Most '90s kids will remember TV shows like Recess, Pokémon, and Dexter's Laboratory with relished nostalgia. Cartoon characters not only helped pass the time, but took us on grand and ridiculous adventures. They taught us that it was okay to be different, to have courage in the face of fear, and to believe in the power of friendship. Thus, it comes as no surprise that the Internet has also embraced classic characters with its signature flood of fan art. From grown-up versions of cartoon characters to favorite non-canon pairings, fans have done it all - including genderbent re-imaginings. If you've been around fan communities long enough, you'll eventually stumble upon Rule 63. Rule 63 states that:
"For every given male character, there is a female version of that character, and vice versa." - TV Tropes
Remember Shaggy and Fred from Scooby-fDoo? Imagine them as Maggie and Freda. Steven from Steven Universe? What if the show was called Stefanie Universe instead? Fan communities have created an awesome deluge of beloved cartoon characters re-imagined as girls, and some of the best works have been compiled here for your perusal. So, sit back and enjoy a fun trip down memory lane as we visit gender-swapped worlds such as South Park, Teen Titans, and beyond.
22 Cute Ash Ketchum
Pokémon was life to many '90s kids. In fact, if you ask any of them if they saw Pokémon: The First Movie, they will all say yes. And they will all tell you that they cried as Pikachu shed tears when Ash Ketchum was turned to stone. Undoubtedly, Pokémon helped shape the '90s generation and as a result, there is no shortage of fan art that explores and re-imagines the pocket monster world.
In 2017, a new Pokémon movie trailer was officially released, briefly featuring the return of Ash and Pikachu. Fans were surprised by the shot of Ash looking so "beautiful" that they edited the photo to create "Cute Ash." It took the Japanese Twitter fan community by storm.
21 Lady Deadpool
Deadpool is about Wade Winston Wilson, an unstable antihero who has superhuman strength and Wolverine-status self-healing. Now, imagine if he was a girl! It would hilarious and awesome to see uninhibited crass humor mixed with femme fatale. Add in high octane action and tons of blood, and you've got Lady Deadpool.
It was primarily through the tireless efforts of Ryan Reynolds that Deadpool became a part of mainstream pop culture. The character of Deadpool was actually first introduced in 1990 in the New Mutants #98 comic, where he was a villain who then switched sides to join the good guys. However, Wade Winston Wilson would remain an obscure antihero until the release of the Deadpool film in 2016.
20 Gender Bending Teen Titans
Here's a fun look at genders being reversed in the popular 2003 cartoon series, Teen Titans. Teen Titans explores the lives of a group of superheroes in the context of adolescence. Robin leads a motley, lovable crew against crime in Jump City. What's fascinating what the show is that it delves into relationships and moral conflicts at a teenage level with recognizable DC comic heroes.
Several elements of typical superhero shows are not present in Teen Titans. For example, the characters do not lead double lives with "secret identities," and the events of the show are not considered canon. The show is literally its own universe and has generated a devoted fan following.
19 Rick And Morty As "Nic And Molly"
Imagine if Rick and Morty was about a grandmother and her granddaughter! As one of the most popular science fiction cartoon shows, Rick and Morty features hilarious and thought-provoking adventures set in a complex multiverse. You'll meet several versions of both Rick and Morty that will have you questioning the very fabric of your soul.
The creators of Rick and Morty imbued the characters with somewhat opposing traits like apathy and kindness, cynicism and innocence. The child presents a more moral outlook on life, albeit a quite naive one. The grandfather brings a darker, nihilistic point of view. The interactions between the two drive much of the comedy and wit in the show.
18 Scooby Doo Crew Reversed
Meet Vern, Maggie, Ruby Dee, Freda, and Raph, the gender-swapped versions of the Mystery Machine crew! Scooby-Doo may be much older than you realize. The show began in 1969, centered around a gang of teen friends and a talking dog. The group works for Mystery, Inc., going around and solving supernatural occurrences in both witty and hilarious ways.
The show is famous for ingeniously mixing comedy and horror, and has earned two Emmy Awards. The bright green van and the Great Dane are universally-recognized symbols for the endearing memories associated with the show, Scooby-Doo: Where Are You.
17 Dextra's Laboratory
Dexter's Laboratory was one of the first cartoons in the '90s to cater to both children and adults. With witty dialogue and interesting music, the show follows a young boy named Dexter who is a scientific prodigy. He has built a secret lab under his house, where he conducts crazy experiments. Dexter is often tormented by his older sister, Dee Dee, who is sweet and has no grid for danger.
