Monday, November 5, 2012

Old School Lane's Top 10 Saddest Nickelodeon Moments

Hey guys, it's that time again for another countdown! This time, we're covering a very emotional topic: the top 10 saddest moments in Nickelodeon. I've seen countless lists on Top 10 saddest Disney moments and other sad moments from our childhoods, but as of yet, not from Nickelodeon. You might be thinking that that the #1 kid's network would never have anything sad to damper a kid's mood, well you would be surprised.

There are a lot of sad moments on our favorite Nickelodeon shows and movies that we're surprised that it even was shown on TV. We may not realize it yet, but these sad moments are relatable and so emotional that we can't help but shed a tear or two. So grab your tissues as we countdown the top 10 saddest moments in Nickelodeon.

10. Big House Blues from The Ren & Stimpy Show

In this episode, Ren and Stimpy get captured by a dog catcher and end up in a dog pound. They're happy at first celebrating with their new dog friends until they learned that they better soon get adopted or else they will be put down for good. Ren ends up getting adopted looking like a poodle due to Stimpy's hairballs and Stimpy is left behind. What we get is a sad moment as Stimpy cries because he's not only going to be put down eventually, but his best friend in the world is leaving him behind. It's very low on this list because Ren ends up with Stimpy again, so the episode has a happy ending!

9. Eliza's misfortune from The Wild Thornberrys Movie

I've already said in my The Wild Thornberrys review that I don't really care for the show. In my opinion, it's a bit overrated and Klasky-Csupo's second weakest Nicktoon. The movie is okay, just okay. However, there was one moment that I felt a little sad for Eliza. She makes a huge mistake by not watching a baby cheetah enough for it to get kidnapped, she's looked upon as a odd girl among her family so she's sent over to a all girls' boarding school in England, when she does return to Africa, she finds out that the baby cheetah was kidnapped by poachers, they take Debbie as a hostage, and Eliza ends up giving away her secret of having the ability to talk to animals. Her gift of talking to animals to save her sister who makes fun of her all the time and not have the ability to speak to her best friend Darwin is a bit depressing. However, in the end, she gets it back.

8. Porkchop's Arrest from Doug's Christmas Story

Doug's Christmas special starts off pretty normal with him and his friends going ice skating. But then when Beebe makes her way to the thin ice, Porkchop bites her leg in order for her to stop. Beebe thinks that Porkchop was attacking her, so Porkchop ends up being arrested in the dog pound. Doug tries to defend Porkchop in court and tries to free him by reminding the citizens of Bluffington that he's a good dog who has done good deeds to everyone. The majority of the Christmas special ends up being really sad and depressing as Doug tries to get Porkchop out of the dog pound. In the end, he does and everything is happy again.

7. The Submarine Moment from Rugrats Go Wild

I hate this movie! In my opinion, this is the worst movie in the Rugrats trilogy! For those who haven't seen it, it's a crossover movie with the characters from Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys. There are so many things that are wrong with this movie: the main villain is lame, Spike talks for the first time and he's very annoying, Nigel loses his memory and is now has the personality of a baby, and the babies goes through the same plot as The Rugrats Movie with them getting lost in a jungle. But there was one moment that was a bit depressing for me. Nigel and the babies go inside a submarine, but the oxygen is low. Nigel knows that they're not going to make it, so he comforts the babies by telling them a story to calm them down. This is my favorite moment in a movie that's very mediocre: it's sad and depressing about the possibility that these characters might die. But in the end, they're fine when Marianne, Debbie, Stu, Didi, Howard, Betty, Chaz, Kira, Charlotte, and Drew work together to raise the submarine.

6. Mother's Day in Rugrats

There are a ton of sad moments in Rugrats, mostly containing towards Chuckie. But the Mother's Day special is the most well known. Everyone is getting a gift for their mom on Mother's Day except for Chuckie. So the babies try to find Chuckie a new mom, but with no luck. Angelica ends up being Chuckie's mom and Chuckie does things for her. In the end, Angelica quits being Chuckie's mom and locks the babies in the closet after ruining her Mother's Day gift. Chuckie finds a box containing his mother's old objects after Chaz was trying to hide it from him. Chaz finds out that Chuckie found the box and talks about his mother to him. He reads a poem that she wrote about Chuckie right before she died and Chuckie learns that his mother is still around.

