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Commercial Pop Up / Nickelodeon

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When it comes to American TV networks, Nickelodeon is the Trope Codifier in regards to this trope. They use commercial pop-ups so frequently that it's surprising to see them not do this to promote new episodes of their programming. They've often taken it Up to Eleven and interrupted programs for the same reason.

  • During the U-Pick era, the main image of the show currently on would be squeezed to remind viewers that voting for the next program had begun.
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  • To plug Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Nickelodeon had these with Jimmy coming up and doing a short as one of these bugs. They diverted the attention from the show to Jimmy doing experiments anywhere on the screen at any time. He did stuff like modifying the original bug at first, but it grew more clever. During an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, Jimmy came in, hit a button, and for several seconds the episode turned into a puppet show version of itself.
  • There were also bugs where they replaced large segments of the show with a bunch of random clips from all of their other shows. However, unlike the puppets, it replaced an actual part of the episode, and often times, the punchline of the show's best joke.
  • Nick actually did a whole marathon where the Rugrats would randomly run through parts of the show, too. The bugs actually ran by as part of a contest: Name what show, episode, and scene the baby ran by in, send it to Nick, and you'd be in the runnings for a treehouse.
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  • When Nick Jr. first added a permanent logo to the corner of the screen, it wasn't exactly transparent, sometimes covering details in a scene. An early airing of Dora the Explorer containing a scene in which the titular character counts five objects had the fifth one obscured by the Nick Jr. logo.
  • This happened during the UK Nicktoons airings of Avatar: The Last Airbender. The bug that was the most noticeable was a pole-vaulting brain-thing which happily runs across the entire screen, usually during a climactic scene, but their habit to smush the credits to start showing trailers goes wrong during the longer-running season finales.
  • When Tak and the Power of Juju and Back at the Barnyard were originally premiering, Nick would promote the show by either having a giant splat of milk suddenly appear on-screen, or having Tak appear and summon a giant yellow tornado, thus scaring the crap out of viewers watching the network. They later did much subtler promotions for shows, such as having a character from The Thundermans freezing the Nick channel bug, then moments later have it thaw.
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  • In the first airing of the The Legend of Korra episode "And the Winner Is...", a bug of SpongeBob laughing shows up just as Korra is shown falling, making it look like he was laughing at her misery. It's even become a meme where SpongeBob laughs at other sad moments in movies and TV shows.
  • Nickelodeon's Nick Studio 10 block was a rather infamous instance of this trope. During repeats of SpongeBob and The Fairly OddParents reruns were interrupted with random "comedic" videos for the first couple weeks and a mocking voice stating that "Nick Did It!", often at the funniest point in the episode (for instance, the Leif Erikson Day gag in the SpongeBob episode "Bubble Buddy"). Even though it only affected reruns that most viewers had seen hundreds of times before, they weren't happy to see a network messing with programming they paid for, and Nick quickly did away with the intrusions (and eventually the block).
  • When Sanjay and Craig premiered, Nick had a promo cut in immediately after a show's intro ended.
  • An ad for the Nickelodeon phone app sometimes would (translucently) cover the entire screen during some shows.
  • Beginning in June of 2019, Nickelodeon would have a distracting graphic cover the last few seconds of the show to promote other programs. For example, during the premiere of The Loud House episode "Roll Model", an animated wrecking ball smashed through the screen and cut into a promo for All That.
  • Over Christmas Eve 2019, Nickelodeon and its sister channels were airing a popup that crunches the show you're watching to half of the screen inside a snowglobe, which lasts the whole show. Like the Nick Studio 10 popups, viewers complained over social media and it ended after the 1PM hour.
  • On January 2, 2020, a SpongeBob marathon was run that had trivia panels transparenly covering half of the screen.
  • During a repeat of The Loud House episode "Absent-Minded; Be Stella My Heart", the screen glitched at the part in the theme song where Lily walks across the screen and cut to a promo for the final episodes of Henry Danger.
  • Nickelodeon did this to promote the Henry Danger Spin-Off Danger Force. Not only was there a square advertising the show in the bottom left corner, but sometimes a banner will appear and cover the bottom of the screen. Sometimes, this ad is transparent. And in the absolute worse case scenario, episodes were randomly cut before they ended to air an ad for Danger Force.
  • On Saint Patrick's Day 2020, due to many schools in the United States closing due to the coronavirus pandemic, Nick ended their preschool block at 10AM EST. At the bottom of programs from that time onward, a banner telling viewers what was on Nickelodeon and the Nick Jr. subchannel was put on the bottom left of the screen.
  • Nick-At-Nite, their late-night block, often puts gigantic rectangular advertisements for whatever's coming up next that block the bottom third of the screen.
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