11 TV Shows To Watch If You Loved 'Clarissa Explains It All' Back In The '90s

If you were a girl growing up in the '90s, you probably got a lot of your life advice and fashion sense from a spunky blonde teenager named Clarissa Darling. Each week on Nickelodeon's Clarissa Explains It All, Melissa Joan Hart would guide us through the normal teenage problems like annoying siblings and bullies. Now, this seems commonplace — but back then, Clarissa Explains It All was ahead of its time. As creator Mitchell Kriegman told Mental Floss in 2014, Clarissa was “the Ferris Bueller of girldom, but also kind of Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes." Notice, the comparisons are both male. In 1991, when Clarissa debuted, there weren't any female teenage protagonists like Clarissa Darling who were smart, opinionated, and down to earth. Not to mention, who had a pet alligator named Elvis. While you can revisit the classic series on Nickelodeon's nostalgia block called The Splat, there's also a ton of other shows that share similarities with Clarissa Explains It All .

Clarissa was pegged as just a regular girl, but, as Buzzfeed made clear in 2014, Clarissa was anything but ordinary. She was "a relatable teenage girl who didn’t talk down to her demographic, but was still unequivocally a kid," and she broke the fourth wall to have a conversation with anyone watching. The life lessons she handed out always made it clear it's important to be yourself, no matter what anyone else thinks. She was unapologetic, which was bold for a female protagonist of her age. It's something that becomes even clearer as you get older and realize these kind of women on TV aren't easy to come by so when you do find them, you need to treasure them.

Keeping that in mind, here are 11 TV shows starring characters not named Clarissa that are bound to satisfy anyone who wishes there was still someone around to explain it all.

1. Blossom

If you were a true '90s kid, you were probably watching both of these shows at the same time. But, for those a little younger, just know Blossom Russo and Clarissa Darling were too good to be true for any little girl looking for a television role model. While Clarissa Explains It All kept things pretty G-rated (it was on Nickelodeon, after all) Blossom dealt with some pretty serious issues from substance abuse to abandonment to menstruation.

Blossom is also the reason so many young girls were obsessed with big floppy flower hats. You had to be there to understand.

Where To Watch? Remember DVDs? Well, that's the only real way to watch them for now — well, at least, the first two seasons — since the show isn't streaming anywhere. Though, we won't tell if you decide to illegally download them.

2. Lizzie McGuire

Hilary Duff's Disney Channel character from the early 2000s seems like the direct disciple of Clarissa Darling: an imaginative dreamer who isn't afraid to break the fourth wall with a little help from her cartoon conscience to explain it all. Lizzie wasn't perfect, in fact, she's pegged as just a normal girl living a very normal life — though she was pretty great at rhythmic gymnastics — but she influenced a whole generation of young girls and guys to be themselves, no matter what that meant.

Where To Watch? All 65 episodes are available to stream at video.disney.com

3. iCarly

This Nickelodeon show that debuted in 2007 was like Clarissa 2.0. Carly Shay was also just a young girl trying to figure things out, and where Clarissa spoke directly to the audience, Carly used her online show to address the public. It was a cool modern way to connect Carly with her audience that showed how smart and capable our female protagonist was. Yes, she was in-charge of her own show, no one was telling her what to do. Like Clarissa Explains It All, this Nick show was something parents and their kids could watch. Though I'm sure some child-less adults also enjoyed watching it.

Where To Watch? Amazon

4. Daria

Like Clarissa, Daria Morgendorffer was always being herself. Some had a problem with that, but she never did. It was a lesson for anyone who wasn't sure where they fit in. Like Clarissa, Daria showed it's better to stand out.

Where To Watch? Hulu

5. The Mindy Project

Straight talking, great fashion sense, trying to figure out this crazy world we live in on her own terms. Sure, Mindy Kaling may be a bit older than Clarissa, but she's still trying to figure it out.

Where To Watch? Hulu

6. New Girl

Clarissa was quirky; Jess is adorkable. That said, they're both learning as they go along. While Clarissa helped teens find themselves, Zooey Deschanel's Jess shows that as you get older, you can still feel a little lost.

Where To Watch? Netflix, Hulu

7. Bob's Burgers

Tina and Louise would really like Clarissa Darling, no question. The sisters Belcher are some of the strongest female characters on TV unafraid to say and do what they like. They're also unapologetic (especially Louise) about who they are. Dare I say, these young women may even be able to teach Clarissa a few things.

Where To Watch? Netflix, Hulu

8. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

After being freed from a bunker after 15 years, Kimmy Schmidt could probably learn a few things from watching Clarissa Explains It All. With all her neon and floral print, Kimmy would also probably find her true fashion icon.

Where To Watch? Netflix

9. Miranda

This British television show, Miranda Hart plays a semi-autobiographical version of herself, a woman who is constantly getting into awkward situations that she has to find her way out of. Just as a whole group of young girls learned a few things about growing up from Clarissa, Miranda could teach us all a few things about being an adult. Especially, when things aren't necessarily going your way.

Where To Watch? Hulu

10. Girl Meets World

With its second season, this Boy Meets World spin-off has basically become Clarissa Explains It All. And like Paste recently explained, this isn't a bad thing at all — especially, if they keep going in that direction. The show's badass feminist star Rowan Blanchard seems like the perfect answer for all those tweens going into adulthood in 2016 who are looking for a role model.

Where To Watch? Disney Channel

11. Broad City

The Comedy Central sitcom starring Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer is basically a much raunchier, mature version of Clarissa Explains It All.

Where To Watch? Hulu, Amazon

Think of these female-driven shows as modern disciples of the teachings of Clarissa. She explained it all, and these ladies definitely seemed to be listening.

Images: Nickelodeon; Giphy (9)