34 Classic and Old Nickelodeon Shows
In the 90s and 2000s, life was difficult for kids. The Internet was still a new thing and nobody had cell phones. Not a single kid ever heard the words Youtube, Instagram, or TikTok. TV was the only way for kids to get entertained. Indeed, classic and old Nickelodeon shows were a big part of every kid’s life. The channel launched in the late 70s and became hugely popular with kids.
There weren’t a lot of options for kids back in the day. Luckily, Nickelodeon had a wide variety of shows to entertain kids after school, on the weekends, and on sick days. The old Nickelodeon shows had something for everyone, including sitcoms, sketch comedy, and cartoons. Many of the series became massively popular with all ages, including adults. Plus, several of Hollywood’s biggest stars got their big break on these Nickelodeon shows. These old Nickelodeon shows will bring back memories of a simpler time in life.
34 Classic and Old Nickelodeon Shows
1. Double Dare
In the late 80s, the classic Nickelodeon game show Double Dare hit the airwaves to rave reviews. The series features two teams of kids competing in physical challenges and answering trivia questions for a cash prize. Of course, the physical competition usually gets messy and includes slime, whipped cream, and milk. Double Dare was Nickelodeon’s first major hit and is one of their longest-running shows. Fans and critics consider Double Dare one of the greatest game shows of all time.
Living in Bluffington wasn’t always easy for Doug Funnie. He did his best to survive life and win over his crush. The beloved cartoon Doug was the first Nicktoon. At the time, Nickelodeon was trying to push the envelope with cartoons with edgier content. Doug was more subtle and dealt with relationships, rumors, and bullying.
3. The Ren & Stimpy Show
The critically acclaimed Ren & Stimpy Show changed cartoons forever. Indeed, the groundbreaking series is one of the best classic Nickelodeon shows. It revolves around a psychotic dog, Ren, and the sweet but dopey cat, Stimpy. The series hit the airwaves in 1991 and caused a ton of controversy due to the adult humor, intense violence, and sexual references. Regardless, critics still praise the series and consider it a cult classic.
Fans and critics regard Rugrats as one of Nickelodeon’s greatest cartoons. The series doesn’t have the adult humor that other shows feature. Instead, it is a simple show about a group of toddlers trying to navigate life in the crib. Regardless, it still appeals to all audiences. The series debuted in 1991 and is the second Nicktoon. Arlene Klasky, Paul Germain, and Gábor Csupó created the iconic series and brought Tommy, Chuckie, Dil, Phil, Lil, and Angelica to life.
5. Invader Zim
Despite only airing for one season, fans consider Invader Zim one of Nickelodeon’s best shows in history. The series debuted in 2001 and took children’s cartoons to new places. The network canceled the groundbreaking series before the second season due to low ratings. Regardless, it soon gained a huge cult following. The dark but hilarious cartoon follows an alien, Zim, as he tried to conquer Earth. In 2019, a continuation of the series Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus debuted on the streaming service Netflix.
6. SpongeBob SquarePants
The classic Nickelodeon cartoon, SpongeBob SquarePants, is a cultural phenomenon that entertains kids and adults around the globe. The iconic cartoon took the world by storm in 1999. Of course, it’s still on the air and remains hugely popular. Indeed, there isn’t a person in the world who hasn’t heard of the hilarious SpongeBob SquarePants that lives under the ocean at Bikini Bottom.
7. The Fairly OddParents
The Fairly OddParents is Nickelodeon’s second longest-running show. The hilarious cartoon debuted in 2001 to critical acclaim. It’s easily one of the best old Nickelodeon shows in the channel’s history. The series revolves around a young boy, Timmy Turner, and his two fairy godparents. The popular series aired for an impressive ten seasons and won several significant awards.
8. Are You Afraid of the Dark
The horror series Are You Afraid of the Dark debuted on Nickelodeon in 1991 to universal praise. The series is a team effort between Nickelodeon and Canadian network YTV. Indeed, the pilot episode aired on YTV in 1990. The series hit the airwaves in 1992 and became a critical and commercial success. The series revolves around a group of friends called “The Midnight Society” that meet up in the woods to tell scary stories.
9. All That
In 1994, the memorable sketch series All That debuted to positive reviews. At the time, the network wanted to make a Saturday Night Live for kids. The famous sketch series aired for ten years and became a staple of Nickelodeon. Indeed, critics praised the diverse cast members, which was rare during that time. The classic Nickelodeon show launched the careers of several cast members and resulted in numerous spin-offs.
