The Best TV Series With Life Lessons  

Ranker TV
112 votes 35 voters 1.1k views 15 items

List Rules Vote 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. 

How I Met Your Mother is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best TV Series With Life Lessons
Photo: 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

Premiered: 2005

Number of Seasons: 8

Did they teach you well?
see more on How I Met Your Mother
Doctor Who is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best TV Series With Life Lessons
Photo: Doctor Who/BBC

Lessons learned:

  • Reading is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal.
  • There is a difference between courage and reckless stupidity.
  • Life relies on renewal and change.
  • Always expect the unexpected.

Actors: Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi, Jodie Whittaker, + more

Premiered: 1963

Number of Seasons: 26

Did they teach you well?
see more on Doctor Who
Friends is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best TV Series With Life Lessons
Photo:  Friends/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

Number of Seasons: 10

Did they teach you well?
see more on Friends
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best TV Series With Life Lessons
Photo: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/Netflix

Lessons learned:

  • Optimism can get you through anything.
  • You can stand anything for 10 seconds. Then you just start a new 10 seconds.
  • Our family is what we make it.
  • Being adult isn't always what you expected.

Actors: Ellie Kemper, Jane Krakowski, Tituss Burgess

Premiered: 2015

Number of Seasons: 4

Did they teach you well?
see more on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt