeon from 2005 to 2008. Avatar: The Last Airbender is set in an Asiatic-like world in which some people are able to manipulate the classical elements by use of psychokinetic variants of Chinese... read more

Want an example of a timeless kids' cartoon? You found it. Stop looking, this is it.

The plot is straightforward, but the world-building that happens is the real star of the show.

Really complex and linear story, one of the best shows I've ever seen.

2 Gravity Falls Gravity Falls is an American animated television series produced by Disney Television Animation that first aired on Disney Channel, and then on Disney XD from June 15, 2012 to February 15, 2016. The series follows the adventures of Dipper Pines and his twin sister Mabel in the fictional town of Gravity... read more

Honestly, this series had an amazing plot as well as immaculate character development. I absolutely love this show.

One of the most famous cartoons nowadays, and it's totally worth it. It has well-done animation and a really well-worked story.

Gravity Falls is still one of my favorites and it's just so amazing. I'm just sad it didn't last longer.

3 Steven Universe Steven Universe is an American animated television series created by Rebecca Sugar for Cartoon Network. The show's based around a young boy by the name of Steven Universe, who is a hybrid of a gem and a human. He lives with his gem friends, Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl.

I wouldn't recommend watching Season 1 because of the slow-paced story and character development. However, it's worth watching in the end. Season 2, on the other hand, was great. The number of filler episodes was reduced, and it would be great if there were no filler episodes at all.

Season 3 is the second-best season of Steven Universe, in my opinion. Although it felt a bit rushed, it contains many great episodes, including one of my favorites. Season 4 ranks as the third-best season, in my opinion. There's a lot I want to discuss, but the story progresses slowly. Still, it's worth watching.

Season 5 is the best season of Steven Universe to date. This is the reason why I watched all the seasons of Steven Universe. The story and the plot twists are compelling. If you think seasons 1 through 4 are bad, then I'm going to say it again: it's all worth it in the end.

Steven Universe is now my top cartoon show of 2018. Don't forget the music in Steven Universe. It's amazing!

4 Adventure Time Adventure Time is an American animated television series created by Pendleton Ward for Cartoon Network. The series follows the adventures of a boy named Finn (voiced by Jeremy Shada) and his best friend and adoptive brother Jake (voiced by John DiMaggio)—a dog with the magical power to change shape... read more

I still remember how it all started as another of your run-of-the-mill "random episode each week" shows and then over time it became this really serious linear storyline with deep character development.

Amazingly deep show with backstories for countless characters and locations that will have you pondering over each and every episode. Lots of deep emotion and character development as well.

Adventure Time had one of the most complex storylines ever, not just for a cartoon but for a TV show overall. There are so many different dimensions, plot lines, and loopholes.

5 Batman Beyond Batman Beyond is an American animated television series developed by Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, and Alan Burnett and produced by Warner Bros.
6 Dragon Ball Z Dragon Ball Z is a Japanese anime television series produced by Toei Animation. Dragon Ball Z follows the adventures of Goku who, along with the Z Warriors, defends the Earth against evil. The action adventures are entertaining and reinforce the concept of good versus evil. Dragon Ball Z teaches valuable... read more
7 The Legend of Korra The Legend of Korra is an American animated television series that aired on the Nickelodeon television network from 2012 to 2014. It was created by Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino as a sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Great show, especially Season 1 with the mix of suspense, action, and romance.

8 Star vs. the Forces of Evil "Star vs. the Forces of Evil" is an American animated television comedy produced by Disney Television Animation for Disney XD. It was created by Daron Nefcy and developed by Jordana Arkin and Dave Wasson. The series follows teenage magical princess from the dimension of Mewni Star Butterfly and her... read more

Trust me, at first, I didn't have much faith in this show being good. Its humor was good, but it lacked story at first. It didn't take long for me to realize it was Steven Universe all over again - amazing story and great villains.

This show started lacking after The Battle For Mewni, but before that, it was amazing. Even after it started lacking a bit, it's still one of my favorites.

This is my favorite show of all time. The last few episodes were amazing, and it has incredible character development.

9 Danny Phantom Danny Phantom is an American animated series created by Butch Hartman for Nickelodeon. It was produced by Billionfold Studios and distributed in Canada by Nelvana, a Canadian animation company. The series follows a teenage boy who, after an accident with an unpredictable portal between the human world... read more
10 Teen Titans Teen Titans is an American animated television series created by Glen Murakami, based on the DC Comics characters of the same name.

This show had an epic plot with a story arc for every character. Characters developed as more seasons progressed, making it the best show ever. Why isn't this ranked higher? The show was very complex, yet managed to be funny and lighthearted at the same time. Each character had their own fatal flaw, which defined them. And besides, who doesn't want to see the cute chemistry between Robin and Starfire as the series progresses?

I love this show. Each season is basically an arc for each character. It's too bad season 6 was cancelled.

