Back when there were only 100 channels and the icky blue Guide channel would play elevator music as it scrolled through, our betchhood go-to was obviously Nickelodeon. Until we realized sports competitions are manly, the only things we wanted were a piece of the aggro crag and our own shrine of the silver monkey. Something about this channel's eclectic mix of ugly animated creatures and spontaneous sliming incidents had us hooked.
We realize most of these shows were pretty much 22-minute excuses to sell Gak Paks to unwashed America, and we even tolerated the wayyy existential Ren and Stimpy, because there's no denying that Nick had its share of betchy shows and icons. Here's our list of Nickelodeon's betchiest, the things that made it okay to watch a channel that also ran the mystery files of Shelby Woo, the nicest nicegirl in all of universal studios.
Alex Mack - TG this bitch had powers that helped her spy on people and #1 talk shit about them because if not for that, it would be an unbetchy science show about a toxic accident that really fucked a bitch up. Luckily she merely suffered from morphing into a small pool of the inside of a mercury thermometer. We have a feeling if this were a show today, it would be thrown off the air for encouraging kids to get run over by radioactive trucks. Oh industrial parks, so silly.
Nick @ Nite - If you weren't cool enough to stay up and watch the late shows back in the day then you probably still watch the Noggin. The lineup was ever-changing but our favorites included I Love Lucy, Brady Bunch, Bewitched, The Wonder Years, etc. I always turned it off when Taxi started.
Hey Arnold - Nothing about this show was betchy, namely Helga Pataki. She was an extremely unattractive delusional dater who loved to beat the shit out of people and hoarded a shrine of Arnold's head in her closet, something that we imagine violated several health inspection codes and would definitely make it onto TLC if she was not a cartoon. Also, her parents didn't love her and she was jealous of her overachiever sister. Not betchy. However we do love her for one thing, her relationship with Phoebe, her smart asian sidekick. But separate from Helga, we loved Hey Arnold, and anytime we drive by an open hydrant we think of the great heat wave of 97. Anytime we hear about violence in inner city schools we wonder how PS 118 is holding up and anytime someone uses the word stoop in casual convo one of us bursts out in tourettes form, "stoop kids afraid to leave his stoop."
Are You Afraid of the Dark? - If as a child you were an early onset betch and not a nicegirl, you watched the shit out of this show and loved it even if you were scared as fuck of the dark. Goosebumps was for nicegirls, Midnight Society or die.
Clarissa Explains It All - Clarissa was supposed to be your average teenage girl but somehow she had the special ability to spontaneously doodle in pastel on the TV screen. The show may have taken place mostly in her bedroom, but her room was sick, and we'll forgive her for dressing like my 5th grade art teacher because she was the first person we knew who got a driver's license.
As Told By Ginger- Ginger, named for the color of her disgusting hair, was a lame nicegirl taken under the wings of the fabulous Courtney who, as the Regina George of the show, has her own talent show performance dedicated to how amazing she is and how she throws the best parties, loves to ski, and has the sickest capris.
Patti Mayonnaise - We'll admit we don't remember that much about the Patster, we don't think they sufficiently developed her character not to mention her animated features, but we know she was one of the few who wasn't green or purple. Though Fatty Mayonnaise would've been a more nutritionally accurate name, we give her points for being the longtime crush of the title character, even though his hairline was seriously receding.
Legends of the Hidden Temple - I mean this was really entertaining and extremely dramatic, at least for a maze with rooms named The Cave of Sighs, The Room of the Royal Gongs and The Room of Harmonic Convergence. Whatevs, Blue Barracudas for life.
Global Guts - The more wordly and exotic version of regular Guts, betches could appreciate this sporty show because it was hosted by a Brit (Mo!), and it gave us early exposure to the other cultures we would get drunk amongst while #3 abroad in later years.
Ask Ashley - Thaaaaaat's me!! With her spot on primetime SNICK, Mandyhunny Bynes was All That and more. This masterpiece sketch consisted of Ashley never moving from her bed and reading requests for advice, and then thoroughly balling out the idiot who wrote to her. Ask us where we got the inspiration for Dear Betch.
The Amanda Show - This brings us to the Amanda Show. Holy shit was this not the most entertainingly moronic show on television (well next to the show mentioned below). Everyone please take a moment to remember the dancing lobsters, Penelope Taynt, The Girls' Room, and Moody's Point, and of course Drake Bell.
Kenan and Kel - From All That to Kenan and Kel to Good Burger to SNL, Kenan made serious moves with his career. Regardless, this show was dumb as fuck...Who loves orange soda? Kel loves orange soda. We had no clue why our parents attempted to wean us off of this show back then, but we get it now.
Angelica Pickles - Little Ang was like the anti-hero of Nickelodeon, so naturally she was our regular hero. Angelica got everything she wanted, whether it was winning the beauty contest or the trial over who broke Tommy's giant clown lamp Mr. Fluffles. She even had a sidekick bestie Cynthia who was a really cool dancer. And I mean who didn't think it was hilarious when Chuckie swallowed a watermelon seed and she told him it was going to grow into a tree in his stomach? What kind of parent doesn't buy seedless, Chaz?