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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
We need to be specific about the time frame.
"Early Spongebob [Squarepants]."
"From '99 to '02 Spongebob was king."
"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."
"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?'"
"'I know! Let's get naked!'"
"'Nah. We'll save that for when we sell real estate.'"
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."
"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."
"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."
City kids and hard lessons.
"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.'"
"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."
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."
"It was ahead of its time. A surrealist dry humor sitcom for kids? Sure, why not!"
"I still fight the ocean because of this show. Artie was awesome… and strong."
"All that & Kenan and Kell."
"Who loves orange soda?"
"Kel loves orange soda!"
"Welcome to Good Burger home of the Good Burger can I take your order?"
Finding adventure in the ordinary.
"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."
"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."
Rocko was probably too adult for kids.
"Rocko's Modern Life."
"I thought I would be like Rocko when I grew up, but I'm more like Mr. Bighead and I'm ok with that."
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.
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When we're little kids watching cartoons on TV, we rarely ever consider the adult human beings behind those creations. As kids, we like the bright blue light, the colors, the physical comedy, and the general silliness of it all.
But revisit those same old television shows as an adult and prepare for some new, shocking discoveries.
You'll quickly realize that adults were at the helm of those shows, and not just any adults. We're talking creators with absolutely bizarre imaginations, fascination with the visually grotesque, and, at worst, problematic ethical tendencies.
Some Redditors gathered to reminisce about the weirdest ones they could call to mind.
Classic_Contract7560 asked, "What children's shows are surprisingly creepy?"
Picking and Choosing
"My dad thought Invader Zim was creepy and weird, but we had the episodes on DVD where I would watch them a lot."
"They didn't mind CatDog, but my mom always said it was disturbing that a cat and dog were attached."
The Secret of Nimh is one of the darkest and creepiest things ever produced for children. I still love watching it."
"It's stuff like this that I watched as a kid that made me like scary stuff as an adult."
All About Setting
"Courage the cowardly dog" -- misochunky
"I was gonna mention that one. F*** me it's actually horrifying" -- GrigorijRasputin
"First saw Courage when I was a kid living in the rural desert filled with creepy stories and such. As far as I am concerned, that show was a historical account of my childhood." -- softdoorhandle
The Long Game
"I'm sorry but flapjack and teletubbies are something different" -- oooglybooogly12
"Flapjack was from that weird era of Cartoon Network when they started making shows that would attract some Adult Swim viewers." -- eddmario
"Yes. Teletubbies is just creepy as sh!t. Especially the older ones. I see my nephew happily watching it like it's the best thing ever. And I'm sitting there disturbed." -- Not_A_Bot2020
A New Lens
"The animation on Jay Jay the Jet Plane is much more horrifying than I remember as a child." -- theSuburbanAstronaut
"JAY JAY THE JET PLANE. Just no...." -- psf919
#1 and #2
"Boobah. What the f*** even was that sh**?" -- AdolphDiddler
"Boobahs were created when a TV exec checked what demographics watch TV during a particular slot and discovered that the top two were children and people on drugs." -- SloanWarrior
Early 90s: the Wild West of Grotesque Cartoons
"Ren and Stimpy" -- SymphonyForTheDevil
"My god. When they did the close-ups. I still get nightmares. What even was the age rating for that show?" -- unbearablytolerable
"The one where Ren took off his fur to get in the bath and there was a crowd of people watching through the window messed me up pretty good. Still don't like bathrooms with windows." -- RobinMagic
Discoveries About Cheese
"Cow and Chicken" -- FultonHomes
"Their friend the devil who always had an a** crack and when their neighbouring town was in civil war and they used cheese as ammunition until they were shown that cheese is food. Brilliant show" -- Recessjoe
Yup, Totally Creepy
"Some of the episodes of Hey Arnold legitimately still give me the creeps YEARS later when I think of them." -- abigiggle_n
"Him and Gerald fighting as old men on the bus, then his dead grandfather decomposing infront of him was f***ed." -- Soulger11
"I mean, Helga has a f***ing stalker shrine of Arnold with his hair and chewed gum that 'makes her girlhood tremble'" -- shewy92
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Art is essential way society learns and moves and evolves. Often times people can look to or quote films, books and tv shows that opened their eyes to change and made realize the meaning of empathy, particularly films. But some movies are flat out wreaking havoc on the psyche. I'm looking at you Disney. From Bambi's mother to Ariel giving up her gifts for a man. Some of their "advice" is off the rails. For instance....
