We all loved Nickelodeon growing up (well, if you’re American; we didn’t get it in CANADA [ugh].) For people my age (don’t ask), it tends to be the animated Nick stuff that we remember. A lot of it was dark, weird, and unique. The live action stuff, though, was mostly a lot of silliness. They just don’t have the same style of “very special episode” as Disney. So, here is my best attempt at finding Nickelodeon’s equivalent of meaningful, earnest episodes of television with a BIG message.
Victorious, “Rex Dies”
This is an episode that really helps you deal with the reality that everyone passes away. An important character in Victorious, Rex, suffers an industrial accident and… wait, Rex is a dummy? Like, a ventriloquist dummy? Huh. Still, his loss was significant in that he was beloved by a major character and… oh, he comes back at the end. So he can finish his song. Okay, well, maybe this episode teaches us the lesson that… sometimes death… isn’t… permanent. Uh, um, hmm…
Roundhouse, “Gang Violence”
Apparently Nickelodeon had a sketch show in the ’90s? I had no idea, but here we are. Each episode would revolve around some kind of theme, and if you can’t guess the theme of “Gang Violence”, it was gang violence. And it actually (kind of) deals with gang violence! And the ending is bittersweet! So shout out to Nickelodeon for having a good example of a TRUE “very special episode”.
Sam and Cat, “YayDay”
“YayDay” is a holiday that Cat made up, where people give each other gifts (gee, very original, Cat). Cat has a bad habit of sneaking a look at presents, and she does it to Sam, and is totally disappointed by her gift and is a big jerk about it (imagine, Ariana Grande being unpleasant). BUT it turns out Sam had the wrong names on the two gifts she’d bought, and she actually bought Cat a good gift. Sam never got gifts growing up, because her mom was bad or something. I don’t know. I guess the lesson you could take from this is to trust your friends, and not… sneak a peek at gifts? Very seasonal message.
Pete and Pete, “Farewell My Little Viking”
For real, Pete and Pete is great — it’s a cult classic, dammit! The show was emotionally resonant, but this episode in particular is about growing up and growing out of the things you once needed to get through your day. Here’s the thing, though — it’s not a “very special episode”, it’s just a big tearjerker! But, again, with Nickelodeon that’s often the best that you can get.
100 Deeds For Eddie McDowd, Pretty Much The Entire Show
This show is one big “very special episode”. See, Eddie McDowd is a former teen bully, now magically cursed dog, who has to perform enough good deeds to break the curse and return to his human form. So, show lesson one, don’t bully. But also, each episode has, like, a mini-lesson about how you should listen to your friends or whatever. Of course, the meaningfulness is somewhat dampened by the fact that you’re watching a show about a boy who is now a dog… so…
Do you know any Nickelodeon TV shows that had “very special episodes”? Because I sure as hell don’t. But feel free to let us know @Smosh!