Most Recognizable Fictional Characters

The Top Ten
1 Mario Mario, originally named Jumpman, is the main character of the Super Mario Bros. franchise, created by the creative director and video game designer at Nintendo of Japan, Shigeru Miyamoto. Mario has appeared in almost every Mario game, including games in spin-off series as a playable character, with... read more

Honestly he is huge in both the east and west. He is literally the face of Japan. I don't think any character has transcended through various industries and barriors like Mario. And aside from Pokemon, Mario is the highest grossing media franchise out there.

He's the OG video game franchise. Definite top 10 status as he's the most recognizable brand face for Nintendo, one of the most recognized gaming brands in the world. Pikachu is right there with Mario, perhaps beats him out. But Pickachu sort of transcends Pokémon and Nintendo, while Mario and Nintendo go hand in hand.

2 Mickey Mouse Mickey Mouse is a funny animal cartoon character and the official mascot of The Walt Disney Company. He was created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks at the Walt Disney Studios in 1928. The first cartoon featuring Mickey Mouse was the iconic "Steamboat Willie" released in the year 1928.

How is Mario #1? 99% plus 1 of the universe knows who Mickey Mouse is, or at least heard his name! You should know who Mickey is by the time you are 30 months old! He's the definition of childhood! Not to mention, he's inescapable from in Walt Disney World. He's at the begging of every Disney film! Mickey Mouse is the MOST recognizable face, even the STARS know who he is! M-I-C-K-E-Y, M-O-U-S-E! (that's him! )

There are third world countries that know about Mickey Mouse due to the sheer amount of liscencing the character has received...even if you've never seen any of his films, Mickey's iconic outline is unavoidable! Mario has countries where his face has never least not to the extent or saturation that Mickey's has...

3 Batman Batman aka Bruce Wayne is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, and first appeared in Detective Comics #27. In film, he has been portrayed by Lewis Wilson, Robert Lowery, Adam West, Michael... read more

Similar to Superman, Batman is an OG. He's not as strong a symbol of justice but he's similarly inspired many fictional spinoff type characters.

The best there ever was
The best there ever is
The best there ever will be

Really batman at 14 everyone knows who batman is and is more popular than superman

4 Darth Vader Darth Vader is a Star Wars character and the main antagonist of the first three original Star Wars films and the main protagonist of the Star Wars prequel trilogy under his original name Anakin Skywalker. He had been trained as a Jedi but defected to the Sith lord and Galactic Chancellor Palpatine... read more

Long standing franchise. Most iconic villain of all time. Star Wars at the worldwide box office consistently hits top 10 status regardless of era.

More people can recognize Darth Vader than any Dragon Ball Z or My Little Pony character. Star Wars is older than both shows and is a classic.

Star Wars is a worldwide phenom. And, Vader is the face of it. Easily recognizable and very iconic.

5 Pac Man Pac-Man is the protagonist fictional character of the franchise of the same name by Namco, who was first introduced in the Japanese arcade game Pac-Man on May 22, 1980 in Japan, later released in the United States in October the same year.
6 Pikachu Pikachu (Japanese: ピカチュウ) are a species of Pokémon, fictional creatures that appear in an assortment of video games, animated television shows and movies, trading card games, and comic books licensed by The Pokémon Company, a Japanese corporation. A mascot of the Pokemon franchise, it's... read more

The face of Pokemon, the most successful media franchise of all time. Show anyone a picture of this guy, they know exactly who he is.

A part of one of the most popular anime/gaming franchises ever. He's cute and cute sells. Regardless of Pokémon likely increasing the amount of animal abuse worldwide because- let's face it- that's basically the concept (have your pet fight in sanctioned and non-sanctioned battles to prove whose the best trainer). All that said Pikachu seems to even transcend Pokémon itself and has become simply a global icon.

7 Sonic the Hedgehog Sonic the Hedgehog, trademarked Sonic The Hedgehog, is the title character and protagonist of the Sonic the Hedgehog series released by SEGA, as well as numerous spin-off comics, five animated shows, and an animated OVA.

The second most recognizable video game face after Mario. This is easy.

Sonic is more recognizable for people than Mickey Mouse.

Just the word sonic brings this to anyone's mind.

8 Goku Son Goku (Kakarrot) is the main protagonist in Dragon Ball franchise created by Akira Toriyama in 1984. He has many abilities like, super strength, utilization of ki, flight, teleportation, super speed, enhanced reflexes, and Super Saiyan transformation that increase strength, speed, and durability... read more

The fact that he is on this list as the sole anime character, considering FF characters and Pikachu started as video game characters speaks volumes. The one of the few if not the only one people will throw a table for to argue that we could beat Superman. The Western audience embrace him more than a lot of our own western born characters.