Redditor u/WeeklySubject wanted to discuss the times Disney has left the wrong impression by asking.... What's the worst lesson we can learn from a Disney movie?
Kitchen Staffcheese GIFGiphy
Rats in a professional kitchen are OK.
Myself and all the other chefs/cooks I know love that movie for how realistic it is in so many ways, right down the to the pan burns on Collette's arm. But for true realism she should've punched him in the freaking mouth.
Just think of the happiest things, and jump off the building. Yay.
Evil people look evil.
Hans was an intelligent and manipulative character. Kinda sexy. He had a plan, adapted well to radically changed circumstances, and very nearly took over the whole kingdom over the span of 24 hours. He only got caught because he couldn't resist the temptation to villain monologue... but what Disney character can?
When I was a Childinterested toy story GIFGiphy
Your toys are alive and resent you for giving them away.
Aladdin taught me that a legitimate government was a thing you could fake with a really good parade.
This bothered me since I was a kid. Aladdin said he "wasn't a real prince" and all we see the genie do is arrange a parade with a bunch of people who all seem to disappear as soon as the parade is over. But Aladdin didn't wish for a fake parade to pad out a long con. He wished to be a prince.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame teaches that if you're ugly, you might find acceptance, but you won't find love. Love is for the attractive characters.m
To be fair though the novel is actually waaayyy worse. Phoebus takes Esmeralda's virginity then ditches her. She ends up being hung as a witch. Quasimodo burns the church killing the priest and then disappears. Sooo... Disney's version is a little less dark.
For the Boys
Disobey your father, sell your soul to a witch, all to hook up with some guy you've never spoken to that's a completely different species and would eat your closest friends for dinner.
Goodnight....sleeping beauty disney GIFGiphy
Instead of owing up to your mistake, just put the entire kingdom to sleep until it's fixed.
Beware the Love
All the princess movies, minus Frozen, Brave, Moana, and The Princess and the Frog: The person you instantly fall in love with is your soulmate and you should throw everything away to be with them. The only princess I can kind forgive for this is Cinderella considering her life at home was terrible, so she wasn't losing everything by running off with the prince.
So many people I know personally have done the same thing and gotten themselves into really bad situation/abusive relationships.
Hey Youmaleficent GIFGiphy
Also don't talk to strangers. Unless strangers are hot. Then talk to strangers.
Beauty and the Beast: You had better trust the woman disguised as an old lady.
Looks and $$$
A rich and handsome man will come and take your helpless butt away from all of your troubles.
Beastbeauty and the beast ballroom GIF by DisneyGiphy
My husband's favorite movie is beauty and the beast and every time after we watch it he takes off all of his clothes and he pretends that he is the beast and he runs around the house terrorizing me.
If you're not born into power, marry for it.
A lot of people (mainly women) waste their lives away thinking that marrying a rich or powerful man will one day solve all their problems, when the vast majority will never even date one.
2 better than 1
Ralph 2 = Go turbo for your personal benefits and as the president, abandon all your citizens and abandon your best friends while you're at it.
This is referring to Vanellope.
And that is one of many reasons why I hate Wreck it Ralph 2. It took everything Wreck it Ralph 1 established and threw it all away.
I dunno. But, all the dead moms makes me feel like Disney feels some type a way about mothers.
Lip ServiceBlack And White Love GIFGiphy
You fall in love with the random man who kissed while you were sleeping.
Never. Trust. Anyone. Even. If. They. Are. Family.
