28 Nickelodeon Scenes And Jokes That Were Suuuuper Inappropriate And Problematic Looking Back

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.

Jennette McCurdy
Axelle / FilmMagic via Getty Images

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.

Dan Schneider
Eric Vitale / Getty Images

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.

1.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:

Alex kisses Jesse's boobs

This is made even worse by the fact that the actors were cousins.

Note: Schneider was not a producer on this series.


2.On iCarly, just everything about Sam and food:

"I have a problem."

3.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:

Cat pouring water on herself upside down

4.And when she squeezed the potato in the same clip:

Cat squeezing a potato

5.And in yet another bonus clip, when Cat tries to stick her toe in her mouth:

Cat putting her toe in her mouth

Suggested by arcticmankeys


6.Also, when Cat was surrounded by guys shooting water guns at her in a clear pornographic reference:

Cat in a water gun fight

"Vile stuff."



7.And a similarly inappropriate scene where Zoey was squirted with candy on Zoey 101:

Zoey with gunk on her face

8.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":

"That's the one. That's a man lady!"

9.On Victorious, when Beck made a joke about his aunt being transgender and purposefully misgendered her to make a joke:

Robbie remembers that cars are called "she," and Beck reminds him boats and airplanes are, too, and also his uncle "Barbara" with finger quotes

Suggested by thefunkyonion


10.On Drake & Josh, when Drake told Josh to get a sex change so it'd be easier to break up with Mindy:

"Mindy, I am in the process of becoming a woman..."

Still not really sure of the logic of this one.


11.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:

"Congratulations, man."

12.Everything about this skit about drinking from a sumo wrestler's belly on The Amanda Show:

"Something obese!"

13.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:

"You want some good advice? Stop dressing like a lady!"

14.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:

"Is my dress ready yet?"

15.On Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, when Cookie dressed as a woman to spend more time with Lisa:

Cookie dressed as a woman

16.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":


17.Similarly, on Zoey 101, when Chase mistook Coco's underwear for a pillowcase in a fat-shaming joke:

"That is my underwear!"

What is it with these shows and women's underwear???


18.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:

Screen shot from "SpongeBob SquarePants"

19.On Zoey 101, when Logan spied on the girls with a hidden camera:

"Just a present from me to you girls."

This is just so creepy, and while the show doesn't present Logan's actions as good, he doesn't face close to enough punishment. A lot of his predatory behavior is brushed off as acceptable for a boy of his age, especially one so interested in girls.


20.On Victorious (and in bonus features of Cat), when they constantly made a joke out of Cat and her brother's mental health:

Cat answers a tweet asking what's wrong with her, saying her parents took her to doctors but they don't know, and also says she has to go because her brother is going back to the "clinic" for a while

21.On The Fairly OddParents, when there was an entire episode dedicated to showing how everyone would be better off without Timmy:

"I can't do that to Cosmo and Wanda, mom and dad..."

22.Just everything about "Crazy Steve" on Drake & Josh:


While no one can deny that Jerry Trainor is hilarious, this character was super offensive in that he was always played for laughs.

23.On Zoey 101, when Stacey's lisp was constantly played for laughs, right up until she was hit by a car and "cured":

"Oh my god, my S's sound perfect!"

24.On Zoey 101, when one of Quinn's inventions made her boobs look bigger, and Michael jokingly gave her a "D+":

"Or D+"

Not the worst one on the list, but still an inappropriate joke.


25.On iCarly, when a Confederate flag was just randomly hanging in a classroom:

Arrow pointing to Confederate flag hanging off the wall

Suggested by drink_water_1


26.On Sam & Cat, when people with dwarfism were used for comedic purposes and referred to as things rather than people:

Sam says Cat is supposed to be studying, have red hair, and not supposed to be handcuffed to "that" (referring to a man with dwarfism who is handcuffed to her)

Suggested by sarahe4c48a21ee


27.On iCarly, when the episode "iGo to Japan" was filled with racist stereotypes and vilification of Japanese characters:

Freddie's mom says the kids have been kidnapped by evil Japanese web comedians, and later Sam says she finds Japenese people arguing funny

28.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:

Jade accuses Robbie of being a vegan, and Robbie says he didn't want Tori to know

Note: Submissions have been edited for length/clarity.