Top 10 Nickelodeon Facts That Will Shock You
VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu
WRITTEN BY: Jesse Singer
These facts about Nickelodeon will shock you. For this list, we'll look behind the scenes at the Nickelodeon network. The people, the shows, the things you saw and the things you didn't. Our countdown includes Dora the plaintiff, sexy Didi drawings, Jennette McCurdy is embarrassed, and more!
Top 10 Shocking Facts About Nickelodeon
Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Shocking Facts About Nickelodeon.
For this list, we’ll look behind the scenes at the Nickelodeon network. The people, the shows, the things you saw and the things you didn’t.
What do you think? We double dog dare you to leave us a comment below.
#10: How Did GAK Get Its Name?
“Double Dare” was one of Nickelodeon’s most popular shows of the late 80s and early 90s and one reasons for that had to be the slime! Or, as they called it on the show, Gak. In fact, the stuff was so popular they even created a product version to sell in stores that was gooey and squishy and - because when is this not funny to kids? - made fart noises. But, where did the name come from? Well, the truth is, Gak is a term for heroin. While some have said that the creators of the show were unaware when they named it, “Double Dare” host Marc Summers has since admitted otherwise.
#9: Dora the Plaintiff
Over the course of 8 seasons and 178 episodes of “Dora the Explorer,” Dora did a whole lot of exploring - and it turns out one of the things she explored was her contract with Nickelodeon. Throughout the run of the series Dora was voiced by three different actresses, the second of which was Caitlin Sanchez who was passed the baton in 2008. In 2010, however, Sanchez would “explore” the court system when she sued Nickelodeon, claiming she had been tricked into signing a terrible contract that deprived her of millions of dollars that should have gone to her. She cited many unpaid work hours as well as only receiving $40 for promo appearances.
#8: Rocko’s Eccentric Employment
“Rocko's Modern Life” was an animated show on Nickelodeon that ran through the mid-90s. It earned many of its laughs (and much of its controversy) from the adult humor it employed throughout its 4 seasons. Mucho of its humor came in the form of innuendos, like the time Rocko got a job working as a telephone operator for, what was obvious to any adult watching, a phone sex hotline. If Rocko’s chorus of “Oh Baby” didn’t give it away, surely the sign on the wall saying “Be Hot, Be Naughty, Be Courteous” left no doubts.
#7: Avan Jogia Doesn’t Remember Anything from “Victorious”
You’d think that an actor who spent three years on a series would remember at least one storyline from their show. But, according to a TikTok post by actor Avan Jogia, who played Hollywood Arts high schooler Beck Oliver on “Victorious,” that isn’t necessarily the case. While he claimed to remember going out and partying, the plotlines from the sitcom largely slipped his mind… Come on, Beck! What about the one where everyone gets stuck in the RV during the heatwave? Or the earthquake one! Or the giant cupcake fiasco! Surely, you remember the giant cupcake fiasco…
#6: The Guy Who Made Explicit Content Before Nickelodeon Shows
Dedicated Nick fans will know Jonathan Butler as the guy who wrote a few episodes of “Fanboy & Chum Chum” and co-created the teen-cheerleader-turned-high-school-quarterback series “Bella and the Bulldogs.” However, you know what they say: “everyone’s gotta start somewhere”. Before Butler was writing and creating shows for the channel that billed itself as “The First Kids' Network”, he got his start writing, directing and producing a softcore adult flick that is, as you might guess, definitely not kid-friendly.
#5: Sexy Didi Drawings
Stall walls are usually home to phone numbers, Sharpie slander, and some surprisingly deep poetry conjured up by brokenhearted souls. What’s not super common, however, are NSFW drawings of cartoon characters you animate for a living. Back in the day at Nickelodeon studios, there were reports of some - ahem - suggestive illustrations of Didi Pickles, the mother of Tommy and Dil in “Rugrats”, posted up in the bathroom. We just hope there were no kids running around those stalls. Talk about never seeing “Rugrats” the same again!
#4: Daniella Monet Eating a Pickle
When it comes to content on a show that could be deemed inappropriate, it’s usually the network people trying to censor something and not a performer raising concerns about their own work. But, that’s exactly how it went down on “Victorious” when actress Daniella Monet contacted the network about a scene that had her applying lip gloss and eating a pickle. She expressed her concerns to Nickelodeon that the scene was maybe too sexual, but they aired the episode without addressing Monet’s complaint at all. Remember, this is a show for teens, with teenage characters, on a network for kids. Not really the place for any kind of sexual and sexualized content.
#3: The Network Treated Their Young Talent Terribly
These days there are quite a few laws in place protecting young actors. Back during the network’s beginnings, however… not so much. And Nickelodeon took full advantage of that. We’re talking kids working 12-hour days for relatively low pay and getting no return on the backend with any kind of royalties. The latter would have really paid off for some actors, given that, in those early years, they were constantly replaying shows like ”You Can't Do That On Television” in order to fill so many hours of programming.
#2: Jennette McCurdy Is Embarrassed
For a long time in the mid-aughts, Jennette McCurdy was a mainstay of the Nickelodeon teen sitcom genre. She had small roles in shows like “Zoey 101” and “Victorious”, but her big break came when she was cast as Sam Puckett in “iCarly” - a role that continued with the spinoff series “Sam & Cat”. While Puckett and the other roles she’s played hold a special place in the hearts of fans, McCurdy doesn’t seem to have quite the same love for them. On a 2021 episode of her podcast she acknowledged that she was ashamed of parts she’d played in the past, adding that she felt they were “cheesy” and “embarrassing”.
#1: A Few BAD Men
Dan Schneider created multiple hit Nick shows, including “The Amanda Show”, “Drake & Josh” and “Zoey 101”. It’s fair to say he was more responsible for the network’s success in the 2000s than almost anyone. However, it’s also fair to say he had a bad temper and was very difficult to work with. While an internal investigation didn’t find any evidence of sexual misconduct, rumours of inappropriate behavior had circulated for years. Worse than that was Brian Peck, a child predator who worked at Nickelodeon in the early 2000s. In 2004, he was found guilty of lewd acts involving an unnamed child actor.