We’ve been watching cartoons since the 80s, 90s and millennium. Whether we’re aware of it or not, these iconic cartoon characters not only shaped our childhood — some have even influenced us far past our early days and into our adult lives.
From Paw Patrol and Dora the Explorer, to Rugrats and Sailor Moon, to Jem and the Holograms, G.I. Joe and Teddy Ruxpin — cartoons over the multiple decades have made impressions that will last a lifetime. We loved joining The Flintstones, The Jetsons and Winnie the Pooh on countless adventures.
Many of these iconic cartoons turned into multimillion dollar franchises to include toys, video games, comic books, apparel and more.
Did you know the earliest examples of traditional animation are traced all the way back to the year 1908? Phantasmagoria was the first animated film by French artist Emile Cohl.
In moderation, watching cartoons can stimulate growth in early childhood and has been proven to be an effective communication method with children. Some of these characters shaped the people we have grown into today and will do the same for our children.
“I am interested in entertaining people, in bringing pleasure, particularly laughter, to others, rather than being concerned with ‘expressing’ myself with obscure creative impressions,” said Walt Disney, the godfather of cartoons. “Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.”
And we couldn’t agree more!! Here we explore 25 baby names inspired by iconic cartoon characters.
25 Finn - Adventure Time With Finn And Jake
Adventure Time is a popular cartoon among young people and old. Whether you love the animation, the characters or the stories, one thing is for sure, you can't get enough of Finn and his bestie, Jake the dog. Finn and Jake have been together almost since Finn's birth. When Jake's dad found Jake in the woods he brought him home and raised him as his own son.
Since that time, Finn has had a taste for adventure, and jake has been by Finn's side keeping him out of danger and assisting in many adventures as well as giving Finn relationship advice.
Finn is another gender neutral name that parents can give to their son or daughter, but, if you're a fan of the show, you can always name your daughter Fiona after Finn's fan fiction heroine that the Ice King creates. Finn is an Irish name that means "fair" or "white." this name currently sits at #209 of the top 500 names.
24 Scarlett — G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero
This 1985 cult classic, was the epitome of weekend cartoons for little ones around the world. On the heels of the recent war in Vietnam, G.I. Joe also seemed to resonate with parents! What started as a miniseries in 1983 quickly turned into a multimillion dollar franchise over the next few decades.
We were obsessed with Scarlett! From the cartoons, to the action figures and comic books, Scarlett was a Master Sergeant with several black belts across various types of martial arts. Scarlett’s fiery red hair combined with her southern belle accent from Georgia, made her a real crowd pleaser!
Scarlett is of English origin and means scarlet or red. A common girl's name today, Scarlett ranked as the 22nd most popular girls name in the United States in 2015, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA).
23 Zach - Wonderful World Of Gumball
While you probably know Zach as, "Gumball," you definitely love this cartoon for it's animation that fuses real life imagery with animated characters and hilarious stories. Who could forget the fights, the drama and the tweenage romance. The Wonderful World Of Gumball captures what life is like in middle school and gives us non-stop laughter with the crazy things Gumball and Darwin get into.
Not to mention how funny their parents are and how their little sister shows them up ALL the time. We can sort of put ourselves in the shoes of any one of these characters.
Zach is the short form name of Zachariah, a biblical name. The name can also be spelt as, Zechariah and means, "the Lord has remembered." Currently this name sits at #442 on the top 500 names list. We think this name is too cute and would fit a little boy who loves to have fun and have a good laugh. Not to mention it's easy for kids to say and to learn to spell.
22 Daria - Daria
Daria was a cartoon about a cynical teenage girl who was a proud outsider who was surrounded by dumb teens and condescending adults. Daria was the voice of teenage girls in the 90s who didn't conform and stood out from the crowd. Girls who identified wit Daria were comfortable in their own skin and didn't feel the need to be like other people.
Daria is the feminine version of the name Darius. Daria means "kingly" or "possess well." This is a fresh name for young girls and it's no where near the top 100, but we think parents will like it because it's unique and cool without shouting HIPSTER or different.
Daria is also intuitive, so spelling it won't be a problem, and neither will pronouncing it. Why not name your little bundle Daria and see what kind of smart and wonderful girl she'll become.
21 Aja — Jem And The Holograms
Well isn’t this name ‘Truly Outrageous’? We loved Jem and the Holograms — a band of women responsible for running an orphanage by day and becoming world renown rock stars at night, how cool is that? They were friendly, fashion-forward and promoted kindness. Often squabbling with their enemies, The Misfits, the Holograms were always up for a challenge!
These girls changed our lives, they taught us that we could truly be whatever we wanted to be! One of the quieter bandmates of the Holograms, Aja was a talented lead guitarist who rocked blue hair better than punk rockers out of Britain in the 70s. Aja was a true inspiration! The name Aja is a traditional Indian name that means goat.
20 Chase — Paw Patrol
One of the most popular television shows for children, Paw Patrol is on a roll, literally! We love Chase, the charismatic leader of the pups in Adventure Bay. He polices the town and its citizens with the help of his owner Ryder and colleagues, Skye, Zuma, Marshall, Rubble and Rocky.
Newer pups like Everest and Tracker round out the truly remarkable team and children around the world are going gaga for these safety-first pups. ‘Pup Pup Boogie’ anyone?
While we think all of the names are fitting for a brood, Chase tops our list as an adorable name for a boy or a girl. Chase is a name of French descent and means to hunt. According to Nameberry, Chase was the 74th most popular boys name in the United States in 2015. And in Australia, it ranked as the 56th most popular name for the same year.
19 Bart — The Simpsons
The longest running cartoon sitcom on television. The Simpsons’ shorts started running in 1987 on The Tracey Ullman Show, before becoming its own series, airing in 1989 — it’s 28th season premiered in September of 2016. The Simpsons full-length feature film grossed over $500 million alone in 2007 and the television series was named Time’s best television series of the 20th century.
Bart, Bartholomew JoJo Simpson is an anagram of the word brat. Bart is always stirring up trouble for himself, his friends and his family members, though dad Homer often gets into just as much mischief as his son.
A diminutive of Bartholonew, this Hebrew name means son of the earth. Most popular in the United States in 1959, Bart ranked as the 249th most popular name. In 2015, Bart was the 1,824th most popular name. While unique and often associated with a trouble-maker, we see some great promise in this name. Late dude!
18 Angelica — Rugrats
Despite the number of times the Rugrats franchise gets reinvented, there will always be one antagonist, Angelica Pickles! Premiering in 1991 there have been multiple reincarnations of the series since. Not surprisingly, her famous quotes include “a cookie just tastes better when it’s someone else’s” and “out of my way babies! The prettiest, smartest, bestest girl gets the front seat!” We just love to hate to love her!!!
Angelica, cousin to main characters Tommy and Dill Pickles is a bossy, nosy and bull-like child who is always at the center of conflict. But somehow we find this name endearing!!
Angelica means angel or angelic, quite the opposite of her character and is a diminutive of Angela (a Latin derived name meaning angel). In 2015, Angelica was the 425th most popular name for girls in the United States.
17 Sailor — Sailor Moon
This early 90s series ran for five years from 1992 to 1997. The Japanese anime characters quickly rose to fame around the world and was adapted from a series of manga that launched in 1991.
Who doesn’t love a classic alter ego story for a 14-year-old girl? This was the new era of Jem and the Holograms meets The Jetsons and it was POPULAR!!
This series wasn’t as popular at the time of airing as it was following and today collectibles are worth both small and large fortunes!
We love the name Sailor for a little girl! In 1998, supermodel Christie Brinkley named her daughter Sailor and though it’s not one of the most popular names out there, it’s bold and unique. Hollywood actress Liv Tyler opted to name her son Sailor — we love it for both genders.
