There are so many people who say that the 90s had the best cartoons to ever come out, and there isn’t an internet post out there that doesn’t constantly reminisce about them. Rugrats, Hey Arnold, Powerpuff Girls, even if you’re not a kid of the 90s it’s impossible to not have at least heard about these cartoons. And when it comes to those that are just borderline obsessed with them, chances are they’ll say that “cartoons were never the same after the 90s.” But anyone who has a love for cartoons even as an adult says otherwise.
Sure, the majority of the 2000s had live action shows that only certain people really liked, but there were also a number of really good cartoons with great characters and stories that are still remembered today. And there was something for everyone, whether it be something action packed with a twist like Danny Phantom or something for girl power like Totally Spies. While there weren’t as many top hit shows like in the 90s, there were good shows.
Like any good show though, there is a creative fandom to back it up and are ready to make things either awesome or weird for the show, it’s kind of an even mix most of the time when you think about it. But there is one thing that is constant in the fandom world and that is that people like to make different versions of different characters. And when it comes to old ones like these, there is always the question of “what’s next?” One of the best answers that gets the creative juices flowing? The characters growing up! With different characters, there are different artists that make them look even better when they grow up and the following just shows how much.
25 Are Things Getting A Little Warm In Here?
This was one wild kind of series mixing in wacky kid adventures and going against supervillains, all tied in with experiments done by a duo of geniuses. Johnny Test was an interesting mixed bag of a series that came off as a hit or miss in the cartoon world. It had everything cliché with a twist but still ended up with something unique. The idea of it seemed all over the place, but also gave fun ideas of sci-fi stories and comedy mixed into it. There are lots of different versions of Johnny, but him being all grown up? Wasn’t really something that was tackled, which is pretty surprising with all the stuff they came up with. Well, Eicinic decided to test out a more mature look for the characters, and well… someone might need to open a window with all the steam coming off this piece.
24 This Is How It Should Have Been Done
One of the longest-running shows on Nickelodeon, there have been many posts that have cried out and ranted on the “downfall” of the series in the season that came after the birth of Poof. But we’re not here to talk about the swarm of complaints going on with the series all over the net; this article's about what the artists of the fandom have come up with by envisioning a grown-up Timmy Tuner. Oh sure, the series gave different ideas to an adult Timmy Turner, but this is an artist who decided, “why is there no redesign of the adult version in the live-action series?” This is a part of the franchise that has pretty mixed reactions, and from it, we get what the adult Timmy should have looked like in the films from one NewEraOutlaw.
23 They Look Like Tolerable College Hipsters
We've got all kinds of series that cover the fantasy, supernatural, and action genres, but family dynamics weren’t all that much used as a plot point aside from Proud Family. Even then, it took more of a focus on comedy and the family members. With As Told By Ginger, however, we get an entire series that take a real (but cartoon) look into teenage drama. Sure, it was pretty cliché and over the top on some parts, but it did leave a pretty good mark. Again, this is one of the series where we actually got a look into the character as an adult, but what about a time where the character is in between being a teen and an adult, maybe college age? We get an idea from vika8d with her look at a more hipster look to the main trio of the class and looking at it, it fits.
22 A Look Into The Future Painted With The Past
Fillmore was the series that actually brought in the most interesting theme of police drama into the cartoon world. But instead of adults, we got ourselves middle schoolers. And the “crimes”? Ranging from extreme vandalism to stolen tests, it was an interesting mix of school and police work. We even have the main protagonist having a “checkered past” and even turning the new leaf story by the one who inspired him, basically, it was a little star of its own. Now, how about what would happen if they were to grow up? Would they be cops? What kind of cops would they be? This gets answered by one TheArtirix who decides to make a flip image of the protagonists as adults with a noir detective feel to them.
21 Well... She's... Grown
There have been so many skits, memes, and parodies of Dora the Explorer even long after the original series had ended. Whether it be things poking fun at her not turning around when asking the audience where something is, or the “Swiper no Swiping” song, the amount of comedy work done on this series deserves at least some applause for their cleverness. But amongst the parody works and weird scenes, there are some pretty good works of her as a grown up that doesn’t overly mature her or make her body proportions weird. With the original sketch done by wardog-zero then filled out by thisisanton, we get a mature Dora with well-done details, and hey, Boots is still with her.
