We’re having a bit of a 90’s revival in our house right now, reflecting on the good ol’ days thanks to YouTube, as I take my kids down memory lane and some of the best kids telly EVER made. I’m so pumped, I’ve very nearly drawn a Cindy Crawford style beauty spot above my lips in excitement.

I’m personally loving reliving my youth through my kids (you gotta love procreation), and it’s even more fun than the first time round, going right back to being your tween/teen self but with all accumulated wisdom, and threaded brows of a 34 year old.

Damn it, I still want to win prizes in the Fun House and marry Joey Lawrence (kinda).

Below, I’ve featured some of the best 90’s back catalogue we’re getting through, and more too that’s on the watch list.

Looking back at these shows, I’m hoping current TV execs might consider re-commissioning some of them, yes we have some stellar kids TV (hello Horrible Histories I’m looking at you) but I really miss the simplicity of Woof and the knowing humour of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and well, life was a little bit more fun back in the day wasn’t it?

Sure, the lack of responsibility, my crush on Zack from Saved by the Bell and The Prince of Bel Air theme tune helped, but the heroes in the narratives in these shows, the kids, were truly empowered, and empowering. Wise beyond belief (even the babies in Rugrats), I admired the protagonists here, and with fewer shows thanks to terrestrial tv, the schedules seemed more considered and the quality, when it came to storytelling, pretty immense.

So, here’s my list:

1. Fun House

Pat Sharp was a witty chap on that show, the twins a bit irritating it must be said, but those prizes hold up today (not the walkman, forget the walkman) but the 4 day trips to New York were the bomb, and my kids were literally squealing at all the food throwing, go-karting madness that makes this show a classic.

2. Woof

A cute series with ‘boy turns into dog’ mayhem that took me right back to my school dog-envying days. My 5 year old immediately asked me if could become a pooch too. Erm, that will be a no. Licking bowls of milk from the floor appeased him. Be warned.

3. Rugrats

Those high pitched, nasal voices and loveable munchkins with wild imaginations never get old (literally). I’m still scared of Angelica and I’m sad I didn’t name my firstborn Tommy. What was I thinking? My kids adore this bunch, and yours will too.

4. Saved by the Bell

Hot guys bar Screech (eek) and girl crushes abound (all), Saved by the Bell made me hate my parents for not moving to America so I could enjoy a diner rather than a dinner room, and go to ‘the dance’ every week. My parents sucked in the 90’s.

5. Dinosaurs

I loved this unconventional puppet family show, particularly Baby (what a cutie) and the forward thinking show themes touched a chord, even as a child, as they dealt with environmentalism, endangered species, the objectification of women, civil rights and a whole lot more through cleverly scripted comedy.

6. Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Another superpowered heroine in Sabrina who had that right mix of keeping it real and mesmerising magic. Her cat Salem was a little bit awesome too.

7. The Wonder Years

My brother looked so like Kevin as a kid, we were often stopped in the street in Leeds (I know) and asked if he was actually ‘the’ Fred Savage. What the heck Fred was doing in Yorkshire in 93 and why that didn’t go through northerner’s heads when they saw him, I know not. But back to the show, a rights of passage for us all as we experienced the sweet young love of Kevin and Winnie and the tough transition to adulthood. Although set in the 70’s, it stands the test of time, today.

8. Blossom

I wanted to be Six, Blossom’s motor-mouthed, floppy hat wearing bestie, and to marry Joey, the biggest heartthrob actor turned singer of the decade. Joseph Lawrence has now chopped off his American style highlighted hair and is no longer my type (shame). I still enjoyed crushing on him during the re-reruns though. I also have a secondary appreciation for Blossom’s hot Dad now too.

9. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

We knew Will Smith was heading for superstardom the minute this series was aired. An already popular rapper in the 80’s he was nearly bankrupt due to overspending when approached to headline the show-and for want of a less cheesier phrase, the rest is history.

Will plays a a fictionalized version of himself, a street-savvy teen from West Philadelphia who moves in with his rich aunt and uncle in their Bel Air mansion after fighting on a local basketball court. The clashes between them were laugh out loud funny, and of course always resolved but in a non-Hollywood chees ball kind of way, and those guys really taught us how to be good teens without losing our ‘cool’.

