Green Characters

Seth Rogen becomes the masked Green Hornet in this weekend's highly buzzed comic book movie. But what other characters have gone green? From loved and loathed muppets to a sage Star Wars sage, see more than 20 emerald stars!

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Alter Ego

Good: The Green Hornet

This emerald-masked vigilante debuted in 1936 on The Green Hornet radio program before appearing in several comics and eventually being adapted into a short-lived 1960s TV show. Now, he’s being featured in Michel Gondry’s new film of the same name, starring Knocked Up slacker Seth Rogen as the trench coat-wearing crusader. The Green Hornet is the alias for Britt Reid, a billionaire playboy and the son of a slain newspaper publisher. He cruises around with his similarly masked sidekick Kato in their souped-up ride Black Beauty, ridding the streets of crime.

Evil: The Green Goblin

One of Spider-Man’s archenemies, this supervillain from the Marvel Comics universe gives all things moss-toned a bad name. The Green Goblin, a.k.a. Norman Osborn, is an industrialist who took a serum that granted him superhuman strength and, subsequently, drove him completely insane. His getup consists of a heavy metal ensemble and a bat-shaped “Goblin Glider,” from which he hurls pumpkin bombs and wreaks havoc. The goblin-induced damage is expected to continue with his offspring the “New Goblin” in the upcoming installment of the film franchise, Spider-Man 3. No word yet on what color he’ll be.

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Good: Kermit the Frog

“Kermie,” as Miss Piggy affectionately called him, was one of Jim Henson’s original Muppets and the most genial amphibian in show business. He was adored for his wry sense of humor, his sensibility, and his tendency to make the best of every situation because, after all, it’s not easy being green. Even when he moved on to bigger roles as the diplomatic stage manager of The Muppet Show and the star of the Muppet movies, Kermit remembered his humble beginnings as a tadpole from the swamp who lived by the motto, “Time’s fun when you’re having flies.”

Evil: Oscar the Grouch

Although originally orange in the show’s 1969 debut season, the resident green misanthrope of Sesame Street is thorny, to say the least. He’s dirty, lives in a garbage can, and is a compulsive hoarder of seemingly useless crap. His favorite thing in the whole wide world is trash. In fact, he loves it so much that he even sang an ode to it. So how’d he get so grouchy? Oscar’s rumored to be based on everyone from a rude cab driver to a particularly grumpy waiter at Oscar’s Tavern in New York City.

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Good: Flubber

In a last-ditch effort to raise enough money to save his school, Professor Brainard (Robin Williams) develops a new energy source—a green, slimy substance called “Flubber” (a portmanteau for “flying rubber”) in the 1997 family film of the same name. Though at first Flubber can’t be controlled, Brainard finds it can be a force for good, i.e. chasing off goons with a Flubber-coated bowling ball and developing Flubber-padded shoes for the school’s struggling basketball team. Eventually, Brainard sells the new substance, saving the school and solidifying Flubber’s spot in the limelight.

Evil: Slimer

“Sir, what you had there was what we refer to as a focused non-terminal repeating phantasm, or a Class 5 Full Roaming Vapor. A real nasty one, too,” Dr. Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) said of Slimer in the 1984 comedy Ghostbusters. The “disgusting blob” creature—replete with two skinny arms, no feet, several chins, and an insatiable appetite—terrorizes the legendary ghost capturers. It’s rumored that Aykroyd referred to Slimer as “the ghost of John Belushi” on set since the role of Peter Venkman, which went to Bill Murray, was originally written for Belushi.

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Good: Shrek

Despite his misanthropic ways, this curmudgeonly, Scottish-accented, big, green ogre just wants to be loved. In the first film of the franchise, Shrek (Mike Myers) admits that he has become a recluse because he tried—and failed—to find acceptance among others. He soon falls in love with Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz), who appears to be a beautiful human, but is actually an ogress who hides her emerald skin courtesy of a spell. The princess eventually gives in to Shrek’s charms and the two fall in love and become the proud parents of ogre triplets in the franchise’s conclusion Shrek the Third, making them one big, green happy family.

Evil: The Grinch

This creature, sprung from the imagination of Dr. Seuss, gives new meaning to word “hater” and has become synonymous with the anti-Christmas spirit. A furry green humanoid creature with red eyes and a devious snarl, the Grinch has a shriveled heart “two sizes too small.” This, combined with his hatred of all things Christmas, compels him to disguise himself in a Santa costume and—aided by his dog, Max, who is dressed in a reindeer outfit and pulls the sleigh—steal all the presents and decorations from his fellow Whoville citizens.

