The cartoons we loved and grew up with will always be a part of our childhood. When we would find out they ended too soon, not knowing that the show had been canceled, it felt like the end of the world. In some cases, cartoons that have been acclaimed critically and loved by fans have been unfortunately cancelled, mostly due to executives thinking that the shows are not performing strongly. In most cases, they were wrong. And then there are the cartoons that are still going despite the critical reception, lack of originality, and terrible social commentary. Yet for some reason, they are still airing to this day. Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon brought great cartoons that gave us great characters and storylines, but even terrible ones as well. While some cartoons eventually were brought back as a reboot or adding a new season, others were unfortunately not as lucky. We would have to make fanfiction, fan theories, or headcanons of what happened after the cartoons got cancelled. There are also some cartoons that had their good old days that we loved back then, but today, they either need to end for the sake of closure, or realize their time is just not needed anymore. We will never forget the amazing cartoons we grew up with that were unfairly canceled, but we cannot bear the idea of bad cartoons still airing to this day. Here are ten cartoons that have been cancelled too soon, and ten that should just go already.
20 Look Forward To The Movie
This cartoon is the perfect definition of a fanbase that still has a strong following. It was dark, creative, and hilarious. The writing, the characters, and the plot were put together very nicely, which is why fans still love it to this day! It was no wonder why it won awards, the show is that good. Nickelodeon made a risky move in having this show air, and it worked… until ratings declined. With its dark nature, Nickelodeon intended for this show to target at an older audience, and that was where they took risks. Despite it being canceled, thanks to the dedicated fanbase, a TV movie for Invader Zim has been green-lit. Whether it will stay true to the original source of the show, or take on an entirely different direction, it is at least being revived. However, the cartoon still remains as a cult classic that Nickelodeon will be remembered for.
19 Nothing But A Cash Cow
SpongeBob SquarePants was never a bad show per se, but the writing seemed to fall flat after the theatrical release of SpongeBob SquarePants: The Movie. When kids watched it, they definitely loved SpongeBob and Patrick with their crazy antics, such as blowing bubbles and eating ice cream, but once the kids got older, they might have preferred Squidward by now if they watched the recent episodes. In fact, SpongeBob SquarePants is the only cartoon that has been on the air ever since its debut. SpongeBob used to be optimistic and smart, but today, he is happy all the time. Patrick was dumb, yet lovable, but became a jerk in the later seasons. Given the show and the character are the reasons why Nick is still doing fine financially, it would be foolish of them to get rid of their money maker. Hopefully, it can end on a high note soon.
18 This Show Went Ghost
Who does not remember this amazing cartoon? Created by the same man who brought you Fairly OddParents, Butch Hartman, Danny Phantom was an interesting and captivating cartoon about Danny who accidentally entered a portal from the human world to the Ghost Zone and ended up becoming a human-ghost hybrid. Danny Phantom was definitely an interesting take on the superhero genre, which was why those who grew up with the show loved it so much. The opening theme was catchy and cool, while the characters were fleshed out and fun, and the story gripping and exciting. Once again, Nickelodeon canceled another beloved cartoon, despite the critical acclaim from critics and fans alike. During its time, the cartoon did not garner enough views, which eventually resulted in its cancellation. Fans strongly demanded for this to come back, and because of how good the show was, there is a good reason why.
17 Even For Adult Swim, This Is A Bit Much
This show on Cartoon Network’s night line-up, Adult Swim, just gives off an uncomfortable feeling. It definitely lacked originality, humor, and sense. Mr. Pickles is about a dog who loves pickles, (again, great concept there,) and while he may seem like a sweet and lovable dog, he is actually demented. He does terrible things, such as killing and raping, all to protect his owner and his family. Whatever happened to just bark and growl at those who posed a threat? Another thing to point out in this cartoon is that the animation is really ugly. The color scheme is flat and bleak, lacking detail. When it comes to the humor, there is barely any. How do you get humor out of someone being tortured to death? Apparently, some people did, given that there will be a third season. If Cartoon Network can do a favor, they need to cancel this abomination.
16 Can They Stop Doing This To Superhero Shows?!
This cartoon had great potential to give Green Lantern the recognition he deserves. The reception for this show was overall positive with its unique style of CGI, stellar cast, and great storytelling. Speaking of the CGI, it looked Incredibles inspired but made its own likable charm and detail. That would have to be one of Green Lantern: The Animated Series’ well-known aspects. Like another show on this list, it was unfairly ended so soon, but this one was canceled after one season. We wanted to see Hal and more of his adventures, we wanted to see more battles and character development. Instead, we were left with an ambiguous ending. Imagine how cool it would have been to finally have Hal’s arch-nemesis Sinestro on the show. But instead, the twenty-sixth episode ended up being the last episode overall. It may not even see the light of day on television again.
15 We're Pretending The Movies Don't Exist
Just like SpongeBob SquarePants, Fairly OddParents needs to have some form of closure. We already know that in the end, Timmy and his fairy godparents will have to say goodbye once he does not need them anymore unless the live action films are canon. While adding Poof might have been a hit-and-miss idea, adding a fairy dog and an annoying neighbor was when the production team was definitely running out of ideas. Ironically, the dog later left the show because of negative reception. Unfortunately, that was when the neighbor took his place. In the old days, the writing was sharp, fun, and creative. The characters were charming and likable, yet goofy at the same time. Right now, it is the same shtick, but with the new characters that water it down to death. In a way, the show lost its magic, and hopefully, it can earn its needed rest.
