Let's hear it for the return of '90s Nickelodeon: It's about time!

In college, I learned a foolproof method for striking up a conversation with just about anyone between the ages of 18 and 22: Mention an old Nickelodeon show, and soon enough, nostalgia would begin flowing like green slime. Sure, every now and then I’d encounter a kid who hadn’t grown up with cable (those poor, deprived souls!), but generally speaking, people my age (I just turned 23) have a fierce, borderline obsessive attachment to the TV of our childhood — and we’re also all convinced that Nick as a network started to take a serious nosedive in quality around the turn of the millennium. 

That’s why children of the late ’80s (and maybe those of the early ’90s as well, though I don’t like to think about them because they make me feel ancient) let out a collective shriek of excitement when EW’s Lynette Rice broke the news that TeenNick — the Viacom-owned channel formerly known as Noggin and The N — will begin airing Nickelodeon shows from the ’90s this fall. Even though the programming block will appear on an obscure cable network from midnight to 2 a.m., I’m still beyond excited. I can’t wait to watch old episodes of All That and see if what made me howl with laughter at age 9 (Lori Beth Denberg’s “Vital Information,” anybody?) still elicits chuckles, or to marvel once more at how truly bizarre Pete & Pete was, especially for a kid’s show. I’m ready to watch Tommy Pickles do what a baby’s gotta do, and to covet Clarissa Darling’s awesome programming skills, and to recite along with the TV when Kenan goads Kel into declaring his love for orange soda: “Is it truuueee?”

In fact, the only problem I have with this announcement is that the shows I loved most — namely, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Salute Your Shorts, and Aaahh!!! Real Monsters — aren’t on the list of series that TeenNick is planning to start airing again. [UPDATE: A rep from MTV networks informs me that Salute Your Shorts did, in fact, make the cut. Think Anawanna-wanna, speak Anawanna-wanna, live Anawanna-wanna UGH!] I know that in this modern age, I can watch clips from the former two on YouTube and full episodes of the latter on Netflix any time I want. But I also know that squinting at my computer screen won’t satisfy my nostalgic urges like watching these shows on a real, live TV would. (To really get the full experience, I’ll have to watch TeenNick’s ’90s block while lying on the living room floor, propped up on my elbows, with a piece of string cheese in my right hand and a Mott’s apple juicebox or three by my side.)

The net does indicate they’re hoping to expand their selection of ’90s shows over time; maybe my favorites will be back in the spotlight eventually. But until then, I can certainly make due with this selection. Well, except for The Amanda Show. Did anyone ever really like The Amanda Show?

What about you, PopWatchers: What ’90s Nickelodeon gems are you most looking forward to seeing again? What shows do you hope TeenNick will add to the lineup? And what old-school snacks do you plan on eating while taking in your childhood favorites?

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  • tracy bluth

    I can’t wait! I own the first season of Pete and Pete but have never been able to find the rest of them. Plus, Clarissa was totally my idol when I was a kid. They really do need to add Aahh! Real Monsters and Salute Your Shorts though.

  • Jenn

    Hey Dude. That and Salute Your Shorts, Roundhouse, and The secret World of Alex Mack werethree best things o. the sure back in the day!!!

    • etm

      Loved Hey Dude and Salute Your Shorts!! I know it wasn’t a Nick show, but I loved Small Wonder too!

    • Jen

      Hey Dude, Roundhouse and Salute Your Shorts were always my favorite…

  • Nerwen Aldarion

    OMG!!! Blast from the past, I remember coming home from 2nd Grade and immediately turning the TV on to watch Nickelodeon! “Who loves Orange Soda? Kel loves Orange Soda! Is it truuuuee? Mmmmhmmm I do I do I do-oo”

  • Jenn

    Sorry phone keypad likes to make up words lol.

  • Katie MB

    Let’s not forget “Hey Dude”. A classic if there ever was one!

  • Monty

    My favorites were Salute Your Shorts, Hey Dude, Roundhouse (Adam Carolla!), and Are you Afraid of the Dark. Oh, and pretty much anything from Nick GAS (games and sports) that went off the air a few years ago. I discovered that channel back when I was in college and we would play drinking games to Legends of the Hidden Temple, Guts, and Family Double Dare. Those darn kids always got stuck on the Shrine of the Silver Monkey…

    • Monty

      Also made more amazing were the prizes that the kids won, like a taple player boom box, LA gear shoes, and of course a trip to NICKELODEON STUDIOS IN ORLANDO FLORIDA!

