Media as we know it has changed, for better or for… No, better! The internet has provided us with countless hours of amazing content with flash games and of course our favourite, the animators, who are highly underrated in what they do. Yes, the internet is really, really great – For a lot of things, but this Top 10 isn’t the best things the internet has produced: It’s the best cartoons it’s produced.
So whether you’re sat there spitting out dank memes, or just thinking about how the internet has provided you with some of the most nail-biting, fear-induced sweats you’ve ever had, it’s time to face this week’s list: It’s GeekOut’s Top 10 Internet Cartoons.
10) Zero Punctuation – Yahtzee; EscapistMagazine
Ben ‘Yahtzee’ Crosshaw is a bit of an internet celebrity, known for producing some of the hardest hitting reviews on the whole of the internet. He’s incredibly honest and knows how to produce a well thought-out argument, all the while spitting toxic vitriol about things that he believes should be shut down hard and fast. It’s rare that he reviews things favourably, but when he does, his reasonings are sound and logical.
So Yahtzee is our tenth place on Internet Cartoons, all because of his series, Zero Punctuation. Yahtzee is an incredibly intelligent person, so if he ever reads this he’ll know getting in tenth place is a hell of an accomplishment. But, if we’re being brutally honest, as awesome as his videos are, the animation on his cartoons are a little bit simple… But that’s okay! It’s iconic and makes his reviews that much better. We love what you do Yahtzee, keep reviewing in the style only you know how!
9) Emo Dad – The FineBros
Emo Dad is a series produced by TheFineBros, the same people who were responsible for that internet drama at the beginning of the year regarding the trademarking of the term “React”. So, it’s funny to think that these are also the guys who produced one of the most unique, funny and genuinely interesting cartoon series of YouTube in the form of Emo Dad.
This is as literal as it sounds: A dad who has embraced the emo within. He’s so emo, that he proves that his son Chris is nothing but a poser. GAWD! Nevertheless, Emo Dad has just come back for a season 2, which you should go and watch immediately. Seriously, get to it, it’s funny and you won’t regret it!
8) Happy Tree Friends – Mondo Media
Do you remember 1999? That was seventeen years ago! Happy Tree Friends is nearly old enough to vote in most countries!
Anyway, revel in the merry juxtaposition of adorable anthropomorphic animals cavorting in the style of a children’s TV for the extremely young, and then suddenly violence and death. Join characters like Lumpy, the clumsy moose; Sniffy, the science loving ant-eater; Handy, the double-amputee squirrel who inexplicable occupies every manual vocation; and Flippy, the ex-military bear with a tendency to go back to war at inconvenient moments.
The show has become an internet culture icon, spreading into TV, pop-punk, spin-offs and a feature film is currently in production! So if you want an idea of the kind of the thing that set the tone of the “internet sense of humour” look no further. No wait, look further, we haven’t finished.
7) Charlie the Unicorn – Jason Steele
If you intentionally want to pursue the feeling of “What the hell did I just watch?” then you can’t do much finer than the works of Jason Steele. Also famous for Llamas in Hats buuuuut if you tell people about that one you have to define it as “The guy who did Charlie the Unicorn” because it was his first work to go huge way back in 2005. It’s the tale of a unicorn constantly dragged into the purposeless adventures of two other unicorns who I only found out today had names.
Charlie is subjected to things that border imagination, magic and insanity, a series of disjointed events that always end in a deeply creepy musical number, explosions, and something stolen from him, like a kidney. But on the bright side he… well… starfish loves him. Oh, and even better for Charlie himself, there’s a half-hour finale on it’s way courtesy of Kickstarter backers, so for him, the suffering is almost over.
6) Salad Fingers – David Firth
He likes it when the red water drips, kids, but he’s not exactly the most kid-friendly of all of the cartoons on this list. Whilst there’s nothing in particular bad content, it’s highly disturbing and will make you feel a little dirty having watched the series. Created by David Firth and originally distributed on Newgrounds, Salad Fingers is one of those classic cartoons of the internet that most people have at least encountered.
Whether he’s scratching himself with spoons, or just chatting to the little dolls that he’s seemingly hand-made, Salad Fingers is a rather depressing look at isolation and what it could be like if you were a social outcast. It’s bleak and it doesn’t shy away from sad scenes and visuals that’ll make you feel physically uncomfortable.
Science, life, beauty, stick figures. One of the most successful and intellectual comics is one of the most crudely drawn. In fact most of them are, but we picked XKCD, sorry Cyanide and Happiness, you’re good but not this good.
If you’re a programmer, a physicist, a mathematician then there’s some very unique humour for you. If you’re just weird, smart, like flowcharts and maps and things that are different, there’s stuff for you too, like infographics of the size of exoplanets and maps of the internet as if they were continents. Oh and don’t be fooled by the stick figures, keep reading and you’ll marvel at how good the art can be, but a three comic per week schedule is a hell of a pace to keep up.
4) The Oatmeal
Beloved creator of Exploding Cats, worshipper of a giant fire-breathing lobster that lives behind Saturn – Jibbers Crabst – and advocate of Nikola Tesla and the proper use of a semi colon, Matthew Inman manages to combine supreme intelligence, keen wit and glorious stupidity into what is essentially the perfect webcomic… well no, not perfect, but it’s up there. Up there at number 4.
