Top Ten Breakout Characters

A "breakout character" is a character initially envisioned as a side character, but eventually becomes as, if not more, popular than the main character.
The Top Ten
1 Snoopy Snoopy is a character in comic strip Peanuts. He first appears in the strip from October 4 1950. He often sleeps on the top of his dog house. He belongs to Charlie Brown. He was created by Charles M. Schulz. He also appears in all the specials and the 2015 Peanuts Movie.

Snoopy is the most iconic example. Although he appeared as early as the third strip and was established as Charlie Brown's pet within a month, Charlie Brown was intended to be the main character. However, Snoopy became the literal Creator's Pet.

2 Porky Pig Porky Pig is an animated cartoon character in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons.

Porky Pig was originally intended to be the plucky comic relief to Beans the Cat. However, Avery and the execs realized people weren't tuning in for the cat - they were tuning in for the pig. And so, history was made.

3 Elmo Elmo is a Muppet character on the children's television show Sesame Street. He is a furry red monster with a falsetto voice, who hosts the last full fifteen-minute segment on Sesame Street, "Elmo's World", which is aimed at toddlers.

You like the Sesame Street episodes with Elmo? Well, none of them are from the first fifteen years. Elmo was introduced as a crowd-shot filler in the early 80s before becoming a supporting character in 1985. He eventually achieved superstardom by the late 1990s, outclassing the previous mascot, Big Bird.

He used to be just one of many background characters. Who knows what made them decide to make him more of a main character?

4 Daffy Duck Daffy Duck is an animated cartoon character produced by Warner Bros. Styled as an anthropomorphic black duck, the character has appeared in cartoon series such as Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, where he usually has been depicted as the best friend and occasional arch-rival of Bugs Bunny.

Porky would soon be outclassed by a duck that the pig once tried to hunt. Unlike many other characters, Daffy was basically set in stone by his first short. He was wacky, kooky, goofy, and obviously daffy. He jumped around and said "whoo-hoo-woo-hoo!" a lot. The only things that weren't set were his name and protagonist role, both of which would come within a year.

5 Bugs Bunny Bugs Bunny is an animated cartoon character, created by the staff of Leon Schlesinger Productions (later Warner Bros.) He is one of (if not) the most famous cartoon characters, and he is in the show Looney Tunes. His famous quote is "What's up doc?". He is a gray colored bunny with big teeth and big... read more

Bugs started out as "Happy Rabbit," who was a thinly veiled expy of Daffy Duck but as a rabbit. Tex Avery then took hold of the character, named him after one of the animator's nicknames, "Bugsy," and made him fight Elmer Fudd.

6 Plucky Duck
7 Homer Simpson Homer Jay Simpson is the main protagonist of the American animated television series The Simpsons as the patriarch of the eponymous family.

People forget that when The Simpsons started, Bart was the main character.

All the merchandise at the time centered on Bart. The song "Do the Bartman" was a sensation, and even early video/arcade games had Bart as the playable character. However, down the line, Homer became the star with his shenanigans.

8 Demona
9 Odie Odie is a fictional dog who appears in the comic strip Garfield by Jim Davis. He has also appeared in the animated television series Garfield and Friends and The Garfield Show.
10 Wolverine Wolverine is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, commonly associated with the X-Men. His powers and abilities include a healing factor and his signature adamantium claws and adamantium skeleton.
The Contenders
11 Mr. Burns Charles Montgomery Plantagenet Schicklgruber "Monty" Burns, usually referred to as Charles Montgomery Burns or simply Mr. Burns, is a recurring character in the animated television series The Simpsons, voiced initially by Christopher Collins, and currently by Harry Shearer.
12 Stacy Hirano Stacy Hirano, often nicknamed Stace by her friends, is a supporting character of Disney’s popular animated TV show Phineas and Ferb.

A wild-card example and often downplayed, Stacy was originally intended to be "Candace's conscience." However, after gaining a cult following, she would gain multiple spotlight episodes a season later.

Huh, it honestly never occurred to me that she was Candace's conscience, but that makes a lot of sense.

13 Smurfette

Smurfette was originally intended as a one-off character, which is why she was only seen in one comic issue and one episode of the '60s TV adaptation. However, Hanna-Barbera adopted her as a supporting character for female-aimed merchandise.

14 Yogi Bear Yogi Bear is a cartoon character who has appeared in numerous comic books, animated television shows and films. He made his debut in 1958 as a supporting character in The Huckleberry Hound Show. Yogi Bear was the first breakout character created by Hanna-Barbera and was eventually more popular than... read more

Originally intended as a "B-character" who would follow Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, like Porky Pig, became the main attraction. Kids weren't tuning in for the dog. They were tuning in for the bear. He would gain a spin-off, a few movies, and campgrounds, some of which still operate today.

15 Chuckie Finster
16 Daria Morgendorffer Daria Morgendorffer is a fictional character from MTV's animated series Beavis and Butt-Head and its spin-off Daria.

On the topic of teenage girls, we have Daria. She was a conscience-type character for Beavis and Butt-head and would earn a spin-off called Daria. She soon became arguably more popular than the two original main characters, at least until 2011, when their show returned.

17 Zoidberg
18 Grogu
19 Dr. Reginald Bushroot
20 Frasier Crane
21 Sid Chang
22 Skeeter Valentine
23 Kermit Kermit the Frog is a Muppet character and Jim Henson's most well-known creation. Introduced in 1955, Kermit is the straight man protagonist of numerous Muppet productions, most notably Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, as well as in movies, specials, and public service announcements through the years... read more
24 Tinker Bell Tinker Bell is a fictional character from J. M. Barrie's 1904 play Peter Pan and its 1911 novelization Peter and Wendy.

Many of her iconic attributes were never seen in the Peter Pan film. Remember Tinker Bell spraying magic to transition to the next scene? That NEVER happened in Peter Pan - not in the play, not even in the film. That concept was introduced for Walt Disney's television show he made for ABC.

25 Harley Quinn Harley Quinn is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, commonly as a sidekick of the Joker.
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