Credit: Nickelodeon

Do the cartoons a kid grows up with define them as they age?

If so, 90s cartoon characters pushed nerds, geeks, and oddballs to an audience already full-up on heroes and villains. These new nerdy characters thrived in the 90s, and even became part of pop culture:

(For instance, who hasn’t called a friend “Football Head” – aka, Hey Arnold?)

Amazingly, cartoon characters from the 1990s remain popular today:

Below are the biggest nerds, geeks, and oddball characters from the 90s that were, are, and will always be adored for making weird cool:

5. Dexter, Dexter’s Laboratory

The Russian-accented “Boy Genius” from Dexter’s Laboratory immediately became a Cartoon Network favorite. Dexter appears to be an ordinary American youngster in a lab coat on the surface. Dexter, in reality, is the world’s best scientist and master inventor, all from his parent’s basement. He dresses up like Albert Einstein, his hero, and he surely has the brilliant IQ to match.

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4. Arnold, Hey Arnold

Arnold’s parents mysteriously vanish, and he is taken to live with his grandparents. Surprisingly, this is a far more common real-life scenario for kids nowadays, and “Arnold” portrays it sympathetically. The animation is set in the inner city, making it relatable to a wide range of school-aged children, and he is constantly trying to solve his friends’ problems. That sounds more like today’s youth, regardless of where they live.

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3. Tommy Pickles, Rugrats

Tommy Pickles is a bold and adventurous character. He is loving, articulate, and is frequently just in a t-shirt and diaper. Tommy Pickles is a one-year-old baby toddler, who along with his baby buddies, goes out on countless adventures, including battling the spoilt Angelica, riding the family dog, and much more.

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2. Spongebob Squarepants

Spongebob didn’t hit the small screen until September 1999, but it made a huge impact. Catapulting the Bikini Bottom line-up of oddballs to the top of 90s cartoons (in our opinion). Amongst that cast was Spongebob Squarepants, a simple (in more ways than one) sponge, with a huge heart, who along with friend Patrick Star (who could have also been on this list) went on countless bizarre capers. The fact is, any cartoon character that can be a nerd, who loved flipping patties and has a pet snail, has to be a top 90s cartoon character.

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1. Homer Simpson, The Simpsons

The cartoon world would be a less interesting place if not for Homer Simpson. The catchphrase D’oh is a significant part of American television culture. Homer Simpson, like the catchphrase, is well-known across the world and is inextricably linked to American television culture. “The Simpsons” premiered in the late 1990s, narrowly making the cut for this list.

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