Watchworthy

The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows 

Ranker TV
Originally by
Updated July 9, 2020 21.1k votes 1.1k voters 34k views 1,318 items

List Rules Television series you hate yourself for watching -- but can't seem to quit. NO reality or game shows.

List of the best guilty pleasure TV shows, past and present, including sitcoms, dramas, reality shows, and game shows. These are the TV shows you won’t admit to watching -- even though you secretly do. Guilty pleasure television is addictive, and often horrible, but it never fails to draw in viewers. This list includes the TV shows you can’t stop watching, the greatest guilty pleasure TV shows of all time.

 Why are we so ashamed to admit that we can’t get enough of these so-called guilty pleasure TV shows? Perhaps it’s because, deep down, we recognize that these ‘so bad they’re addictive’ TV programs are truly terrible. Guilty pleasure dramas take everything to the extreme, adding crazy plot lines revolving around forbidden love, backstabbing, or jealousy. Guilty pleasure sitcoms are so cheesy they’re funny. Guilty pleasure reality shows are usually, paradoxically, unrealistic and showcase the worst in human nature. But much like a train wreck, viewers can’t stop themselves from looking.

 Some guilty pleasure TV shows have become so thanks to age. After all, millions of people watched “Full House” and “Beverly Hills, 90210” when they first aired -- but would you admit to watching them now? Even if you secretly do?

 This list contains the best guilty pleasure television shows of all time. Although everyone has their own ideas about what should be labeled ‘guilty pleasure’ TV, it’s not hard to admit that these shows, while not the greatest examples of television, are one thing: addictive.
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1
Buffy the Vampire Slayer... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows
Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, James Marsters

Premiered: 1997

Genres (Tv): Supernatural, Horror, Comedy-drama, Teen drama, Action, + more

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (The WB, 1997) is an American supernatural drama television series created by Joss Whedon, based on the 1992 film. Destined to slay vampires, a young woman (Sarah ...more

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2
The Simpsons is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows
Dimos Dicoudis added Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner

Premiered: 1989

Genres (Tv): Animation, Television comedy, Comedy, Family Film

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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3
Modern Family is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows
Dimos Dicoudis added Ed O'Neill, Sofía Vergara, Julie Bowen

Premiered: 2009

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Mockumentary, Family, Comedy, Family Film

Modern Family (ABC, 2009) is an American comedy television sitcom created by Francisco Bobadilla. Three different but related families face trials and tribulations in their own unique way from ...more

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4
American Horror Story is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows
aria2000 added Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, Evan Peters

Premiered: 2011

Genres (Tv): Anthology, Horror, Supernatural

American Horror Story (FX, 2011) is an American anthology horror television series created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. An anthology series centering on different characters and locations, ...more

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5
Full House is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows
emlyt added Bob Saget, John Stamos, Dave Coulier

Premiered: 1987

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Full House is an American sitcom created by Jeff Franklin for ABC. The show chronicles a widowed father, who enlists his best friend and his brother-in-law to help raise his three daughters. It ...more

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6
Once Upon a Time is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows
aria2000 added Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla

Premiered: 2011

Genres (Tv): Drama, Mystery, Fairy tale, Comedy-drama, Fantasy

Once Upon a Time is an American fairy tale drama series that premiered on October 23, 2011, on ABC. The show takes place in the fictional seaside town of Storybrooke, Maine, whose residents are ...more

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7
Friends is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows
KassahWutke added Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow

Premiered: 1994

Genres (Tv): Sitcom

Friends (NBC, 1994) is an American sitcom television series created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman. The personal and professional lives of six friends (Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa ...more

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8
The Nanny is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows
Dimos Dicoudis added Fran Drescher, Charles Shaughnessy, Daniel Davis

Premiered: 1993

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

The Nanny is an American television sitcom originally aired on CBS from 1993 to 1999, starring Fran Drescher as Fran Fine, a Jewish Queens native who becomes the nanny of three children from the ...more

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9
The Vampire Diaries is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows
Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder

Premiered: 2009

Genres (Tv): Supernatural, Drama, Horror, Fantasy

The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 2009) is an American supernatural teen drama television series developed by Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec, based on the book series by L. J. Smith. In the ...more

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10
The Addams Family is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows
Dimos Dicoudis added John Astin, Carolyn Jones, Ted Cassidy

Premiered: 1964

Genres (Tv): Black comedy, Sitcom, Comedy, Fantasy

The Addams Family is an American television series based on the characters in Charles Addams' New Yorker cartoons. The 30-minute series was shot in black-and-white and aired for two seasons on ...more

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11
Rugrats is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows
Dimos Dicoudis added Elizabeth Daily, Christine Cavanaugh, Nancy Cartwright

