When I was growing up, I had a few different activities (such as baseball) that kept me outside of the house. Whenever I did venture back into the house, there were always classic shows that even today can give me waves of nostalgia. These are shows that not only helped define my childhood, but my own era of television.
Sure, not all the shows I loved from the 90s are in here, and some of my favorites were not even made in the 90s (staring at you, Scooby-Doo). But for people who grew up in the 90s, especially people who were young in the 90s, these may be the shows that also strike a very familiar chord with you.
For whatever reason, these may be the shows that appealed to you as a kid, and if you are lucky, some of them can translate really well into adulthood. When I am looking to unwind, Seinfeld, arguably THE show of the 90s, has been my go-to choice for countless years.
The best shows from the 9s are the ones that you were always coming back to at the end of a long day. They may be the shows you were looking forward to all week and could not afford to miss (remember, PVR systems were not a thing yet and you only had so many VHS tapes!) For all the different elements that went into making the 90s a great decade for television, I have come up with 10 of the best shows for inducing nostalgia.
I am sure that there will be shows on here that I missed that help defined the 90s for you. Perhaps there are movies that helped shape you more then any one TV show (such as myself with Aladdin), but for whatever tickles your 90s nostalgia, let’s hope there is something on this list for you!
10. X-Men (Animated Series)
I absolutely loved the X-Men animated series when I was growing up. The theme music can’t help but get you absolutely pumped up. Even now I can crank it on YouTube and instantly get some awesome nostalgia. I also don’t want to brag, but I totally binge watched the series over one winter break – talk about super street cred, right? Now, to be fair, the series does lose some value a little bit because while Jubilee has her moments, there could have been so many cooler characters to fit in there. That being said, you really can’t ask for a more enjoyable series from a ‘kids show.’
9. Boy Meets World
Boy Meets World used to be the highlight of the ABC marathon known as TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday). I remember huddling around the TV with my family as we watched the latest hi-jinx of the Matthews family. The series made you laugh, but also got real at times, showing valuable life lessons as the characters grew up and advanced throughout the series. Whether it was Feeny giving out life lessons, or the boys learning those lessons themselves, BMW was always a great time. Not to mention that in the 90s, there may have been few television babes that rivaled the hotness that was Ms. Topanga.
8. Duck Tales
Duck Tales is one of my own personal favorites. Perhaps it was because I could relate to the playfulness of the teens, or loved the intensity of Uncle Scrooge. For whatever reason, I still look fondly at some of the older episodes and movies. Not to mention, like many things on this list, the theme song for Duck Tales is out of this world. Put that on at any karaoke bar and you are sure to have yourself a party!…At least if I’m there. And if I am not there, I probably will be soon because you aren’t going to let a good thing like a Duck Tales party go to waste!
7. Full House
Oh, the Olson twins…how you used to be so innocent. The series, centered around three men and their attempts to raise three daughters, included several heartwarming moments. While everyone had their favorite characters, I was always drawn to the cool guy attitude of John Stamos. Given how upbeat the series could be, it’s all the more alarming how crude (and funny) Bob Saget is as a stand up comedian. The series ended up running for 192 episodes over the span of 8 seasons. While the Olson twins have battled addictions and some negative press as of late, the series is still a classic for many who grew up in the 90s.
You can’t think of television in the 90s without thinking of the cultural impact of Seinfeld. The series is acclaimed by critics and beloved by fans with seemingly endless replay value. It has created some dialogue that makes the show instantly recognizable by fans, even decades after it aired (not that there is anything wrong with that). I have seen every episode of both series more times than I can count and I’ll still laugh at certain parts. Seinfeld gains even more bonus points when you consider the amount of cultural references they make to events in the 90s. The lovely fashion sense of the 90s is also on full display, and can add some added enjoyment to the earlier seasons.
5. America’s Funniest Home Videos
The biggest sign that AFV was a 90s show for me, is how nostalgic it feels to see how it was all filmed on a VCR. Technology has come a long way, and what were once clips that could make a hit television show, are now accessible on YouTube or Vine. No matter who your favorite host was (I’m partial to Bob Saget), the series was always able to make me laugh continuously. While not all of it, some of it can be found on Netflix, and can make for some great entertainment when you don’t know what you feel like watching. Though the series is still airing today, it still helps mark a fond moment in anyone growing up in the 90s.
4. Batman (Animated Series)
If you’re a fan of Batman and haven’t seen the animated series, then at least you know what you are doing all of next week. The series is enjoyable, and like X-Men, offers an unbelievably cool theme song. The series offers highlights not only through the fantastic voice acting of Kevin Conroy but also by showing off the vast array of Batman’s rogue den. You will learn from everyone, ranging from unknowns like Man-Bat, to some classic episodes with the Joker and other prominent villains. It’s always fantastic when Mark Hamill lends his talent to the voice of the Joker, and there is no better example of it than throughout this series.
3. Dragon Ball Z
No matter which version of the series you love, it was clear that when I was a kid that Dragon Ball Z was one of the coolest shows around! How could you not get behind the story of Goku as he tried to defend the Earth against who knows what was coming his way? And just when you thought the awesomeness had peaked, Super Saiyan kicks in and the whole series ramps up to a whole new even more awesome level. Plus, my friend Alannah once went as Vegeta for Halloween and she totally rocked it, so how can I not put Dragon Ball Z on my list?
2. Power Rangers
Who did not love the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers? I don’t know, because if you did not love them, I was probably not going to be your friend for very much longer. The Power Rangers were wicked awesome, and were always a constant choice of who to be when playing “action heroes” with your friends. They had catchy lines, some wicked cool fighting stances, and you guessed it, one heck of a super cool theme song. Not to mention they showed the power of teamwork! And who doesn’t love that (though it’s a lot easier to fight as a team when you can combine to form something super awesome).
I will never forget how excited I was to play Pokémon Blue. I played it every day, as it saved me from countless long days at school. As if the game wasn’t cool enough, the Pokémon cards were the latest rage as well! I wanted Pokémon everything, so of course people ate up the television show. I’ll never forget how upset I was when Ash gave away his Charizard, WHAT ARE YOU DOING, ASH?! C’mon man…Though to Pokémon’s credit, I will also never forget the show’s theme song or rocking the Poké Rap with my friends (a true sign of just how cool someone is).