->''"There's something that's called 'adult animation' and it usually means it appeals to adolescent, teenage boys and that's not really adult in my view."''
-->-- '''[[http://www.geogrif.com/ George Griffin]]''', independent animator

Good news! The mainstream American audience finally accepts that animation can also be for adults!

Bad news! The mainstream American audience thinks that all adult animation is full of BlackComedy, graphic violence, sex jokes, swearing, ToiletHumor, racial stereotypes, [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and, to a lesser extent,]] MindScrew!

In UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfAnimation, when the AnimationAgeGhetto was the norm, people like Creator/RalphBakshi made vulgar cartoons out of a desire to make animation that wasn't "just for kids" by making something that [[DarkerAndEdgier couldn't possibly be shown to kids]]. They thus avoided the statement "It can be enjoyed by the whole family" (with the implication that it's meant for children), and a CultClassic or two emerged during that era.

During UsefulNotes/TheRenaissanceAgeOfAnimation, thanks to the popularity of ''WesternAnimation/BeavisAndButthead'', ''WesternAnimation/TheRenAndStimpyShow'', and (to a milder degree) ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', the idea that animation could be expanded beyond the family market began to take off again. With the establishment of the TV ratings system, it also became easier to make it clear to audiences that a show wasn't for children. As the Renaissance Age began to shade into UsefulNotes/TheMillenniumAgeOfAnimation, ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'' [[note]] basically just another suburban family sitcom, but a bit cruder and more grounded in reality than usual [[/note]] became a quiet success for Creator/{{FOX}} and Creator/CartoonNetwork -- starting with the success of the spoof ''WesternAnimation/SpaceGhostCoastToCoast'' -- began to create its own adult-oriented shows, eventually launching the Creator/AdultSwim lineup. But the biggest shake-up to the ghetto came in 1997 when Creator/ComedyCentral debuted the MA-rated ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', a vulgar but often uproarious comedy that immediately became a smash hit.

Unfortunately, because of this, most of the adult-oriented shows that followed in ''South Park'''s wake were similarly vulgar, envelope-pushing fare -- the most successful being FOX's ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy''. Thanks to creators following the example of these shows, people now believe that any western animation that isn't just kids' shows are either sitcoms and/or a raunchy cartoon, which is far from the truth. Thus, it's very hard for aspiring animators/creators to pitch animated shows without VulgarHumour and ComedicSociopathy in mind, which leads to people creating ''more'' South Park-esque shows; lather, rinse, repeat.[[note]]It's usually thought that Japanese animation doesn't deal with any perception issues like this, which is somewhat true. Non-children targeted Japanese animation doesn't have ''this'' trope, but it does have [[{{Otaku}} its own]] [[{{Hikikomori}} sets of baggage]] over there.[[/note]] Many such shows have animation that is extremely ugly, extremely cheap, or both, in order to resemble South Park's own animation-style.

This mentality can also work in the opposite direction, where adult viewers understand that not all cartoons are for children but think that anything not in lockstep with ''South Park''[='s=] particular brand of CrossesTheLineTwice humor is kiddie garbage--ignoring the many critically acclaimed animated series and films that are suitable for all audiences (such as ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' or ''Disney/{{Zootopia}}''). Who cares how well-written it is if [[AvoidTheDreadedGRating there's no blood or swearing]]?

Overall, this thinking is just an evolution of AnimationAgeGhetto: animation may not be seen as exclusively for children anymore, but it is still seen as exclusively childish.

Compare with AllAnimeIsNaughtyTentacles and RatedMForMoney. Contrast with [[AllAnimationIsDisney All (Kid-Oriented) Animation is Disney]].



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/PantyAndStockingWithGarterbelt'' is basically Japan's attempt to emulate American cartoons. Specifically, American ''adult'' cartoons. The result is like ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'' and ''WesternAnimation/DrawnTogether'' spliced together and dosed up on speed.
* ''Manga/{{Mitsudomoe}}'' is a rare anime example of this being played straight, with gross-outs and sex jokes galore.
* ''Manga/SeitokaiYakuindomo'', where at least 90% of the show's jokes either shock humor or [[ToiletHumor about bodily functions]].
* Predating any of the above is ''Manga/ThePingPongClub'', about middle school boys competing to be the best at Ping-Pong so they can do whatever they want with a girl's body for a month.
* ''Manga/CrayonShinChan'' is an odd example. In its native Japan, the anime adaptation is considered to be a ''[[WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids family show]]'' despite the crude, raunchy humor. When the show received a GagDub by Creator/{{FUNimation}} in the west, however, it was marketed towards adults and had its raunchiness turned UpToEleven.

