Some television shows are like wine: they get better with age. Others tend to not be as great once you’re no longer a kid and you aren’t able to enjoy all the silly jokes. There are some Nickelodeon shows that will stand the test of time, but there are others that were only good when you were barely a few feet tall.
Reasons as to why some Nickelodeon shows don’t do as well once they age is because times change. Yes, while liking versus disliking can be subjective, there is something to say about a show being able to be enjoyable both when you were a kid and when you’re an adult.
That’s why some Nickelodeon shows are worse than you remember, while others are way better than you could have ever realized. There are even some shows that you might not have enjoyed as much when you were a kid, but will absolutely love now.
Regardless to personal opinions, going up against the test of time isn’t that easy. Thankfully, Nickelodeon has produced some of the best kid shows throughout the ages. That being said, not every show can be great.
Here are the 7 Nickelodeon Shows That Are Worse Than You Remember (And 8 That Are Better).
15. Better: Hey Arnold!
Hey Arnold! was a great show back in the 90’s and it’s still a great show now. In fact, it’s getting a television movie reboot soon called Hey Arnold the Jungle Movie that will premiere on Nickelodeon on November 23rd.
The show had a simple premise dealing with a bunch of kids in Arnold’s class and all the things they deal with while living in the big city. Arnold was way too mellow for his age. He had a best friend, a crazy family and home life, and a girl who was madly in love with him. Honestly, most people loved Helga more than any other character.
Hey Arnold! is still great to this day. In fact, it’s a fantastic show to revisit, especially with all the episodes being available on Hulu. It’s not annoying or overly ridiculous. It’s a show that is essentially timeless.
14. Worse: Rugrats
Rugrats was and still is a classic. That doesn’t mean it actually is that great though. Honestly, did you really think a show about a bunch of talking babies would interest you these days? While the show can entertain kids back in the 90’s, it’s not that entertaining now. In fact, it’s much worse.
The charm is gone with Rugrats. The show highlights them not knowing certain things and that just becomes tiresome after awhile. The babies act like more aware babies, but that’s not necessarily a good thing.
While you might have enjoyed this show back in the day, the show is much worse than you probably would have realized. Annoying babies, spoiled kids, and parents with issues that probably went over your head as a kid is essentially a recipe for a very annoying show.
13. Better: Rocket Power
Rocket Power brought something new to Nickelodeon. Having been around in the early 2000’s, the show followed four kids as they lived their lives surfing, skateboarding, and snowboarding.
The show hasn’t changed a bit. It’s as great as you remember it being. The kids aren’t obnoxious through the eyes of an adult and it’s as charming as ever. While the kids go through competitions for their various sports, they always learn that they’re friendship is what matters most of all, before anything or anyone else.
12. Worse: CatDog
CatDog was one of those cartoons that shouldn’t have worked, but did. At least, it worked when you were a kid. however, the show isn’t as great as you might have realized.
Having a show be all about a cat who is attached to a dog and all the shenanigans they get into isn’t actually that great. Especially when said cat is obnoxious and bossy, while the dog is dumb and crazy. Yes, the cat fits the stereotype cat description, as does the dog, but an entire cartoon about it just doesn’t work.
CatDog isn’t as great as you remember. The episodes are lackluster and ridiculous to the point that it’s basically unwatchable. While it might have been appealing while on the air, it isn’t appealing now.
11. Better: Invader Zim
Invader Zim was cancelled because it brought it more adult viewers than the network wanted. Nickelodeon wasn’t prepared to appeal to that type of audience. However, that means that the show is way better than you remember now that your kid goggles have been taken off.
Invader Zim followed Zim, an alien from the planet Irk who landed on planet earth. He had his servant/friend, Gir, and went to school. The show was certainly a bit strange and a little wacky, so not every kid was into it. That being said, it’s way better than most probably ever realized.
The cartoon is well-written, original, and fun to watch. Yeah, it’s a little weird, but that’s a good thing. Back in the day, it wasn’t the most appealing for everyone, but those days are done. Now, it’s a fantastic show for anyone to check out.
10. Worse: Zoey 101
While Zoey 101 might have been exciting back in the day, it’s difficult to get into it now. When you were a kid, it might have been fun to watch privileged kids at boarding school, having it all. But now, it’s different.
For one, there’s a lot of holes in the show, especially since it was cancelled after Jamie Lynn Spears became pregnant at 16. Also, it only has one main connection that weaved throughout the series that was never resolved: Chase loving Zoey.
The appeal of the show makes sense, but it’s pretty different watching it now versus when it was still on air. The show is actually a lot worse than you remembered it being, especially in the later seasons. The acting is a bit stiff and the writing isn’t the most imaginative.
9. Better: Clarissa Explains It All
Clarissa Explains It All is one of the most timeless Nickelodeon shows. The premise was simple: it followed Clarissa as she dealt with her teenage life, and the explained it all to the audience watching on. That being said, there was so much more to it than that.
