Everyone has a list of shows from their childhood and those awkward teen years that they look back on fondly. Today's youth has no idea just how awesome TV was in the '90s; no matter your age at the time, this was a great decade to be a kid, Saturday mornings in front of the TV with a bowl of cereal. Let's get nostalgic for a minute and take a look back at the top 25 kid/teen shows from the '90s.
25. Clarissa Explains It All
First Episode: March 23, 1991
Final Episode: December 3, 1994
Clarissa Darling was a teen version of Carrie Bradshaw before there Sex and the City was a thing. In its 65 episode run, Clarissa Explains It All helped teen girls and guys alike with the typical adolescent issues we all face in the traditional way of a '90s sitcom. If you miss Clarissa, reruns of the show can occasionally be caught on Teen Nick during the "The '90s Are All That" block.
24. Cow and Chicken
Network: Cartoon Network
First Episode: July 15, 1997
Final Episode: April 1999
Even as a young kid watching the show, Cow and Chicken certainly dished out the WTF moments, and looking back on it as an adult, there are even more. This could be considered one of the most controversial shows of its time. If you miss your serving of pork butts and tators, reruns can be found on the classic cartoon channel Boomerang (well that makes me feel old).
Network: Disney Channel
First Episode: May 5, 1990
Final Episode: August 8, 1991
TaleSpin was unfortunately around for just 65 episodes. It brought back all of the beloved characters from The Jungle Book and was one of 9 shows to use established Disney characters as the main cast. It was set after WWI which made the show even more awesome to nerdy kids like myself and who doesn't want to see a bear flying an airplane?
First Episode: August 11, 1991
Final Episode: June 26, 1999
Another sitcom designed to help kids deal with the typical issues that tend to arise in everyone's young life from things like school, bullying and crushes. What made Doug cooler than a lot of the other shows similar to it was that the episodes were narrated by Doug from his journal/sketchbook. You can catch Doug reruns on Teen Nick.
21. Sabrina the Teenage Witch
First Episode: September 27, 1996
Final Episode: April 24, 2003
Sabrina made pretty much every preteen, teen and even moms wish they were witches. This was a show that pretty much everyone watched on Friday night (whether by choice, your mom, sister or girlfriend made you watch it or it was just a guilty pleasure). Like many shows geared towards teens and young adult, Sabrina the Teenage Witch was host to both lighthearted comedic episodes as well as some "I got something in my eye" episodes. It was creative and every bit of entertainment a child of the '90s needed. You can watch reruns on Amazon Video.
First Episode: September 13, 1993
Final Episode: December 29, 1998
An animated variety show put on by cats...or something...do we really know what they were? Animaniacs were entertaining no matter your age during its run; Whakko, Yakko and Dot were adorable and hilarious. This show may have the catchiest theme song ever to exist, I know I still catch myself singing or humming it from time to time.
19. Legends of the Hidden Temple
First Episode: September 11, 1993
Final Episode: June 27, 1995
A action-packed game show hosted by Kirk Fogg that pitted 6 teams of 2 kids against each other in search of treasures in a Mayan temple. This show was not only entertaining, it also had one of the coolest sets on TV (Olmec was pretty amazing).
18. Dexter's Laboratory
Network: Cartoon Network
First Episode: April 28, 1996
Final Episode: December 10, 1999
Who didn't want to be a kid with a genius IQ and a secret laboratory hidden behind a bookcase in their bedroom? This follows in the same pattern of other "kid" shows hosted on Cartoon Network; a lot of WTF moments and even a banned episode. Reruns are shown on Boomerang.
First Episode: October 31, 1992
Final Episode: September 20, 1997
There were a lot of superhero themed kid's shows in the '90s, so it would only make sense that Marvel would allow one of it's front runners to be one of them. This was the second attempt at an X-Men animated serious (X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men debuted in 1989 and didn't make it passed the pilot episode), and it was much more successful having run for 5 seasons totaling 76 episodes.
16. Pinky and the Brain
Network: Cartoon Network
First Episode: September 9, 1995
Final Episode: November 14, 1998
Two adorable lab mice want to take over the world, why would Pinky and the Brain not make the list? The episodes rarely linked together having mainly just the Pinky and Brain and the whole world domination thing linking them, but it was entertaining to say the least, and "Snarf!" can still be heard coming from the mouths of '90s kids to this day.
First Episode: October 24, 1994
Final Episode: February 15, 1997
Gargoyles come to life and fight crime in Manhattan...like flying Ninja Turtles. The show boasted a dark tone, rather complex story arcs and a lot of Shakespearean themes for a kid's show.
First Episode: November 19, 1994
Final Episode: January 31, 1998
The series follows Peter Parker through his years at Empire State University and he already has his super powers. One of the best things about this series, it features the best of the classic villains from the comic series like the Kingpin, the Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus and more.
