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Carly Shay (born July 24) is the protagonist of the TV series iCarly, and her own web show, iCarly. She is the younger sister of Spencer Shay and the daughter of Colonel Steven Shay and Mrs. Shay. She lived with her older brother in Apartment 8-C at Bushwell Plaza, while their father is stationed on a Navy submarine and her mother is never mentioned. She is the best friend of Sam Puckett and former best friend of Missy Robinson whom she hung out with during her childhood. She is also the best friend and ex-girlfriend of Freddie Benson who lives across the hallway (Apt. 8-D) and has had a crush on her since the day they met. In the final episode of iCarly, iGoodbye, Carly took the difficult decision to move to Italy to be with her father for a period of time. ("taking a break for a while.")
Carly is portrayed by Miranda Cosgrove.
Carly is a nice, easy going, and caring person who would do anything for her friends, although she can be whimsical at times when she doesn't get things her way, such as in iLook Alike, when Spencer refuses to let her go to a wrestling match.
Occasionally, she has to get between her best friends Sam and Freddie when the two argue too much. She gets good grades and usually stays out of trouble, except for when she takes the blame for Sam's wrongdoing.
She is easily grossed out by vermin, the gross videos Sam likes (except in iStage an Intervention, when she wanted to see a guy who could pull his lip down over his chin), or even when Spencer says "bowels" (iTake on Dingo). In iMake Sam Girlier, Sam tells Carly that she is "soft and girly and weak." and in iTake on Dingo, Sam called her "prissy." Carly agreed with this, referring to herself as "the prissiest." It was shown in iSpace Out and confirmed in iSam's Mom that Carly suffers from claustrophobia and freaks out if she is locked in a small space for a long time; however, in iPsycho, she seems only mildly distressed when Nora locks her, Sam and Freddie in her sound booth.
She takes really long showers when she is depressed or needs to think, as mentioned in iGive Away a Car. She sometimes takes chairs in with her.
In iWanna Stay With Spencer, it was implied Carly used to be a sick child. According to Spencer, she has to take vitamins every day and suffers from allergies and asthma. She had her last asthma attack when she was seven years old. Spencer gives her decaffeinated coffee although she is not aware of this.Possibly her most prominent trait, Carly, unlike Sam, is not tough, and even when furious, she has never physically attacked anyone on-screen (but tackled Freddie in an angry manner in iThink They Kissed). However, on occasion, she will confront someone, even bullies and teachers, for her friends when it is needed, as shown in iHave a Lovesick Teacher and iMake Sam Girlier. She was also part of a girl mob (Sam and Shelby Marx) that beat up Nevel in iFight Shelby Marx although Nevel said he wasn't scared of her.
Relationships with other main characters
(2002-2012; Best Friend) Carly and Sam met when they were about eight years old and Sam wanted to steal Carly's tuna sandwich. When Carly fought back, Sam was impressed and the two eventually became friends. To this day, they share a close friendship that some fans even think of as romantic to a certain degree (see Cam Relationship).
Carly acts as a moral guardian to Sam, trying to keep her out of trouble and occasionally taking the blame for her pranks. Although Sam frequently causes Carly trouble, she likes her for being "creative, smart, fun and awesome". In iChristmas, it was shown that Carly's life would be very different without Sam; iCarly would never have existed and Carly would be dating Nevel Papperman. At times, Carly and Sam's fights are extremely bad, such as in iDon't Want to Fight and iSaw Him First. In iQuit iCarly, one of their fights even lead to a near-death situation for both of them. They seem to be close as sisters as they look out for each other (see Cam Friendship).
Carly is very aware of Freddie's crush on her, and sometimes exploits that he would do anything for her if she says "Please? For me?" in a sweet, cute voice. They keep up a good friendship, though, and know they can rely on each other when it's necessary. Freddie and Carly have in common that they maintain high grades, don't like getting in trouble, and both live in the Bushwell Plaza. They are really good friends (See Creddie Friendship). They have been girlfriend and boyfriend once, (see iSaved Your Life) but Sam convinced Freddie to break up with Carly (Saying he was "foreign bacon"). Carly has shone possible jealousy over two girls that Freddie has possibly been attracted to (iBeat the Heat and iHire an Idiot) as Freddie has been of guys that Carly likes in previous episodes. Carly has also been seen slightly flirting with Freddie (iSaved Your Life, iStart a Fanwar, etc.). In the series finale iGoodbye, Carly comes up to the iCarly studio while Freddie is packing up. Carly stops him by placing her hand on his, and then she kisses him. Freddie returns the kiss, and as they are leaving the iCarly Studio, he is seen raising his hands up in a triumphant gesture, because he was happy Carly finally made a move. It is possible that they go out in the future, because in iGoodbye, Carly kisses Freddie and he reacts by a fistpump like in iSaved Your Life. (For more on their relationship, see:Creddie)
Carly and her brother usually have a very good relationship and have fun hanging out together. Carly acts as the voice of reason or as an emotional support when needed, but can also rely on him when she has trouble. She is used to him letting her have a lot of freedom and gets irritated when he doesn't give her what she wants, as shown in iLook Alike. Their brother/sister relationship is very important to the show (See Sparly).
