Ever since I can remember I have been watching cartoons, and I still am to some extent as a twenty-two year old. There is no limit for what a cartoon can do compared to a live-action show, or movie, though digital effects are getting better and better every single year. Nonetheless, cartoons reign over other shows because of their ‘over-the-topness’ and ‘wackiness’ and just endless creativity put forth.
This list won’t have cartoon classics such as Mickey or Minnie Mouse; no Bugs Bunny or Elmer Fudd; no mention of Daffy or Donald Duck; not even a glance at anyone from Scooby-Doo; no ‘classics!’ Madness.
10. Bender Rodriguez
(Show: Futurama. Species: Robot. Airtime: 117 episodes and a few more this final season)
The rambunctious and vulgar bending robot for Planet Express on Futurama. Though his programming should make him be a simple bending robot for the rest of his natural (erm, artificial) life, Bender plays by his own rules and keeps everyone on their toes at Planet express – mainly because Bender will steal anything and everything with any value to it! He keeps Futurama fresh with his constant shenanigans, but can tend to go overboard with his drinking, pillaging, and overall disregard for anyone but himself. Deep down, though, Bender somehow cares deeply for the rest of the crew at Planet Express even if robots aren’t supposed to possess the ability to have feelings.
9. Patrick Star
(Show: Spongebob Squarepants. Species: Starfish. Airtime: 184 episodes and counting)
The dimwitted, but joyful best friend of Spongebob Squarepants is Patrick Star. His character has always caused me to laugh, even now when I’ll be flipping channels and Spongebob Squarepants happens to be on Nickelodeon. He throws caution to the wind and does whatever he can conjure up in his mind, even if that’s stealing a balloon with Spongebob on ‘National Free Balloon Day’ and having anxiety over stealing the balloon. Never change Patrick; we always need a friend that may not be the brightest, but loves you no matter what happens.
8. Bobby Hill
(Show: King Of The Hill. Species: Short Human. Airtime: 258 episodes)
Though King Of The Hill never garnered the acclaim or full popularity that The Simpsons did, it still was successful enough for 258 episodes, and 258 episodes of Bobby “Butch” Hill. This hyper 11-13 year old (he actually aged over the years, though his artwork never represented his change in age) brought a change of pace with a typical 40-something ‘set-in-his-ways’ man as his dad, and a 40-something mother that overestimated her talents. Bobby saw the beauty in life, even if that beauty was making fart noises in class or eating an exorbitant amount of ‘fruit pies.’ He knew life was a comedy, and not to stress amount the little things in life. “That’s my purse I don’t know you!” may be the best line from Bobby Hill.
(Show: Adventure Time. Species: Dog with the ability to morph and stretch body. Airtime: 111 episodes and counting)
Now let it be known that I do like Finn from Adventure Time as well, but I think Jake is what makes the show. This could be me being biased because Jake is voiced by John DiMaggio, which is the same actor that voices Bender (#10), but I think Jake is what makes the show. I have not seen nearly as many Adventure Time episodes as the previous mentioned shows, but I’ve seen enough to warrant Jake being at #7. His brashness reminds me of Bender (go figure) and his radical stretching and morphing ability keeps me on my seat to see what he’ll change into, even if it’s only for a few seconds. The ‘acid-trip-like’ art style of Adventure Time makes it a gnarly watch, and Jake’s rough and tough attitude makes it a worthwhile watch on top of the crazy art style.
6. Brock, or Takeshi (His name in Japanese)
(Show: Pokémon (multiple sagas). Species: Human. Airtime: Hundreds of episodes; I can’t find a concise number of episodes he appeared in, but I know it was a lot.)
This guy made the Pokémon anime fun and interesting (until the latter part of Diamond and Pearl :sadface:). Brock, leader of the Pewter City Gym, joined the main protagonist Ash Ketchum on Ash’s journey to become ‘Pokémon Master’ (which will never come to fruition but that’s another blog post). Brock’s wealth of knowledge on pokémon helped audiences understand the pokémon universe as if it were a real life world. He was also no slouch when it came to battling, tending to injure pokémon, and cooking up dinner for Ash and the other companions. He happened to love every girl he came in contact with, but was always shut down by a pokémon, or another companion. One day you’ll find love Brock and I’m sure it’ll happen before Ash becomes a ‘Pokémon Master.’
