Do you remember the first time you realized that you’d be getting braces? Maybe the full weight of your braces didn’t sink in until the orthodontist cemented ’em onto your teeth. Or perhaps you knew from watching your older siblings or seeing the gap between your front teeth that braces were inevitable. While many of us might have hated everything wrong with our teeth growing up, we also hated the idea of braces. Anyone with any screen time could watch a kid with braces being picked on or discover braces being used as a prop to depict “nerdiness.” And, listen, your kid will likely hear the same dumb nicknames bullies called you as a kid with braces. When they come to tell you as much, you can give them a touchstone — someone who looks like them and confirms it’s totally cool to be yourself. Cartoon characters with braces might not be as widely seen as, say, cartoon characters with glasses or red-haired characters, but they still exist.
Most of these characters also get picked on throughout their time in braces. However, they also have strong personalities and even have some pretty epic comebacks to the occasional teasing. Yes, Mama, as much as it hurts your heart, your adorably awkward kid might get teased from time to time due to their mouthful of thousands of dollars of corrective metal. They’re going to get stuff stuck in those braces. They’re probably going to break them a time or two. And they’re definitely going to find other ways to embarrass themselves with their mouths full of metal.
At the end of the day, sometimes the most important thing you can do to help your kid isn’t to stop the teasing (although, yes, do that if you can) but to show them that they aren’t alone. And that is what this list of cartoon characters with braces is all about: Solidarity.
Our Favorite Cartoon Characters With Braces
1. Lisa Simpson, The Simpsons
For one brief episode, Lisa Simpson was in full headgear. And, honestly, it was both terrifying and reassuring. Lisa doesn’t do anything half-assed. Seeing such an oh-so-perfect character with braces might just be the perfect reminder for your own braces-wearing kiddo that they didn’t do anything wrong — sometimes teeth just come in funny.
2. Mabel Pines, Gravity Falls
Mabel is the eternal optimist. When she’s shipped off from home with her brother, Dipper, to spend the summer with her weird uncle in an even weirder town, Gravity Falls, she finds herself part of a rag-tag group of kid-adventurers all looking for answers. No matter what goes wrong, Mabel is happy and always brave. She’s super smart but definitely not the stereotypical nerd.
3. Eliza Thornberry, The Wild Thornberrys
Could Eliza be any cooler? We think not. Let’s start with the fact she has the ability to communicate with animals. Paired with her extensive zoological knowledge and sense of adventure, she’s officially the kind of kid we would have wished would walk up to us on the playground.
4. Luan Loud, The Loud House
Female comedians are the absolute funniest, and 14-year-old Luan Loud — one of Lincoln’s 10 sisters on The Loud House — is already showing off her stand-up chops. She’s optimistic, fun-loving, punny, and a total prankster, all of which we whole-heartedly dig about her.
5. Tootie, The Fairly OddParents
Poor Tootie! She’s often tormented by her broody teen sister Vicky. And yet, she never loses her kind spirit and signature pluckiness. Sure, her single-minded obsession with Timmy Turner is intense but, hey, the girl knows what she wants and goes after it.
6. Chester McBadbat, The Fairly OddParents
Another win for The Fairly OddParents! Chester plays one of Timmy Turner’s best friends on the animated series, and we’ve gotta say, he might be one of the most memorable characters. He wasn’t born into a life of privilege, but he makes the best of what he has. He even tried to use Norm’s magic to make “a better world.” Sure, it ended somewhat disastrously, but he used his final wish to undo any damage.
7. Sid, Toy Story
Oh, man! This kid is evil. Sid is, in essence, the “cool” big brother next door: He’s terrifying… but we also wanted to be his friend, get inside his head and see inside his room. (Even if it’s totally nightmare fuel.) While Sid’s devious nature may not make him everyone’s favorite character, we do love that his truly terrifying metal mouth doesn’t let having braces turn him into a victim.
Other Cool Cartoon Characters With Braces
OK, OK… we really couldn’t find many! Someone should write a letter.
- Babysitter, The Incredibles
- Chuckie Finster, Rugrats: All Grown Up!
- Darla, Finding Nemo
- Mike Wazowski, Monsters University
- Ruth P. McDougal, Hey Arnold
- Sharon Spitz, Braceface
- Shelly, South Park
Need More Brace-Face Inspo?
No one asked us for it, but we’re giving it to you anyway. Here are some other popular characters (that aren’t animated) that also had braces.
- Addie Singer, Unfabulous
- Betty Suarez, Ugly Betty
- Hannah Montana, Hannah Montana
- Josie Geller, Never Been Kissed
- Mikey, The Goonies
- Murray, Clueless
- Pacey Witter, Dawson’s Creek
- Sue Heck, The Middle
- Ted, There’s Something About Mary