Drake & Josh was huge. The show, which followed two step-brothers who were thrown together after their parents got married, earned massive ratings and proved to be incredibly popular. Drake Bell and Josh Peck, the two actors at the show’s center, seemed to form a lasting bond over the course of the show’s run. After all, they played brothers on screen, and although there was initially tension between them, they eventually came to love each other.
Unfortunately, actors aren’t always as close with one another as the characters that they portray. These guys were both kids when they were on the show, and although there may have been some love between them at the time, they have grown apart since the show ended. There are other dark secrets hidden behind the show as well, from onset rumors, to feuds, to dramatic car crashes. Child stars often have trouble attaining stability after their childhood careers have ended, and that’s true of at least one person in this cast.
There are few shows that had more devoted fans. Kids grew up on this show, but few of them knew or could fully understand the relationships that existed behind the scenes. Here are 15 Dark Secrets Behind Drake & Josh You Had No Idea About.
15 Drake Wasn't Invited to Josh's Wedding
When Peck was recently married to Paige O’Brien, Bell was pretty hurt by the fact that he wasn’t invited to the wedding. Bell took to Twitter to express his disappointment at the lack of an invite, writing “when you’re not invited to the wedding the message is clear...the colors have come out today. Message is loud and clear. Ties are officially cut. I’ll miss you brotha.”
This tweet sparked a month-long feud, with Peck attempting to defend himself by saying that the wedding was quite small. Peck did invite John Stamos to the wedding, and Stamos seemed to rub some salt in the wound with a post on Instagram suggesting that he had been invited to Peck’s wedding, even though he didn’t even like Peck very much.
Of course, this was designed to be a joke, but it was one that may have hit a little too close to home for Bell, who was clearly hurt by it.
14 Miranda Cosgrove Skipped Josh's Wedding, but Went to Drake's Birthday Party
Miranda Cosgrove seemed to have picked a side in the feud between Bell and Peck. Although she didn’t attend Peck’s wedding, she did go to Bell’s birthday party. It’s true that the feud between the two actors seems to have been resolved, but when things were at their most intense, Cosgrove seemed to signal where her allegiances might lay.
Of course, these kinds of feuds are usually a bigger deal in the media than they are in real life. Peck had a pretty small wedding, so it might be the case that Cosgrove simply wasn’t invited, whereas Bell’s birthday party was a more open affair.
Cosgrove was quite young when she starred on Drake & Josh, and although she more than held her own alongside the rest of the show’s cast, it makes plenty of sense for her to want to establish some distance between herself and the young on screen persona she had during that show. After all, Cosgrove had her own successful Nickelodeon show to worry about.
13 Drake Filed for Bankruptcy in 2014
Drake & Josh was an enormous hit for Nickelodeon. The show was popular with kids, and parents found that it was one of only a few TV shows aimed at kids that they could enjoy too.
Drake Bell, one of the central stars of that show, should probably have enough money to last him a while. Unfortunately, Bell hasn’t had much in the way of income since the show ended, but that hasn’t stopped him from spending pretty heavily. According to reports surrounding Bell’s bankruptcy, the actor was in debt for more than half a million dollars.
As a result of Bell’s filing, his house was taken into foreclosure, and his current net worth is actually negative. According to TMZ, Bell was spending upwards of $18,000 a month, but was only pulling in roughly $2,000.
Basic math will tell you that that’s not a sustainable budget, and Bell found that out the hard way. TMZ’s report also claims that Bell owes quite a bit of money in back taxes.
12 Josh Turned Down a Movie With Drake
Despite their history on screen together, and the continued love between them, Peck told TMZ in 2014 that he would not do another Drake & Josh movie to help get his on screen brother out of debt. Peck, who has done fairly well for himself in the years since the show went off the air, certainly felt for Bell, but he wasn’t willing to take that next step to get his friend out of trouble.
Of course, at some point you have to be willing to let your friends support themselves, and Peck has his own life to worry about. He can’t always be concerned with whether Drake is going to be okay, and that’s justifiable.
Many fans don’t seem to understand that Peck has no obligation to care for Bell. They only played brothers on television, and they’ve led pretty different lives in the time since the show ended. Peck is not without compassion, but he can’t be expected to bend his life in order to fix Bell’s.
11 Peck and Bell Hadn't Spoken in Over a Year
Before Peck’s wedding, Bell and Peck hadn’t spoken for over a year. Fans would like to believe that the actors were quite close, and they probably were while they were filming the show.
