Nickelodeon’s “The Loud House” Introduces Two Perfectly Imperfect Gay Dads

Harold and Howard McBride might just be the most overprotective parents in cartoondom.

Nickelodeon is forging ahead with more LGBT representations on its kid’s cartoons: A gay married couple appears on this week’s episode of the popular animated series The Loud House.

loud house-102-16x9

On the show, 11-year-old Lincoln Loud tries to cope with family chaos as the only boy with ten sisters. In the July 20 episode, “Overnight Success,” his best friend, Clyde McBride, comes by for a sleepover after much pleading with parents on both sides.

As the viewer learns, Clyde has two dads—it’s made crystal clear in the episode, but it’s definitely not treated like a big deal

Loud House

In fact, the McBrides’ defining factor seems to be how overprotective they are: Howard (MadTV’s Michael McDonald) and Harold (Wayne Brady, currently in Kinky Boots) inundate Lincoln with essentials—sleeping bag, footie pajamas, white-noise machine, humidifier, dehumidifier, etc—and a laundry list of emergency numbers.

Nickelodeon Loud House

“Remember, Clyde, no nuts, no gluten, no sugar and be careful with orange juice,” warns Harold. “You know how you get with pulp.”

loud house

There is a nice hug, though.

Loud House

It’s not the first time Nickelodeon shows have included queer represenations: RuPaul appeared in an episode of Bubble Guppies last year, and Legend of Korra ended with the protagonist kissing her female best friend as they headed off into the unknown.

It doesn’t look like the Misters McBride feature in the rest of the episode but their casual and humorous introduction is a breath of fresh air. We hope to see more of them!

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.