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The Best After School Shows from the '90s

Updated June 10, 2021 84.1k votes 5.0k voters 153.4k views83 items

List RulesVote up the most memorable classic '90s series targeted to kids who didn't even care about doing homework after school.

Everyone knows the 1990s were hands-down the best time to be a kid, because it had some of the most creative cartoons and kids shows around, especially when it came to '90s after-school shows. From Rugrats to Boy Meets World, many of the TV series listed here have transcended the nostalgia of the '90s era and remain timeless television classics even as adults. Which is the best '90s kids show of all time, you ask? Oh, dear reader, the answer is up to you and your inner child.

These are the shows you rushed to turn on the second you got home from school, before Mom and Dad started bugging you about homework and chores. Ugh, parents, right?! These '90s kids TV shows helped you unwind after a hard day at school, and you'll still enjoy them if you come across a rerun, hungover on your parent's couch after a raucous night back in town with your high school pals.

Rank the kid's shows from the 1990s that you loved then and love now. If you're not a child of the '90s, never fear: this list is a great resource for educating yourself on some quality TV.

  • 1


    Elizabeth Daily, Christine Cavanaugh

    PremieredAugust 11, 1991

    Rugrats is an American animated television series created by Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó and Paul Germain for Nickelodeon. The show focuses on a group of toddlers, most prominently Tommy, Chuckie,...  more

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  • 2

    Hey Arnold!

    Francesca Marie Smith, Jamil Walker Smith

    PremieredOctober 7, 1996

    Hey Arnold is an American animated television series created by Craig Bartlett for Nickelodeon. The show centers on a fourth grader named Arnold, who lives with his grandparents in a boarding house....  more

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  • 3


    Billy West, Fred Newman

    PremieredAugust 11, 1991

    Doug is an American animated sitcom created by Jim Jinkins. The show focuses on the early adolescent life of its title character, Douglas "Doug" Funnie, who experiences common predicaments while...  more

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  • 4

    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

    Will Smith, James Avery

    PremieredSeptember 10, 1990

    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is an American television sitcom that originally aired on NBC from September 10, 1990, to May 20, 1996. The show stars Will Smith as a fictionalized version of himself, a...  more

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  • 5

    Boy Meets World

    Ben Savage, William Daniels

    PremieredSeptember 24, 1993

    Boy Meets World (ABC, 1993) is an American television sitcom created by Michael Jacobs and April Kelly. An adolescent (Ben Savage) with two siblings tests his various theories about life as he...  more

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  • 6

    Tiny Toon Adventures

    Charles Adler, John Kassir

    PremieredSeptember 14, 1990

    Tiny Toon Adventures is an American animated comedy television series that was broadcasting from September 14, 1990 through May 28, 1995 as the first collaborative effort of Steven Spielberg's Amblin...  more

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  • 7


    Andrew Lawrence, Ashley Johnson

    PremieredAugust 31, 1997

    Recess is an American animated television series created by Paul Germain and Joe Ansolabehere. The series focuses on six elementary school students and their interaction with other classmates and...  more

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  • 8

    Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers

    Corey Burton, Peter Cullen

    PremieredMarch 4, 1989

    Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers is an animated television series produced by Walt Disney Television Animation. Created by Tad Stones and Alan Zaslove, it featured the established Disney characters Chip...  more

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  • 9

    Sabrina the Teenage Witch

    Melissa Joan Hart, Caroline Rhea

    PremieredSeptember 20, 1996

    Sabrina the Teenage Witch (ABC, 1996) is an American sitcom created by Nell Scovell and is based on the Archie comic book series of the same name. The show chronicles the adventures of Sabrina...  more

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  • 10

    The Simpsons

    Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright

    PremieredDecember 17, 1989

    The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical depiction of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by the...  more

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  • 11

    The Magic School Bus

    Lily Tomlin, Daniel DeSanto

    PremieredSeptember 11, 1994

    The Magic School Bus is a Canadian–American Saturday morning animated children's television series, based on the book series of the same name by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen. It is notable for its use...  more

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  • 12

    Are You Afraid of the Dark?

