Note: This is the page for the original 1998 series. If you're looking for the 2016 revival, go here.
One of Cartoon Network's most popular original series, The Powerpuff Girls revolves around a Power Trio of Little Miss Badasses who fight crime in the fictional city of Townsville. These Artificial Human girls, who have no fingers, toes, flat feet, ears, or noses, were created when Professor Utonium accidentally added Chemical X to his mixture of sugar, spice, and everything nice.
The series' heroes are Blossom, "commander and the leader," Bubbles, "the joy and the laughter," whose personality is very similar to that of her namesake from Jabberjaw (but not quite a Dumb Blonde), and Buttercup, "the toughest fighter," and a tomboy with a bad attitude. Their simian Arch-Enemy Mojo Jojo wears a helmet to cover his enlarged brain and speaks in a manner reminiscent of bad anime dubbing.
The concept began life as creator Craig McCracken's CalArts thesis film, titled "The Whoopass Girls" (they were created with "sugar, spice, everything nice," and a can of Whoopass) and was then adapted, with a slightly safer-for-work name, into two pilots for the What A Cartoon! Show. Cartoon Network decided to go with one of the other shorts, created by McCracken's friend and former 2 Stupid Dogs colleague Genndy Tartakovsky, as their first series, giving Craig a little more experience before his show finally went to series in 1998. Both artists worked on one another's respective shows.note
Warner Bros. released an animated feature, The Powerpuff Girls Movie, in 2002 (which bombed at the theaters, likely due to a severe decline in popularity that began in early 2001). A comic book series (from DC Comics no less). An anime version, Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z, hit the airwaves in Japan on July 1st, 2006.
Eight years after the show ended (and five after Powerpuff Girls Rule special). The series came back in the form of a CGI special in January of 2014. Most likely as a test pilot for a reboot (though oddly this was after Craig had left Cartoon Network to work with Disney on Wander over Yonder, and even before then he had left the show after season 4). Supporting this is the that the girls returned to comic book format in September 2013, this time under the IDW brand as part of a deal to allow classic Cartoon Network cartoons to be told in new adventures. Sure enough, a reboot of the series was announced for a 2016 release. It eventually premiered in April 2016, for tropes on that show, check its trope page.
The original series was the final production to be created under Hanna-Barbera's name. The studio's assets were absorbed into Cartoon Network Studios following Bill Hanna's death at the end of season 4.
The Girls have appeared in two IDW Crisis Crossover comic book events: Cartoon Network Super Secret Crisis War (with Mojo Jojo; 6 issues, June-November 2014), and Super Smash-Up (5 issues, January-May 2015).