Parents didn’t like these Nineties Nickelodeon shows, but the babysitter let you get away with it!

The nineties were Nickelodeon’s heyday. They could pump out hit kids shows like no one else could — and we watched them all. Even when our parents didn’t want us to! Sneaking down to watch forbidden TV was a right of passage.

Thankfully, babysitters weren’t usually clued in on the list of forbidden shows. So anytime your parents went out, you went right to the off-limits shows and enjoyed them thoroughly while you could. Here are our top 5 shows our parents didn’t let us watch — but we totally watched anyway.

Aaahh!!! Real Monsters

This show had a really gross and pretty gritty style. The monsters were school aged, but nothing about this show said clean or good. When the characters live at the dump and use toenails as currency, parents start to put their foot down. The show was always fun, and while it was a bit grotesque, it wasn’t nearly as bad as some of the shows on our list.

The good news is that for a babysitter, a cartoon is a cartoon. We got to watch plenty of it when our parents left on date nights or went to some fancy party we couldn’t care less about. When parents are away, kids can easily turn into monsters, and so watching a show about monsters is perfectly fitting.


One adult man playing every single puppet on the show with weird wigs and even weirder voices? It was a bit much for most parents. It didn’t help that the show was named Weinerville and also had a character named “Boney.” It had a tendency to put some people off. Go figure.

For the babysitter, however, it was just a puppet show — and they were right. To be fair, this show wasn’t as crass as it seemed on the surface. It was weird. Very…very weird. But that’s about it.

Salute Your Shorts

Honestly, this show was mostly in good fun — but a lot of parents couldn’t get past the fact that camp Anawanna made you wanna fart — we mean, never part. It was that sort of crass humor that got it kicked out of a lot of homes. Sure it had one heck of a good theme song (yes, including the fart), and it was focused on showing kids as kids — no make-up, no styled hair, just kids. That wasn’t enough, however, to save it from parental scorn.

Thankfully, babysitters don’t think anything of fart jokes, and you could get away with watching as many episodes as were on the lineup. Sometimes you can’t wait for your parents to get out of the house and for the sitter to show up, right?

Ren and Stimpy

There are fleeting moments from this show that, if you saw them out of context, you might think “okay, I don’t see a problem here”…and then there is the rest of the show. From the rubber nipple salesmen episode (like the kind you put on baby bottles, you perverts) to space madness, and even Powdered Toast Man, this show wasn’t what you would call “family friendly.” Most parents gave it a very wide berth, and looking back, we have to agree with them. There were scenes that scarred us for life. We still don’t know how Nickelodeon got away with airing this.

With babysitters, however? It sure was a cartoon. A lot of times they would turn it on and wander off to do whatever it was they did when they weren’t directly watching you (we assume using the house phone to call their friends). It led to some pretty regrettable behaviors and our parents saying “we didn’t teach you that!”

Are You Afraid of the Dark

Okay yeah. This was the one that parents had a pretty good reason for not letting their kids watch. It was scary. Like, legit scary. Like, “some of those stories still give us nightmares to this day” scary (we’re looking at you, “Laughing in the Dark” and “Dead Man’s Float”). Parents were right to steer kids far away from this show. It was meant for teens, not young kids. We’re pretty sure this show is at least partially to blame for the rise of coulrophobia (that’s fear of clowns).

Babysitters were usually in the aforementioned “teen” category and watched this show already. How were they supposed to know kids weren’t ready for horrific clowns and equally creepy monsters? It was exciting while you watched it — but the nightmares that followed? Not so much.

Written by Gemr
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