12 Funny Sports Mascots and Their Hilarious Origins

Funny sports mascots have been used since the beginning of the twentieth century to get people invested in the game in front of them. Among the first sports to bring mascots into play were baseball’s Chicago Cubs who took a taxidermy bear onto the field with them.

We’ve unquestionably come very far from that. Today’s costumed mascots are fun, hilarious, morale-boosting, (mostly) family-friendly, and a combination of classic sports iconography with the new school. We wanted to share some of the funniest sports mascots in history.

Here is a list of funny sports mascots and their hilarious background origins:

1. San Diego Chicken – Mascot of San Diego Padres

This funny mascot is well-respected among sports fans from all backgrounds. Supporting the San Diego Padres, the San Diego Chicken was even part-inspiration for the many iconic Family Guy Peter Griffin/Chicken fight moments. The San Diego Chicken routinely taunts rivals and engages in questionable on-field antics that has always kept people laughing.

With such a long-lasting legacy, The San Diego Chicken is definitely an example of a classic sports mascot!


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2. Sammy The Banana Slug – Mascot of UC Santa Cruz

The UC Santa Cruz Banana Slug is one of the stranger mascots in the NCAA. It’s not quite clear why the team decided to take on the name of ‘Slugs’ but nonetheless, the university’s made the best of it. The Banana Slug’s infamous appearance has penetrated pop culture, being featured in everything from late night sports clips to appearing on a t-shirt worn by Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction.


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3. Phillie Phanatic – Mascot of Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillie Phanatic is as antagonistic as the team it represents. A classic in the catalogue of mascots, the Phillie Phanatic has done so well making people laugh, he’s seen time on both Late Night with David Letterman and 30 Rock.


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4. Rocket – Mascot of Denver Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets’ Rocky is a lovable, hilarious mascot that has come to be perhaps Denver’s most iconic basketball superstar. The mountain lion continues to delight fans far and wide with its many roaring antics.


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5. The Racing Sausages – Mascot of Milwaukee Brewers

If you’ve never heard of the Racing Sausages, you might be thinking, what the heck is this!? The Racing Sausages are the mascots for the Milwaukee Brewers. They’re surrealistic, absurd, ridiculous, and so, so, so funny.


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6. Youppi! – Mascot of Montreal Canadiens

Just look at Youppi! One of Canada’s favourites, Youppi is Montreal Canadiens’ mascot. Although we don’t have any idea what a Youppi is, the funny sports mascot has been a powerful image throughout Montreal for decades. Originally the mascot of the Montreal Expos team, it was adopted by the Canadiens when the Expos left the city. Fun fact: Youppi is the first mascot to ever be thrown out of an MLB game.


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7. The Fighting Artichoke – Mascot of Scottsdale Community College

How threatening is an artichoke – turns out very! The Scottsdale Community College’s Fighting Artichoke is our favourite funny vegetable mascot. The Artichokes were originally a name given to the College after the student body discovered the College was using scholarship money designed to help Aboriginal students and instead, using it to attract athletes to come to their school. In response, the students thought of the most ridiculous, laugh-worthy name possible. We love it!


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8. Lil’ Red – Mascot of Nebraska Cornhuskers

Lil’ Red belongs to the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Although Herbie Husker is their main mascot, his younger counterpart Lil’ Red has won most of the attention. An absolutely hilarious mascot, Lil’ Red will regularly dance, surf in the crowd, and get kids invested in the game. Some have said Lil’ Red’s a little creepy but he’s won enough fans that we expect to see him on the field for decades to come.


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9. Scrotie – Mascot of Rhode Island School of Design

When you go to an art school, you expect things to come out a little weird. You can leave it to the Rhode Island School of Design to come up with something equally offensive as it is funny. Scrotie is exactly as you might expect – an anthropomorphic penis and testicles. As the result of a 2001 student competition, today’s version of Scrotie can be seen on the field supporting the School’s sports team in a red cape.


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10. The Stanford Tree – Mascot of Stanford

The Stanford Tree is officially the band’s mascot. It’s won such a reputation for being funny and unpredictable that since debuting in 1975, the Tree’s actually been banned from a half-dozen schools like Notre Dame, BYU, and Oregon. Sure, watching the Stanford Tree run across the field, you might not know what to think or what you’re looking at. That said, we can almost guarantee the Tree is a funny sports mascot that will give you a laugh.


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11. Fighting Okra – Mascot of Delta State

No one thinks of okra as a vegetable looking for a fight and yet, here we are! Dress it up with a pair of boxing gloves and a mean expression on its face, and you’ve got Delta State’s Fighting Okra. Unforgettable and funny, the Fighting Okra continues to win new fans with each new semester.


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12. Brutus Buckeye – Mascot of Ohio State

Ohio State’s Brutus Buckeye almost resembles a horror villain a la Freddie Krueger as he does a mascot. Nonetheless, since the mid-1960s, his brand of comedy has kept the university’s sports fans engaged and laughing along the way to victory.


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