If you were anywhere between kid and tween in the 90’s, you had the honour of being subjected to a slew of Nickelodeon shows. The shows were cheesy as hell and featured a lot of epically bad hairstyles. They were the types of shows you watched in secret; afraid to admit that you secretly enjoyed following The Secret Life of Alex Mack. They were the shows you watched when you were home sick, or snowed in, or when there was nothing else on TV. Some of them actually weren’t that bad. Are You Afraid of The Dark was one of the best shows on TV when I was young, hands down. Running for 7 seasons, this Canadian gem spooked us with eerie tales told over campfire by The Midnight Society.
As we got older, so did the stars who made their acting debuts on Nickelodeon and Disney. Amanda Bynes, Britney Spears, Ariana Grande and Keke Palmer are just a handful of the tween queens who have blossomed into successful starlets.
Fame and scandal often go hand in hand, and these stars were not exempt from getting caught red-handed in compromising situations. Wardrobe slips, loose lips and drunken missteps are par for the course for these former tots. Youth, beauty and lots of money can be a wonderful or disastrous combination. Being a kid star doesn’t offer immunity against troublemaking, as we will see in the next 15 photos of Nickelodeon stars that prove they aren’t as innocent as they once were.
15. Keke Palmer’s Photos Leaked
Remember Keke Palmer? Me neither, but apparently she was the “it girl” on a show called True Jackson, VP in the late 2000’s. She also landed the role of Cinderella in Cinderella The Musical, which is pretty cool! OK, admittedly, she’s a bit on the young side to appeal to the 90’s child, but she’s got a dramatic story so we might as well add her to the list. In 2014, when many A-listers were getting their data hacked via iCloud, Keke was targeted and had many of her personal photos stolen. Photos of Keke romping in bed in her undies, selfies taken in underwear, and perhaps the weirdest of all, a fully nude shot taken on her toilet. Around the same time, Keke was involved in a sex tape scandal. Allegations emerged that she was the woman in wanna-be rapper Tadoe’s leaked tape. Poor Keke- hopefully she has learned to leave the camera out of her intimate moments.
14. Jamie Lynn Spears Squeezes Into Too-Tiny Bikini Bottoms
Jamie Lynn is best known for being little sister to megastar Britney. Despite living in her sister’s shadow for most of her life, Jamie Lynn did dabble in singing and acting. Her best known role was as Zoey on Zoey 101, which ran on Nickelodeon from 2005 until 2008. In 2007, at age 16, she announced that she was pregnant and her career took a bit of a backseat while she raised her daughter. Her relationship with baby-daddy Casey Aldridge was the talk of the tabloids for several years, as the couple struggled to stay together. Ultimately, they ended their affair and Jamie Lynn married her new beau Jamie Watson in 2014.
In 2011, while vacationing with Britney and the Spear’s momma, Jamie Lynn had a little bit of a wardrobe malfunction when she hit the pool. Sporting a teeny-weeny bikini, Jamie Lynn was photographed leaving little to the imagination.
13. Ariana Grande’s Doughnut Fiasco
Everyone’s favorite cat-ear-wearing-baby-human, Ariana Grande, got herself into hot water in July 2015. The Victorious actress reportedly licked several display doughnuts while in line at Wolfee Donuts in Lake Elsinore, California, made some anti-American remarks and then proceeded to go on with her day. Totally normal stuff! Lucky for us, the donut shop caught the graceless act on camera, and the Internet was blessed with video footage of Ariana’s doughnut debacle. In the days that followed, she received some serious backlash from the people of the Internet and celebrities who found her behaviour a little too teenager-y. In a last ditch effort to save face, Ariana tried to play off her behaviour as a reaction to how unhealthy America has become. To embarrass herself further, she tried to justify her actions by relating her personal struggles with eating disorders when she was young. Sigh. Ariana, you got caught being a brat. Just steer clear of the doughnut shops from now on!
12. Amanda Bynes’ Wild Days
Amanda Bynes was perhaps one of Nickelodeon’s biggest stars in the 90’s. As the main character of the popular The Amanda Show, she gained notoriety for her portrayal of dozens of kooky characters. Her success came to a pretty abrupt end when she had a very public breakdown that included smoking weed, driving under the influence, two hit and runs and alleged death threats uttered to her parents. Yikes. Sadly, the young star, who had previously maintained a stellar reputation in Hollywood, lost all of her credibility as a respectable actress. Her falling apart could only be compared to a Lindsay Lohan-esque unhinging. Bynes’ took to her Twitter feed to report that she was retiring from acting in 2010. Mental health issues were likely at the core of her breakdown, and we are glad to hear that she is doing much better now. Maybe taking a break from the limelight was a good option for her.