The show first aired in 1996 and has won several awards over its 4 seasons. It quickly became one of Cartoon Network's most successful television series and has earned a place in cartoon history.
16 Meet The Teenage Girl Mutant Ninja Turtles
How you even draw anthropomorphic turtles as master martial artists is beyond me, yet Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles brilliantly pulled it off. First introduced to the world in comic book form in 1984, the concept of TMNT captured the hearts of many children. Who doesn't like seeing awesome turtles beat up bad guys?
What's interesting is that the original concept art for the TMNT was actually very violent. The characters were redesigned to cater to a younger audience, and given the signature color-coded "ninja" gear that they are commonly seen with today.
15 If Wirt And Greg Were Sisters Instead
Wirt and Greg from Over the Garden Wall are envisioned as half-sisters in this lovely fan art. Over the Garden Wall is one of the most popular cartoon mini-series to date. It won an Outstanding Animated Program Emmy in 2015 and received top marks from various critics.
The online fan community fell in love with the grisaille-esque artwork, amazing animation, and compelling characters. The ten-episode show explores various themes as it follows the tale of two boys who are just trying to get home.
14 Marco Diaz And Star Butterfly Gender Swapped
Star vs. the Forces of Evil is about a princess named Star Butterfly. She hails from a space kingdom and is sent to Earth to practice her magic and mature as a future monarch. During her time on Earth, Star lives with a human boy named Marco while attending school. The show details their adventures together as Star fights off evil forces who are after her powers.
With a quirky heroine, Star vs. the Forces of Evil is an entertaining show aimed at a younger audience. It first aired in 2015 and is still in production today.
13 Samurai Jack Or Jill?
Samurai Jack is a critically acclaimed TV series created by Genndy Tartakovsky that follows a time-traveling warrior on a journey to defeat an evil entity. The first four seasons aired back to back from 2001 to 2003, but the concluding season was put on hold for various reasons. Tartakovsky did not want to rush the show's amazing storytelling or quality of animation, so he waited until it was the right time.
13 years later, in 2017, the final season of Samurai Jack was released. Fans and critics alike were pleased with the ending of the story, and Tartakovsky solidified his legacy as a genius animator and writer.
12 Rowdyruff Boys
The Rowdyruff Boys are actual characters in The Powerpuff Girls, created by the villain Mojo Jojo. They serve as an interesting counterpart to the girls, sharing similar personas and colors. The boys are much more inclined to destructive behavior and have been viewed as a "dark reflection" of the girls.
What's interesting is that Mojo Jojo was involved in the creation of both the Rowdyruff Boys and the Powerpuff Girls. It's almost as if the writers were commenting on how people have the capacity to produce both good and evil in the world, depending on their intentions and actions. Pretty deep stuff, when you get down to it.
11 Introducing Man Elsa
What if Elsa were a man? While not a male cartoon character envisioned as a girl, seeing a genderbend of Disney princess Elsa is a fun treat. Frozen took the world by storm when it hit theaters in 2013. Instead of highlighting a singular female character with a male counterpart, Frozen broke away from the Disney mold to have two sisters at center stage. Anna and Elsa embark on their own journeys of growing up while realizing how important their relationship as sisters is.
The singular most referenced scene of the movie is the one where Elsa undergoes a transformation in her appearance and attitude while singing the popular song, Let It Go. Her costume change has inspired little girls (and some boys) all over the world to don blue, snowflaked capes, and dresses while belting, "LET IT GO!" at the top of their lungs.
10 Philana, Flora, And Candelario
Phineas and Ferb follows two stepbrothers in their quest to fill their summer with grand adventures. Their older sister often tries to foil their plans. The show is known for great pop culture references and zany dialogue that appeals to kids and adults alike.
After four successful seasons, Phineas and Ferb finished its 8-year run in 2015. It has been awarded various Emmys throughout its lifetime. The show is known as the longest original Disney cartoon series on television to date.
9 Legend Of Zelda Gender Swapped
As one of Nintendo's most successful franchises, The Legend of Zelda boasts many popular game titles and a plethora of fan art. Link, a reincarnated hero in green, is constantly on a quest to save Princess Zelda and stop destruction from ravishing the world. The franchise has built an amazing three-tier timeline with its games, which fans love to speculate about and discuss at length.
What most fans don't know about is that LoZ actually had a television series that was released in 1989. It was so terrible that most fans pretend it doesn't exist.
