It's nearly impossible to imagine our childhoods without the clever Clarissa Darling or the world's biggest orange-soda-enthusiast, Kel Kimble. They're among Nickelodeon's most iconic characters who stole our hearts from day one with their quirky personalities. But have you ever thought about where they'd be if they were still around to this day? For instance, where would the perceptive Shelby Woo be if she were all grown up? Or how would female STEM role model Annie Mack be contributing to the ever-evolving world of science?
Considering the giant wave of TV reboots that's now upon us, it's likely that we'll get to see these classic characters as adults sooner than later. In fact, we've already gotten reboots for Are You Afraid of the Dark? and All That, which will feature a few familiar faces from the original cast. So yes, some of us are hoping for revivals of even more '90s series, but until then, we can at least imagine what our favorite Nickelodeon characters would be like if we could see them now!
Kel might've come off as a dim-witted kid most of the time, but every true Kenan & Kel fan knows that he's way smarter than he appears to be (as was revealed in "I.Q Can Do Better"). He's an incredibly loyal friend, a skilled painter, and of course, orange soda's number-one fan. So with his smarts and passion for orange soda, we can see him joining the marketing team for an orange soda brand like Fanta or, even better, becoming their number-one spokesperson. He'd keep rocking those colorful hats daily and, of course, always have at least one bottle of orange soda within reach.
Kenan was the type of guy who constantly spent his energy trying to figure out shortcuts to getting work done rather than actually getting work done. As he came up with his "get-rich-quick" schemes, poor Kel was dragged into the mischief. And interestingly enough, Kenan never learned from his mistakes when his plans fell apart. As an adult, we can imagine Kenan being the store manager like Chris was, except in his case, he'd be super cheap and try to cut as many corners as possible while keeping his store afloat. Also, as karma would have it, he'd probably get to work with a scheming slacker who always causes chaos and never does any work around the store.
Doug was one of the most relatable '90s characters. He regularly dealt with insecurity and the desire to fit in, which we could relate to on some level. But although he was shy, Doug was also a talented storyteller and artist. His imaginative stories about Quailman were often based on real-life events, but the way he reimagined them was always intriguing. It's a sure sign that he'd grow up to become a successful comic book writer like Stan Lee, or perhaps a well-known screenwriter for the superhero genre.
We all know her as Doug's sweet and adorable crush, but she was so much more than his love interest. Patti was brilliant, ambitious, athletic, and confident enough to stand up to bullies. She was also a leader by nature who was always kind and not afraid to challenge gender stereotypes (as we saw when she tried out for her school's all-boys softball team and asked Doug out on dates). We may not have understood it back then, but Patti gave us a glimpse of what feminism really meant. If she were around now, she'd probably be running things at her old school as principal, ensuring that all girls were getting a fair shot at playing the sport they loved.
In the show's spin-off, All Grown Up, Angelica was still her spoiled and bossy self, but she did have a heart. She was persistent, fashionable, and a proud shopaholic. In fact, at just 13 she had more fashion sense than most of the actual grown-ups did, so we can totally envision her growing up to work in the fashion industry as a designer or stylist. She'd probably learn the hard way that not everything she wants can be handed to her on a silver platter, but she's got the passion and grit to make it in the industry.
Everyone knows that Tommy was fearless ever since he was in diapers. He was the bravest baby of the bunch and always up for a spontaneous adventure. But then in All Grown Up, we learned that Tommy developed a passion for filmmaking after he recorded his friends at just three years old. He may have let his career aptitude test results deter him for a little while, but Tommy doesn't strike us as someone to give up on his dreams that easily. With his leadership skills, adventurous nature and film-making experience, he'd no doubt become a film director who isn't afraid to break barriers and try something new. As for his love life, we've got a strong feeling that he and Kimi Finster would end up together.
Chuckie was the complete opposite of Tommy. Always fearful, super timid, and a total klutz. But of course, what made him stand out was his kindness and loyalty to his friends. He kept all these qualities on All Grown Up, but if we ever got to see him in his late 20s, we imagine that he will have outgrown his shyness and insecurities. With a BFF like Tommy by his side, he'd learn that he is much stronger than he thinks and learn to take a few risks once in a while. It's also likely that he'd follow in the footsteps of his dad by becoming a bureaucrat.
