The 15 Best TV Shows From the '90s and How To Watch Them Now (2021)

All the shows you grew up loving and still have a soft-spot for.
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Every '90s baby knows '90s television was the best. TV in the '90s didn't have the amazing CGI or big budgets today's television often has, but it paved the paths for some of the most well-known actors, actresses, and shows on TV today. '90s television wasn't as instantly gratifying as today's television is. You couldn't go on Netflix and binge four seasons of a show in a couple of days (unless you owned them on VHS). You waited all week for an episode to air so you could sit in the living room as a group with your friends and family, and watch that show you can't get enough of. Or you went to Blockbuster (one of the big businesses from the '90s to disappear) and had to get like 20 different VHS tapes to watch the reruns.

'90s TV brought the whole family into one room, because most families didn't have multiple televisions in the home in the '90s. It brought people and families together. Some of my favorite memories growing up are laughing in front of the TV with my dad and big brother, or building a blanket fort with my brothers and watching our favorite show, or sitting on the floor eating snacks and watching my little brother get lost in his favorite series. We'd grab some nostalgic snacks and just enjoy.

Of course, not all TV shows are created equal. Some TV shows from the '90s became cult classics, are still popular today, are handed down to younger generations, and some hold a soft spot in our hearts, becoming a fond memory and making us feel warm and nostalgic inside. Whatever the case, some '90s television shows remain loved, while others faded into history.

Here are some of the most memorable and my 15 favorite television shows from the '90s ranked from 15 to 1, and find out where you can watch them today!

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Living Single
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Living Single has been getting a lot of attention lately for being before its time, and the truth is: it was. In a time that lacked black representation, Living Single was funny, like really funny. It was one of the only sitcoms on television that provided representation for black comedians and black women writers. The relationships on Living Single were what we watched the show for. Friendships that could withstand anything. Steamy romances we were all envious of. It was the funny, dynamic show of the '90s its audience couldn't get enough of. Humor and light-heartedness made us leave every episode ready to make friends (even us introverts).

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Living Single
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The final scene, that goodbye moment, was iconic. It honored each actor and their character, it reflected on all they had been through, and, most importantly, it honored their unique friendships. Everyone who has ever binged a show knows the final scene can make or break a series. If it's not a scene that delicately honors the show, shows respect to the plot and characters, and gives the audience some closure, we fans are not happy. The writers that wrote that final episode managed to honor the show, provide us fans that necessary closure, and give us that warm, fuzzy feeling inside, making us want to start the series all over again.

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Dates aired

The show aired from August 1993 - January 1998, with a total of five hilarious seasons.

Where you can watch Living Single today

  • Hulu
  • Apple TV
  • Philo
  • Amazon Prime
  • Vudu
  • iTunes
My So-Called Life
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Claire Danes and Jared Leto were it. Lovely, grunge fashion. Heartbreaks. Young love. Overcoming inner demons. Coming of age. Amazing, complicated friendships. Thoughtful teachers. Real-life, internal struggles. High school drama. My So-Called Life has been rewatched many times in my home, partially because of nostalgia and partially because the love story and coming of age aspects of the show haven't aged over the years. They still remain relevant in 2021.

If you are a '90s baby and you never watched My So-Called Life, change that right now, please!

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My So-Called Life
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The moment Jordan realizes he loves Angela is beyond iconic. The look on his face as it dawns on him that he loves her was so gratifying for the team Angela and Jordan fans who knew if Jordan could open his eyes, he would see how perfectly perfect they were for one another. While Jordan didn't always treat Angela the way she deserved, what was between them was real, and Jordan was overcoming his own demons, their imperfect love story and the happy ending were iconic.

Also, everyone should take a brief moment to appreciate the iconic, grunge '90s fashion. Thanks.

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Dates aired

The show aired from August 1994 - January 1995, with a total of one short season.

Where you can watch My So-Called Life today

  • Hulu
  • Amazon Prime
  • Abc (free)
  • Vudu
  • iTunes
  • Youtube
Boy meets World
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Boy Meets World was the coming of age, hence the name, we all fell in love within the '90s. The cast starts young, on the brink of young adulthood, and as an audience, we had the privilege to sit from the comforts of our homes and watch them grow along with us. Many of the struggles experienced between friends, as students, and as humans were ones we could all relate to. Liking someone for the first time and being terrified to do anything about it. Poverty. Bullying. Friendship. Family struggles. Everyone found a character they could relate to that kept us watching the show.

Watching Topanga and Cory's love story grow, watching Shawn battle his demons, and seeing how the friendships changed over time was always moving and special. Also, Topanga's hair. She had amazing hair.

