’90s kids shows that are even better when you’re all grown up

Listen up everyone: we are currently in the era of re-binging. Honestly, it’s a surprise any of us find the time to leave the house and go run errands and stuff. There’s so much TV to watch. Start mentally preparing to add a few more things to your ever growing list: Hulu and Viacom have reached a sweet new deal and even more old-school ’90s shows are coming to the streaming website. We’re talking about Hey Arnold, Ren & Stimpy and Drake and Josh

Sure, you might think you’ve already watched these series from beginning to end, but you were young then. It’s a completely different experience to go back and re-watch all those shows you loved as a kid. Especially those super-clever shows that had little adult winks you may not have picked up on the first time around. So as you prepare to pencil in even more shows to hour busy schedule, consider re watching these kid shows as an adult.


Here’s the thing I love most about Doug: It taught us about acceptance way before we even realized it was a thing we needed in life. As a kid, I just accepted that everyone was a different color on the show. Then as I grew up, I realized that the world was just as wonderfully diverse as the show. Is it a small thing that goes right over kids heads, but later stick with you? Yup. Doug had so many small moments that have stayed with me through life, that it’s not hard to think about it, and relate it to life today. Hey remember that time Doug asked Patti out on a date, but then he didn’t know if she knew it was a date? That was a lesson I took to heart later in life. . 


So technically speaking, Arthur is still on the air – sometimes it’s on really early in the morning and I casually watch an hour or two of it. And you know what? Arthur is great. The jokes are so fast and smart that it’s hard to really understand them as kids, so it begs for a re-binge. There’s one episode where DW asks to do something that Arthur can do, and her parents tell her she can “when she’s Arthur’s age.” To which DW says, “That’s not fair I’ll never be Arthur’s age!” That’s spot on perfection.


The only thing you might remember about this show is its catchy theme song that will seriously get stuck in your head for hours. Here are other things to remember about Animaniacs: it was actually semi-educational. Really! Though it was a mix of slapstick cartoon and satire, they often brought historical figures into the mix. Watching cartoons and learning a little something, too? Why wouldn’t you want to revisit this show, if only for a new supply of trivial information?

The Adventures of Pete & Pete

For a show geared at kids, the subject matter of Pete and Pete was very adult. It was almost like a quirky children’s version of Arrested Development or even Parks and Rec. The cast was huge and there were all these little interweaving backstories between everyone. Also, the original Batman, Adam West, played their principal, which is a casting decision no one appreciates until much later in life.

Ghost Writer

Ghost Writer was a great TV show.   It might have been a show that secretly taught you the basics of writing and editing from a friendly ghost who used to communicate through written words, but it also inspired a generation of early ’90s kids to think differently. Besides, if nothing else Ghost Writer will simply remind you how far technology had come in the last two decades.

Ren and Stimpy

Know what Ren and Stimpy had that most cartoons do not? Lots of sexual innuendo. Which is why I vividly remember my mother telling me I couldn’t watch it as a child. Besides, everything probably would have gone right over my head. Now, looking back on the series it’s probably for the best I waited to watch it because as a kid I wouldn’t have grasped half of what the show was alluding to.


I don’t know about you guys, but my Recess was never as epic as the ones I saw on television. Recess focused on a group of friends who came together over their mutual love of not being in class for fifteen minutes each day. Also, during those fifteen minutes, the kids form their own government and class structure which is not something you understand when you’re seven years old. The kids on the playground often found themselves in struggles of good vs. evil and order vs. chaos. And their backdrop was a jungle gym.

Doogie Howser, M.D. 

So not necessarily a token “kid show,” Doogie Howser did prominently feature a small Neil Patrick Harris, so I felt like I could get away watching it. But as a kid, I did not understand anything about the medical aspect of the show, other than the fact that Doogie was a doctor. Going back and re-watching it now, I realized the show covered everything from sexism and racism to affordable health care. Who knew Doogie got so real?

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