SpongeBob SquarePants has been going strong since 1999, and with its 13th season continuing in October, the series shows no sign of ending. It’s interesting to see how much it’s changed since its start.
Cartoons have often been considered to be for kids or young adults. They always used to be something to watch on Saturday mornings while the parents were sleeping in. Children who watched many of Hollywood’s most iconic cartoons are all grown up now, and their outlook on life has changed. Reddit users recently got together to discuss which characters they’ve come to relate to more as they’ve aged.
10/10 Bob Belcher (Bob’s Burgers)
Fans wish the Bobs Burgers cartoon restaurant was a real place. Bob Belcher is the owner and cook of the burger joint. He’s also a father of three who works hard to provide for his family.
Reddit user Hashtagbarkeep says, “I watched the movie the other day and there’s this scene where everything has gone so terribly wrong. He’s sitting at the dinner table with his family staring into space just groaning softly. I feel that.” Bob’s character is often worn out. He appears to love his job, and he loves his family, but just like every adult, he’s just ‘done’ sometimes. He’s exhausted and has no energy left to discuss the issues plaguing him or reiterate to Gene why his innuendos are inappropriate.
9/10 Rabbit (Winnie The Pooh)
Rabbit is often high-strung and anxious. Though the hundred-acre wood is vast, he would often much rather be at home or tending to his garden in peace.
As people get older, the world becomes chaotic. In an attempt to keep their sanity, adults will hyper-focus on enjoyable things they can control. Rabbit feels the most control when he’s home and there’s no one there to wreck the place. QueenRatigan points out, “Bunny Boy ain’t against fun, he’s against people destroying his property.” Everyone needs a comfort zone, and when someone taints the place, it doesn’t just affect the physical environment. It also pulls at the last strings holding a person’s sanity together.
8/10 Stu Pickles (Rugrats)
Stu Pickles is the father of Tommy and Dil in Rugrats. He’s a struggling toy inventor who often bears criticism from his family over his lack of a stable job.
Reddit user Brain_lessV2 quotes one of Stu’s most iconic and most relatable moments to date, “‘Why on Earth are you making chocolate pudding?’ ‘Because I’ve lost control of my life.'” This quote is amazing and has become a meme because of how painfully accurate it is. To make matters worse, Angelica, the kid who asked for a snack, doesn’t even want it once it’s made. Every parent can relate to this. They do so much for their kids, nieces, and nephews to receive nothing in return. It can be tiring after a while. Add in criticism from others about the choices Stu made, and it becomes obvious why he looks and feels so defeated.
7/10 Nani (Lilo & Stitch)
Nani is Lilo’s sister and legal guardian in Lilo & Stich. Nani and Lilo argue a lot, but they still have one of Disney’s best sibling relationships. There are parents and older sisters like Nani all over the world who identify with this character.
Several Reddit users share their personal experiences and how they relate to Nani because of them. Threspian says, “I remember the shelf of surfing trophies in her room. Girl could have probably made some cash as a pro surfer, but had to shift to a more stable job because that’s what Lilo needed.” Parents have to sacrifice a lot to provide for their kids. In Nani’s case, she didn’t ask for this responsibility. She has her own trauma relating to her parents’ death, but she must be strong for Lilo and care for her the best she can, despite it.
6/10 Benson (Regular Show)
Benson is the gumball machine manager in Regular Show, one of the best shows on Cartoon Network. He has a short fuse, often exploding on his employees.
As people get older, they must enter the workforce to earn money. Benson has been in the game for a while, and as Redditors can contest, his behavior and mentality are completely reasonable. Ostrichual says, “After becoming a supervisor/manager, you start to realize how much the little things employees do add up and make you absolutely hate yourself.” He yells at Rigby and Mordecai all the time, but it’s simply because they’re not doing their jobs, and Benson doesn’t have the patience for it.
5/10 Professor Farnsworth (Futurama)
Professor Farnsworth is the founder of the Planet Express and a distant nephew of Fry’s in Futurama. He’s a mad scientist who often gets himself and his crew into trouble.
Crockpot_gator_snot suggests Farnsworth as one of the most relatable cartoon characters as they’ve gotten older. In response, other Reddit users began sharing the most hilarious and true lines the Professor has ever spoken. Redditor Team_Captain_America says, “I think ‘I don’t want to live on this planet anymore’ is higher on my list of relatable quotes from the Professor lol.” While his science is progressive, and he’s a generally nice guy, Farnsworth has a senile outlook on life. He won’t take anyone’s hogwash, and lines such as this prove it.
4/10 The Grinch (How The Grinch Stole Christmas!)
Making his debut in the picture book by Dr. Seuss, the Grinch has since been portrayed in animation and live-action. Either way, this character is iconic, and one of the most relatable cartoon characters of all time.
As one gets older, it becomes clear that “the Grinch was the most relatable Dr. Seuss character,” as Xiao-Qinggui states. He’s complex, just as real people are. His intentions aren’t so black and white, and there’s trauma that contributes to his decision-making. Plz2meatyu points out that “the Grinch didn’t hate Christmas, he hated people. And that’s fair.” This is the same for those who despise the holiday season. Usually, it’s not the holiday that they hate, but the trauma and the people involved that make it difficult.
3/10 Hank Hill (King Of The Hill)
Hank Hill is the main character of King Of The Hill. He holds traditional American values such as working hard to breed success, and he also has an unusual passion for propane.
For many Reddit users, Hank Hill is the most relatable cartoon character. While some people cite his way of dealing with political issues, others mention his odd but relatable quirks. For instance, Dragosal admits, “I will randomly get way too concerned about how my lawn looks, and then I feel like Hank, so I double cut my lawn with the lines perpendicular, so it looks like a baseball field. I feel so proud of it when I’m done.”
2/10 Eeyore (Winnie The Pooh)
Eeyore is the donkey in Winnie the Pooh. He often hides away in sadness dwelling on the toughest parts of life, yet is always there for his friends in their time of need or for a fun adventure.
Reddit user Striking-Ferret8216 feels similar to Eeyore, saying, “I’m tired, depressed, and grey most of the time.” While unfortunate, sadness has become a common trait in adults. Kids are often given nothing to fear, so their outlook is generally positive. However, when they get older, the reality of the world and what they must do to survive in it becomes painfully clear. While Tigger and Poo represent the mindset of a child, Eeyore represents the adult who’s lived enough to know the truth. This, adults relate to him more than the former.
1/10 Squidward Tentacles (SpongeBob SquarePants)
Squidward works at the Krabby Party and lives next door to his eccentric co-worker, Spongebob. He’s passionate about the arts but struggles to find the alone time to practise his craft.
Squidward almost dominates this Reddit thread. This is likely due to the unwavering popularity of the show and the character’s status as a meme. He’s one of the best cartoon characters on children’s television, after all. ExplodingPuma says, “As a kid, you think he’s a grump, but as you get older, dang if he isn’t relatable. He just wants to live his time off in peace, and SpongeBob has to go and ruin that.” Work is stressful enough, it shouldn’t be too much to ask for rest upon returning home, but SpongeBob just can’t take a hint.
NEXT: The 10 Greatest SpongeBob Episodes, According To Ranker