TV shows, and cartoons in particular, have given us hundreds of fascinating and intricate characters that have become staples of the pop culture lexicon. Many of these character have become fan favorites due to their charm, humor and likability. Cartoon characters can be a great way to promote acceptance and equality, and we have seen this many times with animated shows that feature LGBT characters.
The recent IDW comic book Love is Love is a great example of this. The book featured gay and straight characters joining together in stories of hope. The book was produced to help victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting. DC comics character and other pop culture favorites like Harry Potter were featured in the charity book.
However, not all gay characters are strong or uplifting, like Bat Woman, some are simply funny. With that in mind, here’s a look at the 15 best gay cartoon characters. Who do you think is the best gay cartoon character?
15. Rick Sanchez from Rick and Morty
Wubba lubba dub dub! Crazy mad scientist and all-around deviant Rick Sanchez from the critically acclaimed sci-fi animated series Rick and Morty is actually part of the LGBT community. According to Rick and Morty creator Justin Roiland, Rick is pansexual (someone who is attracted to all genders), which explains how he managed to date an entire hive mind planet. Talk about a complicated relationship. One of Rick’s ex lovers is a hive mind named Unity who can control every living being on any particular planet. Rick reconnects with his former lover in the season two episode entitled Auto Erotic Assimilation, but when they break up again Unity cuts all contact with Rick because of his possessive nature, self destructive behavior and ability to bring out the absolute worst in people. He may be a member of the LGBT community, but no one ever said that he was an upstanding member of the LGBT community. This was a revealing and somewhat disturbing look into Rick’s past.
14. Satan & Saddam Hussein – South Park Movie
Has there ever been a relationship so simultaneously tumultuous and passionate as the one between Saddam Hussein and Satan in the South Park movie? They were star crossed lovers, but we knew from the start things weren’t going to work out for the pair. Satan wanted romance and intimacy, while all Saddam wanted was to have rough, hardcore sex. Saddam, it turns out, didn’t really care about Satan whatsoever and was just using him so he could usurp his power and take over the world. Satan was so mad with being used that he impaled Saddam on a spike. Talk about a bad break up. Satan couldn’t be with Saddam because Saddam refused to change.
13. Jasper the Dog – Family Guy
Brian the dog’s flamboyant cousin Jasper (right) is what you might call a rice queen. He is gay and predominantly attracted to Asian men. He’s another stereotypical gay character, and Family Guy certainly won’t be winning any GLAAD awards with gay characters like Jasper on the show, but he’s still a very funny character. He hasn’t made many appearances on Family Guy in recent years, but in one episode Peter was ready to replace Brian with Jasper as the Griffin family dog. At least that’s better than the time they killed off Brian and replaced him with Vinny. I don’t think anybody liked that. Jasper works at club med and enjoys clubbing and trance music. Again, we’re not talking about some groundbreaking character meant to fight homophobia and create equality.
12. Patty Bouvier – The Simpsons
Who would have thought that it would be Marge’s sister Patty Bouvier (left), that came out of the closet before Waylon Smithers? Selma has dated many men and was even married a few times. Selma married Sideshow Bob, Troy McClure and even Abe Simpson! The other twin Patty, on the other hand, had only a few flings with men, including a brief courting by Principal Skinner.
Patty stayed single and closeted for many years, right up until she announced that she was gay and going to marry a woman. In the season 16 episode of The Simpsons entitled ‘There’s Something about Marrying’, Patty comes out as a lesbian and tells the Simpsons she is going to marry her fiancé Veronica. Surprisingly, Marge is not very supportive of her decision. Homer, on the other hand, doesn’t care because he always hated Patty and sees this as an opportunity to make a quick buck. Springfield legalized same-sex marriage solely as a way to make money from gay tourists. However, the ceremony between Patty and Veronica doesn’t go as planned when it is revealed that Veronica is actually a man who dresses in drag so he can compete in the LGPA. It looks like Patty has the same bad luck dating women as Selma has dating men.
