If we could turn back time, plenty of us would choose that specific part of our childhood where we got to enjoy our summer break watching cartoons without a care in the world. We may not get summer breaks anymore, but we sure can recreate the vibe. With the help of the best cartoons to watch high and our trusty big-brained octopus bong, of course.
Ready to take a trip to Candy Mountain? Just make sure you keep your hands (and vital organs) safely tucked inside your vehicle.
Best Cartoons to Watch While High
While adult animation has certainly come a long way and offers plenty of good content for stoners, there are just as many fish in the sea on the side of cartoons that are seemingly targetted at a younger audience. Cartoon Network, for one, offers much of its adult content via its nighttime programming block, Adult Swim. But that does not stop it from sneaking in some gloriously tongue-in-cheek straight-faced adult references.
Quick show of hands: how dirty do you remember the jokes on The Powerpuff Girls being? And if your answer to that was 420, then you’d be just about right.
If the beloved show about three superhero girls isn’t what you’re in the mood for, here are ten cartoon shows you can watch while high instead.
The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack (2008)
Is this list in any specific order? No. Is The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack in the top spot because it revolves around the quest for a faraway land the name of which is remarkably similar to the magical, kidney-thieving Candy Mountain that Charlie the Unicorn finds himself on? Perhaps.
This cartoon follows Flapjack, a boy who lives inside the whale Bubbie alongside the pirate Captain K’nuckles in the boating docks of Stormalong Harbor. The singular binding force of the show is the main duo’s search for Candied Island.
Easily one of the most surreal animated shows out there, it was, unfortunately, a little too ahead of its time. The show was prematurely canceled. Cartoon Network stated it was due to the show not matching their young male target demographic. A reason that makes very little sense if one were to watch the show, And even less sense when one considers that show creator Thurop Van Orman previously worked on Powerpuff Girls and The Grimm Adventures of Billy and Mandy and, post-cancellation, worked on Adventure Time. Proving, essentially, that he was certainly more than skilled at pulling audiences of all demographics.
Alas, the show lives on in its all-too-short three seasons that now feel like a fever dream. In the best way possible, of course. So naturally, that also makes it one of the best cartoons to watch high, even after nearly a decade and a half.
Regular Show (2009)
The Regular Show premise is the ultimate slacker-stoner comedic duo. And if that isn’t enough to tickle your fancy, it also features appearances from legendary actors like Mark Hamill and Tim Curry.
This might be the closest we ever come to a surrealist Star Wars/Rocky Horror Picture Show mashup. Except instead of lightsabers and fishnet stockings, we get a blue jay named Mordecai and a raccoon named Rigby. Our proverbial slacker-stoner duo who go on zany adventures filled with crass humor and slapstick violence.
This quintessential ‘90s offering from MTV paired perfectly with the alternative grunge aesthetic of the day. A sardonic teen who offered monotone soliloquies on the human condition, consumerism, hipsters, the weird world, and school, all while being remarkably self-aware? Sign us up!
The only thing that could make it better? Knowing that Daria Morgendorffer originally hailed from the Beavis and Butt-Head universe.
Which, naturally, makes it one of the best ‘90s cartoons to watch high.
Adventure Time (2010)
In the post-apocalyptic land of Ooo, 14-year-old Finn and his dog Jake hope to prove themselves as adventurers. The simple premise of Adventure Time combined with animation that blends the timelessness of old with the smoothness of newer techniques gives this show a wonderfully nostalgic feel.
But it is in its thematic elements that Adventure Time really shines. From self-identity to LGBTQIA+ representation, the show does a marvelous job at managing to deliver some deeply philosophical commentary. All while also keeping its utterly nonsensical and thoroughly enjoyable plotlines going.
Courage the Cowardly Dog (1996)
Where Adventure Time brings in the whimsy, Courage the Cowardly Dog brings in the old-school horror.
A paranoid dog, an aging elderly couple, and a host of unwelcome supernatural guests walk into a secluded farmhouse. Chaos ensues.
Courage was a class apart from anything of its time, and anything since. It was a stunning mashup of classic horror and animation and was an unsettling surrealist nightmare. One that could only truly be enjoyed high.
What do you get when you mix the whimsy and spunk of Adventure Time with the grotesque horror of Courage the Cowardly Dog? The story of a young girl who embarks on an adventure. One that takes her into an unsettlingly idealized version of her world. One where something oddly sinister lurks just beneath the shiny surface.
To this day, Coraline haunts people, and that says a lot about the film. Sure, it left some children terrified for years to come. But it remains one of the best cartoons to watch high on account of the sheer darkness of this alleged children’s fantasy.
Walt Disney was hardly a man used to flops. And when he put together his most ambitious project – one that married his animated characters with classical music – he certainly expected something magical to come of it. So much so that he made future plans for Fantasia for decades to come. These dreams were dashed at the box office where the film bombed in spectacular fashion.
It wasn’t until the ‘60s that the film saw a resurgence with hippies now describing it as a revolutionary work of art, and in the ‘90s it saw success on video, making the film belatedly lucrative enough for a second film in the franchise – “Fantasia 2000” – to be released in 1999.
So what, precisely, made Fantasia so culturally significant? The more obvious answer would be its contribution to classical music’s newfound popularity. But beneath this was the film’s surrealist, creepy, dreamlike quality. One that successfully took its viewer on an inexplicable journey despite not making use of dialogue.
Disney would make a habit of creating such visceral experiences. Most notably with the surrealist film in collaboration with Salvador Dali titled “Destino,” but, perhaps more famously, in another little old film that continues to be relevant even today.
Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Of the many Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter movies, particularly ones with Tim Burton’s uniquely surrealist touch, Alice in Wonderland has certainly earned quite the fan-following. Understandably so: it is just the right amount of quirky and unique storytelling mixed in with a timeless classic from Lewis Carroll.
But long before the modern movie adaptation, there existed the animated version. Just as whimsical but perhaps not quite so overtly eerie, the ‘50s version is nonetheless a magical journey. One that makes it a habit to defy logic and reason. And one that is designed to be enjoyed to its fullest when high.
It is no overstatement to point out that Disney had a thing for the surreal back in the ‘40s and ‘50s. So much so that despite the financial predicament Fantasia put the studio in, what with that little old World War dampening their opening weekend returns, the studio continued to deliver some of the most gorgeously trippy sequences in their films. And the infamous “pink elephants” scene from Dumbo is up there as one of the greatest ever committed to film. This also makes it one of the best cartoons to watch high.
Rick and Morty (2013)
This list would not be complete without a mention of Rick and Morty. You’d be hard-pressed to find a stoner that does not enjoy this show. It’s zany, it’s nostalgic, and somehow both crass and philosophical all at once.
It’s also immensely difficult to get into if you’re just deciding to take the plunge. Do you know what helps? Being blitzed out of your mind while you do it.
Cartoons are Best Served Baked
Regardless of whether it was the intent, animated films and shows have something about them that makes them remarkably apt for the stoner audience. Whether it be the blend of whimsy and horror or the mashup of animation and philosophy. Or perhaps the ability of animated films to offer an unparalleled experience filled with quirky characters and entirely nonsensical storylines – that somehow make perfect sense when one is stoned.
One thing is for sure, the best cartoons to watch high are pretty much any animated feature we happen to put on while high – because every one of them has something unique to offer to the soaring mind.