My Top-10 Cartoon Duos

There are a ton of memorable cartoon duos out there that make a cartoon worth watching. This is my list of character pair-ups which always ensure you’ll have a great time watching a cartoon. Just as a note though, this is not a list of cartoon couples, but for those who want to see that, that list is currently forth-coming.

Also, I noticed only after the fact that there were no girl or even boy-girl duos on the list and I have to apologise for that. I’m giving therefore an honourable mention to Sasshi and Arumi from Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi since I had been considering putting them on the list anyway and then didn’t. MSAA is a great series by the way and highly recommended.

But now, on with the list…

10. Trunks and Goten (Dragon Ball Z)

Everybody’s favourite pair of “brats with super-powers”, this dynamic duo really got to kick it into high gear at the tail end of DBZ, during the Buu-saga when they go after the heroes and once they fuse into a cocky super brat named Gotenks.

Trunks: Trunks is the slightly stuck up son of Vegeta, a villain turned hero who is the “brains” of the operation, though I’m being very generous with that term. He’s a bit more mature and consequently a bit too self-assured compared to Goten and always wants to be better than Goten at everything.

Goten: He’s the happy-go-lucky part of the duo, an almost exact clone of his father Goku, the series lead. He’s more innocent, childish and not as bright and tends to go along with anything Trunks does. He’s the adorable half of the duo.

Unfortunately Trunks and Goten didn’t get too much focus in the Buu saga, only a few episodes worth, mainly during the tournament and when they’re training for their fusion technique. However, I like these two so much that I just had to include them on the list.

9. Trap-Jaw and Beastman (He-Man and the Masters of the Universe)

Skeletor’s two top-tier henchmen and both members of the original Council of Evil, whenever these two or even one of them is present in a He-Man episode you can tell it’s usually going to be really good. Sure, Evil-Lyn is hot and Tri-Clops can see through walls, but I even love just the sound of Trap-Jaw and Beastman’s names.

Trap-Jaw: The master of weapons, Trap-Jaw is a cyborg who is missing, as his name implies, his jaw and his right arm, possibly making him the first amputee I’ve ever seen in a children’s cartoon. Trap-Jaw can bite through practically anything and his arm can be switched to accommodate a number of different weapons including a sword, a laser-cannon, a hook or even a fly swatter.

Beastman: Skeletor’s most abused henchman by far, Beastman is the master of animals. He can control them and make them do his bidding. Besides that the guy just has an amazing, menacing voice.

Sadly, these two don’t appear together nearly often enough to warrant them being any higher on the list, but by far and out of any possible combination of Skeletor’s henchmen, this is my favourite combo.

8. Cut Man and Guts Man (Mega Man Animated Series)

Introduced in the very first Mega Man game on the NES, Cut Man and Guts Man have not only become iconic figures of the game franchise but they were also consistent players on the blue bomber’s solo-cartoon, produced between 1994 and 1995 by Ruby-Spears, appearing literally in every single episode.

Cut Man: Where to start with this guy, he has a creepy, vaguely Mexican, Peter Lorre type voice and is constantly make jokes relating to scissors: “Cutting you to pieces is going to be sheer delight”, “I’m going to trim your life, blue boy!”, “Open it slowly, so I can give them haircuts, from the neck up.” Plus, as if Cut Man didn’t look weird enough in the game, his appearance in the cartoon will just have you rolling on the floor. You always look forward to anything Cut Man has to say on the show.

Guts Man: Not nearly as interesting, but Guts Man is a bottomless well of slapstick on the show. Most of the time he manages to cause more damage to his surroundings than to Mega Man and rather than use a door he’ll almost always punch his way in through the wall. I also happen to love his voice, provided by voice-acting veteran and pro Gary Chalk.

The comedic antics of Cut Man and Guts Man are one of the many things that made Mega Man such an entertaining show.

7. Chip and Dale

It was certainly difficult to pick my favourite cartoon duo from Disney considering all the possible combinations. However, here I decided to go for the less obvious and therefore picked Chip and Dale. Now of course, the classic Chip and Dale weren’t that different from one another, in fact they were almost a figurative Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum who would continually harass Donald.

However, my favourite Chip and Dale cartoon was, of course, Chip N Dale’s Rescue Rangers where these two got slightly more personality to set them apart, not to mention clothes. I loved this shift because whereas Chip and Dale were pretty much best of pals in the old cartoons, they became more like rivals though still working as a team to save the day.

But yeah, the personality differences appeared more on a single episode basis and not really consistently through the series, so they didn’t really go that far from being a figurative Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.

6. Scooby and Shaggy

Everyone’s favourite cartoon hippy and his talking Great Dane, who doesn’t love Scooby and Shaggy? Through the numerous different incarnations of Scooby Doo, Scoob and Shaggy are consistently my favourite two characters, a pair of sort of heroic, mostly cowardly, clowns who are scared to death by people dressing up as ghosts and monsters for some nefarious end.

Shaggy: Shaggy is likeable because of his constant good mood and appetite, there doesn’t appear to be anything he wont eat. Plus, his voice is just plain old iconic. Kasey Kasem hasn’t always voiced him but he definitely created the character’s iconic delivery. Like zoinks!