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Good: Yoshi

Though he first appeared in blue, red, and yellow variations when he debuted in 1990s Super Nintendo videogame Super Mario World, the Yoshi many know and love is a jolly green dinosaur with a long, sticky tongue that lays spotted eggs. He’s is an integral part of Nintendo’s Mario universe and, as a friend of Mario, sometimes gives the diminutive Italian plumber a ride on his back, helping him fly over the menacing mushrooms and fiery fuzzy flowers.

Evil: Godzilla

Known for terrorizing Japanese cities—and leaving waves of civilians in a state of fear-induced hysteria—this daikaijū (Japanese movie monster) was created by atomic radiation gone awry. This giant, mutated dinosaur first appeared in an eponymous 1954 film and has since become one of the most easily recognizable pop-culture icons to emanate from Japan, also appearing in videogames, comics, a television series, and more. His long, whipping tail can clear out entire city buildings and his strident roar is sometimes accented with fire.

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Good: Phillie Phanatic

One of the most easily recognizable mascots in sports is the Philadelphia Phillies’ rotund, furry, green creature with a cylindrical beak and long tongue. Named after the remarkably passionate fans of the team, the Phanatic was created in 1978, with the help of Harrison/Erickson of New York City (which had ties with Jim Henson’s Muppets), as a way to attract more families to the ballpark. The Phanatic can usually be seen cruising around the stadium in an ATV, shooting hot dogs into the stands, greeting fans, or taunting the visiting team… in the friendliest of ways, of course.

Evil: Green Man from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Although the Phillie Phanatic made a cameo in an episode of FX’s cult comedy series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Green Man is the show’s chief mascot. Charlie Kelly (Charlie Day) assumes this wacky persona in a green, full-body lycra suit, and is often seen hurling volleyballs at people’s heads or kicking them in the crotch. The character first appeared in the series’ third season, inspired by one of the co-creator’s friends who, following a big Philadelphia Eagles win over the Dallas Cowboys, stripped down to a similar suit, as legend has it, while his friends began chanting, “Green Man! Green Man!”

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Leading Lady

Good: She-Hulk

Jennifer Susan Walters—the cousin of Bruce Banner (a.k.a. The Incredible Hulk)—transforms into She-Hulk, a curvy, Amazonian superheroine created by Stan Lee for Marvel Comics. She first appeared in 1980, and, as the story goes, was shot and seriously wounded, leaving Bruce Banner to save her life and the day. He gave her his blood for a transfusion, mixing his radioactive blood with hers, and causing her to also become a green-skinned creature with superhuman strength. When Walters was not being green, She-Hulk was a highly capable lawyer who often represented other superheroes in lawsuits.

Evil: The Wicked Witch of the West

“I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!” exclaims the Wicked Witch of the West to Dorothy Gale and her canine companion Toto in the 1939 film classic, The Wizard of Oz. She’s the story’s primary villain, coveting Dorothy’s magical slippers that were previously owned by her sister, the Wicked Witch of the East. With her green skin, black garb, pointed witch’s hat, magical broom, and flock of flying monkeys, she is the quintessence of evil, seeking revenge against Dorothy for killing her sister.

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Good: Toy Story’s Squeeze Toy Aliens

This collection of lime green, three-eyed rubber aliens clad in spacesuits appeared in the first Toy Story inside a claw machine arcade game. They were under the impression that the imposing claw decided their destiny and their lives were eventually saved by Mr. Potato Head in Toy Story 2. The “eternally grateful” group proceeded to follow Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head around wherever they went. In the third installment of the Disney/Pixar franchise, Toy Story 3, a trio of the tiny extraterrestrials saves the day, rescuing all the toys as they head toward an incinerator with a claw crane. The squeeze toy aliens are eventually adopted by the Potato Heads and bound to wonder how they wound up the fluorescent shade they are with two tan parents.

Evil: Signs

The disgraced Mel Gibson played widower and former priest Graham Hess, who is being terrorized by a pack of aliens in M. Night Shyamalan’s 2002 blockbuster, Signs. After mysterious crop circles start popping up all over the globe, strange things start happening at the Hess family farm in Pennsylvania, including shadowy figures darting about and clicking noises over a baby monitor that sound like aliens communicating. The large, greenish-brown aliens, with long, emaciated torsos, scaly skin, large heads, and deep-set eyes, eventually appear before the Hesses, leaving them no choice but to fight back.


