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52 Nostalgic 90s-kid TV Shows

August 31, 2020 Karianne 21 min read No Comments

You might be here because you remember sitting on the floor at your friend’s house eating SpaghettiOs from a Tony the Tiger cereal bowl while you crammed in front of the TV to catch the latest episode of your favorite show. Or maybe you just think the 1990s sound neat and you want to grab some of the spunk from that era.

Whatever your reason for wanting to watch 90s TV shows, I hope this list will lead you to a new favorite.

I was today years old when I learned several shows that most remind me of warm summers and growing up with friends in the 90s actually came in the early 2000s. Even though some of these shows aired in the early 2000s and are not literally a 90s show, as a 90s-kid they are still MY shows.

These shows are NOT in order by year, but by how much they take me back to my childhood.

Shows like Barney, Fairly Odd Parents, and Spongebob Squarepants are still going on and still widely successful, so even though they were a huge part of my childhood they don’t feel like jumping back in time so they didn’t make the list.

Enough talk. Let’s dive!

The 90s shows that made me

Click the NAME to go to a “where to watch” list.
Click the PHOTO to go the show’s trailer or clip.

*Please let me know if there are any broken links.*

As told by Ginger

The most I remember about this show is Ginger would write in her diary while on her bed and the grey-haired girl had a nasally voice. But when I think of a time before I knew what being an adult (or even a teen) was like, I think of this show.

Watch if you want: to reminisce about that magical time before you learned high school wasn’t that great.

Totally Spies

This show was a lot of fun. I remember the girls would do crazy things and get into a lot of horrible situations but make it out and beat the bad guys, and sometimes just because they were underestimated. I learned you can use assumptions to your benefit!

Watch if you want: a show about girl power with a groovy twist.

Camp Lazlo

I can hear this picture. Lazlo’s voice and all the character’s unique accents were pushed to the extreme. This show taught me how to be cool if I got pranked, and to respect camp counselors…JK! Let’s get ’em!

Watch if you want: to laugh at over-the-top shenanigans

My Life as a Teenage Robot

At a time when I was most awkward, this show made the weird challenges seem fun. I mostly remember Penny getting blot-zits and trying to figure out why weird stuff was happening to her and around her.

Watch if you want: a hilarious and bold show about puberty and teenager worries.

That’s so Raven

Raven had the coolest friends and the best ideas! I related to her quest for love and how she could turn an every-day-thing into an adventure.

Watch if you want: to remember fun times with old friends.

The Suite Life of Zack and Cody

Zack and Cody had the coolest mom! But every character in this show had quirks and strengths. Although a bit exaggerated, this show taught me that even though people may come from the same family (or even look the same), they are still unique individuals.

Watch if you want: adventures and laughable-drama with only a tiny hint of romance seeping into the story.

Dave the Barbarian

I honestly didn’t remember this show until my boyfriend mentioned it. Looking through pictures I remember the fire-breathing pig and sassy princess more than the other characters or actual plot. BUT I also remember thinking this show was fun. Sadly, it doesn’t appear to be streaming anywhere yet, but maybe we can change that.

Watch if you want: medieval adventures with quirky characters that make fun of stereotypes.

Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide

The truths this show provided. Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide helps us laugh and wonder why we let some things be considered “normal.” Another show with only a little bit of romance in the series, but a whole lot of irony.

Watch if you want: to relieve an extreme interpretation of your middle school days.

Drake and Josh

Drake was so dreamy! But now that I’m older, I might be more drawn to Josh. I still remember the episode where Drake quit sugar and Josh quit video games! Also there was something about a car in the mean teacher’s classroom. The movie theater was a popular spot to hang out or meet up for a date. I miss going to the theater so much…#thanks2020

Watch if you want: a show that jokes about teenage expectations for romance, adulting, and family with an evil-genius, little sister!

Scooby-Doo, Where Are you?

There are so many Scooby remakes, but I’m 83% sure this is the one we watched the most. The Beatles-esque theme song will be stuck in my head for the rest of the day.

