iCarly: or Rather iSparly, the Show I Watch – Part I: Seasons 1 and 2

I love iCarly. I was into my 20’s when I saw it for the first time – I loved it then and I still love it now. It’s just got a lot of charm – it’s funny and sweet. But I’m a shipper, and I love it for the shipping too.

There is one relationship that I will primarily be talking about – the relationship between the titular Carly and her older brother Spencer. But I will also talk (more than I should, definitely) about a non-incest ship – that of Sam and Freddie, who are Carly’s two best friends. Aside from being unable to stop myself from talking about “Seddie” because I love it so much, it’s also relevant from the perspective of Carly and Freddie being canon love interests. Carly/Freddie/Sam is a love triangle that persists through out the entirety of the show, so it makes a certain amount of sense to make a case for Sam/Freddie as well as Carly/Spencer.

This was not the entry I had intended to do next, but you’ve got to strike while the iron is hot. It’s officially Seddietember, folks. (The end of it, anyway.) What better time to rekindle my iCarly and Seddie love? I’m rewatching the entire series, and blogging here about it.

This entry is going to be ridiculously long, even split in half.

iCarly has now been reduced to a 10 episode season (even if one or two of those episodes are extra long and they think they can call it 13 episodes. It’s still a short season), and the episodes air all year round. It’s hard to stay excited about a show that only has a new episode every month and a half. But it’s Seddietember and I am excited! (But how long do we have to wait for a new episode when Seddietember is over? It’ll be the long night. Little children will be born and live and die all in darkness before the next episode.)

Knowing me, you could probably guess that I would ship Spencer/Carly just because I seem barely able to resist shipping any brother and sister pair.

But Spencer/Carly is one of my absolute favorite ships out there. And it really sucks because there is zero community for them. (Not that I find that difficult to understand. I sympathize will all the exasperated people out there asking why older fans can’t just watch the show and not pervert everything. But sorry I really can’t help it. And my ship is perfect: your argument is invalid.) All of the fics I found were pretty much OOC smut, though it has been a year since I searched. I have no problem with a sexually graphic story, but if you’re going to say it’s Carly and Spencer I feel like it ought to be Spencer and Carly and not just two people with their names.

Spencer/Carly has a ship name – Sparly – although you might find just-sibling-love stuff under that tag. (Other ship names include Seddie – Sam/Freddy, Cibby – Carly/Gibby, Spam – Spencer/Sam, Creddie – Carly/Freddie, Cam – Carly/Sam.) I think it’s great that people love their brotherly/sisterly platonic relationship, but don’t give it a cutesy couple name or tag it with that cutesy couple name unless you would enjoy watching them kiss. Am I alone in feeling that way? Honestly, I hate the whole ship portmanteau thing, but it does make it easier to tag stuff and find what you’re looking for specifically – and I’m all for increasing search accuracy and precision. I just feel like we should be consistent, you know. Well, I hope you weren’t searching for cute brother/sister love and found this place. I ship them romantically. The title of the website has “cest” in it – that should have been your first clue. Sorry. I make apologies, but I have no regrets.

If you haven’t seen iCarly, it’s very unlikely that you’re reading this right now, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility. So I’ll give the usual background whatevers.


iCarly is a 30-minute (= 20-minute) sitcom on Nickelodeon about Carly Shay (played by Miranda Cosgrove). It takes place in Seattle. Carly is in eighth grade (13 or 14) in the first episode (Miranda Cosgrove is roughly the same age, perhaps a year older depending), and the fifth season just began, which should correlate with her senior year but children’s shows aren’t exactly known for their continuity so all you can count on is that she is a few years older now.

Carly’s mother has never been mentioned, so whatever happened to her, she’s not the in the picture. We’ve never met the father, either. He’s in the Air Force, stationed on a submarine out of Europe.

So Carly lives with her older brother, Spencer (played by Jerry Trainor). Spencer is 26 in the first episode, so he’s considerably older than Carly – 12 or 13 years older. (Jerry Trainor is 3-4 years older than Spencer.) With that sort of difference, you might think they’re half-siblings, but that has never been mentioned.  The other likelihood is that one or the other of them was a horrible mistake.

Spencer was going to be a lawyer, but he dropped out of law school after three days and decided to become an artist. He’s not a painter – he’s more of a sculptor, except his media are much more diverse than ice or stone. Basically he makes crazy, goofy, non-sensical things. He’s not raking it in, but he manages to keep them afloat, although I imagine most of their father’s income goes straight to them.

Carly’s long time best friend is Samantha Puckett (played by Jennette McCurdy), who is very pretty but an absolute terror, a girl with disgusting habits, who is violent, and mean, and who loves food, especially meat (and especially ham). She’s so lovable even as she’s horrible. You know the type – she borrows money and doesn’t pay back. She’s constantly insulting everyone. Etc. Sam has an identical twin sister, Melanie, the complete opposite of her, who only appears in one episode, but she’s mentioned in two others. Sam’s father is another unknown, but he’s definitely gone, and her mother isn’t the worst out there, but she’s made fun of a lot, and drinks excessively, and is the type who has lots of boyfriends and is always invested in them.

Across the hall from Spencer and Carly’s apartment lives Freddie Benson (played by Nathan Kress), who has a long-time crush on Carly that sometimes is more present than at other times. Freddie also has a missing parent – his father – and his overbearing mother is amusing but smothers him to a ludicrous degree. Freddie is easy to make fun of with his meticulous habits (a product of his upbringing, no doubt), but he’s increasingly less nerdy as the show goes on.

The only other regular (or even recurring character) really worth mentioning is Gibby Gibson (played by Noah Munck), a classmate. Gibby is the constant butt of everyone’s joke, and is taken advantage of as he is made to do everything that nobody else wants to do, but he’s still their actual friend and not just someone they keep around because he’s useful from time to time. His complete disregard for what other people think about him lends him an incredible dignity, and it’s hard not to love him even though he’s given most of the lesser-quality comedy. There are quite a few episodes he doesn’t appear in, but he’s a regular as of season 4, I believe. He’s involved in Spencer’s B-plot often enough that it merits mentioning.

Gibby has a pretty mom:

And a sweet little brother called Guppy:

After an assignment gone wrong, Sam and Carly realize that randomness is funny and that they’re pretty good at entertaining people. With Freddie’s AV help (he’s a wiz with technology), and the unused upstairs loft at the Shay apartment, they create a weekly (Fridays) web variety show called iCarly that they stream live. The show is ridiculously popular. Millions watch. That’s one of the few things I take issue with, but whatever. It’s not important. They’d run out of plotlines if iCarly wasn’t a really big deal.

So that’s essentially the plot.

What type of show is it?

The plot does progress to a small degree. But as a general rule, missing an episode or watching them out of order won’t be a problem, especially the first three seasons. Out of the 80 or so episodes, less than a quarter contain plotlines that are ever touched upon again. I haven’t done the actual math, but that’s what I’d estimate offhand. Nickelodeon even airs them out of order sometimes. And the only plotline that actually, truly goes anywhere is the Carly/Freddie/Sam triangle that I mentioned.

I’m a continuity whore, so I enjoy references to old episodes and past events. They do occur – usually random things, like Gibby liking hand soap – but they’re not important. Your understanding will not be impaired.

This show is a joy to me. It’s not always hilarious, I’m not always laughing out loud, but I usually have a smile on my face the whole time. It’s just fun. I LOVE all of the characters, and even the silliness and slapstick of Spencer and Gibby. This is a show aimed at children, but I am not alone in being past the target demographic and enjoying it. And the acting is pretty decent – the moments where it fails stand out sorely, which is a good indication of its general dependability. The comedic timing is  pretty good, especially by Miranda Cosgrove. The more dramatic stuff has an awkwardness to it (not uncommon with this kind of show), but it’s usually touching enough that the quality of the acting/directing doesn’t even matter, and it’s certainly never less than adequate.

But honestly, if I didn’t ship, I probably wouldn’t watch this show. Some primetime comedies are funny enough that you don’t have to have a ship to enjoy them. I wouldn’t say this is quite up there with those. It can’t quite stand on its own on its comedy. (But it’s not meant to entertain adults anyway.  iCarly isn’t quite at that level for me, but the shipping is enough to turn it into one of my favorite shows.

But when you’re a shipper, the fact that the show wouldn’t be worth watching without your ship isn’t something really gives you pause, because it’s almost always true. Shipping is our life. I hear so many people say, “I don’t watch Gossip Girl anymore because they ruined Chuck and Blair,” or “I only watch Gossip Girl for Dan and Blair”, that sort of thing. Bottom line: shipping being a deciding factor in whether or not to watch a show is pretty damn common among our kind. In fact, the list of shows that I watch irregardless of my ships is considerably shorter than the complete list of shows I watch, and I bet it’s true of a pretty large percentage of the avid TV-watching community.


So, ships. I was exposed to the show through babysitting.  The first episode I ever saw was 2×06 ‘iChristmas’, which is one of the episodes in which Spencer and Carly’s relationship is highlighted. That caught my eye, but Carly’s extreme youth, the age difference, (and the excessive length of Spencer’s hair, sorry not sorry) put me off.

It was, in fact, Sam and Freddie and their banter that got me interested enough to give the show a shot. Not so much in that episode, but in snippets of other episodes that I caught. And in other fact, I actually told myself that I wasn’t going to allow myself to ship Spencer/Carly because he was SO MUCH older and she was still so young and he wasn’t even particularly attractive. But I failed. Miserably. Completely.