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Boy Meets World
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The hospital scene. After a bit of teenage angst, impulsive words, and a spat, Johnathan Turner (Shawn's mentor and teacher) gets into a motorcycle accident, and what follows is heartbreaking and beautiful. Shawn is the underdog of the show. He isn't the star. He battles poverty. He battles a lack of support in the home and isn't as privileged as some of his friends, and while he needs help, he also rebels against it at times.

When he finds out that his teacher and good friends were in an accident after their awful fight, he is terrified of losing him and knowing the last words they shared were out of anger. The vulnerability he displays talking to him in the hospital was iconic. It's one of the scenes I always recall when I think of the show, though there are many that come to mind. The classroom scene that the show ends on is another iconic scene and a fitting ending to this coming of age show. Everyone loved Mr. Feeny.

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Dates aired

The show aired from September 1993 - May 2000, with a total of seven seasons. Girl Meets World, a spin-off of the beloved show, aired June 2014 - January 2017.

Where you can watch Boy Meets World today

  • Apple TV
  • Disney +
The Wayans Bros
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The Wayans Bros had pure talent, and the show was a direct reflection of that. They were funny, but there were also many sweet, heartfelt moments in the show, making the show more dynamic and relatable. Pop was the brother's wacky mentor and owned Pop's diner. The brothers managed to make a name for themselves, build lives, overcome hardships, and dating, to get themselves into many ridiculous and hilarious scenarios. Those scenarios are what kept us watching. We wanted to know what they would get themselves into next.

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The Wayans Bros
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The Wayans Bros were major '90s icons. They were funny, absolute heartthrobs, and seemed to have it all. How these five brothers managed to have so much talent all in one family is beyond me, but in the '90s and '00s, we were all collectively in awe of them. Though this show did not include all of the Wayans Bros, it starred two of my favorite Wayans Bros, Shawn, and Marlon. They made a brand for themselves, starred in several movies, starred in several television shows, appeared in SNL, and seemed to be unstoppable. I'm genuinely curious what they weren't good at.

When I think of The Wayans Bros, I always think of the scene where they give a speech at Mr. Gibb's funeral. They always managed to blend humor with just a small amount of heartwarming, and it's what made them such iconic siblings.

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Dates aired

The show aired from January 1995 - May 1999, with a total of five seasons.

Where you can watch The Wayans Bros today

  • Sling TV
  • HBO Max
  • Apple TV
  • Amazon Prime
  • Google Play
  • iTunes
Twin Peaks
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Twin Peaks is the Riverdale of the '90s, but better. Mystery. Thriller. Horror. Coming of age. Twin Peaks is the high school thriller we all lived to watch in the '90s, and it undoubtedly paved the way for shows like Riverdale. Twin Peaks was, however, more psychological than Riverdale. There was a bit more mystery, a bit more left unsaid, a bit more to figure out as the writers left breadcrumbs for the show's fans.

The fashion, the hair, the makeup was all so fresh and beautiful for the time, some of it currently making a comeback in today's trends. Some of the great actors and actresses of our time starred in Twin Peaks. Madchen Amick (also on Riverdale), Sherilyn Fenn, Kyle MacLachlan, David Duchovny (from The X Files), Naomi Watts, and Laura Flynn Boyle are just part of the proof that Twin Peaks had an incredible cast.

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Twin Peaks
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There were many iconic moments, iconic actors and actresses, and iconic fashion choices in Twin Peaks. Still, for me, the most iconic moment in Twin Peaks is the classroom scene, when the classroom realizes Laura is not there and the police stop in to tell the teacher what has happened (I won't go into detail to avoid spoilers). The collective mix of emotions, the broken pencil, the amazing acting on the part of Lara Flynn Boyle playing Donna, who can't suppress her heartbreak, and the silence of this scene is beautifully done. Though nothing is said definitively about what happened in this scene, the words aren't needed. It's written so well that words aren't needed. The tragedy is implied, and the reactions of the teacher and those close to Laura say everything.

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Dates aired

The show aired from April 1990 - May 1991, with a total of three seasons. However, Twin Peaks came back around for a third season in 2017.

Where you can watch Twin Peaks today

  • Netflix
  • Hulu
  • Amazon Prime
  • Paramount + (formerly known as CBS)
  • iTunes
  • Youtube

Tales from the Crypt
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Tales from the Crypt is the '90s version of Black Mirror. I love Black Mirror, don't get me wrong, but it was Tales from the Crypt that paved the way for dystopian sci-fi shows like Black Mirror. Tales from the Crypt was creepy, intriguing, and strangely addicting. I've rewatched each of the tales many times over the years, and each time is like watching them for the first time.

