Top 10 Common Cartoon Cliches

egnomac

The Top Ten

1 The Good Guy Never Gets Hurt

I hate this so much! It also sends an untrue message that if you are a good person, nothing bad will happen to you.

Ahh, I hate this cliche. - WoolenArale

One word: Pokemon - FluffyBanana

So repetitive and bland.

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2 Characters Impersonating Other Actors or Characters

This has Johny Bravo written all over it! Laugh out loud - NerdyPweeps

3 Satire & Cultural References

They're actually pretty funny.

South Park, The Simpsons, American Dad, Family Guy, Etc.

4 The Damsel in Distress

This literally tells kids that women are weak. Almost every show has a damsel in distress in it that the main character (of course, a guy) has to constantly save. I mean, come on. Give the woman powers and the guy a break already.

This one seriously, it's so boring. Come up with something new.

Especially in some of the old cartoons were the female character is kidnapped and it's the job of the hero to save them, for example: Olive Oyl from Popeye, Sweet Polly Purebread from Underdog and Minnie Mouse in the Mickey Mouse cartoons. - egnomac

Happens so much. Most of the time it’s that the villain falls in love with the damsel and kidnaps them

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5 Bad Guys Always Lose

Um, this isn't really a cliche. It's just kind of how stories work. The interesting part of the movie is finding out WHY the good guys win, how it happens, and if they loose anyone in the process.

Seriously, sometimes movies let the bad guy win but this is to much these bad guys have thing that are 10 times better then them. But then boom the good guys win, how does this even work? Seriously I hate this.

I know that the good guy is SUPPOSED to win, however sometimes the bad guy will lose so much that he will be a complete failure. (Hint Doofinshmirtz and Perry)

I mean the bad guys need to to have glory at least SOMETIMES.

There was a Steven Universe episode called The Return where the main characters get taken into space.
You see,
Some cartoons make the villains win.
Adventure Time, Had an episode I forgot the name but it had Ice king drops Princess Bubblegum into the Litch’s Well of Power. - UltraSandStorm

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6 Villains with Dumb Henchmen

It doesn't even make sense to hire incompetents!

All fat and dumb imbeciles talking in slow motion. Why are they normally bald?

All of the sonic cartoons…

EVERY SINGLE SONIC CARTOON, I AGREE

7 Cat and Mouse Chases

Example: Tom and Jerry, Wile E Coyote and The Road Runner. - egnomac

8 Traps and Weapons Backfiring on the Bad Guys

Poor Team Rocket...

This. Happen. So. Many. TIMES! I hate this, what WOULD be cool to see is the traps and weapons ACTUALLY WORK!

9 Characters Wearing the Same Clothes Everyday

I am aware this saves time for the animators. Instead of having to come up with a lot of character sheets references wearing all the different clothes they just need one(or a lot fewer) but it would be nice to see what different characters' style of clothing would be! That's also a way to learn to know a character. Like in Sailor Moon, the characters wear different clothes, and damn do I love me some good Sailor Moon fashion.

It was funny when the characters in The Amazing World of Gumball made fun of this cliche in their own show

Agreed, one of the worst! Seriously, doesn't it stink? And I'm bored seeing this! Example: Mickey Mouse, from 19's to this day. His shorts must stink by now.

What about Mabel Pines? She breaks the mold.

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10 Parents Never Around

Has anyone ever seen Ed, Edd'n Eddy Parents or even Beavis and Butt-heads parents for that matter. - egnomac

The Newcomers

? Young Kid in the Family Has Two Siblings Who Tease and Be Mean to Him

Examples:Jacob two-two,Being Ian, and loud house,etc.

? Falling off Waterfalls

There’s always one danger being faced until the characters get caught in a river, and once the going gets good, there’s a giant waterfall with a calm pool at the bottom.

The Contenders

11 The Dumbass Dad and the Mom Too Good for Him

That should be number 1! because it s very sexist - Iamcool

Marge and Homer, Peter and Lois, Timmy's Mom and Dad, Richard and Nicole Watterson. It just gets old. - PatrickStar3

Homer Simpson, Peter Griffin, Hugh Neutron, Goofy, Billy's Dad from Billy & Mandy, the list goes on!

