A while back, we asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about moments from Nickelodeon shows that were actually pretty problematic looking back. And recently, Nickelodeon and its shows have been in the news again after the release of Jennette McCurdy’s memoir, I’m Glad My Mom Died.
In talking about her time at Nickelodeon (on shows iCarly and Sam & Cat), McCurdy spoke of her difficult experiences and an unnamed figure named The Creator, who many believe to be Dan Schneider, who created a number of popular shows on the network in the ’90s, 2000s, and 2010s. While McCurdy’s experience was specific to two shows, there have been many rumors of abuse complaints against Schneider, and he parted ways with the network in 2018, though the official story is that it was a natural time to end their partnership.
In the years since these shows, many fans have pointed out a sexualization of young girls in Schneider’s shows (particularly having to do with feet) — and there are a number of other problematic and inappropriate moments on his shows, as well as on other Nickelodeon shows from around the same period. Here are 28 that really bother people.
Note: Some submissions include topics of eating disorders, anti-trans language, and young girls being sexualized.
Everything about Alex’s crush on his babysitter Jesse in The Naked Brothers Band, but ESPECIALLY this scene from the movie where he kissed her boobs:
On iCarly, just everything about Sam and food:
Any time young girls were sexualized on Dan Schneider’s shows, but especially in the Victorious bonus scene when Cat tried to drink water upside down, but it was super sexual:
And when she squeezed the potato in the same clip:
And in yet another bonus clip, when Cat tries to stick her toe in her mouth:
Also, when Cat was surrounded by guys shooting water guns at her in a clear pornographic reference:
And a similarly inappropriate scene where Zoey was squirted with candy on Zoey 101:
All the times Spencer dressed as a woman on iCarly and it was played for laughs, but especially the time he dressed as Great Aunt Natalie and was called a “man lady”:
On Victorious, when Beck made a joke about his aunt being transgender and purposefully misgendered her to make a joke:
On Drake & Josh, when Drake told Josh to get a sex change so it’d be easier to break up with Mindy:
Also on Drake and Josh, when Josh impulsively kissed a woman passing by, and then her voice was super deep, which was accompanied with a laugh track and Josh looking horrified:
All the jokes about men in dresses on Drake & Josh, like when Josh dressed up as a woman to write his advice column run by his female alter ego, and Drake called him a freak:
And when Josh’s dad dressed in a prom dress that Drake’s mom was working on for their neighbor, who Megan thought was a boy — and then shuddered after hearing the neighbor speak in a low voice:
On Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide, when Cookie dressed as a woman to spend more time with Lisa:
When Victorious had a whole plot line about Trina and Cat using Tori’s underwear as tissues, in public and without her permission…oh, and also a throwaway comment about Tori’s underwear being “giant”:
Similarly, on Zoey 101, when Chase mistook Coco’s underwear for a pillowcase in a fat-shaming joke:
On SpongeBob SquarePants, when Mr. Krabs took Patrick and SpongeBob on a “panty raid,” and they broke into a woman’s house to steal her underwear:
On Zoey 101, when Logan spied on the girls with a hidden camera:
On Victorious (and in bonus features of Cat), when they constantly made a joke out of Cat and her brother’s mental health:
On The Fairly OddParents, when there was an entire episode dedicated to showing how everyone would be better off without Timmy:
Just everything about “Crazy Steve” on Drake & Josh:
On Zoey 101, when Stacey’s lisp was constantly played for laughs, right up until she was hit by a car and “cured”:
On Zoey 101, when one of Quinn’s inventions made her boobs look bigger, and Michael jokingly gave her a “D+”:
On iCarly, when a Confederate flag was just randomly hanging in a classroom:
On Sam & Cat, when people with dwarfism were used for comedic purposes and referred to as things rather than people:
On iCarly, when the episode “iGo to Japan” was filled with racist stereotypes and vilification of Japanese characters:
And finally, on Victorious, when a Breakfast Club-themed episode suggested that Robbie should be embarrassed about being a virgin, and made a clear homage to a scene in which the Breakfast Club characters were high:
Note: Submissions have been edited for length/clarity.