And in the end I came to believe they were perfect for each other and they are in fact one of my favorite ships ever.

On Seddie: just the way that Sam taunted him relentlessly, seizing every possible chance – how could I resist? As much as I like hostile sexual tension, I don’t like forced and predictable slap slap kiss kiss relationships when they’re shoved down my throat, but it will always be a favored formula of mine when it’s done to my tastes, and iCarly rang that bell.

Love triangles are sort of awful because of the way they tear fandoms apart, and because if you’re on the wrong side of the triangle (aka the couple that won’t be endgame) it can REALLY suck. (Trust me, I more than know.) But if you’re on the right side of the triangle the suspense can be glorious and it’s such an effective (if formulaic and cheap) way of stretching and teasing the love story out.

In this case, the fact that Freddie might start to develop involuntary feelings for the blond demon Sam while so completely focused on Carly is perfect. It’s the extra oomph that takes this ship to the next level for me.

Cause Sam is basically a demon. A beautiful, blond little demoness, and she’s in so many ways (though not every way, of course) the complete opposite of sweet, caring, too-perfect Carly. And Freddie thinks he knows what he wants, but this love for Sam just sneaks up on him, and he can’t resist. At least that’s how I see it.

There’s so much of the subconscious to it as well. Freddie likes Carly. She’s the one he wants to hang out with. She’s the one he wants to talk to. She’s the one he likes. But so often he and Sam end up focused on each other. In the pilot alone Carly has to force Sam and Freddie apart three times because they’ve gotten into spats and won’t back down. When Freddie shows up, more often than not it’ll be Sam who gives him the time of day, even if she insults him to do it. Carly is a good friend to Freddie, but Sam is the one who truly makes it seem like Freddie is there. She’s the one who’s always acknowledging him.

And Freddie’s dislike of Sam is pretty genuine at first, but that doesn’t stop him from making her a part of his life and his thoughts. He could ignore her, but he doesn’t. Whether he’s standing up for himself, or riling her up, he does more than just put up with her as a friend of Carly’s. And in certain episodes, they make it pretty clear that he doesn’t like to see her hurting (too much).

And they are always standing next to each other. The staging of the scenes frequently puts them very close to each other, side by side.

And even though he knows that she makes fun of him for every little thing, he still gets hurt sometimes. She still has the power to hurt him. He still tries to avoid her insults by trying to hide from her what she might find mockable. There’s just – gah! – there’s just so much there. A…tangibility.

I have a huge heart for unrequited love. So if things were different – if Sam didn’t exist, if she were a guy (especially a “bad boy” type), etc. – I would totally ship Freddie/Carly and hard. But as it is, Freddie/Sam is the better relationship, in my opinion. Even if the writers were to run it into the ground and completely destroy Seddie, I could still never jump ships.

And I hate rationalizing ships like love has to make sense and the only reason these two should be together is because it makes sense on paper, etc. and like Freddie has an obligation to be with someone he has to take care of, BUT… Sam needs someone like Freddie in her life to be her second half. She functions, but she needs someone kind and responsible to soften her edges. To keep her happy and well fed like a pet chimp. They just make such a good jigsaw couple.

I need to stop. This post isn’t about Sam and Freddie. But I just love Seddie in an astronomical way.

The points that I am trying to make are 1) Freddie/Sam is a good reason to watch this show, 2) my shipping of Freddie/Sam is not pair-the-spares. I don’t ship Freddie/Sam so that Spencer and Carly can be free for each other. It’s just THE WAY THINGS SHOULD BE.


I’ve already mentioned that Carly is 13/14 when the show starts out and that Spencer is 26. Not only is that a huge difference in ages, but Carly isn’t even in high school yet. And also, Spencer is Carly’s guardian. I do want to address this.

First by saying that I don’t have a set headcanon about how I would want Spencer and Carly to “get together”, but I certainly wouldn’t want it to happen until she was at least 17. (Which is about the age that Carly is presently on the show, in the newest episodes.) I want it to go without saying around here that I definitely won’t be advocating for sexual/physical relationships between adults and kids, fiction or otherwise. If one of the parties is underage, as in the case here of the earlier seasons of iCarly, I may remark upon moments that seemed like flirting or excessively long hugs or whatever but it’s not like I’m saying they should hop in bed together right that  minute. I certainly wouldn’t ship Carly with Spencer if I thought he was some creep. I ship a lot of things a lot of different ways but I like Spencer and Carly in a happy and healthy relationship that gives them joy and makes their lives better and fuller.

Obviously 13/14 is the younger side of being a teenager but but she’s not exactly a child either. Carly might have a crush on Spencer, Spencer might be able to see that she’s becoming a woman, etc. I’m not going to infantilize her, especially since she’s very well-adjusted and incredibly mature for her age. And, as I’ve said, this is her age when the show begins, and time goes by.


OK, now, the age difference. 12 years is a lot. But I have known couples with 10+ years age difference between them and it can work just fine – for some of them, it had might as well not even exist. It all depends on the people involved. What matters in a relationship is what you have in common and how much you care about each other, and how much you’re willing to adjust to accommodate someone else.

And in this case, Carly is very mature and responsible for her age (although she is very innocent), and Spencer isn’t “immature” (…exactly), but he’s young at heart. Very young. He doesn’t act his age or have interests that men his age tend to have. He’s more like Carly’s friends. In fact, he spends a hell of a lot of time with Carly and her friends, and they like being with him, and he with them. I don’t even feel like I need to say anymore because the age difference, while blaring on paper, really isn’t the uncrossable chasm it seems like. They have so much in common, and such similar hearts.

(And a lot of people out there ship Spencer/Sam or “Spam”, so the age difference and Sam’s youth clearly aren’t bothering them very much.)

I have so many questions…

Despite my impressive visual aids for the Spencer/Sam ship just discussed – and I mean this in the kindest way possible – Spam smells curiously like the sweat of desperate Creddie shippers.

Of course, the idea of an 16-year old dating a 28 year-old is a little off-putting, even to me, and that’s saying something because I like ships that are a little out there. But that’s when you have to remember who Spencer is, and why age is just a number for him. And why you can call him 28, but that’s not really accurate. That doesn’t tell you who he is, because he’s not typical.

The guardianship thing is probably the biggest issue of them all. Even people who ship incest might have issues with teacher/student, mentor/mentee, guardian/ward sorts of romantic/sexual relationships. Personally, I take them on a case-by-case basis (as I do pretty much everything), and if I don’t view the “subordinate” party as a victim in any possible way, then I’m OK with it.

It’s not the classification of the relationship or the positions of the persons in that relationship that is responsible for victimization; it’s all about those specific people and how they relate to each other and how they view the relationship and themselves. These types of relationships can lead to unhealthy situations when the mentor/guardian/teacher etc. enjoys the position of power and uses their power to take advantage, and the mentee/ward/student etc. is either afraid, overly-trusting, or just so psychologically messed-up that they’re attracted to that sort of imbalanced dynamic. But like I said, that doesn’t have to be the outcome.

And a lot of these patterns of abuse come from the victims not being able to talk about what’s happening to them. But Carly has a great support network – and she and Sam are closer than sisters. Carly also has regular contact with her father.

Now, in the case of Spencer and Carly, I just don’t see their dynamic (or their personalities), leading them into that sort of imbalanced, unhealthy relationship. Spencer may technically be in-charge, but Carly is often enough shown having responsibility in the household. Spencer, like Sam, is functional, but much better off with a counter/complement like Carly. If Spencer were to ever take advantage of Carly, it would be using her love for him, and not the fact that he’s the guardian and he’s in control. And Carly knows how to put her foot down with Spencer. In fact, he’s the one who’s more likely to be trying to please her.

Carly is a strong, independent woman who could handle any man (assuming it’s not a situation being played for laughs), and who has the support and love in her life to know what love is and what a healthy relationship should be like. (You could argue that she lets Sam take advantage of her, but Carly knows the score and she stands up when she feels she has to.) And Spencer is her slave. He wouldn’t even present a challenge, even at the most fierce he was capable of. Spencer is sensitive, and easily frightened or his feelings easily hurt. He’s not an intimidating man, and especially not to Carly who knows him well.

Is that enough? I mean, it’s just so clear to me that their dynamic is healthy enough to survive a conversion to incestuous, but I want it to be clear to you as well.

Hypothetically there are two shipping paths here: 1) mutual pining, 2) they actually have a physical/sexual relationship.

I see nothing wrong with path #1, even with Carly as young as 13. If Spencer was some sort of Humbert Humbert nymphet-crazed psycho, I would consider it creepy and deeply problematic, but if he knew he was developing an attraction for Carly and she was the only person that age he had ever felt that way towards, I think it would be more tragic than creepy. And of course it doesn’t have to be that simple. There can be lots of different situations where one can wonder about what someone will be like when they’re of age, or, Spencer, in this case, may realize he’s going to have trouble when she gets a little older. I think it’s possible to perceive something developing without it being right-here-right-now lust. He could even realize he might be in love with her without necessarily wanting to have sex with her at all, or until she’s older.

#2 would have to wait, obviously. And I’m talking here about fanfic or headcanons or canon spin or whatever.


And most of this is just stuff to keep in mind while watching the first two seasons, because Carly is 17 (I’d estimate) in the fifth season.