You can lift anything with enough balloons.
Everything worked the way a kid thinks it would. If they had changed it for realism at any point it would have broken the whole vibe.
But I'm also biased because that movie is just SO RIDICULOUSLY GOOD.
If you fall for a woman, the best way to get her to love you is to kidnap her until Stockholm Syndrome sets in. Maybe give her some hallucinogenic drugs so that she thinks that the furniture and serving wear are alive and singing to her and dancing with her.
Languagewalt disney animation studios love GIF by DisneyGiphy
All animals speak fluent English.
They aren't speaking English. It's just being translated for the benefit of the audience.
In Lady and the Tramp, there was a scene where they were walking around the zoo after hours, talking to the animals. They went up to the monkey cage but all they got from them was monkey chatter because "they must be too closely related to humans."
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Kids have dark sides too.
Not to mention, not all cartoon shows were made for kids, and all cartoon shows were made BY adults.
The following present some dark facts in the history of cartoons. Perhaps some will shock you. Perhaps you'll be expecting it.
But don't get animated either way. (Waka waka.)
Here were some of those answers.
Ren and Stimpy was an absolute nightmare for the people who worked on it. John K ordered them not to make the same face twice. Pretty, but it was hell for the workers because they were constantly drawing things.
John K was a nightmare boss. One of the producers had a sign on his wall labeled "John's knees" and invited people to kick it. By the time he left it was reduced to a hole.
They made several episodes that were just the animators ranting about how much of an a**hole that John K was.
Not A Creepypasta
The pilot of The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy called "Trepanation of the Skull and You" tells kids that because of a mistake in evolution our skulls are too small for our brains, and that you should drill a hole in your skull as to grant the brain more space.
Which is then followed by Billy doing exactly that.
The whole thing looks like some cursed forgotten video tape.
Elmira In Real Life
Tiny Toons (early 90s) was allegedly canceled (replaced with Animaniacs) because some creepy guy was super obsessed. The whole article is insane and worth the read.
Certain individuals were hammering the voice actors, writers and animators with unwanted attention and (even less wanted) information on the prurient nature of their fixations. In other words, enough people were mailing WB's studios wanting to see Babs Bunny naked that it started to become something of a problem.
As one of these stalker fans, [Dennis Falk] was quite interested in Tress MacNielle. A legendary voice actress, she was not only the voice of Babs Bunny but is also well-known for roles in everything from The Simpsons and The Critic to the computer game Full Throttle. Falk, along with several others, somehow got hold of her contact information and started hammering her with obscene mail containing various sex fantasies about the characters she voiced.
Not Today, Satan
Not so much about the production, but there is an obscure animated movie called The Adventures of Mark Twain that is stop motion animated, and in one pretty f*ked up scene Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn and Becky are greeted by an angel who says his name is Satan. Except he looks nothing like a traditional angel, he holds a mask on a stick for a face which contorts into a demon and skeletal face at times.
He then has the kids sculpt a village with people and a castle out of sand, and Satan then brings them to life. The sand people get along but soon start fighting and Satan kills them by summoning lighting, causing an earthquake, etc. The kids are horrified, but Satan just nonchalantly says they can make more and waxes poetic about how life is a vision and we don't matter.
I can't really do justice describing how eerie it is, but if you look up disturbing kid's cartoons on YouTube, it'll pop up.
The Saddest Moment Of TV Ever
The voice actor for Uncle Iroh was struggling with Esophageal cancer and when he was singing leaves from the vine, his voice cracked and he sang with the emotion he had been carrying, making Irohs sadness all the more real. RIP Mako
One Of The Most Teachable Moments On TV
While this isn't necessarily a cartoon as it has live-action bits, but it still a tragic one. It was also a courageous move on the TV station's part. When Will Lee, who played Mr. Hopper, died, there was a dilemma for the cast of Sesame Sreet he was well-liked by both viewers and the cast. The cast knew children would notice, but it was also clear would've wanted them to move on. Despite objections, the show went on with the talk about death with Big Bird taking it hard. The adults spoke about the matter and how life has to go on, which Hooper would've loved. This was a brave move for a children's show since it was also educational... the main format.