10. Spatz

A funny, well written, undervalued sitcom set in a fast food restaurant, that was a co-production between Canada and the UK made for clashing personalities and felt really fresh for its time. One you might have missed but well worth watching again now. Preferably with hot dogs and chips.

…I was born in 1980 and have a whole list of awesome 80’s telly to get through too. Worzel Gummidge and Super Gran anyone?

Remember the 90’s? I’d love to hear which kids telly rocked your world then?

Would love to hear your faves too.

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38 Responses

    • Mumstheword

      I loved Dinosaurs!!! Would have killed to go on Funhouse it get your own back. Eerie Indiana was a good one too and Clarissa explains it all. Ongbim so excited ha!!

  1. Nic

    I second Saved by the Bell. My brother and I were obsessed. I also loved Buffy and Dawsons Creek in the latter half of the 90s. Byker Grove was another awesome show, cementing my fear of paintballing!!

  2. Adam

    All of those. My kids are into Fresh Prince right now. The raccoons (was that 80’s though?), Trevor and Simon – “swing your pants”. Oh and Knightmare.

    • Adam

      Oh and if we’re adding more adult programmes, Quantum Leap, Buffy and my favourite show of all time ‘Third rock from the sun’.

  3. Suburban Mum | Read with me - May 2015 round up

    […] My favourite 90’s TV Shows Ahhh this post from Vicki over at Honest Mum brought back so many memories. Childrens TV back in the day rocked! If you’ve not had a read go check it out – you might find some of your favourites. Reading this post actually inspired me to create a list of my own but I am so behind I haven’t gotten round to writing it yet so watch this space! @honestmum […]

  4. kelly

    I recently found your blog via Mandy Rose and I love your posts. I look forward to reading a lot more of your blog in the future!

    • honestmum

      That is so lovely Kelly, thank you. I loved meeting Mandy and her gorgeous family in Jamaica, her blog rocks. Glad you’re enjoying mine x

  5. Elaine @ Entertaining Elliot

    Great post, takes me right back to my youth!! I was born in 81 so we are a similar age 🙂 I too loved Funhouse and wanted nothing more to go on it!! Other faves included Grange Hill, Byker Grove, Heartbreak High (remember that?!) and My So Called Life (Jared Leto is still my number 1 crush!). We never had cable tv and I was always really envious of my friend who had MTV, we used to go round her house at lunchtimes and watch it!

    • honestmum

      Oh yes to all of those, still love a Jared too, do you remember the Grind on MTV, my friends and I would dance in my living room to that and pretend we were in America xx

  6. susankmann

    I loved Supergran. Sabrina the teenage witch was my favourite show in the 90’s the actress is the same age as me in real life and I grew up with this and Clarissa Explains it all. I think everyone wanted to be six and marry Joey. Have you seen the show with Melissa and Joey it’s funny. Saved by the bell is great. x

    • honestmum

      Oh I loved that, she is amazing isn’t she! Haha I know we all loved Six, Joey was so hot! I want to see that show, he’s shaved his head?! x

  7. Ebabee

    Was a big fan of the Fresh Prince – so funny! Ooh and liked Sabrina too – such innocent fun! Such a great idea to expose kids to stuff you grew up with. I’ve just taught Anya to sing ‘Smelly Cat’! She obviously has no clue why we love it so much – Ok not quite exposing her to great shows but we’re so amused!

    • honestmum

      Haha brilliant, the 90’s rocked didn’t they. Friends, Fresh Prince, Sister Sister, I actually now want to be 15 again (I think)! x

  8. Mummy Fever

    I do this with my children a lot – we have done, SuperTed, Banana Man, T-Bag, Chocky, Wonder Woman, The Worst Witch 🙂

    • honestmum

      Oh just brilliant, so much fun isn’t it. Fab choices there. I love watching clips from classic films too especially musicals and I sing along, Bugsy Malone is brilliant for that!

