The cartoon characters kids grow up with are critical to their childhood. They teach people life lessons and how to navigate hectic school days and friendships. Kids are more likely to want to listen to what Danny Phantom teaches them than their own parents.
From Nickelodeon, to Cartoon Network, to Disney Channel, every child remembers settling in each week to view their favorite quirky cartoon. These iconic cartoons had everything a child could dream up. Fairy godparents, talking sponges, and princess graced television screens on a daily basis.
All of these cartoons were so great because they related directly to children and the characters were mostly children themselves.
While these iconic cartoons never age, the viewers do, and it’s easy to wonder what the characters would grow up to do if they aged along with their fans.
A lot of artists have taken it upon themselves to draw them as college students, letting fans see exactly what that would look like.
Which cartoon couple would survive into adulthood? What would Timmy Turner be getting into on campus? Would the Powerpuff Girls attend college or jump straight to full-time crime fighting?
Find out by reading about these 25 Iconic Cartoon Characters Reimagined As College Students.
25 Hey Arnold!
Hey Arnold! is one of the most popular cartoon from the 90’s. The Nickelodeon show was watched by countless children as Helga yelled “Hey footballhead!”
While that was once Helga’s way of flirting, it seems she’s grown up a bit in her college years.
In this fan-art, Helga and Arnold have finally gotten past their childhood teasing and have made it as a couple in early adulthood.
As they sit on the steps they share flirty looks despite the books in their hand. Like most college students, they can get a bit distracted while they try to study.
24 Dora The Explorer
Dora The Explorer helped teach so many young children learn, and she always learned a lot herself on her adventures.
She has always loved traveling, and it seems like her knack for exploring hasn’t stopped as she’s grown older. It seems likely that if the character were to attend college she would want to study abroad.
Perhaps she would attend a school in a spanish-speaking country. Her love of foreign languages and map-reading skills would come in handy while navigating an unfamiliar country.
It looks like even in her college years Boots traveled alongside her.
23 The Proud Family
The Proud Family is one of Disney Channel’s most popular animated shows. Kids really felt like they were a part of the family as they watched.
Penny was always incredibly close with her family, so it makes sense they would all show up to her graduation.
In this reimagining, Penny is much older than before and has an even more striking resemblance to her mother than before. She’s always been extremely smart, so it’s no wonder she graduated with honors.
Where is Suga Mama? Don’t worry! According to the artist of the picture, she’s the one taking the picture.
22 Danny Phantom
No kid from the early 2000’s can forget the Nickelodeon show Danny Phantom. He was always getting into adventures with his friends, Sam and Tucker.
The three were inseparable as kids and according to this drawing, they still are inseparable as college students.
In the last episode of Danny Phantom, Danny and Sam share their feelings for each other so it’s likely that they’re a couple as they enter college.
Danny is probably still saving the world as a ghost in his free time, and Tucker may be mayor of Amity Park, but that doesn’t mean he can’t get an education at the same time.
21 Scooby Doo
Scooby Doo is one of the most recognized cartoons of all time. The show has been around since the 70’s and new shows are still produced to this day.
Every child is familiar with the goofy cartoon dog and his gang of teenage companions.
In this reimagining, they look a little bit older and a lot more realistic for the modern day. They’re still hanging together and solving mysteries while they go to their college classes.
Velma probably spends most of her time in the library, Shaggy and Scooby love the dining hall, and Freddie and Daphne are the school’s best looking couple.
20 Mario and Luigi
Mario and Luigi are two important characters to any kid who grew up playing video games.
The Nintendo brothers are traditionally depicted as older plumbers, but some people have drawn them as they would look as young college students.
Although they are still sporting the usual red and green, it’s strange to see the two iconic characters without their signature mustaches or matching overalls.
While it isn’t necessary to go to college to become a plumber, in this reimagining they could be going to school for something totally different before settling on that particular career path.
19 Dexter's Laboratory
Dexter’s Laboratory aired on Cartoon Network for four seasons starting in the late '90s.
Kids couldn't wait to see what kind of weird science antics Dexter and Deedee were going to get up to in each new episode. It seems the two siblings have continued to hang out together even in their college years.
In this drawing, they have both continued with their respective hobbies, experimenting and ballet.
