There wasn’t a kid that had cable that didn’t watch Nickelodeon in the 90s and not one without DirecTV or Dish that didn’t watch it in the 2000s. When we watched these shows, whether we were in middle school, a preteen, or well into our high school years, we always had opinions on characters. Sometimes we crushed on them, sometimes they were in our dreams, sometimes we hated them like an arch enemy. It really depended on the character’s gender, personality, and how they fit into our lives. Amanda Bynes was a babe before she let her addiction overcome her. However, it seems that she’s really trying to piece her life back together now.
Now that some time has passed, let’s take a look back down memory lane. Here, we will see the reality of what those kids looked like and compare them to the hunka hunka burning loves they’ve become today. Many of these kids grew up with us and we didn’t even know it! And some of them were older crushes that we hoped one day would see us as something other than a little kid. The day has come. Now that we’re all equal rights adults, we can look at them like we’d want them to look at us. With admiration and respect. Just keep in mind that after you see them, you’ll realize that everyone around you just got uglier, including yourself. Relatively is key.
Without further ado, take a look at the twenty-five Nickelodeon stars that grew up to be total bombshells!
25 Victorious At Aging
Talk about gorgeous! Victoria Justice was one of the steamiest teens of the 2000s. While she starred in commercials and in big-time shows as guests (Gilmore Girls), she got her big start in Zoey 101 where she played an actress who attended PCA Academy with Zoey. A few years later, she was starring in her own Nickelodeon show Victorious, where again, she played an acting student.
Today, she’s twenty-four years old and picking up roles left and right. From an I Know What You Did Last Summer reboot to teen comedies like The Outcasts to up and coming movies like Summer Night and Bigger. She can also be found on YouTube doing covers of her favorite songs, and it turns out she’s a successful model. Also, for those wondering, just this fall, hints were dropped that a Victorious reunion was on its way!
24 She Aged Well, Donut-Licking Aside
If there was one Nickelodeon star who shot to fame faster and harder than anyone else, it’s Ariana Grande. Her role as Cat Valentine had as all falling for the innocent and adorable redheaded teen in Victorious. The girl got started on Nick when she was sixteen years old. Now at twenty-four, she’s blowing minds not only with her acting skills and beauty but her voice…and beauty.
Like Victoria, Ariana can be found modeling these days, but her heart lies in her music. It was her concert that was occurring when Manchester was attacked, and her benefit concert that put a tear in the eyes of everyone watching, including hers. Soft heart, beauty that can’t be matched, and a killer voice? Is Ariana Grande perfect? Her 120 million Instagram followers say it is so.
23 We'd Let Her Berate Us Any Day
The third female bombshell from Victorious is Elizabeth Gillies. Unlike her co-stars, who seem to be all bark (racy songs from Ariana), Gillies seemed to have had quite the reputation on Victorious. And now, it seems her character of Jade has come to life.
She can be found starring in shows like Dynasty. What’s funny is that she seems very blunt and Jade-like most of the time, but it seems the last year or so, she’s become mature in both her thinking and her appearance. Must be all those “grown-up” shows she’s starring in. Truth is, she’s the one that mentioned that Ariana wanted to get the gang from Victorious back together again. Missing those teen years, I guess.
22 Who Loves Orange Soda?
It wasn’t just Kenan & Kel that made Kel Mitchell so famous. He was one of the original live-action faces of Nick. From Good Burger to All That, the man was omnipresent. Just guess how old he is now? In our minds, he’s forever 17, but the truth is, he’ll be forty next year. Believe it or not, the man ages well.
The thing is, he still sticks with Nickelodeon where he stars as rap star Double G in Game Shakers with a bunch of twelve-year-olds that create video games. He also remains friends with pretty much every Nickelodeon star, old and new, and is expecting his second child with his wife Asia Lee. Yes, he is the most well-grounded former child star on earth.
21 The Maxim Star
The Secret World of Alex Mack was a hit show starring Larisa Oleynik (10 Things I Hate About You). Larisa turned out about like any other normal human being, but Jessica Alba, who guest starred in a few episodes, is otherworldly. Jessica plays…Jessica, Alex’s crush Scott’s first girlfriend. No wonder he liked her so much. She ended up being Jessica Alba.
Who would have thought this little girl would become The Invisible Woman, Honey, and Maxim’s steamiest model? Especially since she has admitted that she refuses to do birthday-suit scenes despite having two kids and a husband herself.
