Inspired by Doug Walker’s Top 10 Favorite Characters, I began thinking about which fictional characters from TV shows and movies particularly resonate with me. Which characters I’ve always admired and enjoyed, and which ones I’ve always related to; the ones where you watch them in action and think, “That’s me”. It took me a bit of time to narrow them down, but I do now have a list. And since we’re presently trying to make this blog more fun, I figure it would be fun for me to share with you my fave characters. Keep in mind that I’m considering both animated as well as live-action characters, and that I’m not counting the shows and/or movies themselves, just the characters in said movies and shows. So without further delay, here are Silverstar’s Top 9 Favorite Fictional Characters of All Time. (I couldn’t think of an even 10.)
9. SHELDON COOPER (The Big Bang Theory)
I don’t know whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, but this uber-geek is easily my favorite character on The Big Bang Theory, and the one I identify with the most. Like Sheldon, I’m the geek among geeks in my social group, I’m super-smart and rarely pass up an opportunity to drop my vast knowledge and useless trivia upon the world, I have something of an ego (“No, not you!”), I have a decidedly bent sense of humor, I’d rather geek out on my favorite activities than hang out with the gang, I tend to obsess over what others consider to be minor details and like Shelly, I’m asexual and am cool with that. Sheldon has even inspired my latest hobby: collecting superhero, science fiction, video game and general geek-themed novelty T-shirts. Though I want to stress that I’m not crazy like Sheldon, I’m just a little…off.
8) SKIPPER (Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse)
For a while I wasn’t sure whether I should put this character on the list at all, since Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse is a web based series, not a TV show or a movie, but for many people the internet has replaced TV as their primary means of entertainment, and I do enjoy this series (yeah, I enjoy a Barbie show–don’t judge me!) and I really like this show’s take on Skipper. Skipper is easily my favorite Barbie sister and favorite Dreamhouse character. I love the other characters’ antics as well, but Skipper’s fondness for the latest high-tech toys, laid-back laziness, semi-tomboyish demeanor (“Does everything have to be so pink??”) and general “Yeah, whatever” flippancy instantly struck a chord with me. Plus, I really like Skipper’s appearance and fashion style: the brunette hair with that flashy hipster lavender streak and the star-studded outfits (I really like stars, as is evident by my online handle).
7) SAM AND MAX
I’m going to cheat a little and list these 2 together, since it was impossible for me to think of them in isolation from one another and because I like and can identify with both of them equally. Sam and Max are my favorite anarchic, devil-may-care adventure-seeking nutjobs. Nothing seems to rattle these guys, they seem incapable of taking anything (including themselves) seriously, beneath their simple goofball appearances lie big, big, BIG guns capable of a ton of damage (just don’t ask where Max keeps his) their jokes and wordplay are as layered as a haiku and are twice as funny and they always come on top despite overwhelming odds and their own utter insanity. My behavior and demeanor is reminiscent of both Sam and Max, depending on the situation. Generally I possess Sam’s sense of general morality (and habit of spinning bizarre homilies), but get a little booze in my system and my inner Max comes forward.
6) TOPH BEI FONG (Avatar, The Last Airbender)
I thought Avatar, The Last Airbender was an OK show, though not an all-time favorite of mine, as I’m generally indifferent to action cartoons, particularly saga-heavy action cartoons, since my attention span is only about 20 minutes max; if a story can’t be resolved in 2 or 3 episodes, I usually lose interest, but what kept me glued to this show was Toph, the blind Eartbender, who is without question my favorite character in the franchise. I relate to Toph more than any other Avatar character, and am the most fond of her for various reasons: she’s short (I’m only about 5’6”) but scrappy, she’s filthy rich and ridiculously sheltered but still capable of kicking butt, she’s funny and not all virtue, nobility, sweetness and light as the other members of the party tended to be, she’s brutally honest and frank (it’s a blessing and a curse for me), she has a handicap (hers is blindness, mine is allergies to dust and pollen and basically being a chick in a dude’s body) which she deals with but isn’t self-loathing, mopey, whiny or emo about it. Another reason I like Toph is because she’s as cute as a button, from her squat body down to her bare feet (I admit to having kind of a fondness for girls who don’t wear shoes. Hey, it’s my list, my qualifications!).
