Today, Nickelodeon has moved onto a lot of live-action shows for teenagers. However, the network is still loved for the incredible array of animated series it offered in the 1990s and 2000s. They ran the gamut of stuff you just wouldn’t see on other networks and some shows could be very daring. Rugrats, Hey, Arnold, Spongebob Squarepants, and more were big winners for kids. There were also the terrific shows like Avatar the Last Airbender and Legend of Korra that even adult fans loved.
Naturally, cosplayers go wild bringing these characters to life for conventions. Several of them can be very interesting as they bring the characters in to adulthood in often daring ways. That includes a few “gender bender” designs while others just manage to look stunning in their own way. Here 19 cosplays of Nick characters that may mar your view of the shows but look so great that one doesn’t mind a more mature take on these beloved figures.
19 Not So Scary
Cosplayers do enjoy playing live-action version of the Rugrats crew. A few of them play on them as little kids while others go for the versions from the All Growed Up spin-off. Dolly takes on a daring idea of doing a gender-bent adult version of “scaredy-cat” Chuckie. She has his planet-logo shirt and green shorts but adds in lush red hair and some nice shoes. One can only imagine Chuckie growing up looking nearly this good.
18 Exciting Explorer
Nick is beginning to promote a brand-new live-action Dora the Explorer movie. It will play on the young girl handling the much more challenging “jungle” of high school before dragging some new friends on an adventure. It’s safe to say that this Dora will not match Rosanna Rocha’s look. She keeps to the classic color scheme of shirt, shorts and backpack but the additional ink and wicked look shows a grown-up Dora ready to explore new horizons.
17 Get a Clue
It’s changed hosts but Blue’s Clues is still loved by little kids as a live-action guy works with the quirky cartoon character to solve mini-mysteries. Blue herself has become a beloved Nick mascot and even seen at theme parks. This unnamed cosplayer puts a spin with a rather sexy take on Blue. The outfit looks great and her blue hair is a great addition. You may not hum the classic theme around her but this is a great take on a cartoon pup.
16 Sassy Sam
Given it was a show focusing on the supernatural, it’s no surprise Danny Phantom would have a goth character. Sam was Danny’s best friend who was fascinated by this world and aided Danny in his adventures. It’s safe to say few cosplayers have tackled her look like Merisel Irum. She showcases a grown Sam with her goth style getting even hotter, including some tattoos. She also gives Sam a far more sultry look than her cartoon counterpart to show how steamy goth ladies can be.
15 Dani Phantom
Cosplays do enjoy Danny Phantom as the unique teen turned crime-fighting ghost is a popular guy. They often do takes on his outfits and various transformations. Kinpastu Cosplay takes on his clone, Dani, and does a terrific job of it. She pays tribute to the character in the perfect outfit and white hair, and even throws in effects like a glowing fits. Some may argue about a Dani Phantom but Kinpastu makes it believable.
14 Snotty Attitude
On The Wild Thornberrys, Debbie is the older sister who would much rather be living the typical teenage life of hitting the malls. She’s thus not happy to be dragged across the world by her documentary-making parents. Despite her sass and attitude, Debbie has a good heart as she keeps secret how her sister Eliza can talk to animals. Mieko Ione showcases a modern Deb who always tries to look her best no matter where she is.
13 Bunny Ball
Usually, Bulma of Dragon Ball Z is a tough character who’s a great scientist. In one episode, her clothes get wet while at Oolong’s home and she has to don a bunny outfit. She absolutely hates it but viewers loved it. Since then, the “bunny suit” has popped up constantly on the cosplay circuit. Oikatsudon gives us her take with Bulma’s nice colored hair standing out and making it appear as if she’s ready to be a waitress at a gentlemen’s club rather than go into battle.
12 Goth Gamer
Invader Zim was a truly weird show as the “hero” was an alien out to conquer Earth, but getting into bumbling antics in his attempts. Gaz is the goth sister of Dib, the guy trying to stop Zim. She actually doesn’t mind Zim as she figures his various bungling will never amount to anything. Mimi Reaves does a great job putting on an adult Gaz, keeping the character’s purple outfit but adding some unique touches to it. The show was axed too early for fans but this proves it’s due for a revival.
11 Wave Bending
It’s too bad fans of Avatar the Last Airbender had to put up with the horrific live-action movie. That did no justice to the character of Katara as she’s a great warrior lady and an expert water-bender. Courtoon actually shot this cosplay in a wave pool and thus is able to look like Katara bending waves before her. The outfit is more revealing than what Katara on the show would usually wear but makes for a terrific take on the water-bending heroine.