Inman irreverently challenges the mind with notions such as why cats are superior to babies, what if dogs were middle-aged men, and the personal benefits of coffee. If you were ever looking for a reason to punch a dolphin in the mouth, he’s got you covered. If you need help identifying a handshake, The Oatmeal has your back. When your friends use bad grammar, a cogent argument is but a click away. Do you not know enough about bears? Why aren’t you reading The Oatmeal?
3) RWBY – RoosterTeeth
Scoring in all the way at number 3, RWBY is an interesting blend of 3D animation and anime, creating a very unique effect for an anime. Anime is still a cartoon, whether you’d like to think it was a different beast to cartoons all together or not. With this said, RWBY is indeed an internet cartoon, at least technically, as it’s created by the massive internet media conglomerate, RoosterTeeth.
RWBY is visually stunning and is testament to what a great group that came together on the internet can do, especially when they put together an incredibly fun plot. With goofy characters and a very unique art direction, RWBY is not a normal anime, nor is a normal cartoon… But it certainly does fit the bill of an internet cartoon and it’s genuinely very good. Go check it out, which you can do on Crunchyroll!
As a side note, it’s worth respecting Monty Oum on this matter, the creator of the series. RoosterTeeth helped make it a reality, but it was Monty who made the series. Rest in peace Monty – You produced something that really made headlines!
2) Weebl and Bob
Weebl and Bob are two very silly little egg-men who have been around since the early 00’s at least. Created by Jonti Picking, Weebl and Bob is all about the day in the life of Weebl and his little friend Bob. Whatever you may think of the incredibly silly and random humour of Weebl and Bob, respect should be passed on to MrWeebl himself, Jonti.
From Weebl and Bob and Catface to Badgers, Badgers, Badgers and Kenya, this animator has been around for a long time and will always serve as one of my personal internet inspirations. I always enjoyed the clean, silly humour of Weebl and Bob and will always recommend people look this guy’s cartoons up – It’s highly entertaining and is full of delicious pie. Lo, Bob!
1) ASDF Movie – Tomska
Do you ever get tired of being random?
When we debated the nature of internet cartoons we had to deliberate, not just what our favourite was, but what qualities were best in internet cartoon comedy. It has to be something that wouldn’t have seen the light of day without the internet, something that captures the sense of humour of the chaotic and disparate hordes of the internet, and yeah… our favourite.
ASDF is a black and white rapid-fire joke cartoon from the mind of Eddsworld co-conspirator Thomas “Tomska” Ridgewell, famous for ASDF along with a host of other comedic works who has worked with some of the best comedians of the internet, many of whom lend their voices to the long-running series.
Though only nine (and a bit) episodes they’re packed with so much memorable content, ingenious recurring jokes, and excellent writing and composition that nine (and a bit) episodes goes a long way.
Cartoons are supposed to have a purpose, they’re supposed to either make you laugh, or feel some kind of emotion. They’re artistic and they’re intriguing. This is why we love the internet, as it’s able to bring out some of the coolest emotions in us. These honourable mentions still make us feel something, but just missed out on the list itself.
GameGrumps Animated – Various Animators
Hey these guys aren’t so grump, not compared to the people they create animations for. Yes, the Game Grumps get a nod here, but only because of their “lovelies”, the fans of the Game Grumps themselves. These are people who will tirelessly watch episode after episode, enjoying the very vast range of content the group put up and then adding their own spins on things.
The Game Grumps Animated episodes that appear are made by the Game Grumps fans, rather than the Game Grumps themselves. As such, we couldn’t just pick one, so this whole section is a shout out to everyone who has made a Game Grumps animated in a cartoon form… Also Grep.
Spanky Ham – Drawn Together
The fairly short-lived adult cartoon series Drawn Together brought together parodies of classic cartoon styles into a reality TV show house. While the whole series is shamelessly offensive, in fact there’s only one character who’s ever referenced as intentionally offensive, Spanky Ham. Designed to represent the Flash cartoons of the day, Spanky takes great delight in the misery of others, laughs at the basest of toilet humour, and is generally unpleasant. However, he’s shoved in with an idiotic misogynist super-hero, a ‘50s flapper girl overly desperate to prove she’s still got it, a racist “totally not Disney” princess, and a bunch of other stereotypes besides.
Overall the show’s cast is diverse, and while not as intelligent as its contemporaries it makes some very valid points about censorship, free speech and social progression. Not Spanky though. He may be there to represent the future of animation, but he’s just an on the snout, in your face pig, prone to buffering at inconvenient moments. I still can’t work out exactly who he’s supposed to be parodying, maybe Joe Cartoon?
Cartoons are in equal parts artistic and about story; they can be really funny, or they can be demanding and hard to process. They’re not always meant to make you smile, but the list above are ones that will live on in our memories forever. With this said, we’re now going to look to all of you to decide what our next list is going to be:
We’re done watching the absurd and the ridiculous, it’s time for you to be rather meticulous about what we’ve said. What do you think of the list we’ve put together for your reading entertainment? Is it anywhere near as good as the cartoons in the list, or do you think we’ve missed some great ones? Did we order them in a good order, or did we mess up our Weebl and Bobs from our Emo Dads? As always, let us know what you think in the comments below, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.