Long story short: yes she’s young, yes there are quite a few years between them, yes he’s her guardian…BUT…given who these characters are, how much they love each other, how they interact with each other etc., to imagine them in the horror-version of the relationship I propose is almost laughable.

I mean, just check out some of the aforementioned fanfic smut. There’s one where Spencer pimps out Carly’s unconscious body.

It’s a comedy. (I guess? I didn’t find it very funny.)

You’ll read them, and the whole time you’ll just be saying NO NO NO, this isn’t how they are. It would never be like this. And that’ll tell you all you need to know.

Another small issue is that Jerry Trainor is a lot taller than Miranda Cosgrove.

Even in the fifth season when she’s pretty much full grown in every way, there still seems to be so much disparity between them because of the height difference.

But that’s just how it is. He’s tall. She’s short. In real life it’s unlikely one sibling would be that much taller than the other one. (And Jennette McCurdy is even shorter, so again I get to call on the Spencer/Sam shippers.)

I just genuinely love both Carly and Spencer so much. I think they’re both fantastic. I wish I was Carly. I wish they were in my life. I wish they were my family, or my friends. I think they make the world a brighter place. I don’t just find them entertaining – I love them. And that makes it so much fun to ship them.

OK, so several pages later we finally get at the meat. Anything that might be considered an introduction is over.

(And a quick note on my visuals: 1) stills and images are almost always bigger than they appear (lots are HD), so please click on them to see the full version if you’re so inclined. I have an abundance of awesome pictures, and may be sticking random ones in places where I have same, even if they’re not relevant; 2) most of the GIFs were made by me, but not all of them.  Most of the ones I did not make were downloaded from tumblr. Some are watermarked. I encourage you to check out the wonderful tumblrs of the folks who made them. I apologize for not properly crediting, but I was too lazy to make notes of the sources when I downloaded them. That’s a piss poor apology, I realize. I do feel bad, but I don’t really care if people steal my GIFs so I’m just kind of chill about the whole thing. And even though I didn’t make the GIFs in question, I could have, so that makes it hard to feel some great debt. Enough of me being being lazy.)



Episode 1×05 is called ‘iWanna Stay With Spencer’. One of Spencer’s art works ends up being a little dangerous, and their grandfather from Yakima decides that maybe Carly should come live with him because Spencer may not be responsible enough to be taking care of an eighth grader.

It’s easy to understand why this might be an episode I like.

It also includes Carly saying, “I’m not a child. I’m just young…and short.” Which is so relevant to what I just spent paragraphs talking about. And Carly’s grandfather saying that she needs to live with an adult, and Spencer saying, “I’m an adult”, because he actually does need to state that, again, perfectly relevant.

Just look at Spencer’s face when the grandfather tells him he’s going to take Carly away:

He’s so devastated! (And you have to remember that this is a kid’s show, a through-and-through comedy. So seeing anyone look unhappy like this is very rare.)

And then she comes home, and he tries to act like a tough, responsible guardian, but he’s too upset and knows he’s incapable of being anything other than exactly who he is:

You can probably guess the end: Spencer is able to prove that he knows everything about Carly, and is responsible, and knows how to take care of her. Carly hasn’t had an asthma attack in seven years, but he’s still keeping her inhaler “just in case”, and insists that she take it to Yakima with her. It’s adorable.

The only thing I don’t like about this episode is the fact that Carly keeps ripping on Yakima. I mean she picks on it worse than Sam picks on Freddie. I felt bad for people who live there.

And I can understand why a young girl who has grown up in big-city Seattle would prefer to stay there, but I hate when people are contemptuous of small or rural towns. I amuse myself again, because I’ve lived in metropolitan areas my entire life, and I have this probably naïve and romanticized view of small towns that I’ve gotten from TV and movies, but I get just as offended on their behalf as someone who actually lives in a small town would.

I love seeing adult, responsible Spencer. It makes him seem older than Carly, but he’s so silly most of the time (read: every scene of every episode) that the clear statement here that he is, in fact, an adult, is welcome. I mean, we don’t want Carly to outgrow him!

(Although that just gives me an idea for a fic for Carly grows up and gets all serious. She has some high-powered job like as an attorney or a producer or something and she’s always stressed out and she’s supporting Spencer who is still his same self. And then she has a nervous breakdown or gets fired or something and she had started to look down on Spencer for never growing up but he reminds her who she really is.)

Spencer tells their grandfather that he doesn’t think Carly wants to go live with him because “she likes to have fun.” He knows that she has fun living with him. The grandfather tries to prove that he’s fun. Spencer is impressed, but not convinced.

And Carly doesn’t want to leave her friends – we know that, of course – but we never hear her make that argument. She says, “I wanna stay with Spencer” and “I don’t want to live in Yakima”. Those are her priorities. Obviously she loves her friends, but what I mean is that the focus is on Spencer. The episode could have been called “iDon’t Wanna Move”. It wasn’t.

Do you see this? DO YOU SEE THIS? He’s going to miss her so badly but he’s thinking about HER and how much she’s going to miss Sam, and he wants to smile because he loves their friendship but he literally can’t because he’s hurting THAT MUCH.

And Carly’s farewells to Freddie (comical in nature), and to Sam (far more serious) are shown, but her big Spencer goodbye happens OFFSCREEN because it’s clearly way too emotional for any given episode of this kids comedy show.


And the best part is Spencer. Obviously he would miss his little sister, and resent the implication that he wasn’t fit to take care of her. BUT…wouldn’t you think many a 26 year-old guy would be happy to no longer be responsible for the 13 year-old he has to take care of? Now he can walk around the place naked and have women over for sex, right? Not Spencer. He’s devastated. Yakima is not that far away, it’s not like he’d never see her. But he wants her with him.

This is miserable, lost Spencer after the elevator door closes and Carly leaves

I love it.

When Spencer runs after them with the inhaler, Carly and Spencer share a big hug. And it was probably the inhaler that made the grandfather change his mind, but I can’t help but think that it was just as much the hug, because how could you look at that hug and try to split them up?


I love the relationship they have. He worships her as his perfect little sister, besides his art she’s the only thing in his life. And she sees every flaw he has, and can make fun of him, but she still thinks he’s wonderful.

The thing is, Carly knows Spencer SO FREAKING WELL. She just knows him through and through. She knows what he wants, before he wants it sometimes.

And even though Spencer is the wacky one, the one who will always be easy to make fun of, the one who fails and makes a fool of himself – she likes to impress him. She values his opinion.

In 1×09 “iWill Date Freddie”, Sam and Carly find themselves up against a female antagonist, and Carly is about to call her a bad name, but stops. Sam tells her to say it. Then Carly says, “I don’t like to say it; Spencer says it’s not ladylike.” The word in question is skunkbag, which could be equivalent to skank in iCarly speak, I suppose. Anyway, that’s a pretty big influence Spencer has. I mean just that little sentence tells us so much. And the idea that Carly wants to conform to Spencer’s idea of ladylike? …Excellent… *churches fingers*

In 1×12 “iPromise Not To Tell”, Sam changes Carly’s grade in the school computer system so that she’ll get the straight A’s she deserved, even though one of her hard teachers graded her down on a technicality. Before Sam does it, Carly is upset and needs a hug.

Spencer was very excited about her grades. You can see the A-tribute he was building her in the background.

When her report card is mailed home and he sees straight A’s, he’s thrilled.

But Carly’s guilt is eating away at her.

Perhaps what I like even more is at the beginning of the episode. Spencer bought a lamp that turns on by speech. He and Carly sit there on the couch and go back and forth turning it on and off. Just the sort of crazy thing they both enjoy doing. Freddie arrives, opens the door, sees them, and then backs away slowly and leaves. In 1×14 “iHeart Art”, Spencer is nervous about a few new art pieces he has to produce for a special show. Carly decides to help him out, so she contacts his favorite artist to come and speak to him. But it doesn’t go well.

He’s ultimately resistant to Carly’s efforts to cheer him up.

The artist ends up insulting him again, so Spencer quits art and becomes a dental assistant. But Carly is fierce, and she isn’t having any of that.

Carly goes back to Spencer’s favorite artist, who then confesses that he was jealous of Spencer’s talent. It isn’t actually a very shippy episode, because even though Carly went out of her way for Spencer and put more effort into calming him down and getting him back his confidence than most siblings would, I wouldn’t consider it out of the realm of fairly normal sibling behavior.

But the entire episode is pretty much about Carly trying to do right by Spencer, and it’s so obvious how much she cares not just about him, but about his happiness and his dreams. She orders him to quit at the dentist’s office, because she knows he won’t ever find that fulfilling even though it’s a good job. And there’s something pretty…I don’t know…can I use the word sexy or would that be inappropriate?…about Carly demanding Spencer to take her home.

Carly shows more support for him than a wife would in this episode. (You see the way she looks at him, right?)

And the end is sweet, as they often are.

Awww. I’m special.

1×17 “iPromote Techfoots” is even better. Spencer is having transportation issues. After growing fed-up with the bus, he tries biking, roller blading, and walking, but without much success.

In the main plotline, Spencer’s law knowledge is required to get Carly and the gang out of an endorsement contract that they signed. He totally rocks it, despite his gross incompetence pertaining to fish-ownership only an episode or two before, and the fact that he only went to law school for three days. Carly has total confidence in him. Carly then uses the money she got out of the contract to buy him a motorcycle. She’s so excited to give it to him.

And then they go for a ride at the end.

She bought him a motorcycle.

