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Creator: [adult swim]

Adult Swim, stylized as [adult swim] or [as], is a programming block on Cartoon Network shown during the watershed hours (8:00 pm - 6:00 am Eastern/Pacific Time note ). Founded in 2001 by Cartoon Network’s Williams Street division, the same studio that organizes Toonami note , the block's remit is to air various kinds of adult-oriented animation including seinen and edgier, usually unedited Shonen anime note  and animated comedy (both originally produced and FOX acquisitions).

Since the 2007 Boston Bomb Scare and the resulting managerial changes that soon followed, the block began to incorporate live action comedies, following the example of the parent network with CN Real, and much to the chagrin of the anime and classic animated comedies. They’ve backed down on this somewhat since the "CN Real era" ended, but you can still see such shows on occasion (mainly on Thursday nights).note  In addition, since the revival of Toonami in 2012, Adult Swim was subsequently re-purposed as the brand for adult animated comedy as Toonami took over the channel's duties of anime and mature action-animation once again.

Because of its adult orientations, in comparison to the rest of Cartoon Network which is kid oriented (Periphery Demographics aside), Adult Swim is considered to be a "separate" network from Cartoon Network proper for ratings purposesnote , and often shows Content Warnings throughout the block that the programs presented are not suitable for young children. The name "Adult Swim" comes from the public pool period where the children have to get out because the lifeguards go on break and only the adults can swim, analogous to the network switching to adult-oriented programming. This reference was explicitly invoked in its early years when its Ad Bumpers and intro segment showed video clips from an adult swim pool.

The block is notable for its idiosyncratic commercial bumpers (bumps), its strange and cynical but often hilarious original programming, its habit of openly teasing and/or bashing those fans who complain about its near-weekly- and never advertised- schedule changes (especially when April Fools' Day is concerned), and being nearly the only place on American basic analog cable TV to run anime not aimed at children. It also has, shall we say, an eclectic collection of original free-to-play games on its website (Robot Unicorn Attack included).

Sundays are typically rebroadcasts of FOX cartoons (such as Family Guy) and original programs from Williams Street, Adult Swim's production studio (programs such as Aqua Teen Hunger Force). Saturdays usually mix comedic shows with North American dubs of anime, with the anime taking up the majority of the network's airtime on this night (and since May 2012 is now run by Toonami). Weekday evenings are reruns of comedies, both original or otherwise.

Adult Swim plays - or has played - the following series:

    open/close all folders 

    Western Animation 
Animated originals that are on-going:

Animated originals cancelled or ended:

Original animated pilots and/or specials:

Animated imports/syndicated:

Note: Except for American Dad!, Bob's Burgers and Family Guy, all of these series were canceled and discarded by their original host networks before syndication rights were picked up by Adult Swim (this was also the case for Family Guy, but it has since been Uncanceled due partially to ratings for the reruns on Adult Swim). Adult Swim's expired rights to Futurama were picked up by Comedy Central, which led to the show's revival on that network. Home Movies was renewed as an Adult Swim original series for an additional three and a half seasons following its original cancellation.

    Live Action TV 

    Pre-Toonami Anime 
Anime Shown as Part of the [adult swim] Action Block:

Anime Films Shown on the [adult swim] Action Block:

Anime Shown Only on [adult swim] Australia and New Zealand:

    Toonami 
Currently Owned Shows:

License Expired Shows:

Movies:

    Other 
[adult swim] Specials

Series Shown Only on [adult swim] UK and Ireland:

Adult Swim is also known for unique timing of commercial breaks. Most American networks have 8 minutes of commerical breaks per half-hour block — one 1 or 2 minute break at the top of the half-hour, two 2 or 3 minute breaks during the show, and a final 1 or 2 minute break at the end of the half-hour. Adult Swim has only 2 breaks per half-hour. Still totaling 8 minutes, but there's one break in the middle of the half-hour, and one at the end. Viewers appreciate this for obvious reasons, and they can sometimes have up to 5 uninterrupted minutes of commercial time to leave the TV and do other things before the next show comes on. God knows what the advertisers think of that, but considering AS's key demographic is the advertising gold-mine of males from age 18-35, they still pony up the dollars. The only downside to the viewer would be a Commercial Break Cliffhanger in non-original programming is less effective because the show continues immediately after (unless, of course, that happens to be where the break actually hits). Incidentally, this is how all ad breaks work on UK and Japanese channels - quite fortunate given all the UK and Japanese programming. (Actually, given the almost total preponderance of Japanese programming in the very early lineup, this is quite possibly not incidental at all.)

