Best Nickelodeon Character Support: The Elite Eight

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Thirty years ago this week, a thriving but not yet ubiquitous children’s network by the name of Nickelodeon launched its first original animated series. Introduced on August 11, 1991, under the brand name “Nicktoons”, Doug, Rugrats, and The Ren & Stimpy Spectacle would quickly become hits and change the course of animation, television and popular culture in general. To mark the anniversary, The ring look back Nick’s best characters and the legacy of the network as a whole. Throughout the week, we’ll be posting essays, features, and interviews to understand what made Nick so fun and now so nostalgic.


In a Nicktoon Hero World, only one man remains live, and his name is Kenan Rockmore.

Sweet 16 went pretty much as you’d expect, with SpongeBob, Arnold and Tommy seeded 1. Double dare‘s Marc Summers, Patti Mayonnaise from Doug, and Stimpy, respectively. But at the end of the fork, a slight shock set in, as Kenan comfortably beat Arnold’s best friend Gerald with nearly 60% of the vote.

Gerald isn’t the protagonist of his show, but he’s been rated higher than Kenan for a reason. I would be lying if I said I didn’t expect this game to be much closer, otherwise it would end with a clear victory for Gerald. It’s a decisive victory for Kenan, especially considering his path to securing this point: Kenan’s first two draws of the tournament were also against a live competition, and they are from the same series—Legends of the Hidden Temple‘s Temple Guards and Olmecs. The latter was to be a challenge for Kenan; his rout on the famous statue first alerted the world. But then Kenan humiliated a beloved character from one of Nick’s most famous series. With a double twist of nostalgia for the 90s and contemporary relevance on Saturday Night Live, I think it’s clear that we need to start taking this guy seriously.

But perhaps the most shocking result of the round came in the form of a one-seeded victory. Eh? Let me explain: Patrick Star is the seed 4 you don’t want to see. The only reason it’s ranked so low, if we’re being honest, is because it didn’t seem fair to load the top of the range with Spongebob characters. So when Doug sneaked past the starfish by less than 2,000 voices, surprised whispers spread through The ringSlack channels… at least that’s what it felt like in the text. Unfortunately for Doug, his own best friend suffered a fate just like Arnold’s boy. Skeeter vs. Chuckie also looked to match on paper, but in the end, the red-haired toddler easily defeated the blue-skinned preteen. Two sidekicks have fallen into the Sweet 16, but Finster is forever. May be.

Only Nick’s prominent characters remain in contention. Welcome to the Elite Eight.

Voting in the fourth round is officially open. Remember: you can vote here, on Twitter, and on Instagram until 6 p.m. ET.

Bikini bottom

1. SpongeBob SquarePants, Sponge Bob SquarePants vs. 6. Chuckie Finster, Rugrats

There is no dancing on the subject here: a loss of SpongeBob SquarePants at the hands of Chuckie would be the biggest upheaval of this tournament and possibly in the history of Alarm supports. SpongeBob SquarePants remains the favorite to win it all, while Chuckie remains a side character overshadowed by Tommy Pickles. But if I had to guess the narrow path Chuckie could take to shock the world, it lies in the Nickelodeon generation gap. It is true that Sponge Bob SquarePants spans multiple cohorts of Nick viewers, but Is SpongeBob SquarePicking Deep in ’90s Nostalgia? It will be a big question for voters to consider if Chuckie is going to accomplish the unthinkable.

Survey

Which Nick character should come forward?

This survey is closed

  • 65%
    1. SpongeBob SquarePants, “SpongeBob SquarePants”

    (9530 votes)

  • 34%
    6. Chuckie Finster, “Rugrats”

    (4914 votes)


14,444 votes in total

Vote now

Hillwood

1. Arnold Shortman, Hi Arnold! against 6. Squid tentacles, Sponge Bob SquarePants

Another seed against 6 seeds, this time with the lower ranked competitor having a legitimate chance of success. Hell, Squidward could be the favorite. He comes out of a beating of Renone of the holy grails of nostalgia for Nick’s debut, in which he won 61% of the vote. But 1 seed Arnold’s favoritism aside, this guy is no slouch either. He wiped out Ginger, Blue and Patti, each with a staggering voice deficit. When we refer to these candidates as being “elite”, that is what it is. I can’t wait to see how these two great characters come out.

Survey

Which Nick character should come forward?

This survey is closed

  • 58%
    1. Arnold Shortman, “Hey Arnold!

    (8326 votes)

  • 41%
    6. Squid tentacles, “SpongeBob SquarePants”

    (5958 votes)


14,284 votes in total

Vote now

Bluffington

1. Doug Funnie, Doug against 2. Rocko, Modern Rocko Life

Wowww, that’s another good one. Arnold and Squidward may be the most “powerful” showdown, but in the end, it could fit in the lineage of generations. Doug and Modern Rocko Life created just two years apart. Will the heads of Generation Y seniors explode in the face of this choice? They’ll just look at the screen blankly like: Error, cannot calculate. Rocko crushed Daggett Beaver and Charlotte Pickles, but then had a much harsher attack on the latter’s daughter, beating Angelica by just 5 percentage points. Meanwhile, I’m still trying to figure out if Doug is vulnerable after just squealing at Patrick, or if he’s incredibly resilient pushing Patrick away. This is my choice of dark horse for the most intriguing poll.

Survey

Which Nick character should come forward?

This survey is closed

  • 63%
    1. Doug Funnie, ‘Doug’

    (8831 votes)

  • 36%
    2. Rocko, “The Modern Life of Rocko”

    (5009 votes)


13,840 votes in total

Vote now

Reptarland

1. Tommy pickles, Rugrats against 3. Kenan Rockmore, Kenan & Kel

Throughout the week we’ve been talking about SpongeBob’s losing tournament. If I’m Tommy Pickles, I feel really disrespectful right now. It was an absolute rout against Stimpy Cat in the Sweet 16, but what should really sound the alarm bells is his performance in the previous round. Helga Pataki is an icon in her own right and enjoys appearing on a particularly classic Nick show. Tommy beat her by … [checks notes] 85 percent of the vote. Yet, as we acknowledged above, Kenan has proven to be a formidable opponent. Can his enduring stature in pop culture outweigh the sheer nostalgia? We’re about to find out.

Survey

Which Nick character should come forward?

This survey is closed

  • 66%
    1. Tommy Pickles, “Rugrats”

    (9494 votes)

  • 33%
    3. Kenan Rockmore, “Kenan and Kel”

    (4704 votes)


14,198 votes in total

Vote now

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