20 At Least They Toned Down A Bit
One of the most obscure series on this list, Fanboy & Chum Chum was a pretty weird series with weird art all focused around a comedy skit. It was a decent show that basically told of the misadventures of two kids who love superheroes, mixed in with just a dash of fantasy. Half of the time the series was nonsensical, but it did have its good moments and the characters were all fun in their own way. From the looks of this piece done by EmmaLennyEddie, even as teens, the two of them still have their love for superheroes if their capes are anything to go by. Without the masks, you can clearly see the aging done by the artist, and it works out pretty well.
19 Sibling Dynamics At Their Best
This was the show that embodied the idea of living each day to the fullest and adding in some cartoon wackiness into it. Phineas and Ferb was one of the best summer cartoons to watch for creative ideas brought to another level. Throughout the series, we get an interesting relationship between Candace and the two. While we do get an episode featuring the Candace as an adult, wouldn’t it be interesting to just see this progress other than via flashbacks? Done by fruttistdar, we get just that via photo transition and the way the artist just framed their growth just made for an interesting picture story. Everything from the shifting of their fashion to the way they seem to interact in each photo is just a treat.
18 Teen Characters Done Right
When you think about it, Jimmy Neutron is pretty much the Dexter’s Laboratory of the 2000s with unique qualities to it. Instead of an isolated kid with an annoying sister who messes with her brother’s inventions, we have a boy with two friends and going off into different adventures with other kids ending up getting dragged into them and berating Jimmy, well one of them at least. With the amount of chemistry going on with the different characters, it would be interesting to see what artists would do in creating older versions of them. Courtesy of AcaciaThorn, we get one of the most accurate high school versions of the characters done. We get a more well-rounded genius Jimmy, a popular prep Libby, a smart athlete Cindy, a weird as usual Carl and most interesting out of the lot, a rebel Sheen.
17 There's No Words Needed Here
One of the more interesting sci-fi cartoons dished out in the 2000s with the weirdest art style, Invader Zim was a short but interesting series that left a real interesting impact in the cartoon world. Honestly, the world of shipping decided to get their claws into this series along with the angst train, and while it may bring interesting art it also brought some… rather big innuendos going on, to say the least. This piece done by MKLier is one of the more tamer works one for the fandom and even has a good chunk of angst slipped into the backdrop of the message. Just look at the faded backdrop of the two hating each other, then, the grownup version having this silent tension between them. It’s like a little short story going on in just a single picture.
16 Still As Sweet As Ever
Sure, the series is meant to be for a pretty young audience, and there are some pretty weird instances of fan art out there, outweighing most of the nice ones. But the nice ones do stand out, at least. This piece done by DanieC is one of those pieces that catch our attention. Here we have a more mature looking Strawberry Shortcake without looking overly seductive or just plain weird. In fact, from the way she was designed, she still looks like her innocent and sweet self. Compared to the other grown-up versions done for this character, this may just as well be the needle stuck in the haystack.
15 Everythings' Going Up For Them Now
This is one of the rare shows that has no magic, supernatural, or crime-fighting themes in it, and yet it still works. Instead, we get an actual cartoon family comedy show, something different that left an impact with good moral lessons mixed into it as well. With how the Proud Family has gone, it would have been nice to have seen an ending with all of the characters grown up and doing their own thing, but having a piece of fan art that not only mirrors the original art of the show but actually looks like a photo and featuring all of the family? Not so bad as a consolation. Here we have Penny Proud, happily graduated as done by PayLe, along with some further details on the other family members are doing, from Oscar getting a new gig as his brother’s manager to Penny’s siblings growing to be a sporty duo who love video games.
14 She's Still Has Some Growing Up to Do
You know about the Jackie Chan movies, but have you heard about the Jackie Chan cartoon? Featuring an archaeologist Jackie traveling around to gather magical talismans and fighting against a criminal organization serving some dark force, it was one of the more obscure series during the 2000s. While in the series Jackie is already all grown up, there is one character that still has some growing to do and that is Jade Chan, Jackie’s 12-year-old niece who joins in on the adventures as a witty companion. Though she ends up being saved by Jackie more often than not, she does have the smarts to help him when the time calls for it. With lumary’s design, we see her a little more mature, and from the look of that pout maybe a little sassy as well.
