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Questionable Things We Ignored In Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide

Middle school can be tricky. Luckily, Ned Bigby (Devon Werkheiser) and his friends Jennifer "Moze" Mosely (Lindsey Shaw) and Simon "Cookie" Nelson-Cook (Daniel Curtis Lee) were there to give you some advice on how to make it through that treacherous new environment. They did so for three seasons on one of the best teen TV shows from the '00s, "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide," a Nickelodeon sitcom all about navigating middle school while encountering the quirky characters and situations that come along with it. The series may have been known for its outrageous plotlines, but each episode was peppered with tips that could potentially help young viewers deal with real-life problems.

Ned, his friends, and the staff at James K. Polk Middle School were a crazy bunch, and they all provided fans with plenty of laughs over 54 episodes. But as funny as the show was, there were plenty of head-scratching moments throughout the series. Here are some of the more questionable aspects of "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide" that younger viewers probably didn't notice when they watched it the first time.

Never learning certain characters' real names

Outside of Ned and his friends, several unique students attend James K. Polk Middle School. There's the fast-talking Martin Qwerly (Tylor Chase), the bully Billy Loomer (Kyle Swann), and Cookie's academic rival Evelyn Kwong (Michelle Kim). Viewers will also meet mean girl Missy Johnson (Carlie Casey), ambitious future lawyer Claire Sawyer (Brooke Marie Bridges), and Coconut Head (Rob Pinkston), an accident-prone boy whose haircut becomes a running gag from the first episode.

As funny as Coconut Head is, it's a little strange that his real name is never revealed. Coconut Head's nickname is obviously used to make fun of him, so it seems odd that both teachers and students would refer to him by that. Coconut Head isn't the only character without a real name on the show. Backpack Boy (Kendré Berry), a student known for wearing a large and seemingly bottomless backpack, also never reveals his name. There are even some teachers who don't go by their real names, such as iTeacher (Mo Collins). While middle school can be a big place, it seems a little unfair that even the adults would reduce some of their students to a single character trait.

What created iTeacher?

One of the most interesting adult characters in "Ned's Declassified" is iTeacher, who debuted in Season 3 and practices what the show refers to as home teaching. She only appears on a computer screen and usually needs someone to push her monitor around the classroom so she can interact with the students. Despite not physically being in the same room as her students, she is still regarded as a good teacher and even bonds with Moze in a few episodes.

Considering the times we live in, teaching from home through video chat isn't so far-fetched. However, even if the concept has aged well, iTeacher's presence at James K. Polk Middle School is still shrouded in mystery. Not only do viewers never learn her real name, but it is also never explained why she ended up teaching from home. To be fair, it is hinted at in the episode "Stress" that the pressure of in-person education pushed her to adopt a remote teaching setup, but it would have been interesting to learn a little more about one of Polk's more peculiar teachers.

Gordy the terrible janitor

The "Ned's Declassified" episode "Stress" is an important one for Moze, who worries that she might end up like iTeacher due to the amount of pressure she is under from her extra-curricular activities. In the end, Moze learns a valuable lesson from iTeacher, who explains that a bit of stress can be a good thing when it comes to getting things done, but too much can cause problems — and it might even push someone to start teaching from home. However, too little stress and one could end up like Gordy (Daran Norris), the lazy school janitor who does everything in his power to avoid work and leaves it to "the night guy" to keep the school clean.

By the end of the show, Gordy had established himself as an important character to the main trio, often giving them advice and helping them with their crazy schemes. He became something of a father figure to the group, but in reality, maybe he shouldn't have been. If Gordy didn't get fired for constantly trying to avoid his work, then perhaps he should have been let go for having such a strangely close relationship with the students.

Oddball staff that should be fired

"Ned's Declassified" is full of educators and staff members that probably shouldn't be teaching middle schoolers. Some teachers are named for particular habits such as Mr. Gross (Steve Bannos), whose name references his bad hygiene, and Miss Knapp (Ellen Albertini Dow), who frequently sleeps during classes. Other teachers take their job to extremes, like guidance counselor Miss Splitz (Melissa Peterman), who changes her personality depending on the student she is helping, and librarian Mrs. Holler (Judy Tenuta), who plays the accordion whenever a student returns a book late.

Then there are the oddballs. The clairvoyant lunch lady Rose (Loni Love), psychedelic Mr. Kwest (Dave Allen), appropriately named Mr. Combover (Steve Bannos again), and woodshop instructor Dusty Chopsaw (Dave Florek). There's nothing wrong with these teachers, but their quirky personalities are sometimes hard to overlook. For every instructor that did their job well on "Ned's Declassified," like stern but respectable Mr. Sweeny (Don Creech) and Dr. Xavier (Lusia Strus), there were just too many weirdos that make fans question how the school functioned in the first place.

Vice principal prankster

James K. Polk Middle School certainly has no shortage of strange educators on payroll, but no staff member is more outrageous than vice-principal Crubbs (Hamilton Mitchell). The assistant principal takes his job so seriously that he even has his own theme play whenever he comes on the screen. He constantly threatens to send students to detention and fire teachers in order to get his way, and his very no-nonsense personality makes him one of the strictest staff members in "Ned's Declassified." That said, the episode "April Fools Day" shows a lighter side to Crubbs, as he engages in several pranks on students and staff members. It's not long before a prank war ensues, with Ned's friends teaming up to take Crubbs down.