He spent the whole episode trying to find an alternate means of transportation to the bus. But he still could have ridden the bus.

But she bought him a motorcycle.

This does raise some questions for me in later episodes when Spencer has to drive more than one person. Is there a secret car hiding somewhere? Maybe he borrows one from his never-seen buddy Socko.

Episode 1×19 “iGot Detention” ends with everyone in a javacuzzi.

I don’t really have any more to say about that, actually.

In 1×22 “iFence”, Carly is the true hostess when she and Spencer have cousins come visit. Carly is incredibly responsible, making a dinner specially catered to their diets and doing it well in advance. Spencer is preoccupied by fencing, and for the first time truly hangs out with Freddie. He shirks the responsibility of the visiting cousins, and doesn’t even show up in time dinner. Carly is furious, and she forbids that he fence anymore, and he obeys. She orders that he clean up the kitchen and he obeys.

This sort of dynamic is more the norm, which is why I appreciate the episodes that show Spencer being smart, caring, and adult-like. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love these episodes too. Especially since it demonstrates exactly what I was saying about Carly being able to handle Spencer no matter what.

On the creepier front, Mrs. Benson shows up angrily and protective to forbid Freddie from fencing anymore, and drags him back to their apartment for a tick bath. Spencer laughs, and then Carly says that she should give him one (a tick bath, that is.) It’s pretty amusing because we’ve already seen Spencer climbing out of he shower/bath three times or so in the episodes prior to this.

(Mrs. Benson is still giving tick baths to Freddie in the fifth season. That’s almost canon incest right there.)

When Carly and the gang get after school jobs working on a television version of their show in 1×23 “iCarly Saves TV”, Mrs. Benson is listless without Freddie and comes over to bother Spencer. Spencer reveals that his apartment is also quite empty without his teenager, and he’s even doing laundry to distract himself from her absence! In most episodes he’s working on an art project of some kind, but this episode really shows that when he’s not occupied with a project, Carly really is his whole world.

In the next episode, 1×24 “iHave a Lovesick Teacher”, Spencer ends up inadvertently seducing Carly’s teacher by using the same moves on her that he would use on Carly to cheer her up.

When Spencer invites her over, Carly is

naturally shocked.

It’s understandable why she might be uncomfortable – a teacher in her house. A teacher who sent her to the principal’s office earlier that day for doing nothing wrong.

But honestly, it’s not seeing her there that puts Carly off as much as the way Spencer and the teacher are behaving together.

Carly decides to get out of there as soon as possible, her dismay VERY poorly hidden.

Spencer tells Carly that she should join them. Yes, invite Carly on your date. Clearly that’s what you should do. Well, Carly isn’t having any of that.

The teacher shows up for another date looking hot. Carly is definitely taken aback, although she’s mostly impressed. She gets on Freddie’s case for going on and on about it, but that doesn’t mean her negative feelings had anything to do with Freddie.

Spencer eventually dumps her, because she’s extremely clingy and a little delusional. This results in the return of the teacher from hell, and Sam and Freddie think Spencer should just start dating her again, but Carly is fervently against making her brother live a nightmare.

Carly ends up getting the woman arrested after getting her to admit on iCarly to downloading music.

I’m also including these pictures, just because:

In 1×25 “iWin A Date”, Spencer has an unsuccessful blind date and decides that he’ll just be single forever. Carly doesn’t want him to be sad or give up on women, so she suggests he go on a dating website, but when she finds him floundering as sets up his profile, she knows exactly what to do.

This isn’t my favorite thing in the world, because it’s almost remarkable how in the run of the show Carly has yet to try and set Spencer up with anyone. She just watches him have failed relationship after failed relationship. And she rarely tries to help him mend those relationships – her words of wisdom are usually just encouragement that he see his self-worth, not practical ideas for making his failing relationships work.

However, I can’t dislike the Spencer/Carly in this episode too much, because there’s just something so Rom Com shippy about about her helping him with his profile.

Plus there was this:

And this:

And most of all this:

I’m not going to lie to you: I felt pretty dirty while making that GIF. But it’s not like I manipulated it. That’s exactly what happened. And it certainly didn’t stop me from making a different version:

You see, he’s not being himself, and it’s easy for her to see that.

She tells him to loosen up, but he can’t get past trying to be smooth and cheesy. She knows he has appeal, but she can’t get him to understand how to show it.

Spencer fails miserably at the enterprise, and rejects all of the women that e-mail him. In the end, Spencer was never really able to show his true self. It seems like Carly is one of the only people who will ever be able to see the full, true him. (See what I did there?)

Of course this entire plotline is sort of stupid because Spencer never seems to have any trouble getting dates, so he really shouldn’t be doing what he considers to be resorting to this method.

You understand why I found it worth mentioning?

The title of the episode refers to the date that Carly accidentally wins with Gibby.


Everyone looks older in the second season (except for Spencer, of course, who is in that range where you can’t really tell that he’s aging.

Though, actually, if you’re looking at hi-res captures from season 5 you can tell that he’s no spring chicken, but it’s not like he’s old old).

The most noticeable is Freddie, of course, whose voice drops, but even Carly is noticeably older and that makes it a lot easier to see subtext make-up subtext in her scenes with Spencer.

Of course there isn’t actually any subtext – I’m not arguing that. Please understand. I don’t believe there is any intention on the parts of the creator, producers, writers, directors, or actors to hint at anything more than a delightful and healthy brother/sister relationship. (There’s always a chance that’s not the case, but like I said, I’m not banking on it.)

But that doesn’t mean I can’t argue that they’d make a great couple, which is what I’m doing here. A lot of times I just ship it because I can’t help it (though most of the bro/sis pairs I bother writing about on here are ones I care about more than that, and ship harder than that), but Spencer and Carly, despite the things working against them that I addressed, are practically made for each other. MFEO! MFEO! The idea of them not being together for the rest of their life literally gives me heart palpitations. I just have so many feelings about them, especially after rewatching the show for them just as much as Seddie, and writing this.


And when I think of what these scenes would mean, and how their meaning would change, if Spencer and Carly were to enter into an incestuous relationship – well, that sort of defines the ones that I decide are worth capturing and describing.

In 2×01 “iSaw Him First”, Carly and Sam fight over a boy they both like. In order to win the boy, they enter a competition to see who will kiss him first. Carly is about to kiss the boy (but she has contrived the situation to result in a kiss – they are acting out a play – it’s not a proper, spontaneous kiss, not that Sam was playing fair) and guess who interrupts it?

And then the boy heads off with Spencer. Carly’s love interests being distracted away from her by Spencer is sort of a thing. It’s not quite a running gag, and yet I can think of at least three instances where it happens.

Good stuff.

In 2×02 “iStage an Intervention”, Spencer becomes addicted to a video game called Pak Rat. But he has a deadline on a sculpture. Carly does her best to keep him in line, but his addiction is too strong.

This is one of my favorite Spencer/Carly episodes, even though it comes so early on. There’s just so much great stuff to flail about.Carly puts forth an A-effort to get Spencer to work on his sculpture, which is important because of who is ordering it, and not just because of the money. It’s important for his career.

He wants to beat the high score of a girl called Sasha Striker and then retire for good. So Carly gets Sasha to come play him in the apartment. He and Sasha flirt (right in front of a watching Carly) and it is very sexy.

Spencer wins the challenge game.But Sasha doesn’t leave without a prize.

It’s fun to see Spencer get to be sexy like that. He kisses her – while Carly frowns daggers at him – and then he sends her away – because Carly is frowning daggers at him because he has to work on the sculpture. The final scenes are Carly trying out the game, and then the next morning when she has gotten addicted too and fallen asleep playing it.

Paralleling an earlier scene with their roles reversed,

Why is there a bagel in your pants?I should pull it out for you, because clearly that’s not something you should do yourself.

 Spencer comes down to find her there,makes fun of her for liking it after giving him such a hard time, and then tells her to go to bed. She asks him to carry her, and he does, and it’s so beautiful.

But they’re both in their PJs when they come downstairs. Then again, why wouldn’t they be? But Carly is in a lacy pink tank top. Yeah, you read that right. And Spencer’s all mussed and needs to shave in the earlier scene. Later on, when Carly is still nagging on him, he says, “But I did everything you said! I shaved, I showered.”

Also, he says he played for seven hours straight, and she asked him how he peed, and he describes in some detail the tube system he set up.

I’m going to Hell.

2×03 “iOwe You” just has some general loveliness.

Firstly, Spencer and Carly just hanging out, being awesome together and perfect for each other.

And Spencer gets to show off his law knowledge again.

He calls her down early in the morning with some exciting news.

She says she can’t take him seriously with duck pajama pants on.

He can solve that problem.

She’s not sure duck boxers are much of an improvement, but I know that they are.

He shows off his law school textbook, which he kept for some reason.

Carly is skeptical he can solve her problem.

But he does!

In 2×04 “iHurt Lewbert”, the doorman is injured in a prank, and Spencer is in super-guardian mode, telling Carly and the kids to check on Lewbert 3 or 4 times a day and to get him what he needs. Spencer fills in at the front desk, and he asks Carly if he looks cute in his uniform. Carly asks him if he wants her to bring him lunch.


Like a flippin’ wife, right?

2×06 “iPie” is probably one of my favorite episodes. It’s just really funny, and entertaining from beginning to end even without any particular shippiness.

