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20 cartoon characters that are cooler than you

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Deborah Cicurel
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You've probably grown up a bit from the days of Ed, Edd n Eddy and Two Stupid Dogs - nowadays, you're more likely to watch South Park or Family Guy. But the truth remains: cartoons have always been a wonderful way of escaping into a fantasy world.

But the cartoons we know and love would be nothing without the characters that shape and define them. From Johnny Bravo in his tight-fitting clothes to Bugs Bunny and his ubiquitous carrot, here are 20 cartoons we've always loved - who sadly, are also a lot cooler than us. 

  • 20 cartoon characters that are cooler than you

    Johnny Bravo

    Rippling pecs, perfect hair and the ability to make a woman weak at the knees just by looking at her? He may be totally vacuous and about as interesting as a bar of soap, but if you could get that body without even trying, wouldn't you?

  • 20 cartoon characters that are cooler than you 1

    The Genie

    He made people's wishes come true, he cracked hilarious jokes and he was voiced by Robin Williams - three magical qualities for any great cartoon character. So cool even Christina Aguilera wrote a song about him.

  • 20 cartoon characters that are cooler than you 2

    Yosemite Sam

    Aggressive, violent and grumpy, all Sam's flaws can be forgiven when you look at his awesome outfit. The huge hat, cowboy boots and yellow bandana help to mask his multitude of sins.

  • 20 cartoon characters that are cooler than you 3

    Barney Rubble

    Fred Flintstone always got all the attention, but Barney was clearly the better man. Musically talented, happy with his lot and a caring father to Bamm-Bamm, who he took in and raised as his own after finding him on his doorstep. Plus, he was such a good friend to Fred that he didn't even mind him stealing the limelight. Every. Single. Episode.

  • 20 cartoon characters that are cooler than you 4

    Daffy Duck

    The wisecracking, smart arse Daffy is one of the more complicated cartoon characters of bygone years.

  • 20 cartoon characters that are cooler than you 5

    Scooby Doo

    Best friends with a strung-out hippy and still remains upbeat. And his voice. Need we say more?

  • 20 cartoon characters that are cooler than you 6

    Dick Dastardly

    You have to admire Dick Dastardly for his tenacity. Not many people could get out of bed every day when faced with those awful clothes, horrible moustache and losing streak - but he did, and never stopped trying to win those Wacky Races despite clearly being terrible at it all. At least he had a wheezing, giggling pup for companionship.

  • 20 cartoon characters that are cooler than you 7

    Peter Griffin

    Peter is, quite simply, an absolute moron. But he's a moron who has survived everything, from a world apocalypse to a vicious fight with an angry chicken, and if we can't respect endurance and the will to keep on going in tough times, what can we respect?

  • 20 cartoon characters that are cooler than you 8

    The Caterpillar

    Just one of many hazy, unclear characters in Alice in Wonderland, the caterpillar stands out for his excellent hookah smoke skills, his adeptness at tongue twisters and his absolute unashamed indolence. If we ever go to a magical place like Wonderland, we want to chill on the leaf next to his.

  • 20 cartoon characters that are cooler than you 9

    Jerry

    Cute, wily and impossible to pin down, Jerry could give us all a lesson or two in how to outsmart our demons - especially if our demons involve a very irritated cat named Tom.

  • 20 cartoon characters that are cooler than you 10

    Bugs Bunny

    With the coolest chat up line in the world, cocky attitude and healthy diet, Bugs Bunny is the undisputed King of Cartoons. He even has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame such is his power. 

  • 20 cartoon characters that are cooler than you 11

    Dexter

    Like a nineties Stewie Griffin, Dexter built incredibly high-tech creations from the comfort of his bedroom, only to be foiled by his moronic family. Add to his genius his indeterminate but intelligent-sounding accent and you have the perfect geek chic hero.

  • 20 cartoon characters that are cooler than you 12

    Bart Simpson

    One of Time's 100 most important people of the 20th century, Bart is a cartoon rebel without a cause. Mischievous, rebellious, but ultimately lovable, he's spawned so many catchphrases, T-shirts and other useless memorabilia that it would be impossible to ever erase him from the pop culture psyche.

  • 20 cartoon characters that are cooler than you 13

    Peter Pan

    Forget the strange green outfit and cocky attitude, Peter Pan has two qualities we'd kill for: the ability to fly and the ability to never grow up. Wouldn't you trade those skills in for anything on a gloomy Tuesday afternoon?

  • 20 cartoon characters that are cooler than you 14

    Road Runner

    There will always be people trying to catch you up and bring you down (and eat you for dinner with a giant knife and fork). But if you're like Road Runner, you'll always outsmart your enemies - with a huge smile on your face - and you can probably run faster than Usain Bolt while doing it.

  • 20 cartoon characters that are cooler than you 15

    The Pink Panther

    There can't be a more debonair cartoon than the Pink Panther. Even his theme tune just screams funky.

  • 20 cartoon characters that are cooler than you 16

    Phil

    Sure, Hercules was the star of, erm, Hercules, with his huge muscles, important family and gorgeous girlfriend. But Phil is the one we'd all want to be friends with: funny, brash and confident despite his unimpressive appearance.

  • 20 cartoon characters that are cooler than you 17

    Dumbo

    We all have little things about ourselves that we hate. But imagine if you could turn your crooked nose, thick eyebrows or ugly feet into lean, mean flying machines? Now that's what we call cool.

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  • 20 cartoon characters that are cooler than you 18

    Top Cat

    The leader of the pack, everyone looks up to wise guy T.C. - and why wouldn't they, when he sports such an excellent hat and waistcoat combination?

  • 20 cartoon characters that are cooler than you 19

    Kenny

    He never says a word and like a cat he has (at least) nine lives, surviving several attempts to kill him. What could be cooler than that?

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Deborah Cicurel

Deborah Cicurel is a freelance journalist who writes about everything from lifestyle and travel to fashion and entertainment. She loves spicy maki rolls, cosy socks and visiting far-flung destinations, and is unable to walk past a dog on the street without stopping to befriend it. 

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