I didn’t have cable so I couldn’t watch this show at my own house, but it was always on at my friend’s house. Her little bro was obsessed with Scooby-Doo. We’re talking bed sheets, posters, lunch boxes, and of course Scooby shirts. The strange adventures with even stranger twists kept us happy on summer days when it was so hot the pavement was like lava.

Watch if you want: a show with a dash of terror, twists, and adult humor you probably missed when you were a kid.

The Weekenders

Do I actually remember this show? Not really. I only saw it a handful of times, but when I saw the characters I felt a zing in my heart like I’d just found my phone. I remember one girl was smart, the other was sporty, and I think this show portrayed both of them as beautiful.

Watch if you want: a show about friendship and surviving school.

Invader Zim

Another show that I appreciate more now than I did back then. I laughed at Gir when I was a kid, but now I laugh at Zim and Dib’s tumultuous relationship too. Gaz used to scare me but now she’s my goal.

Watch if you want: an odd adventure that’s borderline creepy and cute.

Codename: Kids Next Door

I love love loved this show. The villains are so unique. The whole premises is creative, and I don’t remember romance ever becoming a major thing for the story.

Watch if you want: adventure, team work, and cool gadgets (remember the toilet guy?).

Ed, Edd n Eddy

Still in love with Double D. We loved to laugh at the main character’s quirks and although there’s little character growth through the series, each one is consistent with their strengths and weaknesses in a way that makes the show fun and lighthearted. Romance is sprinkled throughout select episodes, but always with a high-does of humor.

Watch if you want: a show about entrepreneurs, leadership (sometimes leading from the back), and community.

Dexter’s Laboratory

Yes, I thought Dee Dee was annoying too, but I loved that she was a “dumb,” girly-girl who constantly out-smarted Dexter. Note: Just because someone likes glitter and unicorns it doesn’t make them weak. Who else remembers “omelette du fromage”?

Watch if you want: fun science experiments, annoying sisters, and a doubly-annoying arch-nemesis.

Danny Phantom

Add Danny to the list of fictional characters I had have a crush on. With a show centered around ghosts, it could have easily been creepy. But the creators took it a more comical route, where each ghost was relatable yet weird. The ghosts themselves weren’t that scary looking either. As someone who still can’t handle horror, I appreciated.

Watch if you want: fun chases, quirky villains, and a charming cast.

Teen Titans

Easily one of my top 5 shows. Teen Titans—the original show (absolutely in no way will I ever refer to TT Go except when I want mind-numbing humor) has diverse characters with exaggerated personalities. I think everyone can find someone to relate to or even pieces of each character. In high school I related to Raven a lot. Dark, dreary, misunderstood. But now, I think I’m a combo of Raven, Starfire, and even Beast Boy.

Watch if you want: an action-packed adventure with gross, sometimes-evil villains. Romance is in here but doesn’t affect the story too much, or when it does it’s super relevant. #Terra

The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron

As an Animation major, it’s impossible to go through a semester without referencing this show. The work-environment and tech at the time were so challenging it’s a miracle such a great show came from it. Part of the success could be the unique characters and that finally, the brain gets to be the suave hero too.

Watch if you want: to see smart characters win some (and lose some) and create new, cool gizmos.

Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends

AAAAHHH Another top 5 show. The adventures in Foster’s are witty, charming, and I gained quite a few snarky comebacks by re-watching this show. I love Cheese. I love Ed. I love Blue. I super love Madame Foster. There’s also a rumor going around the Frankie, the beloved granddaughter of Madame is actually an imaginary friend too! What do you think? Also, it’s a safe bet that any show with Grey DeLisle as one of the voices is probably a good one.

Watch if you want: selfish, kind, caring, bossy, independent friendships and adventures.

The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy

Mandy, also voiced by Grey DeLisle, is so mean yet still charming. When she teams up with Billy and Grim to go on all sorts of crazy, slightly macabre adventures you know it’s going to be fun. I mostly remember this show for its fun ideas and adult humor that I never got before.

Watch if you want: a kid’s show that’s not just for kids but is still packed with adventure and challenges.

