Entertainment
20.9k voters

The Best High School TV Shows

Updated May 3, 2021 130.0k votes 20.9k voters 823.3k views145 items

List RulesVote up the best shows that frequently feature scenes inside a high school, feature high school students, and showcase themes unique to high school-age adolescents.

The best high school TV shows include fantastic dramas that highlight the ups and downs of teenagers. In some cases, these shows include elements of the supernatural or science fiction. These high school shows are also filled with many social issues that teens face while they're growing up: teen pregnancy, drug use, and, of course, the all-encompassing peer pressure. This list includes some of the greatest high school television shows from several decades, so be sure to vote. If your favorite series about teenagers in high school isn't listed here, please add it.

Any great coming of age high school TV show includes tons of teen angst—just think of shows like Degrassi or Riverdale. That's mainly why so many of the best teen TV shows listed here are dramas, because being a teenager is, well, pretty darn dramatic most of the time. The characters in these great teen drama TV shows experience the highest highs and the lowest lows - a roller coaster of emotions, and we're right there with them for the crazy ride, tissues in hand. And it isn't just American high school dramas that are great, teen shows set in secondary schools in the UK offer just as much of an emotional ride - especially if it's a boarding school.

Is it any wonder that several shows listed here are among the all-time top cult TV shows? Sadly, despite excellent reviews from critics and a loyal cult following, some of these outstanding high school television programs didn't last as long as they should have. Examples of teen TV shows canceled before their time include Freaks and Geeks, My So-Called Life, Veronica Mars, and Friday Night Lights (though thankfully the latter was picked up and had a decent series wrap-up).Enjoy voting for your favorite high school shows, and don't forget: You can add to this list and/or re-rank it accordingly.

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  • 1
    4,418
    1,303

    Teen Wolf

    Tyler Posey, Tyler Hoechlin
    Teen Wolf (MTV, 2011) is an American teen drama series developed by Jeff Davis, and is loosely...  more
  • 2
    3,356
    1,016

    One Tree Hill

    James Lafferty, Hilarie Burton
    One Tree Hill (The WB, 2003) is an American drama television series created by Mark Schwahn....  more
  • 3
    1,639
    662

    The O.C.

    Benjamin McKenzie, Autumn Reeser
    The O.C. (Fox, 2003) is an American teen drama television series created by Josh Schwartz. A...  more
  • 4
    1,754
    827

    Boy Meets World

    Alex Désert, Trina McGee
    Boy Meets World (ABC, 1993) is an American television sitcom created by Michael Jacobs and...  more
  • 5
    3,902
    1,137

    The Vampire Diaries

    Matthew Davis, Katerina Graham
    The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 2009) is an American supernatural teen drama television series...  more
  • 6
    3,079
    660

    Gossip Girl

    Blake Lively, Leighton Meester
    Gossip Girl (The CW, 2007) is an American teen drama television series created by Josh...  more
  • 7
    3,294
    1,089

    Riverdale

    KJ Apa, Lili Reinhart
    Riverdale (The CW, 2017) is an American teen drama television series developed by Roberto...  more
  • 8
    1,202
    428

    The Fosters

    Danny Nucci, Jake T. Austin
    The Fosters (Freeform, 2013) is an American drama television series created by Bradley...  more
  • 9
    2,487
    1,223

    Glee

    Matthew Morrison, Jane Lynch
    Glee (Fox, 2009) is an American musical comedy-drama television series created by Ryan Murphy,...  more
  • 10
    868
    410

    H2O: Just Add Water

    Cariba Heine, Phoebe Tonkin
    H₂O: Just Add Water, also known as H₂O, is an Australian dramatic fantasy television programme...  more
  • 11
    1,929
    836

    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

    Joseph Marcell, Tatyana Ali
    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is an American television sitcom that originally aired on NBC from...  more
  • 12
    3,400
    1,065

    Pretty Little Liars

    Troian Bellisario, Sasha Pieterse
    Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family, 2010) is an American teen drama mystery–thriller television...  more
  • 13
    666
    238

    Full House

    Andrea Barber, Jodie Sweetin
    Full House (ABC, 1987) is an American sitcom created by Jeff Franklin. The show chronicles a...  more
  • 14
    1,834
    871

    13 Reasons Why

    Dylan Minnette, Katherine Langford
    13 Reasons Why (Netflix, 2017) is an American teen drama mystery series based on the 2007...  more
  • 15
    901
    300

    Drake & Josh

    Nancy Sullivan, Miranda Cosgrove
    Drake & Josh (Nickelodeon, 2004) is an American sitcom created by Dan Schneider. Despite...  more
  • 16
    1,768
    651

    Gilmore Girls

    Matt Czuchry, Melissa McCarthy
    Gilmore Girls (The WB, 2000) is an American comedy-drama television series created by Amy...  more
  • 17
    838
    409

    The Carrie Diaries

    AnnaSophia Robb, Chloe Bridges
    The Carrie Diaries (The CW, 2013) is an American teen comedy-drama television series developed...  more
  • 18
    757
    305

    Zoey 101

    Erin Sanders, Jamie Lynn Spears
    Zoey 101 (Nickelodeon, 2005) is an American teen drama comedy series created by Dan Schneider....  more
  • 19
    947
    422

    Degrassi: The Next Generation

    Cassie Steele, Jamie Johnston
    Degrassi: The Next Generation (CTV, 2001 ) is a Canadian teen drama television series created...  more
  • 20
    872
    428

    Kim Possible

    Christy Carlson Romano, Will Friedle
    Kim Possible is an American animated television series created by Bob Schooley and Mark...  more
  • 21
    1,927
    815

    90210

    Dustin Milligan, Matt Lanter
    90210 (The CW, 2008) is an American teen drama television series developed by Rob Thomas, Gabe...  more
  • 22
    2,374
    1,376

    Awkward.

    Desi Lydic, Drew Osborne
    Awkward (MTV, 2011) is an American teen comedy series created by Lauren Iungerich. After being...  more
  • 23
    1,238
    307

    The Originals

    Daniel Gillies, Leah Pipes
    The Originals (The CW, 2013) is an American television series created by Julie Plec, and is a...  more
  • 24
    1,694
    930

    That '70s Show

    Josh Meyers, Ashton Kutcher
    That '70s Show (Fox, 2006) is an American teen period comedy sitcom created by Bonnie Turner,...  more
  • 25
    675
    319

    That's So Raven

    Kyle Massey, Anneliese van der Pol
    That's So Raven is an American supernatural teen sitcom television series. It debuted on the...  more