11. Drake Bell’s Arrest
Drake Bell is a child actor who had his debuts in small roles in Home Improvement, Jerry Maguire and Seinfeld. He gained major success with his appearances in two Nickelodeon hit shows, The Amanda Show, and Drake & Josh in the early 2000’s. It seems that this tween celeb was also pretty popular at doing something other than acting: collecting DUI charges. Bell was charged with three DUIs from 2010-2016. The first two incidences were swept under the rug after he made bail. The third time (you’d think he’d learn his lesson by now?! Geez!) he was charged and sentenced to a whopping 4 days in jail, but the privileged son was let go after 1 day due to overcrowding of the prison. I guess it pays to be sorta famous in California. Thankfully for everyone on the road, Drake has had his license suspended, hopefully, he doesn’t get behind the wheel again any time soon.
10. Emma Roberts’ Domestic Abuse Allegations
Emma Roberts got her main break on the Nick show Unfabulous back in 2004. As the niece to Julia Roberts, Emma started her acting career with great respectability. She starred in We’re the Millers and American Horror Story, proving that her acting talent was more than Nickelodeon-level. It wasn’t all sunshine and roses, however, in the summer of 2013, when Emma was accused of domestically abusing her on-again-off-again-boyfriend Evan Peters. The incident transpired in Montreal, Canada, in the couple’s hotel room. Police were alerted that there was an altercation, and arrived to find a bloody-nosed Evan and a very upset Emma. According to the report, the couple were both hitting each other (not nice) but only Emma was taken into custody for questioning because Evan had visible injuries, whereas she had none. He refused to press charges, the two reconciled and it’s reported that they are now engaged.
9. Matthew Underwood’s Drug Arrest
Matthew Underwood’s acting career ended before it began. He starred as Logan in Zoey 101 from 2005-2008. In 2009, he retired from acting. What he didn’t retire from, however, was being a troublemaker. In 2012, Matthew had some pretty serious legal issues when the police searched his home and found that he was in possession of illegal marijuana. To top the cake, they also found a 17-year-old girl in his bedroom; he was charged with possession. Later in the year, he was arrested and jailed when he violated his probation and was found drinking at a lounge he co-owns in Port St Lucie, Florida. It turns out he was actually violating 5 probationary orders, and served 30 days in jail for his offenses. He seems to have been keeping a pretty low profile since 2012; no news of him making a comeback or committing any more crimes for the time being!
8. Jennette McCurdy’s Leaked Photos
Jennette McCurdy was the tween starlet who swooned fans with her performances in iCarly and Sam & Cat. Towards the end of her days with Nickelodeon, she made a buzz when near-nude photos of her were leaked online. According to her Twitter defenses, the photos were meant to be super secret. She allegedly sent them to one person, whom was not named, but suspicious shade was directed at NBA star Andre Drummond. Shame! Despite the network standing by her, the relationship was strained (aren’t these Nickelodeon folks used to train wreck kids?). A few months after the leaked photos were blasted across the net, new near-nudes of Jennette started to circulate. Rumour has it that she was responsible for releasing these photos of herself; is it possible that she just wanted attention, after all this time?!
7. Ryan Rottman Charged with DUI
Ryan Rottman is known for his portrayal of Joey on the Nickelodeon hit Gigantic. He dated his (much younger) Victorious costar Victoria Justice for a couple of years back in 2011, but is otherwise fairly unmemorable. That is, until you throw together a mix of too much booze, a few entitled Hollywood rich kids, and a bad idea to get behind the wheel. In a fairly unsurprising turn of events, Rottman was arrested for driving under the influence in the summer of 2011. Since all kid stars seem to flock together, no one was surprised to hear reports that Zac Efron and Rumer Willis were also at the scene of the crime. According to reports, police pulled Ryan over after his car jumped over a curb, somewhere along Hollywood Boulevard. He was given a breathalyzer and tested double the legal limit. Why don’t these kids just call cabs? Or drivers? I’m sure they can afford to spend a few bills on getting people to drive them around when they’re wasted.
