Is there a word that refers to any form of entertainment being made for adults specifically to enjoy (rather than aimed at children) that doesn't imply that it's not appropriate for children? Words like 'adult' tend to generally give a connotation of being only for adults, rather than the meaning I want.

Example Sentence: "Shows like 'The Simpsons' are clearly ________ shows"

  • 1
    . . . . . 'for a mature audience'. The words 'adult entertainment' have become too loaded with meaning to be extricated from it.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Jan 13, 2023 at 2:36
  • 1
    "Mature" is also often used in a euphemistic way. It's called the "euphemism treadmill", how everything eventually becomes a euphemism.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jan 13, 2023 at 10:14
  • Wouldn't Family shows work? Commented Jan 13, 2023 at 14:52

3 Answers 3


Netflix has a category called "Adult animation" that has animation designed for a mature audience (BoJack, Archer etc.)

It's also fairly common to see "Shows for kids", "Shows for teenagers" etc, and "Shows for adults" doesn't imply shows of an adult-orientated nature.

Shows like 'The Simpsons' are clearly shows for adults

If you're looking for an adjective to insert before "shows", "mature shows" could also work.

Shows like 'The Simpsons' are clearly mature shows

Although this could imply shows with a mature theme rather than being shows for adults.

Edit: The reason I didn't include "adult-orientated" in my answer was because the first google result from www.lawinsider.com states;

Adult-Oriented means, with respect to a Service or program, that such Service or program is erotic in nature and features nudity.

  • I can easily parse adult shows as shows for adults but stumble parsing mature shows as shows for matures ... my first reading is that a mature show is one that has been around a long time, rather like The Simpsons. But that's probably not what you mean? Commented Jan 13, 2023 at 10:31

One option is "adult-oriented". For example:

Children’s shows can handle nearly any of the topics you come across in late-night anime and frequently explore them with more nuance and grace than their more ostensibly “adult-oriented” counterparts.1

Another option (mentioned in a comment) is "for mature audiences". However, either of those terms might be used to imply nudity or pornography.

Note that Netflix uses "adult animation" as a title for one of its categories:

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As you can see, the shows include several that, like The Simpsons, could be considered appropriate for relatively mature children.

1 Nick Creamer, "FEATURE: Ojamajo Doremi and the Magic of Children's Animation," Crunchyroll, 9 November 2020, https://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-feature/2020/11/09-1/feature-ojamajo-doremi-and-the-magic-of-childrens-animation


In the United States, most reviews and listings of TV shows and movies assume that the audience is adult; programs for children or young adults are noted separately. Netflix uses the term "kids". There's often also a "family" category that's of interest to grown-ups (there's a term you might use!) but also suitable and enjoyable for children.

Programs for children often have some content that appeals to adults but is assumed to go over the heads of the children.

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