The wonderful world of television with programs and information displayed right into your living room often takes us back to our childhood. Think back to the days when Nickelodeon’s television lineup was among the most important things in your life. Many students today fondly remember their favorite Nickelodeon shows. Read below to see our staff picks and then vote in the poll to cast your vote for your favorite Nickelodeon show of the era.
The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius
By Ryan Signorino
One of the best shows Nickelodeon has aired is Jimmy Neutron. The show is centered around Jimmy, a boy genius who can invent almost anything, and his friends Carl, a plump, llama-loving boy who is allergic to almost everything, and Sheen, an excitable kid who is obsessed with comic books. The show’s plot is similar to that of Phineas and Ferb.
Most episodes involve Jimmy inventing something useful that falls into the wrong hands or gets used incorrectly. Jimmy then needs to figure out how to stop his invention from doing any harm to anyone or the town. Carl and Sheen, or in some cases Cindy, the second smartest girl in Jimmy’s class, and Libby, a girl that is interested in music and fashion, usually test Jimmy’s inventions and follow him to try to fix the problems. Jimmy is much smarter than Carl and Sheen, who are both usually fairly lost as to what Jimmy is doing.
In order to save the situation Jimmy usually has a “brain blast,” when the viewer gets a look at what Jimmy is thinking, and he saves the day. While each episode followed a similar plot line, every episode was different and had cool inventions that play to the imagination of the viewer.
By Jeremiah Ordos
“…I found something!” -Daggett Beaver.
These words spoken by our beloved talking beaver friend capture the exact reaction I had when first stumbling upon the show. The Angry Beavers is a TV show that appeared on Nickelodeon in the late 1990s that captured all of our hearts. The story of two bachelor, twin brother beavers, Norbert and Daggett, proves to be an erratic, unconventional show for children, but is easily relatable to for kids with siblings.
Norbert, the blonde one, is the eldest of the two by only four minutes, but he uses that to bully around his “younger brother.” He is more relaxed and lazier than Dag, and he is also a lot more responsible and sophisticated. Norb also is very competitive with Dag and hates losing to him, although he rarely does.
Daggett on the other hand is the brown one and is younger than Norbert. I can’t help but feel bad for Daggie. His older brother is always picking on him and enjoys hurting him. Daggett is also the “work horse” of the two and is usually bossed into doing things, such as build the dam, while Norbert just sits there and watches.
Norb and Dag’s humor, sibling rivalry, and tension between the two make for a wild show that has many life lessons to be learned. One that sticks out is how important relationships are. Even though Daggett and Norbert “hate” each other and fight a lot, they’re brothers at the end of the day and almost always forgive one another. The Angry Beavers is one of the top shows Nickelodeon has ever put out and it is truly a shameful thing that it was cancelled.
A short letter to Nickelodeon (me age 6):
Pleaz put The Angri Beevers back on my TV becuz it wuz 1 of my favorite shows. i really like Dag and Norbert, they remind me of me and my twin brother. We fight alot but we’re still brothers so we have to like each other just like them. Pleaz put it back on TV so i can wach them fight with each other again.
By Vinny Timpano
CatDog is an animated television show by Peter Hannan that aired on Nickelodeon. The series is based on the life of conjoined brothers, half cat and half dog. It is a comedy centered around the differences between cats and dogs and the struggle of one of each being stuck together. Dog is less than intelligent, loves rock and roll, and eats gross fast food. Cat on the other hand is sophisticated and tries to control his brother most of the time.
They live in a town composed of mostly human-acting animals, but some real humans are in the show as well. Multiple movies and video games were also generated from the plot of the show. The show started airing in 1998 and finished in 2005, but it’s not too late to run over to your local Walmart and pick up all the seasons on DVD. The show will make you laugh, but it can also be serious at times, I think I might have even cried once or twice. At any rate it was definitely the best show to air on Nickelodeon, hands down.
By Caleb Futscher
ChalkZone was a great show. It starred 10-year-old, Rudy Tabooty who likes to draw cartoons. The problem is the school bully, Reggie, always teases him about it and gets Rudy in trouble because Rudy’s school teacher hates cartoons. One day Rudy discovers a piece of “White Lightning” chalk, which allows access to the ChalkZone, a place where everything and everyone that has ever been drawn in chalk and erased takes form as living. He also made his friend Snap who was a small, blue, drawing made by Rudy when he was 8 years old. Snap wears a superhero uniform and is very adventurous. Rudy only lets one other person know about ChalkZone, his best friend and crush Penny Sanchez who acts as the genius of the group and comes up with all the ideas. This is a great show, and I definitely recommend it to the younger audience.
By Eli Chase
The year was 2004. I was 7 years old, and the long winter nights were driving me to insanity. The one thing that helped lift my head and drop my shoulder through the final months of the horrid season was anticipation for the show Danny Phantom. The story of a boy with ghostly powers mesmerized me. When it finally aired on April 3, 2004, it did not disappoint. The high school loser/ghostly superhero kept me an avid fan through the depressing finale in 2007. Danny Phantom, you will be remembered.