Bob and Linda aren't perfect, but they're there for each other. I like that.

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12 Characters Walling Off the Edge and Not Falling Down Immediately

This isn't a bad cliche to be honest. it's just for the humour - Ohno

They fall.
They hang there in mid-air.
They fall.
They scream.
Nothing bad happens to them or they go to the hospital for 2 minutes.
New episode. - Miauzer

13 Innocent Characters Who Immediately Become Targets for Abuse

Yeah. Mickey Mouse in the 2013 series, for example, doesn't deserve any of the abuse he goes through

Hate this one! Stop with this, it's just sad.

Peridot for Steven Universe - UltraSandStorm

14 Greedy Characters

The only greedy person that I know is Angelica pickles from rugrats because she can be really annoying

Greedy characters: Scrooge Mcduck, Mr. Krabs, Mr. Burns, Montana Max & Cat from Catdog. - egnomac

15 Talking Dogs

Johnny Test, Snoopy, Paw Patrol, 101 Dalmatians, Jake from Adventure Time, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Toy Story (with reason), Ren from The Ren & Stimpy Show is a chihuahua, The Fairly Odd Parents recently got a dog, Pound Puppies.

Adventure Time, Scooby Doo, The Fairly OddParents, Tom and Jerry, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Family Guy. - PatrickStar3

16 Angry Mobs

You see these all the time in cartoons, with regular civilians carrying torches and pitchforks against the main character

Of course! They always try to kill someone over the littlest things!

This is Yellow Diamond. - UltraSandStorm

17 Good Guys vs. Bad Guys

Yeah, characters need to be round, not flat with one stereotypical trait.

There is nothing which grinds my gears more than a good guys vs. bad guys plot. Such plots are black and white, portraying the main characters like they are perfect and their enemies like they are completely evil. Despite what many people want to think, real life is nothing like this! People in real life start wars because they want to protect their own interests, not because they feel like they have a moral obligation to get rid of the "bad guys". Although real-life people we label as "bad guys" tend to be terribly mislead or brainwashed, it is still extremely naïve to say that they are purely evil. Also, it is possible to make an action genre without a good guys vs. bad guys plot. This can be done by depicting both sides of a conflict neutrally.

I agree so much with the one below! Like in Pokémon I liked Team Rocket more than Ash and his friends because Team Rocket had more personality, they dared be rude, silly and they never gave up even though they kept failing. It was more motivational than Ash's journey of becoming a Pokémon master It felt sad when most of all sad, awkward and dumb things happened to Team Rocket just because they are supposed to be the bad guys. We need a grey cartoon(this sounds more boring than what it is)!

18 Villains Boasting About How Evil They Are

Realistically, no one would boast about how evil they are unless they are a sadist. Usually, if someone is going against you, they would have reasons. Those reasons do not include taking over, or destroying the world. These reasons are usually the villain doing what they think is the right thing to do, and defending what they need to defend. So, a villain wouldn't boast about how evil he is because he's doing what he believes is right. Unless he's a sadist.

19 Main Character always has a crush on Latin-American Character

*WARNING, SPOILER. DO NOT READ BELOW. JUST IGNORE IT.*











In Star vs. The Forces of Evil, it is confirmed the protagonist has a crush on her bestfriend, which is a Latin-American.

20 Getting Hit by an Anvil and Not Dying
21 Villains with an "Evil Laugh"

Just imagine a villain with a really cute laugh

Some laughs are good but sometimes, it needs to stop. - WoolenArale

Evil laughing is amazing when it's done right. - Miauzer

22 That Dumb Character

To be honest I love Cosmo and Patrick Star as they were before. SpongeBob was good until season 4 came. Pranks a lot was the last awesome episode of SpongeBob. Rip

Examples: Cosmo, Patrick Star, Stimpy etc.

