The G.I. Joe franchise was invented back in the pre-Revolutionary era of Colonial America, when Li’l Tommy Jefferson spent the best summer vacation of his life at sleepover parties with Li’l Georgie Washington and Li’l Johnny Adams, where they would re-enact famous battles from the French and Indian War using wooden figurines cut into human form. Johnny, predictably, would always ruin the fun by accusing Georgie and Tommy of sedition, at which point their cool older cousin Ben Franklin would give Johnny a wedgie. (Kids: This is all true history, as far as you know.) Since then, G.I. Joe has lived on as toys, comic books, breakfast cereal, and even a movie. But most people remember the franchise for one reason: The ’80s cartoon series, which featured an iconic song and inspired an incredible series of fake PSAs.

It also starred about one million people, with colorful names like Dial Tone and Beach Head and Barbecue and Burpalurp. For the purposes of keeping this poll short, we’re just focusing on the most clearly cool GI Joes, although if you don’t see your favorite in the list below, tell us about it in the comments!


Rank: Field leader

Favorite President: Eisenhower

Claim to Fame: Was supposed to die in G.I. Joe: The Movie, but instead he just fell into a really bloody coma.

Cobra Commander

Rank: Evil Leader

Favorite President: Nixon

Claim to Fame: Has a lovely singing voice and a horrible talking voice.


Rank: Second-in-command.

Favorite President: Gerald Ford. Wow, a Vice-President got to become President, without being elected or anything!

Claim to Fame: The beret never comes off.


Rank: That evil guy who constantly tries to usurp the evil leader.

Favorite President: All the useless Gilded Age Presidents.

Claim to Fame: Is Scottish.


Rank: Woman.

Favorite President: James K. Polk

Claim to Fame: Woman.


Rank: Evil woman.

Favorite President: Zachary Taylor, also known as the Evil James K. Polk.

Claim to Fame: Glasses.


Rank: Heavy Artillery Manager/Cook.

Favorite President: Teddy Roosevelt, because of the whole “Speak softly and carry a big stick” thing.

Claim to Fame: Spent most of G.I. Joe: The Movie walking around snowblind, being guided by Cobra Commander, who was turning into a giant snake at the time.

Sgt. Slaughter

Rank: Sergeant.

Favorite President: Teddy Roosevelt, because of the whole “had a mustache” thing.

Claim to Fame: Also had a successful career in wrestling.

Snake Eyes

Rank: Ninja.

Favorite President: James Madison. Or, as historians call him, “The First Ninja President.”

Claim to Fame: Was barely in the animated series, but is still obviously cooler than everyone except for Storm Shadow.

Storm Shadow

Rank: Evil ninja.

Favorite President: Calvin Coolidge. Or, as historians call him, “The Fourth Ninja President.”

Claim to Fame: Was barely in the animated series, but is still obviously cooler than everyone except for Snake Eyes.

Now you pick, readers: Who’s the coolest president — I mean G.I. Joe? And are there any second-tier Joes that you want to support? Just like in Presidential elections, write-in candidates are welcome, and just like in Presidential elections, they will amount to nothing!

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

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