Most Popular Saturday Morning Cartoons

Saturday mornings are for cartoons. It’s a time to get up, eat breakfast and enjoy some of the best cartoons on television. 

It was not always this way though; back in the early days of Saturday morning programming many different genres were offered such as live action shows and animated series that aired around noon or later. As time went on, it became clear that Saturday morning audiences wanted something more than just one type of show so networks began to offer a variety of different genres to cater to all types of viewers. 

This is how we came about what we know today as “Saturday Morning Cartoons”. The purpose behind these programs was two-fold: firstly they would serve as an educational tool for children with entertaining lessons but secondly they would also act as a commercial for the toy companies who produced the products that appeared in these cartoons.

So what are the most popular Saturday Morning Cartoons? We have compiled a list below:

1) The Simpsons

When this show first aired in 1989 nobody expected it to become the worldwide phenomenon it is today. The story centers around the titular family, Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie who live in a town called Springfield where they are joined by a cast of crazy characters including neighbor Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner and Moe Szyslak. 

The series is not only popular with the young ones but also has a massive adult following who enjoy it for its sarcastic humor and unique take on life. 

2) SpongeBob SquarePants

This cartoon about a sea sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea first aired in 1999 and has since become one of the most popular cartoons on television. The show follows SpongeBob and his friends Patrick Star, Squidward Tentacles, Mr. Krabs and Sandy Cheeks as they go on wacky adventures and get into trouble. 

It can be said that SpongeBob’s popularity has a lot to do with its humor which is self-aware and understands the plights of adolescence. The show also has a large adult following who tune in to enjoy the cute art style and silly plotting.

3) The Bugs Bunny Show

This Looney Tunes classic first aired in 1940 and introduced the world to some of the most beloved cartoon characters of all time. Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam are just a few of the cast of characters who appear in this series of cartoons which were created by Tex Avery, Robert Clampett, Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng. 

The series is incredibly popular with young children because of its slapstick humor and the way it constantly breaks the fourth wall. Adults like this show for its subversive nature and unique sense of humor, not to mention that Bugs Bunny has become an iconic figure in American culture.

4) Batman: The Animated Series

This show first aired in 1992 and is based on the popular DC Comics character Batman. The series follows the Dark Knight as he fights crime in Gotham City with the help of his trusty sidekick Robin and butler Alfred Pennyworth. 

What makes this show so popular is its dark tone which is a departure from other Saturday morning cartoons. The art style is also incredibly unique and unlike anything else on television because it was inspired by the art of Frank Miller. 

The show is enjoyed by adults for its complex storytelling and unique take on Gotham City. Young children love to watch this show as well but usually tune in for the action scenes which feature a lot of punching, kicking and explosions.

5) Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!

This classic cartoon about a group of teenagers who solve mysteries was created by Hanna-Barbera and first aired in 1969. The show follows Scooby-Doo, Shaggy Rogers, Fred Jones, Daphne Blake and Velma Dinkley as they travel the country in their van called the “Mystery Machine” and attempt to solve mysteries that involve some sort of monster or ghoul. 

The show is enjoyed by adults and children alike because of its goofy humor, memorable characters and strong sense of friendship. It’s also one of the longest running Saturday morning cartoons ever made which is a testament to its popularity across generations.

6) Tom and Jerry

This show about a cat and mouse who constantly fight and chase each other was created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera in 1940. The series follows Tom the Cat and Jerry the Mouse as they try to outwit each other using all sorts of traps and gadgets. 

What makes this show so popular is its slapstick humor which is still funny after all these years. Both adults and children enjoy watching Tom and Jerry because it’s a classic cartoon rivalry that never gets old.

7) The Powerpuff Girls

This show about three young girls who use their powers to fight crime was created by Craig McCracken and first aired in 1998. The series follows Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup as they navigate the world and try to save Townsville from various villains and monsters. 

The Powerpuff Girls is incredibly popular with young girls because of its strong female characters and themes about sisterhood. It’s also considered a classic cartoon which may be why it remains so popular today.

8) Teen Titans

This show about five young superheroes was created by Glen Murakami and first aired in 2003. The series follows Robin, Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy and Cyborg as they try to put a stop to their nemesis Slade who is always trying to ruin the lives of young people just like them. 

The show features a diverse cast of characters that children from all backgrounds can relate to. It’s also very action-packed which makes it a favorite among boys. Teen Titans is one of the newer cartoons on this list but it’s already gained a large following thanks to its great storytelling and interesting characters.

9) Dexter’s Laboratory

This show about a boy genius was created by Genndy Tartakovsky and first aired in 1996. The series follows Dexter who has built an underground laboratory where he performs various experiments with the hope of achieving world domination. 

What makes this show so popular is its wacky sense of humor which perfectly complements its over-the-top action scenes. Adults love to watch this show because it’s one of the few cartoons that feature a protagonist who is actually an adult and not a child.

10) Phineas and Ferb

This show about two stepbrothers who always find unique ways to have fun was created by Dan Povenmire and first aired in 2007. The series follows the adventures of Phineas Flynn and his best friend Ferb Fletcher as they try to make every day an adventure. 

What makes this show so popular is its unique premise and the fact that it’s always full of surprises. Phineas and Ferb never get bored because they’re always coming up with new ideas, which is something that both children and adults can appreciate.

11) The Smurfs

This show about a village of blue creatures was created by Peyo and first aired in 1981. The series follows Papa Smurf, Brainy Smurf, Smurfette and all the other main characters as they try to solve various problems in their little village.

The Smurfs is incredibly popular with both children and adults thanks to its endearing characters and charming humor. There was even a live-action/CG film made about these beloved blue creatures in 2011 so there’s no doubt that they’re here to stay.

12) Garfield

This show about a lazy cat was created by Jim Davis and first aired in 1988. The series follows Garfield, Jon Arbuckle, Odie and Nermal as they try to live their lives with as little drama as possible.

Garfield is one of the most popular Saturday morning cartoons ever because of its lovable characters. Even if you can’t stand cats, there’s no doubt that you’ll love Garfield because of how relatable his struggles are.

13) Adventure Time

This show about an adventurer and his magical dog was created by Pendleton Ward and first aired in 2010. The series follows Finn the Human and Jake the Dog as they travel the Land of Ooo and try to make sense of the world.

The show is incredibly popular with boys for some reason, and there’s a very strong fan-base surrounding it. Adventure Time has even inspired some interesting video games which only help increase its already large following.

14) Rugrats

This show about a group of babies was created by Arlene Klasky, Gabor Csupo and Paul Germain and first aired in 1991. The series follows Tommy Pickles, Chuckie Finster, Phil and Lil DeVille as they navigate their lives as toddlers.

This show is incredibly popular with both children and adults thanks to its clever humor and memorable characters. The Rugrats have been considered a pop culture phenomenon since the 90s, which makes it one of the most iconic cartoons out there.

15) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

This show about four teenage mutant turtles who fight crime was created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird and first aired in 1987. The series follows Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael as they try to make their city a better place.

This show is incredibly popular with children thanks to its unique premise and the fact that it features some of the most badass characters ever. Even adults can’t resist watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles after they see its excellent action sequences and clever gags.

16) Dragon Ball Z

This show about Goku, an incredibly strong young Saiyan warrior, was created by Akira Toriyama and first aired in 1989. The series follows Goku as he tries to save the Earth from various villains who threaten his home planet of Zeta.

Dragon Ball Z is one of the most popular Saturday morning cartoons of all time because it features some of the best fight scenes ever. If you’re looking for an anime that will keep you on the edge of your seat, then Dragon Ball Z is definitely the show for you.