Patrick, Cosmo, Timmy's Dad, Homer, Bart, Ed, etc. - PatrickStar3

23 Character has only four fingers

The Loud House is a perfect example! - DynastiSugarPop

I know it makes it easier to animate but it's very ugly :(

24 Character Gets Rolled Into a Giant Snow Ball

I always saw those scenes all the time in Snow Episodes, I hope that's got to be A Cartoon Cliche

Seen this so many times and it never gets old

Spongebob, Steven, Phineas, Finn, Ash... - UltraSandStorm

25 Characters With Faces Never Shown

Rita and Lynn Sr from the loud house have their faces shown idiot

Mammy Two Shoes, Rita and Lynn sr Loud. - PatrickStar3

26 Characters Trying to Blow Out a Bomb and It Explodes

Yea this happy but you got to admit the expressions the character makes when this happens is usually hilarious.

This happened in a Pokémon episode - UltraSandStorm

27 Teenage Girls Who Secretly Fight Crime

Examples include Kim Possible, Totally Spies, Atomic Betty, etc.

Starfire can fight crime! - DynastiSugarPop

Heck its not even just Girls,how many Cartoons have you seen about a Kid/Teenager that was Born with Superpowers/Achieved Superpowers that is Fighting Crime and a Silly Villain that has a Moronic Sidekick which is the reason why his Plans Backfire at him
this Cliche started around the Late 90s with the Powerpuff Girls and started Rocketing in the 2000s with Cartoons such as Kim Possible,Teen Titans,MLAAR,Totally Spies,Ben 10,Danny Phantom,American Dragon and Others
this Cliche isn't bad its actually good and enjoyable - MarsBlast

28 Mad Scientists

There's Dr. Two-Brains from the Wordgirl show on PBS Kids.

Dexter from Dexter's Laboratory is a scientist, not sure about a 'mad' one however. Mad scientists aren't as common in cartoons than in real-life shows or movies.

29 Overuse of Surrealism
30 Celebrities Popping Out of Nowhere
31 One Dimensional Villains
32 Plot Solved in the End of the Episode
33 Boy Characters Disguises as Ladies

Lincoln Loud in "A Novel Idea" and "Cover Girls". - DynastiSugarPop

Patrick from Spongebob SquarePants in the episode That’s No Lady and SpongeBob in the episode The Slumber Party

34 Character Gets Rolled Into a Giant Snow Ball

Listed twice. - DynastiSugarPop

35 Always a Dumb Blonde

Peridot is the dumb blonde of Steven Universe, but she is also really funny. - UltraSandStorm

It got old long ago.

Liv and Maddie - Miauzer

Leni, Lindsay, Dee Dee. - PatrickStar3

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36 Character becomes a werewolf when the moon shows
37 There's Always A Christmas Special!
38 Get Rich Quick Schemes

Mr. Krabs - UltraSandStorm

39 Wild Takes
40 The Smart Character and the Goofy Sidekick

Gravity Falls. - PatrickStar3

41 Pink Cake
42 The Bullies are Cheerleaders

This is so annoying. Cheerleaders can be nice too :c

Bonnie Rockweller is this. - DynastiSugarPop

43 Too Many Confusing Puns

Luan Loud is this trope! - DynastiSugarPop

44 Character Gets Resurrected After He/She Died in the Next Episode

*cough* Happy Tree Friends. *cough* - DynastiSugarPop

This is just like a book about Brer Rabbit I read. - Miauzer

45 Tongue Stuck on an Ice Pole

Total Drama World Tour's the only one I can think of. - PatrickStar3

46 Confusing Romantic Subplot
47 Bad Guy Finds Love Interest, But Love Interest Hates Bad Guy
48 Characters catching colds
49 Characters swap bodies

Seriously! Swapping bodies isn’t always good! It’s frustrating to watch characters whine if they recently swapped bodies. Also, why should it even be a plot?! It should’ve stayed on fan art!

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List Stats

100 votes
51 listings
4 years, 24 days old

Top Remixes

1. Characters Impersonating Other Actors or Characters
2. Satire & Cultural References
3. The Good Guy Never Gets Hurt
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