11. Wally and Carl – Clone High
You probably don’t remember the amazing, short-lived cartoon Clone High, and that’s a shame because it was one of the best animated comedies of all time. Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who are basically superstars in Hollywood right now, created Clone High. They are directing the upcoming Han Solo movie due out in 2018; they directed The Lego Movie, 21 Jump Street, 22 Jump Street and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs; and they created some amazing sitcoms including The Last Man on Earth and Son of Zorn. Way before all that there was Clone High, which featured memorable gay characters Wally and Carl. Wally and Carl were the adoptive parents of the clone of former American president JFK. JFK refers to them as his “Gay Foster Dads,” and even resents them, which make him pump up his masculinity so no one accuses him of being gay, too. The clone of JFK was a ladies man just like the real JFK.
10. Ray Gillette – Archer
“I was married for two years. Yeah, I mean, she was a lesbian, but still,” says Ray Gillette. FX’s Archer is a show filled with interesting characters, and everyone’s favorite sarcastic, part cyborg, on again off again paraplegic Ray Gillette is no exception. He is clearly gay, and there is no mistaking it. In fact, you might even say he is fabulously or flamboyantly gay. The workplace is not a particularly friendly place for Ray, as he has to deal with Archer’s homophobic jokes or Mallory’s flat out homophobia.
But frankly, the teasing and borderline hate crimes are the least of his worries. Much worse are the constant injuries and horrible pain he must endure, not to mention the psychological torture. The fact that more than half of his body is metal and wiring due to the multiple near death experiences and accidents he has experienced doesn’t help his sanity or well-being in the least bit. Here’s a fun fact: Archer creator and writer Adam Reed, voice Ray Gillette.
9. Bug Gribble – King of the Hill
Dale Gribble and his father Bug, had a falling out after Dale’s wedding because Bug made a scene at the ceremony when his kissed Dale’s wife. It turns out that he did this to cover up his homosexuality. It wasn’t until years later that they made up with each other when Dale discovered that Bug was working at the Lone Star Gay Rodeo. With the help of Hank, the pair reconciles their differences, and once Dale learns that his father is simply gay and not a philanderer or secret government agent, he can love his father again. Dale discovers his father is gay when he sees him kissing his boyfriend Juan Pedro, who also works at the rodeo. Of all the things you could say about crazy Dale one thing is for sure, he’s not a homophobe.
8. Gobber the Belch – How To Train Your Dragon
Voiced by Craig Ferguson, Gobber the Belch is the rough and tumble blacksmith featured in Dreamworks’ How to Train Your Dragon, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and all the How to Train Your Dragon animated TV shows. According to The Daily Mail, Craig Ferguson ad libbed a line after How to Train Your Dragon 2 director Dean DeBlois wrote a line about Gobber being single and never getting married. “Yup, Gobber is coming out of the closet, said Craig Ferguson to Dean DeBlois, who himself is gay, while in the recording booth. The line that appeared in the movie is: “That’s why I didn’t get married. Well, that and one other reason,” says Gobber. It’s subtle, but it’s proof that Gobber is gay. It’s nice to see a strong gay character like this in an animated family movie.
7. Mr. Garrison – South Park
Mr. Garrison is one of the most bizarre characters in all of popular culture. Not only is he gay, but he also had a brief stint as a transgender woman, and now he is President of the United States, Donald Trump. After having a sex change operation, Garrison briefly dated Richard Dawkins, but later she became a lesbian.
Despite the massively confusing nature of Garrison’s gender and sexuality, he eventually switched back to being a man after a penis was grown for him on a mouse in a lab. Even as Donald Trump, it is clear that Garrison is gay. However, as the President this is all about power and revenge rather than anything sexual.
6. Big Gay Al – South Park
To say that Big Gay al was flaming would be a huge understatement. The whole idea behind this character was that he was extremely effeminate, and even by late 90s standards, a horrible stereotype of gay people. As memorable as Big Gay Al was, he hasn’t been featured predominantly in an episode of South Park for many, many years. Living up to the stereotype, Big Gay Al had a fantastic musical number in South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut. Clearly he is a fan of show tunes. He’s known for his catchphrase: “I’m super, thanks for asking.” Big Gay Al dated Mr. Slave after Mr. Garrison got a sex change operation.
