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ids raised in the ‘90s didn’t grow up with tablets or smartphones. Most of us probably remember when pagers were a thing and recall the sweet sounds of dial-up Internet.

That was a time when television was, for the most part, an in-house experience.

I started to wonder how we ever survived.

Then, I remembered: we had some really awesome television shows that were well worth sitting down in front of a TV for.

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Heck, back then we even knew when our favorite shows came on and planned our schedules around them. It wasn’t like we could DVR them or watch them the next day on-demand.

All of the shows we watched did not begin in the ‘90s.

Some came long before us and some only hit the airways after the turn of the century, but our generation will never forget these shows.

Let’s begin with some of the shows that weren’t cartoons, the ones that made us do something or more importantly, taught us how to do something even if it was as simple as getting on the floor and pretending we were a clock.

That’s right. I’m talking about The Big Comfy Couch. Dust bunnies and rag dolls captured our attention, but when Loonette hit the ground to do the clock stretch, many of us were down on the ground with her.

And you know what else we were doing? That snap/clap thing Tony and Viv did when they sang the goodbye song at the end of Out of The Box I swore to myself that one day I would take a bunch of cardboard boxes and turn them into a spacious playhouse. It never happened, and I don’t know if I ever actually made anything they made on the show but I somehow felt accomplished after watching.

It would be impossible to talk about shows from the ‘90s without talking Nickelodeon. I watched so many shows on that network that I still remember the ads for Nick Magazine. I can’t be the only one who begged my parents for a subscription.

Photo courtesy of Fanpop Fan
Photo courtesy of Fanpop Fan

From Blue’s Clues – I can recall every word of the “Mail Song” – to the more mature Hey Arnold -that episode when Oskar learned to read was intense- I sat back and watched the shenanigans unfold and learned some lessons along the way.

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Was I the only one with a kid crush on Rocket Powers Otto? This taught us to go for it, whatever it was.

CatDog taught us that two heads are better than one.

The Wild Thornberrys showed us that adventure and animals are important parts of life.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user OEVB
Photo courtesy of Flickr user OEVB.

Rugrats, The Ren and Stimpy Show, Doug, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Rocko’s Modern Life, As Told By Ginger and many more were all go-to shows and still are, as a lot of them are on Netflix.

And let’s be real, All That and The Amanda Show made us stay up even after a long day of cycling or school. I’m not sure what their lessons were, but they sure were funny.

That said, the moment Nick News came on, (and apparently this is still a thing) was the moment I changed the channel. Sorry Linda Ellerbee.

One of the next channels I’d turn to was the beloved WB, a predecessor of The CW, in hopes that Pinky and the Brain was just starting or maybe Animaniacs. Arthur on PBS Kids was always an option too.

And of course, there was Cartoon Network.

Sailor Moon and The Powerpuff Girls taught us gals that girl power starts at a young age. Johnny Bravo personified the guy we should never date. Dexter’s Laboratory and Cow and Chicken taught us to accept our siblings differences, even if they make no sense.

Photo courtesy of Fanpop.
Photo courtesy of Fanpop.

Scooby Doo and Ed, Edd ‘n’ Eddy taught us that you need a good squad to get through life.

Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones and other shows that I consider classic cartoons, showed us that our parents’ and grandparents’ generations weren’t as lame we thought; they were able to make a mouse and and cat that didn’t even talk entertaining.

Now, we have to talk Disney.

The list of shows]and movies that we loved on this channel seems infinite.

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The nostalgia has to hit when you think about The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Rolie Polie Olie, Sister, Sister, Boy Meets World, Even Stevens, Lizzie McGuire, That’s So Raven, The Proud Family and many more.

Photo courtesy of Fanpop
Photo courtesy of Fanpop.

Many of these shows introduced us to the woes of middle and high school and sometimes college long before we had to think about majors or the cost of textbooks.

They taught us about relationships with our friends and families. Thanks to Lilo and Stitch -the movies and the series- we know “Ohana means family.”

Photo courtesy of Fanpop.
Photo courtesy of Fanpop.

Kim Possible introduced us to smartphones back when we were lucky to have flip phones.

These are the shows that raised us, the shows we should never forget, the shows that I hope my kids will binge watch the way I now binge watch Lost.

WritersBloc_Headshots_04Charis Pannell is a senior journalism major and may be reached at charispannell94@gmail.com.

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