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32 iconic '90s TV shows we all remember - from Friends and Sex & The City to Twin Peaks

 Collage image for iconic '90s TV shows round up.
Collage image for iconic '90s TV shows round up.

Get ready for a heavy dose of nostalgia with these iconic '90s TV shows. The '90s really was a golden era of television, giving us shows like Friends, Sex & The City and ER, which are still all hugely popular to this day.

These popular '90s TV shows have stood the test of time, with many still some of the most streamed shows on platforms like Netflix to this day. Others were pioneers, with Will & Grace being the first primetime show with a gay man as the lead character and Beverley Hills, 90210 tackling topical issues for teens like bullying, teen pregnancy and drugs.

Ready to take a trip down memory lane? These are the iconic '90s TV shows that are definitely worth revisiting.

32 iconic '90s TV shows that are definitely worth rewatching

Friends

'90s TV shows - Friends
'90s TV shows - Friends

Friends has to top any list of the most iconic '90s TV shows, with its enduring appeal meaning it's still watched avidly today. The series ran for 10 seasons throughout the '90s, with approximately 52 million viewers tuning in in 2004 for the season finale - and emotional conclusion to Manhattan dwellers Ross and Rachel's will-they-won't-they love story. The show has been somewhat tinged with sadness recently due to the untimely death of Matthew Perry, who played Chandler in the show.

Sex & The City

'90s TV shows - Sex & The City
'90s TV shows - Sex & The City

Sex & The City was ahead of its time in the '90s, celebrating being a single woman in New York through the trials and tribulations of Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda. And who could forget all the iconic outfits from the show? Fans across the world rejoiced when HBO Max's And Just Like That was announced in 2021, following the women's adventures in midlife. Sadly though, Kim Cattrall who played Samantha in the original series didn't join the three friends in the spin-off.

Frasier

'90s TV shows - Frasier
'90s TV shows - Frasier

When it comes to '90s comfort TV, Frasier was easily one of the best. While the viewing figures might not have been as sky-high, Frasier's depiction of an eccentric psychiatrist and his family life appealed to the masses. The original series kicked off in 1993, but last year saw Frasier 2.0 hit screens with a brand new reboot.

Twin Peaks

'90s TV shows - Twin Peaks
'90s TV shows - Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks was one of the most controversial shows of the '90s, with increasingly strange storylines and eerie plot lines leading to backlash and a plummet in ratings. Despite this, it's remained a cult classic with a loyal fanbase. Twin Peaks, created by master storyteller David Lynch, follows the story of murdered prom Queen Laura Palmer in one of the original small-town whodunnits.

The Simpsons

'90s TV shows - The Simpsons
'90s TV shows - The Simpsons

The Simpsons launched in December 1989 and was one of the most popular cartoons throughout the '90s. Considering that The Simpsons continues to air to this day, it can be hard to pinpoint it to a particular era, but anyone growing up (or with a television!) in the '90s will remember how firmly America's favourite cartoon family were rooted in popular culture.

Sabrina the Teenage Witch

'90s TV shows - Sabrina The Teenage Witch
'90s TV shows - Sabrina The Teenage Witch

Melissa Joan Hart played one of our favourite '90s teenage icons (along with Salem, her furry sidekick) in Sabrina The Teenage Witch. As a beloved show of the era, it was no surprise that Netflix decided to reboot the show with the (slightly more sinister) Chilling Adventures of Sabrina in 2018.

Beverley Hills, 90210

'90s TV shows - Beverley Hills 90210
'90s TV shows - Beverley Hills 90210

Beverley Hills, 90210 was the '90s teen drama that paved the way for the likes of The OC and One Tree Hill, documenting the lives of beautiful (and often badly behaved) teenagers living in one of America's most glamorous zip codes. Hard-hitting at times, the show covered issues like teen pregnancy, divorce, drugs and eating disorders.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

'90s TV shows - Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
'90s TV shows - Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air arguably had one of the most catchy theme tunes of the '90s and launched the legendary actor Will Smith's career. An ode to flamboyant '90s style, many of the looks seen in the show have made their way into today's fashion trends (think oversized fits and bold motifs), proving that things always come back around.

Charmed

'90s TV Shows - Charmed
'90s TV Shows - Charmed

Charmed didn't come without its controversies with an ever-changing line-up of the three leading roles and rumours of arguments on set (most notably Shannen Doherty dropped out after starring as Prue Halliwell for three seasons). But despite the drama, it was one of the most popular shows of the '90s following the lives of three witchy, demon-fighting sisters.

The West Wing

'90s TV Shows - The West Wing
'90s TV Shows - The West Wing

Premiering in 1999, The West Wing gives us the inside scoop of the White House under President Bartlet's administration and an insight into the dirty world of US politics. The show was a big hit and went on the run for seven seasons before calling it a day due to declining viewing stats.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

'90s TV shows - Buffy The Vampire Slayer
'90s TV shows - Buffy The Vampire Slayer

No list of the most iconic '90s TV shows would be complete with Buffy The Vampire Slayer (and spin-off series Angel should also get a mention here). Here, Sarah Michelle Gellar starred as teen vampire-hunter Buffy in perhaps her biggest break-out role.

South Park

'90s TV shows - South Park
'90s TV shows - South Park

The '90s was the era for iconic cartoons, with The Simpsons, Futurama and South Park to name a few. South Park debuted in 1997 on Comedy Central with an initial run of six episodes - and went on to be a resounding success across the globe.

Bad Girls

'90s TV Shows - Bad Girls
'90s TV Shows - Bad Girls

ITV's Bad Girls paved the way for '00s drama shows in the UK like Footballers Wives. The '90s drama charted the ups and downs of life in a UK prison and ran for eight seasons between June 1999 and December 2006.