Good: Jolly Green Giant

The Green Giant Food Company’s mascot was created by Leo Burnett. He first appeared in a 1953 TV commercial as a leafy toga-clad, stop-motion animated character clenching a can of Niblets in one hand and a can of peas in the other. In the early 1960s, the Jolly Green Giant was portrayed in human form with its signature song: “Good things from the garden / Garden in the valley / Valley of the Jolly ('ho, ho, ho') Green Giant!” The mascot has since become one of the most well-known in popular culture—Michael Jackson even had a giant statue of him in his home, but don’t hold that against this friendly giant.

Evil: The Green M&M

When consumers voted that the Blue M&M should replace the tan M&Ms in early 1995, Mars Inc. launched a worldwide ad campaign for the new candy, featuring a collection of computer animated “spokescandies” in their commercials. There was the crotchety red milk chocolate M&M, the giddy yellow peanut M&M, the antsy orange crispy M&M, and the seductive green M&M, voiced by Cree Summer. As the only female “spokescandy,” she boasted knee-high white boots, pouty lips, long eyelashes, and attitude to spare. As the chocolate take on the classic femme fatale, she’s bound to get herself or others into trouble.

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Good: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

These four pizza-loving “heroes in a half-shell” form a team of anthropomorphic turtles who were created by toxic ooze and trained in the art of ninjitsu by their similarly mutated rat sensei, Splinter. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are muscle-bound, human-like creatures named after four Renaissance artists: Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael. Though they live in the sewers of New York City, they also rid the Big Apple of various crime elements, including their lifelong nemesis, Shredder.

Evil: Gremlins

Based on a mischievous beings from English folklore, these devious creatures appeared in Joe Dante’s 1984 horror-comedy film Gremlins and its 1990 sequel Gremlins 2: The New Batch. The first of the Mogwai, as they are called, is purchased as a gift for a teenage boy in Chinatown. He names the creature, which has a tiny body covered in brown and white fur and big, loving eyes, Gizmo. Since Mogwai cannot be exposed to sunlight or water or eat after midnight, Gizmo’s contact with water can only lead to problems. It soon births a batch of five hell-raising creatures that, unlike Gizmo, are reptilian with sharp teeth and claws. The scaly “Gremlins” leave a tidal wave of destruction in their wake, exhibiting their own, perverse brand of fun.

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Hairless Icon

Good: Yoda

This miniature green puppet is a wise Jedi Master who speaks almost entirely in proverbs. He first appeared in George Lucas’ Star Wars sequel, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, training young up-and-coming Jedi Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) on the forest planet Dagobah in the ways of the Force. In the final installment of the prequel trilogy Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Yoda unleashed a can of light saber whoop-ass on Emperor Palpatine, since he’s always there in times of trouble. “Help you I can, yes,” he says.

Evil: The Mask

The plot of Jim Carrey’s 1994 comic fantasy film revolves around a magical mask that’s imbued with the spirit of Loki, the Norse god of darkness and mischief. It grants its wearer near-limitless power, as well as an exaggerated appearance, including a green head and a seriously large set of chompers. Carrey stars as a shy bank teller who, with the power of the mask, transforms into a wildly exuberant ladies’ man, eventually romancing mobster girlfriend Tina Carlyle (Cameron Diaz) and having it made—that is, until the mask falls into the mob’s hands. The Mask also spawned a horrific sequel, 2005’s Son of the Mask, which is reason enough to deem it evil.

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Good: Cee-Lo Green

As one-half of soul-funk duo Gnarls Barkley, Cee-Lo Green first rose to fame with the hit song, “Crazy.” But his popularity reached a fever pitch with the release of his 2010 smash, “ Fuck You,” the first single off his critically acclaimed new solo album, The Lady Killer. The song quickly became a mantra for every wronged man or woman and has since infiltrated the mainstream with a G-rated version of the tune, “ Forget You,” which actress Gwyneth Paltrow sung on the Fox’s hit TV series, Glee.

Evil: Tom Green

This Canadian comedian and media personality first unleashed his signature brand of puerile humor in 1999 when MTV aired The Tom Green Show, a variety program similar to MTV’s Jackass (minus the cool stunts). Green performed a series of silly skits and went on to release a terribly stupid comedy song, “ Lonely Swedish (The Bum Bum Song)." He eventually segued into film with a brief appearance in the 2000 comedy Road Trip, followed by his first starring role in the 2001 bomb, Freddy Got Fingered, which was nominated for a Golden Raspberry for Worst Movie of the Decade. His greatest professional achievement? Marrying Drew Barrymore for a hot Hollywood minute.