13 He's Still Shocking As Ever
DC has been steadily on the rise since Batman: The Animated Series, but while just about everyone knows the Justice League cartoon series, there was another DC series making the rounds and that was Static Shock. Having a more urban feel to it than other superhero or young hero shows, Static Shock was a series that took on the idea of delinquent/criminals turned supervillains and a teen hero who didn’t start off as a lone wolf. It was a unique show that was more vigilante-like rather than superhero and lasted for quite a bit. There was a segment involving a time travel episode and a look into what Virgil would look like as an older adult, but the way Kerong did this lightning/electric themed hero looks just like something out of a comic book, and just gives him a mature look while maintaining his confident personality.
12 It's A New Generation Rising
Who here loves wrestling? Here we've got a series that tackled the kid hero formula but also tackles on the hero vs. villain conflict with a twist of family drama and internal conflict. One of the lesser known series from Nickelodeon, El Tigre, tackled a lot of interesting ideas mixed in with a main character that has the chance of being either a hero or a villain, all because he has both a hero and a villain as family. Even with this piece vanessaserz, who knows, he might just be going up against his best friend Frida who from the looks of it, has been given the Plata Peligrosa gauntlet. Still, even without the hero/villain thing going on, this is a well-done piece for the series.
11 We Might Have To Bump The Rating On This One
Spy series were a real popular thing during the 2000s weren't they? We got KND, Totally Spies, and then we had Kim Possible. Featuring a teenage girl fighting crime all over the world with her cheerleading skills and just being a regular person, Kim Possible was a character for all those little girls to look up to and feel like they can do anything. When the series ended with her and Ron Stoppable driving off after their graduation, the feel was at their peak with so many fans. But even with a satisfying ending, the idea of what happens next is still in our minds. Courtesy of IsaiahStephens, who is known to create grown-up versions of all kinds of 90s to 2000s shows, we get a more adult looking version of the spy series, and with the way that they look here, there might be a need to bump up the rating.
10 One Of The Good But Lesser Known Ones
Anybody here know about Monster Allergy? No? It’s a 2000s comic turned cartoon series about a boy who could see the world of monsters, yet was allergic to them at the same time. Well, it was a fun supernatural series with crazy looking monsters and good plot that needs more appreciation. While the cartoon series ended with Zick as one of the Tamers who are ready to answer the call for help from monsters, the comic ended a little bit differently. What’s more, the comic did not in fact end; instead, they continued the series with the kids all grown up. Inspired by the design of the new editions, we get this lovely piece done by eyugho looking ready to be used as a visual for a new series.
9 Seems Like They're Still Getting Into Trouble
Do people still remember this series? It was a fun little show about a young boy being able to travel to a world where chalk drawings come to life, where a piece of chalk makes everything he draws come alive. People who watched the show will most remember the wild adventures that Rudy has with his chalk-drawn friend Snap, while also dragging along his other friend/crush Penny into them. Now can you just imagine all of them growing up together yet still somehow managing to have adventures together? Just look at this piece drawn Hazard-Girl. You can already see the scene in motion, with the two of them trying to convince Penny to go on an adventure with them while she’s protesting about her having to study for her finals.
8 She Needed More Appreciation
Disney fans will all remember Lilo as that fun, weird girl with a love for Elvis and one of the few kids in the Disney universe that actually acts like a kid. Though most will remember her from the first movie, the cartoon series did dish out some interesting story and had some cool designs for the different aliens. But like any other kid character, you can’t help but wonder how Lilo would look like if they were to ever grow up. While the Stitch! series did give an idea, let’s step back from that and appreciate what jackfreak1994 has created. Here, the artist decided to present not only how Lilo would look grown up, but also shows what she could have looked like as a crime-fighting Galactic cop while balancing a life as something like a photographer on it. If only someone made this into a series instead of giving Stitch to other people to have adventures with.