Unfortunately, the relationships between actors are often much more like those between co-workers than we’d like to believe. That means that, once a job is over, the actors sometimes lose touch with one another. They might still remember each other fondly, but they might not be a huge presence in one another’s lives.
Peck felt this distance was a good justification for the fact that he didn’t invite Drake to his wedding. After all, it’s not as though they were particularly close, and Peck said his wedding was quite a small ceremony.
Distance grows naturally between people as they age, and Peck didn’t think he and Bell were close enough to justify a wedding invite, although it might have been nice if he had.
10 There Was a Rumor that the Actors Playing the Parents Were Really Married
Although this rumor ultimately proved to be untrue, it’s easy to see how some fans could have been deceived into believing that it was real. We always like to think that the actors playing characters in love must be in love themselves. Occasionally, on-screen romances do turn into romances off screen, but those occurrences are exceptions, instead of the norm.
So, when a tweet went viral showing a Google search that suggested that the actors who played Drake’s mom and Josh’s dad, Jonathan Goldstein and Nancy Sullivan, were married in real life, the internet went a little bit crazy. The Google image was ultimately proven to be a fake. The actors have reunited occasionally, but they are definitely not married.
Sometimes, we want the fictional worlds we enter to be real, and it seemed, for one shimmering moment, as if part of Drake & Josh had come to life. Unfortunately, that wasn’t really the case.
9 Drake & Josh and iCarly crossovers break the universe
iCarly, Miranda Cosgrove’s show after Drake & Josh, featured several characters from Drake & Josh. That wouldn’t be a problem if those shows existed in the same universe, but Miranda Cosgrove plays a different character in each show. On Drake & Josh, she’s Megan, Drake’s younger sister and a thorn in both Drake and Josh’s side. In iCarly, she’s Carly, the show’s main character.
Perhaps most notably, Drake Bell shows up in iCarly - playing himself - and has a short scene with Cosgrove. In the scene, he calls her Megan, and asks where Josh and their parents went. What’s more, there are also several clips in iCarly in which characters are seen watching Drake & Josh. All of this kind of shatters the reality of both universes, but in service of several pretty hilarious moments.
iCarly and Drake & Josh can’t exist in the same universe, but at several points throughout iCarly's run, it seems like they do.
8 Drake's fans left hate comments for Josh
After Peck failed to invite Bell to his small wedding ceremony, he began to receive angry fan comments from Bell’s fans. The idea behind these remarks seems to be that Peck has betrayed his close friend, but the reality is probably a bit more complex than that.
At any rate, fans left hundreds of angry comments on Peck’s Instagram after he failed to invite Bell to his small wedding. They all used the hashtag #wearealldrake, which was likely designed to intimidate Peck and make him feel guilty for the impact his actions had on his old co-star.
Bell never seemed to directly suggest that his fans should spam Peck this way, but they didn't it anyway. Particularly rabid fans sometimes have a mind of their own, and Bell set off his fans when he tweeted out his own disappointment about the lack of an invite.
Peck managed to weather the firestorm, but it’s sad to think that his wedding day, which was supposed to be one of the best of his life, was marred in this controversy.
7 Drake Stirred Up Controversy by Attacking Caitlin Jenner
Tweets make it very easy for celebrities to get themselves into trouble, even when they might not really mean to. After Caitlin Jenner underwent gender reassignment, Bell weighed in on Twitter, saying “Sorry...still calling you Bruce.” Bell came under a great deal of fire for the comment, and ultimately went on to apologize for it.
“I sincerely apologize for my thoughtless insensitive remarks,” Bell wrote on Twitter. “I in no way meant to hurt or demean those going through a similar journey. Although my comments were made in innocence, I deeply regret the negative effect they've had on so many.”
Bell has also used Twitter to throw shade at Peck. In the internet age, Twitter can be a deeply dangerous place. If you document every thought that goes through your head, you’re probably going to stir up controversy on a regular basis. Bell has found that to be true as he continues to use the site.
6 Drake Was in a Major Car Accident Between Seasons
Drake Bell has made plenty of mistakes, but one car accident late in 2005 was completely outside of his control. While driving his classic car in Los Angeles, Bell, then 19, was hit head-on by another car. As a result of the crash, Bell suffered a number of injuries, including a fractured neck after the car crash. He also had to have several teeth replaced.
