Every day after school, did you rush to the TV to turn on your favorite Nickelodeon shows? Looking back now, how many of those programs can you actually remember watching?
Some of the first Nickelodeon shows that pop into your mind are probably Spongebob Squarepants, All That, Rugrats, Hey Arnold!, Fairly Odd Parents, Jimmy Neutron, or Invader Zim. These are some of the most popular shows, but there were so many more that get shoved to the back of our mind.
Nickelodeon created so many iconic television shows that many of them left a huge impression in our minds. Every time we see or hear about these shows, we feel a sense of nostalgia and a longing for our childhood.
However, not all the shows we watched left a lasting impression. Some Nickelodeon shows were so strange and obscure that they were quickly erased from our minds. Then, there were others that were simply overshadowed by more popular shows of the time. Lastly, there were the shows that are just so old now that our brains simply can’t reach back to retrieve those memories.
It’s time to take a look at all of those forgotten shows– the obscure, overshadowed, and old Nickelodeon shows that are left to rot in the dark depths of our subconscious.
So get ready for a trip down memory lane, because here are the 20 Nickelodeon Shows You Completely Forgot About.
If you’re a ’90s kid, you probably remember reading at least two series of books as a kid: Goosebumps and Animorphs. Both were made into television shows, but Animorphs was completely overshadowed by the more popular Goosebumps series.
Much like the books, Nickelodeon’s Animorphs revolved around the story of five humans who could transform into any animal that they touched. Along with their alien friend, they use their secret abilities to fight off an alien invasion by slug-looking creatures called Yeerks, who could take humans as their hosts.
Although the book series was popular, Nickelodeon’s television adaption was not as well received. It had a short run and only lasted for 26 episodes. Since then, the show has been long forgotten and sent to the dark abyss of the deepest parts of our memory.
19. The Wild Thornberrys
The Wild Thornberrys had everything a child could want in a jam-packed show. It fed children’s love of animals, their curiosity of the world, and their spirit for adventure.
However, interestingly, the show was actually designed to concentrate on the parents. After conducting a focus group, it was revealed that parent-child relationships were missing in many of Nickelodeon’s shows.
Prior to Wild Thornberrys, Nickelodeon programs primarily focused on the children and left out the parents from their daily life. Therefore, Wild Thornberrys created a fun and hilarious adventure that incorporated the entire family.
The show focused on a family that traveled together to promote their eccentric dad’s wildlife documentaries. Through their travels, the family adopts a wild boy named Donnie and their daughter Eliza gains the ability to talk to animals.
18. My Life As a Teenage Robot
My Life as a Teenage Robot was created by Rob Renzetti, the same animator/director who brought us Dexter’s Laboratory, The Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack, and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. With so many hits to his name, it’s a wonder why this one got lost in the crowd.
My Life as a Teenage Robot follows the story of a girl named Jenny who simply wants to fit in at her school. Sounds like a typical Nickelodeon story, right? Well, the only problem is that Jenny isn’t a typical girl – she’s not even a girl at all.
Jenny is also known as XJ-9– she is a robot created by Dr. Nora Wakeman to serve as the protector of the world. Armed with an arsenal of weapons, XJ-9 must juggle her robot duties with her simple desire to be a normal teenager.
The show ran for two years until it was canceled due to low ratings in 2005. However, despite low ratings, My Life as a Teenage Robot received many positive reviews from critics and was even nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award.
17. Legends of the Hidden Temple
In this Indiana Jones-inspired game show, six teams must battle their way through a temple “filled with lost treasures protected by mysterious Mayan Temple Guards.”
Olmec, the talking statue is the only one who knows the true legend behind each of the treasures within his temple. However, he encourages each team to test their luck at finding the lost artifact.
The game starts with the host, Kirk Fogg swinging in on a rope and an introduction of the teams. Then, the teams go head-to-head in three rounds that test their mental and physical abilities. Only one team can make it to the final round, where they have three minutes to retrieve the episode’s lost artifact.
The game show was so popular that Nickelodeon revamped it with an original made-for-TV movie in 2016. The movie follows three siblings who break away from a temple tour in the jungle and find themselves in the Legends of the Hidden Temple.
16. Cousin Skeeter
It seems hard to think that the world forgot about this extremely unique show, but somehow, we all managed to erase it from our minds.
The show starred a kid named Bobby, whose life was flipped around when his cousin Skeeter came to live with his family. However, Skeeter isn’t just a normal kid. He’s a puppet… but no one in the show mentions it, or even seems to realize it. Skeeter is simply treated like a normal kid throughout the show.
Cousin Skeeter aired on Nickelodeon from 1998 to 2001, which translated to three seasons and 52 episodes. Throughout its history, the show featured many cameos, including Michael Jordan, MC Lyte, Dennis Rodman, and Shaq. Shaq even directed his own episode and Nick Cannon wrote a script for the show.