16 Louie — Ducktales
Huey, Dewey and …. Louie! The Duck brothers are white tailed triplets who are always searching for adventure and getting into trouble along the way! Nephews of Donald Duck and grandnephews of Scrooge McDuck, these little ducks have made appearances in series, movies and comics. Originally created in 1937, The Walt Disney Company owns these little devils.
We loved the DuckTales television series that ran in 1990 for four seasons and Disney recently announced they would be reviving the series this year!!
Louie is our favourite little cracker and we love his name for a little boy! A variation of Louis, Louie is of German and French descent and means renowned warrior. In 2015 the SSA reports Louie was the 967th most popular boys name. No stranger to the spotlight, Sandra Bullock’s son is named Louie.
15 Winnie — The New Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh
This particular Winnie the Pooh spinoff ran from 1988 to 1991, premiering right in the middle of the millennial baby boom. Though Winnie the Pooh, also known as Pooh Bear dates back to A.A. Milne’s book in 1926, these Hundred Acre Wood inhabitants made their mark on us in The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in the late 80s.
From books and television to film, toys and apparel, Winnie the Pooh is a 100+ year franchise.
We love the name Winnie for a baby girl! Of English origin, Winnie means gentle friend and peacemaker. Rising to popularity in the 80s largely in part to the Pooh stories and classic family series The Wonder Years. Popular in England, Winnie has yet to top the charts in the United States.
14 Rebecca - Generator Rex
Rebecca Holiday is Generator Rex's serious doctor who is in charge of Rex and his medical care. She takes her job pretty seriously and is constantly on Rex to be safe and to be cautious. When Rex disappeared for 6 months, Rebecca cut her ties with the organization she was working for to look for Rex and to bring hi back home.
Rebecca isn't just a doctor, she can kick some serious butt when she needs to. Fans liked her because she was a complicated character who was trapped in a complicated situation. She also helped some of Rex's EVO friends when Rex would ask her to.
Rebecca is a biblical name of Hebrew origins. The name means, "servant of God." Currently Rebecca sits at #188 of the 200 popular names list. But we think this is a classic name that any little girl would love to have.
13 Felix — Felix The Cat
Righteo! Felix the Cat was created in 1919 and retired from cartoon strips in 1959 but its cartoon television debut started running in the early 1950s, airing 126 episodes of the popular show. The reboot ran from 1995 to 1997. Never without his secret bag of tricks, Felix is a feisty little cat originally introduced in the silent cartoon era. TV Guide ranked Felix as one of the 50 greatest cartoon characters of all time, ranking 28th on the list.
We are obsessed with the name Felix for a little boy and apparently lots of other people are too!! Of Latin descent, Felix means fortunate and happy. Although it only ranked as the 262nd most popular name in the United States in 2015, in Germany it was the 12th most popular name and in Norway it was the 42nd most popular name in 2015.
12 Dexter - Dexter's Laboratory
Dexter was the pint sized scientist from the hilarious Dexter's Lab. Who could forget his many adventures trying to stay away from his sister, Dee Dee. Although he might have been a bit crotchety for such a young character, he gave us plenty to laugh about. He was always proving how smart he was while never having the patience to deal with his dim witted family.
Oddly enough, Dexter is a gender neutral name that parents can use for either a girl or a boy. The name means "dyer" or "right-handed." The name comes from Latin and is currently pretty trendy. It sits at #411 out of the 1000 popular names.
Dexter has become the name of choice amongst some celebs, so if you're thinking you might want to give this name to your son or daughter, you're in good company.
11 Eleanor — Alvin And The Chipmunks
The chipmunks, comprised of Alvin, Simon and Theodore have a trio of best friends, The Chipettes — Brittany, Jeanette and Eleanor, three feisty female chipmunks who often give the chipmunks a run for their money. First introduced as Alvin and the Chipmunks in 1983, in 1988 the name of the cartoon franchise was changed to just The Chipmunks, to better reflect all of the characters. The youngest sister of The Chipettes, Eleanor is darling!
