People Break Down The Greatest Nickelodeon Shows Of All Time

People Break Down The Greatest Nickelodeon Shows Of All Time
Francisco Andreotti/Unsplash

Nickelodeon was and is one of the most popular kids' channels. Starting in 1977, this channel has hosted popular cartoon shows like Spongebob Squarepants and Avatar: The Last Airbender.

We can't forget about iCarly, which just got a reboot bringing back out favorite characters but years later and updated to meet the changing times.

Since it's inception, Nickelodeon has expanded to have five different sister channels, movies, cruise ships, theme parks and hotels. But for most people who look back at the cartoons aren't thinking about those things.

They're thinking of the high quality, hilarious, and nostalgic shows they enjoyed as a kid. So, we wanted to know which of these shows are the best of the best.

Redditor PowerfulAd5343 asked:

"What is the greatest Nickelodeon TV show of all time?"

Here's what Redditors had to say about their favorite Nickelodeon shows.

Some of the best story telling.

"Avatar the Last Airbender."

- Jedi-master-dragon

"Any other answer is just wrong. Sure, people can say what their favorites are and have those opinions. That's fine."

"However if you look at the literary metrics associated with storytelling, Avatar is the only show that pretty much checks every box and does it well."

"It's character driven, with almost every single character going through some kind of major development arc. It's world building elements are extremely detailed, giving it an a very rich setting. It's blend of action, humor, and drama is balanced almost perfectly. It has themes of redemption, empathy, wisdom, friendship…"

"I can go on and on. I've watched the series with my children three times."

- Khajiit_hairball

"Zuko's arc is my favorite. I'm watching it through again for the 3rd time I think. Still a fantastic show that makes me laugh and get misty eyed."

- Magicallypeanut

"It's amazing how well a 'kids show' can be such an incredible show for adults. I recently re-watched for the first time since I was a child when it returned to Netflix. There were a couple moments where I was crying from laughter, some moments I was just heartbroken, shocked, or overjoyed. There were also many, many moments where I got actual goosebumps. Zuko vs. Azula in the final episode is one of my favorite fight scenes of all time. All this in a show made for children. It's amazing what they were able to with ATLA."

- Snappleabble

We need to be specific about the time frame.

"Early Spongebob [Squarepants]."

- canal_banal

"From '99 to '02 Spongebob was king."

- Scotty-P188

"Would you believe me if I told you early SpongeBob made me laugh harder as an adult than as a kid? So many clever jokes hidden in the episodes that would just go straight over my head when I was 10."

- Flozza77

"Yes, because I did the same. It was a giggle as a kid but an ignorant, Spongebob being silly giggle. As an adult? Absolute stitches because I get the jokes now."

"I will always die when Krabs go 'The boy cried you a sweater tears and you killed him. How are you going to live with yourself?'"

- aurumphallus

"'I know! Let's get naked!'"

"'Nah. We'll save that for when we sell real estate.'"

- tallandlanky

The Midnight Society.

"'Are you afraid of the dark?' I'm a grown ass man and still remember those episodes and can still watch them."

- TheBayouKid

"Remember that one where this kid discovered a forgotten pool at his school? The door was hidden behind a row of lockers, and there was some kind of zombie in the water."

- 8_bit_brandon

"Those episodes were sometimes so goofy off the walls bonkers that most of them I suspect were inspired by actual nightmares or stories dreamed up by kids. Too outlandish to be scary at daytime, but to kids at night it was the perfect horror show."

- Omega-10

City kids and hard lessons.

"Hey Arnold."


"Hey Arnold, I think, is the greatest Nicktoon by far and probably one of the most accurate and honest animated contributions about the day to day life of American city kids. It has so many genius things going for it. The soundtrack, the colored pencil aesthetic, the effortlessly diverse cast, and the true-to-life feeling of growing up in a city. The stories had morals but were never didactic or patronizing."

The stories were also phoenomenal, especially the ones that revolved around Helga. There's the episode where she sabotages her nanny by making it look like the nanny stole Helga's father's prized belt. With the guilt eating her alive Helga finds the nanny in the park and the conversation stuck with me forever:

"Helga: 'So Inga, have you found another job yet?'"

"'No Helga, there is no job in my future.'"

"'I can't stand this! I have to tell you, I know why dad thought you stole his belt.'"

"'We both know Helga. You put it under my bed to make trouble for me.'"

"'What else was I supposed to do?! You were making me miserable!'"

"'There's no excuse for what you did, Helga. Now you must face the consequences.'"

"'Consequences?! What consequences? I got away with it, didn't I?'"

"'You're such an angry girl, Helga, and you won't let anyone help you. So you must live with your unhappiness.'"

- ArchiveSQ

"I felt so bad for Helga, the unfavored child of an abusive father and an alcoholic mother. Her behavior was terrible, but she had every right to be angry. They're were real issues in her home life."

- cydril

Only 90s kids would remember.

"This thread is definitely going to show the age differences. My vote goes to [The Adventures of] Pete and Pete."

- ReactorOperator

"It was ahead of its time. A surrealist dry humor sitcom for kids? Sure, why not!"

- gitsgrl

"I still fight the ocean because of this show. Artie was awesome… and strong."

- Drifting0wl

"All that & Kenan and Kell."

- boomstk

"Who loves orange soda?"

- CarbonCompass

"Kel loves orange soda!"

- Yonro0910

"Welcome to Good Burger home of the Good Burger can I take your order?"

- SuchACommonBird

Finding adventure in the ordinary.


- Rynox2000

"Rugrats was genius. One of those shows that are fun to watch as a child and adult. So many things I didn't understand as a child I catch and crack up about as an adult."

- Stripedanteater

"This show was amazing and I can't believe it's not first in this thread. The way they turned ordinary situations into adventures is exactly how I saw the world as a kid."

"Its imaginative storylines can only be matched by it's beautiful life lessons one goes through when they're learning about the world."

- dollabillkirill

Rocko was probably too adult for kids.

"Rocko's Modern Life."

- hypnocanetoad

"I thought I would be like Rocko when I grew up, but I'm more like Mr. Bighead and I'm ok with that."

- hypnocanetoad

If you grew up with these shows or maybe watched them with your kids, this may have brought back a few good memories.

And if you haven't seen them in a while, maybe it's time to re-watch some of the classics. Some people said they even watched them with their kids.

Nickelodeon is a streaming platform now so you can watch them any time you want, with or without the kids.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

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