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The Most Iconic Tomboys In Cartoons, Ranked

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  • Posted on 08th Apr, 2022 15:25 PM

Tomboy characters have been a part of cartoons for as long as the medium has existed, but these non-conformist girls are the most iconic.

p>The archetype of a tomboy is common in many forms of media, but none more so than in cartoons. Whether it be an animated series targeted towards boys, girls, or anything in-between, tomboys seem to make their way onto Saturday morning TV screens. Furthermore, tomboys are often depicted as central characters.

This is usually due to cartoon characters often being children who don't conform to gender norms yet. As such, tomboys in cartoons can often be seen as hallmarks of inclusivity in terms of LGBT characters. These tomboys from various animated series are perhaps the most memorable and iconic across the genre.

10 Lana Loud — The Loud House

The Loud House is one of Nickelodeon's more recent hits, premiering in 2016. The show follows the life of Lincoln Loud, the only boy in a family of eleven children. As the premise suggests, Lincoln is often surrounded by his ten sisters, all who have unique and fascinating character traits that set them apart.

That's certainly the case with Lana, the twin sister of Lola. To put it simply, Lana is the tomboy to Lola's girly-girl. She is often engaging in habits typically associated with boys, such as playing in mud or interacting with frogs outside. However, she's also one of the most resourceful members of the Loud family, able to fix anything.

9 Gwen — Total Drama Island

When Total Drama Island first premiered in 2007, it was quite original for an animated children's show. The series follows a fictional reality TV show and its 22 teenage contestants competing in various challenges. One of the immediate fan-favorites of the first season was the tomboyish Gwen.

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Gwen is a stereotypical goth girl, displaying a type of sarcasm unseen by the show's other female characters. Though goth girls are not always a subset of tomboys, Gwen's attitude definitely leans more towards the tomboy side of things. She's also deeply into horror movies, which inform her tactics during the reality show games.

8 Hilda

Game of Thrones breakout star Bella Ramsey voices the titular character in the Netflix original series. Hilda follows, you guessed it, Hilda, a girl who lives in the woods with her mother. During the pilot, she discovers that their home is overrun by miniature elves, including Alfur, whom Hilda befriends.

Hilda represents a more subverted version of a tomboy character. While she's feminine in many ways, she also enjoys adventure, the wilderness, and danger. She also constantly proves to be more heroic and brave than her best friend, David, who is a scaredy-cat that's afraid of bugs, unlike Hilda.

7 Wendy Corduroy — Gravity Falls

Despite running for only two seasons, Gravity Falls is regarded as one of the best cartoons of the past decade. With a voice cast including talent like J.K. Simmons, it's easy to see how this show won over audiences. The show even got former Scooby-Doo live-action star Linda Cardellini to voice Wendy, the protagonist's crush.

Wendy, much like Cardellini's role as Velma, is a tomboy. However, Wendy embodies the more reckless personality that Velma doesn't, often accompanying Dipper and Mabel on adventures. Like any 15-year-old, she also fancies herself an adult, constantly acting way more mature than she really is.

6 Korra — The Legend Of Korra

The Legend of Korra serves as a sequel series to the wildly popular animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender. As the title suggests, the series follows Korra, a water-bender who is the reincarnation of Aang. Compared to Aang, Korra is a lot more headstrong, fierce, and tough in her personality, making her a classic tomboy.

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While the series was praised for its writing, it also paved roads for its inclusivity when it came to gender and sexuality in kids' cartoons. This is even more prevalent in the show's final scene, which teases Korra's relationship with female character Asami. In terms of tomboys in cartoons, Korra is certainly an example of one who made great strides.

5 Marceline the Vampire Queen — Adventure Time

Adventure Time is one of the most iconic cartoon series of the past decade. Many of its characters have gone on to become some of the best-known characters in animated history. Among them is Marceline the Vampire Queen, one of the show's main characters, a vampiric musician with long, black hair.

Aside from being a tomboy, Marceline signified a huge step forward for LGBTQ+ representation in mainstream media. The playful rovalry between her and Princess Bubblegum develops over the course of the series into a romantic relationship. There are even times when Princess Bubblegum adopts a tomboy personality for certain episodes.

4 Sandy Cheeks — SpongeBob

SpongeBob SquarePants is one of Nickelodeon's premiere cartoons. It debuted in 1999 helmed by series creator Stephen Hillenburg, following the day-to-day life of a sea sponge who works as a fry cook. The first season also introduced children to Sandy Cheeks, a squirrel who has managed to build a life underwater.

Sandy introduced a lot of kids to ideas about not conforming to gender norms. Sandy's a brilliant scientist and inventor, and often she and SpongeBob participate in karate matches. She's also close to her roots in Texas, making her a sort of cowboy figure. Overall, Sandy treads a lot of new ground for female cartoon characters.

3 Misty — Pokemon

The Pokemon anime is one of the longest-running cartoon shows of the modern age. Since its premiere, it's often followed along with the main series of Pokemon games in an attempt to appeal to new generations. However, no Pokemon fan can deny the lasting power of Misty, one of the show's first central characters.

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Misty made her debut in the pilot episode of the Pokemon anime, after Ash Ketchum steals her bike. She later joins the naive protagonist on his adventure, often butting heads with him or their traveling companion Brock. While she eventually becomes a close friend of them both, she always keeps her tomboyish, brash attitude.

2 Mikasa Ackerman — Attack On Titan

Attack on Titan originated as a manga before it was adapted into an animated series. Within the first few episodes, Mikasa Ackerman proves to be the show's stand-out character. She's the adopted sister of series protagonist Eren, who later becomes a ruthless and highly-skilled Titan killer alongside him.

Often seen donning her iconic red scarf, Mikasa is usually withdrawn and stoic compared to Eren's short tempered, rebellious nature. This makes her a force to be reckoned with among the Survey Corps' ranks, especially to men. Mikasa probably takes the cake as one of the toughest women in animated television history.

1 Buttercup — The Powerpuff Girls

There are few cartoons that remain as iconic in the present day as The Powerpuff Girls. The show follows triplets who all possess superpowers: Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup. Blossom is the team's fearless leader, and Bubbles is the sweet, naive one. That leaves room for Buttercup to be the hotheaded tomboy.

Buttercup surely lives up to her role, as she often fights irrationally with no plan. This is to be expected from a girl who was created in a lab from "spice." Even her appearance is tomboyish, as she dons short, black hair that contrasts Blossom's flowing red locks and Bubbles' blonde ponytails.

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