Eleanor is of Greek descent and means bright shining one. The 60th most popular girls name in 2015 in the United States, Eleanor was the 54th most popular name in England of the same year. Famous Eleanor’s include Eleanor Roosevelt, a former first lady, and has only recently made its comeback as it was originally popular in the early 1900s.
10 Raphael — Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Comic superstars, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles made their television debut in 1987, was a Saturday morning staple for avid cartoon watchers. The TMNT series ran until the late 90s. Reincarnated many times since, the four heroes in a half shell — Raphael, Leonardo, Donatello and Michelangelo — remain the same! Though we admire all of these pizza-eating dudes who are no stranger to using surfer terms while combating villains of the underworld, Raphael just resonates with us.
Rafael is of Spanish descent and means healing, or God has healed. In 2015, Raphael ranked as the 294th most popular boys name in United States. The most popular, Nameberry reports Raphael was the 16th most popular name for boys in 2014 and ranked as the 59th most popular boys name in Spain.
9 Teela — He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe
He-man and the Masters of the Universe rose to fast fame with the premier of the cartoon series in 1983. Who didn’t want to be a member of He-man’s Masters of the universe? We know a few She-ra’s around here for sure!!! One of the first characters ever created for the Masters of the Universe, Teela is the Captain of the Royal Guard. A triple threat to boot, she’s got it all — brains, beauty and a fierce warrior! This wild tomboy, Teela is an awesome name for a baby girl.
Teela is an English baby name and means bird teal and blue-green colour. Yet to top the SSA’s top 1000 names list, Teela is feminine, unique and simply gorgeous! We love this dainty name, though not to be confused with Tila Tequila of reality television fame.
8 Ben - Ben 10
Ben 10 had a great run from one TV show to the next. There was even a live action Ben 10 movie. Kids and adults alike loved Ben 10 because of Ben's adventurous attitude and ability to turn into aliens and wreak some havoc.
Ben 10 was also one of the first cartoons to transition and grow before the audiences eyes, where most of the time, characters are ageless and remain the same age for the duration of their show, like the Simpsons. Viewers also got a glimpse of this superhero family at work, with Gwen and the Tennyson grandfather who secretly worked for the 'Plumbers' Helpers.'
Ben is another biblical name of Hebrew origin, the name means, "son of." Currently Ben sits at #740 on teh top 1000 names. So if you're looking for a classic name that seem sot have lost it's popularity, look no further than Ben. Easy to spell and pronounce we think you'll love this name as much as your son will.
7 Crimson (Cubbie) — Disney's Adventures Of The Gummi Bears
Making its television debut in 1985, this Disney staple ran until 1997. For 12 years, Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears rocked our world! Inspired by the popular chewy candy, these bears were relied on by cartoon lovers around the world. Gruffi, Zummi, Grammi and Tummi, Sunni and Gusto bears joined the adorable and youngest Gummi Bear, Cubbie Bear! Also known as the Crimson Avenger, Cubbie is always up to solve a good mystery.
We love Cubbi’s alter ego name Crimson for a baby girl. The name Crimson is a colour and we put it up there with the other colour names like Scarlett and Gray. Though not on the top 1000 baby names list from the SSA, we think it should be! Crimson really does have a nice ring to it.
6 Carmen — Where On Earth Is Carmen San Diego?
Not to be confused with the game show Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? The cartoon Where on Earth is Carmen San Diego debuted in the mid 90s and ran for four seasons. Carmen San Diego was the new Nancy Drew, though albeit more mysterious and elusive.
We love the name Carmen for a boy or a girl! A Spanish variation of Carmel, Carmen is mostly known as a girl’s name and means garden. The 382nd most popular girls name in the United States in 2015, Carmen is a strong name, with subtle femininity. In 1916, it ranked as the 311th most popular name for boys in the United States and has declined ever since. Time for a comeback? We sure think so!