Despite the creepy intro and narrator (Crypt Keeper), Tales from the Crypt was not a scary show. It was sci-fi, dark humor, thriller, suspense, with a creepy vibe, but it wasn't any scarier than Black Mirror is. Tales from the Crypt still has a cult following because of the iconic cast, memorable narrator, sci-fi subject matter, and suspenseful tales.

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Tales from the Crypt
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Demi Moore, Tim Curry, Daniel Craig, John Kassir (Crypt Keeper), Jason London, and Kelly Preston all cast in different episodes of Tales from the Crypt. All iconic actors in the '90s helped establish its cult following, but the intro to Tales from the Crypt, and the Crypt Keeper, were the true icons in Tales from the Crypt. If you never had nightmares of the Crypt Keeper as a kid, or the show didn't give you goosebumps when he laughed his shrill laugh, you missed out.

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Dates aired

The show aired from June 1989 - July 1996, with a total of seven seasons.

Where you can watch Tales from the Crypt today

  • iTunes
Sabrina the Teenage Witch
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Sabrina the Teenage Witch was the witchy coming of age show I couldn't live without. I wanted to be Sabrina, living in the house with her kooky but loving aunts, learning magic, and hanging out with her cat Salem. Salem always ate too much. Sabrina was always getting revenge on the bullies and popular kids that thought they were better than everyone else. We watched Sabrina grow into a smart, self-sufficient young witch and fall in love with Harvey (a total heartthrob).

Bottom line, Sabrina was the teenage witch I wanted to be when I grew up.

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Sabrina the Teenage Witch
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Melissa Joan Hart was an iconic actress in the '90s. She was quirky, sarcastic, had great hair, and starred in multiple shows and movies. She had the butterfly hair clips, zig-zag hair part, low-rise flares, and cute cardigans. Of course, I tried to do my hair like hers, and dress like her, and if I could have made it happened, I would have gotten a talking cat too.

Anybody who watched the show most likely remembers it for all the tests Sabrina had to pass. The true love test was an iconic episode and probably one of my favorite to date.

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Dates aired

The show aired from September 1996 - May 2000 on ABS with a total of four seasons. The last three seasons ran on The WB from September 2000 - April 2003. There was a darker, less comical revival called The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina that aired from October 2018 - December 2020.

Where you can watch Sabrina the Teenage Witch today

  • Hulu
  • Paramount + (formerly known as CBS)
  • Amazon Prime
  • Apple TV
  • Google Play
  • Youtube
All That
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Am I the only one singing the theme song for this show right now? "Now, this is just an introduction before I blow your mind, the show is All of That, and yes, we do it all the time." You get the point. It's a part of me now, stored in some secret cabinet in my brain, and if you watched the show as much I did, you know what I mean. It was funny, fresh, young, and vibrant. I was in love with the cast and their characters, and I still am.

All That had a diverse, iconic cast (in reference to the original cast, of course) and iconic skits.

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All That
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Kel Mitchell. "Welcome to Good Burger, home of the good burger. Can I take your order?" Sound familiar? Keenen & Kel were so popular that they had their own spinoff show appropriately named Keenan & Kel. They were a silly duo, polar opposites, and together they made the iconic duo that was Keenan & Kel. They were so popular there was even a Good Burger movie. Iconic.

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Dates aired

The show aired from April 1994 - November 2006. The show then relaunched January 2002 – October 2005. Did you know that it was recently revived in June 2019 and continues to play today? All That has a total of eleven seasons.

Where you can watch All That today

  • Vudu
Felicity
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Felicity followed a guy who didn't particularly notice her the way she wanted, to college. They weren't a couple. They were two worlds apart, with her focused on school and the future, and him popular and living each moment as if it was his last. Putting everything important to her, everything she ever wanted and worked for at-risk, she followed him, and all the drama and growth that comes after is Felicity.

Personally, I loved this show. I loved this show, even with Felicity's impulsive, controversial decision to follow a boy across the country. I appreciated that she was coming into herself, growing and that her decision to follow Ben was part of that. I loved it until I got to the end. If you haven't seen it, I won't spoil it for you, but if you've ever loved a show and binged it for days and days only to get to the ending you were praying wouldn't happen, you know what I mean. Had the ending been a bit more up to par with the rest of the show, ending in a way that honored Felicity's journey and coming of age more, it would have made it higher in the list.

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Felicity
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Two words. The haircut. Am I the only one who still celebrates and cringes the Felicity haircut? If you have ever had long hair and made the jump to chop it off, you can sympathize with her. There was so much emotion behind this iconic haircut. She followed a boy across the country, putting her future on the line, and here she was living for herself in this one, epic moment as her hair dropped to the floor around her.

