Cartoons have embraced the archetype of the tomboy more than any other form of media.
Whether it’s a show aimed at boys, girls, or anyone in between, these fearless and non-conformist characters always find a way onto our Saturday morning TV screens.
In fact, tomboys often take center stage in animated series, becoming some of the genre’s most unforgettable and beloved characters.
The prevalence of tomboys in cartoons is largely because many animated characters are children to who traditional gender norms haven’t yet been confined.
As such, these characters often celebrate inclusivity, particularly regarding LGBT representation.
In various animated series, these tomboys have become iconic symbols of strength and individuality.
Tomboy Characters in Cartoons: The Ultimate List
From beloved classics to modern favorites, these iconic tomboys have made an impact in the animated world that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
So, join us as we take a trip down memory lane and celebrate the tomboys who have become vital to cartoon culture.
13Gwen – Total Drama Island
Total Drama Island took the animated world by storm when it premiered back in 2007. And what made it stand out from the rest was its fresh take on a reality TV competition, complete with a cast of quirky teen contestants.
Among them was the beloved Gwen, a tomboy who quickly won the hearts of fans everywhere.
This goth girl is not your typical reality show contestant – her quick wit and dry sarcasm set her apart. And while not every goth girl is a tomboy, Gwen leans more towards the non-conformist side.
Her love of horror movies also makes her a force to be reckoned with during the show’s intense challenges.
So, if you’re looking for a character who’s unapologetically herself and always ready for a challenge, look no further than Total Drama Island’s resident tomboy, Gwen!
12Hilda – Animated Tomboy
If you’re looking for a spunky and unique take on the classic tomboy character, you won’t want to miss out on Hilda! Voiced by Game of Thrones breakout star Bella Ramsey, the titular character of the Netflix original series is a force to be reckoned with.
Hilda’s life in the woods may seem idyllic, but things get wild when she discovers a horde of miniature elves has taken over her home.
Luckily, she befriends the elf Alfur and embarks on unforgettable adventures. And while Hilda has plenty of feminine qualities, she’s also not afraid to get her hands dirty and dive headfirst into danger.
In fact, Hilda is the perfect example of a character who subverts traditional gender norms. She’s just as likely to save the day as her best friend David, a total scaredy-cat regarding bugs.
11Lana Loud – The Loud House
Get ready to meet the star of one of Nickelodeon’s hottest shows, The Loud House! Since its debut in 2016, this animated hit has captivated audiences with its unique and quirky characters.
And, of course, we can’t forget about Lincoln Loud, the lone boy in a family of eleven kids!
But let’s focus on one of the standout sisters, Lana. As Lola’s twin, she’s the ultimate tomboy in the Loud house. You’ll often find her getting dirty, playing in the mud, or catching frogs like a pro.
But that’s not all – Lana is also a jack-of-all-trades, able to fix just about anything that needs fixing.
So, if you’re a fan of resourceful and rough-and-tumble characters, you won’t want to miss out on Lana’s adventures in The Loud House!
10Korra – The Legend Of Korra
Buckle up, folks, because The Legend of Korra is the action-packed sequel to Avatar’s beloved animated series: The Last Airbender!
This time, we follow Korra, a tough and fearless water-bender who also happens to be the reincarnation of Aang. And while Aang was a bit more laid-back, Korra is a classic tomboy – headstrong, fierce, and unafraid to speak her mind.
But The Legend of Korra is more than just an entertaining show. It’s also a trailblazer regarding inclusivity and representation in kids’ cartoons. The series is widely praised for its writing, which tackled issues of gender and sexuality head-on.
And the final scene, which teases Korra’s relationship with the female character Asami, was a huge moment for LGBTQ+ representation in animation.
9Sandy Cheeks – SpongeBob
Get ready to meet the ultimate animated duo – SpongeBob SquarePants and Sandy Cheeks! This classic Nickelodeon series, brought to life by the brilliant Stephen Hillenburg, has entertained audiences since 1999. And with the introduction of the trailblazing squirrel Sandy, the show became even more iconic.
Sandy is not your average female character in animation. She’s a brilliant scientist and inventor, ready to join SpongeBob in epic karate matches. And with her Texas roots, she’s a spunky cowboy in her own right.
This lovable character breaks new ground for female cartoon characters, showing kids everywhere that being smart, strong, and unafraid to be yourself is cool.
8Buttercup – The Powerpuff Girls
Get ready to blast off to the world of The Powerpuff Girls – one of the most iconic cartoons of our time! The show follows the incredible adventures of triplets with superpowers: Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup.
And while Blossom is the fearless leader and Bubbles is the sweet, naive one, Buttercup steals the show as the hotheaded tomboy.
