‘Drake & Josh’: The Most Popular Episode Was Supposed to Be the Last

People who watched TV shows on Nickelodeon in the early 2000s may remember a sitcom called Drake & Josh.

The series centered around two stepbrothers played by Drake Bell and Josh Peck. Though the show has long since been over, there was some speculation of a reboot in 2019. However, Peck dispelled those rumors. 

One of the fan-favorite episodes was “Really Big Shrimp.” In the episode, Drake produces a song for a record company, which alters his song, much to Drake’s annoyance. Not only was “Really Big Shrimp” a success, but it originally was meant to be the end of the series. 

‘Really Big Shrimp’ was record-breaking

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Overall, Nickelodeon’s Drake & Josh was an immense hit. From 2004 to 2007, the show reeled in millions of viewers, with the last season having the highest ratings. For all 56 episodes, fans enjoyed watching the two stepbrothers find themselves in comedic situations.  

There were also two TV films produced outside the show’s continuity. Technically, “Really Big Shrimp” originally was a two-part episode, according to Screen Rant. However, the network treated the special as one movie in subsequent airings. 

When “Really Big Shrimp” first aired on television, the ratings soar. Roughly 5.8 million viewers watched the premiere in 2007. It was the first time the creators broke a plot line into two episodes. The story of Drake getting the opportunity for a record deal also engaged fans. 

Bell directed the first part, which showed he had a knack for directing. The sitcom became the most-watched series in the history of Nickelodeon at the time. However, the Drake & Josh Christmas special would later break the ratings even more. After over a decade, “Really Big Shrimp” is still memorable among fans. 

‘Really Big Shrimp’ was going to be the finale

Actors Drake Bell and Josh Peck speak onstage
Actors Drake Bell and Josh Peck speak onstage | Frazer Harrison/KCA2014/Getty Images

In 2005, the producers of Drake & Josh almost ended the series early. Bell experienced a head-on car collision that left him with a fractured neck and a broken jaw. The network had to put the fourth season on hold. While it took a long time for the actor to heal, the show was able to continue. 

Another question about the end of the show was regarding “Really Big Shrimp.” The creators meant for the two-part episode to be the last episode. In the end, there were two more that aired after “Really Big Shrimp.” The network had released the episodes out of production order, so it premiered before “Helicopter” and “Dance Contest.” 

If “Really Big Shrimp” had been the series finale, the ending likely would have satisfied many fans. Whether the real last episode works as a conclusion is up for debate. Some may think the final TV movie was able to wrap up Drake & Josh nicely. 

The final episode and film of ‘Drake & Josh’

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The real last episode of season four and the entire series is “Dance Contest.” The plot revolves around Josh entering a dance contest for extra credit. Meanwhile, Drake signs up to prevent himself from failing the 11th grade. In the end, the two of them dance together and win the competition. 

Drake & Josh did not finally end until the release of the last film. Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh came out in 2008. The TV movie is about the brothers trying to deliver the “best Christmas ever” to a foster family to avoid going to jail. Despite some obstacles, the film ends on a happy note and closes all the storylines for the show. 

After the sitcom ended, Peck continued to star in other works. Miranda Cosgrove soon went on to star in iCarly. Bell is still an active actor and musician. He did make a brief appearance in iCarly as his character from Drake & Josh