[[folder:Asian Animation]]
* The creators of ''WesternAnimation/TheNutshack'' say that their series is the very first Asian adult cartoon. [[SarcasmMode It appears that Japanese animation is not adult in the slightest]].

* ''WesternAnimation/EightCrazyNights'' is one of the few feature film examples of this trope played straight.
* Zig-zagged with ''WesternAnimation/SausageParty''. There's plenty of CharacterDevelopment and a solid plot, but it still sold itself on being the first 3D computer-animated feature to get an R-rating.
* Averted completely by ''WesternAnimation/IsleOfDogs''. Despite its PG-13 rating, it isn't a raunchy ''South Park''-style comedy, and has been praised by many critics not just as an animated film but as a film overall.
* This trope might as well have originally been called "All Adult Animation Is Creator/RalphBakshi" for two reasons: one, when he was still making films, it was, as nobody was making animation for adults as noteworthy as him (relatively speaking). Two, the only others who were only aped the gratuitous sex and nudity, which Bakshi only included in his films as a form of rebellion. His gritty violence and themes of corruption and racism, however, all came from personal experience and are never played for laughs. To be fair, the only reason he got away with this is because he worked independently, a big part of the reason ''Film/CoolWorld'', produced by Paramount, plays this trope straight.
* It'd be easier to count the examples that qualify in Western European animated films, since the overwhelming majority of adult-oriented animation, while sometimes having adult humor, never reaches the extent South Park does.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Although it's actually a puppet show, ''Series/{{Mongrels}}'' was clearly trying to copy this. WordOfGod even stated that he wanted to "do for puppetry what American shows like ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' have done for animation".

[[folder:Print Media]]
* In a review in Metro (free newspaper on public transport) of Goro Miyazaki's ''Anime/TalesFromEarthsea'', the reviewer made a remark along the lines of, "but its main problem is that it's not very funny; it's a cartoon, so what's the point if it's not funny?"