10. Danny Phantom
In the 2000s, every kid knew the name Danny Phantom. Danny Phantom is a simple boy who is a ghost-human hybrid. The popular series follows Danny as he protects Earth from ghost attacks. Fans and critics praise the series to this day. Undoubtedly, the groundbreaking cartoon paved the way for other animated shows in that era. Indeed, the critically and commercially acclaimed series is one of Nickelodeon’s best cartoons.
11. Kenan & Kel
Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell first gained fame as cast members of the sketch comedy All That. In 1996, they starred in their own Nickelodeon sitcom, Kenan & Kel. The series revolves around the two best friends as they go on several misadventures. The comedy duo was an instant hit and starred in a Kenan & Kel TV movie and the feature film Good Burger.
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12. The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo
The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo debuted to rave reviews in 1996. The series revolves around a Chinese American teenager that solves crimes with her best friends. The series includes iconic actor Pat Morita portraying Shelby’s grandfather. Every teenager in the 90s knew to call Shelby Woo when they had a mystery that needed solving.
13. Hey Arnold
Nickelodeon built a reputation for having the very best animated cartoons. Despite being for kids, these shows spoke to all audiences. In 1996, Hey Arnold! debuted and became one of the most popular shows. The series revolves around Arnold as he navigates life with his family and friends in Washington. Hey Arnold is one of Nickelodeon’s best cartoon shows.
14. The Amanda Show
In 1999, Amanda Bynes starred in the All That spin-off The Amanda Show. The popular sketch comedy and variety show stars Bynes, Drake Bell, and Nancy Sullivan. The memorable series helped take Bynes’s career to the next level and turned her into a household name. The Amanda Show remains one of Nickelodeon’s best old shows.
15. The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius
The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, will go down in history as one of Nickelodeon’s best series. The series follows the critically acclaimed 2001 movie Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius. In 2002, the series debuted on the network and quickly gained praise. The series follows Jimmy and his friends on various adventures where Jimmy’s inventions would backfire.
16. The Nick Cannon Show
Nick Cannon first gained fame as a popular cast member on the Nickelodeon sketch series All That. Cannon proved so popular he starred in his own spin-off. In 2002, The Nick Cannon Show debuted on Nickelodeon. It’s a partly scripted and improvised show that follows Cannon as he tries to solve problems. The series ended in 2003, but Cannon’s career took off.
17. The Wild Thornberrys
The Wild Thornberrys debuted in 1998 and became an instant hit for Nickelodeon. The famous cartoon follows a documentary filmmaker and his family, The Thornberrys, traveling across the globe. The series aired for four seasons and includes a 2002 feature film. Later, The Wild Thornberrys and Rugrats teamed up for a crossover movie, Rugrats Go Wild.
18. Clarissa Expalins It All
Melissa Joan Hart’s big breakthrough was in the classic Nickelodeon series Clarissa Explains It All. The series debuted in 1991 and quickly became a popular sitcom. The unique series features Hart’s character Clarissa breaking the fourth wall and speaking directly to the audience. Hart went on to become a major Hollywood star.
19. Rocko’s Modern Life
The cult classic cartoon Rocko’s Modern Life revolves around an Australian wallaby, Rocko, and his friends living in O-Town. In the early 90s, Nickelodeon wanted to add risky shows with an edge to their lineup. Rocko’s Modern Life was precisely the type of cartoon they wanted. The series stirred up controversy with its adult humor and storylines aimed at an older audience. It has since gained a large cult following.
20. The Secret World of Alex Mack
The Secret World of Alex Mack was a popular series on Nickelodeon in the mid-90s. The unique series revolves around Alex Mack, who develops superpowers after being doused with a strange chemical. Indeed, anyone that was a teenager in the 90s remembers watching this classic Nickelodeon show. It remains one of Nickelodeon’s best classic shows.
21. Legends of the Hidden Temple
The Legends of the Hidden Temple was a popular Nickelodeon game show in the mid-90s. The channel had a lot of success with game shows in the past, notably Double Dare. Legends of the Hidden Temple features six teams of two as they complete physical challenges and answer trivia questions about folklore, geography, and history. If the contestants were successful, they’d recover a relic from the temple.