There is this, though:

This happens later:

The owner and sole-recipe holder of the gang’s favorite pie-shop passes away. Carly sends Spencer to seduce the pie recipe out of the disgusting granddaughter. She must think pretty highly of Spencer if she thinks his charms are universally applicable – that’s what she calls it: his “charm”. I mean, I love Spencer and would find him charming, but he’s not exactly the typical Don Juan. Carly seems to think he is, though.

Back in “iOwe You”, Spencer is pursuing a hot mom by trying to win her daughter a bike through selling cookies. Carly tells him that he doesn’t need to win the bike in order to get the mom (because of his “charm”, I suppose.). And then Spencer, being his typical self, ends up far more obsessed with winning the bike and beating the other girls selling cookies than the woman.

The woman is never seen again after her initial appearance, nor even mentioned at the end of the episode when Spencer gets the bike.

First of all: clearly Spencer is trying really hard to get a serious girlfriend. Not.

Secondly: You can see why I could never see Spencer as an abuser in their relationship – she’s the one pimping him out!

You know it’s funny – Carly was against Spencer dating her teacher – the teacher was hot – but she’s for this pie one – and the girl is ugly and gross. Hmm… When she walks in on Spencer and the granddaughter making out, she actually says, “I can’t believe you were making out with her!”

He sort of gets Carly back for peddling his flesh when he invites her on stage to talk about the dead piemaker while they distract everyone at the memorial service so that Sam and Freddie can search for the pie recipe.

2×07 “iChristmas” is another episode that is about Carly and Spencer’s relationship, like “iHeart Art”.

Carly was looking forward to having a real tree, but Spencer decides to make a magnetic one out of metal he finds at the junk yard. When it catches fire and all of Carly’s presents burn, she wishes that he had been born “normal”. An angel grants her wish a la It’s A Wonderful Life, and Carly is given a glimpse of her life had Spencer been more of a normal sort of guy.

I think you can probably imagine the resolution. It’s weird that they incorporated a supernatural element and didn’t even pass it off as a dream, but I’ll allow it, for angels, for brother/sister storylines, and for great Christmas movie references.

So many things!

To start, when the smoke alarm goes off because the tree has caught on fire, it’s in the middle of the night and Spencer is asleep. But he’s shouting Carly’s name anxiously before he even really knows what’s going on. And he runs right into the door he’s in such a hurry to get to her!Carly wishes he had been born normal. She doesn’t wish he had never been born or anything dramatic like that. She doesn’t even wish that their Dad wasn’t in the Air Force. She still wants Spencer, just with less flammability.

In this alternate universe, Spencer has become a lawyer. He dresses in suits, and speaks in a higher register, and he’s dating (and getting engaged to) Mrs. Benson, Freddie’s mom! Carly’s scream when Spencer and Marissa Benson kiss is the most delightful thing ever. I mean, her horror is much more likely to be due to the fact that Mrs. Benson is just an awful woman that she doesn’t want in her life any more than she already is than jealousy, but I imagine that even if Spencer had been engaged to a different woman, Carly would have reacted negatively simply from the shock and surprise. And that would have looked a lot more like jealousy. They play her horror for comedy at first, of course. But when she gives Spencer and Mrs. Benson a disturbed final look and backs out the room, it’s more serious.

When Carly yells at everyone in anguish, she tells Mrs. Benson that she wishes she was single and lonely again.

Bitter much, Carly?

Just don’t get her arrested like you did your old teacher. Remember: she’s Freddie’s mom, not just a woman coming between you and Spencer.

Carly soon discovers that not just her home life is different. Carly is dating her nemesis Nevel,Freddie is dating an awful girl at school (he gave up on Carly, and the new girlfriend has echoes of a cheap Sam knock-off with all the physical and verbal abuse), Sam and Carly never became friends and Sam is in juvenile detention. Pretty much everyone’s lives suck, not just Carly’s.I think it’s a profound message to say that Spencer being Spencer is essentially responsible for Carly’s life as it is, and not just her life, but that of her friends as well. What a message of love to Spencer from the writers. And they might just as easily have used changing Sam for the wish, such a thing would be understandable. But they used Spencer.

Carly learns about the engagement.

And it’s interesting that if Spencer isn’t allowed to be who he is, then he is getting engaged and Carly has a boyfriend, but both of them are with horrible people that no one could ever be happy with. (Freddie is too, but hopefully that will be the case in the regular-verse as well, just a different horrible person, aka Sam. He’s essentially with the wrong Sam.)

And while Carly is struggling with the alternate universe, Spencer’s new personality is the thing she bemoans the most vocally. She connects with Sam a little, but Spencer is the one she tries to fix by trying to get him to make spaghetti tacos and then having a breakdown.

You hate steamed halibut! You think it’s boring!

Once the angel switches everything back, Carly charges into Spencer and hugs him.

Isn’t it adorable?

Isn’t it?

I mean, can you even stand it?

Because I can’t.

(Obviously I played with the luminance a bit, and cropped, but the above picture has not been manipulated in any way to make it misleading. Sunshine Girls’ honor. You feel dirty looking at it, right? Cause I do. I can’t even look at it. And I made it.)

He’s getting rid of the tree, but she protests, and says that it’s her favorite tree ever. They decorate it, and at the end she and Spencer share the most ridiculous hug. Even more wonderfully ridiculous than the hug they already shared. And one lasting EVEN LONGER! It’s such a couple hug. It’s just…gah!… such a couple hug.They just stand around like that. Forever.


One of the greatest things about Spencer and Carly’s relationship is how many stories demonstrate her acceptance and love for who Spencer is and what he does. She just loves every bit of him so much. She even thinks his art is amazing, which is a lot more than could be said of me. (Sorry, Spencer.)

The thing isn’t how much they love each other – they’re brother and sister, of course they love each other – it’s how much they like each other. And I ship brother/sister pairings that hate each other, of course, or that have tense relationships, but I wouldn’t have Spencer/Carly any other way.

I swear I’m not going to talk about every episode, but there has been a string of them with mention-worthy things.

In 2×08 “iKiss”, Spencer wants to try out for a football team, but isn’t motivated enough, so Carly steps in. She tells him that he needs to build some muscles, and he says he has muscles, so she challenges him to take off his shirt and do jumping jacks.He refuses because he’ll “jiggle”. So not only do we have Carly demanding that Spencer take his shirt off, but we have him refusing because he’s embarrassed that he’s not up to her buffness standards.

It’s also interesting to note that this is what some (or everybody) might consider a Seddie episode. Not only do Sam and Freddie share the A plot together, but like the title suggests, romance is in the air. You know, sort of. It’s interesting that Carly and Spencer are poised in the B-plot as such.

It is interesting. It IS.

Interesting is a word I’m going to be using a lot to describe me seeing things that aren’t really there.

Sometimes things may be very interesting.

Carly sends Gibby to train with Spencer later in the episode, and Spencer flatly refuses to train with him. Carly or nothing, I guess.And can I just take this moment to say that it’s almost alarming how many references there are to Spencer’s butt and Spencer’s penis? I mean, not explicitly, but lots of things whispered or hinted at. Considering the fact that he’s the man in his late 20’s in a show with a bunch of high schoolers – well, it’s odd. And as for his butt, he’s almost always shaking it in someone’s face. Struggling to get pants on.
Taking pants off.

Things of that nature. And then he’s always being hurt in the groin, or squeezed, or things of that nature.

Of course, that’s hilarious.

This “essay” is so out of sorts because I’m just writing about things as they come to me and as I rewatch the show.

One thing you can definitely say about Spencer is how much he can’t wait to show everything to Carly. The second he gets excited about something, he’s finding Carly so he can show it to her. He always wants to share everything with her, and impress her. It’s ridiculously adorable.

I did not remove that tag.

And Sam causes such chaos at the apartment, and in the fridge, and whatnot, but Spencer doesn’t even care. Sam is always “my little sister’s friend”, not considered his friend even though he spends so much time with the trio. And he puts up with all of it. With Sam destroying things that belong to them, and throwing the thing she picks out of her teeth onto the floor, ordering pay-per-view, and eating everything that’s in the fridge. He doesn’t even complain most of the time.

In fact, the only thing he ever expresses any botherment about is (yes botherment is a word because I say it is) when Sam and Freddie are always there and never leave. He wants Carly to himself sometimes, guys! Seriously, the only time Spencer really gets snarky or sarcastic, or mean, or clever, or sharp is when he’s remarking upon the fact that Sam and Freddie are constantly at his apartment. And constantly are they there.

And constantly does he bring it up. Even with Freddie, who is a much, much, much better guest than Sam.

“Hey, Spencer! Sam and Freddie are here.”

“When are they not here?” he asks snarkily.


Carly is amused when Spencer ignores her warning.

“iLook Alike” (2×12) is an interesting episode for Spencer/Carly. (There’s that “interesting” word. Don’t make it a drinking game – it could be dangerous.) The trio wants to shoot iCarly at an MMA fight, and Spencer objects. Carly thinks he’s joking at first.

He says, “I know you’re not gonna love hearing this, but…”There’s something so…I don’t know…just different about beginning what he knows is going to be a disagreement that way. He’s definitely talking to her like she’s an equal.

When it becomes clear that he’s serious, Carly throws sort of a mini-fit. She asks, “When did you suddenly turn un-cool?” and then he whips back, “When did you turn into a little baby who yells at me the first time she doesn’t get what she wants?” And he’s so right which is an inversion of what normally occurs. He’s not exactly right about the MMA fight (I think they should have been allowed to go), but he’s right about her tantrum.