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/ConkersBadFurDay'' is one of the few non-animation examples of this trope, with sex jokes and grossout gags galore. This was a deliberate choice in response to critics who felt that earlier builds were too similar to Rare's other cartoonish mascot platformers.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''WebAnimation/LoboWebseries'' counts due to the high amount of violence, profanity and sex due to the R-rated DC comics character involved. However, its humor is considered to be better than other examples of this trope.
* ''WebAnimation/DickFigures'' with it's cheap animation and vulgar humor.
* [[Machinima/Supermarioglitchy4sSuperMario64Bloopers SMG4]] zig-zags this trope. While it does use a lot of swear humor and sex jokes, it does not rely on shock humor and gross-out and would put more emphasis on [[ZanyCartoon classic cartoon gags]] from the UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfAnimation.
* The ''Webcomic/CyanideAndHappiness'' animated shorts usually fall under this category. Some of the shorts can be dark (both BlackComedy-wise and NightmareFuel-wise), some of their shorts can be relatively light, some of their shorts can be surreal, some of their shorts can be gross... you get the idea. In that way, they're much like the original webcomic.
* ''WebAnimation/PonyDotMov'' is pretty much what happens when you take the adorable little ponies from ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' and place them inside a CrapsaccharineWorld that would make both Creator/JohnWaters and Creator/JohnKricfalusi proud.
* ''WebAnimation/SonicForHire'' is jet-packed with BlackComedy and VulgarHumor.
** Its brother show, ''WebAnimation/MegaManDiesAtTheEnd'', is more LighterAndSofter in terms of this trope but it still occurs.
[[folder:Web Video]]
* The later seasons of WebVideo/SuperMarioLogan resort to this kind of humor,being one of the few non animated examples of this trope
[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', the TropeNamer, is [[TropeCodifier almost single-handedly responsible]] for creating the [[RefugeInAudacity audacious]], [[CrossesTheLineTwice line-crossing]] brand of humor that has become so prevalent in adult animation. Hard as it is to imagine these days, in 1997 the sight of cartoon characters telling each other to "suck balls" was totally wild and crazy (the closest ''The Simpsons'' had ever come to that was, of course, "Eat my shorts!"), and the show drew huge viewership numbers purely from the [[DancingBear novelty factor]]. Like all popular things, it was quickly aped and imitated, and soon it became standard practice for adult cartoons to take a page out of Parker and Stone's book.
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' is one of the primary culprits for encouraging this trope. Its particular style of pop culture-centric humor and cutaway gags proved a big hit with audiences (especially following its [[UnCancelled uncancellation]]), and made it arguably just as influential as its brethren, for better or worse.
* Part of the reason for ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' SeasonalRot was pressure to become more "edgy" and "adult" in order to compete with ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark''. This resulted in an increase in mean-spirited humor, and gross-out gags that aren't particularly funny and don't fit the show's milder, more laid-back tone. It all culminated in the [[JumpingTheShark infamous]] panda rape scene in "Homer vs. Dignity."
* A big reason ''WesternAnimation/FatherOfThePride'' lasted as briefly as it did was that it simultaneously plays this trope straight and fails at it.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Brickleberry}}'' can be best described as every single vulgar, offensive and tasteless adult cartoon times one hundred, crammed into 22 minutes.
* One of the more notable examples of this trope played straight is ''WesternAnimation/DrawnTogether'', which is 90% CringeComedy. You can count the amount of jokes that are not [[RefugeInAudacity shock value]], [[NauseaFuel bodily function-related]] or at the expense of any kind of social/racial minority on one hand. TheMovie, which even people who like the show hesitate to defend, can be best described as every negative stereotype of adult animation played completely straight and stretched out to feature length, complete with a ShallowParody of [[WesternAnimation/SouthPark the trope namer itself]] to support the film's ultimate moral--that the ''entire point'' of adult animation is to be as gruesome and offensive as possible, and that morals and satire will only bog it down. Many have pointed out that this moral is a clear misunderstanding of what makes VulgarHumor funny in the first place, if not an outright insult to the target audience's intelligence.
* While ''WesternAnimation/AquaTeenHungerForce'' definitely qualifies as this in its later seasons (earlier episodes were much tamer, while episodes from season 4 onwards are filled with VulgarHumor and {{Gorn}}), the [[ShortRunners extremely short-lived]] SpinOff ''WesternAnimation/SoulQuestOverdrive'' takes this UpToEleven, featuring a non-stop barrage of crude sex jokes, random gratuitous violence, drug references, and ComedicSociopathy crammed into every 5-minute episode.
* The Netflix show ''WesternAnimation/BigMouth'', which is about kids going through puberty and features a lot of sexual bodily function humor as a result, even received as massive InternetBackdraft after [[ComplainingAboutShowsYouDontWatch only]] ''[[ComplainingAboutShowsYouDontWatch one trailer]]'' was released. In addition to the overtly crude humor, including depictions of preteens [[ADateWithRosiePalms masturbating]], [[NoPeriodsPeriod having their periods]] and [[ItMakesSenseInContext talking to their genitalia]], it also has crude designs reminiscent of cartoons from the 1990s and 2000s that played this trope straight, not to mention proudly advertising that the head writer used to work on ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy''. It doesn't help that Netflix is toting this as their "edgy" cartoon alongside the critical darling ''WesternAnimation/BojackHorseman'', a show that deliberately avoids this, making ''Big Mouth'' feel like a giant step backwards in terms of furthering the medium. Thankfully, this died down a little once it came out and got positive word-of-mouth.
