Entertainment The Best High School TV Shows  

Molly Gander
Originally by
120.5k votes 16.4k voters 670.1k views 124 items

List Rules Teen television series that focus on the high school years.

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.

list ordered by

1
1,135 1,026
House of Anubis is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best High School TV Shows
sibunahouse added Alex Sawyer, Eugene Simon, Brad Kavanagh
House of Anubis is a jointly Nickelodeon British, American, and Belgian mystery television series based on the Dutch-Belgian television series Het Huis Anubis aired in the Netherlands and ...more

2
2,054 1,512
Freaks and Geeks is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best High School TV Shows
Linda Cardellini, John Francis Daley, James Franco
Freaks and Geeks is an American teen comedy-drama television series, created by Paul Feig with Judd Apatow as executive producer, that aired on NBC during the 1999–2000 television season. ...more

3
1,521 1,260
Friday Night Lights is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best High School TV Shows
Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Aimee Teegarden
Friday Night Lights is an American drama television series about a high school football team in the fictional town of Dillon, Texas. It was developed by Peter Berg, and executive produced by ...more

4
2,580 1,279
Awkward. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best High School TV Shows
Ashley Rickards, Beau Mirchoff, Jillian Rose Reed
Awkward is an American teen comedy series created by Lauren Iungerich for MTV. The show's central character is Jenna Hamilton, a Palos Verdes, California, teenager who struggles with her ...more

5
1,501 869
That '70s Show is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best High School TV Shows
Topher Grace, Laura Prepon, Mila Kunis
That '70s Show is an American television period sitcom that originally aired on Fox from August 23, 1998, to May 18, 2006. The series focused on the lives of a group of teenage friends living in ...more

6
1,232 879
Saved by the Bell is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best High School TV Shows
Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Mario Lopez, Dustin Diamond
Saved by the Bell is an American television sitcom that aired on NBC from 1989 to 1993. A retool of the Disney Channel series Good Morning, Miss Bliss, the show follows a group of friends and ...more

7
1,670 818
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best High School TV Shows
wiabux added Will Smith, James Avery, Alfonso Ribeiro
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 ...more

8
2,218 1,085
Glee is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best High School TV Shows
Lea Michele, Jane Lynch, Matthew Morrison
Glee is an American musical comedy-drama television series that aired on the Fox network in the United States from May 19, 2009, to March 20, 2015. It focuses on the fictitious William McKinley ...more

9
3,748 996
Teen Wolf is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best High School TV Shows
Tyler Posey, Dylan O'Brien, Holland Roden
Teen Wolf is an American television series developed by Jeff Davis for MTV. It is loosely based on the 1985 film of the same name, and stars Tyler Posey as a teenager named Scott, who is bitten ...more

10
513 759
The Wonder Years is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best High School TV Shows
Fred Savage, Dan Lauria, Daniel Stern
The Wonder Years is an American television comedy-drama created by Neal Marlens and Carol Black. It ran on ABC from 1988 through 1993. The pilot aired on January 31, 1988, following ABC's ...more

11
2,875 883
One Tree Hill is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best High School TV Shows
Chad Michael Murray, James Lafferty, Hilarie Burton
One Tree Hill is an American television drama series created by Mark Schwahn, which premiered on September 23, 2003 on The WB. After the series' third season, The WB merged with UPN to form The ...more

12
3,246 984
The Vampire Diaries is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best High School TV Shows
Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder
The Vampire Diaries is an American supernatural drama television series developed by Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec, based on the popular book series of the same name written by L. J. Smith. ...more

13
3,154 989
Pretty Little Liars is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best High School TV Shows
Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale
Pretty Little Liars is an American teen drama mystery–thriller television series loosely based on the popular book series of the same title, written by Sara Shepard. The show premiered on June ...more

14
640 767
My So-Called Life is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best High School TV Shows
Bess Armstrong, Wilson Cruz, Claire Danes
My So-Called Life is an American teen drama television series created by Winnie Holzman and produced by Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz. It originally aired on ABC from August 25, 1994, to ...more

15
1,760 694
The 100 is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best High School TV Shows
LanaYoshii added Eliza Taylor, Paige Turco, Thomas McDonell
The 100 (The CW, 2014) is an American post-apocalyptic science fiction drama television series developed by Jason Rothenberg, loosely based on the book by Kass Morgan. 97 years after a nuclear ...more

16
1,515 613
Boy Meets World is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best High School TV Shows
Ben Savage, Rider Strong, William Daniels
Boy Meets World is an American television sitcom that chronicles the coming of age events and everyday life-lessons of Cornelius "Cory" Matthews. The show follows Cory and his friends ...more

17
1,199 752
Switched at Birth is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best High School TV Shows
Vanessa Marano, Katie Leclerc, Constance Marie
Switched at Birth is an American teen/family drama television series that premiered on ABC Family on June 6, 2011, at 9:00 ET/PT. The one-hour scripted drama is set in the Kansas City ...more

18
330 564
Happy Days is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best High School TV Shows
Bootsdad added Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Marion Ross
Happy Days is an American television sitcom that aired first-run from January 15, 1974, to September 24, 1984, on ABC. Created by Garry Marshall, the series presents an idealized vision of life ...more

19
974 519
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best High School TV Shows
Melissa Joan Hart, Caroline Rhea, Beth Broderick
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch is an American sitcom based on the Archie comic book series of the same name. The show premiered on September 27, 1996, on ABC to over 17 million viewers in its ...more

20
1,140 367
13 Reasons Why is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best High School TV Shows
Krmickey97 added Dylan Minnette, Katherine Langford, Kate Walsh
13 Reasons Why (Netflix, 2017) is an American television series based on the 2007 novel Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and adapted by Brian Yorkey. Told through a series of flashbacks, the ...more

21
1,895 743
90210 is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best High School TV Shows
Shenae Grimes-Beech, Tristan Wilds, AnnaLynne McCord
90210 is an American teen drama television series, developed by Rob Thomas, Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah, that aired on The CW from September 2, 2008 to May 13, 2013. It is the fourth series in the ...more

22
1,404 730
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best High School TV Shows
Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an American television series which aired from March 10, 1997 until May 20, 2003. The series was created in 1997 by writer-director Joss Whedon under his production ...more

23
1,137 620
Smallville is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best High School TV Shows
Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum, Allison Mack
Smallville is an American television series developed by writer-producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, based on the DC Comics character Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The ...more

24
1,430 567
Gilmore Girls is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best High School TV Shows
Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Scott Patterson
Gilmore Girls is an American comedy-drama series created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, starring Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel. On October 5, 2000, the series debuted on the WB to widespread ...more

25
1,213 523
Victorious is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best High School TV Shows
SibunASeason34 added Victoria Justice, Leon Thomas III, Matt Bennett
Victorious is an American sitcom created by Dan Schneider that originally aired on Nickelodeon from March 27, 2010 through February 2, 2013. The series revolves around aspiring singer Tori Vega, ...more