The 50 Greatest G.I. Joe Characters of All Time

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by Howie Decker @HowardTheDeck on June 26, 2017

in G.I. Joe, Lists

20. Mutt & Junkyard

Part of 1984’s third series of G.I. Joe figures, Mutt launched the wildly popular “Joes with Pets” program. Every panelist that ranked him listed him as Mutt & Junkyard, indicating they are an inseparable pair. My guess is that minus Junkyard, Mutt’s only claim to fame would be starring in one of the top 5 Fensler Film PSAs.

Stop all the downloadin’!


19. Gung Ho

The only Joe whose female family members can defeat a small legion of Cobra Troopers. Long-rumored video game based on Gung Ho – Battlefield Attire: Casual – was never made.


18. Tunnel Rat

He keeps turning up, so there must be some attachment to him, right?  Best character on Renegades. -Mike


17. Alpine

Alpine debuted in 1985, apparently because there were a shit ton of unclimbed mountains in the G.I. Joe universe. His real name is Albert Pine. Get it? Al Pine? This guy’s future occupation was more predetermined than frozen treat mogul Yum E. Yogurtstand.


16. Jinx

I really wanted to include an image of Elodie Yung as Jinx in the upcoming G.I. Joe: Retaliation, but I had to remind myself that it hasn’t happened yet. Panelists are basing their rankings on what we know of the character, and the Retaliation version could change our opinions of Jinx.


15. Spirit

In the Sunbow episodes, it seemed like Spirit had more epic hand-to-hand battles with Storm Shadow than Snake Eyes did. Spirit is one of the Joes that when standing alongside a poorly chosen mission partner can give that “Village People” look we Joe fans fear.


14. Outback

If Hasbro had applied the Outback Uniform Design Strategy to other Joes released in 1987, Crazy Legs might have come out wearing a white t-shirt that said ‘JUMPING’.


13. Dusty

Dusty’s real name is Ronald W. Tadur, which is an anagram of Hasbro artist Ron Rudat. Makes me wonder why no Joe was ever named Lawrence Maha.


12. Chuckles

Chuckles, for me, was the epitome of bad-mother-fucker as a kid. Here was a guy, in the middle of all these drab greens, greys, & browns, wearing a Hawaiian shirt into battle – damn the camo! His filecard said it all – “he knows the risks of being undercover, and he willingly took those risks”. His development and personality written in the G.I. Joe: Cobra I & II series from IDW just cemented how awesome he is in my eyes. -Jay


11. Duke

The erstwhile leader, G.I. Joe just can’t be done right without him.  One of the main stars of the Sunbow cartoon, and the focus of about every animated G.I. Joe project afterwards.  Loses some points for being such a non-entity in the Marvel Comics; Hama hated him and preferred Stalker as his field commander. -Mike


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Lamar the Revenger December 11, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Great list!! Glad the Lady Jaye/Flint punch out picture made it! And as Gung-Ho would say: “Oh, look at you and your different colored hats!”

Howie Decker December 11, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Thanks Lamar! It’s funny, I had such a hard time not making every individual write up somehow reference the Fensler Film PSAs. I had to get a couple in there (Mutt, Roadblock), but I easily could have done it for so many others. Thanks for commenting!

Will December 11, 2012 at 5:04 pm

I demand to know the judges behind this! Make their identities known!!!

Howie Decker December 11, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Finally fixed link!

Engineernerd December 12, 2012 at 6:53 am

I will fess up.

James December 12, 2012 at 10:16 am

I’m just gonna go ahead and leave a comment on this page before I leave it and go on to #40-1. BRAVO. Brilliantly executed, planned, and great list of panelists!

Bravo December 12, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Pretty sure Sgt. Slaughter/Robert Remus’s contract with Hasbro had ended by the Gulf War.