Buttercup lives up to her role, always charging into battle without a plan and fighting with all her might. And when you consider that she was created in a lab from “spice,” it’s no wonder she’s got such a fierce and unpredictable personality.
Her appearance is tomboyish, with short black hair contrasting beautifully with Blossom’s flowing red locks and Bubbles’ adorable blonde ponytails.
With her Disney+ show on the horizon, fans are excited about this iconic character. And from the looks of the trailer, it’s clear that Kamala isn’t your typical girl her age – she doesn’t quite fit in with the other kids at school.
But what makes Kamala so interesting is her complex personality. On the one hand, she’s a bit of a tomboy, with a nerdy streak that often sets her apart from her peers. And yet, she also aspires to femininity, looking up to Carol Danvers as a role model and inspiration.
But more than anything, Kamala is focused on kicking butt and taking names, with her superhero identity taking center stage in her life.
6Marceline the Vampire Queen – Adventure Time
Get ready to sink your teeth into one of the most iconic animated series of the past decade – Adventure Time! And, of course, no discussion of the show’s unforgettable characters would be complete without mentioning the vampiric musician Marceline the Vampire Queen.
Marceline is not just a tomboy but a pivotal figure in the push for LGBTQ+ representation in mainstream media.
Her playful rivalry with Princess Bubblegum evolves into a deeply touching and romantic relationship throughout the series.
And to add even more to the mix, there are times when Princess Bubblegum herself adopts a tomboy persona for certain episodes.
5Mikasa Ackerman – Attack On Titan
Get ready to gear up and join the fight against Titans with Attack on Titan – one of the most gripping manga and anime series ever! And if you’re looking for a character who’s as tough as nails, then Mikasa Ackerman is the one for you.
From the very first episodes of the show, Mikasa proves herself to be the standout character of the series. As the adopted sister of protagonist Eren, she later becomes a ruthless and highly-skilled Titan killer alongside him.
And with her iconic red scarf and stoic demeanor, Mikasa is not one to mess with – especially among the Survey Corps’ ranks.
But what sets Mikasa apart is her skills, toughness, and complex personality. While Eren is often short-tempered and rebellious, Mikasa is more withdrawn and introspective.
This makes her a unique and compelling character and one of the toughest women in animated television history.
4Misty – Pokemon
Get ready to catch ’em all with the longest-running animated series of our time – the Pokemon anime! Since its premiere, the show has followed along with the main series of Pokemon games, drawing in new generations of fans.
And while there have been many memorable characters over the years, no one can deny the lasting power of the trailblazing Misty.
Misty bursts onto the scene in the pilot episode of the Pokemon anime after Ash Ketchum “borrowed” her bike. And when she joined Ash and their traveling companion Brock on their journey, it was clear she would be a force to be reckoned with.
Misty often butted heads with the naive protagonist, always keeping her tomboyish and brash attitude. But despite the clashes, she eventually became a close friend to them both.
Jennifer Walters is a name you won’t soon forget in the world of crime fighting. All it took was a blood transfusion from her cousin, Bruce Banner, to turn Walters into the mighty She-Hulk. But this transformation wasn’t without its drawbacks.
Suddenly, she had to navigate her already-successful legal career and the new challenges of being a super-strong fighter in a male-dominated industry.
Thankfully, Marvel’s got our backs and is bringing Jennifer Walters to life in the upcoming She-Hulk series. But if you can’t wait until then, dive into the comics and discover the real Jennifer Walters.
2Ashley Spinelli – Recess
Spinelli’s refusal to conform to societal expectations sets her apart from other tomboy characters. She isn’t interested in conforming to stereotypical gender roles or what people think she should be like.
Instead, she chooses to be herself and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks. Spinelli’s spunk, rebellious nature, and fearless attitude toward life make her stand out as a character that kids can admire.
Many young viewers relate to and admire her strength, courage, and loyalty. Spinelli isn’t afraid to stand up for her beliefs, even if it means going against the norm or challenging authority.
Her unapologetic personality and unique perspective have made her one of the most beloved characters in the history of children’s animation.
1Wendy – Gravity Falls
Wendy Corduroy from the animated series Gravity Falls is undeniably one of the most popular tomboy characters in animated cartoons.
With her laid-back attitude, relaxed style, and love for adventure, Wendy quickly won the hearts of viewers of all ages.
What makes Wendy stand out as a character is her balance of feminine and masculine traits. She’s not afraid to wear dresses or show off her girly side, but she’s also not afraid to get her hands dirty, climb trees, or take on any challenge that comes her way.
Wendy embodies the idea that girls can be tough and stylish, which is an important message for young viewers.