It was hard not to love Susie, who was always so full of positive energy and wise for her age. She was the voice of reason for the Rugrats, and she stood up for what was right, which was something that she'd carry with her into her early teens. All Grown Up showed us Susie Carmichael as an ambitious and talented singer who also happened to be fluent in 10 languages. That alone tells us that she'd be a huge success in the music industry by now, complete with a fancy home and gorgeous wardrobe.
Thanks to the show's creator, Mitchell Kriegman, we've already gotten a taste of where Clarissa would be in her 20s. He wrote a sequel book entitled Things I Can't Explain, which follows the millennial Clarissa as an aspiring journalist in New York. She goes through quite a bit of drama, from facing unemployment and having a stalker ex to dealing with a family that (surprisingly) turns super dysfunctional. But in the modern day (her 30s), we'd like to think that she regains some control of her life. She'd most likely make a name for herself in the digital world by creating her own online publication called "Clarissa Explains it All," where she'd garner a huge fanbase.
Our favorite girl detective was adventurous and always eager to solve a case. Sure, she had her goofy side, but she was confident enough to navigate the adult world as if she were already one of them. Since she enjoyed working at the police station so much, she'd be an experienced detective by now. Or better yet, she'd probably be a private investigator like Jessica Jones!
Arnold was the sweetest because he chose to see the best in people. He was kind, laid-back, and he always gave the best advice to his friends. He would remain close with his childhood BFFs and family. And because of his optimism and the fact that he's so easy to talk to, we can see him being an awesome therapist.
It's revealed on the show that while Helga can be cynical and bitter, she also has a soft and poetic side. She's a gifted writer, and she's shared some of the most sophisticated monologues we've ever heard. Plus, she's knowledgeable when it comes to great works of literature, like George Orwell's 1984. We can see the adult Helga as a brilliant, misanthropic poet or professional writer, so we highly doubt she'd try to keep in touch with her old peers.
Alex's life was never the same after she got drenched with that top-secret chemical. As a result, she could move things with her mind, liquify into water, and shoot electricity from her fingertips. It made her quite powerful, and she did learn to master her abilities eventually, but she never officially reached superhero status. Since she's a loyal and caring friend with a good heart, we imagine that she'd want to use her powers to help more people and do good as an adult - with or without a superhero cape!
Annie was a young scientific genius who often performed tests on Alex to ensure that she was okay after gaining her powers. Her passion for science also led her to collect her findings in hopes of publishing all of her research, which would take down the chemical plant CEO, Danielle Atron. In time, Annie would gather just enough evidence to stop Danielle and even earn herself a Nobel Prize. But aside from making new breakthroughs in the science world, we know that she'd also inspire countless young girls to pursue STEM careers.
Well this one feels like a given, doesn't it? Eliza always jumped at the opportunity to connect with animals because of her ability to communicate with them. Though she could be a bit impulsive and naive when it came to approaching certain animals, she was a natural at befriending most creatures and she wound up saving a lot of lives. She'd be an ace zoologist in the present day while still taking the time to go on spontaneous adventures with her family.
This show would never have been the same without Big Pete's flawless narration of their adventures. So it's only fitting that he would grow up to become a popular voice-over artist. And even Michael Maronna, who portrayed Big Pete, would agree. During a Q&A at the 2017 ATX TV Festival, he predicted: "[Big Pete] probably got a job as a TV announcer and his brother owes him money."
Danny Tamberelli also got the opportunity to share where he thought his mischievous character, Little Pete, would be in the present day. He explained: "He probably has some more tattoos. Maybe he got into tattooing himself. He goes to those alternative festivals with piercings and all that kind of stuff, but he doesn’t really like it. He just does it because that’s where the money is. He still plays music and doesn’t pay the rent, but he frequents that dive bar that Budnick sound fixes for. It’s his favorite place to play." Sounds about right!
The infamous bad boy from Salute Your Shorts was a constant nuisance, and unfortunately, we get the feeling that he wouldn't be much more mature as a grown-up. It's why actor Danny Cooksey pretty much hit the nail on the head with his prediction: "I think Budnick is probably a camp counselor at Camp Anawanna. In the off-season, I think he lives in a conversion van somewhere, working as a sound fixer for a dive bar. He wouldn’t have gone far."