Drake and Josh
By Hayden Clarke
“Drake and Josh” was a teen sitcom that aired from 2004-2007. It centered around two teens who suddenly became stepbrothers after Josh’s father marries Drake’s mother. Most of the humor comes from the complete differences in the personalities of the stepbrothers, Drake is a popular musician and Josh is an awkward geek. They often have very different views and opinions on things, which causes them to feud a lot. Occasionally they will have a joyful moment together in which they will proclaim, “Hug me brother!”
In almost every episode, Drake and Josh get themselves into an awkward or difficult situation, and there are many conflicts that they face. In one of my favorite episodes, Drake and Josh have to rebuild their neighbor’s treehouse after they destroyed it with a bottle rocket. They are very anxious to get the project done because they have dates with twins that night. After they put up the last wall, they realize that they forgot to cut out a door, trapping themselves inside. Their little sister Megan, who continuously gives them trouble, refuses to help them because they made her miss a sleepover that night. They try everything to get out, including throwing themselves against the wall of the treehouse, but everything fails. This is just an example of the many frustrating but entertaining problems that they face.
I loved this show so much because I could really relate to the characters. Many of the shows I watched as a kid were cartoons, but I always felt like I could relate more to the sitcoms. The show was filled with so many great moments, including watching Josh transform from a chubby geek into a very slim cool guy. While I loved most of the shows on Nickelodeon when I was a kid, I especially enjoyed “Drake and Josh.”
The Fairly Oddparents
By John Hilbert
The Fairly Oddparents have been on Nickelodeon since 2001, and they are still going strong. As a child I always looked forward to coming home from school and seeing what magical wish Cosmo and Wanda would grant Timmy. The plot of the show is that there is a 10-year-old boy who has an evil babysitter named Vicky because his parents work all the time. His parents don’t realize that Vicky is evil so that is when Cosmo and Wanda come into Timmy’s life as his Fairy Godparents.
Together they face some pretty sticky situations with Mr. Crocker, Tootie, Jorgen the Fairy General, and plenty of other crazy people. One of the most memorable episodes is when Timmy goes on stage with Chip Skylark, the super famous, totally cute, pop sensation. In this episode Chip releases his new song called “Icky Vicky,” which became the best song of his career. Even today I sing the lyrics in my head, “Hey, hey Vicky. You’re so so icky. Just the thought of being around you makes me oh so sicky.”
By Connor Van Hove
Everyone that grew up in the 90s remembers the hit TV series Hey Arnold! This cartoon was based on Arnold, a 4th grader who lived with his grandparents in a big city. Arnold and his friends Gerald, Sid, Helga, Harold, Eugene, Stinky, Phoebe, and Rhonda gave the viewers important life lessons in the midst of humorous adventures through the city. Arnold also had a funny “relationship” with Helga where she was very spiteful to him in person. However, she had a huge crush on him and created sculptures of him in her house. All the lessons learned and funny adventures made this series the best cartoon on Nickelodeon.
By Sean Taylor
Invader Zim stands out as the most redheaded stepchild of a scarlet-haired family. It was weird, completely idiosyncratic, and in my opinion, showed the most potential of any program on the Nickelodeon roster. In its odd color palette, absurd voice work, and disturbing plots, Invader Zim promised something more to its viewers than the average yuck-yucks provided by other shows.
The plot, exceptionally creative and dark: Zim, the most idiotic of a species of hostile aliens is relegated to Earth, an incompetent conqueror for an incompetent planet. He brings with him a brain damaged robot, one of the defining reoccurring jokes of the series being said robots failure to disguise itself as a dog. Zim’s ostensible purpose on our planet is to assimilate with the populace, learn our ways, and inform his home world of Earths intergalactic pugilistic weakness. He attempts to do so by attending a local school, where he is generally accepted by his fellow students. The only individual who has even an inkling of suspicion is young conspiracy theorist Dib, whose otherwise complete unlikableness leaves his claims falling on deaf ears.
The series built itself around this cat and mouse conflict with Zim attempting to fulfill his mission, and Dib trying to expose him. The world in which they engage in their struggle is off kilter, grimy, and very uncomfortable, with an almost existential bent. It is, I believe, one of the first attempts at making surrealism palatable for children.
I very much love this show. It was brilliant and completely uncompromising, not afraid to tell the story it wanted to tell. Despite what its audience may have wanted. One can see its influence in a whole new generation of animated shows, from Regular Show to Adventure Time to Gravity Falls. It continues to inspire me, as an example of what can be done when an artist attacks a project with a lack of fear and an excess of ambition.
Legends of the Hidden Temple
By Lucas Buseck
There was this great channel that I would watch when I was growing up, Nickelodeon’s GAS (games and sports) channel. On this great channel was a really awesome show, Legends of the Hidden Temple. Featuring a talking stone head, a host that would repel down into the center of the stage seemingly out of nowhere, the shrine of the silver monkey, and those temple guards that still scare me, if Legends of the Hidden Temple wasn’t in your childhood, I’m really sorry. Maybe it’s on Netflix or something.