Mandark is even still around, most likely competing with Dexter in their sciences classe and trying to prove they are the best to their professor. Maybe DeeDee has finally noticed Mandark’s affection, but it’s unlikely. She’s always been too focused on dancing.
18 Lilo and Stitch
Lilo and Stitch was so popular when it came out that they ended up creating a television series about the characters.
In this reimagining, Lilo is all grown up and looks an awful lot like her sister, Nani. Her dress is still the same pattern, just a little bit bigger.
She chose to study photography in school and is even their official photographer.
While she’s a lot older than before, she still carries her doll around. Did Stitch join her at her university as well? Maybe he would be considered a pet she could have in her apartment.
17 Powerpuff Girls
The Powerpuff Girls have been protecting Townsville since the late 90’s. The three were practically inseparable, so it’s no surprise they would choose to go to college together.
In this fan-art, Bubbles is still rocking her pigtails, Blossom still has her iconic ribbon, and Buttercup looks as tough as ever.
Does Townsville have its own university? If so, it’s likely they attend classes there so they can continue to fight crime and visit the Professor in the evenings.
They can’t just leave their home city unprotected from Mojo JoJo and the Amoeba Boys.
Fans of the Rugrats have already seen a small glimpse of what the toddlers would look like as they grew up. Nickelodeon created a spinoff of the original called All Grown Up!, showing characters like Tommy and Angelica as teenagers.
In this particular reimagining, Phil and Lil sport piercings and tattoos (even a Reptar one!) while Tommy looks a lot like his father.
Angelica seems like she’s still a bit spoiled, while Chuckie still has the same anxiety from when he was younger. It seems they’ve all remained close as they go into their college years.
15 Rocket Power
The popular cartoon Rocket Power ran on Nickelodeon from 1999 until 2004. The main gang of friends, consisting of Reggie, Otto, Squid, and Twister, were always getting mixed up crazy situations while they skateboarded or surfed.
According to this fan-art, it seems like they’ve continued their hobbies into their college days.
They have kept the same skater style they had when they were younger and most likely use their skateboards to get from class to class on campus.
They probably still live near the beach, considering surfing is one of the gang’s favorite pastimes.
14 Kim Possible
Kim Possible was a major animated series on Disney Channel in the early 2000’s. Kids during that time were obsessed with seeing what adventures she got up to with her best friend Ron Stoppable.
It seems like her crime-fighting days are behind her. Kim has grown up a a lot. She’s traded in cargo pants and gloves for books and glasses.
Her books could point to her majoring in physics, or it could just be an elective she’s taking. At high school graduation, Ron and Kim were a couple, so it’s likely their relationship has continued into college.
13 Frozen and Tangled
Elsa and Rapunzel are two of the most popular princesses for the current generation of children. Frozen and Tangled were everywhere when they first came out and the songs are still inescapable.
There are many theories the two princesses are related. Even if they aren’t, they obviously know each other well seeing as Rapunzel and Eugene attended Elsa’s coronation ceremony.
If they went to college together, they would certainly be friends.
The artist also placed Eugene and Merida in the background. It seems whatever university they attend is a popular choice for Disney characters.
12 Billy & Mandy
The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy was a very successful show on Cartoon Network in the 2000’s. It lasted seven seasons and even won three awards.
Billy was always a little dimwitted, but it seems he found a way to get into college. Mandy is no surprise, seeing as she was always the smart one of the group.
Grim isn’t a part of this reimagining, so it’s unclear of whether or not he would follow the pair to college or if he’s found a way to break his enslavement.
11 Totally Spies!
Totally Spies! is one of those cartoons people forget existed during their childhood until someone reminds them of it, but as soon as it’s mentioned people remember how much they loved it.
The fast-paced show originally aired on ABC Family and lasted six seasons.
The three main characters, Sam, Alex, and Clover, look a lot more grown up and sophisticated in this reimagining.
While they’re certainly making time for their studies, it’s likely they haven’t stopped their undercover work. Being college students just helps them blend in while they continue to fight crime.
Daria was an animated show on MTV for a few years in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. The cartoon wasn’t necessarily made for children.
Daria was a cynical, sarcastic teenage girl dealing with high school life. Viewers saw her graduate, but never saw her actually go to college.
In this reimagining, it makes sense that she would room with her best friend Jane is college.
Jane has always been an aspiring artist, so she’s most likely studying that in school. She’s practicing that while Daria studies whatever her chosen major is.
