Inside Amanda Bynes' Relationship With Drake Bell

The relationship between Nickelodeon child stars Amanda Bynes and Drake Bell began when they were just children. Bell initially met Bynes on her popular namesake comedy series. "The Amanda Show" ran from October 1999 to September 2002 and featured Bell as one of the co-stars. This role eventually landed Bell and co-star Josh Peck with their own show called "Drake & Josh."

During an April 2024 appearance on the "Not Skinny But Not Fat" podcast, Bell shared his admiration for Bynes, who'd been on television longer than he had when he joined the cast of "The Amanda Show." "She was so funny, she was so, she was like a rocket ship," Bell explained to host Amanda Hirsch. "She got on set, and she was just, the talent that just oozed from her effortlessly was awe-inspiring."

Like several other stars from the network, such as "All That" and "Kenan & Kel" cast member Kenan Thompson, Bell has not spoken to Bynes in many years. However, it appears the two were once incredibly close. They even had a brief teenage fling that lasted almost two years, one of the first in Bynes' dating history.

The pair briefly dated while working on The Amanda Show

During their time acting together, it appears that Amanda Byne and Drake Bell struck up a courtship. The two began dating in February 1999, which sparked while filming "The Amanda Show" for Nickelodeon. "Amanda, to me, was like Carol Burnett. She was Lucille Ball. She was a big star," Bell recalled to Speech Bubble. Both were around 13 years old at the time, and their teenage romance likely didn't become too serious, with the two reportedly parting ways by December 2001. 

After the show ended, Bell moved on to his own sitcom "Drake & Josh," which debuted in 2004. Still, it appears the two remained good friends, even as Bynes ran into public troubles such as a 2012 DUI arrest and a mental health episode the next year, which led to a 72-hour hold. Such instances would lead to Bynes being placed in a conservatorship

During a June 2013 outing at The Pool After Dark at Harrah's Resort Atlantic City, Bell supported his friend, sharing with OK! Magazine, "She's brilliant. She's good, and she's healthy." He admitted that seeing her negatively in the news was hurtful but maintained that she was still the same loving person.

Drake Bell eventually viewed Amanda Bynes as a sibling

With the dating aspect of their lives ending years ago, Drake Bell regarded the "What a Girl Wants" star as a sister during his June 2013 chat with OK! Magazine. At that point, the musician stated they were still speaking regularly. He also seemed to defend her, as she had pleaded no contest to driving with a suspended license just one month earlier in May 2013. "She's experiencing life for real, without the spotlight, for the first time. She is a girl who is finding herself," Bell shared.

The March 2024 Investigation Discovery documentary "Quiet on Set" could have reunited Bell and Bynes. The program showcased the abusive treatment and sexual misconduct that Bell and others faced on the set of several popular Nickelodeon shows. However, Bynes reportedly declined to be featured in the explosive series as her experience differed from those featured. Bynes may not be willing to rehash her days with the network, but her past connection with Bell is one that he seemingly still cherishes.

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services. If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).