Movies + TV

Cartoon Characters and Their Teenage Alter Egos: A List

Rugrats’ “All Grown Up,” applied to our other childhood TV heroes.

1. Ginger (from As Told by Ginger) = Rayanne (from My
So-Called Life

Ginger is a totally average 12-year-old who crushes on boys pretty hard and gets good grades in school. Her father left the family when Ginger was very young, so his absence is felt throughout the series. I imagine that when Ginger gets to high school she’ll realize that her hair is holding her back and she’ll dye it blonde and let it grow out. Then her daddy issues will definitely resurface, compounded by her failures in the love department during middle school, and she’ll turn into a cool, slutty bad girl … à la Rayanne Graff. Don’t deny it, it could totally happen!

2. Sharon (from Braceface) = Buffy (from Buffy
the Vampire Slayer

Sharon Spitz just wants to be a normal junior high student, but her braces are getting in the way of her life! It’s so annoying! Eventually, she will get those braces off in high school … and will be forced to turn into a vampire slayer! So annoying! Sharon is different from other kids, mainly because of her insane magnetic braces that stick to metals and pick up radio signals (seriously though, what was up with that?). Buffy was different, too, because her Slayer duties were getting in the way of her high school social life. That’s why it’s not that hard for me to imagine Sharon as a vampire-slaying hero who just can’t be a normal teenage girl!

3. Helga (from Hey Arnold!) = Debra (from
Empire Records)

Helga Pataki is tough and intelligent, although the girlish outfit she always wears doesn’t communicate that. Once a teenager, Helga will probably lose the bow and pink dress and opt for a nose piercing and baggier clothing. Essentially, she’ll transform into Deb from Empire Records. I could definitely see Helga shaving her head after confessing her obsessive love to Arnold and being rejected. Nobody understands Helga, and nobody really gets Deb, either. Helga’s got her fair share of issues that are going to explode once she hits her teenage years, and she’s bound to develop a morbid sense of humor to go along with it. Sounds like Deb to me!

4. Powerpuff Girls = Courtney, Marcie and Julie
(from Jawbreaker)

Let us just forget the Powerpuff Girls’ superpowers for one moment and see them for the girls that they are. Blossom is the logical one, Bubbles the ditsy, and Buttercup the angstiest of the three. My predictions are that once she’s a little older, Buttercup gets a little too sassy and turns into the tough leader of the group (Courtney), leaving Bubbles (Marcie) and Blossom (Julie) as her sidekicks. Buttercup might seem like she’s got it under control now, but once she goes through puberty she is bound to turn into an evil Courtney Shane. She is trouble!

5. Spinelli (from Recess) = Jane Lane (from Daria)

Ashley Spinelli is a feisty girl with artistic talent. Confident and daring, she stands out among her peers. In high school I envision her mellowing out a bit and not letting her classmates get under her skin. Well, they’ll certainly annoy her just as much, but she’ll replace her violent tendencies with sarcastic, biting comebacks. In my mind she becomes Jane Lane. She’ll harbor a lot of angst but learn to loathe everyone much more quietly.

6. Angelica (from Rugrats) = Kat (from 10 Things I
Hate About You

Spoiled and antagonistic Angelica Pickles will eventually stop bullying the babies. Instead of adopting a predictable role as a mean queen bee, she will become undeniably alternative. Angelica will grow hostile to her parents (who neglect her), become increasingly political and discover Riot Grrrl. She’ll turn into Kat Stratford (as played by Julia Stiles, from the movie version of 10 Things) and will never look back, leaving behind her beloved doll/sidekick Cynthia! A girl playing with dolls is suuuch a patriarchal construct. &diams


  • Hunter September 5th, 2011 6:05 AM

    Loved this post…so spot on!!

  • EmmaG September 5th, 2011 7:04 AM

    This is so great. These girls are my idols.

  • Naomi Morris September 5th, 2011 7:20 AM

    Spinelli into Jane Lane is just perfect!!

  • sequoia September 5th, 2011 9:32 AM

    I love this !! :-)

  • Gabriella September 5th, 2011 9:35 AM

    Great article, I definitely love all these characters/shows/movies! I’d love to see Ginger turn into Rayanne, lol!

    Principessa Gabriella

  • happyjoy23 September 5th, 2011 9:45 AM

    this is totally true!! plus it reminded me of all the 90′s cartoons i used to watch when i was little

  • Laia September 5th, 2011 9:47 AM

    LOVE this!
    Helga as Deb is BLOWING my mind!

  • Gabby September 5th, 2011 10:01 AM

    Ahhh this is brilliant! I love Spinelli as Jane Lane.

  • Clara September 5th, 2011 11:04 AM

    I do agree with some of the predictions. My favorite is probably Ginger or Angelica <3 Well, I just love this post.

  • September 5th, 2011 12:06 PM

    Aha! Very creative!:)

  • flower_girl September 5th, 2011 12:33 PM

    funny :)

  • Jean September 5th, 2011 12:40 PM

    This is a brilliant post! I love Spinelli as Jane Lane as well :)

  • laurenwilford September 5th, 2011 12:55 PM

    Spinelli as Jane Lane is brill– it even fits how her look would mature.

  • Darkwitchyea September 5th, 2011 12:57 PM

    i could totally see this happening!

  • WitchesRave September 5th, 2011 1:30 PM

    Love Debra and Kat…awesome characters

  • Dani September 5th, 2011 1:32 PM

    Must I say this is absolutely rad.:)

  • AnaLuisaDonoso September 5th, 2011 1:41 PM

    it’s so true! my little sis would end like sharon! jajaja lo veo completamente posible!

  • electricbixxh September 5th, 2011 1:48 PM

    Great post. Really cool idea. So looking forward to all this site has to offer. Looks great!

