Animated cartoons have been around since the early 1900s! Since then, cartoons have become a part of everyday life for people of all ages. Cartoons are so popular because they are funny, adventurous, and fun to watch.
The most famous cartoons have distinct color palettes that are easily recognizable after watching a couple episodes.
Check out the color schemes from some of the most popular cartoons of all time!
1. SpongeBob Squarepants
He lives in a pineapple under the sea, and his best friend is a starfish. That’s right, Spongebob is one of the most iconic cartoons that features a bright and fun color palette.
Hex Codes: #ed7f8c, #feff35, #61c7c9, #d5ebf6, #bb8b1f, #8f76af
2. Powerpuff Girls
The color palette for the Powerpuff Girls is made up of sugar, spice, and everything nice. The superhero trio of sisters each don their own unique color scheme that matches their personalities.
Hex Codes: #00e4ff, #e7a7b7, #06d406, #ffff01, #ff9a2b, #000000
3. The Simpsons
Did you know it takes creators 6 months just to create one episode of The Simpsons? While the plot is unique for every episode, what doesn’t change is the color palette. Warm and cool colors combine to create the characters for one of the longest running cartoons in history.
Hex Codes: #ffd521, #007cc2, #f35a31, #f6911f, #0294c7, #6fcff5
4. Adventure Time
Starring a twelve-year-old and his magical talking dog in a magical land, Adventure Time is a comedic cartoon that first aired in 2010. This show has wacky humor, insane adventures, and a color scheme made of cool tones.
Hex Codes: #009fdd, #0f6bb3, #fcb924, #6eb440, #a8d59e, #891f05
5. Looney Tunes
What do Tweety Bird, Bugs Bunny, and Road Runner all have in common? They’re all part of the Looney Tunes squad. While most of these characters have their own claims to fame, the overall color scheme is bold and reminiscent of childhood.
Hex Codes: #f8782f, #2f60b5, #9399a5, #261036, #fdfc52, #59271e
Seeing the world from the point of view from a baby in the cartoon Rugrats is nothing short of hilarious. From dealing with mean Angelica to playing with Reptar the dinosaur, the team of babies share how they see the world. The color scheme for this show looks like it came straight out of a coloring book.
Hex Codes: #483092, #fcee33, #73bd4a, #f04740, #3ef5f1, #f65922
7. The Flintstones
Have you ever wondered what families were like in the Stone Age? The cartoon The Flintstones takes place during that time period and follows a family through their trials and tribulations. The color palette from this show is bright and refreshing!
Hex Codes: #f0d500, #f89627, #28bebc, #d858a3, #e96324, #afdf72
8. Paw Patrol
A group of rescue dogs and their human teammate Ryder set off on adventures to protect their community in the kid’s television show Paw Patrol. The palette of this show has bright colors that appeal to children’s eyes.
Hex Codes: #2d3a64, #522d11, #cc447a1, f7a441, #e42f2c, #a7d8f6
9. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
You know these iconic teenaged turtles named after famous Italian artists. Each turtle donned their own color, which represents their different personalities. Blue for the calm leader Leonardo, orange for the outgoing Michelangelo, red for the fierce Raphael, and purple for the creative Donatello!
Hex Codes: #fcbe57, #8ec641, #897696, #e93826, #13a4f5, #f89b56
10. The Ren & Stimpy Show
Unlikely friends, a chihuahua and a cat, come together for unusual adventures on The Ren & Stimpy Show. This show had a lasting impression animation in part for its dark humor, and for the rich color palette!
Hex Codes: #ee2400, #0067ac, #00a3c6, #fbaedc, #680001, #f6b676
11. Invader Zim
Invader Zim is a dark comedy series that ran for two seasons on Nickelodeon. The color scheme for this show certainly matches the dark, gothic alien vibes. Greens, pinks, and shades of black and gray are a common theme throughout the series.
Hex Codes: #85da73, #c80048, #e79fb7, #b0f37f, #b8c1c0, #010300
In the world of Pokémon, the creatures have special abilities, but their different colors are purely aesthetic. In the Pokédex, you’ll notice the different colors are listed for every Pokémon. Many of these shades are primary colors, with a few cool tones tossed in.
Hex Codes: #fcc916, #2671b9, #76d2ea, #ee8301, #f9dce1, #664596
Branded Merchandise from Famous Cartoons
A perk of having unique color schemes is using those colors on branded merch! This makes the merchandise realistic and easily recognizable for fans. Some of the early branded items for older cartoons are even considered as vintage collectables.
Here are some examples of branded merchandise from famous cartoons!
There you have it! Each famous cartoon has an equally famous color scheme that is used for every episode and on branded merchandise to promote the show. From the cool-toned Adventure Time colors on a custom notebook, to the multi-colored Looney Toons beach ball, anyone can recognize their favorite cartoon’s color schemes.
*DISCLAIMER: These colors are approximate, not exact. Colors may vary slightly in films or on merchandise. All cartoons and characters are the property of the respective creators. Permission is required to use characters or logos on any merchandise.
Factslides. (2013). The Simpsons Facts. Retrieved on February 5, 2020, from https://www.factslides.com/s-The-Simpsons
RegularCapital. (2017, December 18). Cartoon Network Enterprises EMEA Partners With Watermelon To Launch Personalised CN Merchandise Online Store. Retrieved on February 5, 2020, from regularcapital.com
Wikipedia. (2020, February 5). The Ren & Stimpy Show. Retrieved February 11, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ren_%26_Stimpy_Show
Image Color Picker. Retrieved February 11, 2020, from https://www.colorcodepicker.com/
RBG to Hex Color Converter. Retrieved February 11, 2020, from https://www.rgbtohex.net/