5) TONY STARK/IRON MAN
The only comic book superhero to make my list. There are superheroes whom I admire like Wonder Woman or Superman, but Tony is the kind of superhero I imagine I’d actually be like if I were in that profession. He’s a wise-cracker, he doesn’t like having to call people “Boss”, he questions authority, he doesn’t give 2 squats about a secret identity, he loves the ladies, he toots his own horn, but he’s got the smarts and the awesome gear to back up his braggadocio. Plus, again, he’s got more money than the mint–my kind of superhero. Tony Stark is Bruce Wayne minus the angst and thirst for vengeance. He’s a super-geek, a hero that computer nerds and technofiles can look up to.
4) SLAPPY SQUIRREL (Animaniacs)
Easily my second favorite character from Animaniacs. (Who’s my first? Wait and see.) Slappy is one of those fictional characters whom I swear is my alter ego: funny, a little slower in her advanced years but still sharp as a tack, a tad cynical, jaded, never at a loss for a joke or a wisecrack, has seen it all and done it all, knows every trick in the book and has a fondness for good old fashioned pitiful puns and cartoon chaos. Even now, 20 years later I find myself channeling Slappy by droning things like “This…is sad” in my daily life. Missed opportunity, Warner Brothers: Pinky and the Brain were good and all, but why didn’t you give Slappy her own spinoff? I’d have watched the heck out of that.
3) KIMIKO TOHOMIKO (Xiaolin Showdown)
As with #6, we have a character that I really like who’s from an action show that I could take or leave. I was never really crazy about Xiaolin Showdown, but I loved Kimiko. She’s pretty, smart, kind of snotty, rich and tech-savvy. (Kimi’s almost a J-Pop Tony Stark.) Plus, I love her multiple hairstyles and outfits. (I thought about uploading a few of my favorite Kimiko looks, but we’d be here a while.) If it weren’t for this darn Y chromosone, I’d probably dress like her. the girl has style.
2) DOT WARNER (Animaniacs)
My other favorite character from Animanaics, The Warner Sister has always struck a chord with me, though she may not have to big-time breakout personalities of a Yakko or a Wakko. The reason I think it was easier for the writers to pin down Yakko and Wakko’s characters is because they each had a clear model: Yakko was basically Groucho Marx and Wakko was more or less Harpo Marx (albeit a verbal Harpo). Since there was no Marx Sister in the act, Dot didn’t have a Marx equivalent to be based on like her bros (and just giving her a fake Italian accent like Chico Marx would’ve just been odd); the writers more or less had to build Dot from scratch. And they did a pretty good job, all things considered.
One reason Dot has always been my favorite of the three is because she’s not as powerfully over-the-top as Yakko and Wakko; Dot can be wacky and nutty too, but her near-normality provides a nice oasis of calm between her brothers’ anarchic insanity (which I can sort of relate to). But despite that, she’s not bland or boringly sensible; she has this attitude and a bit of an ego. (I can definitely relate to this.) That’s not an easy combination to pull off, but the A! writers did a great job bringing all that together and making it work.
The ‘cute’ shtick I see as sort of a way of poking fun at the Smurfette Syndrome: often the token girl in the group has to by default be the embodiment of beauty and grace within said group. Dot was both an embracing and a parody of this trope. One episode likens Dot to Fanny Brice, and I can definitely see the correlation. Anyone old enough to know of Fanny Brice can definitely see traces of Brice in Dot. I like to imagine that if there had been a Marx Sister, she would’ve been a Fanny Brice/Dot archetype.
And now we come to…(Drum roll, please)………………..
1) DAFFY DUCK (Looney Tunes)
Anybody who knows me intimately already knew who was going to make #1. My favorite Looney Tune is now, has always been and always will be the little black duck. I’ve always felt I’m half-human, half-cartoon, and my cartoon half definitely channels Daffy. The fast-talking, the energy, the ego, the raw determination, the inability to just sit still and shut up, the cleverness, the desire to be a star, no wait, a super, duper nova-star; if it’s true that everybody has a doppelganger, I have a strong feeling that mine is Daffy Duck.