22. Aaahh!!! Real Monsters
In the 90s, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters joined Nickelodeon’s cartoon lineup. At the time, the network featured classic cartoons for kids and adults that are still popular. Aaahh!!! Real Monsters aired for several seasons and follows three monsters in monster school. The monsters learn to be frightening and scare humans on the surface. It features crude humor that doesn’t appeal to everyone but had a solid fan base that loved those jokes.
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23. Hey Dude
The old Nickelodeon show Hey Dude aired from 1989 to 1991. It revolves around a family and their employees running the Bar None Dude Ranch. The series is one of the many Nickelodeon shows aimed at a teenage audience. It only lasted a few seasons but launched the careers of David Lascher and Christine Taylor.
24. The Journey of Allen Strange
Nickelodeon specializes in cartoons and live-action sitcoms. However, they are also masters of the science fiction genre. In 1997, The Journey of Allen Strange took Nickelodeon by storm. The series revolves around an alien that crashes on Earth and can’t get home. The popular series aired for three seasons and still has fans talking about it.
25. Zoey 101
Zoey 101 was a popular teen drama that debuted in 2005 on Nickelodeon. The series stars Jamie-Lynn Spears and was a massive hit with teens and younger audiences. It failed to connect with an older audience. Regardless, critics praised the series, and it won numerous awards over the years. It’s easily one of Nickelodeon’s best shows of the early 2000s.
26. As Told By Ginger
Nickelodeon aimed to make shows for every age group, including young kids and teenagers. Of course, a few shows were clearly aimed at adults as well. The classic cartoon As Told by Ginger was a comedy-drama for preteens. The series follows Ginger and her friends as they try to break free of being geeks. The groundbreaking series hit the airwaves in 2000 to rave reviews. Critics praised the cartoon for featuring characters that aged and changed their appearance.
27. Nick Arcade
In 1992, Nickelodeon introduced a new game show, Nick Arcade. The series brought game shows, trivia, and the world of video games together. Indeed, most of Nickelodeon’s audience were probably big video game fans at the time this show aired. The game features two teams facing off in a trivia section. The winning team advances in the tournament to face the Video Game Wizard. The series only aired for one season but had a major impact.
28. Salute Your Shorts
The teen sitcom Salute Your Shorts debuted in 1991 and follows the lives of campers and their counselors at Camp Anawanna. The classic Nickelodeon show only aired for one season but often got high ratings. Indeed, the highly influential series paved the way for other Nickelodeon teen sitcoms that would shape the network.
29. The Angry Beavers
The Angry Beavers was part of the wave of Nickelodeon cartoons in the 90s that pushed the envelope. The series revolves around two beavers who move out of their parent’s house and get their own bachelor pad. The writers and network often clashed over the content of the show. Indeed, the writers used a few episodes to poke fun at the network. The popular series ran for five seasons and left a lasting impression on the industry.
30. Drake & Josh
Drake & Josh is a popular Nickelodeon show from the mid-2000s. The series follows two step-brothers, Drake and Josh. Actors Drake Bell and Josh Peck star as the main characters. They previously worked together on The Amanda Show. Drake & Josh aired for four seasons and included two made-for-TV movies.
A long list of Hollywood’s top stars had their big break on a Nickelodeon series. For instance, Emma Roberts starred in the popular teen sitcom Unfabulous. The series debuted in 2004 to positive reviews. It revolves around the unfabulous Addie Singer as she tries to navigate through life. The series was a massive hit with young kids and teenagers.
Nickelodeon had a wide range of cartoons for every age group. They introduced the world to some of the most unique cartoons. For instance, CatDog follows two conjoined brothers with two very different personalities. It doesn’t help that one brother is a cat and the other’s a dog. The series gained quite the following and lasted for four seasons.
33. Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide
In 2004, Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide debuted on Nickelodeon. Critics praised the show, although it did poorly in the ratings. The series follows Ned and his friends trying to survive middle school. Indeed, Ned often breaks the fourth wall to talk directly to the audience. It aired for three seasons, with the series finale airing in 2007
34. The Adventures of Pete & Pete
The Adventures of Pete & Pete hit the airwaves in 1993 to universal praise. The series follows the adventures of two brothers named Pete. The series actually debuted as 15-minute shorts in 1989 on Nickelodeon. Eventually, they made five half-hour specials that led to the memorable series.
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