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The Best High School TV Shows

Updated November 24, 2020 131.3k votes 19.9k voters 796.9k views134 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
    Teen Wolf
    4,342
    1,217

    Teen Wolf

    Tyler Posey, Dylan O'Brien

    Premiered2011

    Genres (Tv)Romance Film, Supernatural, Teen drama, Black comedy, Drama

    Teen Wolf (MTV, 2011) is an American teen drama series developed by Jeff Davis, and is loosely... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button
  • 2
    One Tree Hill
    3,295
    967

    One Tree Hill

    Chad Michael Murray, James Lafferty

    Premiered2003

    Genres (Tv)Soap opera, Teen drama

    One Tree Hill (The WB, 2003) is an American drama television series created by Mark Schwahn.... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button
  • 3
    Boy Meets World
    1,759
    772

    Boy Meets World

    Ben Savage, Rider Strong

    Premiered1993

    Genres (Tv)Teen sitcom

    Boy Meets World (ABC, 1993) is an American television sitcom created by Michael Jacobs and... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button
  • 4
    Riverdale
    3,321
    859

    Riverdale

    KJ Apa, Lili Reinhart

    Premiered2017

    Genres (Tv)Teen drama, Mystery

    Riverdale (The CW, 2017) is an American teen drama television series developed by Roberto... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button
  • 5
    The O.C.
    1,592
    599

    The O.C.

    Mischa Barton, Adam Brody

    Premiered2003

    Genres (Tv)Teen drama

    The O.C. (Fox, 2003) is an American teen drama television series created by Josh Schwartz. A... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button
  • 6
    The Vampire Diaries
    3,880
    1,081

    The Vampire Diaries

    Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley

    Premiered2009

    Genres (Tv)Supernatural, Drama, Horror, Fantasy

    The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 2009) is an American supernatural teen drama television series... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button
  • 7
    Gossip Girl
    3,032
    596

    Gossip Girl

    Blake Lively, Leighton Meester

    Premiered2007

    Genres (Tv)Teen drama

    Gossip Girl (The CW, 2007) is an American teen drama television series created by Josh... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button
  • 8
    Full House
    627
    170

    Full House

    Bob Saget, John Stamos

    Premiered1987

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    Full House is an American sitcom created by Jeff Franklin for ABC. The show chronicles a... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button
  • 9
    Kim Possible
    866
    363

    Kim Possible

    Christy Carlson Romano, Will Friedle

    Premiered2002

    Genres (Tv)Animation, Action/Adventure, Children's television series, Adventure film, Comedy

    Kim Possible is an American animated television series created by Bob Schooley and Mark... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button
  • 10
    The Fosters
    1,165
    373

    The Fosters

    Teri Polo, Sherri Saum

    Premiered2013

    Genres (Tv)Teen drama, Family drama

    The Fosters (Freeform, 2013) is an American drama television series created by Bradley... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button
  • 11
    H2O: Just Add Water
    808
    346

    H2O: Just Add Water

    Cariba Heine, Phoebe Tonkin

    Premiered2006

    Genres (Tv)Teen drama, Action/Adventure, Drama, Children's television series, Adventure film

    H₂O: Just Add Water, also known as H₂O, is an Australian dramatic fantasy television programme... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button
  • 12
    Glee
    2,546
    1,213

    Glee

    Lea Michele, Jane Lynch

    Premiered2009

    Genres (Tv)Teen drama, Musical

    Glee (Fox, 2009) is an American musical comedy-drama television series created by Ryan Murphy,... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button
  • 13
    Zoey 101
    744
    256

    Zoey 101

    Jamie Lynn Spears, Paul Butcher

    Premiered2005

    Genres (Tv)Teen drama, Sitcom, Teen situation comedy, Drama, Children's television series

    Zoey 101 is an American television series which originally aired on Nickelodeon from January... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button
  • 14
    The Carrie Diaries
    830
    370

    The Carrie Diaries

    AnnaSophia Robb, Austin Butler

    Premiered2013

    Genres (Tv)Teen drama, Comedy-drama, Period drama

    The Carrie Diaries (The CW, 2013) is an American teen comedy-drama television series developed... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button
  • 15
    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
    1,932
    864

    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

    Will Smith, James Avery

    Premiered1990

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is an American television sitcom that originally aired on NBC from... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button
  • 16
    Pretty Little Liars
    3,513
    1,095

    Pretty Little Liars

    Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson

    Premiered2010

    Genres (Tv)Teen drama, Mystery, Crime thriller

    Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family, 2010) is an American teen drama mystery–thriller television... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button
  • 17
    That's So Raven
    668
    281

    That's So Raven

    Raven-Symoné, Orlando Brown

    Premiered2003

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

    That's So Raven is an American supernatural teen sitcom television series. It debuted on the... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button
  • 18
    13 Reasons Why
    1,818
    829

    13 Reasons Why

    Dylan Minnette, Katherine Langford

    Premiered2017

    Genres (Tv)Teen drama, Mystery

    13 Reasons Why (Netflix, 2017) is an American television series based on the 2007 novel... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button
  • 19
    Awkward.
    2,503
    1,432

    Awkward.

    Ashley Rickards, Beau Mirchoff

    Premiered2011

    Genres (Tv)Teen drama, Comedy-drama

    Awkward (MTV, 2011) is an American teen comedy series created by Lauren Iungerich. After being... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button
  • 20
    Drake & Josh
    884
    272

    Drake & Josh

    Drake Bell, Josh Peck

    Premiered2004

    Genres (Tv)Teen sitcom

    Drake & Josh (Nickelodeon, 2004) is an American sitcom created by Dan Schneider. Despite... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button
  • 21
    Gilmore Girls
    1,769
    650

    Gilmore Girls

    Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel

    Premiered2000

    Genres (Tv)Comedy-drama

    Gilmore Girls (The WB, 2000) is an American comedy-drama television series created by Amy... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button
  • 22
    90210
    1,989
    835

    90210

    Rob Estes, Shenae Grimes

    Premiered2008

    Genres (Tv)Teen drama

    90210 (The CW, 2008) is an American teen drama television series developed by Rob Thomas, Gabe... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button
  • 23
    That '70s Show
    1,750
    971

    That '70s Show

    Topher Grace, Laura Prepon

    Premiered1998

    Genres (Tv)Romance Film, Sitcom, Comedy

    That '70s Show is an American television period sitcom that originally aired on Fox from... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button
  • 24
    10 Things I Hate About You
    786
    321

    10 Things I Hate About You

    Lindsey Shaw, Meaghan Martin

    Premiered2009

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy-drama, Comedy

    10 Things I Hate About You is an American television sitcom broadcast on ABC Family beginning... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button
  • 25
    Degrassi: The Next Generation
    947
    412

    Degrassi: The Next Generation

    Miriam McDonald, Cassie Steele

    Premiered2001

    Genres (Tv)Teen drama

    Degrassi: The Next Generation (CTV, 2001 ) is a Canadian teen drama television series created... more on WikipediaAmazon_watch buy button