* Part of the reason that ''[[WesternAnimation/TheRenAndStimpyShow Ren and Stimpy: Adult Party Cartoon]]'' was canceled after only six episodes was Spike TV's insistence that the show's already vulgar humor be made ''even more vulgar'' to appeal to the post-''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' crowd.
* The main reason ''WesternAnimation/AllenGregory'' lasted as briefly as it did (aside from being a "filler" show inbetween seasons of ''Family Guy'') was that it was so sophomoric and the character were so needlessly cruel that nobody found it appealing.
* Creator/BillPlympton is a noteworthy aversion as, while his films DO feature completely unfiltered vulgarity and violence, they're strictly AuthorAppeal and [[DoingItForTheArt not intended to appease some kind of demographic]]. At one point, he ''was'' dealing with criticism that he could only do over-the-top sex and violence with no emotional substance, and challenged those critics with the sombre, personal ''WesternAnimation/{{Cheatin}}''.
* ''WesternAnimation/TrippingTheRift'' is a rare CG example (the only other one being ''WesternAnimation/FatherOfThePride'') of this being played straight, with gross outs and sex jokes galore.
* The short-lived British series ''Full English'' was roundly panned for being a very blatant ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' rip-off, right down to the cutaway gags. The series featured much more graphic content than ''Family Guy'', however, with constant swearing, nudity, sex, and shock humor in every episode.
* ''WesternAnimation/GoodVibes'', which was originally intended to air alongside Seth [=MacFarlane=]'s series but ended up airing with the revival of ''Beavis and Butt-head''.
* ''Hell and Back'' is another rare feature film example as well as one of the few stop-motion examples besides ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken''.
* Most of ''Animation Domination High-Definition'', especially ''WesternAnimation/HighSchoolUSA'', plays this straight.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBoondocks'' is an interesting case, as while the show does have a lot of sexual humor, tons of swearing, and some bloody violence, it never really resorts to ToiletHumor all that often. It has been compared to the [[WesternAnimation/SouthPark trope namer]], but only in regards to its biting social commentary, not its humor.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendsOfChamberlainHeights'' is another example, not only having loads of stereotypes and sexual humor, but even using the same two-frame animation style as ''South Park''. It doesn't help that Creator/ComedyCentral is using ''South Park'' as a lead-in.
* One major complaint about ''WesternAnimation/MrPickles'' is that the show tries to cram as many sex jokes and as much offensive, disgusting content as possible into 11 minutes. ''WesternAnimation/KingStarKing'' and ''WesternAnimation/{{Superjail}}'' fall under this formula as well. That said, there are hints of a consistent plot, and notably for this type of show it rarely delves into politics. Season 3 tries other types of humor besides just gross-out, like genre parodies, though it still thrives in gore.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Archer}}'' contains loads of sex, violence and shocking subjects, particularly jokes involving Krieger, the NightmareFetishist. It does have a highly detailed and realistic art style, however, compared to the usual crude looks of shows of this type, and a more cohevise plotline whereas other shows would have what amount to {{excuse plot}}s.
* The WB's short-lived ''WesternAnimation/BabyBlues'' was a failure mainly due to this trope, taking what was a genial, family-friendly comic strip about the everyday hassles of parents raising two young children, and filling it full of dirty humor, innuendo, and adult-oriented plots, driving away fans of the comic strip while failing to bring in people who weren't.
* ''WesternAnimation/BojackHorseman'' both deconstructs and totally defies this trope. There are no {{designated hero}}s, no SnapBack, very little [[NauseaFuel grossout humor]] and all of the socio-political messages are well-informed (if a little heavy-handed). Instead, the show analyzes why a crude, selfish, destructive person would be the way they would. The result is a story about how love is earned and that nobody is going to like you if they have a perfectly good reason not to.
* ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty'' is often seen as an example of this trope "done right". A lot of the humor is extremely sophomoric, with phallic imagery, burp/fart jokes, pop culture references and violence galore. However, it's all built on a foundation of well-informed science and philosophy and, much like ''Bojack'', plays the consequences of a lot of these jokes completely straight for the sake of furthering the story and developing the characters. The most notable of this is the writers' conscious decision to make the occasional verbal rape joke while playing every instance of the act itself completely for horror.
* While ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' does have some crass humor and violence in it, it mostly avoids this type of humor in favor of affectionate parodies of nerd culture, especially Star Trek, along with having very emotional episodes with character development and evolving existing relationships.