14 How Could You Not Air The Last Episode?
Code Lyoko was definitely a one-of-a-kind cartoon. The anime-inspired visuals were appealing, the characters likable and relatable, and plot well-driven and exciting. We loved Jeremie for being awkward, but intelligent, Odd for being hilarious and well… odd, Ulrich’s laid-back self, Yumi’s stiff but kind nature, and Aelita’s sweet yet quick-witted charm. This show was the perfect example of blending 2D and CGI animation with the former being in the real world and the latter in the world of Lyoko. We cheered for the gang to fight off Xena and would gasp in shock when one of them gets hurt and sent back to the real world. What shocked us the most was its cancellation when the fifth season occurred, but never aired the last episode. While it still had a live-action plus CGI animated show in France titled Code Lyoko Evolution, fans of the show will never forget the cartoon.
13 Who Greenlit This?!
First off, Pig Goat Banana Cricket does not make sense in the slightest. Just looking at this show, in general, gives off a queasy, sickening vibe. The gross-out humor is too much along with the crudeness it brings along with it. In a way, this cartoon almost looks like a Ren & Stimpy successor by the art style. Unlike The Ren & Stimpy Show, however, this show was never funny to begin with. The character designs are nauseating and eye-straining, the plot is all over the place, and the colors do not blend well together. It is hard to believe that, despite this show having a negative reception, there are no signs of this cartoon ending anytime soon. Warning: watching this with a full stomach requires caution with what the cartoon has to offer. Overall, this show looks absolutely disgusting and deserves to be canceled before it could get a third season.
12 Growing Up Was Hard For This Show
What is it with Nickelodeon canceling great cartoon shows? My Life as a Teenage Robot brought refreshing ideas about a robot girl who protects the earth but also wants to live a normal life. What made this show work overall was Jenny herself. Despite being a robot, she is the perfect representation of a teenage girl: emotional, angsty, all of that. Not only was that a unique concept, but the struggle for Jenny felt real. And yet, she still kicked butt and looked cool. With its inspiration from anime such as Astro Boy, the animation style used was a tribute to it. The cancellation came as a shock because, according to the show’s creator Rob Renzetti,
My Life as a Teenage Robot was loved without a doubt, but it was incredibly underrated.
11 Why Is This Still A Thing?
It seems Alvin and the Chipmunks can never catch a break. Whatever happened to the original cartoon in the 80s that had charm? Well, that one got canceled while this one is still airing. ALVINNN!!! And The Chipmunks may seem harmless, but it is rather pointless. Just like with the other incarnations of this franchise, it is about Alvin and his brothers Simon and Theodore raised as sons by Dave Seville. First off, the CGI in this cartoon looks lazy, the music is generic and forgettable, and the writing is bland. And this may sound counterintuitive, but while the chipmunks are supposed to have high-pitched voices, in this adaptation, the voices are incredibly ear-grating to listen to. Why this cartoon has not been canceled yet, we will never know but keep hoping that this low-quality show will end very soon. The chipmunks deserved so much better.
10 Netflix Has Your Back
If there is anything the prequels made an impact on Star Wars fans, it was definitely this show. We loved the characters who were bland in the prequels, and with much love, great direction, and writing, this show was done fantastically. The villains had more depth and the action was thrilling. Unlike the prequels, The Clone Wars was received positively by critics and fans alike. The announcement of this cancellation made us sad and wanting more. However, during its time on Netflix, fans were able to see the episodes that never aired, giving them closure even though the show ended too soon. For the first time, we wanted to see more of Anakin’s adventures before turning to the dark side. We wanted to know more about the expanded universe the prequels brought. We were certainly thankful for George Lucas giving us more depth and adventure in this brilliantly crafted cartoon series.
9 A Shadow Of The Original
Reboots, reboots, reboots, aren’t they the best? Well, most of the time, no, and Ben 10 (2016) is one of them. The animation and the art style are really ugly to look at. It looked as if the cartoon was aiming at a much younger audience, and it would not be a shock if that were the case. If there is anything to be known about a reboot, it needs to improve on the show’s problems while adding new and interesting ideas along with it. Remember Ben and Gwen arguing all the time, but eventually making up in the end? None of that ever happened in this reboot, because she agrees with him all the time. Unfortunately, the lovely Tara Strong reprising her role as Ben cannot save this show for how terrible it is overall, but then again, she was the only one to come back for her role.
8 Bye Bye Puffy AmiYumi
Was this show kooky and weird? Probably, but it was still an awesome and colorful cartoon. Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi is based around the Japanese pop rock group of the same name, minus the “Hi Hi.” What’s there to love about this show other than the insanely catchy opening song, the girls rocking out at their concerts, and the live action segments of the band members themselves? Not to mention, they released a compilation album to tie the show together! When the show was announced to being canceled, it was definitely sad. Why would Cartoon Network do that to a cheerful, energetic show? It just disappeared with no re-runs, no mention of the show, and more. It felt fishy of Cartoon Network to just erase all evidence of the show as if it had never existed at all. Despite that, fans will never forget the girls and their crazy adventures.
