Ah, the 90s, it’s a time remembered fondly by many of us at OJBG, for obvious reasons (if they’re not that obvious for you, hey… you should totally watch OJBG). You know what one of the best part about the 90s were? The cartoons. Oh, were they were glorious. There were a wide variety of them, you could get your Batman fix on the WB Saturday mornings, Simpsons was in it’s prime, Cartoon Network had all your favorite retro shows, even Disney Channel had some. But none compared to the king of cartoons, or should I say, nicktoons, Nickelodeon. The 90s were the golden age of nicktoons, where they could almost do no wrong… then 1999 came, and with it, Spongebob too. Don’t get me wrong, I’d watch Spongebob, but keep in mind I had a habit of just having the TV on for noise. After Spongebob, man, I don’t know… it wasn’t the same. Aside from some well hidden adult themed Fairly Odd Parents jokes, and the amazingly insane Invader Zim, Nicktoons fundamentally changed at the end of the 90s, and have never been the same since.
But enough with the melodramatics! Let’s get on with the list, and why these shows were awesome.
NUMBER 5: AAAHH!!! REAL MONSTERS
Real Monsters was just a flat out bizarre show, one of a great handful of shows that were strange in a truly fantastic way. What really stood out about Real Monsters were the character designs. Where else are you going to get a show where one of the main characters was a pudgy ball of flesh, who held his own eyeballs and had some serious BO issues? Then one of the show’s antagonist was a weird mini centaur looking thing, with ruby red high heels? What the heck was going on, was there a radiation spill or something? Combine the weird looking characters with the gross nature of the show (toenails as currency, toilet travel) and you had a hit for all the gross little kids who loved squashing bugs, and playing in mud.
NUMBER 4: DOUG
Doug freaking Funny… the original hipster, just writing love songs on his banjo, wearing sweater vests, and listening to the Beets all day long. Doug was just cool. As a young elementary school kid, I based my comprehension of age on where mine was in comparison to Doug (then it blew my mind when I realized I was eventually older than him). Highlights of the series were Quial Man adventures, hunting for nematodes, and Porkchop, the coolest dog ever. Yeah, sorry Joe Cool, Porkchop wins. Does anyone remember that super dramatic Christmas episode where Porkchop “bit” Beebe, and he almost had to be put down? Most excruciating commercial breaks ever for a kid who believes they might actually kill the dog.
PS… that switch to Disney channel and 7th grade, NEVER HAPPENED. Just like New Coke and Pepsi Crystal. No. Just, no. (I actually just looked that up and found out there were more Disney episodes than Nick… I’m sure they were all terrible)
NUMBER 3: ROCKO’S MODERN LIFE
I was debating on Rocko or Ren and Stimpy in terms of the “that one show I really liked for how wildly inappropriate it was for children” factor… Then I remembered the episode of Rocko where Really Really Big Man’s nipples went crazy and started attacking people… Rocko wins, sorry Powdered Toast man. Let’s be honest, most young children had no business watching Rocko… this is just wrong. It didn’t stop there, Rocko was probably the most normal character on the show, then you had Heffer, Filburt, Spunky, the Bigheads, those freaky chameleon brothers, and that’s just a small amount of the cast of ridiculous characters. I think my favorite episode was “Boob Tubed” where Heffer’s brain is literally sucked into the TV. Or when Mr. Bighead got his face stuck in a blender or something, becoming instantly gorgeous… Just a weird, weird show… I need to pick up those DVDs.
NUMBER 2: ANGRY BEAVERS
Angry Beavers just barely edged out Rocko in my mind, which is maybe because I’ve watched it again more recently over the past few years. It had some of those bizarre elements of Rocko but was rather clever with everything it had in the process. Where Rocko wore it’s weirdness and inappropriate nature on it’s sleeve, Angry Beavers was way more coy with it, and unless you were really paying attention, could sneak some stuff by your, rather easily. I remember a few years back me and my roommates were watching some Angry Beavers when we came across an episode where Norb’s dad was giving him grief for hearing him “tail slapping” in the bathroom. Norb’s response “I WAS CLEANING IT!” Yeah. Didn’t catch that when I was a kid.
NUMBER 1: HEY ARNOLD!
Remember everything I said about Doug Funny being the coolest dude on the block? Multiply that by 2, and you get Hey Arnold. Where Doug Funny was the original hipster, Arnold was that new and improved 2.0 version. It’s like going from a Moto RAZR to an iPhone, there’s just no comparison. Arnold had the freaking life. His room? Baller. Dude just sat in it all day, on his flip out couch, looking at the sky, and listening to jazz. His family/neighbors? Life was never boring with them, especially his insane Grandma. The ladies? Loved him. When you got girls worshiping gum statues of you in their closet, you know you’re doing something right. Hey Stewie Griffen, Arnold did that horribly disfigured head deal first, and he rocks it way better. It’s safe to say, I wanted to be Arnold… and honestly, I still do.
And there you have it, my list of my top 5 favorite Nicktoons. Man, did we have it good in the 90s, or what? Sure, shows like Adventure Time and Regular Show are fun, but nothing compares to the heyday of Nicktoons, nothing.