Most people either loved it or hated it, but I was somewhere in between. I wanted to hug her and scream, "Finally!" She did something for her, her life, her body. It was brilliant. The look itself, however, I was not a fan of. Felicity's hair was such a huge part of her character, not to mention she had beautiful, naturally curly hair I was envious of.

The look, and the action itself, was so controversial it led to the show's downfall, losing too many fans to survive.

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Dates aired

The show aired from September 1998 - May 2002, with a total of four seasons.

Where you can watch Felicity today

  • Amazon Prime
  • Hulu
  • Abc (free)
  • Apple TV
  • Vudu
  • iTunes
Full House
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It wasn't just Kimmy Gibbler; everyone wanted to live in the Full House house. Uncle Joey was fun, funny, and super nurturing. Uncle Jessie was a heartthrob. Michelle was a cutie. Each family brought their own value to the home. The whole family seemed like the dream family, and even though the kids of Full House were growing up without one of their parents, the weird, wacky Full house family came together and made magic happen.

We learned life lessons, saw the family grow, come of age, and thrive together. Somehow, through the television, I felt like a part of the Full House family (by way of marrying Uncle Jessie, of course). However, Fuller House felt like a flop, a big one. There are some shows so sacred, reviving them feels wrong. Michelle wasn't there. The writing felt a bit unnatural. Fuller House didn't feel any fuller to me.

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Full House
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Despite Fuller House flopping, Full House still has a spot in every '90s baby's heart. Known for the unique family that filled the home, life lessons we all learned along the way, and the iconic catchphrases, Full House will always be one of the gems of '90s television.

How many iconic Full House catchphrases do you remember?

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Dates aired

The show aired from September 1987 - May 1995, with a total of eight seasons. However, as many of your know, the Netflix reboot, Fuller House, aired from February 2016 to June 2020.

Where you can watch Full House today

  • Hulu
  • Netflix (Fuller House)
  • fubuTV
  • Youtube
  • iTunes
  • Google Play
Family Matters
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Family Matters, the name telling all, was a heartwarming, funny family show. Carl Winslow, the head of the Winslow family, was a sometimes hear-headed dad who secretly had a huge heart, and when shown his faults and mistakes was not immune to owning up to them to be a better dad and man. Urkel was underappreciated, which always broke my heart. Richie Crawford was adorable. Harriette was forgiving and the glue of the family.

Family Matters was the perfect show to gather around the television with your family and laugh or cry or binge.

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Family Matters
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Speaking of iconic. The Steve Urkel to Stefan Urquelle transformation was something I waited for in every episode. Jaleel White managed to easily transform from what the '90s considered a major "nerd" to a smooth ladies' man. His transformation was always amazing to me. A butterfly freed from his cocoon. However, as handsome and smooth as Stephan was, I preferred Steve's sweet, eager, and pure love for Laura Winslow.

Every Family Matters fan knew that even though Stephan was the smooth one, Urkel was the sweet one who would take good care of Laura's heart.

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Dates aired

The show aired from September 1989 - July 1998, with a total of nine seasons. Though the show never got to air their tenth season, they planned to air the wedding between Urkel and Laura, which is the ending I think most of us wanted and deserved.

Where you can watch Family Matters today

  • Hulu
  • Vudu
  • Youtube
  • Google Play
  • iTunes
The Golden Girls
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Do you know what Golden Girls character you are?. You should. Golden Girls was funny, focused on strong, unique friendships, and had a wonderful cast and writers. Four women with different personalities, histories, and personal stories who lived in beautiful Miami.

What I appreciate most about Golden Girls is that it provided a spotlight for women who were comedians and talented actors at a time and industry that women who didn't have youth on their sides were overlooked. The Golden Girls featured strong women who didn't fit the mold, who were of "a certain age," in retirement, and weren't married or hadn't yet found "the one." Dorothy was stern with a secretly big heart. Blanche was promiscuous but incredibly loyal to her friends and lovable. Sophia didn't mince words and was quick to let people know how she felt. And Rose was the Golden Girls gem.

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Betty White is maybe one of the most beloved comedians and actresses of all time. Iconic doesn't even cut it. Betty White was the clueless sweetheart of The Golden Girls, and everyone wanted to be her friend. The friendship between The Golden Girls was iconic in and of itself. Anyone who watched the show thought, "This is how I would do it too., live in a house in sunny Miami with my best friends."

The Golden Girls
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Dates aired

The show aired from September 1985 - May 1992, with a total of seven seasons.