Scooby: I think a Great Dane is the perfect dog for comedic interpretation. Scooby just looks awkward no matter what he’s doing and you can’t help but to laugh when you see him. Prus, ris riconic sryle of sreech ruch seals the reel. Scooby-dooby-doo!

5. King Hippo and Eggplant Wizard (Captain N: The Game Master)

Mother Brain’s main two henchmen are by far my favourite comedic pair to have appeared on Captain N. The bizarre coupling of a gigantic boxer and a talking vegetable just worked great. Whenever these two are arguing over anything or doing evil deeds, you’re both rooting for them and waiting for them to screw it up at the same time.

King Hippo: Another power-house character, like Guts Man, but slightly more comedic with his silly facial expressions and body language, not to mention his not so-high-IQ. Incidentally, he’s also voiced by Gary Chalk with much more gusto this time.

Eggplant Wizard: The wimpy and pathetic but slightly brighter half of the duo. He already looks pretty darn goofy, but add to this the fact that he can spawn any matter of vegetable or fruit to be used as a weapon and you got comedy gold. Plus, for a guy with no feet he sure puts his best foot forward in providing hilarious slapstick with his Hippo pal.

4. Garfield and Odie

I think everyone loves this cartoon cat and dog duo.Garfieldcan run the show all by himself, but it’s definitely with Odie that you get the most rewarding material.

Garfield: Lazy, gluttonous, sarcastic and rude, what’s not to love?Garfield constantly tries to trick poor Odie or make harm fall upon him. In a strange sadistic way we get enjoyment out of seeing him do this, but we equally feel rewarded whenGarfield’s antics backfire. At the same time,Garfield is actually playing the role of the straight man when Odie is doing something particularly stupid.

Odie: Poor Odie has the brain the size of a pea and rarely gets angry at Garfield for all the abuse he receives. I suppose that’s what I love about the character. Plus, Odie does get back at Garfield from time to time which is even more rewarding.

Some might wonder why I didn’t put Garfield and John up here, but personally I think Garfield and Odie just complement each other better as characters, whereas John is just there to be humiliated.

3. Fred and Barney (Flintstones)

The Flintstones is probably in the Top-10 of my favourite cartoon shows of all time, so how could I not include Bedrock’s Bestest Buddies on the list?

Fred Flintstone: Quarry worker, family man and honorary Water-Buffalo lodge member, Fred can be brutish, rude and even flat-out violent, but deep down he’s just a softie and we all love and sympathise with him. Fred is not the brightest bulb on the planet and often tries to either get out of doing chores or come up with a scheme to make his life easier. Often he drags Barney along and then blames him when things go wrong, but at least Fred never lets his little buddy down.

Barney Rubble: Barney is eternally upbeat and often tries to warn Fred that his schemes and plots might not work. Barney always tends to suffer as a result of Fred’s foolishness but the guy rarely holds a grudge and he’s always willing to come to Fred’s aid when he winds up in trouble. Barney is basically put a true friend.

2. Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck (Looney Tunes)

When it came to choosing my favourite pair of Warner Bros. cartoon characters, it was definitely not easy. Obviously Bugs Bunny was going to make it on the list, but he’s done crossovers with literally everyone, from Elmer Fudd to Michael Jordan. That’s a lot of choices. However, I think I’ve always enjoyed the on-screen interaction of Bugs and Daffy the best.

Bugs Bunny: The quintessential cartoon figure, Bugs is often the unwilling target of rabbit hunters and also just happens to wander into dangerous scenarios. Why does he always fail to make that vital left turn at Albuquerque? Regardless, he is resourceful and always provides amazing laughs with practically anything he does.

Daffy Duck: Not perhaps as likeable as Donald, Daffy however is the perfect victim, you enjoy seeing him get hurt. The over-confident, egoistic, spluttering duck is usually up to no good and it’s always extremely funny when he happens to cross Bugs’ path.

1. Tom and Jerry

I think without question, these two are the greatest cat and mouse duo in any cartoon in history. In most cases Tom is trying to kill or just get rid of Jerry, often through the use of ridiculous gadgets and traps which always backfire. We often see Jerry outsmart Tom with painful end results. Alternatively, it’s at times Jerry who is causing trouble for Tom and on occasion you’ll actually find yourself cheering for Tom to get Jerry.

This is one reason I love the Tom and Jerry cartoons, their roles as good guy and bad guy are interestingly interchangeable, and although Tom tends to be the bad-guy by default most of the time, the role reversal is always interesting. Even more interesting are the situations where the two end up working together which makes Tom and Jerry probably the most complex character duo in any cartoon.

Tom and Jerry have at various times been chastised for their violence and I think the people who worry that kids are going to go whacking each other over the head with baseball bats, just because they see a cartoon cat and mouse do it, are the ones who need a reality check. Even kids know that cartoons aren’t for real, but Tom & Jerry, interestingly, was the first cartoon that actually made me think about the morality of cartoons, at five years old. We always had to justify in our minds why Tom or Jerry would win at the end, because it was the fault of the other guy who started trouble in the first place.