7 The Imagination Is Strong With This One
With this piece done southpauz, it goes to show that growing up doesn’t mean getting rid of everything about your childhood, especially your imagination. The series had so many different and colourful characters, sometimes in the most literal sense, and it was just a fun show. One of the standout points of it, though, was the relationship between Mac and Bloo. Even by today's standards, they're friendship goals. In the real world, everyone just about grows out of their imaginary friends. But here, not only are we given a possible image for the young boy as a teen, but we're presented the idea that Mac’s love for his imaginary friends is strong, even if they get him into trouble. How about we pause for a moment as we handle our feels?
6 He Grew Big, Real Big And Tough Too
Now, this is a show that actually had the viewer grow up with the character. Sure, we already know what this character would look like as an adult, but there is just something about art that just adds another quality to them. Fans of the series will know of how much Ben from Ben 10 has grown, both physically and as a character. But then he still has that cocky side to him… well, at least that’s realistic on the series' side. With Promsien’s artwork, we not only see Ben during one of his prime moments, but we see him when he not only got big but also grew into himself. Just look at that smirk; that’s a face that’s just looking for a challenge.
5 They're Still Them, Just Older
By far one of the most iconic cartoons, Avatar: The Last Airbender is one show that had just about everything in the fantasy action genre. One of the main things that made the series so good was the journey we got to take, which was epic and interesting. The series may have ended with a bright look to the future, but you can’t help but wonder what the characters may have looked like entering into their prime, rather than being elders like they were in the Legend of Korra series. Sure, we get a glimpse of them, but Shirley Trinh not only gives accurate imagery of them as adults, but also shows just a hint of the silliness that the group is known to have.
4 It's Like Looking Into A Funny Mirror Of The Future
Kid heroes were a big thing during the 2000s. Shows like Xiaolin Showdown where young teens and children fought against big villains with mystical powers wasn’t farfetched back then, even if the idea is not all that used these days anymore. One of the main things that got the show so popular was how many different sides of the characters we got to see. While it may not be difficult for an artist to create an older version of the characters, how about older versions of different versions of the characters? Courtesy of artist c2ndy2c1d, with inspiration taken from the reverse character designs by blpak, we get just that with an interesting group shot of the characters in one possible future involving them being… frenemies? Well, fandoms are creative, after all.
3 A New Look With An Old Style
Any fans here who miss the old American Dragon art style? While there’s nothing against the new art style, the old 2D animation style just had a charm to it that wasn’t seen all that much in Disney cartoons anymore. The new style, while not bad, seemed a little blocky, to say the least. In the new season of the series, there was an idea of how Jake might look like in his twenties or so. One Stray-Sketches decided to take inspiration from the new style's design and adapt it into the old style the series once had. From the looks of her art, she’s not too far off; just look at that fly-away hair, square face and even the old dragon design with the jutted out chest. This is a cool cat of an older Jake right here.
2 At Least Some Things Don't Change
KND was a one-of-a-kind series when it first came out. Sure, the idea of kids going against the “big bad adults” wasn’t all that new, but kids being spies going against supervillain adults? Now that got a lot of heads turning! In the show, one of the biggest nightmares for the characters was on growing up and being decommissioned. But then, like everything in the show, not everything is at it seems. And as shown with the final episode of the series, a truly heart-warming work, the KND of Sector 7 were not that easy to take down, even as adults. You can’t help but wonder what it would have been like to see older versions of them in cartoon form rather than the live-action ones that the series gave. With art reminiscent of the visuals for the show, OrionStar gives his own accurate rendition of the characters if they were teens.
1 They Upgraded
Fans of Danny Phantom will remember the show ending with Danny’s identity being found out, and him and Sam on a hill. But what about afterwards? It was pretty clear that the alliance between the ghosts would only go so far, and it was pretty much guaranteed that their adventures fighting ghosts continued. But then what? Amethyst-ocean has a clear answer to that with her own idea of the characters all grown up, based off an idea from the creator, Butch Hartman. From the look of things, the artist tried to stay as faithful to the show’s art style as she could. Whether it be the new design for Danny’s suit or the clear upgrade in the tech, this artist deserves some applause for having managed to make their own art looked like actual visuals from the show.