11 '90s Nickelodeon Shows Your Parents Didn't Let You Watch When You Were A Kid
Childhood would have been so boring (and dangerous) if your parents had let you do whatever you wanted to do. Some of their rules (like not running with scissors) were solid, but when it came to TV, your parents probably just did not understand. OK, maybe they did understand. You lived and breathed Nickelodeon, but there were some Nick shows your parents didn't want you watching. While some of those shows were harmless, at the very least, you have to admit they probably had a point about The Ren & Stimpy Show — you definitely have some repressed memories from that Ren has a toothache episode.
For Nick-loving kids, watching Nickelodeon in the '90s was a constant battle that involved begging, promising to clean your room, and lying to your friend's parents about how your parents were totally cool with you watching the entire lineup. Looking back, it is hard not to sympathize with your parents a little bit. I mean, I will always love The Adventures of Pete & Pete for the nostalgia factor, but I have sat through enough episodes of some kids shows for my nephew to know sometimes a kid's favorite show can be downright torturous for an adult.
Whether they were devoid of educational value, left you with nightmares that kept your mom up all night, or just hilariously inappropriate, these are the Nickelodeon shows your parents straight up banned in the '90s.
1. The Ren & Stimpy Show
Ren and Stimpy reveled in all things grotesque. From ghost farts to graphic depictions of all things disgusting to rampant sexual innuendo, Ren and Stimpy was the least kid friendly kid's show to ever make it on air. While you were happily singing the Log jingle, your parents were likely having panic attacks about the sheer amount of cartoon violence and fart jokes being poured into your impressionable kid brain.
2. Rocko's Modern Life
Your parents were probably definitely not a fan of Rocko's adult humor (remember this is the show that managed to include a gag about Rocko working for a sex line), but I suspect the biggest reason parents hated poor Rocko is because he was just too real. Whether you realized it or not, you were soaking up a lot of existential adult pain while watching Rocko and his friends deal with the trials of modern life.
3. The Adventures Of Pete & Pete
The Adventures of Pete and Pete is an objectively awesome show. It was experimental, daring, and had a rocking soundtrack. However, what your parents saw was a show full of kids showing rampant disrespect to adult figures and having sexy lady tattoos. I like to think they would appreciate the show now, but when you were eight they were so not cool with the Petes.
4. Are You Afraid Of The Dark?
You know why your parents straight up banned this show? Because after you watched "The Tale of the Ghastly Grinner" you slept in their bed for a month.
5. Aaahh!!! Real Monsters
Like pretty much every other Nickelodeon cartoon, the story of Ickis, Oblina, and Krumm was not even a tiny bit educational. Your parents were probably OK with you watching a few "fun" shows, but they wanted those shows to have at least 85 percent less bodily function humor and monsters trying to terrify children.
6. Double Dare
Most of Nick's game shows were aspirational. Then there was Double Dare which featured buckets of slime and kids digging things out of a giant nose. In my house, it was my mother witnessing the nose challenge that led to me sneaking in episodes when she left for work.
7. SpongeBob Squarepants
This one is for you younger millennials. SpongeBob made his television debut in 1999, and immediately became the heir apparent to Rocko and Ren and Stimpy. SpongeBob is loud, full of adult humor, and often super gross. The show even included a gag where SpongeBob is caught watching sponge porn by Gary once. Yeah.
8. Salute Your Shorts
You probably thought you were safe with Salute Your Shorts if you slipped the Zeke the Plumber episode by the parentals, but honestly the title alone sent up reg flags. To be honest, it probably wasn't the content your parents found objectionable, it was the show's penchant for featuring loud (to adults) characters.
A cat and a dog shared one body. Your parents were witnessing the birth of The Human Centipede and they were not OK with that.
10. The Angry Beavers
The Angry Beavers was plagued by controversy throughout its run, starting with the Beavers use of the phrase "shut up" (I am not kidding). Parents were not amused.
Not every parent was opposed to the seemingly innocent Rugrats, but if your parents ever stopped to actually watch a few episodes, they were probably shocked to find those adorable babies dealing with bullying from Angelica, constant danger (the sheer amount of times Tommy and his friends were either left somewhere or wandered off on their own is astonishing), and Grandpa watching space beauties on TV.
Growing up as a Nick fan in the '90s was not easy when your parents hated almost the entire lineup, but you always found a way to watch your shows — probably because your role models were crafty characters like Little Pete and Tommy Pickles. Are you starting to see your parents' point?
Image: Nickelodeon; Giphy (11)