Kim Possible

For awhile I had Kim’s ringtone (you know, the duh-duh-duhduh) as my text notification. I felt so cool but it got a little bit annoying. It would make a better ringtone since no one calls anymore. But this show is absolutely amazing to teach that strength isn’t just muscles, and friends are supposed to stick around through bad times too. There’s a little romance because it’s high school, but it fits into the story arch nicely. (Twitching to not reveal spoilers!)

Watch if you want: empowered females who kick butt yet are also feminine and charming, guys who are confident and silly, and sassy naked mole rats.

Winx Club

PLEASE NOTE: Something happened to this show in the later seasons. The Winx I remember had strong female leads, cool outfits, and disasters larger than a bad hair day. However, I just watched 1 episode of season 7 with my Gen-Z friend and neither of us liked it. She pointed out the lack of body-positivity and how the girls were so helpless. This show still reminds me of my childhood, and I’m pretty sure the original episodes are still good (maybe).

Watch if you want: magic and glitter and fashion and fairies!

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen – So Little Time

I had all their barbie accessories, but not the dolls themselves. This show was rather short-lived, considering the twins released like 10,558 movies. I ooued and awed over their carefully selected outfits. One scene I remember is MK and A’s older model friend trying to convince them to drop out of high school because schools don’t teach you stuff that matters, like “how to get perfect, wind-blown hair on a flat day.”

Watch if you want: a show about family bonds with classic stereotypes to love/hate.

Lizzie McGuire

Ah, Lizzie. She helped me through some super uncomfortable situations in life. I was still in elementary school when this show aired so this show also shaped my expectations of friends and romance (for better and worse). I love the show’s depiction of her inner conscience. Maybe it’s a writer thing but I often find my inner-me is more witty and charming than me-me. Lizzie McGuire is like the original Hannah Montana but more relatable IMHO.

Watch if you want: a more realistic show about life in high school and navigating the ups and downs that come.

Courage the Cowardly Dog

I’m a lot like Courage. I grew up in the middle of nowhere. I’m not very brave. But if I HAVE to be brave I can muster up just enough strength to get through the immediate challenge before I crash again. I think this show inspired later spooky-cute shows that followed. I love the caring g-ma and grumpy old man dynamic. This show hits all the marks. And without any romance! (pretty sure)

Watch if you want: creepy adventures, a misunderstood hero, and an environment that’s borderline fantasy/too-close-to-reality.

The Powerpuff Girls

This show reminds me of my sticker town. I had a whole wall with paper I’d taped up and Cartoon Network stickers that I’d move around and play with. The Powerpuff Girls show that being sweet and nice doesn’t mean you’re not also strong. And being strong and a little mean doesn’t mean you don’t care.

I also remember playing the Power Puff snowboarding game. I’d like to say I got pretty good at it…”like to.” Also, better check out the game while your computer still supports Flash player!

Watch if you want: a kids show that teaches responsibility, friendship, and totally defeating your enemies.


As we go down the list I remember less and less about the shows and mostly just the shows themselves.


Lloyd in Space

I googled “alien teen show” and “alien girl with two heads” because I’ve wanted to know for a while now if this was an actual show or a figment of my imagination. Finally, I found evidence for Lloyd in Space! And I actually remember the episode in the picture. Lloyd pretended to be a girl so he could either A) spy on his crush B) learn more about his crush or C) all of the above. I don’t remember which. I just know that this show had really interesting characters and themes.

Watch if you want: a kid-friendly Futurama.

Pepper Ann

It’s right on the tip of my brain. I can hear the 90’s-rock theme song and see the whirl of colorful outfits. I know Pepper Ann is the red-haired girl. And I remember thinking her friends were really cool. But I don’t remember anything else about the show other than seeing the pic above made me go AHA! That’s definitely from my childhood.

Watch if you want: 😬 yes

Doug

Doug 1991

I wonder if Doug’s love interest (the girl with the basketball) is why I always thought pixie cuts were cute? Anyway, this show was like a more chill version of the other teen-topic shows above. The characters fit typical stereotypes, but can also surprise you. I don’t remember anything else about their adventures.