Sam and Freddie get really uncomfortable and try to leave. It’s interesting that a Spencer/Carly fight would drive them away after the so many ridiculous and awkward things they’ve had to see, including plenty of Mrs. Benson/Freddie fights.

The fight’s pretty hot, actually. Spencer putting his foot down, Carly acting like a teenager instead of the mature one. You can see how used she is to getting exactly what she wants from Spencer, and how she responds to him taking a firm stance.

“Don’t touch my Newton Balls!”

I guess it’s exciting to see them fight a little, because unlike with a brother/sister pair who genuinely dislike each other, this fight will just raise up a lot of feelings and passion, but won’t drive them apart.

Even though he uses the argument, “You’re the kid, I’m the adult” he never talks down to her with his tone – it’s a discussion between two people on rather equal footing. Those two people are both children, though.She steals the smoothie she had just brought for him petulantly, her act of childishness matched equally by him chasing her around the room to get it back.

They don’t argue like guardian-child IN THE LEAST.

Carly makes a plan to sneak out, using look-alikes and recorded messages to fool Spencer. It’s sweet how guilty and scared she feels about doing it. She really doesn’t want to go behind Spencer’s back, and I’m sure without Sam pressuring her, and the need to please their large iCarly audience, she wouldn’t even be doing it. Plus Spencer’s objection does seem a little random. The writers might have picked something more dangerous than an arena-event. But on the good side, even though Spencer’s protests seem arbitrary, at least when Carly goes behind his back it’s truly because she doesn’t believe she’ll be in any danger, which she isn’t, in the end.

Spencer tries to reconnect with Carly. It’s sweet how hard he tries to make up with the trio. Carly even recorded some answers for her look-alike that were perfect match-ups to what Spencer asked. She knows him that well. The look-alikes do a pretty terrible job of using the voice answers (although it’s one of the funniest parts in the entire series), and Spencer figures out that something is up pretty quickly. In fact, his determination to make up with them is responsible for him figuring out that they snuck away.  
The episode sort of falters then, and the ending has no satisfaction to it. We never see Carly get any comeuppance. In fact, Spencer gets KOed and that’s about it. But I think we can assume Carly gets grounded. Spencer probably forgave her the next day, though. He would. That’s my head-canon.

Spencer always tries to help Carly with her problems. His success rate is comically low, but he always tries. More than most parents, I’m sure. Not that most parents wouldn’t try to help, but Spencer is always put in the position – whether at Carly’s request or as a result of his own inquisitiveness – to know what’s wrong and what she needs. And Spencer is one of those characters who often gets informed offscreen but always knows everything that’s going on.

If you’re wondering why I used the pictures to the left at this moment, so am I.

In 2×15 “iGo Nuclear”, Spencer helps her build a scooter, and says she’ll save energy by taking her weight off of the bus. He’s wrong, of course. But they get into a rather long discussion in which Carly is offended that he might think she’s pudgy. She’s a twig, of course. But it’s delightful that she cares about what he thinks about her in that way.

An episode earlier in 2×14 “iMake Sam Girlier”, Spencer gets a tux because he’s going to the Mexican ballet with Socko’s grandmother. He shows the tux off to Carly excessively, asking her if he looks good. When Freddie asks why he’s wearing it right then, he responds, “because I dig looking hot.”He already knows he looks good because the cashier, Veronica, that used to not give him the time of day asked him out. Carly makes the joke that it was because of the tux, and in the end that seemed to be the case, even though Carly tries to convince him it’s not.

But by then he’s convinced that “the tux is the key.”

“Shhh. The Tux is the key.”

Spencer tries wearing the tux all the time (even to go jogging), but Veronica the Cashier decides Spencer’s a little too crazy for her tastes.Another failed relationship for Spencer. Another example of Carly overestimating Spencer’s charm in the most perfect of ways.

2×16 “iDate A Badboy” is one of the shippiest episodes for Spencer and Carly. The title makes it pretty clear what the double-length episode is about. Spencer’s motorcycle (the one Carly bought for him) is “borrowed” by a guy named Griffin who lives in the same apartment building.

Spencer is polite, allowing the boy to use the bathroom, where Carly is afraid he’ll touch their “fancy soaps.”

He rubs Carly the wrong way from the start (even though he is pretty good-looking). Spencer decides to not press charges, telling Carly that Griffin reminds him of a younger him.

Carly tells Spencer that he was nothing like Griffin, and Spencer responds that he wishes he had been like Griffin.Spencer invites Griffin over, taking him under his proverbial wing,to which Carly strenuously objects,

to which Spencer pays no mind.

They work on Spencer’s next sculpture together, hanging out like buddies. Whether Griffin ever had any interest in anything but Carly and getting-off-the-hook is unclear, though unlikely. But Spencer seemed to genuinely like the kid.

Carly continues to protest, fervently.

Then Spencer leaves on an errand, and when he comes back Carly and Griffin are making out.I think it’s delightfully hilarious that they never even showed that flip-switch moment. It’s like they couldn’t make it any more obvious that this episode isn’t actually about Griffin.Spencer FREAKS OUT when he walks in on them. First he screams his lungs out, almost exactly like Carly does in “iChristmas” when Spencer is kissing Mrs. Benson, only 10 times worse and longer.Then he yells at Griffin, expressing feelings of betrayal, and kicks the boy out of the apartment. And throws a bagel at him. And hits him, too!He gives Carly a chance to explain what happened, and her story of falling for him in one hour is pretty reasonable, but Spencer doesn’t really care. (Also, instead of showing the flip scene, they show Carly describing it to Spencer. What? What?)

He doesn’t understand how she could hate him, and then all of the sudden be kissing him. Spencer does an imitation of this kissing in order to illustrate his point.Carly is quick to point out that she doesn’t kiss like that: she kisses “like a princess!” (I love Carly so so so much.) Yes, be sure that he knows this. It is important that he knows this.He grounds her “for until college”, and forbids her from seeing Griffin anymore.Spencer assumes that Griffin put the moves on her, but Carly is forced to admit that she kissed him first. SPENCER DOES NOT LIKE THIS. AT ALL.I just love this whole thing, because Carly never did anything wrong. It might be imposing of Spencer to forbid the relationship, but it’s well within his rights as guardian; but the fact that he grounds her is that much more ridiculous, because, like I said, she never actually did anything wrong. And he enjoys it.

Carly keeps reminding him that she’s almost 15, a girl grown. Just last week she sent him out to get…Spencer doesn’t like being reminded of the errand, and supposedly there were promises that the subject would never come up again. Anyway, girls don’t become women just because they begin menstruating, but on the other hand, they sort of do. I mean it’s an indication of sexual maturity of a kind.  Am I actually pointing out that Carly is menstruating and Spencer knows it? I think I am. Well, she’s 15 abouts, so chances were she was anyway.

Spencer’s overreaction to the entire situation only grows. We next see Carly at school – Spencer has been driving her to and from, and refused to give her her allowance unless she dresses according to his standards: grey turtleneck sweater, below-the-knee skirt, and high boots. That’s right: he’s actually forcing her to wear excessively modest clothing now. (Although if you look back to “iChristmas”, Carly isn’t exactly a stripper even when she chooses her own clothes.)Griffin doesn’t go to their school, but he swings by to see Carly. Spencer, however, is masquerading as a janitor, and catches them.Yeah.

He’s going to THAT much trouble to make sure they don’t see each other.

And the thing is, he’s really enjoying it. Like way too much. When he forbids her to see Griffin, when he catches them together, when he shows off the different means he’s implemented to enforce his rule – he’s so flippin’ smug. Why are you having so much fun, Spencer?

If he wasn’t enjoying it so much, I could see how someone might feel like he was abusing his power. But I think he sees it mostly as a game. And as you’ll see below, when he realizes how much Carly cares for Griffin, he relents.

(He sets up a pad in front of the door that will sound an alarm when weight is put on it. He hopes to catch Carly sneaking out. But it’s not very sensitive.)

And just the day before he was trying to be friends with the kid. Griffin had already come over to the apartment to sculpt with Spencer five times before the time when he and Carly kiss. Clearly it’s the Carly element that changed his feelings about Griffin radically.

Carly and Griffin fake a fight in front of Spencer so Spencer’s guard would go down.

It doesn’t work.

Carly is horrified when he’s waiting for them as they hurry back into the apartment.Not-so-smart Spencer can actually be quite smart – he “may be an idiot” but he’s “not stupid” – that or he knows Carly THAT well. I think it’s kinda sweet that even though she betrays him, he knows that she’s doing it. When Spencer brings his A game he rules them all (unless it’s blow paint-ball game against Sam).

However, Spencer is finally moved by their efforts. He allows the two to have a rendezvous of sorts, but when they begin kissing Spencer tells them not to have that much fun, and even turns one of his sculptures to be facing them like a spy.I obviously love that Spencer so completely overreacts. And it truly is overreaction. Freddie takes it a billion times better than Spencer does.

And it’s impossible to forget the line about Griffin reminding Spencer of his younger self. Even if it didn’t turn out to be exactly true. And Carly doesn’t even go for Griffin until after Spencer has said that.

But it’s more complicated than that. You see, at the halfway point the episode switches over. It stops becoming about Carly’s struggle against Spencer to see her bad boy, and about the fact the Griffin isn’t really such a bad boy after all. He collects pee-wee babies, which are the iCarly universe’s version of beanie babies, the bean-filled mini-plush toys. Carly liked the idea of dating a bad boy – that’s all it was really, her liking the idea of something – and when she finds out he’s not so bad, she doesn’t even like him anymore.

