Most Nickelodeon shows have this reputation for being “feel good” shows. Shows with emotional moments, where families connect again after a fight or where deep, tragic stories get shared. There have been several Nickelodeon moments that are far too emotional for a kids network! But we sat through them, maybe choked back a few tears, and became better adults because of it.
While the live-action shows such as Drake & Josh and Clarissa Explains It All gave us several heart-warming moments, plus Ned’s Declassified sometimes offered some very good advice, it’s really their cartoons that Nick is remembered for. If you pick out any episode of Hey, Arnold!, I promise it’ll have a sweet moment or a positive message.
The weird thing about Nickelodeon shows is that there aren’t often straight villains. Sure, there are bullies or rivals, people who make their lives more difficult, but the shows are more focused on real problems than villainous plots. The enemies of these kids are the popular kids who look down on them, the siblings who bully them and the parents who restrict them. Which is certainly more relatable stopping someone’s plot to take over the city every week.
So, what would Nicktoon villains look like? How would these Nick characters, both classic and new, look like as the classic villains that we grew up with on other shows? Some of these are perfectly in character, others not so much. A lot of them are just really cute! Enjoy!
25 Team Arnold
If my memories of Team Rocket are correct, their plans to steal all the Pokémon were so obvious. I was just annoyed at Ash for falling for him. He deserved to have all his Pokémon robbed from him! (Mind you, he has been eleven for thirty years.)
I’m sure Arnold and Helga would come up with much better schemes together.
Helga could hatch all the villainous plots, and you know that Arnold could take care of the Pokémon. Why aren’t Team Rocket allowed to steal them all anyway? Isn’t that literally what everyone else is doing?
Artwork by Shaami.
24 Zim Of Hearts
It may be the Queen of Hearts who has the big head in Tim Burton’s films, based on the books by Lewis Carroll. But in the Invader Zim parody of Alice in Wonderland, Alice is the big-headed creature!
When we finally get to see the Invader Zim film sequel, I might set a timer for how long it takes for someone to call Dib’s head big.
I’m sure if Zim became the ruler of Wonderland, I’m sure it’s citizens would beg for the Queen of Hearts to be reinstated as soon as possible.
Artwork by Spectra22.
23 Judge Squidward
I don’t really want to compare these two characters. Judge Frollo is one of the most spooky Disney villains. Whereas Squidward just wants some quiet every once in a while, and to practice his violin! If SpongeBob was my neighbor, I’m sure I’d feel very much the same about him as Squidward does! It is very creepy how well Squidward slips into the role here. Perhaps if Squidward plays him in the live-action version it won’t be as spooky. Not that a Squid ruling Paris is a settling thought.
Artwork by SpongicX.
22 The Dark Lord Tommy
Don’t worry, guys, it’s just a mask! I miss this show so much. I’ve heard rumors again of a live-action reboot. But, unlike Invader Zim, I think this one was better left in its time.
It’s so funny that it is Tommy as Lord Voldemort though, rather than Angelica. But I’m sure Voldemort was as resourceful and adventurous when he was a toddler. So, let’s keep an eye on Tommy from now on; we don’t know what he’ll be up to in future. Chuckie with the Harry Potter glasses is also very cute!
Artwork by Rocketman28.
21 The Loud Clown
The Loud House is the show that gives me faith in the future of Nicktoons. It felt like all the best cartoons came in the nineties and early noughties. SpongeBob and Fairly OddParents carried on, but they were never as good as they were. The Loud House proved that Nickelodeon is still capable of creating good, classic cartoons.
This does disturb me a little bit. The way the Joker treats Harley Quinn is more than troubling a lot of the time, and I don’t like to even think of these characters hurting each other. But I’m sure this was a fun costume party!
20 Helga Of The Underworld
The cool thing about Helga Pataki was that she seemed like a villain, but she wasn’t really a bad person. She just had a terrible family life with distant parents, one of whom had a problem, along with some anger issues.
This artwork, however, shows Helga as the opposite. A pretty, calm young person; who is actually a demon!
Helga already fits the bill for this kind of demon, being blond with her pretty pink bow. Even if her unibrow is rather sinister! Perhaps behind those reddish eyes is another girl who just wants to be loved.
Artwork by Koizumi-Marichan.
19 SpongeBob’s Puzzles
It’s bizarre how creepy SpongeBob’s smile can be when coupled with a villain such as this. So many villains take on disguises with childish themes, which makes them all the more spooky when these things come about.
The Saw franchise and the Jigsaw movie are just movies with no connection to real events.
