(CNN) -

They have tours designed around them, statues erected in their honor and fans so rabid many a sports team would envy them.

The world's most adorable city mascots have some heady responsibilities and impressive lines on their CVs, from running a train station to gracing a "Vanity Fair" cover with Hollywood elite.

But cuteness alone didn't get them their celebrity.

Their stories did.

1. Shrek the Unshearable Sheep (Tarras, New Zealand)

Shrek, a merino sheep from the small New Zealand farming settlement of Tarras, gained a following in 2004 after word got out he'd avoided grooming for six years by hiding in a cave.

Named Shrek for the ogre he resembled in his matted state, he quickly charmed the nation.

After his capture, a national TV station broadcast the 20-minute shearing of the iconic kiwi live.

During the shave, Shrek shed 27 kilograms (about 60 pounds) of fleece, enough to make 20 large wool men's suits.

The fleece was auctioned in 2004 for children's medical charities.

Shrek became so famous he got to meet New Zealand's prime minister.

In 2007, he spent his 10th birthday on an iceberg off the coast of New Zealand, where the celebrisheep underwent his second big trim.

At age 16 he began suffering pain from age-related illnesses and was put down.

His legacy in Tarras and New Zealand lives on in legend.

Special power: Living in darkness.

Potential motto: "It's just in that awkward, in-between phase."

2. Fungie the Dolphin (Dingle, Ireland)

He may not be a household name globally, but Fungie's a big deal in the tiny town of Dingle on the west coast of Ireland.

The 13-foot resident bottlenose made Dingle harbor his home in 1983 and is known for playing around boats and swimmers.

Recently, a second dolphin was spotted in the harbor.

Local lore has it that it's Fungie's former lover, returning to the dolphin of her dreams after many years.

Dingle runs daily Fungie-spotting boat tours ($23 adults; $12 children) and even offers Fungie wedding packages.

According to his official website, celebrities such as fellow Irishman Pierce Brosnan have come to see Fungie.

"Although there is no meaning in the Irish language for the word 'Fungie,' it does suggest he is a Fun-Guy," the site says.

Special power: Sticking around.