The Top 10 Nicktoons of All Time
So, 90s nostalgia has kind of rubbed me the right way. If you get the reference congrats, you like Christina Aguilera music as much as I do. I started watching Will & Grace on Hulu and that started the 90s to shoot through me like 4th Meal at Taco Bell. Hulu has also graced us with the complete TGIF Lineup which is our next list. Hint…. It’s not the show where the kid ate the burger that was under a bed for a whole year. God, Teen Angel was awful. But while you are waiting for that one, let me present to you a list that will bring you that warm and fuzzy feeling. I remember my best friend at the time and I have long phone calls over what was Nickelodeon going to give us with their own original cartoons. Were they going to be funny? Were these Nicktoons going to push the envelope? Will there be adult jokes? And apparently the answer to all of these questions was a resounding YES! Nickelodeon launched Nicktoons. The networks own answer to the traditional cartoons that did dominate the air on Saturday Mornings. However, these cartoons were not geared towards normal children. This was not flashy colors getting your attention, in fact Nicktoons were story driven for the most part with humor that parents would love as well. Nicktoons were the edgiest thing on the network for at least 3 years when they introduced Snick. So today, we are going to countdown The Top 10 Nicktoons. And I know I am going to get hate mail for some of the picks on the list, but come on guys, did anyone really like As Told By Ginger? The criteria for the list…. It has to be a Nickelodeon original. Well, that may have been to simple. I may regret this later. Anyhoo! ON TO THE LIST
#10: Hey Arnold
If I were a child attending P.S. 118, I think I would have tried to be friends with Arnold. He just seemed to be a good kid, who happened to make leggings cool before 2007. Number 10 is Hey Arnold. The show followed around Arnold, his oddly shaped head, and the antics he would get into with the people of Hillwood. Arnold was raised by his Grandparents in their boarding home which led to some awkward moments. As a child I never realized that Arnolds Grandmother is suffering from a form of Dementia or Alzheimer’s which is some heavy shit to realize even when you are in your 30s. Arnold’s best friend Gerald, who was just cool. This show was Recess before Recess. He is also joined by occasional husky bully, Harold. The childhood version of walking under a ladder Eugene. And of course, we couldn’t talk about this show without bringing up bully/potential love interest (at least in her mind) Helga Pataki. The show was fine for what it was. It didn’t feel as if it were set in modern times at all. I always think this show is happening in the 1940s for some reason. The main reason for that is Stoop Kid. Who honestly just randomly has a stoop? Hey Arnold is getting a TV movie soon, so the show is being resurrected by fans and I can’t blame them. It may not have been a cartoon you went out of your way to watch, but if it was on, you watched. And, it’s a tumor? Right?
#9. Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius
An oversized head that if you were watching while drunk resembled a slightly melted Hershey Kiss. Coming in the 9 spot is boy genius Jimmy Neutron. Jimmy is a 12-year-old super genius, move over Sheldon Cooper, do you have a robotic dog named Goddard? I don’t think so. And anytime Jimmy were to end up in an amazing adventure, he was followed by his two best friends, the world’s largest Ultra Lord Fan Sheen, and his Lama Loving asthmatic pal Carl. They make a weird but effective team. Jimmy has a rival that also is a girl he ends up falling for and vice versa a few times in Cindy Vortex. But we all know who the breakout star of this show was! It was his dad, Hugh. His obsession with ducks and pie made him a national treasure that we should put on a bigger pedestal in the world of cartoons. The show garnered numerous TV movies and box office release. The show was a hit at least from ‘02 to ‘06.
People are going to hate this choice, I will call it now. There will be someone out there who will put my face on a dart board and make it the Bullseye. But coming into the 8th spot is the lovable Henry and June. Don’t remember the show yet? It was filled with mini episodes such as The Action League Now! which had a naked character. How about Life with Loopy or one of my personal favorites Prometheus and Bob! KABLAM! may honestly be the most underrated toon on this list because a lot of people forget about it. But the show was fun. And that is what separated the top list from the bottom list. KABLAM always seemed to put a smile on my face no matter the mood I was in at that time in life. Henry and June were the perfect animated hosts of this cartoon variety show, and one of the first of its kind. It has a place in history but where always tends to be the question. Plus, outside of Rugrats and Jimmy Neutron, it was the first Nicktoon to receive a spin off with Action League Now became its own show. But the problem was the idea of making that show 22 minutes? It lost the awesomeness of being part of the KABLAM lineup.