20 Another Child-Star Victory
From a recurring role on Zoey 101 to her main role in Victorious, Daniella was never really anyone’s favorite. As Trina Vega, she was pompous, immature, and annoying. Even when she played a grown-up Trixie in the live-action Fairly Odd Parents, she never really measured up to Victoria Justice as far as looks go, according to fans. But today, all that has changed because with her new focus on fitness, she’s not only become gorgeous with healthy skin and silky hair, but she’s got the body of a rock star. In a good way.
You can find her all over social media letting us in on her secrets, being an advocate for healthy shakes, or posing for athletic wear companies. She’s not one you want to mess with.
19 From Geeky To Goddess
You see, Erin Sanders never “dreamed” of being an actress. In fact, she was discovered while out selling girl scout cookies. Guess she was a good salesperson. But oh, how we all loved the nerd-turned-model Quinn from Zoey 101. Her relationship with Logan was weird, yet endearing towards the end. But it was her determination and quirkiness that really got to us. Seems most of that quirkiness is out the window and pure class has replaced it.
You know what’s the most unique about her these days? She was named Yoga Digest Warrior of 2015 and 2016 and teaches classes all over LA. But that isn’t enough for her, she also loves rock climbing, being one of the best LA has. It doesn’t seem like she’ll ever get back into acting though, but who cares when she’s so good at what she does.
18 From Crushing To Crushing It
We may remember Alyson Stoner from Suite Life and Cheaper by the Dozen. But before any of that, Alyson played the little girl with a big crush on Drake Bell on Drake and Josh. As a teen, she also starred in the Step Up movies as Camille Gage, Tyler’s sister. Alyson is much like her character Camille as far as her dance moves are concerned. Although she is on movies/shows here and there (returning to Nick as Opal in Legend of Korra), and has been Kairo/Xion in nearly every Kingdom Hearts game, she prefers to focus on her dancing career.
When she was younger, she danced for Missy Elliott, Eminem, Kumbia Kings, Outkast and Will Smith. She is now the youngest person to teach a master class at The Millennium Dance Complex in LA where Britney Spears, J-Lo, Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, and many more have all trained. That puts her above them all as far as dancing goes.
17 She's Far From Unfabulous
As someone who got her start on Barney, this girl was a star from birth. Her first role on Nick was as Celeste on The Brothers Garcia. And shortly after, when she played Geena Fabiano in Unfabulous, as well as Lucy Stone in Big Time Rush. But as young as she was, both of those were hardly memorable. No, her memorable Nickelodeon role came when she played Carly’s double in iCarly.
From there it was history when she landed a role as Anna in The Vampire Diaries, The Flash, and The Shannara Chronicles. Her role in each of these defining her career today, and gaining her many admirers along the way. We can only expect her to get more lovable and crush-worthy with age as more TV series and movies are released.
So, you know how we were just talking about Carly’s double, well can we just talk about Carly? Miranda Cosgrove was the sweetest, most likable actress back in the day. Even if she was an evil genius as Megan in Drake and Josh. All was forgiven when she went on to star in her own show marketing her web show iCarly. Her show did so well that she was 2012’s highest-paid child actress!
Now, in 2017, she’s no longer a child in the least! Even though she’s still the voice of Margo in every Despicable Me movie to date. She currently wishes to focus on writing and becoming a bit bigger behind the scenes. But maybe she should pick up a job modeling, because, well, isn’t it obvious?
15 Josh Of All Trades
Those born after 2000 will likely not remember Josh Server. He was originally cast in All That, which led to him starring in Good Burger, The Secret World of Alex Mack, Figure It Out, Kenan and Kel, The Amanda Show, Drake and Josh, Ned’s Declassified, and more, if you believe it. He is another icon for Nick. He was so good that he won Kids Choice Awards for his role in All That twice. At just 15, he could only be so attractive back then. But even if he was, his character was incredibly goofy.
Today, he’s all grown up and looking super fine. Gone is dorky Josh and here to stay is the hunk that is active on social media and works behind the scenes at Nick.
14 She's Still All That
Beginning as a model at the age of eight, Alisa Reyes was on fire! This fire was further ignited when she landed a spot on All That (the SNL for kids) followed by The Proud Family. She then started landing roles as a guest star in all sorts of shows form HBO to NBC. But her most surprising of those is when she had a long-time job as a DJ for Playboy Radio on Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio (Channel 99) and as a host for PlayboyU online and on-air shows.
This, of course, could not be promoted by Nick, but hopefully her new solo album of pop electro dance can because she wants an All That reboot called Still All That in the very near future where she will be the host.