The feedback they got was mostly positive, even earning a Daytime Emmy.
That's Not Very Puppy Of You
The villain in the film "Pound Puppies: The Legend of Big Paw" was voiced by George Rose, an accomplished stage actor whose roles had included the Major-General in Pirates of Penzance. Shortly after the film's release, he was beaten to death by his own adopted son.
A Cry For Help
The studio had to get someone else to sing "Soon You'll Come Home" in All Dogs go to Heaven because the voice actor, Judith Barsi, had such a traumatic home life because of an abusive, alcoholic father that she couldn't sing the song without having a breakdown.
She and her mother were murdered by him before the movie was released in a double-murder/suicide. She was only 10.
She was also the voice of Ducky from Land Before Time. Her tombstone reads, "Yep! Yep! Yep!"
What A Dark Moment Of Disney
In Disney's Gargoyles, Goliath believes his entire clan is either dead or turned permanently to stone, and he asks the Magus to turn him to stone forever as well. Yes, there were improbable terms to break the curse ... but effectively, he was committing suicide. He knew he was among the last of his kind and did not know if he would ever wake up again.
He left behind a rookery full of eggs (the next generation) when he did so.
Also, in City of Stone, Demona smashes statues that are humans turned to stone -- she kills people on screen in a Disney cartoon.
Lots more examples from Gargoyles, but those two stick out.
War, War, What Is It For?
When the Wind Blows is a movie that uses a bright palette and pleasant childhood aesthetic to tell the story of nuclear attack aftermath could-bes.
It follows of an awfully gullible elderly couple with an overzealous trust in their government as they go on with their lives after the strike, which progressively gets worse as they succumb to radiation poison.
Sounds bad? The pamphlet they seem to rely on is real and it's just as out of touch and unsettling. It has been suggested that it's actual purpose is of allowing for a better clean-up after you're dead.
See also here.
But His Middle Name Is Entertainment!
IDK if this counts but Chuck E. Cheese is canonically an orphan who doesn't remember his own birthday but loved celebrating other orphan's birthdays. One day, when Chuck grew too old to stay at the orphanage, he moved to New York City after leaving the orphanage,.and was sad, lonely and homeless. He decided to sleep in a pizzeria because he liked the smell of pizza and the music on the radio. The pizza shop owner eventually caught him and tried to kill him and the only thing that saved him was his the pizzeria owner thought he was a good singer and gave him a job singing in his restaurant.
In one episode Spongebob and Mr. Krabs thought they killed a man went to a cemetery to bury the body got a ride from the police and put the body in the trunk then in the Krusty Krab freazer BUT turns out only knocked out THEN the police beat him becase they thought he was a zombie
What A Weird Time For Those Commercials
When they aired daytime cartoons during the summers when I was a kid, during the commercial breaks mixed in with the ads for Polly Pocket and Transformers there would be tons of ads for antidepressants. What kid is going to ask his doctor about antidepressants?
They weren't for the kids. They were for their miserable, unfulfilled, stay-at-home parents.
We Love Our Racist Past
I remember watching Tom and Jerry as a kid. And Jerry's Mexican cousin came to visit.
He was every racist stereotype. But worse, he came in singing "La Cucaracha"
"La cucaracha, la cucaracha
Ya no puede caminar
Porque no tiene, porque le falta
marijuana de fumar."
Yes, the line about marijuana to smoke was really in there.
Years later I thought maybe I had imagined it. But then I caught the episode again. By then I had a DVR and rewound and watched it many times to be sure. Yup, it's in there.
Kicking Butt And Taking Names
I remember reading an interview with an animator who worked on the original She-Ra back in the 80's, made by Filmation that there was some rather weird arguments from the producers over She-Ra not being lady-like enough. Like a proper lady shouldn't pick up and throw a tank, despite the fact that's the literal point of the character, the most powerful woman in the universe. And there's an actual clip of her throwing a tank in the opening credits. Of course there was a lot of push back from the artists and directors that She-Ra should be kicking all kinds of @$$, and hurling tanks around.