Howie Decker December 12, 2012 at 3:38 pm

The Gulf War started in August of 1990 and this figure was still on the market:

They made another Sgt. Slaughter figure in 06 and 2 more in 2010. If his contract was up, that didn’t stop Hasbro from cranking out figures once the heel angle was done with WWF/WWE.

Justin December 13, 2012 at 4:53 pm

I see what you did there.

Awesome job putting the list together! I approve. 🙂

Howie Decker December 13, 2012 at 8:30 pm

Couldn’t have done it without you- thanks again! It was fun! Cobra should be out early next week.

J May 10, 2013 at 1:29 am

#1 Spot should be: William “Refrigerator” Perry, “breakin’ the Cobra line!”

Maurice Mitchell August 26, 2013 at 10:14 pm

I’m surprised Sgt. Slaughter didn’t make it higher, but Lamar is right Lady Jaye/Flint are inspired choices.

Howard Decker August 27, 2013 at 4:48 pm

I think Sarge wore out his welcome quickly with the older fans and with non-WWF fans. He was comically unbeatable. Yeah LJ is definitely top 10 for me.

Howard Decker August 27, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Who would your top 5 be?

Maurice Mitchell August 27, 2013 at 7:43 pm

Definitely Fridge for his goofy football hammer. Lady J and Destro in that order.

Joel August 27, 2013 at 10:40 pm

1- William “Refrigerator” Perry
2- Sgt. Slaughter
3- Roddy Piper (appeared as figure only)
4- Clutch
5- The baseball uniform guy

Howard Decker August 28, 2013 at 1:00 am


Walls April 15, 2014 at 12:17 am

Shipwreck is a top 10 worldwide. In other languages with other voices. So its a great character not just for Neil Ross (Sorry my english)

Tbonejones July 3, 2014 at 5:43 pm

They need to take more guys and update them like they did with ripcored like more depth to them.

Jackie Jormpjomp August 5, 2014 at 3:23 pm

Snake Eyes. All that matters is Snake Eyes is number one. In the comics he was one of the most interesting characters brought to life. Mute, scarred, dressed in black, tragic origin story, he could have easily been a villain, but those (at the time) groundbreaking pieces of his character actually made him more complex and mysterious while remaining noble. He was a secondary character in the cartoons (and all but forgotten in the animated 80s film) but in print he remains a very cool badass.

Rick Dominguez June 8, 2015 at 8:06 pm

Love this list. I was hoping to see my all time favorite JOE. His name was Salvo.
Don’t know anything about his background, all I know is he was one bad ass motha.

Loose Cannon August 12, 2015 at 2:54 pm

List is a little suspect, Snow Job #2? More like 30. I’m glad it opened up to all forms of GIJoe, but most of those outside the original COmic and Cartoons shouldn’t place in the top 50 IMO.

Here is a link to HISSTANK members voting on the same thing.

It should be (Give or take a few spots):
1. Snake-Eyes
2. Flint
3. Duke
4. Scarlett
5. Roadblock
6. Lady-Jaye
7. Shipwreck
8. Stalker
9. Beachhead
10. Gung-Ho
11. Hawk
12. Sgt. Slaughter
13. Rock’n’Roll
14. Lt. Falcon
15. Tunnel-Rat
16. Spirit
17. Wild-Bill
18. Outback
19. Dusty
20. Lowlight
21. Chuckles
22. Cover-Girl

Tait June 30, 2016 at 6:38 pm

I wholeheartedly agree with Snake Eyes being number 1. If a series, animated movie, or live action movie messes up Snake Eyes they are surely doomed. I’ve seen Snake Eyes steal the show on shows fans don’t like and I don’t hear them complaining about Snake Eyes or Storm Shadow.

HERNAN November 17, 2016 at 12:03 pm

This list looks like the 50 worst G.I. Joe of History!

Of course I am a Cobra fan! 🙂

I will not order them by number, I’ll just keep these. The others are crap.

Rock ‘n Roll
Snake Eyes

JC May 25, 2019 at 1:30 pm

I’m surprised Bazooka didn’t make the list.

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