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Facts About '90s Nickelodeon Cartoons We Just Learned That Made Us Say 'Really?'

June 3, 2021 1.1k votes 228 voters 12.0k views11 items

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In the 1990s, Nickelodeon was the network where kids ruled. The classic Nickelodeon cartoons were diverse, funny, and diverting, celebrating childhood and offering programming for everyone from small kids to teens. Viewers in the '90s watched children's shows like David the Gnome and Muppet Babies, then grew up into Hey Dude and Salute Your Shorts, moving into nighttime with the SNICK lineup that included Roundhouse and Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Although Nickelodeon's live-action '90s shows are popular, too, it was the '90s cartoons that helped cement Nick's legacy as a purveyor of television for kids. These facts about '90s Nicktoons may surprise even the most adamant Nickelodeon fans.

  • Photo: The Angry Beavers / Nickelodeon

    The Final Episode Of 'The Angry Beavers' Never Aired

    The Angry Beavers first aired on Nickelodeon in 1997, and although the program had a strong following in the beginning, after four years on air, the executives at Nick grew tired of problems with the program's production, and it was canceled. 

    The final episode broke the rules of animated programming at the time. In the episode, called "Bye Bye Beavers," beavers Norbert and Daggett realize they are cartoons and that their show is being canceled. The episode is dark, with a number of inside jokes and gallows humor as the two animated beavers face an existential crisis, all of which could be confusing to children. Although Nicktoons executives at first agreed to the finale's premise, when they saw it in draft form, they balked, and the episode was ultimately cut.

    Surprising fact?
  • Photo: Rugrats / Nickelodeon

    Elizabeth Daily, Who Voiced Tommy On 'Rugrats,' Recorded An Episode While She Was In Labor

    The signature baby voices on Rugrats are suffused with missing words, malapropisms, and other charming signifiers of the characters' youth, all voiced by women. Elizabeth "E.G." Daily provided the voice for Tommy Pickles, the main character, and put all her energy into making him come alive.

    In an interview with The Guardian, Daily revealed that at one point she recorded Tommy's voice while in labor:

    The engineer was like, "Your contractions are coming really quickly now." And I was like, "No, I’m fine." Very soon after that, I had my daughter.

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  • Photo: SpongeBob SquarePants / Nickelodeon

    Patrick Star Is Portrayed As Dumb In 'SpongeBob SquarePants' Because Starfish Don't Have Brains

    SpongeBob SquarePants was created by the late Stephen Hillenburg, an animator who previously taught marine biology at the Orange County Marine Institute. Before pitching his popular character and titular hero, SpongeBob SquarePants, Hillenburg used his joint interest in art and marine biology to create cartoons to educate kids about aquatic life.

    Hillenburg's undersea characters on SpongeBob SquarePants have personalities inspired by their actual species. SpongeBob's best friend, Patrick Star, for example, is a sweet and goofy starfish who would never be considered intelligent by any stretch of the imagination. In a case of art imitating life, Hillenburg revealed that he made Patrick dumb because starfish do not have brains.

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  • Photo: Rugrats / Nickelodeon

    'Rugrats' Has A Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame - The First Nickelodeon Show With That Honor

    On March 28, 1960, Stanley Kramer was awarded the very first star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

    Since then, stars have been regularly added, including the first for a Nickelodeon cartoon. On June 28, 2001, a ceremony was held to award Rugrats with its star on Hollywood Boulevard. 

    Surprising fact?