Watch if you want: chill adventures from a 90s-teen POV.

Cyberchase

We’re starting to get into the PBS shows that were kinda like sneaking onto CoolMathGames from the school’s computer lab. Cyberchase was fun because it had lots of educational challenges, like having to solve a math question to deactivate a bomb, but it also had lots of cool stuff, like bombs! Not many kids shows could so easily combine those two things. I remember 0 about the characters, but I think the bad guy was kinda bad and being bad.

Watch if you want: an educational show for middle-schoolers that’s like a grown-up version of Little Einsteins.

Mike, Lu, & Og

Another one that my bf helped me remember. This show has a Wild Thornberry’s feel, but I think the kids had a lot more freedom to roam the wild and discover fun challenges.

Watch if you want: adventures in the wild with friends.

The Wild Thornberrys

You ready for this? I’m so old I remember seeing the Wild Thornberrys movie in theater. I even got an enamel pin from it! My slippery kid hands probably lost it long ago, but I remember this show. I wanted to be like Eliza so bad. If I could talk to animals (and have them talk back) I’d probably never get anything done.

Watch if you want: a family-centered show with strong females and wacky adventures. You may also learn a bit about wildlife since the parents are filming for their wildlife show and Eliza can…you know.

Sabrina: The Animated Series

My friend would be upset about this show’s lack of body-diversity too, but the character’s personalities are varied. I remember the calm and cool friend, the cute boy next door, and the stuck-up-rich girl. Sabrina got into trouble on her own, but adding magic just seems to double it. Yet I remember this show as being fun and unique.

Watch if you want: magic and mysteries and cute, family fun.

Digimon

Digimon 1999

I would sit on the armchair of our couch and bounce to this theme song. I almost fell off when Renamon joined the crew. (She’s so cooooooool!) I remember being boy-crazy and I wanted so badly for some of the characters to just kiss already! But now that I’m older and these kids are like 10 I’m like, that was crazy. Glad they didn’t listen to me! Or did they? I haven’t finished this show YET.

Watch if you want: digital adventures with pets that will call you out but also stick up for you forever.

The Jetsons

Ah, the futuristic reality of The Jetsons! I love comparing the values and imagined tech the writers from the ’60s came up with when I watch the show now. But when I watched this as a kid I felt like I was watching a future past. This show had tech that seemed dated and other tech that I longed for. Like the meal pills? Those were cool. Rosie the sassy robot? I love her.

Watch if you want: to step into a parallel-universe and laugh/admire the stereotypes and ideals.

Walker Texas Ranger

Not many people can get away with the stunts and coincidences like Chuck Norris did as Walker. While other crime shows like NCIS have become memes for ridiculous twists and conclusions, this show had all that but made it look cool that even now Chuck Norris has a reputation as the ultimate weapon of Earth.

This show taught me to trust no one and remember every clue—even if it seems trivial. I remember one episode there was a series of murders, but they could never find the murder weapon. However, there was always a puddle on the bodies. That’s because *SPOILER ALERT* the weapons were made out of ice!

Watch if you want: suspense, thrill, and terrifying challenges but the good guys still win.

Home Improvement

My uncle was a carpenter, so this show took on a whole other meaning for me. I liked watching because Jonathan Taylor Thomas the tools were neat and the family worked through their differences with truth and humor. With my own family dynamic in shambles from a messy divorce, watching this family come together no matter what affected me more than I probably know.

Watch if you want: a show where family comes first and teaches you how to laugh along the way.

Wishbone

I know I’ve said it already, but I also don’t remember much about this show. But I remember feeling so scared I actually cried whenever the dog was in danger. Wishbone brought classic literature stories to life, and with a unique twist. He’s played the hunchback, robin hood, and I remember him dressing in a tux.

Watch if you want: to admire animal trainers and enjoy a retelling of well-known fables and stories.

Tiny Toon Adventures

I think I’ve watched this show as much recently as I did back then. But it still feels like stepping back into my elementary school days because of the animation style. A lot of the celebrity jokes go over my head because I still don’t know who those people are, but the character dynamics make the show relatable no matter what eon you’re from.