The Contenders
11 The Dragon Prince
12 Scooby-Doo! Mystery, Inc. Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated is an American animated mystery comedy-drama series; the series serves as the eleventh incarnation of the Scooby-Doo media franchise created by Hanna-Barbera, as well as the first that was not originally run on Saturday mornings.

I like how this adaptation of Scooby-Doo is different from the other ones.

This show was amazingly surprising and pretty shocking. And I loved it.

As far as being surprisingly complex, this one takes the cake.

13 Young Justice Young Justice is an American animated television series developed by Brandon Vietti and Greg Weisman for Cartoon Network.

Young Justice Season 1 will forever be the best-animated series to exist. Although the quality of the seasons diminishes as they progress, they always promise complex plots and a different view into the world of DC. Season 1 is very character-centric, so you'll get attached to the team and all of their adventures.

Definitely one of the best cartoon storylines. Surprisingly, it isn't all Japanified with those big eyes and exaggerated emotional expressions.

AMAZING! The most complex and thought-out plot I've ever seen in a cartoon.

14 Cowboy Bebop Cowboy Bebop is a 1998 anime television series animated by Sunrise featuring a production team led by director Shinichirō Watanabe, screenwriter Keiko Nobumoto, character designer Toshihiro Kawamoto, mechanical designer Kimitoshi Yamane, and composer Yoko Kanno.

Highly recommended! The dub is well done.

15 Invader Zim Invader Zim is an American animated television series created by Jhonen Vasquez for Nickelodeon. The series centers on an extraterrestrial named Zim from the planet Irk, and his mission to conquer Earth and enslave the human race along with his malfunctioning robot servant GIR.
16 She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
17 Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts
18 Ben 10 Ben 10 is a media franchise created by Man of Action Studios and produced by Cartoon Network Studios. The franchise revolves around a boy named Ben Tennyson who acquires a watch-like alien device, the Omnitrix, which allows him to transform into ten different alien creatures.

The world manages to feel real and lived in through all the insanity that happens in the show.

19 Rick and Morty Rick and Morty is an American adult animated science fiction sitcom created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon for Adult Swim.

Speechless. This is the most incredible and intellectual comedy cartoon that's ever been created. This is what inspired me to do animation.

20 The Owl House The Owl House is an American animated fantasy television series created by Dana Terrace that premiered on Disney Channel on January 10, 2020. The series stars the voices of Sarah-Nicole Robles, Wendie Malick, Alex Hirsch, Tati Gabrielle, Issac Ryan Brown, Mae Whitman, Cissy Jones, Matthew Rhys, Zeno... read more

The whole show was great, and I am sad Disney cut it short. Dana Terrace did an amazing job with Thanks to Them, For the Future, and Watching and Dreaming. This whole show was a trip filled with laughs, cries, and screams of frustration. They were also one of the first shows on Disney to be open with LGBTQ representation.

21 Sword Art Online Sword Art Online is a series of Japanese light novels written by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by abec. In 2012, it received an anime adaptation produced by A-1 Pictures and the SAO Project, and is directed by Tomohiko Ito . The first season is divided into two arcs known as "Aincrad" and "Fairy Dance"... read more

Last I checked, Sword Art Online is a Japanese anime series, not an American cartoon. Either way, Sword Art Online actually has a good and decent story despite all the negative comments from the haters with their salty SAO hate parade.

It does have a pretty decent plot. Also, to those who say this is not a cartoon, I have some big news for you: it is a cartoon, just a Japanese one. They never said the results on this page were limited to Western animation.

22 The Amazing World of Gumball The Amazing World of Gumball is a British-Australian-German-American-Irish children's animated television series created by Ben Bocquelet for Cartoon Network.

This is the best show ever. It deserves to be in the top 10.

I love the comedy in this one, and the different types of animation all in one, that make Gumball a well-worked and well-done cartoon.

23 Star Wars: The Clone Wars Star Wars: The Clone Wars is an American 3D CGI animated television series created by George Lucas and produced by Lucasfilm Animation with the division Lucasfilm Animation Singapore, Lucasfilm and CGCG Inc.

Although some episodes are filler or overly kid-friendly, the show overall is well-written and surprisingly mature in tone, content, and themes. The voice acting is excellent, and the animation is significantly more advanced than anything else on this list. I can happily report that Clone Wars is some of the best Star Wars content around, and it's the second-best show on this list.

Great character development and insight into the universe of the Prequels. Honestly, it makes me like them a bit more than the Original Trilogy, if only because they feel like add-ons to this amazing show.

24 Courage the Cowardly Dog Courage the Cowardly Dog is an American animated horror comedy television series created by John R. Dilworth for Cartoon Network as part of the network's Cartoon Cartoons block.

A dog with anxiety problems... well, no, but it seems like it. One of the old gold cartoons that will never get too old for anyone to stop enjoying it.

Not only is this an amazing cartoon, it's also a horror comedy. Superb.

25 JoJo's Bizarre Adventures Jojo's Bizarre Adventure is an anime and manga franchise originally written by Hirohiko Araki. It centers around the perilous journey of the members of the legendary Joestar bloodline.
8Load More
PSearch List