  • koolkat September 5th, 2011 2:01 PM

    haha i love Spinelli as Jane Lane and the Powerpuff Girls! Ginger makes me laugh the most though-I used to love that show!

  • insteadofanelephant September 5th, 2011 2:20 PM

    dude this is perfect. so so accurate. anddd now i want to watch my so-called life AGAIN.

    instead of an elephant

  • joenjwang September 5th, 2011 2:33 PM

    Spinelli as Jane. So much scope for the imagination there.

  • Camillekit September 5th, 2011 2:36 PM

    I love this!

  • dreamyj September 5th, 2011 2:39 PM

    You have no idea how much happiness this article has brought me by mentioning two of my most cherished pre-teen cartoons, ‘As Told By Ginger’ and ‘Braceface.’ (I thought nobody else knew they existed!)

  • GreyCeeChris September 5th, 2011 4:07 PM

    Awesome. Awesome awesome awesome! I would never have thought of most of these but they totally make sense!

  • Chimdi September 5th, 2011 4:36 PM

    HOORAY Daria!
    (GAHHH I wish I could be her/Jane.)

  • olivia_t September 5th, 2011 4:55 PM

    Looved this post! Sp perfect! Though I could totally see Ginger turning into Angela from my so called life, as they both seem to have ‘deep’ thoughts in the shows as ginger writes in her dairy and we always hear anglea’s thoughts outloud and red hair!! But Rayanne is still good :) Great Post!

  • ichewmylips September 5th, 2011 5:13 PM

    loved this post! these were all my favorite shows as a kid. i can totally relate to Ginger=Rayanne!

  • pooperscoop September 5th, 2011 7:15 PM

    The Helga one’s funny because a few years ago Nickelodeon actually had plans to make a show about Helga as a messed up teenager, dealing with all her problems from her crappy family situation and whatnot

  • awkiesftw September 5th, 2011 7:20 PM

    This is spot on. So true.

  • EveyMarrie September 5th, 2011 7:30 PM

    Wow, I literally LOL’ed when I saw Spinelli as Jane. I see the potential there haha :)

  • meganlscott September 5th, 2011 8:48 PM

    perfect! I loved the Angelica to Kat, it fits so well, and the Spinelli to Jane Lane, it even shows how her style would develop (in my eyes) :D

  • Charlotte September 6th, 2011 5:48 AM

    To me, Ginger seems way more like Angela then Rayanne, but the Spinelli and Jane comparison is so spot on.

  • mwong1025 September 6th, 2011 11:37 AM

    I love Jane, so it’s not hard imagining how Spinelli grew up and became Jane.

  • streetcreature September 6th, 2011 2:05 PM

    I just loved seeing all of my old favorite cartoon characters. Helga was such a bitch! The Powerpuff Girls into the chicks from Jawbreakers was twisted and kinda genius. I really like this article, fun!

  • Stephanie September 6th, 2011 2:26 PM

    This. Is. So. Awesome. Angelica=Kat?!?! I love it!!!! Totally could happen!

  • Minella September 6th, 2011 3:18 PM

    So funny! I live in Holland and even I grew up with all these shows :) Genius article!

  • Raebbies September 6th, 2011 6:12 PM

    Wow this is so true! Great post. Miss those cartoons very much. Especially Helga = Deb. I LOVE DEB.

  • milk princess September 6th, 2011 6:58 PM

    HOLY SHEET, i loved spinelli

  • Arcadia September 6th, 2011 8:42 PM

    Best five minutes I’ve spent all day, and after the day I’ve had… yes.

  • Arcadia September 6th, 2011 8:44 PM

    I’ve been a couple of these grown-ups for halloween

  • wavyjacks September 7th, 2011 9:59 AM

    Oh.. my.. word.

    Spinelli -> Jane Lane and Angelica -> Kat.

    Absolute perfection. I miss watching those cartoons.. when life was simple and you didn’t have to worry about bills!

    You clearly are an 80′s baby, Hazel, because I remember each and every one of those cartoons. If you weren’t an 80′s baby, then by god you sure do know your stuff :-)

  • Sam September 7th, 2011 12:14 PM

    I wonder who Arthur became.

    I’m thinking he became an angst struck aardvark.

  • Hazel September 7th, 2011 1:23 PM

    @wavyjacks I’m actually not an 80′s baby! Early 90′s baby. It’s weird because all of these shows except for Daria (Recess, Braceface, Ginger, Hey Arnold, etc.) were on when I was a kid! Maybe they were reruns? They’re definitely a big part of my childhood.

  • Claire September 7th, 2011 6:01 PM

    Gotta love Ginger (does anyone remember that awesome theme song by Macy Gray?)…and Buffy…and the Powerpuff Girls (I dressed up as Buttercup for Halloween, and my little sister was Bubbles…very apropos). I lived for Recess on Saturday mornings, since I didn’t get cable. And, of course, Daria. Although Jane is more of a badass, Daria is just so wonderfully apathetic :)

  • AineFey September 8th, 2011 8:17 PM

    Sadly, I’ve not seen most of these. Fun to read though! And now I’ll have to go back and check these out.

  • catshapedeyes September 9th, 2011 8:55 AM

    I actually can see the Spinelli/Jane Lane connection quite well now :P

  • thefondest September 11th, 2011 6:23 PM

    These all put some pretty awesome images in my head, but I seriously have to disagree with Ginger becoming Rayanne. Angela Chase seems far, FAR more fitting. I mean she was practically a cartoon version of Angela! While, yes, Ginger’s dad left, she seemed way too well-rounded and introspective in the show to become someone like Rayanne. Her mom may be single, but she’s no Ms. Graff. Maybe in an alternate universe, but just not likely enough.

    Everything else? Fantastic.

  • annagracie September 11th, 2011 10:43 PM