Top 10: TV shows that ’90s kids will remember

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Vina Cristobal

Vina Cristobal

Below are the top ten popular television shows – among others – during the 90’s (in no particular order):

10. “Friends” (1994-2004): Whenever people talk about this popular sitcom, the irresistibly catchy theme song (The Rembrandt’s alt-rock hit “I’ll Be There For You”) may come to mind. “Friends,” which lasted for ten years on NBC’s primetime television line-up, revolved around six friends who live together in Manhattan. The show began in 1994 and had an array of future A-list stars, including Jennifer Aniston and Matt LeBlanc. In the show, these six friends dealt with the trials and tribulations of adult life, but the show ended after a decade on television.

9. “Rugrats” (1991-2004): The misadventures of a group of toddlers – or “dumb babies,” as the show’s character, Angelica Pickles, would say – became one of Nickelodeon’s most beloved television series. “Rugrats” depicted the lives of 1-year-old Tommy Pickles and his motley crew of babies, who can communicate full sentences and explore the world around them to each other while their parents are at work.

8. “SpongeBob SquarePants” (1999-present): The show about a childish yellow sponge who “lives in a pineapple under the sea” became Nickelodeon’s longest cartoon to air on television. In 1999, marine biologist and cartoonist Stephen Hillenburg introduced the idea of the title character, SpongeBob Squarepants, who is a cheerful 20-something sponge who goes on adventures with his friends in the fictional underwater town of Bikini Bottom.

7. “Dexter’s Laboratory” (1996-2003): The successful Cartoon Network program detailed the extraordinary life of 8-year-old Dexter, a child prodigy with a secret laboratory in his room. A running gag that most fans of the show remember is the conflict between Dexter and his idiotic older sister, Dee Dee. The show ran for a total of four seasons, and mainly involved episodes featuring Dexter, his family and his friends.

6. “CatDog” (1998-2005): It’s a common belief that cats and dogs are naturally sworn enemies. In 1998, Nickelodeon contradicted that idea by introducing “CatDog,” a show about a conjoined cat and dog – appropriately named Cat and Dog – who are also brothers. Cat is the smarter, more sophisticated character, while Dog is dimwitted and happy-go-lucky.  The show also had a TV movie, “CatDog: The Great Parent Mystery,” which showed Cat and Dog on a quest to find their real parents – leaving us to wonder: who would give birth to a CatDog?

5. “Boy Meets World” (1993-2000): This ABC sitcom premiered in 1993 and told the story of Philadelphia teen Cory Matthews and his coming-of-age tale. People who grew up in the ‘90’s may have learned important life lessons from this show, since it tackles relationships, friendships and other issues that teenagers were facing during that time.

4. “Pokemon” (1999-present): This Japan-based series – based on the Nintendo game “Pocket Monsters” – has become one of America’s most beloved anime. During the ‘90’s, only 150 Pokemon existed, compared to the current number of 649. The series is about 10-year-old Ash Ketchum from fictional Pallet Town, whose goal is to be the best Pokemon trainer. Along with his pet Pokemon and best friend, Pikachu, he ventures through different towns to earn badges from Pokemon battles.

3. “The Powerpuff Girls” (1998 – 2008): “Sugar, spice and everything nice – these ingredients were made to make the perfect little girls. But Professor Utonium added an extra ingredient to the concoction: Chemical X,” says the narrator at the beginning of every episode of this action-packed Cartoon Network show. The 1999 show focuses on the lives of three 5-year-old girls, Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup, who have been accidentally designed by Professor Utonium. The super-powered, crime-fighting trio protects the crime-filled city of Townsville from villains while trying to be normal children.

2.  “Hey Arnold!” (1996-2004): This Nickelodeon hit depicts the life of Arnold, a fourth-grader who lives with his paternal grandparents in an apartment in the city. Arnold, an idealistic kid, is the one person that all the characters rely on for help. Each episode shows Arnold – or occasionally, the other characters – going through some sort of predicament, but ends in Arnold solving the problem.

1. “The Amanda Show” (1999-2002): Before Amanda Bynes set out on a psychological rampage, she started her eclectic acting career on Nickelodeon. After being a recurring cast member on the ‘90’s sketch comedy “All That,” Bynes launched her own television program in 1998. This Nickelodeon comedy followed the same sketch comedy format, and included fellow Nickelodeon stars Drake Bell and Josh Peck (who would later on move onto their own successful spin-off, “Drake and Josh”). The show ended in 2002 after three seasons.