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10 totally inappropriate cartoon crushes

Here are the cartoon characters we’re not afraid to admit we fancy. And a few we are. Share your shame in the comments!


Gambit from X-Men: The Animated Series Gambit

 I had me some strong feelings about Remy LeBeau when I was 13, thanks entirely to the X-Men animated series. I recently rewatched a few of the early episodes and my thought process went a bit like this: ‘I’m sure I’ll just laugh and be embarrassed about the fact that I used to have a crush on Gambit, and that will be that. And there he is. Wait. Wait. Why is this cartoon dude flirting with me. Why am I blushing. WHAT IS GOING ON WHAT IS THIS CRAZY THING I AM FEELING FOR A CARTOON MUTANT WHO SPEAKS IN THE THIRD PERSON.’

BUT SERIOUSLY what is with Gambit? I mean, on paper, there’s nothing to get excited about (just the opposite, really.) He’s got crazy late-80s hair (check it out – mullet-y on top, long-ass ponytail in the back), weird eyes (red irises, black ‘whites’), unspeakably misguided clothes (pink! Purple! Blue! Black! A trench coat to signify bad boy tendencies! Gloves that are missing fingers!), and his mutant powers are a hodge-podge of bizarro (that kinetic energy… thing? Where he makes stuff explode?). And there is the card-throwing. The bo-staff swinging. The totally perplexing accent. His insistence on speaking in the third person. His backstory! (Cajun thief from New Orleans!) His doomed love for a literally inaccessible woman. (Which seemed the height of romance when I was 13.) Did I mention the accent? My god, the accent.

I dunno, guys. I’m still kinda feeling it.

 – Anne

Trent from Daria

Trent Daria Trent Daria 2

I didn’t know much when I was 9-years-old, but I did know that Trent Lane was my dream man. He had a tattoo. He had three ear piercings. He played lead guitar, vocals and clapping for Mystik Spiral. He was meant for me, and me alone. One day a man like him would save me from the misery of high school and serenade me with depressing guitar music. Of course, I was still in primary school back then, but I extrapolated.

Trent was just so cool. Even the fact that he slept all the time, could barely string a sentence together and was late for everything was kind of hot. He just didn’t care! I was well on the way to my first exam induced stress ulcer, but we were clearly the perfect couple.

Except, he was a cartoon.

And had a soul patch.

– Fleur


Rogue from X-Men: The Animated Series


Rogue from X-Men had it all: sexy voice, great costume, awesome hair, and she could fly. She was strong, she was vulnerable, and I was completely in her thrall in my very early childhood.

 – Aimee

Robin Hood from Robin Hood

Fox Robin Hood

Yes, he’s a cartoon fox. Yes, he’s a fox wearing a kind of short green tunic/mini dress. Yes he’s in a film intended for children. But he was so foxy. 

There’s just something about the casual redistribution of wealth, with a serving of swag, that pushes all the right buttons. And I’m not alone.

– Fleur


Gadget from Chip ‘n Dale’s Rescue Rangers

Gadget Chip and Dale

Warning: If you loved Gadget, the nerdy inventor mouse/token girl from Chip ‘n Dale’s Rescue Rangers, when you were a kid? Never, ever run a google image search for her, because what you see will murder your childhood in unimaginable ways. As it turns out, lots of people had – and continue to have – strong feelings for Gadget. Strong adult feelings, if you get what I’m saying. That they like to express visually, and then share online.

Gadget was less a crush and more an object of veneration for young me; I totally hero-worshiped at her nerdy, awkward (tiny) altar. She was cute and funny, and could make cool stuff, and everyone else on her show was a little in love with her. Also, she had amazing hair and, though she generally favoured practical overalls and a pair of goggles, could dress up when she needed to. Also she was basically a genius, which was awesome. Though I was always a little confused about whether she was hairless or just had really short, pale pink fur.

– Anne

Spinelli from Recess

Spinelli Recess

Spinelli from Recess had attitude. She was one absolute badass and should have been the ruler of that playground (leave now, King Bob).

 – Aimee

Vegeta from Dragonball Z


So we all know that bad is kinda hot, right? Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Eric from True Blood, Loki from Avengers Assemble and Thor, etc., etc. – well, it’s true for cartoons too. I was in love with Vegeta from Dragonball Z from an early age – he had the hair, the muscles, the sass and he totally owns the whole anti-hero thing. Plus he can change the colour of his hair on demand, albeit only between black and blonde but still something I would LOVE to be able to do.

Yes, he is liable to turn on his allies just so he can have an opportunity to beat our do-gooder hero, but who wouldn’t want to slap the self-righteousness off Goku’s face!? But when push comes to shove Vegeta puts everything aside and ends up making the ultimate sacrifice to save the people he loves. Bit of a legend really.

– Sharan

Ash Ketchum from Pokémon 

Ash Pokemon

While doing a quick fact-check on Wikipedia it came to my attention that Ash was 10-years-old in the anime series. I would like to state for the record that I was about 7 when I watched Pokémon, and I no longer have feelings for Ash.

Okay, now that I’ve got that out of the way: isn’t a guy with a great collection of pets the best thing? The other day I was assisting someone on Tinder, and I can confirm that the guys with pictures of themselves and a cute pet had at least a 7% approval rating. Ash has Pikatchu. Ash has Bulbasaur. Plus, Ash had always dreamed of being ‘the very best’ and becoming a Pokémon Master, and I like a man with ambition.

– Fleur


Cheetara from ThunderCats


Cheetara is Thundercats’ female warrior, and her powers are based on the cheetah. She’s so fast that she can even out-strip Lion-O. Bad-ass STARTS with her. Super-fast, brave and cunning, she’s also beautiful, always dressed in the iconic orange leotard with cheetah-spots on her hair and shoulders. Cheetara was definitely the coolest cartoon hero my six-year-old self had EVER seen. Man, how I yearned to be her. I spent many lunchtimes out in the playground twirling  my ‘baton’ (pictured here, it can shoot out energy beams and extend to any length) listening out for the sound of ‘Thundercats: HO!’

– Emily