10 Awesome Asami
Fans of The Legend of Korra came to love the character of Asami. While not a Bender, she was a key aid to the team and proved her courage numerous times. She and Korra were very good friends and the series finale indicated they might become more than that. This has led to increased popularity as Kitsnue Kid does a great take on a more adult Asami. Her outfit may be more daring but nails the character’s tough demeanor and her trademark goggles to make this a striking take.
9 All Growed Up
Cosplaying as the Rugrats characters is one thing. Cosplaying them as adults is another. But this pack of friends join together to do what amounts to a gender-bent adult take on the popular kid characters. Left to right, that’s Reptar, Tommy, Chuckie, Lil, and Phil. They keep enough trademarks of the original characters from Reptar’s cap to Tommy’s hair to the various outfit,s but with an adult edge to them. It’s amazing to imagine how these kids grow up in such a weird way.
8 Quail Lady
Doug was one of the more unique Nick cartoons in that it actually tackled some realistic antics amid the usual cartoon fun. Doug himself was often put upon by other kids and thus escaped into daydreams to handle his life. Among them was Quail Man, his superhero alter ego. Akali-Layke looks fantastic as a female Doug in the costume with red cape flowing and her green shirt and shorts are very striking. This cosplay flies high nicely.
7 Wicked Winx
Created in Italy, The Winx Club has become a massive hit in the United States thanks to airing on Nick. It focuses on a pack of fairies using their magic to defend a mystical realm while also relying on friendship. The duo of Emy 182 pose as main fairies Bloom and Stella. While the wings are nice, it’s the alluring beauty of the two that makes this cosplay stand out majorly. It’s fun to see them working together for some very stylish magic.
6 Yu-Gi Wow!
While dismissed as a strange mix of Pokémon and Dragon Ball, Yu-Gi-Oh has become one of the most popular anime series once shown on Nick. Fans have loved cosplaying these characters for years and several of them are very good. YaBoyMegan offers a terrific turn on Yugi, capturing that wild pointy hair and those strange eyes. It does slip a bit into the “uncanny valley” territory but it does look very alluring and YaBoy manages to make this take on the anime character look very hot.
5 Two Good Things
CatDog had the classic idea of a cat and a dog who were mortal enemies forced to live together. But the show pushed the idea further by having them actually bonded to the same body. Yep, the 1990s were a weird time for kids shows. On the one hand, these cosplayers don’t link the costume together which can be a mark against it, but they actually look great with the nice makeup and matching outfits and the heels make it look better. This is one fusion fans wouldn’t mind.
4 Ahh Indeed (Chrisscreama)
Aahh!! Real Monsters was one of Nick’s nuttier cartoons. It focused on a pack of wild creatures getting into adventures with main characters that were gross, but made it work. Oblina was the most famous of the bunch for his ability to yank her own internal organs out of her body at times. Chrisscreama does a wonderful job making the black and white suit look alluring to showcase a monster no one would scream at... at least not in the frightened way.
3 Who Lives in a Pineapple?
It’s hard to find a bigger Nick cartoon hit than Spongebob Squarepants. The antics of the dim-witted but lovable sponge and his undersea friends have inspired toys, video games, movies, and even a Broadway musical. It’s safe to say that the duo of Amapolchen make Spongebob and best buddy Patrick look very different. The yellow and pink skin come out brightly and the unique outfits make them stand out even more. This may be worth going underwater just to see.
2 Amazing Aang
Avatar the Last Airbender is one of the most revered Nick cartoons ever. Even the horrible live-action movie can’t ruin the amazing animation and storyline. Cosplayers have loved to portray protagonist Aang with his bald head and markings. A female version with hair sounds like absolute blasphemy. Yet Heno Art manages to make it work. Her Aang is beautiful as the lush dark hair makes the head marking stand out even more and the outfit is great. It shows any character can be “gender bent” for a terrific look.
1 Gripping Goku
Manny Llanura captured this image for a nice take on Dragon Ball Z’s main warrior (though it was Kai that specifically aired on Nick.) Anime fans are acquainted with how Goku can go all-out in battles with wild attacks that end up rending his clothing. Somehow, this cosplayer manages to make it look great while avoiding having it be too revealing. It captures Goku’s intensity and athleticism while also adding a terrific beauty to it all. The torn outfit is very alluring to make this a great gender-bent outfit.