Carly and Gibby have known each other for four years. She has shown a little attraction to Gibby, and Gibby might have an attraction to Carly. They are very good friends, and he's a recurring guest on her web show. Carly once mentioned that Gibby was "sweet, cute, and fun". (See Cibby).
Ben Huebscher (First kiss) In iKiss, Carly tells Sam and Freddie that her first kiss was with a boy named Ben Huebscher, who she kissed under a kumquat tree and he tasted like potato salad. It is unknown whether they were dating or not. He is named after an iCarly writer.
Freddie Benson (2005-2012; Best Friend, Ex-Boyfriend)
Freddie has had a huge crush on Carly ever since he met her. At times, he looked through his peephole and waited for her to come home. Carly never seemed threatened by this behavior, but rather amused. They were in a relationship in "iSaved Your Life", but Sam convinced Freddie that Carly was only touched that he saved her life and wasn't in love with him, but what he did. They broke up afterwards, but said they would be interested in going out again when Carly is over the "hero thing". In iOpen a Restaurant, Freddie asks Carly, "Is it too late for you to love me?" out of nowhere, leading many to believe that Freddie has feelings for Carly. Then, in the series finale, iGoodbye, the two share a kiss (initiated by Carly), and Freddie is seen fist-pumping into the air triumphantly directly after this. (Also, see Creddie).
Jake Crandle (2007; Crush)
In "iLike Jake", she had a crush on Jake and he liked her back. After Jake saw Carly kiss Freddie on the nose (for helping to make Jake's singing voice sound good for the web show), he believed that they were a couple. Because of this, Jake decided to get back together with his ex-girlfriend, leaving Carly single.
In iWin a Date Gibby chose Carly as his date, probably by mistake, although maybe he chose Carly on purpose, despite her obvious hints that she wasn't Shannon. They went on a triple date to The Cheesecake Warehouse: Carly and Gibby, Sam and Reuben, Freddie and Shannon. Carly tried to help Shannon to like Gibby. After that, Carly and Gibby become good friends. (Also, see Cibby)
Shane (2008; Crush, Date)
She went out with him for a brief time in "iSaw Him First," but since Sam was also dating him at the same time, the two of them fight and decide that the one who kisses him first gets to date him. Shane broke up with them when he found out about their competition for him.
Nevel Papperman (2008; Alternate Reality Boyfriend, Enemy)
Nevel kissed Carly on the cheek in iNevel, and has tried to get kisses from her ever since, but Carly constantly refuses.  In the episode iChristmas, if Spencer was born normal, Nevel was going to be Carly's boyfriend.
She dated him in "iDate a Bad Boy" until she found out he collected PeeWee Babies. She tried to make the relationship work, but then Griffin overheard Carly and Sam making fun of his PeeWee Babies and then broke up with her. He comes back in "iBeat the Heat" and tries to kiss her, but she rebuffs him. (Also see Criffin)
Austin (2009; Date) Carly chose him as her date in "iSpeed Date." At the end of the episode, she dumped him because he kept interrupting her with random sentences whenever she wanted to say something.
Adam (2010; Crush)
Steven (2011; Ex-Boyfriend)
Carly loved Steven in iParty with Victorious. She broke up with him after she found out he had been dating Tori Vega at the same time.
Cort (2011; Crush) Carly said (in the same general idea) to Sam in liking him, "I was about to say that!" what Sam said about him: "You are soooo good lookin'!"
- Nevel Papperman
- Tasha (iNevel)
- Valerie (iWill Date Freddie)
- Ms. Briggs (iSpy a Mean Teacher, iHave My Principals)
- Mr. Devlin (iPromise Not to Tell)
- Jonah(iHate Sam's Boyfriend)
- Amber Tate (iCarly Saves TV)
- Zeebo (iCarly Saves TV)
- Kyoko and Yuki (iGo To Japan)
- Wade Collins (iRocked the Vote) - Enemy of David Archuleta.
- Missy Robinson (iReunite with Missy)
- Chuck Chambers (iTwins)
- Mr. Howard (especially in iHave My Principals)
- The Petographers (iMove Out)
- Nora Dirshlitt (iPsycho)
- The 4th Graders (iSell Penny-Tees)
- Aspartamay (iStart a Fanwar)
- Ashley (iHire An Idiot)
- She is known to have her own Debit card, a necklace that says "Love & Giggles, and enjoy Gummy Hearts" in iRescue Carly.
- It is mentioned various times that Carly watches and possibly likes the show Full House.
