Ah, the ’90s. ‘Twas a simpler time, complete with scented markers, Furbies, Michael Jordan jerseys, and lunchtimes spent trading Pokémon cards. Even if you weren’t born and raised in West Philadelphia, chances are you tuned in to the antics of Will Smith and the countless other stars that made the canned laughter redundant. You may not have aged well, but here are five sitcoms that have:
What better way to explore mayhem in Manhattan than with six friends with horribly mismatched yet seamlessly compatible personalities? When we watched Friends, we watched our friends and ourselves stumble through life, rarely smoothly, but always making it out okay. Few shows have ever created characters so quirky, charming, and believable. If you ever felt down, this show was there for you.
Another comedic classic set in Manhattan, Seinfeld isn’t just a must-see ’90s sitcom, it may well be one of the greatest shows ever aired. The show brought together an unforgettable crew and pitted them against situations both hilarious and all too real. Seinfeld wasn’t really about anything, but as anyone who’s watched it would say, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”
Boy Meets World
With the sage guidance of Mr. Feeny, Boy Meets World saw Cory, Shawn, and Topanga barely overcome life’s challenges on the path from clumsy childhood to clumsy adulthood. All complete with the 90-est clothes and hairstyles you’ll ever see. Many of the actors reprise their roles in the 2014 spinoff series, Girl Meets World, which follows the misadventures of Cory and Topanga’s daughter, Riley.
No matter how busy we were, we always had a half hour for Tool Time. Tim and Al made the perfect comedy duo, and Wilson was never short on ambiguous advice or ways to hide his face. Whether it was the hospital, jail, or the couch, Tim’s macho antics more often than not landed him (and occasionally Al) in big trouble, and we loved every minute of it.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
This show did more than sport the catchiest opening theme of any TV show ever, it explored many issues in society that we still struggle with to this day. Whether it was an overeager flambé, relationship counseling with bats, or the true meaning of family, we laughed, cried, cringed, and sometimes just sat in silence. We’ll never forget the lessons Uncle Phil taught us. May you rest in peace, James Avery.