Where you can watch Golden Girls today

  • Hulu
  • Philo
  • fubuTV
  • Google Play
  • iTunes
Charmed
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Three strong, independent women who turn out to be witches, fighting demons and defeating evil. What's not to love? Even my grandpa loved Charmed, but I think that was because he had a crush on Alyssa Milano (he even bought me a Charmed poster). My point is, there was something in Charmed for everyone. The three sisters were so different from one another, each with their own witchy abilities, that every Charmed fan had their favorite, relatable character.

While some of the graphics and costumes, mostly the demons, were slightly iffy, I actually enjoy the current cheese factor of those costumes. We didn't always have amazing CGI graphics, and not every show had the budget for those types of effects but the show itself had great writing, relationships, and witchy subject matter.

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Charmed
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The cast, the fashion, the heartthrob boyfriends, the house the three sisters lived in were all iconic. Hollie Marie Combs played Piper, Alyssa Milano played Pheobe, and Rose McGowan played Paige. All iconic women in their own rights, with their own powers (making the power of three).

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Dates aired

The show aired from October 1998 - May 2006, with a total of eight magical seasons. Since then, the Charmed revival aired in 2018 and is still airing today.

Where you can watch Charmed today

  • Netflix
  • Hulu
  • Apple TV
  • Peacock (free)
  • fubuTV
  • Youtube
The X-Files
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Aliens, aliens, aliens. Demons. Ubermenschers. The fluke man. Ghosts. Creepy porcelain dolls. Gargoyles. If your mind can think it up, and it's remotely scary or creepy, it was probably already done on the X-Files. The creativity and the creepiness level achieved by The X-Files could not be rivaled in the '90s.

I remember sitting cross-legged on the floor with my big brother as he hummed and whistled The X-Files theme song dramatically. I remember hiding under the covers, tucking my feet in so the boogyman or a ghost or a demon couldn't get them, and still watching The X-Files because I couldn't get enough of Mulder and Scully and their creepy, suspenseful adventures. Hands down, best Sci-fi show ever.

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The X-Files
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Mulder and Scully were iconic FBI partners with a steamy romance that played second in importance to the supernatural plot but was secretly why a huge percentage of us were watching. X-Files fans hung onto the thread that was Mulder and Scully. Even though we loved all the supernatural creepiness and conspiracy theories, their relationship was the glue of the show. Without it, I'm not sure the show would have become the cult classic we now know it to be.

While the supernatural brought them together, it was also the supernatural that continuously threatened to tear them apart. The tension between them as their love grew, the supernatural that held them back, and their combined intelligence and skills as FBI agents and uncoverers of all supernatural made them iconic partners and an even more iconic couple.

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Dates aired

The show aired from September 1993 - May 2002, with a total of nine supernatural seasons. This cult classic was revived in January 2016 - March 2018.

Where you can watch The X-Files today

  • Hulu
  • Apple TV
  • Vudu
  • Google Play
  • iTunes
  • Youtube
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
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In spot number one, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is the show with a theme song any Fresh Prince fan knows by heart, give or take a word or two, and can sing on queue. I might not remember anything I learned in algebra, but that song is deeply embedded in my brain and not going anywhere anytime soon.

In a word, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was, and is, memorable. I can still picture particular outfits, scenes, characters in my minds-eye as vividly as some of my own memories and experiences. Without a reminder, I can recall the soothing bass of Uncle Phil's voice, the dice hanging from the taxi in the intro, and the glasses Jazzy Jeff wore.

But why was the show memorable? It's the show with everything. Fresh Prince made us laugh, made us cry, encouraged us to make embarrassing and questionable fashion choices, and featured an iconic cast with iconic scenes.

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Fresh Prince

In 1994, Fresh Prince aired one of the most iconic scenes in television's history when Will asks Uncle Phil, "How come he don't want me, man?" in reference to the father that was never there for him walking out on him yet again. It is the scene that broke the hearts of Americans everywhere. To this day, when someone mentions Will Smith or Fresh Prince, I remember this scene first. It's arguably the scene from '90s television I remember more than any other. Today, over 26 years later, it remains an iconic, honest moment tackling complex issues and pulling heartstrings.

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Dates aired

The show aired from September 1990 - May 1996, with a total of six seasons.

Where you can watch Fresh Prince of Bel-Air today

  • HBO Max
  • Amazon Prime
  • Apple TV
  • Vudu
  • Youtube
  • iTunes

NEXT: Check out 32 of the best TV show reboots of 2021

'90s cartoons were the best!
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‘90s cartoons were the best. They were funny, the art was epic, they were child-friendly (most of them at least), and they taught us millennials fundamental lessons that made us who we are today.