129 voters

The Greatest TV Shows About Growing Up

Updated February 16, 2021 761 votes 129 voters 5.6k views41 items

We all did it (or are doing it): growing up is simply a part of life so it should come as no surprise many TV shows are about it. Series about children and teens growing up have been a staple of American television for decades with examples going back to the earliest days of black & white airwaves. Whether you enjoy watching how families on TV get it done and use those life lessons in our own families or you simply enjoy watching good, entertaining television, there are plenty of great coming of age TV shows to enjoy.

Seeing as the genre dates back decades, compiling a list of the greatest TV shows about growing up requires a look back through time. Does your family look like The Brady Bunch, which showed the world what an early "blended" family looked like or was yours more like the folks on The Cosby Show? Whatever your home life, odds are you sat and watched many of the series on this list, but there are many more. For more recommendations, browse this list and feel free to add any similar shows and movies you think are missing!

  • 1

    The Wonder Years

    Fred Savage, Jason Hervey

    PremieredJanuary 31, 1988

    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 coverage of...  more

    More The Wonder Years 

    #6 of 82 The Best ABC Shows of All Time#80 of 202 The TV Shows with the Best Writing

  • 2

    Boy Meets World

    Ben Savage, William Daniels

    PremieredSeptember 24, 1993

    Boy Meets World (ABC, 1993) is an American television sitcom created by Michael Jacobs and April Kelly. An adolescent (Ben Savage) with two siblings tests his various theories about life as he...  more

    More Boy Meets World 

    26 Things You Didn't Know About Boy Meets WorldThe Objectively Worst Decisions Made In 'Boy Meets World'

  • 3

    That '70s Show

    Topher Grace, Mila Kunis

    PremieredAugust 23, 1998

    That '70s Show (Fox, 2006) is an American teen period comedy sitcom created by Bonnie Turner, Terry Turner, and Mark Brazill. The series focused on the lives of a group of teenage friends living in...  more

    More That '70s Show 

    Behind The Scenes Secrets From 'That '70s Show' Most People Don't Know14 Clapbacks From ‘That ‘70s Show’ That Would Make Red Forman Proud

  • 4

    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

    Will Smith, James Avery

    PremieredSeptember 10, 1990

    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 himself, a...  more

    More The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air 

    Behind The Scenes History Of 'The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air' Most People Don't Know#9 of 398 The Best TV Shows to Rewatch

  • 5

    Saved by the Bell

    Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tiffani Thiessen

    PremieredNovember 30, 1988

    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 their...  more

    More Saved by the Bell 

    Screech's 'Saved By The Bell' Tell-All Makes Some Damning Allegations Against His Former Castmates#29 of 54 The Best NBC Comedies Of All Time

  • 6

    Malcolm in the Middle

    Jane Kaczmarek, Bryan Cranston

    PremieredJanuary 9, 2000

    Malcolm in the Middle (Fox, 2000) is an American television sitcom created by Linwood Boomer. A gifted young teen (Frankie Muniz) tries to survive life with his dimwitted, dysfunctional family....  more

    More Malcolm in the Middle 

    The Best Malcolm in the Middle Characters#6 of 43 The Best Fox Comedies of All Time

  • 7

    Sister, Sister

    Tia Mowry-Hardrict, Tamera Mowry-Housley

    PremieredApril 1, 1994

    Sister, Sister is an American television sitcom starring identical twins Tia and Tamera Mowry. It aired from 1994 to 1999. The premise of the show was that the girls were separated and adopted at...  more

    More Sister, Sister 

    The Entire 'Sister, Sister' Series Is Now Available To Stream On Netflix, And Twitter Is Rejoicing#30 of 52 The Best Sitcoms Of The '90s

  • 8

    The Suite Life of Zack & Cody

    Ashley Tisdale, Dylan Sprouse

    PremieredMarch 18, 2005

    The Suite Life of Zack & Cody is an American sitcom created by Danny Kallis and Jim Geoghan. The series was first broadcast on Disney Channel on March 18, 2005, with 4 million viewers, making it the...  more

