The 90's were a magical time for children's animation. Early on we had all the nickelodeon favourites, some of the best superhero cartoons, and then anime exploded onto the scene. Think back and remember all of your favourite cartoons and be washed over with nostalgia. However, did you know that some of the most loved 90's cartoons featured gay characters? Most of us couldn't tell when we were kids, (sometimes networks even changed genders or the voices of characters to 'protect' young impressionable minds) but looking at some of these 'toons today reveals some subtle, or very overt, homo-undertones. Read on to find out which of your favourite 90's cartoon characters were actually gay.
Ren and Stimpy
Lets start things off with the most notable, and totally open, queer cartoon couple: Ren and Stimpy. Often bathing together, or just being creepily intimate, the dog and cat couple didn't try to hide their affection too much, and show-creator John Kricfalusi even stated the two were gay for each other in an interview with the San Francisco Examiner. Not only gay, Ren and Stimpy are probably the only interspecies couple, since Ren is a dog and Stimpy is a cat. Groundbreaking and ludicrous at the same time, gotta love it.
Mr Simmons (Hey Arnold)
Hey Arnold was a show known for being surprisingly mature despite being a kids show, and it even showcased its own gay character, the teacher Mr. Simmons. Mr. Simmons was never fully outed on the show, but creator Craig Bartlett did confirm what everyone assumed anyway. Simmons had a close'friend' named Peter (pictured below) who rocks a very intense handlebar moustache and is named PETER, which pretty much gave the gay thing away.
Sailor Uranus + Neptune (Sailor Moon)
The first lesbian couple on the list, Sailor Uranus and Neptune were the badass new sailor scouts in town who also happened to be dating. The original Japanese version made no attempts at hiding their love, while the American dub listed the two as cousins, thus explaining their intense intimacy...sorta. Given the fact that Sailor Uranus almost always dressed like a dude, the two were rarely ever apart, and even lived together to raise an infant Sailor Saturn, its pretty easy to piece together their true relationship. Honourable lesbian mention: Sailor Jupiter, who has an intense crush on Sailor Uranus in one episode, and always seems a little friendly towards Sailor Venus.
General Blue + Zarbon (DragonBall + Dragon Ball Z)
Okay, so niether of these Dragon Ball characters have been officially stated as gay, but fans have always speculated they were, with evidence to back it up. General Blue's uniform resembles an S.A. third reich uniform, which some have stated is a connection to S.A. leader Ernst Röhm who was homosexual. Bulma also pretty much says Blue is gay in the manga version of Dragon Ball.
Less evidence exists for Zarbon, but, come on. If you saw the Namek/Frieza saga, you know what I'm talking about. It'd be more of a stretch to say Zarbon is straight. Plus, both he and General Blue are just too good looking to be straight anyway.
Harley Quinn + Poison Ivy (Batman the Animate Series)
Fans of the emmy-award winning Batman the Animated Series will remember a few episodes where Harley Quinn, Joker's deranged lover/sidekick, and Poison Ivy, the horticulturalist villainess, wreak havoc on Gotham. Didn't the two seem awfully close though? That's 'cuz they were doing it. While they're lesbian relationship wasn't overt in the animated series, comic geeks are well aware of how often the two got to sexin' as Quinn and Ivy's romantic relationship is better explored in the comic books. Sexiest villain couple ever? Very much yes.
Zoisite + Kunzite (Sailor Moon)
Yet another secretly gay couple (at least in the American version) in Sailor Moon is the demonic duo of Zoisite and Kunzite. Villains from the first season, the two were ancient demons who have apparently been together for eons. In an effort to cover up their gay bromance, Zoisite was given a female voice actor in the American dub. If you ever wondered why 'she' never had tits, well there's your reason. The two also share one of the most intense/moving death scenes, at least in the original version, as Zoisite fades away in Kunzite's arms.
Can't forget to also point out that Sailor Moon also featured transexual characters in its final season. The Sailor Starlights were dudes when in civilian form, and changed into women when they sailor-morphed. Not gonna lie, the transformation is kind of strange to look at, but props to Sailor Moon for being an all around accepting anime.
Madison Taylor + Tory Avalon (Cardcaptors)
The anime Cardcaptors had two prominent homosexual characters: Sakura's (the main characters) best friend Madison and her older brother Tory. Once more, American broadcasters removed most of the gay aspects of both characters. Madison is made out to be just the most clingy friend ever, and not romantically interested with Sakura as she is in the original manga, and Tory is supposedly 'just friends' with his bosom buddy Julien. Thank God the Japanese aren't afraid to get a little gay with their cartoons.
Megatron (Beast Wars)
Okay, so this one is actually just personal speculation and not from the fandom or creators, but let me build my case before you start ranting. One: Megatron is, like, ALWAYS aroused. Seriously, oxygen seems to get this guy off. Not a trait of gay men, but it is how they are portrayed in many media mediums. Two: The very effeminate "Yessssss" he seems to always use. Three: All that purple! No straight man (robot?) would wear that much purple, just saying. As a robot, Megatron is technically asexual, although the many gay elements attached to his character make him a prime example of the 'evil gay villain' that occurs in a lot of animation. See Disney villains for examples of the trope.
We're out of the cartoon closet people. Did this shed new light on some of your favourite cartoons, or do you think some of these characters were totally straight? Tell us so in the comments below.