And SpongeBob is a fictional sponge that lives in the sea. But if this image pops into my head later when I’m not expecting it, I’m probably going to get spooked. We also know that if SpongeBob’s leg gets cut off he’ll probably be fine. He can just stick it back on.
Artwork by BeeJayDeL.
18 Joking Turtles
This one is just really cool! I’ve found a lot of reimaginings of characters as the Joker, but this one really shows time and commitment. I don’t want to know how long this took, whether it was five minutes or five hours I’m impressed.
I’d like to know which turtle is under the paint. We can take guesses, but going by how similar the toys I’ve seen are, anyone’s guess is good. I think Raphael is closest to the Joker in terms of recklessness and having anger issues. And maybe Donny would be a good Batman.
Made by Eli Dixon.
17 Maleficent Loud
What The Loud House does really well is show how varied different people can be. Various people can have various different interests, but that doesn’t mean we can’t all get on and be friends. Luna Loud is probably my favorite Loud sibling. I like her style and her attitude, which help her slip into the role of Maleficent.
After all, the two share the same color scheme, don’t they?
Being one of the more layered Disney villains, I’m sure Maleficent The Loud House have a lot to teach each other.
Artwork by Toys in Motion.
16 Playful Villains
This one might seem a little childish, but so are the Rugrats, right? Whether this is the Rats as the actual villains, them dressing up for Halloween, or perhaps just a cute little drawing one of them did for one of the parents, it’s a very cute image.
My favorite of these is probably Dil as Gaston since they both have rather bizarre facial bone structures. But I also love the idea of Angelica being both the Stepmother and one of the stepsisters. The only one who is really bad, according to the Cinderella sequels.
Artwork by Daisyplayer1.
15 Zim Is Serious
I’d like to see these two in a battle to the end. Sure, the Joker is unstable in every sense of the word, but so is Zim! Honestly, Zim could completely kick the Joker’s behind and at the same time, not let anyone else know that he’s an alien. (But canonically, the Joker has a much better success rate than Zim does, so we can’t be sure how this would play out. Even with all Zim’s technology.) That grin is very similar though. Maybe Joker is an Irkin descendant. It would explain a lot.
14 Gothic Robots
Who here remembers this show? Congratulations, we can be friends! It was just so refreshing to see some kids on TV who had no interest in fitting in, who would turn down the popular table if offered and even picked on the popular kids.
Rather than being a traditional, familiar villain, this fan art plays on the idea of what a villain it. In this case, large destructive robots. Edgar and Ellen were really the villains of their own show, a badge they wore with pride! If they were given the chance to destroy their silly town with robots, they’d take it and no one could blame them.
Artwork by Fizzgig.
13 Less Serious Joker
The Joker may share similar traits to a certain Irkin warrior, but these two certainly don’t go hand in hand. Okay, so maybe the Joker is a lot smarter than the cast of SpongeBob. That is certainly an understatement. Really, it makes sense that Patrick is a villain. Patrick is a bit of a jerk! I know he’s SpongeBob’s best friend, but more often than not he causes him more trouble and pain than joy.
12 The Loud Doctor
I’m sure this could be spooky if this character wasn’t so adorable! Although I protest the way TV shows and books aimed at children like to portray most youngsters as having a natural talent, I like the diversity of talents in The Loud House.
I also love that Lisa is the second-youngest child, as younger children are often portrayed as the stupider ones.
Given that she is still so young, Lisa’s science career could go either way. But I’m sure her supportive family could lead her down the “good scientist” route.
Artwork by Jboy32x.
11 Tomb Raider Dora
This one may be controversial, but I’ve always stood by the theory that Lara Croft is actually the villain of her games. Her job is often to steal ancient artifacts she doesn’t have a great claim to, and her rivals are just trying to do the same thing but are just less wealthy than she is!
Whether or not you agree, there is no way you’d let this person teach your kids Spanish or sing to them about maps! Maybe she should go back to exploring places that wanted to be explored.
Artwork by Ingvard the Terrible.
10 Invader Joker
While I love the other one as well, this one takes us back to the original joker. Zim’s maniacal laugh slips perfectly in here and he just looks a lot more sinister. The one for the Adam West series who had far more Zim-esque plans. Yes, it’s unstable to blow up a hospital, but I think someone who wants to turn the city’s water supply has more complicated issues. And which one do you think Zim would come up with?
Artwork by Nanaki-angel23.
