Entertainment
20.5k voters

The Best High School TV Shows

Updated March 2, 2021 129.6k votes 20.5k voters 812.3k views140 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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  • Teen Wolf1
    4,360
    1,260

    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
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  • One Tree Hill2
    3,329
    977

    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
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  • Boy Meets World3
    1,738
    800

    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
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  • The O.C.4
    1,611
    636

    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
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  • The Vampire Diaries5
    3,876
    1,114

    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
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  • Gossip Girl6
    3,046
    628

    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
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  • The Fosters7
    1,188
    402

    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
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  • Riverdale8
    3,304
    989

    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
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  • Full House9
    649
    206

    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
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  • Kim Possible10
    873
    398

    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
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  • Glee11
    2,497
    1,204

    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
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  • H2O: Just Add Water12
    833
    383

    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
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  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air13
    1,914
    841

    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
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  • Pretty Little Liars14
    3,417
    1,063

    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
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  • 13 Reasons Why15
    1,819
    845

    13 Reasons Why

    Dylan Minnette, Katherine Langford

    Premiered2017

    Genres (Tv)Teen drama, Mystery, Thriller

    13 Reasons Why (Netflix, 2017) is an American teen drama mystery series based on the 2007...  more
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  • The Carrie Diaries16
    836
    390

    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
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  • Zoey 10117
    745
    284

    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
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  • Drake & Josh18
    888
    284

    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
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  • That's So Raven19
    670
    298

    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
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  • Gilmore Girls20
    1,753
    640

    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
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  • 9021021
    1,933
    815

    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
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  • Awkward.22
    2,409
    1,386

    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
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  • The Originals23
    1,208
    296

    The Originals

    Joseph Morgan, Daniel Gillies

    Premiered2013

    Genres (Tv)Romance Film, Supernatural drama, Teen drama, Suspense, Drama

    The Originals (The CW, 2013) is an American television series created by Julie Plec, and is a...  more
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  • That '70s Show24
    1,706
    929

    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
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  • Degrassi: The Next Generation25
    937
    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
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