Bizarrely (or not given their track record for severely cutting what content they do air), Cartoon Network in the UK never had an Adult Swim slot. Laddish lad channel Bravo did however air it instead but that channel bit the dust in 2010, taking that slot with it. After that though the slot ended up over on TCM2 occupying a much shorter 2 and a half hour slot only on Friday nights/Saturday mornings to go along with small selection of episodes that went on the website each week, although DVDs of the shows finally started being released in the UK in late 2008. Since then though, it seems the whole [as] thing hasn't caught on and there are no channels airing Adult Swim, the dedicated UK site now redirects to the US site and home entertainment releases of Adult Swim shows have dried up.

In Australia and New Zealand, the local branch of Cartoon Network once had its own version of Adult Swim, including both comedy and anime, but the entire block was canceled at the end of 2007. The comedy series moved to The Comedy Channel, the Antipodean equivalent to Comedy Central, which still continue to air on a daily basis with consistent ratings, even though the block airs only on Saturdays from 12am-2am AEST and 6:30pm-7:30pm ASET; a few of the anime shows were picked up by the local Sci Fi Channel's Animax block. Many Adult Swim series, both comedy and anime, are available on DVD in the two countries, due to a licensing deal with Madman Entertainment.

Latin America used to have Adult Swim via Cartoon Network and later I.Sat due to negative reviews from the parents. It mostly showed only non-anime, Adult Swim-original cartoons (with a great deal of the bumps explicitly stating they would never show anime even though they did later on). Unfortunately, it ran only Friday through Sunday at very late hours, and apparently people didn't get most of the jokesnote , and was eventually discontinued due to low ratings.

In Canada, Adult Swim programming has historically aired on Teletoon's At Night/Detour block. Most Adult Swim originals now air on the AS-branded block on the Canadian franchise of Cartoon Network, owned by Teletoon.

Tropes exhibited by [adult swim] include:

  • Ad Bumpers: Adult Swim is quite famous for these. You can see an entire archive of these bumps here.
  • All Adult Animation Is South Park: Adult Swim and much of its content is accused of advocating this. Even more so since 2012 when the block's anime and action cartoons, the most notable aversions, are once again under the Toonami brand.
  • all lowercase letters: Adult Swim's branding of course, stylized as [adult swim].
  • April Fools' Day: Adult Swim has a running tradition of messing with their programs on April 1st, both the night of and the following day. Examples being mustaches drawn on characters, putting fart noises in the shows, running a marathon of Perfect Hair Forever as dated VHS with badly done subbing, playing The Room (which is what arguably granted the movie more infamy as it now had a wider audience) or even bringing back past Williams Street blocks such as Toonami for the night.
  • Artifact Title/The Artifact:
    • Adult Swim is named as such as it came from the analogy of the network switching to adult-oriented programming by showing Ad Bumpers consisting of a public pool period where the children have to get out and let the adults swim. This analogy hasn't been used since 2003, when these bumpers were replaced with the "white text on black" style bumpers seen ever since, and the "swim" part isn’t really recognized much anymore.
    • Contributing to Cartoon Network’s controversial decision of adding live action shows to the channel (and thus making "Cartoon" Network an Artifact Title somewhat), Adult Swim has also controversially added a number of live action shows to their lineup. While the live action Adult Swim shows have better critical reception than their regular Cartoon Network counterparts because they aren’t just Discovery Channel ripoffs, these works and the decision has unsurprisingly not been well received with a good portion of the fanbase, especially if you ask fans of the anime or the classic animated comedies.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Adult Swim wished for the third season of Moral Orel to be darker than either of the previous two - and instantly regretted it. The series was then cancelled.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor:
    "Stupid Adult Swim only plays it [Inuyasha] on Saturdays now."
    "They're allowed to watch half an hour of television, and only cartoons. Which means no Cartoon Network."
  • Colon Cancer: At least one program uses multiple colons in the name of the show, a fake Police Procedural series titled "NTSF:SD:SUV" which stands for "National Terrorism Strike Force: San Diego: Sport Utility Vehicle".
  • Commercial Pop-Up:
    • During the "world premiere" of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force film, the movie was aired normally for the first 7 minutes, and then displayed without sound in a tiny box in the corner of the screen, and episodes of Family Guy and Futurama aired while the movie ran (in its entirety) in the corner. During this, humongous pop-up ads for the movie with loud sound effects also appeared from time to time.
    • One episode of Frisky Dingo had a message on the screen for 15 seconds at the start that said "This is where the network puts that mammoth bug." Then, "Enjoy the show." Biting-the-Hand Humor doesn't even begin to cover it.
  • Content Warnings: "Just in case that last disclaimer wasn't enough, this episode contains extreme violence. We would rather run this than cut the violence from the episode because we are American Cowboys." —Adult Swim before really bloody anime episodes; as stated, it follows a more traditional (and bland) content warning advising that Adult Swim is not for viewers under 18...err 14.
  • Cue the Flying Pigs: [Success]
  • Foreshadowing: Adult Swim once aired a "Where Are They Now" style bump, with the last one featuring Brak, Zorak, and Moltar planning a revival of Cartoon Planet. Cartoon Planet would come back on March 31, 2012.
  • Network Decay: Listed in Unique Situations. Contributing their part to Cartoon Network's decay (other than the Boston Bomb Scare), Adult Swim's lineup has been increasingly moving into both original and rerun live-action shows, along with a phase out of a number of animated shows and an increasing over-reliance on FOX Acquisitions for viewership and filling timeslots. Also mirroring main CN's decision of ending Toonami, the biggest victims of the decay has been the anime lineup, which has since been relegated exclusively to the Saturday Night-Sunday Morning timeslots. Adult Swim has however, called Cartoon Network's decay out and even lampshaded their own strange programming choices at times, so they're at least aware of this. Not to mention due to the same constant schedule switching that has screwed over many of its titles, what's decaying one week can be on the upswing the next.
  • Obvious Stunt Double: NTSF:SD:SUV makes it very obvious, although it's really the editing that gives it away, not bad continuity. Such as cutting to a sudden, awkward, far angle shot just for Trent to perform an entire spin kick (with his hair covering his face, no less).
  • Our Product Sucks: Quite a few of the Adult Swim bumpers are self-deprecating, often featuring flames and trolls from the message boards. When the network played Saved by the Bell, the network changed its logo to "[crappy 1980's live action tv show network]", after a message board user suggested it.
  • Pun: [all times and music eastern]
  • Recycled In Space: It's like Nick At Nite ON CARTOON NETWORK!
  • Running Gag:
    • There are a series of bumps calling attention to some shortcoming or ridiculous doing of the United States, followed by USA showing up with a synthesized voice reciting the letters.
    • Flordia: Where Bad Things Go To Happen.
    • They also point out an Epic Fail with a synthesized "Fail".
  • Spiritual Successor: Adult Swim itself is a successor of Toonami's "Midnight Run" block, and is in fact run by the same studio that ran Toonami (Williams Street). Some might argue that it is a successor to Toonami in general since Toonami was canceled, but considering that Adult Swim underwent Network Decay shortly thereafter, many have said otherwise.
  • Subverted Kids Show: Adult Swim itself is this trope for Cartoon Network in general. A number of programs also qualify such as, Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, Sealab 2021, Moral Orel, Robot Chicken, and G.I. Joe: Resolute.
  • Surreal Humor: Most Adult Swim original programs exhibit this in varying degrees, from "wacky" to "What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?".
  • Take That/Take That, Audience!/Trolling Creator: Adult Swim just loves to do this at times with their Ad Bumpers. On occasions, Adult Swim tends to lampshade this.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: "Attention Toonami Faithful: We heard you. On 05.26.12 #ToonamisBackBitches"
  • Timeshift Channel: With the exception of Saturdays, the "DVR Theater" and the occasional nights of programming decided by contest winners, Adult Swim's second half is usually a repeat of its first half. A thing to note is that considering that Cartoon Network has separate East and West Coast feeds, it's sometimes possible to watch something four times in a night if one so wishes to, if one has DirecTV, AT&T U-Verse or Dish Network.
  • Translation Train Wreck: The 2007 Adult Swim April Fool's Day gag involved 'bootleg' versions of several Adult Swim shows.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: One fan suggested that they pit Brock Sampson vs. Black Dynamite and see who wins. Adult Swim ran with it, telling fans to vote on Twitter, and the results would be posted the following week. There was no decisive winner. The final tally was 50/50, and a massive flame-war erupted from both fandoms. Adult Swim followed up with the next matchup: Stewie Griffin vs. Early Cuyler. They also said that what they really want to see is the Brock Sampson and Black Dynamite fandoms to fight each other.
    "Because some y'all crazy bitches!"
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: In 2007, Adult Swim launched a guerrilla marketing campaign for the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie featuring battery-powered LED placards resembling the Mooninite characters being placed in numerous places around the US. However in Boston, police officials mistakenly thought that the LEDs were bombs, and treated the whole event as such. This event would turn out to known as the Boston Bomb Scare, which lead to legal implications being placed on Turner Broadcasting and their contractors, the internet to make mock "Never Forget" memes, and forced then-current Cartoon Network head Jim Samples to step down. It wouldn’t be long after until fans began to realize that Adult Swim, scratch that, Cartoon Network in general would not be the same since the incident. Not because of any legal incidents, but because Samples' replacement, Stuart Snyder, has since become the instigator of the channel’s infamous Network Decay with the increase of live-action sitcoms and reality shows on the channel.

[adult swim]

    Prime Time CartoonAqua Teen Hunger Force
Cartoon NetworkNetworksBoomerang
Warner Bros. Voice ActorsTiny Toon Adventures
Cartoon Network: Punch Time ExplosionCreator/Cartoon NetworkBoomerang

alternative title(s): Adult Swim
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