Throwback Corner: ‘Ned’s Declassified’ is nostalgic reminder of early 2000s children’s television


Image Courtesy of Nickelodeon

Ned’s Declassified continues to stay relevant through the cast’s current rewatch podcast.

Robert Hughes, Contributing Writer

Growing up as a kid in the mid/late-2000s, there was no shortage of sitcoms, cartoons or commercials that catered specifically towards our younger generation. My generation was pretty spoiled by this, and Nickelodeon was my network of choice during this era.While many kids in my day were “iCarly” or “SpongeBob SquarePants” fanatics, the show that I was most intrigued by was “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide.” Originally airing from 2004-2007, the show followed the lives of Ned Bigby, Jennifer “Moze” Moseley and Simon “Cookie” 


Nelson-Cook, three best friends who try to weave their way through the daily challenges at the fictional James K. Polk Middle School. Whether it’s bullies, bizarre teachers or gross school lunches, Ned has a notebook dubbed “the guide”, that contains all of the tips necessary for surviving middle school, –or so he thinks, as the results often vary.


The episodes sat at a mere 11 minutes each and spanned a laundry list of topics like popularity, grades and crushes. Rather than having a generic laugh track to emphasize jokes, the show relied onzany, over-the-top sound effects, and period-specific, upbeat rock songs (think Everclear, who even made a guest appearance.) 


The more I think about it, the show honestly had more cartoon qualities than that of a live action sitcom. With this in mind, it’s easy to see how a five-year-old or even a tweencould be equally occupied by the show. I fell into the former camp as the show ended well before I reached middle school; though I was able to catch reruns in the years that followed. I vividly remember staying home sick from school while in kindergarten and genuinely thinking I was meeting my academic requirements for the day, that’s how invested I was.  


With the arrival and growing popularity of streaming services like Netflix and Paramount+ , I was able to fall in love with the show all over again recently, and it still holds up. If I watch an episode with a few friends, there’s at least one guaranteed laughing fit per viewing, and I can’t say that about any other show. I’m not even saying this for nostalgia’s sake, you have to watch it yourself to realize how insane the show is. I mean, who wouldn’t laugh at a monkey flinging its own excrement all over the lunchroom, or at a janitor making it his lifelong goal to catch a weasel? I have to give credit where credit is due and  thank the writers and show creator, Scott Fellows, for giving so much joy to myself and many others. 


Speaking of Fellows, he and the original three main actors, Devon Werkheiser (Ned), Lindsey Shaw (Moze) and Daniel Curtis Lee (Cookie) were in the beginning stages of rebooting the show just last year, but Nickelodeon unfortunately passed on the opportunity and didn’t allow them to present it to another network, as it falls under their ownership. There is a light at the end of the tunnel though, as the aforementioned three leads have reunited by means of a rewatch podcast, aptly titled “Ned’s Declassified Podcast Survival Guide” on YouTube, Spotify and other platforms. A new episode of the podcast is released every 


Wednesday, with topics ranging from behind-the-scenes tidbits, full-on episode analyses and discussion of life experiences/Q&As. While not as kid friendly as its television predecessor, the podcast is the perfect follow-up for those who watched “Ned’s Declassified” growing up and can now relate to the new show as young adults. In the meantime, this will suffice for a potential reboot down the road.