For a lot of people who grew up with Rugrats and watching Nicktoons, this is #1. So why is it number 6 on my list? Because originally, Chuckie's mom was alive. According to an interview with Paul Germain, the co-creator of Rugrats, he claimed that the reason why Chuckie's mom wasn't around as much was because Chaz and Melinda were divorced. This seems to make sense because the episodes "Chuckie vs. The Potty" and "Real or Robots" mentions Chuckie's mom briefly. But when Germain left Rugrats and co-created Recess and Lloyd from Space, Arlene Klasky and Gabor Csupo changed it and made Chuckie's mother dead.

While "Mother's Day" is sad, I felt that Germain's idea of having Chuckie's parents divorced is much stronger and more original. It would have been nice if there were some disagreements and issues with the relationship with Melinda and Chaz during Mother's Day and Chuckie doesn't understand why his parents are tense and angry sometimes. But instead, it follows the "mother-is-not-around-because-she's-dead" cliche that many shows from the 80's and 90's were doing. If Klasky and Csupo would have kept the original idea, then Chaz would've been the second divorcee in Nickelodeon shows during the 90's. The first being Ken Stevenson from The Journey from Allen Strange. Nonetheless, I must say that this episode is classic, iconic, and very sad.

Now we're about to get into the very sad moments and there are some spoilers ahead. If you haven't seen any of these moments and you wish to check them out, stop right here. If you wish to continue, grab another box of tissues and let's continue.

5. The Tale of the Dream Girl from Are You Afraid of the Dark?

As you recall from "Old School Lane's Top 10 Are You Afraid of the Dark? episodes, Kevin and I love this episode. It's not necessarilly scary, but it's thrilling. In this story, a boy named Johnny finds a ring in his locker. When he puts it on, he can't take it out. When he goes to sleep, he sees a beautiful girl named Donna in his dream. When he goes to school the next day, he sees Donna. He gets messages from her to meet up with her and to go with him, but Johnny doesn't understand. When his sister reveals to Johnny that Donna was a teenage girl who passed away in a car accident with her boyfriend months ago, Johnny is shocked that a ghost is after him and he doesn't want her to haunt him anymore. The ring gets loose and Johnny decides to take it to her grave.

The sister then tells him the shocking conclusion to Donna's story: when Donna and her boyfriend went on a date, their car gets stuck in railroad tracks. Donna's ring fell in the back of the car and the boyfriend looks in the back to try to get it back for her. But then, it was too late and they both died. Johnny puts two and two together and learns that he was Donna's boyfriend and that he has been dead the entire time without realizing it. The end of the story concludes with Donna returning to her grave and Johnny going back with her. This story is shocking and sad at the same time, but ends in a bittersweet moment. It literally got me breaking down into tears at the end.

4. Helga On The Couch from Hey Arnold

We all know that Helga has a screwed up life: her father's a blowhard and gives his attention to his older sister, his mother is depressed and lays around the house all day, and his older sister is perfect in every way. She's pretty much forgotten and is non existant in her family. But then everything comes in full detail when she tells her story to a therapist. It makes us feel sorry for Helga more seeing her as a 5-year-old overshadowed by her teenage older sister winning a lot of trophies, playing piano, and being class valedictorian. Walking to preschool alone in the rain is very sad and the only reason why she isn't a depressed, crazy, and moody 9-year-old is because of Arnold. His kindness shines through to Helga and it was love at first site for her. But Arnold doesn't know this and Helga is afraid to tell him. Helga was already a developed character and this episode develops her more. A very sad, depressing episode of Hey Arnold that is very memorable, well written, and well executed. Truly one of the best Nicktoons ever!

3. The Tale of Ba Sing Se: Iroh's Story from Avatar: The Last Airbender

Another fantastic Nicktoon is definitely Avatar: The Last Airbender. There are so many sad moments in this show that I can easily make a top 10 list just on this show alone. But this one is very, very sad. There are four tales of "The Tales of Ba Sing Se" from the characters from the show: Katara and Toph, Aang, Zuko, Sokka, Iroh, and Momo. But Iroh's story is my favorite. It starts off simple: Iroh is shopping around Ba Sing Se buying things like a basket and fruit. He interacts with the citizens of Ba Sing Se, sings a song for a crying toddler, gives advice to a group of kids, and more. In the end, we see him go to a tree putting up a piece of paper, the fruit, and lighting up some candles. It happens to be his dead son's birthday and he starts crying and wishing that he could've been there to help him during the war. The song "Leaves from the Vine" emphasize the sadness even more. If that's not enough to make you cry, Iroh's story concludes with this.