7 Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!
Who are you people and what have you done to the gang we knew and loved? The new designs for the characters are just terrible! It looked like Scooby-Doo and Family Guy had a baby together, and the end result is weird when put together. With that said, at first glance, the show looks unappealing. To be fair, out of all of the shows that needed to be canceled, this one is the least deserving. While the writing and the characters stay true to the original source material, the art style itself is the reason why it should go. It could have ended up being one of the best adaptations of Scooby-Doo if they have just redesigned the characters. Whoever thought of these designs for the characters needs to be fired. They say if something is not broken, don’t fix it, and this is a perfect example.
6 Left On A Cliffhanger
Samurai Jack was an incredible cartoon of its time. The unique animation, stellar storytelling, and the awesome main protagonist made this show work. We watched as Jack traveled his way from the future to find Aku and go back to his timeline. We cheered for him and saw him face obstacles as he kept going until the fourth season ended. Because of that, we never knew if Jack managed to defeat Aku or not. The cancellation broke the fans’ hearts and prayed that the show would get its full closure. Years later, when an image regarding Samurai Jack appeared on social media, fans rejoiced. Once it aired its last season, the reception has been nothing but critical acclaim, just like when its first episode aired. It brought everything we loved back and was the reboot that lived up to its expectations while bringing in a new audience. Thank you, Toonami.
5 Just Let This One Go, Already!
This may come as a shock since Family Guy had been canceled twice, but the episodes airing right now do not have the impact and social commentary the old seasons had. In the recent seasons, the humor is barely there, the characters, such as Brian, have been turned into tools, and at times, the episodes are mean-spirited. Speaking of Brian, when he died, it was a tear-jerking moment. But Stewie and his time machine saved Brian before he could get hit by the car again. It was a given that killing Brian off was to just get more views, and minus Seth MacFarlane’s clever writing, the show was losing its passion and creativity. With MacFarlane’s lack of contribution on the show other than voice acting, it shows that even he wants his creation to end. Family Guy had its great run, but now it needs to rest.
4 We'll See This One Returning
Young Justice did what Teen Titans achieved during its airing on Cartoon Network: give mature storytelling, fully-developed characters, and a great plot while aiming for a young demographic. And it worked. We were given detailed backstories on the heroes who would eventually fight crime on their own without the need for their Justice League counterparts. The animation, the voice acting, just everything about Young Justice was perfection. When it was announced that Young Justice would be canceled after its second season, it was a huge shock to the fanbase. The cancellation ended up resulting in petitions, voice actors from the show voicing their support for a third season, and more. Eventually, it was all worth it. Thanks to Netflix and the high ratings the cartoon got from the streaming service at the time, a third season has been confirmed. Cartoon Network definitely made a big mistake canceling it.
3 Give Us Our Old Girls Back
Apparently, rebooting classic shows on Cartoon Network is a trend these days. The Powerpuff Girls is easily one of Cartoon Network’s recognizable shows. Many fans were excited when they found out that the cute crime fighters would come back after years off the air, minus the tenth anniversary special and the odd, but charming 2014 special. We were suckered at once a preview was shown, only to realize the original voice actresses did not reprise their roles. The worse part about that was that they were not called in to voice the characters they brought to life and loved. What made the reboot so disappointing was the fact that Craig McCracken, the creator, had no involvement whatsoever. Also, the reboot relied on internet slang, memes and twerking. It felt like a slap in the face to the old fans, and it, without a doubt, needs to be canceled for good.
2 Fighting Crime Until The Very End
Oh, Cartoon Network, you love canceling our favorite cartoons, don’t you? Teen Titans was considered one of the greatest cartoons to ever air on television. The anime-inspired art style, the amazing writing, the memorable characters, and the heartbreak we all went through when the last episode aired. We loved Robin’s leadership and cool personality, Starfire’s innocence and fierce fighting style, Raven’s monotone but emotional character, Cyborg’s fun-loving but mature self, and Beast Boy’s humorous and goofy nature. These five made the series work, and we absolutely love them for it. We imagined fighting with them whenever they face their enemies and cheered for them when all hope seemed lost. It will always be known as one of Cartoon Network’s best shows. However, the end of Teen Titans was not forever. As for what that reboot is, well...
1 Losing All The Charm Of The Original
Teen Titans deserved better after its cancellation. At first, Teen Titans Go! seemed to be an okay successor to the 2003 series. With the original voice actors coming back and the theme song, although remixed to death... it sounded great, right? Well, the writing and the new art style killed the vibe for the fans of the original show. The original Teen Titans were more mature, likable, and had great characteristics that defined them. In this “reboot,” it pretty much threw everything great about the original series and instead cater it to a younger audience. Cartoon Network certainly did a great job there, but they knew it was just to make money off of the name. It is a shame because kids who watch this reboot will never know how much the original left an impact for those who watched it when they were kids themselves.