Skip To Content

    24 Strong Female Cartoon Characters Who Deserve To Be Celebrated

    More cartoon characters like these, please!

    Growing up in a male-centric world, it can be hard to find strong female characters to look to as role models.

    ABC / Via Giphy

    If you're sick of the damsel in distress narrative clap your hands! *clap, clap*

    Thankfully if you grew up in the '90s and early '00s, there was no shortage of positive female role models to look up to in your favorite cartoons (if you knew where to look).

    Warner Bros. / Via Giphy

    Here are 24 of my personal favorite female cartoon characters who (in my opinion) make excellent role models.

    SNL / Via Giphy

    1. Kim Possible, Kim Possible

    Disney / Via Giphy

    A classic Disney fave, Kim saved the world on a regular basis, kept up stellar grades, and looked fantastic while doing it all. What more could you ask for?

    2. Katara, Avatar the Last Airbender

    Nickelodeon / Via Giphy

    While I love everything about Katara, the thing I love the most is that she was the first animated female character that I saw who was in charge of her romantic future. After Aang reveals his feelings she simply tells him that it isn't a good time for her and then, HE RESPECTS THAT AND BACKS OFF. When she's ready, she initiates their romantic relationship. Genuinely one of my favorite things about the entire show.

    3. Shego, Kim Possible


    While Shego is technically a villain, she refused to take shit from anyone and asserted herself in all situations. And let us not forget she was the only KP villain to successfully take over the world (for more than five seconds).

    4. Daria, Daria


    The cynical queen of 1997, Daria reigns supreme in alternative teenage angst, academic achievement, and pizza. Constantly challenging authority, Daria knows that staying silent isn't always the best option

    5. Abigail Lincoln aka Numbuh 5, Codename: Kids Next Door

    Cartoon Network / Via Google

    The previous leader of Sector V and the current Supreme Leader, Numbuh Five taught us that being a leader doesn't always mean you have to be in charge.

    6. Libby Folfax, Jimmy Neutron

    Nickelodeon / Via Google

    The multitalented, levelheaded voice of reason in the Jimmy Neutron universe! Libby had a mind of her own. She knew when to have fun and when to tone it down.

    7. Jenny Wakeman, My Life as a Teenage Robot

    Nickelodeon / Via Google

    It's saving the world with a side of high school drama and a whole heaping plate of robots. While Jenny struggles to find a balance between being herself and the sole purpose of her creation (to protect planet earth) the show manages to slip in some valuable lessons about accepting yourself and finding your way in the world.

    8. Sandy Cheeks, SpongeBob SquarePants

    Nickelodeon / Via Giphy

    Sandy Cheeks has proven time and time again that she can play in the big leagues, no matter how much the sea-folk underestimate her. After all, she is Bikini Bottom's leading expert on karate, science, and Texas!

    9. Bubbles, Blossom, and Buttercup, The Powerpuff Girls

    Cartoon Network

    As if constantly kicking evil's ass isn't inspiration enough, the Powerpuff Girls proved girls are not to be underestimated and female superheroes should be treated with respect!

    10. Suki, Avatar the Last Airbender

    Nickelodeon / Via Giphy

    Yet another powerful female warrior from the Avatar universe, Suki made it clear that her femininity and her power and aptitude as a warrior were not mutually exclusive. Watching her kick Sokka's ass repeatedly until he was forced to take her seriously always puts a smile on my face.

    11. Mandy, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy

    Cartoon Network / Via Giphy

    Let us not forget that Mandy tricked the Grimm reaper into eternal friendship with her best friend's soul on the line. Sarcastic, cynical, and generally unpleasant, Mandy was not only fearless but loyal and appealed to the inner emo in us all.

    12. Kida, Atlantis: The Lost Empire

    Walt Disney Pictures / Via Giphy

    Burdened by incredible loss and tasked with the responsibility of keeping her culture alive, Kida embodied inner strength and perseverance above all else. Not to mention I'm dying to live in Atlantis.

    13. Eris, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas

    DreamWorks Pictures / Via Giphy

    The goddess of discord Eris (voiced by Michelle Pfeiffer) was one bad seed. However, she was incredibly powerful, determined, and when it came down to it, kept her word.

    14. Captain Amelia, Treasure Planet

    Walt Disney Pictures

    Treasure Planet is one of the most underrated films, and Captain Amelia is one of its most underrated characters. Amelia paves the way for Jim (our protagonist) and helps him turn his life around. She's a force to be reckoned with.

    15. Nani Pelekai, Lilo & Stitch

    Walt Disney / Via Giphy

    As Lilo's guardian at only 19 years old, Nani does everything she can to give Lilo the best possible life. Nani is an unbelievable role model and fierce protector — the definition of a person you should look up to.

    16. Velma Dinkley, Scooby Doo

    Warner Bros.

    Velma is the brains behind the operation and carries the Mystery gang on her back by providing research and insight that always leads to the crook behind the mask.

    17. Mulan, Mulan

    Walt Disney Animation / Via Giphy

    The savior of China and the best daughter of all time, Mulan risked everything to protect her family and save her friends. Mulan was one of my personal heroes as a child — she's a fearless warrior and genuine delight.

    18. Chicha, The Emperor's New Groove

    Walt Disney Animation

    Chicha has a "no nonsense" attitude and serves as a mother figure for Kuczo, teaching him much-needed lessons in humility and empathy.

    19. Audrey Rocio Ramirez, Atlantis the Lost Empire

    Walt Disney Animation / Via Google

    Audrey pulls absolutely no punches. She's an incredibly talented engineer with a fierce personality. She's an essential member of Milo's team and leading expert in her field at only 18 years old. Not to mention she gets the group out of more than a few scrapes.

    20. Tiana, The Princess and the Frog

    Walt Disney Animation

    Tiana is an aspiring small business owner who doesn't let anything get in her way — she's arguably one of the most hardworking Disney princesses. With a big heart and fierce determination, Tiana proves that you can make your own dreams come true.

    21. Megara, Hercules

    Walt Disney

    One of my favorite queens of sarcasm, Meg will be damned if you call her a damsel in distress. Although she's been played more times than she can count, Meg is fierce, independent, and doesn't let anyone or anything get in her way.

    22. Anastasia, Anastasia

    Fox Animation / Via Google

    Anastasia is fiery, independent, and a bit idealistic, but determined to find her missing family on her terms. She refuses to be swayed or manipulated, and when push comes to shove, she always follows her own instincts

    23. Nala, The Lion King

    Walt Disney Animation / Via Giphy

    Nala is fun-loving and adventurous, and right by Simba's side through all his childhood high-jinx. And when Simba needs to step up to protect the pride lands and his father's legacy, Nala is the one who encourages and inspires him to do just that.

    24. Helen Parr / Elastigirl / Mrs. Incredible, The Incredibles

    Pixar Animation

    As a grade-A superhero, Helen has been sticking up for the ladies since day one. She's there to save the world or solve the latest family disaster!

    Here's to all the inspirational ladies out there and to the ones who are being created every day!

    Comedy Central / Via Giphy