Stoop kid’s afraid to leave his stoop. Maybe Jamie Lynn should have tried that.

Stoop Kid: A Hey Arnold! classic

Ah, yes. Nothing can soothe the savage college student like a little piece of nostalgia. Chances are, if your interest was piqued by that sentence, you’re a 90s kid, or the parent of one. And you know it came from an episode of Hey Arnold! You grew up on Nickelodeon at its prime. Who can forget shows like Doug, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Rocko’s Modern Life (my personal favorite — I own every episode ever made on DVD), and the ultimate classic, Rugrats (which — OMG — still has a maintained webpage on Nickelodeon’s site). Netflix one of these shows in a room full of 18-20somethings and we’re mesmerized in front of the boob tube with our mouths open, likely regressing to the same position we took while watching TV as kids.

The cartoon case of Doug

After engaging in the aforementioned activity not long ago, I couldn’t help but think about the striking difference between the episode of the always-wholesome Hey Arnold! I’d just watched and the shows my little sister, who’s 10, watches on a daily basis. Hey Arnold! and similar shows almost always incorporated some sort of life lesson into its silliness. Looking back, these messages held through into my adult years — In fact, everyday events sometimes still prompt me to reminisce about some TV show I used to watch as a kid. Whether it’s Rocko’s Modern Life’s satirical commentary on, well, modern life, or CatDog’s message of universal acceptance of those who are different.

I’ll admit, I’m a cartoon-lover. So, every time I visit home and am sharing the living room with my sister, I can’t help but get sucked in to whatever show she’s watching. Only, they’re hardly ever cartoons anymore. She went through a Zoey 101 phase a few years ago, until her favorite show was cancelled due to the star, Jamie Lynn Spears’s, teenage pregnancy. What a great role model for a then-5 year-old.

Don't make it sound too good, Jamie Lynn.

Then, she was addicted to Hannah Montana.

Hannah Montana was apparently the wholesome alter-ego.

Yeah, my point exactly.

Aside from most of these shows being mind-numbingly vomit-inducing, the demographics they appeal to are completely inappropriate. Shows like Hannah Montana and Zoey 101 deal with pre-teen issues, like shopping and makeup and dating boys. But the main age group these shows appeal to is 8-10 year-olds, and it definitely shows. My sister comes home from school with stories about her friends putting on makeup to go to movies with boys. They’re fourth-graders.

As if it isn’t bad enough that my little sister is singing along to the radio about “boys trying to touch her junk,” she’s got her role models, who are only 6-8 years older than her, getting knocked up and dancing on poles.

I’ve tried to turn my sister on to the cartoons I grew up with but, alas, she finds them boring. So much for that mode of sisterly bonding. I find she tries to have more things in common with me than I would ever expect of my 10 year-old sister. At age 10, I was still playing with Barbies and stuffed animals. While it’s fun to have a sister to talk with about painting nails and clothes shopping, it makes me a little sad that she’s growing up so much faster than I ever expected.

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11 thoughts on “Stoop kid’s afraid to leave his stoop. Maybe Jamie Lynn should have tried that.

  1. Hi! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you
    I genuinely enjoy reading through your posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover
    the same subjects? Thanks a ton!

  2. I miss the awesome 90’s cartoons, too! But I don’t think all kids shows right now are bad. My favorite is currently Adventure Time, and I also love Chowder, The Misadventures of Flapjack, and, of course, Phineas and Ferb!

    Zoey 101 and Hannah Montanna on the other hand, yeah, I wouldn’t want my kids looking to them as role models. haha.

    But I can’t say the 90’s shows were really perfect. Rocko’s Modern Life (which I LOVE) and Ren & Stimpy weren’t exactly great role models either. đŸ˜„

    It does make me sad how kids always seem to want to grow up. I never went through that. When my mom told me I had to grow up someday I cried. I always wanted to be a kid. Being an adult sucks. Just wish kids would realize that, and at least give themselves a decent childhood. I was still pretending I had Pokemon when I was in junior high.

    • Me too. I always wanted to grow up. Then again, I feel like I’m always either looking forward or looking backward, and have a hard time being happy with where I am.

      There were definitely some adult undertones in 90’s cartoons. My mom never liked me to watch Ren & Stimpy, but me and my dad would sneak watching it sometimes. I LOVE Chowder and Flapjack, too. I have Chowder on DVD. I’m not super familiar with Phineas and Ferb, but I remember I like their pet penguin platypus thing … I forget what he is, but he made me laugh.

      • Haha, my mom didn’t like me to watch Ren & Stimpy or Rocko’s Modern Life, but I ended up watching a lot of Rocko, and some Ren & Stimpy every so often.

        Yes they are great shows!

        Haha, yeah, the platypus. I didn’t like that show when I first watched it, but after watching more episodes I love it!

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  4. Blame the media. Kids don’t know what’s being done to them; if only they would read books instead. With the right books and some common sense, they’d at least learn to judge things for what they are. Then, watching these shows might not be as harmful. That’s what I think–but sadly, books hardly appeal to kids anymore.

  5. OMG. I miss the good ol’ days so much, it makes my soul hurt. Pop culture is screwing up the next generation! I’m 19 so I was born in the 90’s. I wish it could have lasted forever. Or at least bring the good old cartoons back.

  6. My 10-year-old niece said: “Auntie I’m going to sleep at your house tonight, is that ok?”
    Me: “Sure”
    She said: “Are you and Uncle going to ‘get laid’?”
    Me: WHAT?

    Yep… that’s what kids are learning all about. I played with my Barbies until I was 14. I really don’t think that growing up this fast is good or healthy! Great blog entry!

    • Oh my gosh! Hahaha I would have no idea what to say in that situation, but that’s hilarious! I wish kids realized growing up isn’t as fun as it sounds. Thanks for sharing your hilariously awkward moment, and thanks for reading!

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  8. Pingback: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but kids singing Rihanna shock me. « A Nice Ring to It

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