Kids of the 80s and 90s had it made when it came to cartoons, trends, cereals, snacks, music, and most importantly, tv shows. We had the coolest game shows that we all truly believed we’d be contestants on one day, and swore on the last bowl of Waffle Crisp that WE would be the one to beat every last obstacle. And more than likely, a disturbing amount of adults in their 30s and 40s are still convinced this could happen. Whether this will never happen or never, ever happen, this list of our childhood tv shows did happen. And we will always remember those days.
Round the Twist (1989-2001)
I am quite confident that my siblings and I were the only ones that even heard of this show, let alone watched it. At least in America, since this was actually an Australian tv show. It was a children’s fantasy show about three children and their widowed father. They lived in a lighthouse and went on many bizarre, magical adventures. It was weird, and odd, and brilliant.
The Torkelsons (1991-1993)
Dorothy Jane and The Man in the Moon were like the imaginary friends of my childhood. I still think about them all the time and miss them in that aching way you feel when you think back on the best days of your existence. And to this day, I still know every word of the theme song, sung by none other than The Judds. I was quite upset by the spin-off show, so I’m not even going to elaborate on it. If you really want to know, then you’ve got enough information to find what you need, but I will not be a life-ruiner by associating that show with my beloved Torkelsons.
Under the Umbrella Tree (1986-1993)
Izzy Iguana, Gloria Gopher, and Jacob Bluejay live, play, laugh, sleep, and learn life lessons under the Umbrella Tree that is actually inside their house. They live in this house with their mother figure, Holly, who is not a puppet. She is human. Also, just to spice things up and make this show seem less bizarre (a single woman living alone, and only interacts with puppets…) Gloria’s full name is Gloria Gladys Grace Gabriella Gardenia Glenda Gale Gopher.
Yup, that’ll do it.
Saved by the Bell (1989-1993)
For the record, as a true child of the 90s, I can declare that the ONLY SHOWS THAT SHOULD EVER BE ASSOCIATED WITH SAVED BY THE BELL ARE:
Good Morning, Miss Bliss
Saved by the Bell
Saved by the Bell: The College Years
A couple of movies were thrown about here and there, and those are acceptable as well. Saved by the Bell was developed as a spin-off of Good Morning, Miss Bliss, which took place in junior high. But it was the high school years that would define the time of childhood into adolescence for every kid in the 90s. Zack Morris, A.C. Slater, Kelly Kapowski, Screech Powers, Jessie Spano, Lisa Turtle, and Mr. Belding were there with us through every coming of age experience you could think of (in the 90s). Remember the time Jessie was addicted to caffeine pills?
So heavy. Or how about when Kelly was embarrassed because her dad lost his job, and she couldn’t afford a prom dress, so she tried to hide it from her friends? But they didn’t care, and Zack pulled through in true Zack Morris fashion.
There was something just about everyone could relate to (again, I must stress, during the 90s). Like the time the class tried to save the animals covered in oil. Only, they weren’t able to save Becky.
Ok, let’s end on something happier. Like…..oh! This is perfect.
I don’t know what school ya’ll went to, but never did my friends and I get paired up with our classmates as pretend husbands and wives, complete with Screech as our child. I mean, this was pretty much the setting for almost every recess in elementary school, but we were never graded for it, and we also never told anyone about it. That was a recess secret, and it stayed on the playground (where it still remains). But this episode of Saved by the Bell, where Zack and Kelly are married and the proud(ish) parents of Screech, was funny, sweet, and fulfilled everyone’s wish for Zack and Kelly to be together forever (minus Screech-like offspring).
All That (1994-2005)
Are You Afraid of the Dark? (1991-1996)
Why, yes, actually I am, but I still loved watching this show.
Me from 1995-1998: When I grow up, I’m going to get a Jack Russell Terrier and name it Wishbone
Me as a grown-up: One of these days, I’m going to get a Jack Russell Terrier and name it Wishbone
Not the mama! Not the mama!
The Adventures of Pete and Pete (1991-1996)
As kids, we easily accepted that these parents named both of their kids Pete. Today, with names like Audio, Birdie, Pilot, and Zolten**, naming both of your kids Pete is just so unoriginal.
**I’m not kidding, these are actual names that actual people have given to their actual offspring. Look here.
Clarissa Explains It All (1991-1994)
The Secret World of Alex Mack (1994-1998)
I wanted to be Alex Mack so bad.
I still do.
A surprisingly good take off the books we all loved. Though, it’s probably a good thing that turning into any animal you touch isn’t a thing. I mean, think about it. You turn into a dog, wolf, bear, or whatever, maul that one person we all have in our lives, and then turn back into your human form. Who or what, exactly, is going to be charged with this crime/murder (it’s up to you if you want to maim or full on murder, I’m not judging)?
Am I the only one that’s had these thought?………
Bananas in Pyjamas (1991-2000)
Bill Nye the Science Guy (1991-1998)
Figure It Out (1997-1999)
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-1996)
I want to see someone perform the entire “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” while doing the Carlton
Keenan & Kel (1996-2000)
Legends of the Hidden Temples (1993-1995)
Sister, Sister (1994-1999)
Salute Your Shorts (1991-1992)
Power Rangers (1993-the end of time)
I was always the Pink Power Ranger (did anyone REALLY want to be Trini though?) and my brothers fought over who was going to be the Red Ranger. This is as far as we would ever really get when we decided to “play Power Rangers” (whatever this meant. I think it was just a coverup my brothers used to beat me up). My older brother would declare that it didn’t matter which Power Ranger he was, he’d still be the leader, the best, and the strongest. Cue the tantrum from my younger brother, and this was the brilliant game of Power Rangers, starring those Caldwell kids.
Hey Dude (1989-1991)
Wild & Crazy Kids (1990-1992)
Family Matters (1989-1998)
Yes. Every time, yes. All the times, past, present, and future-YES.
You did do that.
Every kid of the 90s
Step by Step (1991-1998)
Growing Pains (1985-1992)
I never actually had growing pains, so my association with this term was always Kirk Cameron. And then one day I was enlightened with the actual definition, and I was never quite the same.
Flash Forward (1995-1997)
Brotherly Love (1995-1996)
Looking back, an alarming amount of the characters that Joey Lawrence played was named…Joey.
Huh. Anyway, Brotherly Love was one of those feel-good shows that didn’t make it past the one year curse.
Bug Juice (1998-2001)
The Famous Jett Jackson (1998-2001)
It’s hard to look back on this show without feeling the loss of Lee Thompson Young. Nobody else could’ve made Jett Jackson so likeable, relatable, and cool.
Kids Incorporated (1984-1994)
To say that I was infatuated with this show would be downplaying my unhealthy obsession that occurred through the years of 1988-1994.
Land of the Lost (1991-1992)
Another show that results in a look like this
whenever I mention it was one of my favorites. I mean, what were ya’ll doing that you never heard of, or watched, Land of the Lost?
This concludes the latest in my “Bring The Back!” series. How many of these did you forget about? Are you curled up in a ball at the moment?
vb local || writer || author || fiction editor || girl-skater || celiac disease warrior
1. Helena is my soul sestra
2. I Have a Deathwish
4. I only write on days that end in 'y'
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