Saved By The Bell

'90s TV Shows - Saved By The Bell
'90s TV Shows - Saved By The Bell

Saved By The Bell was one of the original teen comedy shows, launching in the '80s and running into the '90s. The fashion in the show reflects the trends of both eras, with huge hair (we're looking at you, Kelly Kapowski) crop tops, acid-wash jeans and plenty of colour.

The X Files

'90s TV Shows - The X Files
'90s TV Shows - The X Files

The X Files was worth watching alone for the sizzling chemistry between David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson (AKA Moulder and Scully) as they team up to investigate unsolved cases, often involving elements of the supernatural or paranormal.

Ally McBeal

'90s TV Shows  - Ally McBeal
'90s TV Shows - Ally McBeal

Everyone's favourite TV lawyer was Ally McBeal, a flawed by endearing protagonist navigating finding love at Boston law firm Cage and Fish - where her ex-boyfriend unfortunately works as well.

Blossom

'90s TV Shows  - Blossom
'90s TV Shows - Blossom

Relatable teen drama Blossom won the hearts of '90s viewers with its sweet coming-of-age tale. Inspired by J D Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, the show was initially meant to star a boy but producers seized an opportunity to flip the narrative and put a young girl at the centre of the story.

Futurama

'90s TV shows - Futurama
'90s TV shows - Futurama

Futurama is another '90s cartoon that has stood the test of time, maintaining high viewing stats throughout the decades. The '90s TV show has officially had three runs - on Fox from 1999 to 2003, on Comedy Central from 2008 to 2013, and today as a popular choice on streaming platforms.

Full House

'90s TV shows - Full House
'90s TV shows - Full House

Full House is as wholesome as they come when it comes to '90s TV shows with its heartwarming (and, we'll admit, slightly cheesy) humour. Perhaps most notably, the show launched the careers of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, who were just nine months old when Full House premiered.

My So-Called Life

'90s TV shows - My So Called Life
'90s TV shows - My So Called Life

Another career-launching '90s TV show was My So-Called Life, which stared the likes of Claire Danes and Jared Leto, among others, following the lives of a group of teenagers who live in the suburbs near Pittsburgh.

The Sopranos

'90s TV shows - The Sopranos
'90s TV shows - The Sopranos

For a different mood entirely, The Sopranos is still widely acclaimed by critics and is considered one of the original mobster series. It starred the late James Gandolfini in the iconic role of Tony Soprano.

Will & Grace

'90s TV shows - Will & Grace
'90s TV shows - Will & Grace

Charting the friendship between a gay lawyer and a straight interior designer (a break-out role for Debrah Messing) in New York City, Will & Grace was the first prime-time show with a gay lead character, helping to normalise LGBTQ+ relationships on screen.

ER

'90s TV shows - ER
'90s TV shows - ER

Who could forget George Clooney as Dr Douglas Ross in one of his earliest roles? George aside, ER was a pioneer when it came to gripping US medical dramas, making way for shows like Grey's Anatomy in the early '00s.

That '70s show

'90s TV shows - That 70s show
'90s TV shows - That 70s show

Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher demonstrated their early chemistry in That '70s Show, a much-beloved comedy show set in the era of flares, flower power and glam rock. The show first aired in 1998 and lasted for eight seasons and even had a spin-off series - That '90s Show.

Moesha

'90s TV shows - Moesha
'90s TV shows - Moesha

Debuting in 1996, Moesha was the break-out role for singer Brandy and followed the life of a teenage girl navigating the loss of her mother and her father re-marrying in LA, with plenty of laughs along the way.

Ellen

'90s TV shows - Ellen
'90s TV shows - Ellen

Before The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which ran for a lengthy 19 seasons, there was Ellen, the sitcom. Ellen followed the story of eccentric bookseller Ellen Morgan in the '90s in LA. The show ran for five seasons before Ellen went on to focus on other pursuits.

Party of Five

'90s TV shows - Party of Five
'90s TV shows - Party of Five

Heartfelt teen drama Party of Five was another launch pad for some iconic actors, including Neve Campbell and Jennifer Love Hewitt. The story follows five siblings trying to keep their family together and make ends meet after their parents were killed in a car accident.

Daria

'90s TV shows - Daria
'90s TV shows - Daria

Daria was created as a spin-off of the popular show Beavis and Butt-Head by MTV to speak to a female audience and gained a cult following after its release in 1997. Audiences could clearly relate to sarcastic introvert Daria, who offered an alternative to the usual female lead.

Law & Order

'90s TV shows - Law & Order
'90s TV shows - Law & Order

Fast-paced drama Law & Order aired for a huge 20 years, with audiences continually riveted by the police and legal drama. Its spin-offs include Law & Order: Special Victims UnitLaw & Order: LA, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

Everybody Loves Raymond

'90s TV shows - Everybody Loves Raymond
'90s TV shows - Everybody Loves Raymond

This sweet, family-led comedy doesn't have a particularly unique plot, but perhaps that's why it resonated so much with viewers. The story revolves around an Italian-American Newsday sports writer from Long Island trying to balance his personal and professional life.

Rosanne

'90s TV shows - Rosanne
'90s TV shows - Rosanne

Rosanne was a '90s prime-time show that focused on the realities of family life, providing comic relief regarding more serious issues such as financial struggles and marital problems. Roseanne Barr wrote the show, loosely basing it on her own experiences.

Home Improvement

'90s TV shows - Home Improvement
'90s TV shows - Home Improvement

Home Improvement was another American sitcom that resonated with viewers across the world. A heartfelt and funny family comedy that ran from 1993 to 1999, the story focuses on Tim 'The Tool Man' Taylor, a television show host raising three mischievous boys alongside his wife, Jill.