  9. Izzie Anderton

    I loved The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air and managed to get my daughters hooked on it when they were older. I can’t believe how well it’s stood the test of time – still so very funny! Thanks for the reminder x

  10. Judy

    I see a lot of my faves on your list like Dinosaurs (that Baby!), The Fresh Prince, Blossom and Saved by the Bell. Other fave include:

    Are you afraid of the dark
    Sister Sister
    3rd Rock from the sun
    Married with Children

    And lots more

    There was one TV show with blond twins in High school and I can’t for the life of me think of the name of the show. One of the twins was called Jessica who was a nasty gal. Know which show I mean?

    • honestmum

      Gosh love all these too, that decade rocked didn’t it. Sweet Halley High? I was obsessed with the books too!

  11. Leslie Rickerby

    Oh wow some classics there!
    Spatz always made me laugh, and I totally wanted to go on funhouse. Do you remember a year or two ago, ITV did a Children’s TV Flashback weekend? I think it was for their 30th birthday or something but my friend and I hardly moved from the t.v for 2 days straight!
    Danger mouse was a lot funnier as an adult, you should check it out!

    • honestmum

      Oh yes I remember, think it was a huge ratings boost for them, I hope they do it again! Oh yes loved Danger Mouse, can’t believe I didn’t include that one x

  12. Maria @ Surburban Mum

    Love love love this post! You have listed so many of my favourites on here! We introduced Dinosaurs to E a while ago and he loves watching episodes of this on YouTube he finds baby shouting out “not the mama! not tbe mama!” absolutely hilarious! We also introduced him to Trap Door which is another one of his favourites – oh and Dungeons and Dragons!

    I may have to post up our favourites too – too many to choose from though! x

    • honestmum

      Oh yes Trap Door, how could I have missed that one?! Oh and Dungeons and Dragons, we were lucky to be kids in the 90’s weren’t we!

  13. Danielle.a

    I loved nickoledeon and all thier shows like rugrats, Sabrina and are you afraid of the dark. But my all time fav is keanan and kel. 🙂 xx

    • honestmum

      Did you?! Never mind, I came 4th in the North in Junior Masterchef (the auditions) but they only needed 3 for the show, my Dad was gutted!

  14. Fiona @ Free Range Chick

    I love that you’ve written this list, Vicki. I’m all about the old school TV shows, days of watching MTV and The Box (I had a healthy obsession with Aerosmith videos that got circulated in the mid-90s).

    Your picks are brilliant. My friend Vicky Trotter used to come over before school each day to catch an episode of Saved by the Bell. We were huge fans, and to this day I would still watch it. It did give me USA-envy. Not as much as The Wonder Years. My parents were in their 20s in the 70s, and I’ve always admired that era for the fashion and music. I was such a fan of The Wonder Years, even down to Joe Cocker’s stunning version of ‘With a Little Help from my Friends’.

    Fresh Prince… Amazing! Vicki, you are a true fan if you can rap the entire theme tune (I can).

    Right, I’m gonna be super spam and link the (really, really geeky) list I wrote for one of my first blog posts ever. It is really long so I will excuse anyone that zones out after the first paragraph, but here’s my top 10 childhood shows (not necessarily teen shows)

    • honestmum

      Loved this comment hun, agree with you on every point and I can definitely rap the theme tune, I now want a 90’s themed party where we watch episodes of all the classics, with a 90’s soundtrack/DJ, can you imagine the fun?! I’m about to hit the sack but will read your list tomorrow, excited, night darling x

  15. Lucy Bishop

    You’ve nailed it – most of my faves there! I also loved Kenan & Kel, Sister Sister, My Wife & Kids, The Racoons, The Moomins, and The Wild House on Cbbc! 😉 #memories

    • honestmum

      Oh gosh yes to all those, how could I have missed those out, think I should have done a Top 20! I miss all of those, badly. Hope a commissioner reads this post and get some remade and pronto x

  16. Charlotte Oates

    I feel like I missed something in my childhood as I’ve only seen on of those. I completely agree with Fun House, I used to watch it wondering how to apply to take part ( I would have been terrible at it so I’m glad I never did!).

    • honestmum

      Ooh would love to read your top 10, Fun House was amazing wasn’t it, they really need to remake that one. I wanted to go on it too!


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