#7: SpongeBob SquarePants
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? And that is now part of pop culture history. I am not sure what it is about SpongeBob SquarePants that makes it so special, but the show works so well. The show follows a fry cook sponge who lives on minimum wage, owns a home, and has a pet snail. Yep, a giant fuck you to all fast food workers. SpongeBob is sidekicked (is that a word? It is now) by Patrick Starr who is one bun short of a Krabbie Pattie, the cheap but somewhat loveable Mr. Krabs, Sandy, the squirrel who can defy the laws of physics and live underwater, and Squidward, the cranky next-door neighbor who tries to thwart SpongeBob, but secretly loves him. Take that for whatever you will. The show started in 99 and is the longest running Nicktoon. If you want to feel old, SpongeBob turns 20 in two years. But I always have questions surrounding the show. How do they take showers underwater? How do they start fires? Who is Pearl’s Mom? And of course, what is the Krabbie Pattie made of? SpongeBob is the most iconic Nicktoon by far, but while the show is still great, sometimes it leaves a lot to be desired. Unless the episode has Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. Then you have sold me.
With these sort of lists, we always know that the first is going to make some kind of list. And when Nick debuted their own original three cartoons, the first one in the line-up falls into this spot. Doug! I loved Doug. There was something that simple about the show, and in some ways, you could relate to the main character especially if you moved to a new town. The show followed banjo playing preteen Doug and his adventures in the town of Bluffington. Joined by his trusty dog Porkchop, it was adventure after adventure. In the first episode he becomes friends with the neighbors The Denks, who always felt off but in a good way. Later, he would find his hetero life mate Skeeter Valentine and the rest you can say is history. Well, with the exception of him falling in love with Patty Mayonnaise. Here is the thing with Doug, when being on the list, you can’t count the Disney years. I am not sure why Nickelodeon sold the rights to Doug, but it was a train wreck. The show was a shell of its former self and nothing could save it. The show did end up back in the hands of Nick, but the damage had already been done. I will give a story about the show though. When I moved to Arkansas, someone tried to convince me to go Snipe hunting. Had I not watched Doug thwart the plans of Roger Klotz in the Nemotoad episode, I would have been in the woods all by myself. Who says you can’t learn anything from cartoon?!
#5. Ren & Stimpy
Another controversial decision to have this one so far down on the list. But, let me get my feelings out of the way first. I loved Ren & Stimpy, which happened to be the third in the original three. The show was funny, and had some very iconic pop culture moments. I still sing the LOG song from time to time, as well as Happy Happy Joy Joy. The two main characters were amazing. As far as cartoon chemistry goes, Ren & Stimpy were the 90s version of Tom and Jerry, just with more crude humor and a talking horse. The problem I have with this show is why it is in the 5 spot. The show pushed the envelope and that was one of the reasons for its demise on Nick, but the humor got really repetitive over the span of the episodes. It’s not a bad a thing, everyone enjoys beating a dead talking horse, but it took me out of the show. The show had iconic moments, but those moments may not have actually been from the episodes as much as the shorts. Log and Powered Toast Man to name a couple. The first episode is still my favorite. Stimpy becomes the spokes cat for Gritty Kitty Cat Litter. And even was a guest on the Muddy Mud Skipper Show. But outside the first one, and the weird Robin Hood episode, I don’t remember much.