15. Danny Phantom
“Danny Phantom, he was just 14 when his parents built a very strange machine, designed to view a world unseen. It didn’t quite work, his folks just quit. Then, Danny took a look inside of it. There was a big flash, everything just changed. His molecules got all rearranged. When he first woke up, he had realized, he had snow white hair and glowing green eyes. He could walk through walls, disappear and fly. He was much more unique than the other guys.”
The show may not be one of the most memorable Nickelodeon shows, but the theme song was definitely catchy. After being infused with ectoplasm and turning into a half-human, half-ghost, Danny Phantom set off to protect the world from otherworldly beings. He’s gotta catch them all cause he’s Danny Phantom.
14. As Told By Ginger
As Told By Ginger was a teenage drama turned animated series. The show followed Ginger Foutley through middle school and eventually high school on her quest for popularity.
It’s a typical teenage show with typical teenage problems. Ginger goes to school and tries to fit in, while she comes home to a scheming brother and nurturing mother.
However, even though the show had a very common storyline, it was very advanced for its time. While characters in most animated series wear the same clothes every day to save on time and money, the characters in As Told By Ginger changed their outfits every day.
13. Figure It Out
Nickelodeon in the ’90s was all about the slime, and this show embraced the sticky, green substance.
As a mixture of Steve Harvey’s Little Big Shots and I’ve Got a Secret, children with special talents or achievements competed on the show as a panel of Nickelodeon celebrities tried to guess a phrase that described each contestant’s talent on Figure It Out.
However, underlying the overall game was a secret slime action. If one of the celebrity panelists performed the action, they would get slimed. This action was something extremely simply and almost guaranteed to happen throughout the show, such as “looking to the left” or “saying ‘I don’t know.’”
12. The Journey of Allen Strange
Nickelodeon was apparently a fan of the sci-fi genre in the ’90s, and The Journey of Allen Strange was one of the network’s sci-fi experiments.
From 1997 to 2000, fans followed the story of an alien disguised as a human. The alien eventually gets adopted by a family who ultimately gives him the name Allen Strange. The name is fitting because Allen possesses many powers including the ability to hover and turn back into his alien form.
Although many people don’t remember The Journey of Allen Strange, they may have learned a thing or two from some of the episodes. Some episodes touched on thought-provoking topics such as race and diversity.
For example, Allen says that he chose to be an African American boy when thinking about the task of blending in with society. He, however, is extremely unaware of what it means to be African American and brought a plain black poster board in for his Black History Month presentation. This led to a Black History Month special that taught Allen and viewers about slavery and the Civil Rights Movement.
It’s truly unfortunate that Pelswick lands on a list of forgettable shows, especially since it was the first of its kind to feature a disabled teenage boy.
Based on books written by John Callahan, the show emphasized the normalcy of a teenage boy’s life despite being in a wheelchair. When Callahan was 21, he was a passenger in a drunk driving accident which left him quadriplegic. After the accident, he learned how to hold a pen between both hands and became a cartoonist.
Callahan’s cartoons were considered very taboo and many critics called them politically incorrect. However, Nickelodeon found them inspiring and created Pelswick to send a message to the world. The show however emphasized normalcy and downplayed the violence found in Callahan’s cartoons.
Taking advantage of Lil’ Romeo’s success, Nickelodeon created a television show that centered around his life.
In the show, Romeo raps in a band called The Pieces of the Puzzle with three of his on-screen family members. Their father, who is also Romeo’s real-life dad, is a record producer who helps his family on their road to success.
Along the way, Romeo gets in many crazy situations, particularly with his adopted brother, Louis Testaverde, who has to become his best friend and go-to person for an adventure.
Romeo! was on air for three seasons between 2003 and 2006, and was rerun on Nickelodeon and other networks up until 2009.
9. Double Dare
As one of the greatest game shows of all time, Double Dare put Nickelodeon on the map. Within a month after its release, the show tripled Nickelodeon’s viewership of its afternoon line up and became the most-watched daily programs on cable television.
Over 1 million families tuned in every week to watch two teams compete for cash and prizes. Each round started with a physical challenge which awarded the winning team control of the game, and extra points in their cash pot.
Then, the host asked trivia questions to the team that was in control. The controlling team could either answer the question or dare the other opponent. However, their opponent could double dare back, quadrupling the cash reward.
Double Dare became a fun show for the entire family and was even adapted to include a program called Family Double Dare. It was also revamped in later years as Super Sloppy Double Dare and Double Dare 2000.
8. Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide
Where would you be today without Ned Bigby’s School Survival Guide? Many of us owe a lot to the show, yet we sometimes forget where we came from.
In a middle school full of bullies, insane teachers, and gross school lunches, Ned Bigby and his two best friends, Cookie and Jennifer Mosley, try to do the impossible: create a guide that will help you survive school.
The best part about Ned’s Declassified was that it didn’t downplay the horrors of middle school. The show simply followed the trio’s insane trials and tribulations to show you that anything is possible when you work together with your friends.
