Anything Left-Handed > Blog Posts > Newsletter articles > March 2012 > Left-handed cartoon characters

Left-handed cartoon characters

While most cartoon characters are either right-handed or change hands to fit whatever makes the best pose for a particular frame, we have noticed that there seem to be quite a few cartoon characters that are clearly and consistently left-handed.

Examples include:

  • Bart Simpson, Ned Flanders and Mr Burns from The Simpsons (and, occasionally, Marge) – The show's creator, Matt Groening, is himself left-handed.
  • Chuckie from Rugrats
  • Link – the sword-wielding hero from The Legend of Zelda
  • Chris Griffin from Family Guy
  • Doug Funnie from Doug
  • Arnold from Hey Arnold!

And if we include puppets as well:

  • Kermit the Frog from The Muppets
    (a creation of the late Jim Henson, also left-handed, as were a lot of the other Muppets)
  • Bear in the Big Blue House

We are sure you know many more examples and if you do please add them as a comment to this article below and if you can put a link to a page where there is a picture of them being left-handed that would be great and we will build up our list.

What is it that makes the artist or animator draw a left-handed character? We would be very interested in your thoughts:

Is it because the artist is left-handed?

Are there more left-handed cartoon artists than you would expect from the 10% or so of left-handers in the population?

Is there anything special about animation that makes a left-handed character easier to draw than the right-handed ones?

Is it because when a cartoonist is drawing them he draws their writing hand on the same side as his writing hand (his right, their left)?

Are there deliberate reasons for making some characters left-handed – to seem a bit “quirky” or rebellious (Bart?)

Left-handed puppets are interesting. The Big Blue Bear is left-handed on the show; he seems to do most things with his left hand. This is because the head controls are important and a right-handed puppeteer's right hand is busy moving the head and mouth and has to do other things with their left hand. In a similar fashion, a lot of The Muppets are left-handed, because their puppeteers are right-handed, so the right hand is almost always used to operate the puppet's head.

What about left-handed puppeteers? Is it really hard to do as the puppets are designed for right-handed use?

We found this video that gives some explanations:

Talking about Link, the star of the Zelda series, he claims it was “inherited” from his Dad, the game designer who is left-handed himself. However, in later versions of the game Link turned right-handed for far more practical reasons to do with the controller positions on Gamebox, Wii and Nintendo machines.

We would also be interested in links to cartoons about being left-handed. Here is one page we found (though not particularly funny!)
http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/l/left_handed.asp
I am sure we can find funnier cartoons than these?

Please post your views on this and any other left-handed characters you can find as comments below.

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Posted in March 2012

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48 comments on “Left-handed cartoon characters
  1. Gary says:

    Marge Simpson stated in an episode she was born lefthanded but didn’t want to be seen as different so she forced herself to be righthanded and is shown to be ambidextrous in some episodes.

  2. D Birks says:

    I seem to remember Calvin’s mum from the cartoon strip Calvin and Hobbes is left handed.

  3. Lisi says:

    Tina from Bob’s Burger

  4. Michelle says:

    Tiana from Princess and the Frog.

  5. AD says:

    I’ve noticed that Stewie Griffin uses his left hand a lot.

  6. David Aldred says:

    I used to be in the animation industry but before that, I studied fashion design, and whilst learning to cut patters and sew I became very sensitive to the way garments are fastened – left over right for men, right over left for women. I often see apparently left-handed animated characters but I also see male animated characters wearing apparently female clothes. So I’m afraid that many apparently left-handed cartoon characters might be the product of animators simply drawing what they see in the mirror – indeed, the mirror is a very useful aid for an animator, helping them visualise facial expressions.

  7. James says:

    I am the creator of the webcomic “Adam & Andy.” As a left-handed person, I made one of the title characters, Adam, a southpaw. He is usually shown holding pens, cups, and utensils in his left hand. https://adamandandy.com

  8. Bonnie says:

    I once had an interview with the creator of Doug ( Funny), Jim Jinkins. I remember that was also left-handed.

  9. Reece says:

    Buzz lighthyear could be left handed you see it in episode conspiracy in his house he writes with his left

  10. Reece says:

    Buzz lighthyear in buzz lighthyear of Star command episode conspiracy you see buzz at his house and writing with his left hand should we ask Disney

    • Ketty says:

      Jerry from Tom and Jerry
      https://www.reddit.com/r/southpaws/comments/36f32o/jerry_from_the_cartoon_tom_and_jerry_is_lefthanded/

  11. Valentina Crispi says:

    Since someone was talking about Undertale, we have to say that SANS from Undertale is left handed as well!! It’s quite clear throughout the game, and in his boss battle.

  12. Saiyan says:

    It’s a little underground but both Ruby Rose and Weiss Schnee from the web series RWBY are left handed. The creator of the show, Monty Oum, has stated that they are both left handed because he himself, is left handed.

  13. ForgottenScar M says:

    Dilbert. In one of the episodes when he goes to a different country, a man says that using your left is not allowed.. And he was found using his left at the dinner table.

  14. Eden Rhodes says:

    Lying I and Frisk from Undertale are both left handed as well! I am too!

  15. Aiden says:

    You should write an article about left handed video game characters and actors/actresses. Rosalina from Super Mario Galaxy and Mrs. Incredible from the Incredibles are two examples. Thank you for taking my ideas into consideration- Aiden

  16. Kaleb says:

    On Gravity Falls, I saw Stan’s Brother, Ford, write in the Journal with his left hand, so he should be on this list.

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