As somebody who loves anime, my love of animation started well before I saw my first anime. Bugs Bunny was my favorite wise-cracking animal growing up; he could get out of any situation with his witty one-liners and ultimate reverse psychology. So when Cartoon Network came out and played endless episodes of Looney Tunes, I was ecstatic, but the network's original content has stayed with me to this day. Warner Bros. Television Cartoon Networks' list of shows runs deep and has a plentiful selection of characters, old and new that fans love. I will warn you that my list has more of the classic characters, but I hope that if you're not familiar with some of them, you'll go and check out some of their shows when you get a chance. Also, this list will be excluding Adult Swim and anime characters, as well as the classic MGM, Hanna-Barbera, and Warner Bros. characters. With that being said, let's dive in. Warner Bros. Television / Via giphy.com 28. The Red Guy
The antagonist of
Cow and Chicken, the Red Guy, who was basically the devil without the name, was always making Cow and Chicken's life miserable; he was a man of many talents. Every other episode, he was delivering on some scheme to get the pair into some trouble. A great antagonist for the show, the Red Guy always gave interesting hurdles for the brother and sister to overcome, resulting in some great laughs. Hannah-Barbera 27. Eddy
Probably the most annoying of the three friends, Eddy is always looking for how to con someone in the cul-de-sac. Though an integral part of the trio, he only seemed to learn his lesson briefly after his scams fell apart, and is suffering the consequences of his actions.
Warner Bros, Television 26. Eustace Bagge
The old man grouch of
Courage the Cowardly Dog, Eustace was rarely ever content with the poor pup and almost always put Courage in a terrible situation. Still, his partnership with his dog has made so many episodes so damn funny. Though of course, nothing was funnier than when Muriel would bop him in the head after he'd scare Courage, to which he'd always reply, "What did I do?!" Stretch Films 25. Chicken Cow and Chicken was a show that was somewhat reminiscent of Ren & Stimpy for me. This duo got themselves into plenty of hijinks, though Chicken was usually the one suffering while being the most self-aware of most situations. It could be because he's usually talking down to his younger sister Cow and just suffered the karma that was always coming to him. Though he does mean well at times, he wasn't the best big brother but one that always made me laugh at his expense. Warner Bros. Television 24. Blossom
The red-headed leader of
The Powerpuff Girls always knew when to rally her sisters and take down the baddies of Townsville. Though not my favorite, she is a crucial piece to the superhero trio. She always was the guiding force and showed why she was made to lead the other girls. Warner Bros. Television 23. Dee Dee
Like most shows with a sibling dynamic, one is always the thorn in the other.
Dexter's Laboratory was no different. Dee Dee always made an appearance to annoy young Dexter and make sure that his day of experiments was never as simple as he had hoped. Warner Bros. Television 22. Ed
This naive, seemingly dim-witted kid is as loyal as they come. Unfortunately, he is the lovable oaf who would get dragged into Eddy's schemes, though he usually comes out still smiling even if it all went wrong. His pure-heartedness gave some levity to Eddy's crass demeanor and Edd's intellect, and as the wild card of the group, you never knew what he was going to do next.
Warner Bros, Television 21. Dexter
Dexter's adventures were always memorable as a kid, whether it was his interactions with his annoying sister Dee Dee or just seeing his well-thought-out plans go to ruin. His adventures bring me back to my youth whenever I rewatch an episode with my kids, and still make me laugh now.
Hannah-Barbera 20. Mojo Jojo
There were a lot of villains on
Powerpuff Girls, but none stood out to me more than Mojo Jojo. He had such an impact on the show to the point that they made an episode where Bubbles believes she is Mojo. The episode is by far one of my favorites and lives in my mind rent free. Hannah-Barbera 19. Buttercup
The toughest of the three
Powerpuff Girls, Buttercup was always kicking ass and taking names. She loved getting into fights and felt out of place and bored when there wasn't one. I couldn't help but always hear Tommy Pickles from Rugrats in her voice though, as Elizabeth Daily used a similar voice for both characters. Hannah-Barbera 18. Bubbles
The heart of the superhero trio, Bubbles always brought a smile to my face. Whether it was her bubbly personality (pun intended) or just her overall positive outlook, she always brought laughter and joy whenever she was onscreen. Nothing beats the episode where she is convinced she is Mojo Jojo and goes on a long monologue trying to convince Mojo of who she is. Tara Strong's performance is terrific and deserves to be recognized.
Hannah-Barbera 17. Cow
This lovable character brings laughs with her happy, bright, and gullible personality. It's a shame she is constantly being conned by the Red Guy or Chicken, but somehow, through her positive outlook, she always finds a way to persevere.
Warner Bros. Television 16. Muriel Bagge
The Scottish owner of Courage, Muriel is always one to see the good in the bad or creepy. It is probably why she is with Eustace, though she isn't one to get mad often; she does not like when Eustace messes with Courage, to which she will pull out her rolling pin and whack him on the head with it. This loving owner brought some light to an otherwise dark show.
Warner Bros. Television 15. Richard Watterson
This doting stay-at-home dad is probably the most dim-witted of the Watterson family, but what he doesn't have in smarts he makes up for in his devotion to his wife and kids. Like many in the Watterson clan, he gets into some precarious situations but finds a touching life lesson in many of them.
Warner Bros. Television 14. Anais Watterson
As the genius of the Watterson family, Anais usually comes in with her somewhat bratty attitude but sweet little sister charm to prove to the rest of the family how smart she is. She has had some great episodes of her own, and like the rest of the Watterson family, is a crucial piece to the ensemble.
Warner Bros. Television 13. Courage Warner Bros. Television Courage the Cowardly Dog was one of the first horror cartoon shows I can really remember. They found a great balance of comedy and horror for kids that for me wasn't too scary, though there were plenty of creepy characters. Courage always found his form of bravery and was always able to come through for his owner Muriel on several occasions, even when the odds seemed stacked against him. 12. Grim
This Jamaican-accented Reaper has one of the best love-hate relationships in any show. After getting beat in a game of limbo, Grim gets stuck in an unlikely friendship with Billy and Mandy. His fantasies of killing them both, in the beginning, are pretty crazy for a kid's show, though the tale of true friendship always shines, and as much as Grim tries to detest the kids, we all know he cares for them even if it's just a little.
Warner Bros. Television 11. Johnny Bravo
This delusional Elvis-type character is a staple of the classic Cartoon Network characters. His bravado and machismo made me laugh especially when you would see his interactions with women, which usually led to him being hurt because he couldn't help but cross a line. He was cheesy and an example of how not to approach women, but damn, he could make me laugh as a kid.
Warner Bros. Television 10. Edd
The smartest of the Ed's, Edd is loyal to a fault though very empathetic regarding Eddy's cons. He is usually the one to bring Eddy to reality, though it never lasts long. His inventions and brilliance help round out this unique trio, and although he does take part in Eddy's shenanigans, he is often the first to mention its consequences.
Warner Bros. Television 9. Nicole Watterson
The overbearing mom to balance the clueless father is nothing new in shows about families, but when given a proper backstory, can deliver on things most kids' cartoon shows don't cover. Though Nicole can be short-tempered and a little much at times, her love for her kids and husband is never questioned, and she can handle herself in almost any situation.
Warner Bros. Television 8. Darwin Watterson
The goldfish turn adopted brother of Gumball, Darwin is the perfect sidekick for his older brother. He's incredibly loyal and keeps everybody grounded, and is usually the most logical regarding the different situations the Watterson family finds themselves in. The evolution of his character from fish to brother was a great little backstory, especially considering how many fish Richard went through before getting Darwin.
Warner Bros. Television 7. Gumball Watterson
As a 12-year-old coming into his own, Gumball has shown to be a loyal, good-hearted kid who, like most kids, gets himself into some trouble. His adventures range from what should be a small issue to some of the most grandiose; either way, he usually learns a valuable lesson in humility and friendship, which makes this kid a top cartoon character.
Warner Bros. Television 6. Ben Tennyson
I remember watching this show with my younger cousins, thinking, "This show is pretty damn good." The hero they were able to create in this young kid with alien powers was pretty addicting to watch. I was a fan of
Teen Titans at the time, so seeing something like this was refreshing for a property I had never seen before. Warner Bros. Television 5. Jake the Dog
Best friend to his adopted brother Finn, Jake has shown to be one of the best characters on
Adventure Time. This shape-shifting dog brings the "bro" to brother and has given Finn some of the most ridiculous ideas to solve problems, but all in all, he is an amazing partner to have for adventures. His development, like many others on the show, was incredible to see. From gangster to adventurer and father, Jake's stories are epic. Warner Bros. Television 4. BMO
This adorable little Gameboy-looking character brings so much heart to an already fantastic cast. Its child-like approach toward every situation is something you can't help but smile at. There's something to be said about how it always chimes in with a funny line like a child with an accent that lights up any scene.
Warner Bros. Television 3. Samurai Jack
This nameless samurai is another classic character for the network. Delivering one of their most action-packed shows still to date, "Jack's" journey through time for a rematch with Aku made for a great story and gave us a character who was just as badass as some of the anime protagonists we'd see on Toonami.
Warner Bros. Television 2. Marceline the Vampire Queen
Many of the characters on
Adventure Time get a significant story arc, but something about Marceline's made me and others fall in love. Her introduction made it seem like she could be a nemesis to Finn and the gang, but ended up being one of their best friends. Her backstory with her father Simon and the history she has had with Princess Bubblegum that eventually blossoms into a beautiful romance is something that can't be said for a lot of kids' show characters. Finn arguably has some of the most growth in the show, but Marcy's development is up there as well. Warner Bros. Television 1. Finn the Human
Finn has gone through some of the most amazing transformations, not only physically but emotionally as well. He is an adopted kid whose imagination and wonder have led him to crazy adventures with his brother and best friend Jake. You literally get to see this character grow up on the show and go through a gambit of experiences.
Adventure Time was something I watched later in life when I felt I was too old for the show but then started to realize just how good and complex the show really was. They took multiple characters and dove into subjects that both kids and adults can relate to. If you have never binged this show, now is the time, and I assure you, you won't be disappointed. Warner Bros. Television I know there were plenty not on this list, but these were the first that came to mind. Which Cartoon Network characters were your favorite growing up? Let us know in the comments below.