If there was one thing that I absolutely loved to do as a kid in the '90s, it was to make a giant bowl of snacks and sit myself in front of my TV for hours. Concerned grown ups would tell me that this was deeply unhealthy behavior, but they obviously just didn't understand how great TV could be for kids back then. After all, this was the era which gave us Nickelodeon and The Disney Channel, and we were totally spoiled with choices of things to watch as a result. There were oodles of popular '90s kids shows which everyone loved, but there were also total outsider shows which just didn't quite glean the same amount of attention. These are '90s kids shows which deserved more love than they got, and which, if I had it my way, would have remained on TV for far longer than they actually did.
I'm still mystified as to why some of these '90s kids shows had a weird, cult status surrounding them and why they were never quite embraced as the classic shows that they truly are. Many of them are quirky, sure, and a lot of them might have even been verging on being totally obnoxious, but the majority of them hold a dear place in my heart because they were actually, totally amazing.
1. California Dreams
It just didn't get cooler than this Californian band of high schoolers, united by music and their love for emoting the hard-hitting morals and emotions of each episode into song.
It was your average nuclear family sitcom, with the added bonus of A) being Pre-Historic and B) featuring supremely sassy dino-puppets. What more did America want?
3. Bug Juice
Bug Juice was my jam, guys. Following the true life adventures of kids at summer camp, the show was fun, felt totally real, and was utterly relatable. Sadly, it only ran for three seasons before being cancelled. I'm not still not over it.
4. Sweet Valley High
Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield forever, y'all. If you were as obsessed with Francine Pascal's original series of YA books after which the show was made, then you were likely totally in love with this TV adaptation of them. Sadly, I remember a lot of kids completely hating on it at the time, which, like, really hurt my feelings.
Easily one of the most underrated game shows that Nickelodeon had on it's pretty spectacular roster. If you didn't desperately want to be a contestant on Guts, then I didn't want to know you, my friend.
6. Pinky And The Brain
Without a doubt, this cartoon had one of the greatest theme tunes and most perfect comedy partnerships between it's two poorly matched central characters. Although every episode would inevitably end with Pinky having ruined The Brain's plan to take over the world yet again, it was impossible not to absolutely howl with laughter ever time.
7. Darkwing Duck
So unappreciated, this cartoon about a heroic duck in a ridiculously fly costume was a Saturday morning favorite, which sadly, wasn't ever as popular as it deserved to be.
8. Eerie, Indiana
So weird, so creepy, so magical. There was only ever one single season made of Eerie Indiana, which is still too heartbreaking for me to even fathom without scrunching my hand into a fist and yelling loudly at things. This show was one of a kind and deserved so much more love and popularity than it ever received during it's original run.
Did anyone else used to run around their neighborhood, solving crimes with their friends whilst enlisting the help of an imaginary "ghost" pal? Because I did, and let me tell you, that was a golden era of street games. I'll never forget you Ghostwriter, even though countless others did.
10. Breaker High
Notable for being the first time that your eyes ever made you go cuckoo over Ryan Gosling, but also for the fact that Breaker High was a school located on a luxury cruise liner. And damn, it sure made your own educational experience seem pretty damn boring by comparison.
11. Legends Of The Hidden Temple
Okay, so Legends Of The Hidden Temple actually seemed way popular when we were kids. But what I still can't understand is why the original episodes only got made between '93 and '95. This show should still exist today. You know it and I know it, and that makes me sad.
This show should be revered as a total classic cartoon by now. I remember having so many arguments with kids who found the quirky antics of Animaniacs too annoying and zany to bother with, and you know what? They were totally wrong. Animaniacs was, and remains to be, totally awesome.
13. The Adventures Of Pete And Pete
So many kids just didn't get The Adventures Of Pete And Pete. It could be a little offbeat, both highbrow and lowbrow, but it also featured the sort of insane cameos and references (Debbie Harry and Iggy Pop both guest starred, for instance) which immediately put it into this show is totally weird territory. But to those of us who did get it, it was truly the best show ever.
14. Space Cases
This Canadian science-fiction show for kids was the bomb. And yes, the sets were clearly put together with objects which were less futuristic looking and more something I picked out of the recycling bin last night and glued together at the last minute, but that only made the series all the more endearing. The cheapness of the show also didn't deter from how powerful, cool and even emotional the show was for kids. It was truly something else, and I miss it.
I want all of these shows to make a grand return asap. They might not have been quite as popular as they deserved to be, but to the people who did watch them religiously, they were definitely beloved.
Images: Hearst Entertainment