6. Ariana Grande Cheating Scandals With Big Sean
Let’s take a break from all the DUI talk and get back to Ariana Grande for a moment. Remember the Ariana Grande and Big Sean love affair that lasted for a few minutes in 2014? Well, allegedly, the couple hooked up while Big Sean was still engaged to his former fiancé, Glee star Naya Rivera. Ariana denied the accusations and defended her at-the-time honey. Fast forward a few months, and we have Ariana accusing her honey boo of cheating on her. This is getting complicated. Big Sean defended his position by saying that his grandmother had recently died, and that some old flames were texting him to send condolences. I sincerely hope that’s a real alibi, because if not, Big Sean is the absolute worst! You do not play the dead-grandma card to get out of jail! The two singers were doomed from the start, it seems. Accusing each other of cheating back and forth for a few months finally killed the romance and these two called it quits in early 2015.
5. Miley Cyrus Invents Twerking
Before Miley Cyrus became a legendary pop star, she was an 11-year-old Hannah Montana on the Disney Channel. The unprecedented success of the show turned her into a household name. The daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, Miley developed a fan base of tweens that exceeded logic. Her music career exploded as did her brain. Miley went through a pretty “wild child” phase. The world watched on as an unravelling Miley shaved her head, flashed her bits and partied until the sun came up…all pretty publicly. Nobody was actually surprised when Miley invented the most awful of trends at the 2013 VMAs, the twerk. Grinding up on Robin Thicke during a performance of his hit Blurred Lines, Miley proved to the world for once and for all that she could not be trusted with the position of role model to millions of preteens.
4. Shia LaBeouf’s Plagiarism Scandal
Before Shia LaBeouf embarked on his public unravelling in Hollywood, he was a successful child actor. Portraying Louis on Disney’s Even Stevens, his kid-star reign lasted almost a decade, as he slowly emerged as a respectable actor and began to book bigger acting gigs. He starred in Blockbusters hits Transformers and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps before his behaviour took a turn for the strange side. Admitting to having an alcohol problem, Shia made headlines for super odd behaviour; wearing a paper bag on his head to the premiere of his film Nymphomaniac, chasing a homeless man down the street and starting fights in the streets of LA. In 2014, his career was almost shutdown for good when he was accused of plagiarising the work of Daniel Clowes in a short film he made for the Cannes Film Festival. He took to Twitter to report that he was retiring from “all public life”, but that was short-lived. He is starring in Borg vs. McEnroe, set to hit theatres this year.
3. Demi Lovato’s Trip To Rehab
Demi Lovato‘s career has been on fire lately. She has a new album out, is touring, and looks amazing. It wasn’t always butterflies and roses for this former Disney child actor. For months, in 2011, she was grazing headlines in the tabloids for her wild behaviour. She was the picture of the Hollywood party girl, always spotted red-eyed at nightclubs. Her habits quickly got the best of her and she descended into a pretty public meltdown. Demi checked into a rehab center to help her deal with a slew of addictions. The young starlet was battling bulimia, struggling with self-harmful behaviour and was later diagnosed as having bipolar disorder. The stint in rehab seems to have done her a world of good. The star has maintained sobriety for years, focuses on keeping fit and having a healthy relationship with food and keeps her mental illness in check with proper medication.
2. Vanessa Hudgens’ Photo Leak(s)
Vanessa Hudgens‘ was the “it girl” of High School Musical, and perhaps best known for her years of dating costar Zac Efron. The two were constantly in the limelight, frolicking hand in hand at the beach, being spotted on high end dates. They were the cutest Hollywood tween couple, until they split in 2010. But not to worry, Vanessa didn’t need to reply on Zac to keep her in the news. What else kept her name afloat, you ask? Her multiple nude photos scandals. When she was just 18, she had her first experience with photo leaks. Somehow, her private pictures were obtained from her cellphone and circulated online. Seven years later, hackers struck again when photos of a then-25 year old Hudgens’ again hit the web. There haven’t been any leaks since 2014, but we won’t be surprised if more are on their way.
1. Britney Spears Meltdown
The queen of pop herself, Miss Britney Spears, was probably the first millennial public breakdown. The poor girl had a lot on her plate, back in 2007. Britney famously married two deadbeats within a few years of each other (one annulment, one divorce) and had two little boys with baby-daddy Kevin Federline. In the aftermath of having her kids, things took a turn for the ugly. Britney famously shaved her long blonde locks off, attacked paparazzi with an umbrella and just went knees-deep to crazy-town. The poor girl probably just needed some serious repose from the spotlight. That, she did get, when she admitted herself to a treatment facility and started facing her demons. Almost a decade later, Brit is doing super fantastic. A visit to her Instagram page confirms that the star is living a balanced, healthy life. Leave Britney alone!