Given the success of Max’s Fionna and Cake, which is an offshoot of Adventure Time, the door is now open for more animated series spinoffs. Considering the extensive lineup of classic cartoons that have emerged in recent decades, the possibilities for spinoffs are endless. When executed properly, a spinoff series has the potential to revive longtime supporters, bridging the gaps between generations old and new, and that’s good for creators and viewers alike.
Shows like The Legend of Korra, which followed as one of the spinoffs of Avatar: The Last Airbender, can be an easy success due to the existing fanbase and IP brand recognition while simultaneously adding fresh angles and new perspectives that attract additional audiences. The exploration of secondary characters and the expansion of abandoned plots is a formula that few can resist. With this considered, there are several other popular cartoons that could benefit from having a spinoff.
10 Invader Zim
An Invader Zim spinoff would be epic. The Nickelodeon series developed a cult following thanks to its dark humor and bizarre gothic universe. Invader Zim‘s weird characters and distinctive art style helped set it apart from the other animated shows in 2001, birthing a fandom that begs for its revival to this day.
Since going off the air, an Invader Zim spinoff film was released on Netflix. However, one feature-length movie is not enough to make up for the 13-year gap in time. A new animated series would be much better and would benefit from a shift in perspective. Instead of following Zim’s quest to take over the world, it could follow one of its beloved side characters.
Gir, in all his gullibility, would make an amazing main character. His innocence would provide an interesting contrast in tone from Zim’s dark universe. Another side character who could use more shine is Dib and Gaz’s mad scientist dad, Professor Membrane. Although the audience gets a glimpse of his chaotic lifestyle in episodes like “Dark Harvest,” a series dedicated to his wacky espionage lifestyle would be hilarious.
9 Hey Arnold!
A series spinoff of the ’90s Nicktoon Hey Arnold! is way overdue. The show’s impact on pop culture is not talked about nearly enough. Hey Arnold! is a series with a lot of heart. Over the course of its five seasons, it did a tremendous job of covering sensitive topics and accurately conveying the lifestyle of growing up in the inner city. Its masterful representation of inner city culture is a point of view that could be useful in today’s society.
Since the series ended, Hey Arnold! has received two spinoff films. At one point, a spinoff series based on Helga Pataki and her family was reportedly in the works, but there have been no updates in its development since its announcement. With room for growth, another popular character may work out better for a spinoff idea: Arnold’s effortlessly cool best friend, Gerald.
A Gerald Johanssen animated series would definitely shake things up in pop culture. After all, he was already a scene stealer in the show. His suave demeanor and problem-solving skills would inspire interesting plot points and ideas. It would be neat to view the city from his perspective.
The Hey Arnold! IP could also benefit from a prequel, one that focuses on Arnold’s deceased parents. Although their sudden disappearance has been explored in the past, their actual lives have yet to be depicted. It would be cool to get to know Arnold’s parents and experience what a younger Grandma and Grandpa were like.
8 The Powerpuff Girls
A Powerpuff Girls spinoff series needs to happen, immediately. There are angles here that are begging to be explored. The Powerpuff Girls have been kicking butt and taking names since the ’90s. The show’s bright, colorful universe and addictive characters earned it critical acclaim, sparking an enormous following throughout its six seasons.
Since going off the air, there have been several attempts at reviving the IP, including a film, a reboot, and an anime. There was also a live-action Powerpuff Girls series that was canceled before it really got started. However, there are a couple of other angles that have yet to be explored that would do great in conjunction with the original series.
Like most shows about crime-fighting heroes, one of the best things about The Powerpuff Girls is its iconic lineup of villains, such as the hilariously maniacal Mojo Jojo. If the creators compiled all the villains in one show, it would undoubtedly be an addictive series. The villains could join forces and form a league, with each episode following their hilariously flawed plots of trying to take over the City of Townsville — which would naturally be foiled by the Powerpuff Girls
If a league of villains wouldn’t work, at the very least there could be a series about the Rowdyruff Boys. The gender swap would make for an interesting dynamic. As powerful as they are, the fact that their weakness is “cooties” would be a hilarious conflict for them to overcome.
7 Courage The Cowardly Dog
A Courage the Cowardly Dog spinoff is overdue. Honestly, it’s surprising Cartoon Network hasn’t jumped on this cash grab sooner. With its lovable main character, inventive plot, and terrifying antics, Courage the Cowardly Dog wowed audiences, bringing chills and thrills to an otherwise gentle lineup. Courage’s achievements in the horror comedy genre are uncontested, so it’s time to give it the revival it deserves.