5 Ford - Gravity Falls
Disney's cartoon hit, Gravity Falls, is not just fun for kids to watch, but adults get quite a kick out of it too. With the quirky preteens spending the summers with their crazy uncle, adventure and fun is always around the corner. Ford Pines, or rather Stanford Pines is the long lost brother of Stan Pines.
Ford's whereabouts and disappearance were pretty mysterious and were hilariously explained in the second season of the show, but it's just one more reason this show is such a hit, because it throws curve balls, but they don't throw fans off, instead they give the fans just another reason to tune in. with all the wacky activity going on in Gravity Falls, who wouldn't want to investigate or visit this silly town?
Ford isn't just the name of a car company, it's also a cool first name. Ford is an English name that means, "dweller at the ford." And it currently sits at #741 on the top 1000 names list. We think this name sounds strong and would fit a boy who loves to tinker and create.
4 Mokey — Fraggle Rock: The Animated Series
Muppets anyone? From fraggles to gorgs to doozers, Fraggle Rock is an interesting place — a place that influenced our childhoods more than we may know. Although Fraggle Rock: The Animated Series only ran for one season, the television series ran for much longer, spanning for five seasons from 1983 to 1987. We love all of the fraggles, but one that stands out in particular, is Mokey.
According to fandom, “Mokey is a dreamer. She loves painting, writing poems, writing in her diary, meditating, or just enjoying her surroundings.” She’s a purple fraggle with long turquoise hair and is one of five main fraggle characters on Fraggle Rock.
Not overly common, but not uncommon either, Mokey is rising through the ranks as a baby girls name. Mokey is of Hawaiian descent.
3 Diego And Dora — Dora The Explorer
Dora has been around for almost half our lives! Airing from the year 2000 to 2014, Dora the Explorer is a multi-award-winning series that has supported Spanish as a learning language for little ones around the world. Dora is an American-Mexican girl travels far and wide on various adventures around the world.
We love the name Dora for a little girl as much as little kids like Dora! We simply adore Dora!
Dora is a name of Greek descent meaning a gift or God’s gift and is often the short form for Dorothy. In the year 1880, the name Dora was the 51st most popular girls name in the United States but has been on a steady decline ever since. We would be remiss not to give a shout out to Dora’s brother Diego, such a cute boys name too!
Diego is the Spanish variation of the name James and means supplanter. Diego was the 124th most popular boys name in the United States in 2015 and was the 10th most popular boys name in Spain in 2014.
2 Hudson - Gargoyles
Hudson was the wise founder of the Manhattan gargoyles clan as well as the former leader of the Wyvren Clan. You may also remember him as Goliath's mentor. Hudson had many adventures was a solid character who was faithful and strong. He was a favorite among young viewers.
For parents considering Hudson for their sons, just know that this is another gender neutral name. Hudson means, "Hughe's son" and is of English origins. This is also a pretty popular name for little boys too. It currently sits at #65 on the top 100 names list.
Hudson is also a great last name that has made it's way to first name status. A few celebs have names their son Hudson and there is even a famous river in New York City named the Hudson River. We think this name fits a little boy who is curious and loves to explore.
1 Betty - Betty Boop
Boop, boop, bee – doo! From 1930 well into the early 2000s the iconic character that is Betty Boop made her cartoon debut in Dizzy Dishes in 1930 and has since become an iconic female cartoon character, often making cameo’s in movies, commercials and Ms. Boop is a merchandising queen.
Also known as the original Marilyn Monroe or Jessica Rabbit, Betty Boop is a sex symbol around the world.
From Betty White to Betty Boop, we love this name for a baby girl. A derivative of Elizabeth, Betty means pledged to God and is of English and Hebrew descent. Not toping the United States naming charts, Betty did rank 349th in 2015 in England. Elizabeth on the other hand is quite popular, ranking as the 13th most popular girls name in the United States in 2015.
Sources: Nameberry, IMDB, Fandom