    Ross Hull, Raine Pare-Coull

    PremieredJuly 16, 1992

    Are You Afraid of the Dark? is a Canadian horror fantasy-themed anthology television series. The original series was created by D.J. MacHale and Ned Kandel, and was picked up by Nickelodeon in 1991....  more

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  • 13


    Stuart Pankin, Jessica Walter

    PremieredApril 26, 1991

    Dinosaurs is an American family sitcom that was originally broadcast on ABC from April 26, 1991 to July 20, 1994. The show, about a family of anthropomorphic dinosaurs, was produced by Michael Jacobs...  more

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  • 14


    Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell

    PremieredSeptember 13, 1993

    Animaniacs is an American animated television series, distributed by Warner Bros. Television and produced by Amblin Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation. Animaniacs is the second animated series...  more

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  • 15

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

    Sean Astin, Greg Cipes

    PremieredDecember 28, 1987

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is an animated television series produced by Murakami-Wolf-Swenson and the French company IDDH. The pilot was shown during the week of December 14, 1987 in syndication as...  more

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  • 16

    Rocko's Modern Life

    Carlos Alazraqui, Tom Kenny

    PremieredSeptember 18, 1993

    Rocko's Modern Life is an American animated television series created by Joe Murray for Nickelodeon. The series centers on the surreal life of an anthropomorphic Australian-immigrant wallaby named...  more

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  • 17


    R.L. Stine, Kathryn Short

    PremieredNovember 3, 1995

    Goosebumps is a Canadian horror fantasy anthology television series based on R. L. Stine's Goosebumps books. It was one of the two popular television horror anthology children's series in the...  more

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  • 18

    All That

    Chelsea Brummet, Jack De Sena

    PremieredApril 16, 1994

    All That is an American sketch comedy television series created by Brian Robbins and Mike Tollin. The series originally aired on Nickelodeon from April 16, 1994 to October 22, 2005, lasting ten...  more

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  • 19


    Jim Cummings, Tom Kenny

    PremieredApril 4, 1998

    CatDog is an American animated television series created by Peter Hannan for Nickelodeon. The series depicts the life of conjoined brothers, with one half being a cat and the other a dog. Nickelodeon...  more

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  • 20


    J.T. Turner, Melissa Altro

    PremieredOctober 7, 1996

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  • 21

    Kenan & Kel

    Kenan Thompson, Kel Mitchell

    PremieredJuly 15, 1996

    Kenan & Kel is an American teen comedy sitcom created by Kim Bass for Nickelodeon. It starred then-All That cast members and Saturday Night Live alumni Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell. Sixty-five...  more

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  • 22

    Clarissa Explains It All

    Melissa Joan Hart, Jason Zimbler

    PremieredMarch 1, 1991

    Clarissa Explains It All is an American teen sitcom that aired on Nickelodeon. Created by Mitchell Kriegman, it aired for five seasons and a total of 65 episodes from March 23, 1991, to December 3,...  more

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  • 23

    Dexter's Laboratory

    Kath Soucie, Jeff Bennett

    PremieredMay 4, 1996

    Dexter's Laboratory is an American comic science fiction animated television series created by Genndy Tartakovsky for Cartoon Network, and the first of the network's Cartoon Cartoons. The series...  more

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  • 24

    Pinky and the Brain

    Maurice LaMarche, Rob Paulsen

    PremieredSeptember 9, 1995

    Pinky and the Brain is an American animated television series. It was the first animated television series to be presented in Dolby Surround and the fourth collaboration of Steven Spielberg with his...  more

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  • 25

    The Wild Thornberrys

    Lacey Chabert, Jodi Carlisle

    PremieredSeptember 1, 1998

    The Wild Thornberrys is an American animated television series that aired on Nickelodeon. It was rerun in the United States on Nickelodeon and occasionally Nicktoons until 2007. The show returned to...  more

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