8 Calvin And Hobbes As A Girl With Her Wolf
Calvin and Hobbes are near and dear to many people's hearts. Calvin is a young boy who imagines his tiger doll as a real-life partner-in-crime. The comic series is known for its hilarious dialogue, using Calvin as a medium for childlike observations about nonsensical adult logic.
The comic heavily explores the magic of childhood, where imagination could make anything possible. Bill Watterson, the creator behind Calvin and Hobbes, is known for sticking to his principles of not merchandising his beloved characters. He has expressed that doing so would feel like he is "cheapening" the integrity of Calvin and Hobbes.
7 Sailor Scouts As Men
Sailor Moon is one of the most widely known Japanese magical girl shows in the world. Originally starting as a manga, Sailor Moon follows the story of Usagi Tsukino (or Serena Tsukino in the Western adaptation), a young girl with magical powers who eventually leads a squad of other supergirls called the Sailor Scouts. They battle evil as they try to find the Princess of the Moon Kingdom and restore peace and justice to the world.
On the Japanese front, Sailor Moon is credited with saving the magical girl genre and kickstarting a whole new era of super heroine teams. On the Western front, the show is famous for providing a dorky but determined female lead character when not many television shows were doing so.
6 Prince Peach And His Lady
Mario has never looked more adorable than pictured above in this Princess Peach/Mario genderbend. Super Mario is a world-famous gaming franchise about an Italian plumber who is on a quest to save a princess from a certain evil turtle creature. The series is known for its amazing platformers that provided a genius blend of difficulty and creativity.
Most fans know of the Super Mario movie that flopped in the '90s. It was a terrible and dark thing, where actors showed up drunk on set, no one knew who Mario or Luigi was, and where it was revealed that Mario's name is Mario Mario. Yeah... It was super weird.
5 Danny Phantom Gang Gender Bender
Danny Phantom follows the adventures of a ghost-boy with superpowers who is trying to save his world. It was one of the first cartoon shows that blended comic book storytelling with animation. Creator Butch Hartman shares on his YouTube channel:
"Danny Phantom really paved the way for a lot more serialized cartoons."
By presenting an ongoing storyline that progressed each episode, Danny Phantom drew in audiences to be more invested in the plot. The show was well-received during its short run from 2003 to 2007.
4 The Legend Of Korro
Though Korra is already a girl, it's still fun to see how the fan community has genderbent her as a guy! The Legend of Korra is the sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender, set in a world where people can control the four elements of water, earth, air, and fire.
The show has won the hearts of many with its beautiful music and animation. In fact, the animation is one of the most impressive things about Korra and Avatar.
Each episode contains 15,000 pages of hand-drawn work.
It was quite the journey to meld the drawings with digital effects and art styles, but the show got it done. It even earned a Daytime Emmy Award.
3 The Girls Of South Park
Who knew that South Park could look so darn adorable? The girl versions of Eric Cartman, Kyle Broflovski, Stan Marsh, Kenny Rogers, and Butters Stotch almost makes you forget how hilariously dark and crude the show is. The show first aired in 1997 and has entertained millions with its witty, satirical take on several political issues. Episodes like With Apologies to Jesse Jackson and Good Time with Weapons has helped South Park cement itself as a classic cartoon that isn't afraid to highlight societal problems. Of course, politics aside, the Internet particularly loves South Park for its amazing episode about gamers called Make Love, Not Warcraft. Watch out, all you griefers - Cartman is coming for you.
2 Kids Next Door
Kids Next Door began its original run in 2007. It follows the adventures of a group of kids on an adventure to get out of their responsibilities — as you can guess, shenanigans ensue. The show is an interesting depiction of society, as the time of recess is one of "freedom" that has its own set of rules and social structures. Of course, it's also just a fun Saturday Morning Cartoon — and here we see an artist completely reimagining the program. This particular entry strays from our genderbent rules, but the characters look striking enough to be completely redesigned — and it feels like it's worth the inclusion.
1 Stefanie Universe
What would happen if Steven was a girl and the Crystal Gems were boys? Why, you'd get Stefanie Universe! Ever since its 2013 debut, Steven Universe has been a popular science-fantasy cartoon series. The show follows a stout young boy who partners with a group of powerful, female Gems to save the world from various threats. Fans love not only the great music and art of the show, but also the strong emphasis on justice, family, and love. Steven Universe does not shy away from championing progressive themes and unconventional gender roles, and celebrates differences between people in race and body size.