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[[caption-width-right:350:Round eyes, simple designs, and a feeling of motion.[[note]]From top to bottom: ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'', ''WesternAnimation/RegularShow'', ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime''[[/note]]]]

->''"You'll also notice that the designs of many of these characters is much more simpler than ones of the past. They do this 'cause it gives way to faster animation, while also allowing more time to focus on color, backgrounds, and of course, the story."''
-->-- '''WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic''', [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXpWAO0F7ck Are Kids Shows Better NOW Than Ever?]]

Thin-line animation is a stylistic trend that has emerged in TheNewTens based more around thinner lines and rounder shapes while still being distinctively {{western|animation}}. This style may have emerged for a number of different reasons. The emergence of {{anime}} and their influences on western cartoonists have made them focused less on detail. Different coloring techniques with digital art may have removed the need for thicker lines, and thus it only remains when it's a stylistic choice. The need for quicker, cheaper animation after the economic downturn may also drive the desire for more cheap, yet still pleasing animation styles.

Some bemoan the style as a {{lazy|Artist}} [[ItsTheSameNowItSucks derivative of]] ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'', as many current animators with the style have worked on the show. Others say that the style is just another periodic style that has dominated in a time period, like Creator/JohnKricfalusi's influence in the early [[TheNineties 90s]], ThickLineAnimation of the late [[TheNineties 90s]], or the {{animesque}} shows of the mid [[TurnOfTheMillennium 2000s]]. Despite this, the style has endured and is used during more quiet atmospheric moments.

In a way, this trope (or at least its base principles) is actually OlderThanTelevision, since many cartoon shorts during UsefulNotes/TheSilentAgeOfAnimation (particularly those made by Creator/{{Disney}} and Creator/MaxAndDaveFleischer) featured [[InkblotCartoonStyle rounded ball-and-noodle art-styles and thin outlines]], [[JustifiedTrope often out of necessity since the simplistic designs made things easier on the animators at the time]].

Compare PuniPlush and {{Animesque}}, contrast with ThickLineAnimation.


* Many of the earliest animes from TheSixties, such as ''Anime/AstroBoy'' and ''Anime/KimbaTheWhiteLion'', featured this type of style. Justified, in that a lot of these works were influenced by cartoons made during the Silent and Golden age of animation.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'' is one of the few modern anime to use this trope, thanks to its art-style which, while ''far'' from simplistic, is more cartoony and relies somewhat on ToonPhysics. [[ArtEvolution It lessened over time]], however, as the art style started becoming less rounded and more on par with modern anime.
* ''Anime/KirbyRightBackAtYa'' combined rounded designs (Dedede, Escargoon, the citizens of Cappy Town, and Kirby himself) with angular designs (the humanoid characters and most of the monsters).

* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'': Probably the one that [[FollowTheLeader singlehandedly popularized]] the modern trend in animation.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball'': [[MediumBlending Certain characters]], such as the Watterson and Fitzgerald families, are drawn in a rounded style. [[ArtEvolution The change in art style between the first two seasons]] made several character designs more round and less rectangular (particularly with the Wattersons), though it also made the outlines [[ThickLineAnimation thicker]].
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Amphibia}}''
* ''WesternAnimation/BeCoolScoobyDoo'':
-->'''[[WebVideo/RebelTaxi Pan Pizza]]:''' They look like characters from ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' -- no, no wait, they look like characters from ''WesternAnimation/{{Brickleberry}}'' -- no, no wait, they look like ''assholes'' from ''WesternAnimation/{{Brickleberry}}''!
* ''WesternAnimation/Ben102016''
* ''WesternAnimation/BigCityGreens''
* ''WesternAnimation/BillyDilleysSuperDuperSubterraneanSummer''
* ''WesternAnimation/BobsBurgers''
* ''WebAnimation/BravestWarriors'': The show was created by ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' creator Creator/PendletonWard, and shares the same art-style.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Breadwinners}}'': While it does have a rounded art-style, the outlines are more thickish.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Brickleberry}}''
* ''WebAnimation/CampCamp''
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Chowder}}'' is considered a pioneer of the style, despite the characters having slightly rougher lines than the others on the list.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Clarence}}'': The episode "Goldfish Follies" highlights this style's inherent similarity to the InkblotCartoonStyle.
* The works of Creator/SethMacFarlane (''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'', and ''WesternAnimation/TheClevelandShow'') use a less [[BuffySpeak noodle-y]] but still simplistic and rounded art-style.
* ''WesternAnimation/CraigOfTheCreek''
* ''WesternAnimation/FutureWorm''
* ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'': The art-style is rounded, but compared to ''Breadwinners'' above, the outlines are more in between thin and thick.
* ''WesternAnimation/HarveyBeaks''
* ''WesternAnimation/HomeAdventuresWithTipAndOh''
* ''WesternAnimation/TheMarvelousMisadventuresOfFlapjack'': The show's staff, in fact, included Creator/AlexHirsch, Creator/PendletonWard, and others as storyboarders, who would all later do their own shows.
* ''WesternAnimation/OKKOLetsBeHeroes''
* ''WesternAnimation/OverTheGardenWall''
* ''WesternAnimation/PickleAndPeanut''
* ''WesternAnimation/PinkyMalinky''
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls2016'' uses this style in sharp contrast to the [[WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls original's]] more angular thick-line art-style. Notably, the Powerpuff Girls in the original series had a NonStandardCharacterDesign that could be considered a prototypical version of this style.
* ''WesternAnimation/RegularShow'': This is more straight in [[ArtEvolution later seasons when the outlines became thinner]].
* ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty''
* ''WesternAnimation/The7D''
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' is considered the UrExample of this style.
* ''WesternAnimation/StarVsTheForcesOfEvil'': The outlines started off thick but became relatively thinner following the [[ArtShift change in animation studios]] in the middle of the first season.
* ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'': Compared to some of the other shows listed here, the outlines for ''Steven Universe'' remain consistently thick.
* ''WesternAnimation/SanjayAndCraig'': Features character designer JayHowell, who also worked for Bob's Burgers.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCatsRoar'': Part of the InternetBacklash surrounding it comes from its use of this style.
* ''WesternAnimation/UncleGrandpa'': Again, rounded art-style but with relatively thick outlines.
* ''WesternAnimation/WeBareBears'': It's mostly with the FunnyAnimal characters. Humans have less noodle-y proportions.
* ''WesternAnimation/WelcomeToTheWayne''