9 SpongeBob Krueger
It’s a little disturbing how easily SpongeBob slips into these roles… Mind you, this would make for a very entertaining video game. Maybe as a small parody game on itch.io. It could make for an entertaining jump scare game. Imagining hiding somewhere, or trying to sneak away, then hearing SpongeBob’s insanely happy laugh!
I’m not trying to imply that SpongeBob is creepy. But if you took the same character and put him in a Freddy Krueger type scenario, you could make him creepy.
Artwork by BeeJayDeL.
8 Chuckie And Chucky
You know, I’m just surprised that this wasn’t done sooner! There should be a whole parody doll line based on this by now. Even though the Child’s Play movies thoroughly freak me out, I still can’t be that disturbed by this! It’s Chuckie; he’s adorable! If they dressed up the actual Chucky doll in this Saturn-shirt with the undone trainers, I’d probably still think it was adorable. Chuckie won’t hurt you; he’s more a-scared of you than you are a-scared of him! He’s probably just trying to be brave.
7 Bride Of Timmy
I’m aware that the Bride of Frankenstein wasn’t really a villain. She didn’t really do anything bad, that’s very much the point of those stories; it was just others perception of them and all that. But this really is adorable! Maybe the Bride would have taken to Frankenstein a little more if he was Timmy Turner.
This show really should have ended with the 2011 Fairly Odd Movie. It was a happy ending for everyone and would have been a great way to say goodbye. Plus, it shows how pointless it is picking on the geeky girl!
6 Arnold’s New Look
I’ll have to confess that I had not heard of Villainous prior to discovering this artwork. But I’ll certainly have to check it out now!
Trouble is that Arnold is so calm and so friendly, that even in this context he doesn’t seem villainous.
The snooty look on his face is so out of character that you assume he’s acting in a play or something. It’s curious that this upper-class gentleman look is so popular among villains. I guess it fits with the idea of someone looking down on everyone else.
Artwork by GroundSpiritMinerva.
5 Side Show SpongeBob
This is, without a doubt, my favorite SpongeBob entry on this list. Side Show Bob was so iconic to me growing up that I’ve never managed to watch anything else with Kelsey Grammer in it without giggling and calling him Bob!
Side Show Bob is the perfect example of a villain who is so charming, you forget how spooky he is.
Plus, while both SpongeBob and The Simpsons have been on TV for so long they’re shadows of their former selves, we’ll still happily watch the old episodes and laugh as we did before.
Artwork by ZaneDrake.
4 Invader Ellen (And Edgar)
What’s better than a Nicktoons character reimagined as a dark villain? The two main characters from one of Nick’s creepiest shows reimagining as the main characters from Nick’s darkest show!
Although Edgar and Ellen was never that dark, I do sometimes compare it to Invader Zim.
They both had this creepy, dark, comic book art style that brought the show to life. These characters also work so well in Invader Zim style! They’re very recognizable; perhaps they could invade Zim and Dib’s Skool. They’d probably be happier there.
Artwork by Misslolas.
3 SpongeBob The Thirteenth
I hate to be that person, but wouldn’t a hockey mask be of more use to SpongeBob if it were square-shaped? If it were used for its intended purpose of protecting his face while he played hockey, it wouldn’t block any damage to a large portion of his head.
Sure, it’s not being used for that purpose right now. But it doesn’t do a very good job at hiding SpongeBob’s identity either. Yes, SpongeBob is recognizable, but if Jason Voorhees did have a square-shaped head, wearing the hockey mask wouldn’t do him much use either!
Artwork by BeeJayDeL.
2 Helga Quinn
We can only thank Arnold for this not being a reality for Helga. As I said before, she has the backstory that would suit any villain. But unlike the real Harley Quinn, she had Arnold whose kindness kept her anger in check.
Just like Harley Quinn became Harley Quinn because of the Joker’s damage, Helga stayed Helga because of Arnold’s kindness.
Although I have to say that this look suits Helga way better than the pink bow and dress. She can dress however she wants, of course; I just hope she experiments with her style this way.
Artwork by Kristen Lopez.
1 The GIR Reaper
While all the villains mentioned today are criminals who’ve spooked us, or creepy phenomena who we can’t understand, the biggest villain is surely the Grim Reaper. Okay, so they’re just doing their job, but once they arrive there is nothing to save you.
But if the Grim Reaper appeared before me and they were this cute, I’m sure I’d forget all about my troubles and follow him! Perhaps GIR is the Grim Reaper who comes to collect you if you’ve lived an adorable life, filled with rainbows and fluffy bunnies. Or if you have tacos.
Artwork by HerzyDishtar.