The horror series could benefit from an expansion of its spooky universe by placing Courage in a different setting. If by some mysterious circumstance, Eustace and Muriel were unable to take care of Courage, he could be adopted by a new owner and placed in a different house. Courage could even end up in a major city, a complete 180 of what fans are used to. It would be interesting to see how this change of scenery would impact Courage and influence the horrors he encounters.
6 Dexter’s Laboratory
Dexter’s Laboratory was a lot of fun. Its cooky science antics are a presence that’s truly missed on screen. The show’s amusing characters, addictive plots, and unique art style made it a hit on Cartoon Network from the late 90s to the early 2000s. With only four seasons in the show, there’s plenty of room to extend Dexter’s Lab further, especially with its iconic lineup of characters. One of the most popular aspects of the animated series, aside from the hook of its intro song, was its awesome lineup of characters. The unique character designs and traits are begging to be explored, especially fan favorites like DeeDee and Mandark.
5 Rocko’s Modern Life
Rocko’s Modern Life is a series that could benefit from a rebranding. Its controversial jokes and sexual innuendos didn’t exactly age gracefully. However, perversion aside, Rocko’s Modern Life was a great animated series that entertained audiences on Nickelodeon throughout the early ’90s.
The creators wouldn’t have to look far for good spinoff material because they already have a side story with a minor character that would work perfectly. In the episode “Wacky Delly,” Ralph Bighead, the estranged son of Rocko’s neighbors Mr. and Mrs. Big Head, works as an animator and helps Rocko and the gang bring their cartoon to life. The episode is a hilarious parody of life in the animation industry. Seeing Ralph live out his life as an animator, dealing with the struggles of working in the industry, would make an interesting storyline. The angle would be comedy gold.
Doug was such a popular show during its release that a spinoff would undeniably unite fandoms across generations. Doug was made famous for its offbeat ensemble, unique point of view, and distinct art style that charmed audiences in all its simplicity. Although a reboot and a lineup of movies have both already been explored, there’s a whole lineup of characters that could use some revisiting.
One example is the ’60s-inspired rock band The Beets, a smash hit among the kids in Bluffington. The Beets had some of the best original songs ever featured in an animated series, and it would be cool to follow their rock career in a show. It would have a killer soundtrack. Another angle that could work as a spinoff is Doug’s superhero aliases: Quailman, Smash Adams, and Race Canyon. Seeing a series based on the adventures of his heroic alter egos would be a lot of fun.
3 The Fairly Oddparents
The Fairly Oddparents was such a good time, and it could use a revision in the form of another animated series. In the early 2000s, The Fairly Oddparents was a mega hit on Nickelodeon thanks to its fun plot lines and a cooky lineup of characters. Throughout its 10 seasons, it introduced several side stories and minor characters that have the potential to be expanded further, especially from its crossover with Jimmy Neutron.
It would be cool to see the Fairly Oddparents x Jimmy Neutron crossover taken a step further and turned into an actual animated series. Although seeing Timmy drawn over in Jimmy Neutron’s computer animation wasn’t very flattering, Jimmy Neutron’s miniature design blended in smoothly. In the spinoff, Timmy and Jimmy could switch places, and the show would take Jimmy’s perspective as he tries to figure out how to get back to his dimension. Seeing Jimmy adjust to the new lifestyle would be fun, especially with the addition of Wanda and Cosmo.
2 The Grim Adventures Of Billy And Mandy
The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy was a show way before its time. Its grim humor and nightmarish universe contributed to the wave of gothic cartoons that spoke to fans of horror comedy in the early 2000s. Its sharp animation style and the amusing lineup of characters would translate beautifully in modern times. With the current movements for representation and inclusion in media, a spinoff with Mandy would be refreshing. Mandy’s moody, sarcastic cynicism would be an invigorating point of view in animation. She would be a mascot for the cynical and sarcastic, like Daria and Wednesday Addams.
1 Robot Chicken
Robot Chicken‘s hilarious parodies and cheeky pop culture references are truly missed on the Adult Swim lineup. It would be cool to see this series revisited. Its stop-motion animation style made waves for adult animation, thanks to its mature parodies of pop culture icons and frequent cameo appearances.
Throughout the series, several recurring gags poked fun at major media franchises. One of the best examples was Star Wars. There are so many Star Wars parodies in Robot Chicken that a spinoff series could be made just off of these segments alone. It would be hilarious to see favorite Star Wars heroes done over with Robot Chicken‘s stop-motion style and humor, especially if the actual cast got on board. Mark Hamill is usually a good sport