On July 21, 2006, Mako, the voice actor for Iroh, passed away with throat cancer while the second season of Avatar: The Last Airbender was still going. A lot of people were saddened not only because of Mako's death but because many people felt that the character was going to leave. A lot of people loved the character of Iroh and we afraid of what was going to happen to him. But then his protoge Greg Baldwin continued the voice of Iroh. Not only is this episode very sad because of Mako's death but because of Iroh's story. He was such a developed character of being on Zuko's side, calming his anger down, and following his path of capturing the Avatar. He's a laidback guy while being a badass at the same time known as The Dragon of the West by the Fire Nation. It gets me teary eyed everytime I see Iroh's story. If an episode of a show can make me cry, then the show has delivered on presenting itself with a ton of emotions very well. In Avatar: The Last Airbender's case, it has and it's still remains as one of the best shows that Nickelodeon ever released.

2. Mrs. Gordon's Retirement from As Told by Ginger

While the episode is called "No Hope for Courtney", Carl and Mrs. Gordon steal this episode. Mrs. Gordon decides to retire for good after putting up with Carl and Hoodsey's mayhem for too long. Carl is sad and disappointed and does everything in his power to get Mrs. Gordon back to teaching. He tries everything but with no luck. He even throws a party for her in order to get a chance to tell her to come back to teaching. You might think that in the end of the episode, she looks in her heart, changes her mind, and comes back to teaching, right? WRONG! So very wrong! The next day, the principal reveals to the class that Mrs. Gordon had passed away. That's right, Mrs. Gordon actually died in this episode. The actress who voiced her, Kathleen Freeman, passed away on August 23, 2001 due to lung cancer.  While Mako and Bob Doyle did pass away during their years voicing the characters of Iroh and Grandpa Lou from Rugrats, at least they had gotten different actors to voice their characters. But in this case, Mrs. Gordon does not return in As Told by Ginger, which makes this moment very sad. We have gotten to know Mrs. Gordon for a few seasons of As Told by Ginger and to here an unexpecting thing like this had me bursting into tears. The closing credits going in silent captures this moment even more. Truly a fantastic and sad moment in the most underrated Nicktoon ever.

This would've been #1, but I recently discovered a more sadder and depressing moment from another classic Nickelodeon show. Something that I did not expect to see in a million years given when it was aired. But I cannot deny putting it at #1.

1. The Mountains of Beyond from The World of David the Gnome

I know, I know. You might be saying to yourselves "Wait a minute. David the Gnome? That show that was on Nick Jr. in the 80's? Why is this sad?" Here me out. What do numbers 5, 3, and 2 have in common? It involves with death. But while those were supporting characters, this is not. In the last episode of The World of David the Gnome, the main characters David and Lisa die. The main characters that we have gotten to know and loved through 23 episodes are going to die. The entire episode is dedicated to their last day. As you know, a gnome's life span is 400 years. When David and Lisa reach their end, they spent their time saying goodbye to their woodland friends, David finishes his journal, and they travel to see a friend named Casper who is also reaching the end of his life and does not wish to die alone. The next day, Swift takes David, Lisa, and Casper to the mountains. David tells Swift to not go any further. Swift sees as David and Lisa hug each other and wish each other goodbye as they turn into apple trees.

This is beyond depressing! How many Nick Jr. programs do you know that end their shows with the main characters dying in the end? None! Watch this clip of the last episode and tell me that you feel a little bit sad watching this!

Now remember that this was a show intended for 3-year-olds. Seriously, that's so sad and depressing! I watched The World of David the Gnome when I was little and I'm surprised that I discovered this. This moment truly deserves to be #1 in my opinion.

That concludes my top 10 saddest moments in Nickelodeon. What are your favorite saddest moments in Nickelodeon? Post it in the comments below.

That's all for now. Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Now go watch something happy and cheerful!


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