5. Mr. Slave – South Park
Mr. Slave (right) is a stereotypical, butch gay man with a fetish for leather, but that’s what makes him so funny. Aside from being a plaything a sex toy of Mr. Garrison, he is mostly known for sticking many things up his butt, and we’re not just talking about sex toys. Mr. Slave became a fan favorite on South Park after he shoved the school gerbil Lemmiwinks, up is butt. This led to a fantasy like adventure for Lemmiwinks who was on a quest to escape from the insides of Mr. Slave. Along the way he encountered other animals that had been trapped inside of Mr. Slave, including the catfish, Sparrow Prince and the Frog King. This wouldn’t be the last time Mr. Slave put something astonishing up his butt. He did the exact same thing to Paris Hilton.
4. Greg and Terry – American Dad!
Everyone’s favorite gay news anchors are Greg and Terry from American Dad. They were partners on the air and off, and when they broke up it was quite a disappointment for American Dad fans. Despite living next door to Greg and Terry for years, Stan never suspected that the couple was gay. Greg and Terry have a child together and when they were looking for a surrogate they decided that Francine would be the best choice. Once again oblivious to his surroundings, Stan had no idea that Francine was pregnant. He actually thought she had just gained weight. Unfortunately, Terry and Greg split up. Terry was written out of the show because voice actor and former American Dad showrunner Mike Barker, who was the voice of Terry, left the show to work on Family Guy.
3. Hedonismbot – Futurama
There is nothing Hedonismbot enjoys more than having his harem of sexy male studs pour hot chocolate icing all over his belly. Why anyone would program a robot to have no function other than enjoying the hedonistic pleasures of life is beyond me, but that is what it’s like in the world of Futurama. Hedonismbot is so lazy that he barely even moves, which is fine because his entire body is actually a couch. At one point, Hedonismbot even purchased Bender’s antenna after it had been stolen and sold to an alien sex shop.
2. Princess Bubblegum and Marceline the Vampire Queen From Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time
Did you know that both of Finn the Human’s crushes and former girlfriends actually dated each other at one point? It’s true. It’s very groundbreaking for a children’s TV show to have two main characters who are bisexual, but Adventure Time itself is one of the most original and unique cartoons ever created. Marceline voice actress Olivia Olson told fans that Adventure Time creator himself Pendleton Ward made the decision to make the fan favorite characters bisexual.
She said Ward revealed to her that Marceline and Princess Bubblegum were not only close friends, but they actually dated! According to Buzzfeed, Olson made the announcement to a group of Adventure Time fans. I was at the studio on Tuesday and Pen was actually there because he was recording for Lumpy Space Princess and I wanted to ask him a lot of questions, because he’s trying to write the book and stuff, so I wanted to pick Pen’s brain a little bit. And he says, ‘Oh, you know they dated, right?’ And I said, ‘Well, that’s what I figured from all the creepy fan art,’” said Olson during a book signing.
1. Waylon Smithers – The Simpsons
“I think women and semen don’t mix”, says Smithers. “We know what you think,” says Mr. Burns. Everyone has known that Mr. Burns’ faithful personal assistant Waylon Smithers (right) was gay for decades, but it wasn’t made official until recently. He was closeted for many years, but he really wasn’t fooling anyone. It was plainly obvious all the way back to season 1 of The Simpsons that Waylon was attracted to men, or at the very least attracted to only Mr. Burns. Simpsons creator Matt Groening always referred to Smithers as a Burnssexual. If you have a bizarre infatuation with Montgomery Burns, vacation at Fire Island and collect Malibu Stacy dolls then you are most certainly gay.
It wasn’t until the episode ‘The Burns Cage’ that Smithers finally admitted that he is gay, and that episode was released just last year. Smithers came out of the closet and professed his love to Mr. Burns. Of course, Mr. Burns rejected him and Smithers instead ended up dating Julio. Despite the fact that Burns refused the advances of Smithers, Smithers still stayed by his side to help him run the plant and take care of all his daily chores.