Everyone has things they remember from their childhood, but there is nothing more memorable than your favorite shows on television. Our favorite television shows became a major part of our lives, and our favorite characters were like family. These memorable television shows from the 80’s and 90’s will take you down memory lane, and you will be ready to binge watch many of these childhood favorites by the time you’re done.
Boy Meets World Was The Epitome Of Everything ’90s
This ’90s sitcom changed everything about popular television. From 1993 until 2000 we followed Corey Matthews as he navigated his way through middle school, high school, college and beyond with best friend Shawn and girlfriend Topanga by his side.
Although these three characters took center stage, who could forget Mr. Feeny with his insights on life, love, and everything in between? Who wouldn’t want to simply waltz outside their kitchen door and ask Mr. Feeny for advice? This sitcom was so popular that a reboot, Girl Meets World, premiered in 2014 and followed Corey and Topanga’s story through their young daughter. Nineties kids just can’t get enough of this timeless love story.
Now This Is A Story All About How…
…my life got flipped-turned upside down!Chances are you still know this entire theme song by heart!
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air launched Will Smith’s career. The show’s silliness and life lessons had viewers hooked from the start. Will Smith’s antics constantly appall his wealthy aunt, uncle, and cousins, but that doesn’t stop him from forming an unbreakable bond with his overzealous cousin Carlton. Who could forget Carlton’s signature dance? This iconic dance move actually won actor Alfonso Ribeiro a season of Dancing with the Stars, making the impact of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air come full circle decades later.
This 90’s Show Scared Us Senseless
Simply watching the intro of Are You Afraid of the Dark? could send a few shivers down your spine. This anthology horror series aired on Nickelodeon from 1992 until 1996, and it sure put a spooky twist on children’s television. Educational yet slightly frightening, this series focused on stories of monsters and other scary myths.
The show involved teens gathering to share spooky stories at night, which helped to set the scene. Most of the stories ended on a positive note, but that didn’t make this series any less scary! Any ’90s kid will tell you they had a hard time sleeping after catching an episode before bed.
Punky Brewster Was The Feel-Good Sitcom Of The ’80s
Airing between 1984 and 1988, Punky Brewster told the story of a young girl living with her foster father and dog. Despite being abandoned by her parents, Punky and her dog Brandon aimed to make their foster father Henry a little less uptight. The plot made for some serious laughs and tender moments, and actress Soleil Moon Frye made one seriously adorable character!
Punky’s upbeat spirit despite her circumstances made this a memorable sitcom of the times and her quirky personality made the show a pretty solid success. A little girl defeating the odds is something we can get behind. Punky power.
Daria Spoke To Our Teen Angst
As if we needed any more evidence that high school was the pits, the animated series Daria was a constant reminder that teenage angst is most definitely alive and well. MTV aired this animated series from 1997 until 2001, and it centered around a 16-year-old just taking life one day at a time…while loathing absolutely everything.
This show touched on various topics of life in American suburbia as well as the monotony of social trends, with underlying judgemental tones. It’s everything we could have ever asked for when it came to a relatable character, so it’s no surprise the show was a late ’90s MTV staple.
Everyone Experienced Growing Pains
The ’80s were a decade filled with dreamboats, and actor Kirk Cameron topped the list. He starred in the sitcom Growing Pains, which aired from 1985 until 1992. The Seaver family from Long Island, New York goes through the typical middle-class family trials and tribulations, with son Mike constantly going girl-crazy and daughter Carol sticking to the books.
Cameron later became a staunch born-again Christian, making his character Mike’s antics and lines pretty awkward if you rewatch the show. Either way, this sitcom is so undeniably ’80s—and audiences still cherish its plot and characters to this day.
Roseanne Featured Everyone’s Favorite Dysfunctional Family
Who could forget that laugh? Roseanne—which ran from 1988 to 1997—showed a side of the American family that many of us weren’t used to seeing on television. This family favorite made showing a lower middle-class family on television less taboo, and it turned out to be totally endearing.
Late bills, angsty teens, and a cheating husband? This stuff was super raw for the time, and it paid off. Roseanne made such an impact on audiences that a reboot of the show is coming to ABC in 2018—and fans can’t wait. It features the original cast, and even John Goodman will be making an appearance in this much-anticipated return.
Rocko’s Modern Life Took A Kid’s Show To The Next Level
Nickelodeon is notorious for releasing pretty bizarre cartoons, and Rocko’s Modern Life is no different. The show aired from 1993 until 1996 and followed the life of Australian-transplant Rocko the wallaby as he adjusts to life in the United States…all while surrounded by colorful characters such as his turtle friend Filburt and his puppy Spunky.
The catch to this wild animated series? It was produced for children and adults, meaning it is filled with crude humor that you may have missed as a young child. You may be able to catch some inappropriate jokes if you watch some re-runs of this ’90s classic!
Buffy Showed Us Serious Girl Power
Buffy Summers was everything fierce about the late ’90s. Buffy the Vampire Slayer centered around Summers and her job of killing demons and vampires, all while trying to live a normal teenage life. Sarah Michelle Gellar proved she can most definitely slay, and the show remained successful long after the last episode aired in 2003.
Gellar had a lot at stake by taking on this epic role, and she proved that keeping a social life, love life, and saving the world can be a woman’s job. It’s no wonder Freddie Prinze Jr. is so smitten—this lady is a definite keeper!
Rugrats Revealed The Real Lives Of Babies
Ever wonder what goes through a baby’s mind when they are playing with their toys or running around in circles? The animated series Rugrats answered all of our questions. Aired on Nickelodeon from 1991 until 2006, many of us grew up watching Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil, and Angelica live in a magical world of play while their parents seemed to be unaware of their antics.