    More The Suite Life of Zack & Cody 

    #124 of 148 The Most Annoying Kids Shows of All Time#290 of 471 The Funniest TV Shows of All Time

  • 9

    The Facts of Life

    Lisa Whelchel, Kim Fields

    PremieredAugust 24, 1979

    The Facts of Life is an American sitcom that originally ran on the NBC television network from August 24, 1979, to May 7, 1988, making it one of the longest running sitcoms of the 1980s. A spin-off...  more

    More The Facts of Life 

    Surprising Behind-The-Scenes Drama On 'The Facts Of Life'#14 of 152 The Best TV Spinoffs

  • 10


    Mayim Bialik, Ted Wass

    PremieredJanuary 3, 1991

    Blossom is an American sitcom broadcast on NBC from July 5, 1990 to May 22, 1995. Don Reo created the series which starred Mayim Bialik as Blossom Russo, a teenager living with her father and two...  more

    More Blossom 

    #5 of 15 Beloved TV Shows That Have Aged Horribly#52 of 191 The Greatest Shows of the 1990s, Ranked

  • 11

    Sabrina the Teenage Witch

    Melissa Joan Hart, Caroline Rhea

    PremieredSeptember 20, 1996

    Sabrina the Teenage Witch (ABC, 1996) is an American sitcom created by Nell Scovell and is based on the Archie comic book series of the same name. The show chronicles the adventures of Sabrina...  more

    More Sabrina the Teenage Witch 

    #19 of 59 The Best Teen Sci-Fi And Fantasy TV Series#27 of 60 The Best ABC Comedies of All Time

  • 12

    Freaks and Geeks

    John Francis Daley, Linda Cardellini

    PremieredSeptember 25, 1999

    Freaks and Geeks (NBC, 1999) is an American teen comedy-drama television series created by Paul Feig. A gifted high schooler (Linda Cardellini) starts hanging out with a group of burnouts, while her...  more

    More Freaks and Geeks 

    The Cast of 'Freaks and Geeks': Then and Now#2 of 310 The Best Shows Canceled After a Single Season

  • 13

    Never Have I Ever

    Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Poorna Jagannathan


    Never Have I Ever (Netflix, 2020) is an American comedy television series created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher. The series follows the complicated life of a modern-day first generation Indian...  more

    More Never Have I Ever 

    28 Twitter Reactions From People Who Just Binged Season One Of 'Never Have I Ever'#58 of 62 The Best Newer TV Shows the Whole Family Can Enjoy

  • 14

    That's So Raven

    Raven-Symoné, Orlando Brown

    PremieredJanuary 17, 2003

    That's So Raven is an American supernatural teen sitcom television series. It debuted on the Disney Channel on January 17, 2003, and ended its run on November 10, 2007. The show spawned Disney...  more

    More That's So Raven 

    Fascinating Things Even Huge Fans Don't Know About "That's So Raven"#31 of 95 The Greatest Black Sitcoms of All Time

  • 15

    Little Birds

    Juno Temple, Yumna Marwan

    PremieredAugust 4, 2020

    Little Birds (Sky Atlantic, 2020) is a British romance drama based on the 1979 novel of the same name by Anais Nin. Set in Tangier 1955, American debutante Lucy Savage desires an unconventional life...  more

    More Little Birds 

    #273 of 315 The Best New Shows That Have Premiered in the Last Few Years#142 of 233 The Greatest TV Shows for Women

  • 16

    Diff'rent Strokes

    Conrad Bain, Gary Coleman

    PremieredNovember 3, 1978

    Diff'rent Strokes is an American television sitcom that aired on NBC from November 3, 1978, to May 4, 1985, and on ABC from September 27, 1985, to March 7, 1986. The series stars Gary Coleman and...  more

    More Diff'rent Strokes 

    #16 of 89 The Best 1980s Primetime TV Shows#68 of 83 The Best And Nicest Feel-Good TV Shows