Essentially, Legends of the Hidden Temple pitted six teams composed of one preteen girl and one preteen boy against each other in competition to get a chance to enter the sacred temple and race to get the treasure hidden within. The teams are weeded out via preliminary competitions testing physical and mental strength, as well as camaraderie. I was always curious as to how one was chosen to partake in Legends of the Hidden Temple (still am, actually). I always wanted to partake in Legends of the Hidden Temple (still do, actually).
Once one team remained, that team was given specific instruction as to where in the temple they could find the episode’s hidden treasure. This treasure was always something really curious, like the Dried Ear of Corn of Sojourner Truth, the Lost Hornpipe of the Pirate Captain, or the Snow Cone of Mt. Kilimanjaro. In the temple were these really muscular, really scary looking temple guards. The temple guards would come out of nowhere and snatch the hopeful competitors and take them, somewhere. I don’t know where. It’s just really frightening to think about.
So the boys and girls didn’t always win, but they were always rewarded. Even those that were ousted in the first round still got points for trying, and major points in that they came in the form of really cool stuff like chocolate milk. When a team somehow managed to make it through the whole temple and out with the hidden treasure without being kidnapped by a temple guard, they got something really awesome, like a trip to the Bahamas, or, if they were really lucky, a trip to space camp. Thank God for the 1990s.
By John Dill
Throughout our entire childhood and still going on to this day, Nickelodeon has dominated the category of children television shows. Nick has continuously produced great show after great show, but the best TV show that Nickelodeon ever aired was for three seasons back when we were all quite young. That show is Rocket Power. Rocket Power is based around four friends: Otto, Maurice “Twister”, Sam “Squid”, and Reggi. These four kids loved to play sports, do extreme stunts, surf, and always get into trouble.
Otto and Reggi are brother and sister and live with their father Ray, who is a great surfer and owns the shore shack. Then there is also Tito who is Ray’s best friend and helps him out at the shore shack. Tito is also a great surfer and a man full of wisdom and wise words that the four kids come to in order to gain insight. This show was always very entertaining because of all the action-packed events and sports that went on during these four kids’ summers.
Rocko’s Modern Life
By Steve Bretz
When we were growing up, Nickelodeon was in its prime. Producing benchmark titles such as Spongebob Squarepants, CatDog, Rugrats, Angry Beavers, and the list goes on and on. Somewhere at the very end of that list, you’ll find the show Rocko’s Modern Life. It was never the most popular during its time, but it is nonetheless an original Nickelodeon classic.
It was an outlandish series with probably the most catchy intro ever created. The show was based around the surreal adventures of the Australian-immigrant wallaby named Rocko, who recently moved to America from Australia. His best friend was a horse named Heffer, and his faithful dog was Spunky. Together these three were always a part of crazy adventures, getting in trouble or aggravating Rocko’s neighbor Mr. Smitty.
The show doesn’t receive enough recognition for a few reasons. Number one, the last year it aired was before many of us were born (1996). Number two, because it last aired in 1996 all we could see were re-runs, which primarily aired at early hours in the morning. And number three, it was more “edgy” compared to the other Nickelodeon cartoons during this time, and it contained a lot of adult humor that went over our heads.
It also made many parallels to the real world that kids our age wouldn’t have understood. For instance, Rocko and Heffer’s favorite place to hangout was “Chewy Chicken,” made to parody a KFC. And Conglom-O Corporation was the biggest company in town and basically had control over the city. It was meant to mimic mega corporations in modern day America.
Although the show was never the most popular, I still believe it should rank among Nickelodeon’s best ever created. Its personification, wacky animation, and experimental adult humor make for arguably one of the greatest cartoons in the 1990s. Growing up, I watched the show every day at 6 in the morning. And I would say that it is a must watch for anyone who is a fanatic for Nicktoons.
By James Fleming
Rugrats is a show that follows the everyday lives of Tommy, Chuckie, and the twins Phil and Lil. All of the main characters are babies. The show follows their everyday lives and how normal events become little adventures in a baby’s mind. They use their imagination to change an everyday task into a whole adventure. They usually run into problems during these adventures and have trouble completing the task. This was one of my favorite shows growing up. The show premiered on Aug. 11, 1991 and won 20 awards in its 13-year tenure. The 65th and final episode aired on May 22, 1994. I think it was one of the better cartoons of all time.
By Joe McCafferty
One word can define our generation as far as cartoons are concerned: SpongeBob. It’s the most iconic cartoon since Scooby Doo. The theme song opening, “Are you ready, kids? Aye-Aye Captain!” is familiar to all ages as soon as it hits the TV screen. Who ever could have thought that a yellow sponge, a pink starfish, a squid, and a squirrel could make such a great television show?
Whether it was the first episode when the anchovies attack the Krusty Krab, or the latest episodes they have been making to date, SpongeBob has done it all. This show has been going on for nearly 14 years, longer than any other cartoon on Nickelodeon. This show has represented a generation of kids and gone above and beyond anything ever expected. This show is clearly the show of the decade, and it’s really not even close.