Tweety bird and Sylvester were soooo adorable. I actually remembered them more than the bunnies before I started rewatching.

Watch if you want: Classic toon humor that’s more appropriate for kids.

Rugrats

Rugrats 1991

Even though they’re babies, the adventures they went on in their own backyard were hilarious. And there’s enough humor for adults in here that my friend’s mom said she didn’t mind watching it with us every day when we were little. I say this a lot but this show really is a lot of fun. When was the last time you tried to capture the roaring monster that lives in the closet often called vacuum?

Watch if you want: family stories, adventure, and good friends.

Recess

Recess 1997

So. Much. Fun. This show mostly made me afraid that going outside during recess would make me melt and pass-out. I think this comes from one episode where the characters had to cross the entire schoolyard to get something, and some of them didn’t make it…

Watch if you want: good ol’ 90s stereotypes being shattered and amplified as characters face exaggerated challenges against unique villains.

Arthur

Arthur 1996

D.W. was annoying. I loved Buster. And Arthur taught me not to be afraid of losing my first tooth. An episode I remember most was when the character who’s usually a bully and gets bad grades spent a lot of time researching an artist and **SPOILER** discovered the local museum had the painting upside down. This show has characters with lots of different personalities and backgrounds. It reminds me of an animal version of Recess, but with more realistic problems.

Watch if you want: a family-friendly show that teaches the basics of being a nice person despite what life throws at you.

Dragon Tales

Almost like Dorthy going to Oz, these kids learn how to deal with the challenges of growing up in a magical realm. I wanted so badly to find a magical dragon scale and go to Dragon Land! Mostly I liked finding all the stranger creatures and helping the dragons with their dragon-problems.

Watch if you want: a cute kids show with magical creatures who have their own quirks to work through.

Timon & Pumbaa

Oh my gosh. Do you remember Boy Beaver and the “you break it you buy it” episode?! hahaha. Lots of bugs. Lots of exploring. I remember there was also modern tech in the jungle because of course these two would have all the latest and greatest marvels. This show is quirky, fun, and endearing. I watched this a lot with my dad so it must be good enough for adults too.

Watch if you want: (literally) wild adventures with some of your favorite Lion King characters.

The Magic School Bus

What kid, or adult, doesn’t think it’s cool to explore the inside of the human nose or a volcano?! (Lots of similarities.) If I remember correctly, this show was less about friendship-powers and more about science, and Arnold was annoying. Like seriously! It always works out in the end buddy. The Magic School bus taught me words like “condensation” and “eruption” long before it came around in school.

Watch if you want: to relive educational adventures and probably learn/remember a thing you forgot.

Sagwa The Chinese Siamese Cat

If you haven’t noticed yet, I love animal shows! And Sagwa combines beautiful characters and family values from a different cultural perspective. This show helps kids recognize that just because their family does something one way, someone else might do it another way. Sagwa got into lots of trouble, but with the help of her bat friend, she often got out of it or learned a valuable lesson.

Watch if you want: beautiful animation/colors with fun family values as told by cats.

Zoboomafoo

This show had claymation and live-action and puppets and maybe some 2D animation as well. All those things combine into a fun show that lets kids get to know about animals they may never get the chance to see in real life.

Side note: it was a bit challenging to find a picture with the puppet and the guys that looked cute and they weren’t just staring into the camera with plastered smiles.

Watch if you want: a show about animals and life lessons from the perspective of a Coquerel’s sifaka lemur.

VeggieTales

“Where’s God when I’m scared?” “Oh wheeeere is my hairbrush?” These songs shaped my past. As a kid, I never questioned how a cucumber with no arms was able to lift and move things. It wasn’t until the balcony scene in the Esther episode that questions were raised for the first time. Still, it’s so much fun to go back to the simple truths of the Bible and relax while watching a good show.

As an animation student, I’m impressed that this show used 3D tech when it was practically unheard of.

