15 Best Nickelodeon Cartoons of All Time

Nickelodeon is a classic kids network but which Nickelodeon cartoons rank as the all time greatest?

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Nickelodeon Cartoons

About Nickelodeon Cartoons

Nickelodeon Cartoons have been synonymous with pop culture ever since the early 90s. From the early days of Rugrats to the bizarre humour in Spongebob Squarepants to the action heavy Avatar: The Last Airbender. Nickelodeon Studios are responsible for making children laugh and cry with their unique brand of storytelling.

Here’s our all-time favourite Nickelodeon cartoons and why we think they’re so awesome!

1. Rugrats

Best Nickelodeon Cartoons of All Time: Rugrats

Rugrats had a whopping 172 episodes and ran from 1991 onwards. While clearly aimed a kids back in the early 90s, Rugrats could easily be one of the most progressive Nickelodeon cartoons of all time because, while it focuses on four toddlers and their sandbox adventures, it also featured their mothers as being outspoken and as having two Jewish-themed specials that tied into the main Rugrats show.

2. Invader Zim

Best Nickelodeon Cartoons of All Time: Invader Zim

While having a huge cult following, Invader Zim ran for only 27 episodes, a following which loved the dark sci-fi comedy stylings created by cartoonist and comic book writer Jhonen Vasquez. This Nickelodeon cartoon focuses on Zim, an alien from Irk, whose mission is to conquer earth and enslave the entire human race.

3. Spongebob Squarepants

Best Nickelodeon Cartoons of All Time: Spongebob Squarepants

Spongebob Squarepants is easily the most successful of all the Nickelodeon cartoons on this list. Bizarrely about a main character who is a sponge that lives on the bottom of the ocean and whose best friend, Patrick, is an outrageous talking starfish.

RELATED: 77 Funny Spongebob quotes to get you through your day

4. Hey Arnold!

Best Nickelodeon Cartoons of All Time: Hey Arnold!

Hey Arnold! was a huge Nickelodeon cartoon when I was young. Featuring a football shaped main character, Arnold, and his friends. It ran from 1996 until 2004 and followed the inner-city living of Arnold and his gang of friends in the fictional city of Hillwood, Washington.

5. CatDog

Best Nickelodeon Cartoons of All Time: CatDog

CatDog is a personal favourite of mine involving a conjoined twin of a cat and a dog. It involves “odd couple” style of comedy perfect for your kids or for the nostalgia of classic Nickelodeon cartoons.

6. Rocko’s Modern Life

Best Nickelodeon Cartoons of All Time: Rocko’s Modern Life

As an Aussie it would almost be sacriliege to not talk about Rocko’s Modern Life. Featuring an Australian immigrant wallaby named Rocko and his friends, Heffer (an eccentric steer) and Filbert (a neurotic turtle), Rocko was ahead of its time and skirted the line with its adult humour, satire, and endless innuendo.

7. The Ren & Stimpy Show

Best Nickelodeon Cartoons of All Time: The Ren & Stimpy Show

The Ren & Stimpy Show was a vulgar slapstick comedy which was probably too old for the kids it was targeted towards. Starring a Mexican chihuahua, Ren, and his cat pal, Stimpy, the pair get into all sorts of trouble which was always too much for them too handle. It didn’t stop elder Millennials rolling around in laughter back in the 90s.

8. The Wild Thornberrys

Best Nickelodeon Cartoons of All Time: The Wild Thornberrys

The Wild Thornberrys was a Nickelodeon cartoon about a family of safari adventurers whose daughter, Eliza, has the secret gift of being able to talk to animals. As you can understand, this gets her into all sorts of trouble, often involving the saving of native African wildlife. It also featured the voice acting talents of celebrities like Tim Curry and Flea.

9. Aaahh!!! Real Monsters

Best Nickelodeon Cartoons of All Time: Aaahh!!! Real Monsters

If there was a Mount Rushmore of Nickelodeon cartoons then Aaahh!!! Real Monsters would definitely be on it. It’s about three young monsters who attend a school for young monsters which is located under the dump of an American city. By day they attend class but by night they head to the surface to scare young human children for their class assignments. It’s so much fun!

10. Danny Phantom

Best Nickelodeon Cartoons of All Time: Danny Phantom

Danny Phantom was a superhero cartoon created by Nickelodeon about a boy named Danny who gets stuck in an accident involving a portal which bridges the real world and the “Ghost Zone.” Whatever that means. The result, however, was a really cool and memorable tv show which kids will talk about for many more years to come.

11. Doug

Best Nickelodeon Cartoons of All Time: Doug

Doug was one of Nickelodeon’s earliest cartoons about an average school student who keeps a diary about his day and narrates all of the stories. The show tackled themes of acceptance, self-esteem, bullying, rumours and relationships (both platonic and romantic).

12. Avatar: The Last Airbender

Best Nickelodeon Cartoons of All Time: Avatar – The Last Airbender

Avatar: The Last Airbender was an American anime created by Nickelodeon about an Asiatic world which featured these young wizard-types who can telekinetically control the four elements: earth, water, wind and fire. This practice is known as “bending.” Avatar: The Last Airbender is so popular it has resulted in a live action movie based on the Nickelodeon cartoon’s storyline and lore.

13. The Fairly OddParents

Best Nickelodeon Cartoons of All Time: The Fairly OddParents

The Fairly OddParents is about a boy named Timmy whose real parents and babysitter are the absolute worst. Until he is granted two fairy godparents, Cosmo and Wanda, who will do anything to grant Timmy’s desires – often to disastrous consequences.

14. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012)

Best Nickelodeon Cartoons of All Time: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012)

The third animated show in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, this TMNT series aired on Nickelodeon back in 2012 and lasted for 5 seasons. It followed the same TMNT storyline but was reimagined with an animation style targeting boys aged 6-11 years old.

15. The Legend of Korra

Best Nickelodeon Cartoons of All Time: The Legend of Korra

The Legend of Korra aired in 2012 and is a sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender. With the exception of a female protagonist and it has been seen as a Queer-friendly cartoon due to its positive representation of race, gender and sexual orientation.

What did you think of these Nickelodeon Cartoons?

Do you remember watching any of these Nickelodeon Cartoons? Do you own any on VHS or DVD?

Let us know on social media.

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