Bell’s recovery was thankfully successful, but it’s hard to overstate just how traumatic major car accidents like this can be for those involved in them. Bell apparently required 70 stitches in the aftermath of the accident, and also suffered from a broken jaw.
The recovery time on these kinds of injuries is often long and arduous, and Bell did come out the other side, but might have had a different perspective on life.
5 Drake Was Part of a Photo Scandal Involving Vanessa Hudgens
Drake Bell and Vanessa Hudgens belonged to different channels when they were teen stars, but they reached a certain level of teen stardom at roughly the same time. Although many of the rumors about Hudgens were focused on her romantic relationships with High School Musical co-star Zac Efron, Hudgens’ most controversial scandal involved Bell as well.
Hudgens was caught in a somewhat ridiculous firestorm when nude photos of her were released online. Hudgens was dating Efron at the time, but there was some reporting that suggested that Hudgens had taken some of those nude photos with the intention of sending them to Bell.
Bell and Efron certainly shared a certain resemblance at the time, and we may never know exactly what Hudgens took those photos for. Whatever the case may be, it ultimately doesn’t matter. The release of those photos was a heinous breach of Hudgens’ privacy.
4 Drake Has Had 2 DUIs
Bell may have gotten in a fairly significant car accident during his time on Drake & Josh, but it wasn’t until after the show was over that he began racking up DUIs. The actor has been arrested twice for DUIs, and actually served time in jail for one of his convictions. Bell’s first arrest for a DUI was in 2009, already after Drake & Josh had ended. That arrest occurred in San Diego.
Bell’s second DUI happened six years later, in December of 2015, when Bell was caught speeding and forced to spend four days in jail as a result.
Bell’s arrests contribute to the general narrative of decline that surrounded Bell in the aftermath of his time on Drake & Josh. Anybody can make a mistake and drive while drunk, but Bell’s pair of convictions definitely don’t look good.
3 Josh's cellmate Died in 2016
Drake & Josh was the kind of show that was big enough for a holiday special, and so we got Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh in 2008. This Christmas special followed the two brothers as they attempted to avoid trouble with the law by giving a young girl the best Christmas possible. Like most Christmas specials, it’s filled with plenty of uplifting moments and has a wholesome spirit.
The Christmas special, which was over 90 minutes, also featured a performance from Kimbo Slice as Bludge, Josh’s prison cellmate after he is briefly incarcerated. It’s a memorable performance, in part because of Slice’s size. His history as an MMA fighter and boxer probably explains his massive muscles, but you may not have known that Slice died in 2016 of heart failure.
His death was quite sudden, although it may have been connected to his career as a professional fighter. Although he only played a small role in the Drake & Josh universe, he will be missed.
2 Peck Lost Weight to Become a Better Role Model
The initial point of Drake & Josh was to draw a contrast between the two brothers. Drake was cool. He got all of the girls, and he played guitar. Josh was smarter, nerdier, and less obviously cool. That contrast was partially visual as well. Josh was heavier set, whereas Drake had the smaller frame and more obvious good looks. Although this difference in size was rarely addressed directly, it was always an undercurrent of the sharp contrast between Drake and Josh.
As the show progressed, Peck clearly began to lose weight. By the show’s end, he was almost as thin as Bell. Although part of this likely came from simply growing out of his younger body, Peck also made conscious efforts to lose the weight, in part because he knew he was on TV regularly and should present a positive image to the kids who watched him. Peck worked hard and got healthy, and he became a better role model in the process.
1 There Was a Brief Reunion on Grandfathered
Although Bell and Peck haven’t appeared on screen a ton since Drake & Josh ended, they did manage to have a brief reunion on Peck’s short-lived show with John Stamos, Grandfathered.
In the episode, Bell makes a brief appearance as a potential investor in one of Peck’s character’s ventures. Bell arrives on screen suggesting that Peck reminds him of his stepbrother, who’s currently in jail for stalking Oprah. Later on in the episode, the two of them hug, and Peck delivers his famous line “Hug me brotha!”
Although Bell doesn’t get a ton of screen time in the episode, Grandfathered was clearly interested in playing up the connection between these actors. Peck’s character on Drake & Josh was famous for his obsession with Oprah, and actually runs her over with a car in one episode.
This reunion came quite a while after Drake & Josh had ended, but that doesn’t mean that fans of the Nickelodeon show failed to pick up on the references to Drake & Josh scattered throughout the cameo.
Do you know of any other secrets behind Drake & Josh? Share them in the comments!