Watch if you want: a chill show about navigating life’s challenges while building a Christian perspective.

Between the Lions

I’m sure my love for literature and my “advanced proficiency” ratings came from this show. There’s so much repetition and fun skits that kids end up learning when they think they’re just watching an adventure.

Now that I’m older I appreciate the title’s pun. Never caught that as a kid.

Watch if you want: an educational show based on reading, grammar, and all things literature as we follow a family of lions that have to find a solution to some sort of crisis during the episode.

Lamb Chop’s Play-Along

I never, ever knew that Lamb Chop’s voice came from ventriloquism! I guess I was too young to wonder, “Hey, how is that puppet talking?!” I remember Lamb Chomp being what some would call contrarian. Maybe that’s where I get it from? It would take a lot of convincing to get the little puppet to sleep for nap time, and even before COVID it took a lot of convincing to get me out of the house.

Watch if you want: a kids show with good lessons and adventures that might be considered “calming.”

Pinky and the Brain

I’m re-watching this show and it’s still funny and cute, but I’m surprised at home many of the jokes relate to BIG issues today. In the first couple of episodes the show pokes at racism and sexual-harassment being too common. There are stereotypes and not-so-polticially-correct humor, but in the words of Disney+, “it may contain outdated cultural depictions” so please forgive them.

My friend loves that this show has the typical genius pairs with goofball, but unlike most depictions, they’re good friends.

The Brain: *explains elaborate plan to take over the world.* Any questions?
Pinky: If you could be any animal, what would it be?
The Brain: Oh, I’d have to say a hawk, Pinky, so I could soar through the sky, catch little white mice in my sharp talons and feed them to my young.
Pinky: Oooh… That’s just weird, Brain.

Watch if you want: a fun show that kids, teens, and adults can enjoy.

The Pink Panther Show

If I remember correctly, Pink Panther episodes are almost entirely without words. It teaches kids to pay attention to body language, and has relatable themes that give this show global appeal. The scene in the image above has such bold contrast that I actually remember it the most out of all the episodes. I was such a fan of this show that my aunt gave me 5 VHS tapes for it. Feeling old yet? I am.

Watch if you want: a show that leaps over language barriers yet is still filled with relatable humor and has a hero who is content to live a simple life.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Avatar the Last Airbender 2005 – If you know me, you might be shocked that this show isn’t on the list. But I honestly watch this show more now than I did as a kid so it doesn’t feel attached to those good ol’ days anymore. Still an awesome show that everyone should at least try out.

The Care Bears 1986

Reading Rainbow 1983

The Angry Beavers 1997

Catscratch 2005

Strawberry Shortcake 2003

The Legend of Tarzan 2001 – This show had such a short run I can’t even find it on the “where to watch” sites. But every morning before we walked to school we would go to Eric’s house and he had this show on.

Hey Arnold 1996 – you can’t search “90s tv show” without this one popping up. Although I watched it a couple of times, I was never drawn in by this show as much as the others on this list.

Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi 2004

Cow and Chicken 1997

American Dragon Jake Long 2005

The Proud Family 2001

Cory in the House 2007

Bill Nye the Science Guy 1993

Rugrats: All grown up 2003

Clifford the Big Red Dog 2000

Blues Clues 1996

I love Lucy 1951

The O.C. 2003 – Definitely not a kid’s show, but it does deal with a lot of political/social issues we’re facing as a society right now.

CatDog 1998

Samurai Jack 2001

Did I leave out your favorite?

Let me know! I might have missed it and not even be aware of how incomplete my childhood was without it.

Meet the author
Founder - Art Director - Student | Website

Book progressBucket list

Karianne is the founder of Windmill Ways. She plays the cello professionally and currently works as an Art Director for a charity. Because she loves animated shows and kids movies, she finished her BFA in 3D Animation with the class of 2020. Her dream vacation would be just staying home, but "home" being a glamorous cabin somewhere in the mountains surrounded by forest.

Favorite band: Lord Huron
Favorite book: This Present Darkness
Favorite quote: "Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail." Proverbs 19:20-21 (NLT)

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