First Episode: October 27, 1995
Final Episode: November 16, 1998
For some, Goosebumps was their introduction to horror whether it be the books or the TV series. This series brought to life many of R.L. Stine's (for a kid) most terrifying imaginations. The series' run reignited a love for the book series and even launched a few new stories. Like Are You Afraid of the Dark, Goosebumps had several star cameos throughout its run like Adam West, Ryan Gosling and Hayden Christensen.
12. Darkwing Duck
First Episode: September 6, 1991
Final Episode: December 5, 1992
This hilarious spin-off of Duck Tales follows the crime fighting antics of Drake Mallard aka Darkwing Duck and his sidekick Launchpad McQuack. Most episodes focus on his struggles of being a bit egotistical but still wanting to be a good father and his want to do good for his city.
11. All That
First Episode: April 16, 1994
Final Episode: October 22, 2005
All That was the launching point for many comedy stars; it was a variety show aimed at teens. It could be described as the adolescent Saturday Night Live.
10. Hey Arnold!
First Episode: October 7, 1996
Final Episode: June 8, 2004
The show centers around 4th grader Arnold who lives with his grandparents in a boardinghouse. The show was meant to be a comedy, but the show did have a lot of dark undertones; even spawning some very dark theories as to what the show was really about.
9. SpongeBob SquarePants
First Episode: May 1, 1999
Final Episode: Still running
SpongeBob SquarePants is another show that on occasion can deliver some rather adult content and plenty of WTF moments. The sometimes mature content is due to the fact the the show was originally developed for Cartoon Network and an older audience, but the network declined the show and it was subsequently watered down for Nickelodeon.
8. Boy Meets World
First Episode: September 24, 1993
Final Episode: May 5, 2000
Boy Meets World was the epitome of '90s teenage soap opera; the show chronicled a wide spectrum of adolescent drama from dealing with homework and crushed to more painful, mature topics like heartbreak and the death of a parent. We could all relate to the core cast, we all had or wanted a friend like Shawn Hunter, we all had our Mr. Feeny, a sibling like Eric and Cory and Topanga were #RelationshipGoals.
7. Aaahh!!! Real Monsters
First Episode: October 29, 1994
Final Episode: December 6, 1997
Ickis, Oblina and Krumm were young monsters that attended monster school under a city dump where they learned to frighten humans. The trio often times found themselves in trouble and various other hilarious situations. Aaahh!!! Real Monsters was another show that was enjoyable for all age groups.
First Episode: August 11, 1991
Final Episode: August 1, 2004
Rugrats was aimed at a young audience but was still enjoyed by viewers of all ages. The show chronicled the antics of Tommy Pickles, his cousin Angelica and his friends Chuckie, Phil and Lil. The group would solve "mysteries" and go on all kinds of adventures while Angelica tried to trick them around every turn. Reruns of the show can be seen on Teen Nick.
5. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
First Episode: August 28, 1993
Final Episode: November 27, 1995
There wasn't much about the Power Rangers that wasn't appealing to kids and teens; teenagers with attitude, a lot of action, monsters, awesome dinosaur zords, a robot and a Wizard of Oz style floating head. There have been several attempts at reviving the show, but no matter how hard they try, they just can't beat the original.
4. Batman: The Animated Series
First Episode: September 5, 1992
Final Episode: September 15, 1995
This was by far the best animated Batman series; there have been a few spin-offs, but none of them match the greatness of the original. Not only were all of the classic villains included in the series run, but it also introduced us to a new villainess that many have come to love, the Jokers other half, Harley Quinn.
3. Beavis and Butt-Head
First Episode: March 8, 1993
Final Episode: November 28, 1997
Beavis and But-Head was a show that did more than irritate parents. The duo found themselves in all sorts of hilarious jams all while trying to "score". Not only was the show completely hilarious, but it included music videos from several genres that the pair would lend commentary to. The series was rebooted by MTV on October 27, 2011 and ran until December of the same year. Reruns can still be seen on MTC Classic and the entire series from beginning through the reboot can be found in a newly released DVD set.
2. Salute Your Shorts
First Episode: June 1, 1991
Final Episode: June 29, 1992
The show was based off the 1986 book Salute Your Shorts: Life at Summer Camp by Steve Slavkin and Thomas Hill. It followed a group of kids from very diverse backgrounds during summer camp; a bit like an episodic version of The Breakfast Club.
1. Are You Afraid of the Dark?
First Episode: October 31, 1990
Final Episode: April 20, 1996
Are You Afraid of the Dark was that series that most of us didn't want to watch alone in the dark; it was a bit darker than Goosebumps and ignited a love of horror in many of the '90s youth. The show was host to countless celebrity guest appearances and regulars; even launching a few A list careers. This series was the epitome of terrifying to youngsters and really showed what campfire ghost stories should be. There was an attempted series revival in February of 1999, but it did not fair as well as the original series ultimately ending in June of 2000.
Feel old yet? I know I do. It was more than difficult to narrow this list to just 25 as the '90s were my childhood and there were so many awesome shows; both animated and live action. As the '80s are to the horror genre, the '90s were to kid's television.