It’s been nearly nine years since Drake & Josh went off the air, but hardcore fans of Nickelodeon’s seminal series were treated to an epic reunion on tonight’s episode of Josh Peck’s Fox comedy Grandfathered. Not only did the episode reunite Peck with his former costar Drake Bell, but it also delivered some incredible Drake & Josh references that made us shout “pip pip da doodly do!” in complete, nostalgia-fueled euphoria.
In the episode, Gerald (Peck) and Vanessa (Christina Milian) pitch their new parenting app to an arrogant tech investor named Kirk (Bell). When he’s not too busy staring into the empty chasm that is his own beautiful reflection, Kirk is the kind of guy who likes to put others down and call it humor. Simply put, Kirk is the slightly more selfish, less emotionally available version of Drake Parker — and that’s exactly why this reunion worked. It felt authentic even though it didn’t really have to be.
The sheer draw of having Peck and Bell together onscreen could have forced them to cram as many Drake & Josh inside jokes and comedy bits into 22 minutes as humanly possible, but they didn’t. Instead, the references they made to the original series fit within the narrative. It didn’t seem forced or overrun with last-minute edits. They let Drake and Josh be Drake Bell and Josh Peck, not Drake Parker and Josh Nichols. And their chemistry was indomitable for it.
That being said, here are all of the Drake & Josh references that you might have missed (but let’s be real, you probably didn’t):
“You remind me of my stepbrother…”Nickelodeon
Nice one, Drake. Real smooth.
“…He’s in jail for stalking Oprah.”Nickelodeon
It’s official: Josh Nichols going to jail for stalking Oprah is now somewhat cannon. Even if it’s not, it should be, Dan Schneider.
“Don’t tell me what to do.”
You might have missed this reference to a classic Drake & Josh quote when Gerald told Kirk to “have a nice night” after their deal seemingly went south. Kirk responded with Josh’s classic line: “Don’t tell me what to do.”
“Hug me, brotha!”
Obviously, the episode couldn’t end without a celebratory “hug me, brotha!” for the fans. Seeing as Kirk is now an investor in Gerald’s app, this probably won’t be the last we see of his smarmy face. That means there’s always hope for “Are you calling me a liar?”