He is the Mario of Anime. What else can I say, wait I have an endless list of reasons why he's so great.

I've always looked up to Goku, he is beyond legendary. Instantly recognizable for me.

9 Luigi Luigi, originally a palette swap of Mario named Green Mario, is a major character featured in video games and related media released by Nintendo. Created by prominent game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, Luigi is portrayed as the slightly younger, taller fraternal twin brother of Nintendo's unofficial mascot... read more

The Player two Plumber isn't too far removed from his big bro. Since they appear together so often, not seeing him in the top ten would be super weird.

This list is retarded. Not even Santa, Sherlock Holmes or Frankenstein or something, just a bunch of video game characters, half of them that I don't know... This was definitely made by a bunch of kids with no idea about pop culture

I think Luigi should be Number 5 or 3 because he has starred in almost every Mario game and has even had his own games.

10 Superman Superman is a comic character. And probably the first powerful superhero in the fictional world. The character was created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, high school students living in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1933. It was published by DC comics. The first animated superhero movie was superman... read more

He's Superman, quite possibly the most copied superheroes of all time. I grew up watching him and so did my dad. Hard to beat that

He's simply incredibly well known. He's been around for the longest time and he's appeared in plenty of crossover events with other comic/anime verses. He's the OG. Very old or very young, he has likely played a part in most everyone's childhood, regardless if they 'like' him or not.

The grandfather of them all basically. If he never existed, everyone else would've been nothing. He has the most recognizable name, symbol and theme. Should totally be the Number 1 most recognizable

The Contenders
11 Harry Potter Harry James Potter is the title character of J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. The majority of the books' plot covers seven years in the life of the orphan Potter, who, on his eleventh birthday, learns he is a wizard.

Seriously, Anna, Toadette, Green Lantern and Goku aren't out placing Harry Potter here.
Here, think "Wizard".. go on...

12 Anna Princess Anna of Arendelle is a fictional character who appears in Walt Disney Animation Studios' 53rd animated film Frozen.
13 Toadette Toadette is a character in the Mario series. She is a female Toad who first appeared in the Nintendo GameCube video game Mario Kart: Double Dash.
14 Green Lantern Green Lantern is the name of a number of superheroes appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics.
15 Pennywise It (sometimes capitalized as IT), more commonly known as Pennywise the Dancing Clown, is the titular main antagonist of the novel, its 2017 film adaptation and the 1990 TV adaptation. It was portrayed to be a shapeshifting and malevolent entity millions (possibly billions) of years old, and with no... read more
16 Deadpool Deadpool is a fictional antihero created by Marvel who appears in their comics. Deadpool's first appearance was in New Mutants #98 by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza in February of 1991. His powers include self-healing and super strength. He is regarded as one of the funniest characters in comics due... read more
17 Spiderman Spider-Man is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics existing in its shared universe. The character was created by writer-editor Stan Lee and writer-artist Steve Ditko, and first appeared in the anthology comic book Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962) in the... read more

I think it's very close between Spider-Man and Iron Man at this point considering the Avenger movies. However Iron Man historically was a B level hero in popularity until the MCU franchise.

Spider-Man has endured far longer and was the far more popular franchise prior to the MCU. His popularity is far more sustainable as well. While Iron Man is largely tied to the profound acting chops of Robert Downey Jr, many have worn the Spider-Man mask and made it their own. The new MCU also seems to have Spider-Man in the forefront of its core and his popularity thus will only continue to ascend or maintain while Iron-Man's is likely to descend. Old or young, Spider-Man is going to be the more recognizable character In my opinion.

18 Laguna Loire
19 Rainbow Dash Rainbow Dash is a female Pegasus pony from the 2010 kids' show, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. She represents the element of loyalty and is one of the six main characters on the show... read more
20 Elsa Queen Elsa of Arendelle is a fictional character who appears in Walt Disney Animation Studios' 53rd animated film Frozen.
21 Homer Simpson Homer Jay Simpson is the main protagonist of the American animated television series The Simpsons as the patriarch of the eponymous family.

A big dumb balding North American ape with no chin and a short temper.

22 Rinoa Heartilly
23 Princess Peach Princess Peach is a major character in the Mario Bros. Franchise. She is the lead female of the The Mario franchise. She is usually the character who needs saved in most Mario Games, but also has appeared as a playable character in the Main-Series Mario Games, including Super Mario 3D World, Super Mario... read more
24 Han Solo Han Solo is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise. In the original film trilogy, Han and his co-pilot, Chewbacca, become involved in the Rebel Alliance which opposes the Galactic Empire. He is primarily portrayed by Harrison Ford. Han Solo served as the focus of the 2018 film Solo: A Star... read more
25 Quina Quen
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