10 of the Weirdest Cartoon Characters of All Time / Queerty
By the end of the 20th century, animation was part of childhood life in the Western world. Between animated features and Saturday morning cartoons, kids flocked to see their favorite characters on screen…and to own some of their most alluring qualities.
For LGBTQ children, animation also holds a hidden treasure: the coded queer character. Many of us recognized ourselves or recognized aspects of our personality in certain characters, even if, as children, we could not enough articulate how or why.
Like these ten characters. From the early days of animation to the present day, these icons have entertained us with their antics…and the occasional nod that we had something special in common.
Elsa in Frozen
In addition to conquering the box office and causing a sensation on the radio with “Let It Go”, Elsa, the ice-spitting princess of Frozen, raised questions with her disinterest in men…an unusual quality among Disney Princesses. Critics immediately began to wonder if Elsa might be a lesbian – something Disney even flirted with making obvious in Frozen 2. In the end, her sexuality remains a subject of speculation… although we hope one day to see her meet the right girl.
skeleton in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
He-Man remains something of a tongue-in-cheek gay icon thanks to his Tom of Finland build, penchant for wearing what looks like a BDSM harness, and love for a guy named Fisto. For true homosexuality, however, look no further than He-Man’s nemesis, Skeletor. Besides delivering more than a few sarcastic zingers, it seems a bit also obsessed with He-Man to see him just as a rival.
Peppermint Patty & Marcie The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show
Do not be surprised. Peanuts Creator Charles Schultz has long been rumored to base tomboyish athlete Peppermint Patty on lesbian tennis player Billie Jean King. This would go a long way to explaining his relationship with Marcie, his bespectacled girlfriend who always calls him “Sir.” A little S&M in between, anyone?
Martin Prince in The simpsons
Bart Simpson’s nerdy classmate and occasional friend spends most of the 30+ seasons of The simpsons tormented by bullies, especially because he is gay. Martin’s response to the accusation – “I’m nothing yet!” – further increases our suspicions. At least one flash-forward on the show depicts Martin as having an implied girlfriend and boyfriend. Another fantastic sequence shows him dating a male robot… which is good enough for us.
Snagglepuss in The Quick Draw McGraw Show
Heaven in Murgatroyd, the question isn’t “Is Snagglepuss gay”, it’s “How can he do not The very rosy, very feminine comedian pretty much fits every gay stereotype on record. Granted, he once chased the lioness name Lyla, but heck, that was in the 1960s. he was just looking for a blanket, a beard even.
spongebob in The Spongebob Show
Of all the cartoon characters to inflame the is/isn’t he argument, perhaps no debate has been as heated as the one surrounding Pineapple at the Bottom of the Sea Bob the sponge. Allegations that the character is gay date back some 20 years, beginning with accusations made by career homophobe James Dobson. the Focus on family blowhard accused SpongeBob of secret homosexuality after the character appeared in a diversity video. Creator Stephen Hillenberg denied the accusation, noting that sponges are asexual. Flash forward to 2020, and Nickelodeon presented SpongeBob with a rainbow tie and rainbow shorts wishing viewers a happy Pride month. That’s good enough for us.
scar in The Lion King
Since The Lion King conquered the box office in 1994, the debate raged over whether Scar (Jeremy Irons), the wily uncle of King Simba (Matthew Broderick), was hiding a same-sex attraction. Given the character’s habit of sneaking around, calculating, and embracing her “shallow gene pool” origins, we choose to say yes. Add to that Irons’ assertion that Scar would have been much happier had he found a boyfriend and not committed regicide, and we feel like the debate is settled.
The peculiar purple Pieman of Porcupine Peak in strawberry shortcake
Strawberry Shortcake fans should have seen this one coming: his tights-and-slap-and-slip-clad nemesis might just be the gayest villain of all time. After all, he’s a middle-aged single man who lives alone (except for his pet bird Captain Cackle), loves to cook, and spends all his time being a total slut for a bunch of kids. . Her supposed love interest, yodler Sour Grapes, also looks suspiciously like a drag queen we once knew. And friends, come on: yes sour grapes is not a drag name, we don’t know what it is.
Bugs Bunny in happy melodies
Few cartoon characters have ever reveled in genre fluidity like Bugs Bunny. For proof, look no further than What is Opera Doc?, Bugs’ musical game in which he drags Brünnhilde to the hilt. He also spends most of the episode resisting the advances of an amorous Elmer Fudd. Various commentators over the years have alternately deemed the Bugs-Elmer relationship homoerotic, or cited Bugs as an early example of transgender visibility. Either way, we love it.
Ursula in The little Mermaid
Speaking of anime drag-stravaganzasthe eight-tentacled, full-figured, sarcastic sea witch of The little Mermaid deserves a mention here, if for no other reason, then because animator Rob Minkoff based the character’s look on drag icon Divine. Ashman, along with directors Ron Clements and John Musker, also incorporated elements of Joan Collins, Bea Arthur and Elaine Stritch into the character, three high-profile gay icons. We don’t know if that makes Ursula a drag queen exactly…although it does. would like to largely explain how she was expelled from the Atlantean palace and her bitter rivalry with King Triton. Note for Disney: it is live action Cruel-deconstructionist type takes on the character one would like to see.