I noticed in the last season of the new She-ra there's a scene where she's throwing tanks around and someone admonishes her for it saying "We don't throw tanks at our friends." I can't help but wonder if that was a nod to the old She-Ra and the hard time they got for tossing tanks around.
Yet We Never Bat An Eye
I know it's nothing to suprising and the show has a final season that is based around this but in Steven universe he is literally a young boy who has to save the universe and it seems all fun at first but he literally has his body destroyed over time and held together by his gem half and also his mom literally ruined his life and almost caused him to die on several occasions and he had to establish peace on a planet where most people wanted him dead also he literally never cared for himself through the whole thing till the point where he abandons himself for so long that he literally turns into a giant monster
Nothing lasts forever, unfortunately, and it's not uncommon to long for the things from our past that no longer exist.
Whether it's a snack food from your childhood or a favorite TV show, we all have something that we wish were still around.
Reddit user Aventurion asked the folks over on r/AskReddit:
But old school Discovery channel. The one that you could actually learn something from.
Old school Animal Planet as well! Back when we had the Steve Irwin and Jeff Corwin on the channel just with animals. I always loved that channel as a kid. Man old school Discovery, Animal Planet, and History channels were the best.
Intermissions during really long movies
I don't get why this doesn't come back.
No one likes having to miss part of a movie to use the bathroom. No one likes having to miss 5 minutes of a movie for a popcorn refill. Just do a 5 minute intermission. It would make moviegoing a better experience.
It wouldn't delay the total time for the movie much at all, either. And it would also prevent more people randomly getting up and leaving during the movie.
I guess the only downside is everyone shuffling in at the 5 minute mark
America used to have a widely-used passenger rail system like European countries have. Some cities had popular tram systems, too. Car companies dismantled all of it so that America would become dependent on their products, leading to what we have today.
We went backward as a nation so that the executives of a few companies could profit.
Actual quality products. And I'm not talking about cheap Walmart brand crap being nicer. I fully believe you get what you pay for. Like there's things that I wish I could buy, and I would pay the commensurate high price, that are just high-quality and would last. For a lot of things that option literally doesn't exist anymore.
The US pandemic response team.
I don't know whether this is a cringy opinion to have, but I believe a unique art form was lost when Vine died. That 6-second limit forced people to use creative ways to rapidly tell a story and a lot of hilarious stuff came out of it.
There are a few videos on TikTok that sort of recapture the Vine feel, but I still feel like I'm watching a hollow ghost of something once-great when I watch TikToks.
I'm just glad that people managed to save a ton of the classic Vines in youtube format. Sad that we won't be seeing any new ones unless a 'Vine 2' launches, and even then, I'm not sure it's going to feel the same.
President Carter sold his peanut farm to avoid any conflict of interest before he took office of the US Presidency.
Thylacines. Dodos. Quaggas. Passenger pigeons. Stellar's sea cows. Dusky seaside sparrows. The list goes on.
Technically Blockbuster still has ONE remaining store open somewhere in Alaska I think, but, I miss Blockbuster. Like back when it was poppin. I miss strolling on over there on Friday, renting a game or two and a movie, get some popcorn and candy. It was always a good experience. I still have my blockbuster card in my wallet tbh. No joke. They demolished the building our local one was in last year finally and built a Walgreens in its place.
RIP Blockbuster, you will forever be missed. ❤️
Saturday morning cartoons. Fox Kids, 1 Saturday Morning, Kids WB, BKN...
I remember watching the CW4Kids block after it replaced Kids WB when I was in my early 20s, and I knew the writing was on the wall. It became Vortexx for a bit, and even that ended by 2014.
Do you have something to confess to George? Text "Secrets" or "🤐" to +1 (310) 299-9390 to talk him about it.