9 American Dragon: Jake Long
American Dragon: Jake Long was created in 2005 for Disney Channel. Despite only lasting two seasons, it had a lot of fans. Enough people remember it to spark fanart and reimaginings.
In this drawing, Jake, Rose, Trixie, and Spud are all of college age. It’s likely they all go to school in New York, near where they grew up.
Jake and Rose kissed in the shows finale, so by the point they’re in college they may be a serious couple. Trixie and Spud probably still help Jake protect mythical creatures around campus.
Pokémon is easily one of the most recognizable cartoons of all time. Even people who never watched the show are familiar with popular characters like Pikachu or Charmander and have most likely heard the theme song.
In this reimagining, Ash and Clemont are going to college together. The two have always been super smart.
They look fairly young, so it’s possible they got into college early because of their advanced intelligence.
From the looks at Ash’s notebook and the design on their sweaters, even in college, they still find time to train Pokémon.
7 Sailor Moon & Dragon Ball Z
Both Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon had big fan followings when they were airing. They were each on during a similar time period in the late '90s, so many viewers watched both cartoons and have fond memories of the characters.
Gohan was a popular character from Dragon Ball Z and Chibiusa was a character on Sailor Moon. In this crossover drawing, they’re both older and apparently a couple.
In whatever universe this is, maybe the two characters attended the same university and met each other in one of their classes.
Recess ruled television screens after school in the late 90’s. The Disney Channel show ran for six seasons and there were multiple films based on the series.
There were six main characters. TJ, Vince, Spinelli, Gretchen, Mikey, and Gus, were constantly getting into trouble on the elementary school playground.
In this reimagining, they are a lot older than the last time fans saw them. Their distinct personalities are still visible even as they go into college, or in Gus’s case, the army.
TJ and Spinelli even have their iconic hats on.
5 Jimmy Neutron
Nickelodeon's cartoon The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius was on for three seasons in the early 2000’s. It follows Jimmy and his two best friends, Carl and Sheen, as they go on different scientific adventures.
Jimmy is so smart, it seems like he would major in something more complicated like engineering or chemistry.
Sheen and Carl weren’t always the brightest, but it looks like they’ve made it to college along with their best friend.
Jimmy’s “brain blasts” sure will be helpful with his studies, and Sheen probably plays lots of video games in his dorm room.
Digimon is a popular franchise that revolves around monsters living in a digital world. The anime Digimon Adventure has been compared to Pokemon, but fans will tell you they are not the same thing.
In this fan-art, Matt and Tai are in college together, possibly as roommates, but Tsunomon and Agumon can make it very difficult to focus on studying.
Tai looks like he’s also on the schools soccer team, judging by the ball at his feet. Matt has either been studying or partying too hard, because he can’t seem to stay awake.
3 Teen Titans
Teen Titans was on Cartoon Network for five seasons in the early 2000’s. There is a reboot of the series called Teen Titans Go! that is still on the air. The original characters come from DC comics, so there have been many different versions of the Titans.
This particular drawing shows what the group may look like in college.
Raven and Beast Boy look like they’re extremely studious.
Cyborg is wearing a jacket implying he could be on the football team. Robin and Starfire are probably still dating and look like they’re having a lot of fun on campus.
2 Avatar: The Last Airbender
Avatar: The Last Airbender was a Nickelodeon show that received praise from both viewers and critics alike. The series even won a Primetime Emmy award.
The show’s three seasons did inspire a live-action film, but it’s widely considered one of the worst movies of all time.
Fans of the cartoon, however, didn’t let the live-action film ruin their memories of the show. One fan created this reimagining of the characters, showing what they may look like as modern college students. Aang even has his iconic arrow on his beanie.
Does airbending count as a college major?
1 Disney Princesses
Disney princesses are some of the most popular characters for fans to draw in different styles and in different time periods. The characters have a huge fanbase.
They’ve been reimagined as Hogwarts students, career women, parents, and more. It’s no surprise they have also been drawn as college students.
This particular anime-style artwork shows Snow White, Jasmine, Ariel, Sleeping Beauty, Belle, and Mulan as students.
They all appear to be friends and might even live in the same dorm building. Maybe other princesses like Cinderella or Pocahontas chose to go to a different school.
What do you think of these reimaginings? Sound off in the comments!'