These Shows Got You Through The Summer In The '90s

by Emily Lackey

Ah, summer. Sure, it’s great as an adult, but, really, nothing was like summer in the ‘90s. When you were a kid, summers were all about playing outside until late at night, sleepovers, and marathon watching your favorite shows as often as you could. Except marathon watching television had a different meaning back then. Instead of tuning in for hours of one show, you got — at most — an hour of the show you had waited for all morning. But that’s OK, because, during the that blissful time, there were plenty of ‘90s shows that you watched all summer long, until your pop culture heart was content.

And that’s what was so amazing about summer back then: No jobs, no homework, no school to attend. It was just endless amounts of time, and no one around to monitor it. And, sure, you went to friends’ houses and tried to get their older brothers to order you pizza, but you also watched a ton of TV. Admit it. So, don’t be surprised if this list of shows seems awfully familiar to you. They were the shows you watched as much as you could in the summer, after all. By the time fall came around, those endless hours of daylight turned into something far darker.

Enjoy this walk down memory lane and take some time in the future to really revisit all of your favorite summer shows.

1. Full House

In the ‘90s, it was all about whatever show was in syndication. And, thankfully for you, there were a ton of classics that would air in the afternoons. Riiiiight in between the news and the daytime talk shows.

2. Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air

Another syndicated goodie. Sometimes, these episodes were even available for marathon watching while you ate your breakfast.

3. Saved By The Bell

Summer was all about sleeping in, but, just in case you got a good night’s sleep, you may have still camped out in front of the TV with a box of cereal, a carton of milk, and that hour-long stretch of Saved by the Bell that was always on at 7 a.m.

4. Bewitched

What was up with all the shows your parents watched playing on repeat during the day? You never got Bewitched entirely, but you sometimes watched. Because it was either that or midday news.

5. The Simpsons

What you watched if your marathoning lasted all day and into the night.

6. Clarissa Explains It All

Another syndicated classic. Thankfully, Nickelodeon was super generous with the reruns in the summer.

7. Family Matters

A mid-afternoon treat after your all-day marathon.

8. The Mickey Mouse Club

I don’t remember when this was on, but I remember watching a lot of it during the summer.

9. My So-Called Life

Ah, those blissful days when MTV would air a My So-Called Life marathon. You'd closed the door for these, just in case your parents or your annoying siblings overheard.

10. Roseanne

You didn’t understand half the jokes, but you loved watching her serve up those family dinners at the beginning of every episode.

11. Doug

Another treat Nickelodeon always served up just in time in the afternoons.

12. Double Dare

Because the summer was always better with a little physical activity in it.

13. The Price Is Right

Please tell me I wasn’t the only one watching this as a kid, bidding on those prize packages as if I stood a chance at winning.

14. Any And All Soap Operas

Remember the summer that Marlena was inhabited by the devil on Days of Our Lives? I do.

15. The Rosie O’Donnell Show

A ‘90s classic, and also the only talk show you would watch. Remember when she had on Tom Cruise? This show was what everyone was talking about back in the ‘90s, and you were so grateful in the summertime that you could finally watch it.

16. Sabrina The Teenage Witch

Even though it felt decidedly more autumn to be watching this, you definitely caught up on old episodes happily during the summer.

17. Seinfeld

This one was formative. Where else do you think you got your charming wit and love of diner food?

I think this calls for a major marathon day. Queue up your favorite streaming service, and get to watching these summer favorites.

Image: NBC