Best 90s Nickelodeon Shows, Ranked

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by Matthew Kevin Mitchell
Image: Nickelodeon

Are you wondering what the best 90s Nickelodeon shows are? Whether you are a 90s kid who watched Nickelodeon religiously, had a kid who was, or want to pass these fantastic Nickelodeon shows onto your kids, we have the best ranking list you will ever need to fill your 90s nostalgia. Our ranking list will include live-action and animated shows because both formats were equally impressive. So here are the best 90s Nickelodeon Shows, ranked.

Best 90s Nickelodeon Shows, Ranked

Nickelodeon had the best shows during the 1990s because they were a mix of animated and live-action shows that covered various subjects like anthology series, sketch comedy, game shows, growing up as a teenager, or education. No matter what you liked, there was a show for you. Here are the best 90s Nickelodeon shows, ranked.

10. Hey Arnold!

Hey Arnold! centers around the main character Arnold who lives in a big city neighborhood of Seattle. We meet the ensemble cast of the neighborhood, school, and surrounding areas through Arnold. Hey Arnold! is so good because Arnold is one of the most well-adjusted characters out of any cartoons to date. He can handle anything thrown at him and is the voice of reason for all the characters. This really gave you a wholesome feel like your parents got with Andy Griffith but in a more approachable medium. The animation style is a mix of realism and whimsy, which sets it apart from other cartoons.

9. All That

The classic All That was a sketch comedy show that followed the formula of popular shows like Saturday Night Live and MADtv, where it was filled with sketches and musical guests, but was made for children who watch Nickelodeon. What was really great was the show featured actors from Nick’s other television shows like the Adventures of Pete & Pete and Figure It Out. Nickelodeon created its universe with its set of actors at the time, which got you invested in them and loved every show.

8. The Adventures of Pete & Pete

The Adventures of Pete & Pete is probably one of this list’s most bizarre and unique shows. For instance, both main protagonists are brothers and share the same name, Pete. The show never addresses this, and you learn to go with it. The show shines as it covers common topics like family issues and the trials and tribulations of growing up as a teenager but with a very oddball twist that makes it unique.

7. Nickelodeon GUTS

Nickelodeon GUTS was one of Nick’s many action sports competitions that pitted three kids against each other through extreme versions of different sports. The end of the episode culminated in the ultimate challenge of climbing a mountain called The Aggro Crag to win a glorious statue. There was also a Super Nintendo game that let you take control of a competitor while playing some of our favorite sports games of the show.

6. Salute Your Shorts

Salute your Shorts is a show with an ensemble cast in a fictional summer camp called Camp Anawanna. We follow the campers as they navigate problems every kid can relate to. The setting of the summer camp adds to the fun. The writing and acting are surprisingly good for an old show.

5. Aaahh!!! Real Monsters

Aaahh!!! Real Monsters follows three monsters in school to learn how to scare humans. It was Ren and Stempy’s toned-down younger brother as it covered the same perverse gags but in a more tempered and witty manner. The show was surprisingly voiced by famous actors like Charlie Adler, Christine Cavanaugh, David Eccles, Jim Belushi, and Tim Curry.

4. Clarissa Explains It All

Clarissa Explains It All stars America’s sweetheart, Melissa Joan Hart, as Clarissa Darling. In it, we see her navigate adolescent concerns. We loved how she broke the fourth wall during each episode, which made her feel like the big sister we always wanted. Clarissa was the first Nickelodeon show that featured a female lead and led to other popular shows like The Secret Life of Alex Mack and Shelby Woo.

3. Legends of the Hidden Temple

Legends of the Hidden Temple is an action-adventure TV show with kids competing in a fictitious temple modeled after the Myans. It was hosted by Kirk Fogg and a statue named Olmec (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker). What set this show apart was the fun team and solo competitions that pumped up the action and the ability to teach us about history without it being boring. Who was your favorite team?

2. Rocko’s Modern Life

Rocko’s Modern Life is centered on a Wallaby named Rocko Rama, who lives in a fictional town called O-Town. His best friend is a cow raised by wolves and a turtle. During its time on Nickelodeon, we followed the three friends’ lives as they navigated the mundane tasks of everyday life but in a wildly exaggerated way. This is a show that holds up well because a lot of the jokes went past most kids’ heads and crossed into adult humor. We’ll still never forget Rocko’s employment as a phone sex operator.

1. Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Are You Afraid of the Dark is an anthology series similar to the Twilight Zone, where a different member of the Midnight Society tells a story every episode. What was neat about the series is that every member of the Midnight Society told a story from a particular theme closely related to their attributes as a character. For instance, Gary likes to tell stories about nerdy characters who find enchanted items. Kristen, whose stories usually ghost stories and fairytales. Tucker’s stories discuss sour family relationships that grow strong, similar to his relationship with his brother. We grew to love each member of the Midnight Society based on our own backgrounds.

Honorable Mentions

Image: Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon had the best line-up from any station in the 1990s, so limiting our rankings to 10 is hard. Here are shows that didn’t make the list of best 90s Nickelodeon shows but could have easily. The honorable mentions list includes the following shows:

  • The Secret Life of Alex Mack
  • The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo
  • KaBlam!
  • Angry Beavers
  • Kenan & Kel
  • Doug
  • Figure It Out
  • Blue’s Clues
  • Double Dare
  • Rugrats

All Nickelodeon TV series are available to stream on Paramount+.

- This article was updated on December 1st, 2022

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