Friday night marked the end of an era as the hit Nickelodeon series iCarly aired its final episode. The show spanned more than 100 episodes, but it all came to an end with “iGoodbye.”
The final episode was the perfect blend of sweet farewells and ridiculous comedy that helped make the show a hit for so long. Carly lamented the fact that her father (who has been away in the military for the entire series) wasn’t able to return for a father-daughter dance. But he ultimately made it back, but had to return to Italy that same night. That’s when he got the wild idea of having Carly join him, and so the family reunion quickly turned into a goodbye party as Carly left to live with her father while her friends stayed behind.
There were also sillier subplots of Spencer and Sam building a motorcycle together (and then Spencer giving it to her in an impossibly sweet moment), Gibby getting a new head replica and a pet weasel and Freddie buying a purse to carry his giant phone.
The finale had little moments for everyone, including an impromptu final installment of the web series with one last tableau of the show’s best recurring sketch, the Cowboy and the Idiot Farm Girl Who Thought the Cowboy’s Mustache Was a Squirrel. There was some nice stuff for the shippers, including a random moment where Freddie and Sam considered dating again and a goodbye kiss on the lips for Freddie from Carly.
The last episode of iCarly also brought back a few familiar faces. Mindy Sterling returned as teacher Mrs. Briggs, a character who has been absent since 2010 (so has the school, actually). It also marked the return of Carly and Spencer’s obnoxious, disgusting doorman Lewbert, who has similarly been MIA from the show since 2010.
There was also an obvious nod to creator and Nickelodeon mastermind Dan Schneider as Carly checked his actual Twitter page during the final moments of the episode. It was a nice way to include the man responsible for the show and many of Nickelodeons other big hits. Schneider is a bit like the J.J. Abrams of Nickelodeon, developing fascinating and quality shows on a regular basis.
The thing I, as a 30-year-old man, will miss most about iCarly is that, contrary to what most people probably believe, it’s not just for kids. Like all truly great children’s programming (from the Muppets to Pixar movies),iCarly works for audiences of all ages. How else can you explain the very memorable moment when iCarlyreenacted a scene from HBO’s The Wire?
iCarly always had a smarter sensibility than most shows for teens and tweens. Early in the finale, Gibby rode up to the apartment in the massive freight elevator that inexplicably opens directly into Carly and Spencer’s living room. He then commented that the elevator stopped on another floor first and opened into another family’s home, which he didn’t realize it did. Sure, it was a funny moment, but on a deeper level, it was a brilliant meta-commentary on one of the more obvious and ludicrous set pieces that has gone unmentioned for five years.
So thank you to Schneider and the entire cast and crew of iCarly for proving that children’s programming isn’t just for kids. Thank you for five years of comedy. And most importantly, thank you for introducing the world to the idea of spaghetti tacos. They’re delicious.