5. The Children of Bob’s Burgers
- Tina Belcher (Species: Teenage Human)
- Gene Belcher (Species: Round Human)
- Louise Belcher (Species: Little Human)
(Show: Bob’s Burgers. Airtime: 46 episodes and counting)
I had to include this trio as one because they are just so delightfully funny in their own ways, but couldn’t be near as funny without the other siblings. Tina is the teenager that is starting to become a woman, but has a deeper voice that resembles an eighteen year old boy (she is voiced by a man, which is hilarious to me) and the awkwardness of shaved cat (I’m not sure what that means but it just came to me). Gene is the middle child and all-around funnyman. He’ll do anything for a laugh, but will usually do something just to make himself laugh (like making fart noises on many devices). He is also quite the musician. Louise is the mastermind, the wild one, and the funniest. She normally hatches devious plans (e.g. pitting Bob and Gene against each other, and forcing two of the neighborhood boys to paint art for free so she could sell it), and isn’t shy about letting people know what’s on her mind.
4. Stan Smith
(Show: American Dad. Species: Large-Chinned Human. Airtime: 153 episodes and counting)
Stan Smith, another brilliant creation from Seth MacFarlane, is supposed to represent the typical white male conservative. (I hate labels such as ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’ because of the assumptions people make and create with those words – but that’s for a different post.) So, because Stan is supposed to represent the ‘typical white male conservative’ he is a dolt and a bigot at times, but mainly due to his ignorance of anything cultural, or outside his realm of what’s ‘normal’ (i.e. typical white males). To me he also represents the average higher-up government worker (not saying everyone is like that; keyword: average) because he is so ignorant and will use his power in ways that only benefit him, his country, or his family. There is funny in all of the seriousness I just typed out with Stan because he also has his wild side where he strays from his normal thinking and will do wacky things with his alien friend, Roger, or his family.
3. Brian Griffin
(Show: Family Guy. Species: Bipedal, Talking Dog. Airtime: 212 episodes and counting)
I will say that Stan and Brian will be the only characters from any Seth MacFarlane cartoon that will appear on this list because I like most of the characters Seth MacFarlane has created (sans The Cleveland Show) and I could probably make a separate list just for that! Now on to Brian.
Brian is the talking dog, the unusual character of the family on Family Guy (MacFarlane has a penchant for adding talking, autonomous animals in his shows and movie). But Brian isn’t that different from any character on the show, aside from his dog antics (e.g. when Brian is deathly scared of the vacuum cleaner, or when he barks at other dogs just for being there). Brian, to me, is Seth MacFarlane in cartoon form, and MacFarlane uses Brian as a way to express himself like he never could, and to harp on his own faults at times. Brian may waffle a lot on certain issues on the show, but he always will care for the Griffin family and what they have done to help change his life for the better, even though Peter can make their lives hell at times.
2. Eric Cartman
(Show: South Park. Species: Obese Child. Airtime: IMDB says ‘Unknown episodes’ but I’ll hazard a guess at 170+ episodes and counting)
This may be the most evil character on this list, and evil is an understatement. Eric Cartman does not care what you think, and does not care what you say because he “does what he wants!” This young man, from South Park, Colorado, ignites hate through the small-town by inciting hate marches and swearing so much that his mother had to put a device in his mind that would shock him with electricity every time he swore (this is in the movie). But through all the hate, and idiocy that Cartman spews he is perfect because he is epitome of what we should not be as a society and what I hope we can eradicate once and for all on this planet we call Earth. It’s okay to laugh at Cartman because it is all very ridiculous, but you must realize that it’s funny because no sane person would ever commit some of the atrocities Cartman has.
(Shows: Dragonball, Dragonball Z. I’m sure there’s more. Species: Sayian. Episodes: hundreds.)
The end is near and the end is Goku. That’s right, the alien superhero from the show Dragon Ball Z (DBZ), and other Dragon Ball sagas. I cannot remember when I started to get into DBZ, but it had to be around the time Cartoon Network began Toonami (which is now back!). It sounds silly, but many days and nights, when I was roughly 9 or 10, the neighbor kids and I would pretend to be Goku, or Vegeta, or Gohan, or Trunks, or other characters in this out-of-this-world show. I have always seen Goku, though, as a bit of a rip off of Superman, but isn’t Superman a rip off of something else? Anyway, Goku elicits everything that is good about people (even though he isn’t actually human) and how we should handle things by doing it the right way (granted there was copious amounts of violence and weirdness throughout). I will remember Goku forever and all he did to save other people by doing it the right way, even if he kinda, sorta destroyed a lot of mountains.