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'The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo' nostalgia

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Shelby Woo

Ah, Snick. What great memories I have of Nickelodeon’s 8-10 p.m. programming block every Saturday night.

When we were younger, my two brothers and I would always camp out in the guest room at the far end of my house and watch the full two hours of special TV on Saturdays. They’re both older than me, so they would each sleep on a comfy sofa, while I was relegated to my sleeping bag on the floor (No! Of course I’m not bitter about that!), and we’d fight over who got to hold the remote control, despite the fact that all of us wanted to watch Snick. We loved Snick.

Somewhere along the line, a show called The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo got added to the Snick schedule, and my goodness, we were obsessed. The show followed a young girl named Shelby Woo, who lived with her innkeeper grandfather and moonlighted as a junior detective with the local police — although most adults wished she would just stay out of the way. Shelby would usually track down three very clear suspects, and through a series of clues and reasoning, she would solve the case!

In my family, watching the show was a competitive affair. Remember how I said my brothers and I always fought over remote control? Well, that victory wasn’t worth too much. But solving Shelby Woo’s case before she announced the true culprit — that was an honor. Each episode, my brother and I would make an official prediction about which suspect committed the crime and how we knew they did it. Whoever predicted correctly won bragging rights until next week.

But those episodes were crazy difficult to decipher — way too tough for a little kid — and unfortunately, I never won. At least, I almost never won. There was one episode — something involving an aquarium and a shark — that I, as a dumb little six year-old, was able to figure out before my kin (who were then eight and nine). I still remember that victory to this day, although I’m sure that neither of them do…

Speaking of things that I remember, The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo also taught me that the first letters of July, August, September, October, and November spell out JASON. That’s how Shelby solved the crime one time — she noticed that some victim’s calendar only had those months left. Hopefully, if I’m ever attacked by someone named Jason — or Mamj (March, April, May, June), for that matter– I’ll have the state of mind to rip out the appropriate pages from a nearby calendar so that a young detective can find my attacker and avenge me!

Did any of you watch The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo?

More nostalgia on EW.com:

Bus, do your stuff! A tribute to ‘The Magic School Bus’

‘Tiny Toon Adventures’: Did you secretly like some of the Tiny Toons more than the Looney Tunes?

‘Animaniacs’: The ’90s cartoon for the adult in every child

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