She makes a middling effort at trying to change him by giving him a drill. Yeah, a power drill. And then tells him that there are other tools, like a nail gun, that he could get. Umm… That sounds like stuff Spencer would have and use, you know? Because he’s a sculptor and spends almost every episode BUILDING something. And it all started with Griffin stealing Spencer’s motorcycle. Griffin holds up the drill and says, “Do you know what I could do with this?” And Carly gets all excited – like excited in that way – and says, “Tell me.” But he just wants to build some shelves for his peewee babies.

So not only does Carly try to make her not-so-bad boy more like Spencer by giving him something Spencer uses all the time, but she actually defines manliness that way and as much as admits that it turns her on.

Griffin ends up overhearing Carly making fun of his hobby, and breaks up with her. Carly doesn’t even care. She lets him walk right out. She doesn’t even really apologize.

End episode.

Pretty perfect, right?

2×18 is “iTake On Dingo”. Dingo in the iCarly universe is equivalent to Disney. It’s not treated very nicely. In this episode, Sam, Carly, and Freddie discover that a TV show on the Dingo channel has been stealing their bits, so they drive to Dingo studios in California to confront them about it. I suppose this had something to do with Sonny With A Chance, which premiered after iCarly and also features a show about random things, called, appropriately, So Random. I’ve never seen Sonny With A Chance, so I can’t speak to its quality, but I will say that two television shows with the same premise can still be different, and both can be good. Copying doesn’t always deserve its bad reputation.

Well, iCarly seems to have won the battle, anyway. Miranda Cosgrove certainly did.

I have one question: was this during a break? Because even without stopping for more than gas and bathroom breaks, it’s still quite a drive from Seattle to LA. 24 hours, probably.  And it seems unlikely that Carly or Freddie have their license. Sam is more likely, but again, still probably not. So Spencer drove that whole thing himself. Anyway, my point is, they must have been gone for a pretty long time.

They stay at a motel recommended by Sam’s mom. It turns out to be even more skeevy than one would have anticipated.

Believe it or not, what is of interest here is not the sleeping arrangements.

Just this:


Spencer shouldn’t feel so bad about his dustsucker weapon, as Carly just used a towel to fight off Hollywood the Handsy Hobo.

 “iMust Have Locker 239” is episode 2×19. Carly draws a rabbit that Sam and Freddie mock (and I think it was ridiculously cute and probably better than anything I could draw). Freddie asks how she could possibly be related to a great artist like Spencer. (Really, Freddie?) It’s clear that Carly really lets her lack of drawing skills get to her, since she decides to ask Spencer to give her art lessons. But she starts the conversation by saying, “I wanna talk to you about something,” in a semi-serious tone, and Spencer’s immediate response is: “You didn’t go into my room, did you?”

You didn’t go into my room, did you?




He seems very nervous for a second.

I guess my headcanon is porn. Not particularly original but Spencer would have been ashamed and it would have been interesting. It would have been an awkward conversation, not that I think Carly would try to have a talk with him about it.

iCarly does this a lot. They hint at something. They make a reference, but don’t fully explain it, leaving you to wonder what happened and whether it was as dirty as it seemed. Most of the time they probably don’t have anything specific in mind. Spencer doesn’t think much of her rabbit either.

(I really like it. Curse you all.)

Spencer’s reaction is hilarious.

He’s pretty excited that she’s interested in art, but she’s not actually interested in art (not in learning it, anyway), so she doesn’t enjoy the lessons all that much. She just wants to be able to draw a decent rabbit.

Can I just take this time to say that Spencer is constantly shown in his boxers. And it really varies whether he’s embarrassed or not. If it’s just in front of Carly, he has yet to be embarrassed. In fact, if she doesn’t think much of his pants, he might just take them right off, as you saw. But if Sam or Freddie are around, the likelihood of his embarrassment increases. (Still not guaranteed, though.)So, Carly and Spencer end up having a little fight, because she gets annoyed with the lessons. I’m definitely on her side, though it’s easy to see why Spencer is doing things the way he’s doing them. Spencer gets to be the offended one in this situation, and his hurt/anger lasts at least until the next day. Carly comes home, trying to get his forgiveness as he sculpts out his feelings. Carly eventually ends up saying, “Ugh, when did you turn into my wife.”

Silly Carly: the two of you have been head-canon married since the first episode.

Spencer’s offended that he has been called a woman.

He pulls something out of her bag, and sees that it’s a sketchpad (after she jumps on his back trying to retrieve it).She confesses that she’s taking a drawing class at the community center. Spencer is even more offended now, and takes the time to draw a “top-notch” bunny for her, in a matter of seconds and without even looking at the paper. (I love it when they show Spencer with mad skills.)In the next scene, Freddie and Sam, who are now sharing a locker, get into a bit of a disagreement, and Sam asks, “When did you turn into my wife?” It was exciting enough that they included the line at all, but Seddie is canon now, folks, so this is now officially a suggestive parallel. And they even kept the gender swap.Spencer crashes Carly’s class and causes a ruckus arguing with her. He then gets into a paint fight with the art teacher about passion and spontaneity for art.Carly acts pretty mad for a second when they discuss being banned for life from the community center, but then it’s instantly gone. You just know Spencer had to be really, really hurt in order to make a complete fool of himself and Carly at the CC.And then the art teacher shows up and starts making out with Spencer. I probably couldn’t say that Carly turns into a boiling pot of jealousy, BUT she certainly doesn’t smile.Do you have the same feeling I do, like Spencer going for the teacher has a little air of substitution to it? He’s in the mood to make out with Carly but he can’t, and someone else presents herself.

Chuck, Spencer’s “arch nemesis”

2×20 “iTwins” might also be called a Seddie episode, although most of Freddie’s Seddie-ish scenes actually occur with Sam’s twin sister Melanie. This is the only episode in which she is seen, but she is mentioned in two others, which is enough for me not to label this episode a fluke.


Even though it’s Melanie and Freddie in the A-plot of the Seddie episode, it’s not Sam and Carly in the B-plot, it’s Carly and Spencer. Like “iKiss”.

I have never claimed I wasn’t grasping at straws.

Spencer was enjoying a relaxing afternoon of unloading groceries and teasing Carly……when he is horrified to learn that Carly is tutoring Spencer’s young nemesis, and has allowed said nemesis – Chuck – to “penetrate” his “inner sanctum.”

Carly can’t understand why Spencer is picking on poor, sweet, little Chuck.She orders him off to a bath to calm him down.Chuck pulls a series of pranks, getting Spencer more and more agitated.I don’t know what Carly thinks Spencer is up to, but she persists in believing in Chuck’s innocence. If I was Spencer, I’d be pretty hurt and angry with her. Especially since it’s not like Spencer has a habit of deception or anything like that. He’s an open book.She tells him that he needs to “go take a bubble bath, or something.”
Spencer responds that “bathing isn’t the answer to everything.” Comes close, though. I like the way he says it. He almost does seem genuinely frustrated for a minute, and not just I’m-on-a-kid’s-show frustrated.
Spencer sets up a camera and catches young Chuck the act.

Carly gets VERY angry when she sees the video of what Chuck has done to Spencer.Spencer just wants some immediate vindication, but Carly has a better idea.Chuck had thrown Spencer over the couch and started beating him up – this was what Spencer had filmed him doing. Carly is quick to remark that Spencer needs to start working out. When she grabs his arm, she feels it up and reaffirms her suggestion.Carly feigns continued ignorance of Chuck’s true nature, and pranks him through her tutoring.Spencer takes a victory shower at the end, and Carly reminds him to shave his toes.….?

It’s the small things, with the two of them. With Seddie they have these huge moments, and then the smaller moments are great but they’re all the same. The best Sparly is just the really small things here and there. The Spencer/Carly scenes in Spencer/Carly episodes like “iHeart Art” and “iChristmas” are wonderful, but there’s more Spencer/Carly to be found in the little things that could almost go unnoticed. (Not unnoticed by me, of course.)

“What are we watching?”

“Elephant Love.”

And sometimes it’s just the way he’s sitting next to her on the couch. It has nothing to do with his proximity – body parts touching, that sort of thing – it’s just this sort of sexy, relaxed pose he has going on.

I love it when Spencer and Carly cooperate to do something. It was so great to see them working it over on the evil little boy, and that smile they shared when they met success. The boy has really only ever done bad things to Spencer, but Carly and Spencer don’t have the typical brother-sister banter (which is actually a lot more like Sam and Freddie’s relationship), they get along perfectly, and when someone is hurting Spencer then Carly turns into a fierce lioness, like we see in this episode. What she does to the little boy is actually quite cruel (not that he didn’t deserve it).

Remember what I was saying about the small things? Well in 2×21 “iFight Shelby Marx”, Spencer is having allergy problems and undergoes an experimental drug therapy.When the doctor brings the pills to him at the apartment (sketchy, I know), Carly leaves Sam and Freddie, walks over to the door, and stands next to Spencer while the doctor gives him the instructions. I mean, WIFE MUCH? It’s not like the instructions are complicated – take one every day, there might be side effects. That’s it. But Carly becomes a part of everything in his life. And she cares about his suffering. And she’s responsible, and she likes to take care of him. She’s such a caregiver, it’s just another thing I like about her. I just love Carly so much.

