What Are The Top Ten Most Nostalgic Cartoon Shows In North Carolina?

Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

North Carolina boasts one of the fastest-growing populations of Millennials and Gen Z residents in the country. In tribute to this burgeoning demographic, BetCarolina.com is hitting pause on North Carolina sports betting updates and flashing back to the most beloved childhood cartoons of the 1990s and early 2000s. Because if there are two things both Millennials and Gen Z love, it’s nostalgia and cartoons.

To determine North Carolina's top ten cartoon shows, we used Google Trends to compare the search engine interest of each series between January 13th, 2024 and February 13th, 2024. Check out the full results and analysis below.

North Carolina’s Favorite Childhood Cartoons

Rank Cartoon Show Avg. Search Interest
1 SpongeBob SquarePants75
2 South Park35
3 Justice League30
T-4 Avatar: The Last Airbender23
T-4 The Simpsons23
6 Recess12
7 The Powerpuff Girls8
8 Rugrats7
9 Fairly Odd Parents5
10 Hey Arnold!4

SpongeBob SquarePants Takes Top Spot

“SpongeBob SquarePants” is far and away the favorite nostalgic cartoon for North Carolinians. Debuting on Nickelodeon in 1999, the titular sea sponge, who dwells in a pineapple under the sea, came around at the perfect time to become a touchstone for both Millennials and Gen Z alike. The long-running cartoon is now in its 14th season and is approaching 300 total episodes. While the series is undeniably beloved by all generations, its total dominance in our search engine-based rankings may be slightly skewed by SpongeBob and Patrick’s recent appearance as announcers during Nickelodeon’s kid-friendly Super Bowl coverage earlier this month.

Like “SpongeBob,” number two on our list is another long-running animated TV show that’s considered a landmark for both Millennials and Gen Z, but of course, there’s nothing kid-friendly about “South Park.” Known for its rude, crude, and shrewd satire of current events and celebrities, “South Park” debuted in 1997 and is still going strong 327 episodes later. Fans can expect Season 27 to premiere early this year.

Action-Adventure cartoons “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and “Justice League” land at three and four, respectively, on our list of North Carolina’s favorite nostalgic cartoons. Notably, both series have had notoriously challenging big screen adaptations. First, there was M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Last Airbender,” a 2010 release currently sitting at 5% on Rotten Tomatoes. (Let’s hope things go smoother for the highly anticipated live-action “Avatar: The Last Airbender” series set to arrive on Netflix later this week).

Then came 2017’s “Justice League.” Despite earning over $650 million internationally at the box office, the movie is largely considered to be a colossal failure, with Director Zach Synder leaving the project midway through production. This of course led to the notorious four-hour “Snyder cut” version of the movie being released on HBO Max in 2021.

Currently in the midst of its 35th season, Homer, Bart, and the rest of “The Simpsons” round out the top five of our list. Meanwhile, Disney’s “Recess,” which aired in the late-90s, and followed the exploits of the elementary-aged kiddos at Third Street School, lands at number six. “The Powerpuff Girls,” which ran for six seasons from 1998 to 2005 on the Cartoon Network, find itself at number seven.

Finally, a trio of Nickelodeon series, “Rugrats,” “Fairly Odd Parents,” and “Hey Arnold,” cap off our list of North Carolina’s favorite nostalgia-drenched cartoon series.

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Jeff Parker

Jeff Parker is a writer for BetCarolina.com. A writer for film, television and the internet, Jeff is a life long movie buff, with an actual Masters Degree in Popular Culture. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he works full time as documentary filmmaker and producer.

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