Movie Reviews

10 Best Shows Like Big Mouth

Nick Kroll’s crude coming-of-age cartoon Big Mouth just dropped its sixth season on Netflix, and the series is as strong as ever. The only downside of a show releasing an entire season at once is that fans can blow through all the new episodes in a weekend, then have to wait months (and sometimes years) for the next season to be released.

Netflix has ordered a seventh season of Big Mouth, but in the long wait for that next installment, fans can check out similar coming-of-age shows like PEN15, Freaks and Geeks, and The Inbetweeners.

The humor in Never Have I Ever might seem extremely tame next to the crass one-liners and grossout gags of Big Mouth, but it’s another coming-of-age series on Netflix that’s been similarly praised as a landmark for representation.

Like Big Mouth, Never Have I Ever has frank discussions of all the complications of adolescence. The show’s exploration of the teen experience is brought to life with stylistic quirks like John McEnroe’s voiceover narration.

Before he co-created and starred in Big Mouth, Nick Kroll co-created and starred in his own sketch comedy series. Conceived alongside Jonathan Krisel and John Levenstein, Kroll Show is a social satire targeting the internet and popular culture that ran for three seasons on Comedy Central.

From Liz G to Gil Faizon to Dr. Armond to Nash Rickey, Kroll played a ton of hilarious characters on his sketch show, alongside comedically gifted co-stars like Jon Daly, Chelsea Peretti, and John Mulaney.

Big Mouth isn’t the only adult animated series on Netflix. Bill Burr brought his own brand of edgy humor to the animated medium with his darkly hilarious 1970s-set family sitcom F is for Family. The show explores the dysfunctions of a working-class Irish-American family in the suburbs of Pennsylvania.

Much like the sexual content in Big Mouth, the sexual content in F is for Family – not to mention the show’s contemporary humor and shocking moments of violence – push the boundaries of the graphic imagery acceptable in a cartoon.

Not only is Big Mouth not the only adult animated series on Netflix; it’s also not the only coming-of-age show with monsters on Netflix. The kids in the Duffer brothers’ horror fantasy series Stranger Things face their monsters more directly than the kids in Big Mouth.

Drawing from a deep well of influences (Stephen King, Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter), Stranger Things is a masterpiece of nostalgic genre storytelling.

Although Big Mouth is an American animated series and The Inbetweeners is a live-action British series, these two cringe-heavy coming-of-age comedies have a lot in common – particularly in their subject matter and style of humor.

Much like Big Mouth, The Inbetweeners leans into the agonizing everyday humiliations of teenage life. Its characters suffer their share of the kind of public embarrassment that often happens to the kids in Big Mouth.

Seth MacFarlane’s hit animated series Family Guy was conceived as a darker, edgier alternative to The Simpsons. Family Guy’s immense ratings success eventually paved the way for boundary-pushing adult-oriented cartoons like Big Mouth.

Gleefully unconcerned with plot and character development, Family Guy is a show that sets out to do nothing more than make its audience laugh with absurdist non-sequiturs and kooky cutaways.

The kids in Big Mouth live in the suburbs of New York, but they occasionally venture into the city. Broad City takes place in the Big Apple full-time. Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer star as a pair of ride-or-die best buds scraping by and getting into hijinks in New York City.

Similar to Big Mouth, amidst all the absurdity, Broad City is really a show about the power of friendship. Abbi and Ilana are the definition of friendship goals.

Netflix first got into the adult animation game with their surreal showbiz satire BoJack Horseman. BoJack captures Big Mouth’s pitch-perfect blend of crude cartoon comedy and heavy emotional subject matter.

Like Big Mouth, BoJack is chock-full of absurdist gags and subtle comedic details, but its storytelling tackles important issues like mental illness and toxic relationships.

Paul Feig kickstarted his career with the sadly short-lived cult classic teen dramedy Freaks and Geeks, about every teenager’s struggle to fit in. Freaks and Geeks offers one of the most honest and authentic portrayals of high school life ever put on television.

From Linda Cardellini to Seth Rogen to Busy Philipps to Jason Segel to Martin Starr, the list of now-beloved actors whose careers began with this show is practically endless.

Hulu’s nostalgic coming-of-age gem PEN15 is full of the kind of agonizing cringe humor that Big Mouth is renowned for. Set in a typical middle school in the year 2000, PEN15 deals with such timeless adolescent issues as puberty, popularity, and sexuality, as well as timely issues like online anonymity.

Co-creators Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle – both 31 years old at the start of season 1 – star as their teenage selves amongst a cast of child actors. This stylistic gimmick might sound unusual on paper, but it works spectacularly in the execution. Erskine and Konkle embody the youthful naivety, immaturity, and vulnerability of their characters.

NEXT: 5 Ways PEN15 Is One Of The Best Comedies (& 5 Great Shows Just Like It)

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