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The Best TV Series With Life Lessons

Updated July 23, 2020 457 votes 133 voters 5.0k views16 items

List RulesVote up the TV shows with positive values that best taught viewers valuable life lessons.

TV shows can serve a greater purpose than mere escapism. Many of the greatest series ever to make the airways taught households valuable life lessons. Parents can gather around the television with their kids knowing their children are learning something they can take with them the rest of their lives. Even shows that are completely oriented for adults can teach grown-ups important lessons about themselves they can apply to their work and romantic lives. TV shows with life lessons are important in how they can change lives. Which ones made a positive impact in your life?

Some shows have lessons that are readily apparent on the surface. For example, the show Friends teaches us how important it is to have a solid group of friends in your life. It also teaches people to not give up on love once they are in their 30s. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt may have a lot of jokes, but underneath the humor is a genuine plea for all of us to make the best out of bad circumstances. If Kimmy can make the best out of being a mole woman, then you can make the best out of whatever you are going through. 

TV series that taught lessons have changed lives and offered comforting escapes. Instead of focusing on one-off life lesson episodes, this list will focus on lessons emphasized throughout the entire series. Vote for the ones that really spoke to you. 

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  • How I Met Your Mother
    Photo: How I Met Your Mother / CBS

    Lessons learned:

    • A little confidence goes a long way.
    • Love should not involve sacrificing anything that makes you unique.
    • Mistakes can become successes.
    • Never give up on love.
    • Actors: Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan
    • Premiered: 2005
    63
    22
    Did they teach you well?
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  • Friends
    Photo: NBC

    Lessons learned:

    • We all need good friends in our lives.
    • Love is out there for everyone, even if you are in your 30s.
    • Parenting is hard work.
    • It's a bad idea to keep a duck as a pet.
    • Actors: Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow
    • Premiered: 1994
    51
    30
    Did they teach you well?
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  • 3

    Atypical

    Atypical
    Photo: Atypical / Netflix

    Lessons learned:

    • No one is truly normal.
    • Family is the most important thing in life.
    • No one is perfect.
    • It's good to have hobbies.
    • Actors: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Keir Gilchrist, Brigette Lundy-Paine, Amy Okuda, Michael Rapaport
    • Premiered: 2017
    24
    9
    Did they teach you well?
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  • Lessons learned:

    • Don't let others prevent you from reaching your goals.
    • Don't be afraid to love someone just because they are a little different from you.
    • Don't let pride prevent you from getting the help you need.
    • Be confident in yourself.
    • Actors: Andy Samberg, Stephanie Beatriz, Terry Crews, Melissa Fumero, Joe Lo Truglio
    • Premiered: 2013
    27
    16
    Did they teach you well?
    Amazon buy button