- It is mentioned in iWanna Stay With Spencer that she has asthma.
- Carly has had multiple near-death experiences: in iWanna Stay with Spencer (nearly getting hit in the head with a hammer); in iQuit iCarly (almost falling off a window washer platform, along with Sam); and in iSaved Your Life (almost getting hit by a taco truck, but rescued by Freddie, off-screen).
- Her ex-boyfriend and best friend is Freddie Benson.
- Carly's head has nearly been hit twice: in iWanna Stay with Spencer (nearly getting hit with a hammer) and iStart a Fanwar (a fan threw a chair at Carly at Webicon).
- She and Sam had been friends five years before the episode iDon't Want to Fight. Carly and Sam have now been best friends for ten years.
- She and Sam have broken up as best friends twice in the series. Once in iDon't Want to Fight, and again in iQuit iCarly.
- Carly is fond of Build-A-Bra and Glitter Gloss which are both stores at the Crown Ridge Mall.
- Carly has a bikini with a floral design, skirt bikini bottom, and a g-string in the back. (iHatch Chicks)
- Carly has shown her midsection the most out of any female on the show, due to her wearing a bikini (iHatch Chicks), a red bandana top in her recurring cowgirl costume, a hula skirt with a coconut bikini top (iSaw Him First), a two-piece mixed martial arts outfit (iFight Shelby Marx), a purple/pink and black plaid blouse (iSpace Out), and a little bit of her belly in a plaid pink - black cami. (iBeat the Heat)
- She is an avid believer in Bigfoot (iBelieve in Bigfoot).
- Her great-grandmother gave her a heavily insured diamond-encrusted watch when she died, although it seems Spencer and Carly did not go to her funeral. It came in handy when her room was destroyed in a fire and her heavily insured diamond-encrusted watch was destroyed in the fire. It was insured for $82,000. (iGot a Hot Room)
- She appears to really like bad boys, like Griffin, possibly because they are like her best friend Sam.
- Despite the fact that Carly's birthday is on July 24, in iScream on Halloween, she says she's a Capricorn (which would place her birthday in early January or late December). On iCarly.com, her birthday originally was said to be January 14, but it was changed shortly before the finale of Season 3, probably to make it closer to the airdate of iGot a Hot Room.
- Although it would be logical to think that her full first name is "Carlotta" ("Carly" is short for "Carlotta") because she gets called that several times in the series, in fact, there is no proof in the series or the website that "Carlotta" is her true first name. It is eventually proven false in iStill Psycho when the police send a text to Carly which has the characters' full names.
- Carly cries 6 times in the series; iGot a Hot Room because her room burned down, iChristmas because she wanted things back to the way they were, iQuit iCarly because she and Sam almost fell to their deaths off of a window washer, and also because she was sorry for getting in a fight with Sam, iTake on Dingo because the hobo petted her hair and kept trying to climb into the hotel room, iPity the Nevel during a webshow when Nevel apologizes to Molly, and iGoodbye when her father couldn't take her to the last Air Force father-daughter dance she can go to until later on in this episode.
- Carly is the youngest of the iCarly trio (Sam, Freddie and herself), as her birthday is in July and Freddie and Sam's birthdays are in February and April, respectively. Though again it is thought that her birthday may be in January, so her age as opposed to that of her friends is debatable.
- She loves the band Cuttlefish.
- Carly's only younger counterpart was presented on iDon't Want to Fight, in a flashback showing when Carly and Sam met.
- In iOwe You, Spencer says Carly used to be a Sunshine Girl.
- Although Carly is the main character in the series, she no longer appears in new iCarly.com segments due to Miranda Cosgrove's busy schedule. The gang only say she's on camera.
- Carly sometimes pokes people when she wants to get them to focus (iPromise Not To Tell).
- She apparently loves asking people to have a bath.
- Caleb predicted that she would be the future Vice President of the United States.
- In iLost My Mind, Carly grabs a set of keys on the way out of the door on the way to Troubled Waters. This poses the possibility that Carly can drive.
- Carly's star sign is Leo, despite her saying it's Capricorn in iScream on Halloween.
- The only time Carly has had a boyfriend by the end of an episode is in iToe Fat Cakes.
- In iDate Sam and Freddie, it is revealed that she uses a machine that keeps her from snoring.
- Carly, until the episode iRescue Carly was made known, was the only one of the main characters (including Gibby) not to have her name featured in an episode title. Instead, iCarly was used (the webshow's title).
- It is known that Carly is claustrophobic, as seen in iSam's Mom and iSpace Out.
- In iGet Pranky, when Carly is watching TV she is watching Drake and Josh, in the episode when Drake and Josh think they killed Megan's pet hamster. Then she says 'How come that little girl is so good at pranks?' she's talking about herself.
- Carly has had one job in iGot a Hot Room at the Groovy Smoothie.
- She is the first person to beat Shelby Marx.