Everyone loves a redemption story. You know the kind: The underdog who had the odds turned against her, but after hard work and unrelenting dedication, success became them. Let these awesome characters inspire you and remember that just because you didn’t start off on the right foot, it doesn’t mean you can’t turn things around for the better.
Let these five fictional characters who went on to do really cool things inspire you today:
1. Shaggy Rogers From Scooby Doo
Video courtesy of TheSDCaseFiles
Shaggy goes to military school and gets in trouble for not shaving his chin stubble. Even when he and Scooby get separated from Daphne, Fred, and Velma (hence the musical refrain “Scooby Dooby Doo! Where are You?”) they always manage to nab the bad guy. “Like Scooby! We did something!”
2. Enid Coleslaw From Ghost World
Image Courtesy of witchcraft
Enid Coleslaw (Thora Birch) skates along in a post-high school miasma looking for deeper meaning in life. We think Enid epitomizes the feeling of uncertainty that emerges when a person is ready to make a decision that matters, but is overwhelmed with the anxiety that comes with growing up. The movie ends with Enid boarding a bus, not sure of what her future holds. But that's a good thing.
3. Phillip (Lip) Gallagher From Shameless
Image courtesy of Showtime
The American version of Shameless plops Lip (Jeremy Allen White) in the Southside of Chicago. Lip earns dubious credit for writing his friends’ high school essays, but underneath his slacker opportunism, he works hard to be there for his family (and he’s smart). With encouragement from his girlfriend, Lip applies to the University of Chicago and is accepted with a full scholarship — where he decides to write his own college essays.
4. Michelangelo From Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Image courtesy of TMNT Thirtieth-Anniversary
A green turtle with an orange mask can teach us that having a little fun is necessary for success. Michelangelo works hard at being the party dude and his three brothers (Raphael, Donatello, and Leonardo) act way more disciplined by comparison; however, he’s no goofball when it comes to fighting bad guys with those gnarly nunchucks. We’re thinking he’s learned the skill of channeling his love for lox and cream cheese pizzas into doing good (for example, getting rid of Bebop and Rocksteady). Cowabunga, dude!
5. George Lass From Dead Like Me
There is nothing like a job change to motivate you to be successful. George Lass (Ellen Muth) is an eighteen year old college drop-out. She lands an office job at Happy Time (where she is obviously not happy). She dies from blunt force trauma caused by a toilet seat fallen from an orbiting space station. In death, George takes on a new role as a grim reaper. George learns to work with a motley reaper crew headed up by Mandy Patinkin, but to pay the bills she still has to keep her 9 to 5 job (it’s complicated!). Even though she resists the responsibilities of being a reaper, she learns that when a reaper has reached a certain quota, she is ready for a higher level. Too bad the show was eventually canceled. We’re thinking George finds her mission in life.