#4. The Rugrats
We have listed Doug. We have listed Ren & Stimpy. It’s time to list the final original. Sandwiched in-between the previous two shows was The Rugrats. The premise of this show should have never worked. Talking babies who go on adventures shouldn’t have worked but it worked. And it worked damn well. Over the 13-year run of the show, which I believe is the third longest running cartoon if I am not mistaken, The Rugrats constantly kept reinventing itself. It is difficult as a show to say fresh, the perfect example of that is The Simpsons. It just feels stale. But if you constantly add new characters such as Dill, Kimi, and Susie, it always will add new stories. And that is something that is needed in the world of television. The show followed Tommy Pickles, Phil and Lil, Chuckie, Angelica, and their families as the children would wind up in some of the craziest situations. Tommy with his trusty screwdriver (Wait a second! Is Tommy Pickles a timelord?) would be able to lead the gang back into safety. I have never watched a cartoon and thought “As many times as those children were lost, you would think social services would be called,” but with Rugrats that thought always crossed my mind. Nick tried to keep the show going with the failed spinoff of All Grown Up, where all the kids were teens or preteens, no one actually knows because no one watched it. Rugrats will go down in history as one of the greatest cartoons of all time.
#3. Invader Zim
This show is a cult classic that I feel not having it as my number one, I might want to learn the words to the Doom Song. Invader Zim is flat out awesome. I don’t remember watching the show at all while it actually ran. One of my best friends talked me into watching it, and I would have kept that DVD set after borrowing it. I know that is a sin. But he remembered. Every damn day he remembered. The show follows an alien named Zim, who is set to learn all about this mystery planet, because no one want to deal with him. That planet is EARTH. He was given the most perfect non- perfect robot to accompany him on his mission named Gir. The show only ran for three seasons, but may be one of the most intelligent cartoons mixed with stupid humor that you will ever watch. The show is completely rewatchable over and over again. It is a show that never gets old no matter what. Once Zim is on earth, he tries to blend in, makes human friends, and puts his robot in a dog suit. What more could you ask for from a cartoon?
#2. The Fairly Odd Parents
The second longest running Nicktoon comes in at number two. I think a lot of people forget this show exists, or they are deniers of Fairy God Parents. Please say that with gusto of one Mr. Crocker and all will be right with the world. The Fairly Odd Parents follows Timmy Turner. A boy who was abandoned by his parents while they worked. Since they could not be at home, they hired the world’s worst babysitter named Vicky. One day out of the blue, two Fairy Godparents show up by the name of Cosmo and Wanda. And Timmy’s really terrible life changes forever, with the exception of Super Toilet. Cosmo is kind of a dimwit, Wanda has the brains. If that is not a damn metaphor for my marriage I do not know what is. I will make it clear that I am Cosmo. The show does exactly what The Rugrats did, keeps reinventing itself. A slew of TV movies, crossovers with Jimmy Neutron, even a human episode. And of course, Chris Kirkpatrick singing about his Shiny Teeth. There is a huge difference between this show and SpongeBob in terms of humor. Fairly Odd Parents will give you adult jokes, as well as jokes that shouldn’t be funny but ends up being hilarious. I am not sure how that works, but since 2001 it has been perfection for the show. And this show just like a few of the others, has one of the funniest Dads in all of cartoons. And if you want to blame someone for this Nicktoon not taking the top spot, it’s Dinkleberg.
#1. Rocko's Modern Life
This is a no brainer at least for me. Number one is Rocko’s Modern Life. I am already smiling just writing it. Let’s start with Rocko. A wallaby who owns a very weird dog, with some very entertaining fleas, works in a comic shop, and has a love/relationship with his neighbors, come on! That is every nerd’s wet dream come true. Also, the neighbor’s son is the writer of his favorite show. It would be like me moving in next to Kevin Smith’s mom. One of his best friends is a lounge singing turtle named Filburt that happens to be obsessed with washing his hands after turning comic book pages. Don’t scratch your head, you know someone like that. He happens to marry a dentist with a hook for a hand. His other best friend, and let this sink in for those who have never seen the show, is a steer named Heffer Wolf. He was adopted by a family of wolves of who didn’t eat him. That is about as believable as vampires drinking synthetic blood. The show is lined with adult humor all over the place. In fact, the name of the fast food chicken place the gang frequents is called The Chokey Chicken. Folks, that is comedy gold. Satan’s name is Peaches, and has utters on his head. Rocko’s Modern Life was the first Nicktoon to perfectly push the envelope between child and adult. I am not sure anyone thought this show would be so iconic in the world of cartoons, but it also paved the way for CatDog and SpongeBob. It all started from a Wallaby with an awesome shirt.