You know the iconic theme song: “I know, you see. Somehow the world will change for me, and be so wonderful.” Well, iCarly fans, the world is becoming wonderful, because the series is finally available to stream on both Paramount+ and Netflix. Time to break out the spaghetti tacos and neon layered t-shirts, because this Y2K hit is back in fashion.
With Season 2 of the (very good!) revival out on Paramount+, it’s the perfect time to revisit the original series to spark some joy and 2000’s nostalgia. Remember when sequined vests and indoor scarves were trendy? We need to bring back Limited Too.
So, wake up members of the iCarly nation, it’s your time to stream. Trying to figure out where to start? Don’t worry. We’re here to help you figure out where to begin your rewatch, “in five, four, three, two…”
Here are the very best episodes of the classic Nickelodeon series:
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Season 1, Episode 1
Carly and Sam’s hit web show comes from humble beginnings—detention. Well, kind of. After Carly takes the blame for one of Sam’s pranks, she’s forced to spend her Saturday in a twisted form of punishment. Instead of the usual humdrum, she’s tasked with judging auditions for the school’s talent show, dragging Sam and Freddie along with her. They gossip about Miss Briggs on camera, accidentally posting the entire video to SplashFace (a version of YouTube that should exist IRL). Even though their cruel teacher is upset, the trio sees potential for something bigger: their peers loved the clip. Why not gossip and pull zany stunts on-screen? Thus, iCarly is born.
9. “iGet Pranky”
Season 4, Episode 3
“iGet Pranky” is all about Spencer—which means things are about to get bizarre. After Carly asks for his help in staging a prank, Spencer boasts that he was once known as “the king of pranks.” But he can’t get enough. Spencer grows obsessed with pranking, unable to stop himself from rolling out hjink after hijink. The pranks in this episode are legendary, even if they break poor Gibby’s arm. When all is said and done, Spencer is beaten to a pulp by his old classmates as revenge for a garlic powder prank-gone-wrong.
Season 2, Episode 23
Jennette McCurdy pulls a Lindsay Lohan in “iTwins,” playing both Sam and Sam’s shocking twin sister Melanie. Sam and Carly tease Freddie for being incredibly gullible (for example, they email him about “Clown Day” at school, and he actually shows up dressed as a clown), so he’s hard-pressed to believe Sam has a twin. Knowing Sam would never oblige, Freddie takes Melanie on a date. To parallel this oddball plot, Carly tutors Spencer’s arch-nemesis, a kid named Chuck. She avenges her brother by teaching the child a made-up number named “derf” between five and six. Derf!
7. “iGot Detention”
Season 1, Episode 19
This episode marks an important milestone for the iCarly crew: It’s the 50th Webshow Spectacular. The team has grand ambitions for the show, until Sam finds herself locked in detention on the day of the event. Typical Sam! Luckily, her trusty friends find a way to pull it off by sneaking into detention. The whole heist is so intriguing, and even though they’re ultimately caught red-handed, there’s a fantastic twist at the end of the episode. As the three buds are off on their extravaganza, Spencer’s at home creating a 500-gallon cup of Skybucks coffee. To conclude, iCarly’s 50th Webshow Spectacular features the three kids and Spencer swimming in his giant cup of decaf coffee.
Season 3, Episode 18
“iPsycho” is the first in a series of two with Nora Dershlit, a crazed fan obsessed with the iCarly crew. After she gets a shoutout on the web show, Nora’s convinced that Sam, Carly, and Freddie are her guardian angels. To prevent them from leaving her, she locks them in her basement. Without phones, they’re about to miss the Webicon festival; luckily, Gibby saves the day. (Fun fact: the actress who plays Nora is married to the actor who plays Lewbert, the nasty doorman in iCarly.) While they’re still sequestered in her basement, Spencer does housework with Gibby and his brother Guppy—though, as expected, they’re not very good at it.
5. “iGo One Direction”
Season 6, Episode 2
If this episode feels like a fever dream, that’s probably because it actually is. In “iGo One Direction,” Carly is too sick on Jungle Worms to bask in the glory of meeting One Direction. They come to perform on iCarly, but thanks to a shared water bottle, Carly passes her disease onto Harry Styles. When the gang suspects he’s faking the illness, they shock him into confessing by staging a ruse that Gibby’s joining the band. Gibby as the sixth member of One Direction would’ve been grand, but they take a pass and perform “What Makes You Beautiful” instead. When looking for artifacts of 2012, this brilliant episode of television says a lot.
Season 2, Episode 10
“iKiss” made history. With a title as scandalizing as that, iCarly viewers knew something big was coming. The episode includes a movie called The First Kiss (which looks fantastic), prompting Sam, Carly, and Freddie into a discussion about their first kisses. Freddie confesses he’s never kissed anyone before—and Sam humiliates him by announcing his secret live on the show! To make it up to him, Sam admits that she’s in the same boat as him. They agree to “get it over with,” which is so, so wonderfully dramatic. As this is happening, Spencer and Gibby team up to try out for the esteemed Cobras football team. It’s a flop, once again, as expected.
Season 1, Episode 6
Whenever Twitter, Instagram, or any website is down, it’s probably safe to assume that Nevel Papperman is responsible. The evil hacker, famed for his web show reviews at Nevelocity.com, makes his fantastic debut in the first season of iCarly. His villain origin story? Carly rejects him after he kisses her cheek, making matters worse by smudging tapenade on his face. “You’ll rue the day,” Nevel famously announces. The furious feud spirals into other seasons of the series, all thanks to this episode. While Carly deals with Nevel, in the episode’s subplot, Spencer constructs “Toasty the Baker,” a butter sculpture. Yum!
2. “iLost My Head in Vegas”
Season 6, Episode 11
While the iCarly crossovers with Victorious and One Direction are masterpieces, the special appearances in “iLost My Head in Vegas” may be the best. Sam learns that her mother has been imprisoned in Vegas and being held at bail. Instantly, the gang hatches a plan to sell their most valuable items at the famed Vegas pawn shops to garner enough bail cash. Hopping in an RV, they head to the city of gambling to sell their stuff and find Sam’s mom. First stop: World Famous Silver & Gold Pawn Shop, run by the famous Pawn Stars guys. Gibby sells his pants to Chumlee, accidentally purchases a fake moon rock, and eventually saves the day by pawning his fake head to the Pawn Stars. It’s quite an epic adventure.
Season 2, Episode 27
One of the most memorable aspects of iCarly is the all the dreamy food, from T-Bo’s bagels on a stick at Groovy Smoothie to Galini’s mesmerizing coconut cream pie. The best food featured, of course, has to be Spencer’s inspiring spaghetti taco recipe. In “iFood,” famous chef Ricky Flame discovers Carly and Sam making spaghetti tacos for the show. He invites them to battle him on his show, proving the power of spaghetti tacos. While the girls go compete with his recipe, Spencer is electrocuted and has a vision featuring his favorite character from Galaxy Wars, Nug Nug, who is about to give him a hug in Groovie Smoothie. To be sure he won’t miss Nug Nug, Spencer plants himself in the smoothie shack, keeping watch for the creature. “iCook” has T-Bo’s bagels on a stick, the Groovie Smoothie, a knock-off Bobby Flay, and Spaghetti Tacos—what more could an iCarly fan ask for?
Fletcher Peters is a New York-based journalist whose writing has appeared in Decider, Jezebel, and Film School Rejects, among other spots. You can follow her on Twitter @fietcherpeters gossiping about rom-coms, TV, and the latest celebrity drama.
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