Rugrats made us fear the consequences of eating a watermelon seed, sympathize with Chuckie’s allergies, and question Stu’s sanity while he made chocolate pudding at 3 a.m. The show was so successful it spawned multiple big-screen movies and original soundtracks.
The Golden Girls Made Growing Old Look Fabulous
No matter if you are young or old, Golden Girls is a must-see for anyone looking for a good laugh. This sitcom aired from 1985 until 1992, and the show centered around four older women living life together in Miami. Dorothy, Rose, Blanche, and Sophia were just four single senior gals living life on their terms, and it made for some seriously hilarious moments.
As said by Sophia, “people waste their time pondering whether a glass is half empty or half full. Me, I just drink whatever’s in the glass.” The series definitely had a great run, and fans still love to quote this ’80s hit.
Viewers Were Saved By The Bell
Saved by the Bell made all of us yearn to attend the ever so chic and unbearably ’90s Bayside High School. This American sitcom aired from 1989 until 1992 and viewers felt like they grew up with character favorites such as the painfully awkward Screech or teenage beauty Kelly Kapowski.
Although the show seemed to just revolve around six students simply being teens, the show touched on numerous social issues—including drug use and women’s rights—making this television classic a success across the board. This teen sitcom still has fans to this day, no matter how many times these kids got called to Principal Belding’s office!
Family Matters Made Nosy Neighbors Hilarious
Steve Urkel became a household name in the ’80s, and his role in Family Matters was absolutely legendary. This sitcom aired from 1989 until 1998 and following the life of cop Carl Winslow and his family became a daily indulgence for millions of Americans.
Steve Urkel became the biggest nerd icon and the show’s leading character—even though he was only intended to appear in one episode—and we grew to love him as he continued to pester his neighbors. He was the geek before it was cool, and his constant inventions gone wrong were nothing less than entertaining. Did I do that? Yes Steve, most likely you did.
Everywhere You Look There’s A Full House Fan
Full House was the Olsen twins’ big break on screen, and the theme song sent everyone running to the couch to catch the latest episode. A single dad raising three young girls hit a sweet spot with viewers. There was something so endearing about the Tanners from Sacremento, which led the show airing for almost an entire decade.
The recent revival that hit Netflix last year—Fuller House—also received rave reviews and numerous awards. It hit us all in our ’90s feels, and we were even excited to see the most annoying neighbor Kimmy Gibler make a comeback. Have mercy!
Ren And Stimpy Had A Certain Sense Of Humor
On the long list of Nickelodeon’s animated classics, The Ren & Stimpy Show is one of the most memorable. The show aired from 1991 to 1995, and it raised quite a bit of controversy in the process. The storyline involves the daily happenings of Ren the chihuahua and Stimpy the cat, and the show eventually left the air because of some sexual and dark humor not suited for children.
Despite its demise, The Ren & Stimpy Show was definitely a colorful part of every ’90s viewer’s television experience. This cartoon definitely pushed boundaries that most didn’t even realize. You can still catch reruns on Adult Swim every now and then.
This Medical Drama Is Literally Second To None
ER aired from 1994 until 2009, making it a drama series that completely defined a decade. This show actually became the longest-running American medical drama series, and its cast of characters was like extended family for many viewers.
County General Hospital had its fair share of drama. Whether it be the birth of George Clooney’s career as Doug Ross or the tragic death of Dr. Greene, this world of medical care is anything but uneventful. Any emergency room has moments of drama, but County General takes the cake! From ambulance explosions to patient stabbings, this series always had viewers at the edge of their seats.
Seinfeld Mastered Sarcasm
When Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld started crafting the idea for a sitcom, they probably never envisioned it would resonate with such a large audience. Seinfeld—with the main character crafted after a fictional version of Jerry Seinfeld himself—aired from 1989 to 1998, and audiences are still reminiscing on its best plots and quirkiest lines 20 years later.
The characters are oddly relatable as if we know them personally. I mean, haven’t we all had an eccentric neighbor like Kramer? This sitcom definitely still has a place in the hearts of viewers, and it gives us a different perspective of those living on the Upper West Side!
Television Never Saw A Greater Group Of Friends
From 1994 to 2004, we followed six pals living in New York, and television would never be the same. The sitcom Friends had a star-filled cast including Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, and Courteney Cox, and even though over ten years have passed, this series is still very much relevant to viewers. Something about trying to figure out adulthood surrounded by pals doing the same stuck with many fans!
Luckily, the series has such a following that Netflix decided to include it in their selection of series you can binge watch. Now you keep your Friends closer than ever.
This “Football Head” Topped The ’90s Charts
Hey Arnold! began airing on Nickelodeon in 1996 and became one the network’s most popular shows until its retirement in 2004. The show followed a nine-year-old named Arnold who lives in a big city with his grandparents in a boarding house. Viewers followed him through his everyday life involving school, home, and his bully Helga—who turns out to be a big love interest after all.
What ’90s kid didn’t want to live in Arnold’s high-tech bedroom, complete with a totally amazing skylight? This animated series is a big part of our television past.
The Simpsons Still Entertain The Entire World
The Simpsons have been making us laugh since 1989, and it shows no signs of slowing down. A lot goes on in the town of Springfield, and Bart, Marge, Homer, Lisa, and Maggie are the epitome of everything American suburbia has to offer. This animated series has become such a big part of American culture that the Simpson family has been given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!
The Simpsons series continues to air new seasons, so you can always get your fix. Whether it be the early ’90s episodes that you crave or you enjoy the newer material, this family is bound to bring some comedic genius!