As funny as it was to see Crubbs pulling pranks, a vice-principal likely should avoid engaging in these types of activities. Considering how harsh Crubbs is on Gordy for avoiding work, it feels pretty out of character to see him go crazy and start playing jokes on everyone around him.

Cookie's superficial crush on lisa

For most of the series, Lisa Zemo (Rachel Sibner) is a shy nerdy girl known for her severe allergy problems and crush on Cookie. However, that infatuation mostly only goes one way, as Cookie never reciprocates those feelings, typically chasing after other girls instead. All of that changes in the final season, when Lisa receives a makeover. She gets a new wardrobe, fixes her allergy medication, and abandons her nerdy tendencies. From then on, Cookie becomes obsessed with getting Lisa to go out with him but is constantly foiled by all the other students vying for her attention.

Cookie's treatment of Lisa wasn't necessarily bad, as he doesn't have to feel the same way for her as she does for him. However, his sudden interest in her after she gets a makeover makes Cookie appear pretty superficial. Lisa's kindness and intellect made her the perfect match for Cookie, and it would have sent a better message if he realized how good they might be together before she got her makeover.

Cookie asking an adult if he thinks a teenager is hot

When Cookie first sees the freshly made-over Lisa Zemo in the episode "A New Grade," he is awestruck and immediately starts planning ways to ask her out. These schemes conflict with Gordy's, who hopes to use Cookie to figure out new and exciting ways to avoid work. During their initial conversation, Cookie asks Gordy if he thought the new Lisa is "hot." Gordy responds by explaining that he can't answer that question as he is 40.

Cookie may have been young and in love, but he should've known better than to ask Gordy his opinion regarding the attractiveness of a teenager. However, the fact that Cookie would seek out a 40-year-old janitor in this situation is another example of how Gordy was a little too close to these students. Beyond that, Gordy probably should be doing his job instead of thinking of ways to slack off and entertaining a student's mission to get his crush to like him.

Missy's and The Huge Crew's creepy obsession with Ned

As "Ned's Declassified" went on, Ned developed plenty of crushes on different girls in his school. While his final love was always Moze, Ned's previous romance was her former rival Suzie Crabgrass (Christian Serratos). However, before he becomes involved with those two young women, Ned also attracts some interest from girls who become obsessed with him. The first was The Huge Crew, a group of female bullies who pick on Moze and have an unrequited interest in Ned. In the episode "New Semester," the girls attack Ned to get him to kiss one of them. Likewise, in "School Clubs," a group of girls creates an entire school club centered around adoring him.

When The Huge Crew stopped appearing on the show, Missy Johnson took over their role as the girl actively pursuing Ned's attention. There are several instances in which Missy went to great lengths to get Ned to notice her, even sabotaging his budding relationship with Suzie in the episode "Popularity." Missy even went as far as to chase Ned around the school demanding that he kiss her in "Spring Fever." Sorry, but harassing someone is no way to get them to love you, and the way romantic interest is handled in "Ned's Declassified" is often questionable.

Cookie's alter ego, Simone

On "Ned's Declassified," Cookie likes to think of himself as a cyborg. He uses his technological expertise to solve nearly every problem, but Cookie often encounters issues that even his inventions can't solve. For those obstacles, he transforms into his female alter ego, Simone. Donning a wig and red glasses, Cookie first becomes Simone to spend more time with Lisa in the episode "Girls," but things get out of hand when Loomer develops a crush on Simone. Cookie even becomes Simone to enter an event he isn't invited to in the episode "Parties," which leads to a hilarious dance sequence in which he knocks out everyone on the dance floor.

There was absolutely nothing wrong with Cookie dressing up in drag. In fact, Simone was one of Cookie's better characters. But like the several disguises and alter egos from the Disney Channel series "That's So Raven," the Simone disguise shouldn't work. It's very easy to see Cookie through the costume, and his voice disguise is terrible. Looking back on the character makes certain aspects of Simone feel very problematic.

Cookie's tunnels throughout the school

Ned and Cookie are always coming up with ridiculous schemes in "Ned's Declassified," which usually result in trouble for the school. One of Cookie's worst ideas arrives in "Emergency Drills." That episode centers around the school drills, and Cookie is afraid that those safety exercises will not get him out of the school fast enough during an emergency. To solve this, he and Gordy create a system of tunnels within the school's walls to allow for a speedier escape. The tunnels reappear in "School Clubs" when Cookie creates an entire student organization that revolves around digging escape tunnels.

It's hard to imagine how Cookie was able to create a series of tunnels within the school and even harder to envision how he could create a club centered around the concept. After all, both activities require that Cookie destroy the school for his own amusement and personal safety. Honestly, it's a miracle he was still allowed to attend James K. Polk Middle School after these incidents.

A very intelligent weasel

While there are plenty of surprising incidents in store for viewers of "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide," none of them compare to the James K. Polk Middle School staff tearing the school apart to catch the weasel. For all three seasons, the only real effort Gordy puts into his job is in an attempt to catch a weasel living in the school. However, no matter what Gordy tries, the weasel always manages to outsmart him, and Gordy often ends up in far more trouble than the weasel. In the series finale, "Field Trips, Permission Slips, Signs, and Weasels," the teachers and staff finally band together to catch the weasel, but end up destroying the school in the process.

Even though Gordy was known for his incompetence, there's just no way the weasel should have stuck around as long as it did. If the problem was so persistent, why wasn't a professional exterminator called in to deal with a weasel infestation? The fact that the school let this go on for so long shows how objectively questionable the staff of James K. Polk Middle School really was.