Entertainment
20.8k voters

The Best High School TV Shows

Updated May 3, 2021 129.5k votes 20.8k voters 821.6k 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
    4,394
    1,289

    Teen Wolf

    Tyler Posey, Dylan O'Brien
    Teen Wolf (MTV, 2011) is an American teen drama series developed by Jeff Davis, and is loosely...  more
  • 2
    3,333
    1,006

    One Tree Hill

    Chad Michael Murray, James Lafferty
    One Tree Hill (The WB, 2003) is an American drama television series created by Mark Schwahn....  more
  • 3
    1,624
    655

    The O.C.

    Mischa Barton, Adam Brody
    The O.C. (Fox, 2003) is an American teen drama television series created by Josh Schwartz. A...  more
  • 4
    1,744
    818

    Boy Meets World

    Ben Savage, Rider Strong
    Boy Meets World (ABC, 1993) is an American television sitcom created by Michael Jacobs and...  more
  • 5
    3,883
    1,131

    The Vampire Diaries

    Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley
    The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 2009) is an American supernatural teen drama television series...  more
  • 6
    3,064
    653

    Gossip Girl

    Blake Lively, Leighton Meester
    Gossip Girl (The CW, 2007) is an American teen drama television series created by Josh...  more
  • 7
    3,280
    1,066

    Riverdale

    KJ Apa, Lili Reinhart
    Riverdale (The CW, 2017) is an American teen drama television series developed by Roberto...  more
  • 8
    1,194
    422

    The Fosters

    Teri Polo, Sherri Saum
    The Fosters (Freeform, 2013) is an American drama television series created by Bradley...  more
  • 9
    663
    230

    Full House

    Bob Saget, John Stamos
    Full House (ABC, 1987) is an American sitcom created by Jeff Franklin. The show chronicles a...  more
  • 10
    863
    403

    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
    2,482
    1,216

    Glee

    Lea Michele, Jane Lynch
    Glee (Fox, 2009) is an American musical comedy-drama television series created by Ryan Murphy,...  more
  • 12
    1,922
    830

    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

    Will Smith, James Avery
    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is an American television sitcom that originally aired on NBC from...  more
  • 13
    3,390
    1,061

    Pretty Little Liars

    Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson
    Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family, 2010) is an American teen drama mystery–thriller television...  more
  • 14
    1,826
    864

    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
    869
    422

    Kim Possible

    Christy Carlson Romano, Will Friedle
    Kim Possible is an American animated television series created by Bob Schooley and Mark...  more
  • 16
    898
    299

    Drake & Josh

    Drake Bell, Josh Peck
    Drake & Josh (Nickelodeon, 2004) is an American sitcom created by Dan Schneider. Despite...  more
  • 17
    1,758
    646

    Gilmore Girls

    Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel
    Gilmore Girls (The WB, 2000) is an American comedy-drama television series created by Amy...  more
  • 18
    752
    304

    Zoey 101

    Jamie Lynn Spears, Paul Butcher
    Zoey 101 (Nickelodeon, 2005) is an American teen drama comedy series created by Dan Schneider....  more
  • 19
    2,371
    1,374

    Awkward.

    Ashley Rickards, Beau Mirchoff
    Awkward (MTV, 2011) is an American teen comedy series created by Lauren Iungerich. After being...  more
  • 20
    1,918
    813

    90210

    Rob Estes, Shenae Grimes
    90210 (The CW, 2008) is an American teen drama television series developed by Rob Thomas, Gabe...  more
  • 21
    944
    420

    Degrassi: The Next Generation

    Miriam McDonald, Cassie Steele
    Degrassi: The Next Generation (CTV, 2001 ) is a Canadian teen drama television series created...  more
  • 22
    833
    407

    The Carrie Diaries

    AnnaSophia Robb, Austin Butler
    The Carrie Diaries (The CW, 2013) is an American teen comedy-drama television series developed...  more
  • 23
    1,228
    307

    The Originals

    Joseph Morgan, Daniel Gillies
    The Originals (The CW, 2013) is an American television series created by Julie Plec, and is a...  more
  • 24
    1,691
    928

    That '70s Show

    Topher Grace, Laura Prepon
    That '70s Show (Fox, 2006) is an American teen period comedy sitcom created by Bonnie Turner,...  more
  • 25
    675
    316

    That's So Raven

    Raven-Symoné, Orlando Brown
    That's So Raven is an American supernatural teen sitcom television series. It debuted on the...  more