  • 17

    Young Rock

    Joseph Lee Anderson, Stacey Leilua

    PremieredFebruary 16, 2021

    Young Rock (NBC, 2021) is an American sitcom created by Nahnatchka Khan and Dwayne Johnson. This coming-of-age series highlights the unforgettable moments and incredible relationships that took...  more

    More Young Rock 

    Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Memes That Are Funnier Than They Have Any Right To Be#62 of 281 The Best New TV Shows Of 2021

  • 18

    Girl Meets World

    Ben Savage, Danielle Fishel

    PremieredJune 27, 2014

    Girl Meets World (Disney, 2014) is an American comedy series created by Michael Jacobs and April Kelly and spun-off from Boy Meets World. Set a decade after "Boy Meets World," Cory and Topanga...  more

    More Girl Meets World 

    #398 of 508 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time#103 of 307 The Best Female-Led TV Shows

  • 19

    7th Heaven

    Stephen Collins, Catherine Hicks

    PremieredAugust 26, 1996

    7th Heaven is an American family drama television series, created and produced by Brenda Hampton. The series premiered on August 26, 1996, on The WB, the first time that the network aired Monday...  more

    More 7th Heaven 

    #67 of 95 TV Shows You Wish You Were A Character On#82 of 127 The Best Teen Drama TV Shows

  • 20

    Beverly Hills, 90210

    Ian Ziering, Jennie Garth

    PremieredOctober 4, 1990

    Beverly Hills, 90210 (Fox, 1990) is an American teen drama television series created by Darren Star. A group of friends living in Beverly Hills, California make their way through life from their...  more

    More Beverly Hills, 90210 

    Behind-The-Scenes Drama That Fueled 'Beverly Hills, 90210' In The '90s#41 of 54 The Best TV Shows That Lasted 10+ Seasons

  • 21

    Doogie Howser, M.D.

    Neil Patrick Harris, Max Casella

    PremieredSeptember 18, 1989

    Doogie Howser, M.D. is an American comedy-drama television series that ran for four seasons on ABC from September 19, 1989 to July 28, 1993, totaling 97 episodes. Created by Steven Bochco and David...  more

    More Doogie Howser, M.D. 

    #27 of 53 The Best Sitcoms Of The '80s#181 of 255 The Best TV Shows Streaming On Hulu

  • 22

    Everybody Hates Chris

    Tyler James Williams, Terry Crews

    PremieredSeptember 22, 2005

    Everybody Hates Chris is an American sitcom based on the teenage experiences of African American comedian Chris Rock. The show is set between 1982 and 1987, but Rock himself was a teenager from 1978...  more

    More Everybody Hates Chris 

    Best Seasons of 'Everybody Hates Chris'#2 of 32 The Best UPN Shows

  • 23

    Sex Education

    Asa Butterfield, Gillian Anderson

    PremieredJanuary 11, 2019

    Sex Education (Netflix, 2019) is an British comedy-drama web television series created by Laurie Nunn. A socially awkward high school virgin (Asa Butterfield) living with his sex therapist mother...  more

    More Sex Education 

    #11 of 496 The Best New Netflix Original Series of the Last Few Years#42 of 286 The Best TV Shows Returning In 2021

  • 24

    Outer Banks

    Chase Stokes, Madelyn Cline

    PremieredApril 15, 2020

    Outer Banks (Netflix, 2020) is an American drama series created by created by Jonas Pate, Josh Pate and Shannon Burke. A group of teenagers from the wrong side of the tracks stumble upon a treasure...  more

    More Outer Banks 

    The Best Characters On Netflix's 'Outer Banks'#29 of 32 The Best Current TV Shows No One Is Watching

  • 25

    I Am Not Okay With This

    Sophia Lillis, Wyatt Oleff

    PremieredFebruary 26, 2020

    I Am Not Okay With This (Netflix, 2020) is an American coming-of-age drama television series created, directed, written, and executive produced by Jonathan Entwistle and Christy Hall. Sydney (Sophia...  more

    More I Am Not Okay With This 

    The Best Characters On 'I Am Not Okay With This'#66 of 810 The Best Original Streaming Shows of the Last Few Years