Here's How iCarly Explains Sam's Absence in the Revival Premiere

iCarly Sam

The first three episodes of Paramount+’s iCarly revival dropped on Thursday, reuniting fans with old friends while also introducing several new faces.

Nine years after the original Nickelodeon series ended its run, Carly (Miranda Cosgrove), Freddie (Nathan Kress) and Spencer (Jerry Trainor) are back to give this whole “web show” thing another shot, with Carly’s roommate Harper (Laci Mosley) and Freddie’s daughter Millicent (Jaidyn Triplett) joining them in their crusade of ridiculousness.

And while we don’t want to dwell too much on the past, we should probably talk about Sam, the only member of the original show’s core four not to return for the revival. Though she’s briefly mentioned in the premiere, it isn’t until much later in the episode — when Carly is contemplating getting back in the web-hosting game — that we find out what Jennette McCurdy‘s character has been up to.

Carly: I just want to make things again.
Freddie: You don’t need a partner to do that.
Carly: I don’t need a partner, I need Sam. But she’s off following her bliss with that biker gang.
Freddie: The Obliterators. I hope she’s OK.
Carly: It’s Sam. I hope they’re OK. I just wish she was here so we could do iCarly again.

Is the explanation totally random and completely insane? Sure. But it’s also very much in the spirit of iCarly. Plus, Sam did get a motorcycle in the original series’ 2012 finale, so it actually tracks.

Of course, if you’ve been following the news, you knew not to expect Sam to show up in the flesh. During an appearance on Anna Faris’ Empty Inside podcast earlier this year, McCurdy revealed that she was done with acting.

“I’m so ashamed of the parts I’ve done in the past,” McCurdy explained. I resent my career in a lot of ways. I feel so unfulfilled by the roles that I played and felt like it was the most cheesy, embarrassing… My friends at 15, they’re not like, ‘Oh, cool, you’re on this Nickelodeon show.’ It was embarrassing.”

When TVLine spoke with the cast ahead of iCarly‘s return, Cosgrove told us, “We definitely talk about Sam on the show. We all really wanted Jennette to be a part of the show, but she’s doing different things right now.”

Your thoughts on Carly & Co.’s return to television? Grade the premiere below, then drop a comment with your full review of the revival.