There you were after school, sitting at the kitchen table, or on the living room floor, or maybe even in your own bedroom having a casual viewing party of your favorite station, Nickelodeon. You were so obsessed that you might not have even noticed that Nickelodeon was ruining your childhood. And why would you? You loved Nickelodeon. There was all sorts of content that you, with your taste for yucky stuff, your love of erratic characters with funny accents, and your appreciation of Limited Too-style tween fashion could get behind.
Yeah, that's right. We were all these small little fools with searching wide eyes, simply trying to understand this cruel world and using the TV to do so. But little did we know — or maybe we were quite aware and just didn't care — that, with every episode of Spongebob Squarepants, and every commercial for Gak!, and every time a human got slimed, we were destroying whatever it was that made us happy children. "Where is this going," you might ask yourself, "and who does this girl think she is? Nick was the shiz!"
It was the shiz. I can't argue with that — but allow me to remind you now of how Nickelodeon had its downsides.
1. It Kept You From Going Outside
Back in the day, when our grandparents were running around in the street pushing tires with sticks and making dolls out of toothpicks, they spent a lot of time outside. We might have had some outside time, but let's all be honest — there were some times we could have played outside and learned a sport or something but instead chilled with our pals, Dagget and Norbert Beaver of The Angry Beavers
2. It Convinced You To Buy Gross Stuff
Gak? Floam? Smud? It was physically impossible for a child to not get dust or hair in these odd combinations of material that seemed to defy physics. Why buy a toy if it's only going to result in a lot of "Why do I get you these toys if you aren't going to put them away like I asked you to a zillion times?"
3. That Whole Short Attention Span Thing
In 2011, news agencies like NBC were all about the study from the journal Pediatrics, which found that watching a snippet of a SpongeBob cartoon negatively affected 4-year-olds’ attention spans. While the authors of the study acknowledge the show might not have the same negative effect on attention in older children, I'd prefer to blame television for my short attention span and not myself, because that's how I do.
4. It Could Be Downright Terrifying
How many nights did you go to bed certain that something evil was going to befall you? If you had just not watched Are Your Afraid of The Dark? to keep up with the big kids, maybe you would have gotten better sleep and be an astronaut by now. Unless you are an astronaut, in which case I do believe congratulations are in order.
5. Some Of The Shows Were Probably Inappropriate For Your Young Mind
No wonder we are all so into dark versions of comic book movies. Our young minds were tainted by filth like Ren & Stimpy. There were some serious adult themes going on in that show, and other shows like Rocko's Modern Life, that maybe could have been avoided.
6. Rocket Power
That is honestly all I need to say. Why was everyone so mean to Sam just because he was smart and didn't care about sports? This show hated dorky kids, and, though I was a dorky kid, I couldn't turn it off. Not everyone could skateboard like those kids could, and I'm sure this show led to multiple injuries.
7. Some Shows Made You Think Your First Crush Was Who'd You End Up With
All these characters were crushing on each other, and then it was always implied that they would get married someday (I'm looking at you Arnold and Helga). That's not really how it works, but, if it were, Billy M. from preschool and I would have a little curly-haired tot in the same preschool we attended.
8. We Stopped Reading As Much
Remember books? Yeah. Me neither. I was too busy watching Clarissa Explains It All to actually do any of my summer reading.
9. So Many Of Us Will Never Get Slimed
Ever. Never. Ever. I spent my whole childhood wishing, hoping, praying it would happen. And it never did. Life truly is a grand disappointment, and Nickelodeon helped teach us that lesson — but did they really need to?
10. It Created High Expectations
Nick shows always made things like dances and field trips and spooky outings late at night seem a lot cooler than they actually were. Turns out the real world when you're under 18 is not so fun. It's mostly a lot of wandering around, or reclining around watching TV, and trying to figure what to do next in order to quell the never-ending boredom.
11. It Made Us All Think Orange Was Our Color
I don't care what anyone says, the orange coloring of Nickelodeon is abrasive. But I'd be lying if I didn't invest in a few orange things of that shade because, hey, if Nickelodeon could do it in their marketing, I could do it in my personal I-am-12-years-old-this-is-who-I-am marketing of myself via fashion.
12. Television Will Never Seem As Good
'90s cartoons are what taught us how wonderful television could be. We will never have that joy and wonder ever again. Everything will always pale in comparison to some of our first years of life, when Nickelodeon showed us what entertainment really was about.
13. It Made Us Want Food That Doesn't Exist
Don't even get me started on Krabby Patties. Just don't.
I know you thought that all those hours you spent staring at the TV were all in good fun, but, really, Nickelodeon was slowly but surely ruining your childhood. Not that you regret a thing.
Images: Nickelodeon; Giphy (14)