7. You Can’t Do That On Television
You Can’t Do That on Television was started in Canada in 1979, and was only intended to air on Ottawa’s CTV station. However, Nickelodeon became interested in the show and brought it over to their network in 1981, where it ran until 1990.
While many shows of the time aimed to teach children something educational, You Can’t Do That on Television was the complete opposite. It was anti-educational and was simply focused on making children laugh without any educational content. The idea became a huge success and the show’s ratings constantly soared.
You Can’t Do That on Television was shot in a sketch comedy format in which actors acted out skits based on an episode’s specific theme. Many of these skits were full of bathroom jokes and the show is known now as the birthplace of gross humor. It was also the first show to introduce Nickelodeon’s infamous green slime.
6. 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd
In 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd, the main character, Eddie McDowd was a playground bully… until one man changed his fate. This man, who called himself “The Drifter,” approached Eddie and said that that he will be punished for his bullying by living life as a dog. Only when he completes 100 good deeds can he transform back into a normal human being.
The Drifter and Justin, the last kid who Eddie bullied, are the only ones who can hear him speak, so Justin helps his bully overcome his bad habits and complete his 100 good deeds.
The show’s premise was much like Beauty and the Beast. However, unlike the movie, Eddie McDowd never got his redemption. The show was canceled due to low ratings and viewers never got to see the ending.
If you grew up with Emma Roberts, you remember obsessively singing songs about Jake Bahari, hanging out with Geena and Zack at Juice!, and being confused by Randy Klein.
Many fans tuned in to watch the show religiously and Nickelodeon banked on it by selling Unfabulous soundtracks, books, and even a Game Boy Advanced video game.
However, the show’s popularity came to an end after three seasons. This was because, although it had many of the great storylines of much more popular teenage shows, Unfabulous came out prior to the age of female-dominated teenage dramas.
4. Gullah Gullah Island
When you think about the most iconic children’s show, you probably think of Barney. However, for some kids, their childhood memories weren’t of a purple dinosaur, but rather a yellow frog.
Gullah Gullah Island was a musical children’s show that aired on Nickelodeon from 1994 to 1998. The show was a part of the network’s initiative to expand its preschool programming and introduce multicultural influences to their audiences.
Based on elements of Gullah culture, Gullah Gullah Island was the first show of its kind to star an African-American family and an indigenous black community.
It was truly ground-breaking for multicultural programming and has since been constantly praised by critics for its cultural learning, colorful sets, and catchy tunes. It was even named in 1996 as one of TV Guide’s top ten children’s shows.
Although the show may sometimes be overshadowed by a giant purple giant, Gullah Gullah Island was truly beyond its years and provided an aspect of children’s shows that was simply unheard of during the early ’90s.
3. Yakkity Yak
“Yakkity Yak, don’t talk back!” Even if you don’t remember watching the show, you might remember the theme song constantly playing on Nickelodeon.
Remade from the original song by the Coasters, Yakkity Yak’s theme song played through colorfully random scenes of a yak floating through space, chasing after a bus, and finally landing on stage with a microphone.
Yakkity Yak was an extremely short-lived show about a yak who dreams of becoming a famous comedian. He is joined on the show by a talking pineapple and a human girl.
The show featured animation that was extremely different from Nickelodeon’s typical shows, and seemed to be an attempt for the network to compete with Cartoon Network. The inconsistent animation paired with an extremely bizarre plot made Yakkity Yak doomed from the start, and the show only lasted one season.
Rudy’s got the chalk – the chalk to draw ChalkZone. In ChalkZone, Rudy Tabootie is a fifth grader who obtains a magical piece of chalk that allows him to discover a hidden world beyond his teacher’s chalkboard. Known as ChalkZone, this alternate world takes everything that has ever been erased and brings it to life.
While in ChalkZone, Rudy meets one of his creations, a blue quasi-superhero named Snap. Together they go on adventures through the new world, meeting creatures such as the Cyclops, Skrawl, and Blocky. Rudy also invites his best friend and crush, Penny Sanchez to join the world of ChalkZone.
The show was extremely creative, cute, and witty. Therefore, it had a huge cult following.
Probably one of the best shows to ever air on Nickelodeon, KaBlam! was a sketch comedy show that ran from 1996 to 2000. Hosted by the animated characters, Henry and June, each episode ran for 30 minutes and included four 2-5-minute programs.
Some of these mini-programs included Action League Now!, the story of a band of incompetent superhero action figures, Prometheus and Bob, a silent feature about an alien attempting to educate a caveman, and Angela Anaconda, the adventures of an eight-year-old in Tapwater Springs.
Kablam! ran from 1996 to 2000, but many of the mini-programs ran during Nicktoons commercial breaks until 2008. These shorts also appeared at the beginning of some theatrical releases. An episode of Action League Now! appeared before Good Burger, and an episode of Angela Anaconda came on before Digimon: The Movie.
Are there any other Nickelodeon shows that we’ve completely forgotten? Let us know in the comments!
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