Flashback Fridays: TV that defined the 1990s

The hair style staples, the cheesy 90’s rock transitions between scenes, the familiar faces of people who wouldn’t make it far from that set in their careers and the cliché life-lessons; the classic recipe of 90’s American TV shows. ABC Family managed to produce a number of hit family sitcoms from the 1980’s through the 2000’s, including Family Matters, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Step-By-Step, Growing Pains, You Wish, and 8 Simple Rules.

Many of these became apart of our daily rituals growing up. Here is the Flashback Fridays top four picks.


Opening the show with six friends in black and white dancing in a fountain to The Remembrants' “I’ll Be There For You,” one of the most favored shows for kids of the 90’s was Friends.

Beginning in September of 1994, the show featured six friends, living together in penthouse New York apartments, falling in love with each other, having a lot of coffee, and living out their quirky lives. The cast of three guys and three girls consisted of actors we still see on the red carpet today and others who never made it past their iconic roles.

Jennifer Anniston as Rachel Greene, the girl next door, Courtney Cox as Monica Geller, the perfectionist chef, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, the eccentric masseuse, Matthew Perry as the spastic Chandler Bing, David Schwimmer as the awkward paleontologist Ross Geller, and Matt LeBlanc as that food crazy struggling actor Joey Tribbiani.

Everyone has his or her favorite character. From the show’s catchy theme song to Joey Tribbiani’s signature line “How you doin’?” this show made its way onto over 52.5 million television sets every Thursday night at 8:30 p.m.

This May marks the ten-year anniversary of the show’s end as a critical favorite, commercial success and cultural phenomenon that is still relevant today.

Full House:

With their setting in a quaint San Francisco townhouse and the show's opening of the cast running around a park, Full House was one of the crowd favorite sitcoms known for its heartfelt lessons, John Stamos and the childhood of the Olsen twins.

Previously airing on ABC Family channel every Friday, the eight-season long show told the story of Danny Tanner, Bob Saget, a widower raising three girls, D.J., Stephanie and Michelle, with the help of his two friends, chick magnet Jesse (John Stamos) and comic relief Joey (Dave Coulier).

The show is widely remembered as Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s acting debut. Cast at the age of six months, the twins interchangeably became Michelle Tanner, beginning as the adorable baby in 1987 and ending as the cleverly comedic eight-year-old with her hit liner “You got it dude.”

Boy Meets World:

Originally starring one pre-teen, one actual teen, two parents, a cranky teacher and a few school friends, Boy Meets World, eventually expanded to a cast of more than a dozen key players.

The show focuses on the life of Corey Matthews, played by Ben Savage, and his life and tribulations as a 12-year-old boy in middle school, trying to weasel his way out of class assignments, confronted with the icky idea of being attracted to girls, and faced with growing up in suburbia.

Airing from 1993 to 2000 on ABC, Boy Meets World, with a theme song of the same name, follows Corey through his years of elementary, through college and all the way to his marriage to middle school sweetheart, Topanga, played by Daniel Fishel.

As the show wore on, the cast expanded to include multiple story vignettes, including the at the time controversial interracial relationship between Corey’s best friend, Sean Hunter (Rider Strong) and Trina McGee-Davis (Angela Moore).

Power Rangers:

A show watched by both boys and girls alike, featuring a superhero team of multi-racial, combat experts faced with the evils of space alien Rita Repulsa, Power Rangers is a hallmark for epic childhood shows.

Not in the same vein as an American sitcom, this superhero series taught youngsters the necessity to stamp out evil and the finesse of morphing into a ranger. Based off of the Japanese Super Sentai series, the show featured rangers in blue, red, yellow, black, pink and sometimes green and white.

Choosing and standing by your ranger color and character was a must for avid fans. For many, the theme song “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” is still a signal to imagine transforming into their Power Ranger character and fight the villains of the universe.

Beginning with season one’s Lost Galaxy in 1993, the show saw many changes, as cast members were added, swapped out and dropped completely. The series generated two theatrical films, both distributed by 20th Century Fox in the mid 90’s.

Growing up, shows like Full House, Friends, Boy Meets World and Power Rangers were crucial parts of our daily routines.

As the characters on the shows grew up and learned from their mistakes, so did we. Their theme songs became a similar beat in our own hearts, ones that, when we hear them now, bring us back to childhood.