“iFight Shelby Marx” is not one of my favorite episodes. It’s extremely plot-driven with almost no character/relationship development even though it’s double-length and there would have been plenty of room for it, and it’s basically an ode to guest star Victoria Justice – who is a gorgeous young lady, there’s no denying that – but what a waste of time. Plus the entire plot is predicated on a series of misunderstandings, which even this show is usually above doing.When Shelby Marx comes to visit Carly after a video goes viral of Carly joking she could beat the pro-fighter, Carly is terrified. Spencer has to drag her downstairs. He’s suffering side effects, currently itching, and is covered is anti-itch cream.And I’m not saying the idea of Shelby Marx and Carly fighting turns Spencer on, but this was his response to the discussion:Carly sort of wins the fight. It’s a long story, and not particularly interesting. But there is a shared victory hug. (Not as a fun as a shared victory shower, though.)Against my fervent wishes, this blog entry has become far longer than any blog entry has a right to be, and I’m only halfway done. So, it will be split.

You can find Part II right here.

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4 Responses to iCarly: or Rather iSparly, the Show I Watch – Part I: Seasons 1 and 2

  1. Beast of the Sea says:

    Mm… I’m not quite feeling it, but I know that’s an effect of the anti-age-gap conditioning, because if I imagine pretty much the exact same characters with a much smaller age gap, I know I’d be nodding along merrily. *shrugs* Although his dropping his pajama pants when she says she can’t take him seriously with them on… oi… O_o I could pass off the rest as sibling devotion and possessiveness, but that, that is a bit unusual… Like, I-would-normally-assume-characters-comfortable-with-each-other-enough-to-do-that-are-either-lovers-or-on-the-verge-of-being-written-as-such unusual.

    After looking over the post a few times, especially after knowing from a quick TV Tropes hit that Sam/Freddie won out, I somewhat see a possibly-unintentional subtext to the show that all Carly’s other relationships shift and come and go, but Spencer will always stay with her. Which may be intentional and doubtless, if so, is supposed to be heartwarming and about the Power of Family, but that’s usually reserved for relationships where the platonic phase ends with a speech that involves the lines “I always thought of you as just a friend, but when I stepped back and took a look at my life after [some climatic event], I realized that my “friends” came and went, and my relationships only lasted a week to a month at the most, but you… you were always there for me.” *cough* In my fandom experience, at any rate. I tend to veer straight towards the best-friends ships when given a choice, so I’m undoubtedly biased. 😛

    And I do know what you mean about being in a fandom for a ship… I now like other characters too, but I was irresistibly dragged into the Resident Evil fandom by the Alexia Ashford/Alfred Ashford ship. (I’m too much of a coward to play the actual games… XD Everything I know about them, I learned from cutscenes uploaded to YouTube, the Resident Evil Wiki, and the fandom.)

    I’m not going to get into this fandom, because I really don’t watch TV shows these days, but the way you spin it, it sounds quite interesting. 🙂 Oh well, my loss. 😛 Anyway, I will be looking forward to the next post!

    • Shipcestuous says:

      I certainly don’t blame anyone for not being able to accommodate the age-gap. Like I briefly mentioned, even I was put off at first. And this post only covered the first two seasons. The age difference is much less stark (even though the absolute difference is the same) in the fifth season.

      And, in fact, it’s probably the age-gap that allows to the writers to give us such scenes, like Spencer dropping his pants, because seeing Spencer as even a fanservice/tease romantic option (sort of like Alex and Justin on Wizards of Waverly Place) is nearly inconceivable. (They underestimate me!)

      I lean towards best-friend ships most of the time myself. Which, in some way, is probably correlative to my shipping of incest – though which led to the other I couldn’t say. If Spencer and Carly weren’t brother and sister, and if he were younger (which would be necessary if he wasn’t family), then they would be ideal for that friends-everyone-wants-to-get-together ship because of how they behave. You’re very right about that. If iCarly doesn’t get a sixth season, I could totally see the show ending with Freddie/Sam, and then Carly and Spencer still in their “forever alone” state. Nothing would make me happier, actually.

      I didn’t know you hadn’t played the Resident Evil games. I can see why Alfred/Alexia would draw you in, though. I do plan on doing a short post of them. I can’t wait to look up some of the artwork, and probably some fanfic too if I have enough time.

      As for iCarly, I couldn’t honestly say that even for someone who ships incest a lot, shipping Spencer/Carly would be worth joining the fandom. I do think Freddie/Sam is worth joining the fandom for, but not if it’s not your type of show. (Or if you don’t watch much TV, or don’t have cable, etc.) Even then, the list of really-shippy Freddie/Sam episodes is not that long.

      iCarly was just so much in my head, I had to write about it. More for myself and other (are there any?) already-existing Spencer/Carly shippers, than to convert. (As much as I would like that.)

      It means so much to me that you would even just look over the article (I feel like a poser calling it an article), even though you don’t watch the show, and aren’t ultimately interested. I try to include enough pictures and details to make that possible, so it’s very rewarding to me. Thanks!

      Oh, and I sent you an e-mail a while ago, I’m not sure if you got it. It wasn’t important – just something about tumblr. There’s an e-mail attached to your comment, but maybe it’s not one you use very often. If you got it – that’s great, I just wasn’t sure.

  2. Anastasia says:

    Once again I must admire the amount of work you put into you’re posts. And watching a series episode by episode looking for particular moments like you did both here and with ATLA must be really taxing to your patience. Kudos. As for the show in question I’ve only watched three episodes including the one where their grandfather wants to take Carly away. I thought their relationship was really sweet. Didn’t really catch any undertones like I did in Avatar, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t enjoyable reading what you have to say about it. Just a small comment:
    “BUT…wouldn’t you think a 26 year-old guy would be happy to get rid of the 13 year-old he has to take care of?”
    Honestly? If they have an at all loving relationship: no. I’ve been living alone with my older brother for 2 years and I know he would downright miserable if I had to leave, I know I’d be heartbroken. When you have that one person in your life who you can count on you don’t want them to leave even if it’s a burden on you (My brother had to drop out of college to get a job and support us).
    But this was once again an entertaining (and long ^^) read. I look forward to the second part.

    • Shipcestuous says:

      Thanks for reading! Especially if it’s not a show you watch, though I’m sure having seen even a handful of episodes gave you a real advantage in understanding what I was trying to get at sometimes. And I really, really appreciate you taking the time to comment.

      And I’m sorry it was so long! I hope it went by quickly. I can’t even fathom how long it would have been if I hadn’t split it up!

      Fortunately, with Avatar, I wrote about it after having just watched the entire series for the first time, so it was all very fresh in my mind, though it was still very taxing as you say to go back through, analyze each scene, and especially to choose the right images to use.

      iCarly has quite a few more episodes than Avatar, so it is definitely a lot more work, especially now that I’ve gotten into making GIFs. But I really wanted to do something detailed about Spencer/Carly because I didn’t feel like a cursory description of their general situation and relationship wouldn’t really do the ship justice. And all of the recent developments on the show – and the fact that they actually aired four new episodes in as many weeks – made me want to go back and rewatch the whole show, so the timing was perfect to do the Spencer/Carly article that I’d wanted to write ever since I started this blog.

      Even if as much work as I went to wasn’t necessary, it does feel very good to hear it acknowledged. Thank you!

      Spencer and Carly’s relationship really is ridiculously sweet. And I completely agree: it definitely doesn’t have undertones, especially not ones as strong as with Zuko and Azula, and especially not in the first few seasons when Carly is so young. I’m glad you got a kick out of the ridiculous things I said, because half the time I disagree with myself, but I always put it out there for the amusement. I like to make indications and descriptions and captures of the scenes that a shipper of Spencer/Carly would enjoy most, but it’s definitely not my goal to convince anyone that there’s incest-subtext in those scenes, or that anyone should ship Spencer/Carly because of (non-existent) subtext.

      “BUT…wouldn’t you think a 26 year-old guy would be happy to get rid of the 13 year-old he has to take care of?”

      Honestly? If they have an at all loving relationship: no. I’ve been living alone with my older brother for 2 years and I know he would downright miserable if I had to leave, I know I’d be heartbroken. When you have that one person in your life who you can count on you don’t want them to leave even if it’s a burden on you (My brother had to drop out of college to get a job and support us).

      I’m sorry to hear that your family has been in a situation where you’ve had to make sacrifices, although I’m of course glad to hear how strong your bonds are. My language was probably too strong – I can’t imagine anyone in Spencer’s circumstances would be “happy” to “get rid of” a younger sibling, no matter how much of a burden they were. I was thinking more of the time when Spencer originally took her in, and how there were things he might miss about the life he had before. I was trying to create a contrast between how much Spencer not loves Carly but enjoys having her in his house everyday, and the average guardian brother who is probably ready to move on with his life, but I did a disservice to other brothers, so I definitely apologize about that. I was also taking into consideration the fact that Spencer was already 26, and Carly would still be a minor for at least four more years, which means that keeping Carly was a 4-year commitment taking him to his thirtieth year. I mean, I think that’s wonderful. But it makes sense to me that it’s worth pointing out that Spencer is not only willing to do this, but it’s what he wants, even as old as he is. But I certainly shouldn’t have implied that it was so much of an exception.

      I’m working steadily on Part 2, but can make no estimates about when it will be done. It’s written, but the GIFs and stills take a while to capture/make/select, and upload.

      Thanks again!

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