13 But Can She Explain This Transformation?
Whenever you hear someone say, “I used to have the biggest crush on Melissa Joan Hart,” you just assume that they mean when she was Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. If they were a 90s baby, maybe. But for those 80s babes in love with Melissa, you can be sure that they fell for her as Clarissa in Clarissa Explains It All. The show isn’t known by the youngest of us today, as it all started in 1991, and starred Melissa who played a girl who was just your average teen. The show was the first Nick show to feature a female lead. Which was an experiment to see if it would lose the male audience. Maybe they didn’t account for puberty because it was a hit.
What’s funny is that this Nick star went from innocent to birthday-suit Maxim photos to movies like God’s Not Dead and a whole ton of Christmas Specials. But could anything make us not like her?
12 We're Definitely Not Afraid Of Her
Here’s a star who only got more famous as time went on. So famous, that we hardly remember her in Are You Afraid of the Dark. Or even her next big role (non-Nickelodeon) in the Clueless series where she played Cher. And to think, Alicia Silverstone gets all the credit. Since she was eight-years-old, she never stopped moving up in Hollywood.
Today, she can do whatever she wants as she has recently had recurring roles in shows like You Me Her and Fargo. She’s one of the most beautiful blondes out there and to think that she got her big start as Kristen, the girl who crushed on David and was afraid of clowns. Needless to say, she’s come a long way these past decades.
11 She Totally Survived The Hollywood Trap
Show of hands on who wasn’t jealous of/crushing on Lindsey Shaw from Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide? Moze was real, athletic, popular, and beautiful. But it only went up from there. After she left Nick, she starred in Pretty Little Liars as Paige, one of the best warriors on the series.
Although she’s had her fair share of lead roles, she’s also had her share of drama in the media. Since her character in PLL is a lesbian, there have been many rumors going around that she is as well. As to whether it’s true or not isn’t important. It’s her business, but it does make you feel bad for her either way with all of that talk. So let’s just keep talking about her talent and just how blown away we are by how far she’s come.
10 From School Issues To The Zombie Apocalypse
While we’re on it, can we talk about this breathtaking transformation? She was once the popular, mean, Suzie Crabgrass in Ned’s Declassified. But I’ll have you know that ever since then, she’s been anything but child-appropriate. From the Twilight Movies where she plays Angela, Bella’s friend and daughter of a minister to The Walking Dead where she, as Rosita, has more attitude than you can imagine.
She’s always been fierce, but can she get any sultrier? In May of 2017, her and her boyfriend David Boyd welcomed a baby boy, so maybe she’ll be forced to tone down for a while since motherhood has got her all wrapped up. Don’t even ask how she hid her pregnancy on The Walking Dead because looking at her pregnancy photos just blows our mind!
9 A Heartstopper
Remember that Nickelodeon movie Clockstoppers? Remember that stunning Venezuelan girl Francesca? That was Paula Garces, who was stunning then and even more stunning now. We were all over that movie due to both the cast and the hope that someone we would be able to stop time. This would be her last young person’s film as soon after, she was cast as a cheerleader in Man of the House, the love interest of John Cho in Harold and Kumar movies, and a Sorority Sister in National Lampoon’s Pledge This! It seems that she’s forever objectified in the roles she’s cast in.
To think that she got her start in a Nickelodeon movie is beyond our comprehension. Gotta go rewatch Clockstoppers now. That not so good movie was actually pretty good.
8 A Maxim First
What can I say about one of Maxim’s first models? Joanna Garcia got her start as Fiona, a young girl in Clarissa Explains it All alongside Melissa Joan Hart. At the time, she was hardly noticed. But she got her time shortly after when she landed a role in Are You Afraid of the Dark as Sam. Her next major role wasn’t until she starred in Freaks and Geeks for NBC. But boy was she adorable in Afraid of the Dark. Funny enough, she was actually Rachel Blanchard’s replacement in season 3.
After Nick no longer needed her (or rather she no longer needed them) she went on to play Reba’s daughter Cheyenne Hart-Montgomery in Reba for seven years! She hasn’t stopped, as she now is playing Ariel in Once Upon A Time and a special role in the new comedy Kevin (Probably) Saves the World.