There is so much insight and realism that Clarissa Explains It All brings to the table. In fact, the show was probably too wise for a network that was supposed to appeal to young kids rather than preteens and teens.
8. Worse: Keenan and Kel
Keenan and Kel was a spin-off from the show, All That. While it wasn’t done in the same style, it did still have the same type of humor. That’s why many are crying out for a revival of the series. Sadly, while it might have seemed hilarious back when it was still on air, it’s not that great now once revisited.
The first time Kel yells that he loves orange soda is charming. The second time, it’s still pretty funny. But by the third time, you’re pretty much over itThe show reuses the same jokes over and over again.
As a kid, that might have gone over your head, or you might have even loved the repetitiveness. However, it really takes away from being able to enjoy the show now.
7. Better: As Told By Ginger
As Told By Ginger was an amazing, yet completely underrated cartoon on Nickelodeon. Many critics called it “before its time,” which is why it’s way better than you remember it being. The show is beautifully written, encouraging, and completely believable. Ginger Foutley is the hero everyone needs in their life.
While the show was difficult to sell on Nickelodeon, it did have a cult following. The show tends to tackle issues that a kid audience might not appreciate it. However, Ginger and her friends and family turn a simple cartoon into a fantastic watch.
The show is much better than you remember it being. It’s funny, heartbreaking, and entertaining all at the same time. Give it a chance and you’ll see that maybe this show is much better than you originally realized.
6. Worse: Double Dare
Double Dare brought the reality television aspect to Nickelodeon. The premise was simple: two teams battle against each other to win cash and prizes.
Unfortunately, reality television has revolutionized since the show aired back in the day. It’s also super cheesy and not that difficult of a show, so it’s a lot worse than you probably remembered. The show also resulted in a bunch of spin-offs, but those too aren’t that great.
While it might be fun to reminisce during the first episode you watch, there’s not a lot more to it besides that. The show becomes repetitive, cheesy, and just too much. It’s so much worse than you remember it being, to the point that it might make you rethink your entire childhood.
5. Better: The Wild Thornberrys
If you are looking for a show that believes in uniqueness and the spirit of adventure, The Wild Thornberrys is the show for you. While the show didn’t last horribly long while it was on air, it still made a lasting impact with fans.
The Wild Thornberrys is even better than you remember it being. The fact that the main character can speak to animals isn’t as cheesy as you might think. Also, there’s a lot of maturity to this show. It’s a maturity that both kids who are growing up and adults who are already grown up can appreciate.
4. Worse: The Amanda Show
While Amanda Bynes has gotten into trouble since her time on Nickelodeon, as well as Drake Bell becoming a crazy person, that’s not the reason why The Amanda Show is worse than you remember. In fact, the show was never that great in the first place.
A spinoff of the show, All That, The Amanda Show focused on Amanda Bynes and the cast doing sketches. It was basic, and honestly not that funny. While the jokes potentially made you laugh out loud as a kid, you’re not going to be laughing now.
The show is way worse than you remembered. In fact, it’s downright annoying. The actress did what she needed to do and without the show, Drake and Josh would have never happened. However, that doesn’t automatically make it okay. It was over-the-top, but not in a good way. The show just tried too hard.
3. Better: Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Are You Afraid of the Dark? might have been too scary for some, but brilliant to others. The show went through different types of “ghost stories,” and it also included an appearance from Ryan Gosling himself (before he was a major superstar).
In order to truly appreciate Are You Afraid of the Dark?, you have to understand that this show wasn’t like any other kid’s programming. It was unique, told in a storytelling form, and took a lot of talent when it came to the acting.
Are You Afraid of the Dark? became a great show after some tweaking, and that tweaking helped it become a timeless classic. The show is a still pretty good to this day and is probably way better than you remember it being.
2. Worse: Spongebob Squarepants
Spongebob Squarepants is still on the air. The show has changed during its long run and it’s not as great as you might have remembered.
Revolving around Spongebob, a sponge in the sea, the cartoon is about Spongebob and his friends as he works at The Krusty Krab and goes jelly-fishing with his friend Patrick. That being said, since the show has been going on for so long, they’ve had to do some ridiculous things to keep audiences interested.
The show is certainly not that great when you consider all the newer episodes it’s producing. Having to appeal to different generations throughout the years, Spongebob Squarepants isn’t as great as you originally remembered it being.
1. Better: Jimmy Neutron
Jimmy Neutron is a boy genius who is too incredible for his friends and family. The cartoon is actually much better than you remember it being as it feels like it fits more for this time.
The show follow Jimmy as he learns how to balance being a kid and genius all at the same time. The jokes have aged well and the story lines are in no way stale. Plus, the graphics are pretty great too.
Jimmy Neutron is one of the Nickelodeon’s cartoons that is much better than you remembered it being. It’s smart, humorous, and fun to watch. While there might be some moments that you aren’t really into, overall the show is still pretty great.
Which Nickelodeon shows do you think got better? Which do you think got worse? Let us know in the comments!
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