      • Marissa

        I always just wanted to get slimed.

      • etm

        So cute! I loved Guts and Double Dare.

      • Jody

        i miss those shows! i used to want to be on them so i could win cool stuff…

    • tracy bluth

      I always dreamed of going on Legends of the Hidden Temple. It seemed so awesome!

    • The Dude

      I would get so agitated at the kids because they couldn’t put that stupid monkey together…I would yell at the TV, no joke. And I still think the final challenge in Family Double Dare is next to impossible…in all my years watching that show I think I only saw two or three families ever win the whole thing.

    • Kelsey

      It always baffled me how little kids actually knew about how the Temple worked. You’d think they’d learn just by watching it! And don’t even get me started on that stupid monkey, or the kids who couldn’t figure out how to push the freaking button to open the doors!
      Heck, I even had it down which rooms were likeliest to have Temple Guards …

    • aps

      I would love if TeenNick borrowed from GAS’s playbook a bit. the problem with that channel was that it couldn’t sustain itself 24/7. if you mix in the double dares, the lotht, GUTS, etc with the Clarissa’s, Doug, AYAOTD, pete and pete, hey dude, and salute your shorts…well….it would just be awesome. then you can go ahead and throw in degrassi and various other original programming they attempt, plus the more recent syndication shows currently on the channel. If they mix it up enough, I think it would be fantastic.

      • the97girl

        i agree 100 percent- even though i hate the new shows on TenNick. i wish they had a seperate Nick channel just for the re-runs of these classic nickelodeon shows.

  • Rolo Tomasi

    Pete and Pete

  • AmandaPlease

    Whoah hey. Don’t hate on The Amanda Show. Much of it was better than All That.

    • Monty

      No, it wasn’t. At least it wasn’t better than the first season of All That.

      • Hannah

        for my age group it was. I was born in ’92. My big sister watched all that but I never found it that funny. The amanda show had a lot of stupid humor that I, being an obnoxious little juicebox-drinking demon, loved.

  • Bhaskar

    I want to see Legends of the Hidden Temple get on that list !

  • Joseph

    I’m with you nobody liked the Amanda Show, I’d much rather have some classic episodes of The Secret World of Alex Mack

  • Jen

    You need to expand your age range further back in time to kids born in the early 80s moreso than the early 90s!

    • Voodoo

      I was thinking the exact same thing. I guess we’re considered “too old”. Yikes!

      • alexandra

        exactly. last i checked, cable came of age in the ’80s. these kids weren’t even born to see it when it first aired. or if they were, they were watching tv at 2. sheesh.

  • Maureen

    YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!! :D This 90s kid is so STOKED!!

  • C

    Um, I’m an early 90’s kid (born in March 1990) and I absolutely include myself in the fervently nostalgic for old Nickelodeon group. Don’t go getting exclusive, 80’s people!

    • AC

      Get out of my decade, C. You missed all the good TV around the time that you were born.

      • Voodoo

        I’m with you, AC. Now go and do your dance at the Max.

      • Emily

        Exactly…. I’m an 82 kid, and yes, Salute Your Shorts, and Are you Afraid of the Dark, Pete and Pete, Clarissa, were all awesome, and I would love to see them again! But they were towards the end of the beginning. Right before everything started to change. I loved Double Dare, and You Can’t do that on Television, Today’s Special, Heathcliff, Inspector Gadget, and Land of the Lost. If they could add some of those shows, it would be awesome! Unfortunately, they can’t show Doug, because they sold it to Disney, and Disney turned it into crap, and it will never be seen in the same way again.

  • gf120581

    Eh, I have the entire series of “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” on DVD (thank you, Ebay), so I can watch them and relieve a cherished childhood memory anytime I want. But it is annoying that TeenNick isn’t showing that, “Salute Your Shorts” or “Hey Dude” (yet, anyway).

    Oh well, at least “Pete and Pete” will be available again.

  • Laura

    I like the Amanda show but I’m one of those early 90s kids.

    • eddzies

      Please put on DOUG!!!!!
      – Patty Mayonnaise!!
      – Skeeter Valentine!!

      • Cat

        I loved Doug too!

      • Jody

        i loved their names, so original.
        “a-ee-oo, killer tofu!” (the only beets song we really ever heard..)
        i didnt even know what tofu was back then, but it was awesome!

      • Emily

        they can’t show Doug, because they sol it to Disney, and Disney turned it into crap, and it was cancelled after like 1 season.

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