Premiered: 1991

Genres (Tv): Animation, Animated cartoon, Children's television series, Animated series

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 ...more

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12
The Golden Girls is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows
Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan

Premiered: 1985

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

The Golden Girls is an American sitcom, created by Susan Harris, that originally aired on NBC from September 14, 1985, to May 9, 1992. Starring Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, and ...more

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13
Married... with Children... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows
Ed O'Neill, Christina Applegate, Katey Sagal

Premiered: 1987

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Married... with Children is an American sitcom that aired for 11 seasons. It featured a dysfunctional family living in a fictional Chicago suburb. The series, notable for being the first ...more

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14
NCIS is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows
Dimos Dicoudis added Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette

Premiered: 2003

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Action/Adventure, Police procedural, Drama, Thriller, + more

NCIS is an American police procedural drama television series, revolving around a fictional team of special agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which conducts investigations ...more

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15
Charmed is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows
Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano

Premiered: 1998

Genres (Tv): Drama, Fantasy, Supernatural

Charmed (The WB, 1998) is an American fantasy drama television series created by Constance M. Burge. Sisters Prue (Shannen Doherty), Piper (Holly Marie Combs) and Phoebe (Alyssa Milano) discover ...more

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16
I Dream of Jeannie is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows
Dimos Dicoudis added Barbara Eden, Larry Hagman, Bill Daily

Premiered: 1965

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy, Fantasy

I Dream of Jeannie is an American sitcom with a fantastical premise. The show starred Barbara Eden as a 2,000-year-old genie, and Larry Hagman as an astronaut who becomes her master, with whom ...more

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17
True Blood is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows
Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell

Premiered: 2008

Genres (Tv): Fantasy, Horror, Drama

True Blood (HBO, 2008) is an American fantasy horror drama television series created by Alan Ball, based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries, a series of novels by Charlaine Harris. Telepathic ...more

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18
The Suite Life of Zack &... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows
Dimos Dicoudis added Cole Sprouse, Dylan Sprouse, Brenda Song

Premiered: 2005

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Teen situation comedy, Children's television series, Comedy

The Suite Life of Zack & Cody is an American sitcom created by Danny Kallis and Jim Geoghan. The series was first broadcast on Disney Channel on March 18, 2005, with 4 million viewers, ...more

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19
Batman is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows
charlies3sexysleuths added Adam West, Burt Ward, Alan Napier

Premiered: 1966

Genres (Tv): Action/Adventure, Sitcom, Comedy, Action, Camp, + more

Batman is a 1960s American live action television series, based on the DC comic book character of the same name. It starred Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin — two heroes who defend ...more

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20
Star Trek: The Next Gene... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows
charlies3sexysleuths added Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes

Premiered: 1987

Genres (Tv): Action/Adventure, Drama, Adventure film, Action, Science Fiction

Star Trek: The Next Generation is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry twenty-one years after the original Star Trek series debuted in 1966. Roddenberry, ...more

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21
The Suite Life on Deck ... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows
Dimos Dicoudis added Dylan Sprouse, Cole Sprouse, Brenda Song

Premiered: 2008

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Teen situation comedy, Children's television series, Comedy

The Suite Life on Deck is an American sitcom that aired on Disney Channel from September 26, 2008 to May 6, 2011. It is a sequel/spin-off of the Disney Channel Original Series The Suite Life of ...more

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22
Desperate Housewives is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows
Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross

Premiered: 2004

Genres (Tv): Soap opera, Mystery, Comedy-drama

Desperate Housewives (ABC, 2004) is an American mystery comedy-drama television series created by Marc Cherry. Secrets and truths unfold through the lives of female friends (Teri Hatcher, ...more

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23
Xena: Warrior Princess ... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows
Lucy Lawless, Renée O'Connor, Ted Raimi

Premiered: 1995

Genres (Tv): Supernatural, Action/Adventure, Drama, Adventure film, Comedy-drama, + more

Xena: Warrior Princess is an American/New Zealand television series filmed in New Zealand. The series aired in syndication from September 4, 1995, until June 18, 2001. The series was created in ...more

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24
Good Luck Charlie is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows
Dimos Dicoudis added Bridgit Mendler, Leigh-Allyn Baker, Bradley Steven Perry

Premiered: 2010

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Children's television series, Comedy, Family Film

Good Luck Charlie is an American sitcom that originally aired on Disney Channel from April 4, 2010 to February 16, 2014. The series' creators, Phil Baker and Drew Vaupen, wanted to create a ...more

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25
I Love Lucy is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows
charlies3sexysleuths added Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance

Premiered: 1951

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

I Love Lucy is an American television sitcom starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, and William Frawley. The black-and-white series originally ran from October 15, 1951, to May 6, ...more

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