7 My What A Spy
We’re not talking about Ice Princess or Buffy’s little sister here. No, we’re going further back than that. We’re talking about the early 90s Nickelodeon original show The Adventures of Pete and Pete where Michelle plays Nona, little Pete’s best friend. She wears a cast, not because she has a broken arm but because it causes an annoying, itchy feeling on her arm which she enjoys scratching. Yeah, she’s that kind of weird. But we still loved her, which is why we watched Harriet the Spy, the Nickelodeon movie.
And today, where can we find her? Mostly playing in Christmas movies and critically acclaimed oddballs like Sister Cities in 2016. Although my personal favorite is still Ice Princess, because, well, when you’re a preteen, the movie speaks volumes.
6 At Our Beck And Call
People say that either Nathan Kress or Josh Peck made the biggest change as far as getting steamy goes for men. But can we not take a look at a dude who has always had it going on? In case you didn’t know it, every girl that watched Victorious had a crush on Avan Jogia, or rather Beck Oliver. The thing is, he’s only gotten better with age. At just 25, he’s an actor, singer, activist, and director. Before he starred in Nick’s Victorious, he played in the not so popular movie Gym Teacher: The Movie alongside Nathan Kress.
He’s currently working on three movies and the next season of the sci-fi series Ghost Wars. Ironic, since he didn’t seem that enthused in Victorious, but boy could he sing…and that hair! No wonder he was everyone’s pick to play Aladdin in the new remake.
5 A Controversial Beauty
It seems most of the Zoey 101 stars are looking pretty good, especially the star of the whole thing, Britney Spear’s little sister Jamie Lynn Spears. At one point the show was canceled because she thought she was pregnant! But it was back on the air after the alarm was proven false. However, the year the show ended, she did get pregnant, so I guess that’s why they ended it in the first place. All is well, as she seems happy with her daughter Maddie who is now 9.
But did you know long before she was on her own show, she was just another All That cast member? However, now she doesn’t seem to do much but hang out with her family, which is totally okay. But did you realize how much she looks like her sister?
4 A Film Powerhouse
From True Jackson VP to the network original Rags, Keke Palmer was a Nickelodeon staple (producing and acting). But perhaps her most renowned role was in Akeelah and the Bee where she showed her family what’s what with her skills and eventual spunk. Her very first role, however, was as Queen Latifah’s niece in Barbershop 2, followed by Madea’s Family Reunion.
Today, she focuses on her music career while balancing two movie productions (Tobacco Valley and Pimp) as well as two TV series (Berlin Station and Scream). It seems like she will never stop as there’s always something for her to do, and boy does she take those chances she’s handed. There’s pretty much nothing she can’t do, and with that body, she looks good doing it.
3 Oh So Fabulous
Emma Roberts got her first lead role in Nick’s Unfabulous where she played Addie, the insecure high school musician. The show was a hit due to her personality and love for music. Which got her roles in Nancy Drew, Hotel for Dogs, and Aquamarine as a teen.
Today, she has more credits than we can name with over 50! Most recently, her many, many roles in American Horror Story, most importantly Maggie Esmerelda. She also starred in Scream Queens as Chanel Oberlin. Did you ever wonder where she came from and how she got started? Well, Roberts sounds familiar, right? It’s because she’s Julia Roberts’ niece! No wonder she’s so talented and gosh darn beautiful! It runs in the family, for sure. At least she’s got a solid mentor backing her up.
2 The Years Were Good To Him
I would not recognize him if I saw him on the streets! This is…ladies and gentlemen…Ned from Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide. After that, he seemed to disappear, but the truth is his roles were just not fit for the same audience. With R-rated movies like Sundown and Bad Sister, no one recognized him! Funny how these kids grow up and they don’t disappear, they just move on to movies and TV shows that you’d never let your kids watch.
Guess what he does now besides star in R-rated films? Uh…sings like an angel and you know what else? He has a YouTube series called Devon’s Life Survival Guide. Talking about taking your image and running with it. To think some people complain about typecasting.
1 She Went WAY Adult
It’s a fact that Emily Ratajkowski never had a lead role in any Nickelodeon show or movie. But what is true is that she is the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever laid eyes on. This…this woman was on a Nick show? It gets better. She was Gibby’s longtime girlfriend! That Gibs!
It’s really ironic, but I guess that’s how things worked out. Now she’s a model and actress. Someone who you should never, ever let your kids see because 99% of her photoshoots are really out there. When she was spotted in Blurred Lines video by Robin Thicke, things got real and she was signed into the grossest agencies in existence (more or less). However, she’s not all her looks, she still acts and currently has five movies in post-production. So there! Beauty, brains, and talent. Next, please!