40 Best ’90s Sitcoms


You were watching and heavily invested, and you know it.

Growing up in the ’90s, we had a completely different television-watching experience than anyone does today.

In the days where you were at the mercy of whatever was airing on whatever channel you might have, we all found a lot more common ground in entertainment.

Sitcoms were everywhere in the ’90s, and they brought us some of the best, most popular titles of the decade. Here’s just a taste of the best.

1.

Will & Grace


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Will & Grace was some of the first mainstream LGBTQ representation on TV. You had two gay leads who weren’t forced on each other because they actually had other queer people in their orbit. These four friends were truly fun and bubbly in a way that never felt forced. 

2.

Everybody Loves Raymond


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Everybody Loves Raymond stayed solidly in the family sitcom lane for its nearly decade-long run. It gave a great example of a functional dysfunctional family where there are obvious favorites and throwing shade is second nature.

3.

Friends


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Say what you want about Friends, but it does really speak to that time in your life where your chosen family takes precedence over everything else. They took the will they/won’t they romance trope to soap-opera extremes but always kept fans engaged and the characters pretty likable.

4.

Martin


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Martin Lawrence was a beloved comedian when he tried his hand at the sitcom and hit it out of the park. Martin followed a wannabe tough guy title character as his soft spot for his friends and girlfriend Gina got him into crazy hijinks and gave NBC’s “Must See TV” block a run for its money.

5.

A Different World


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While this one started in the ’80s, A Different World gave some incredible ’90s fashion, HBCU greatness, and touched on some serious issues of the decade. 

6.

Living Single


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In a ’90s kind of world, I’m glad we got this sitcom. This was one of the ’90s great examples of female friendship, with roommates who would playfully snipe at one another but always had each other’s back when it counted. 

7.

Roseanne


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Roseanne Barr was the queen of blue-collar comedy with this family sitcom that showed every family wasn’t the cutesy, lovey kind. The Conners could fight hard and love hard and faced a lot of struggles you weren’t seeing on TV before they arrived.

8.

Murphy Brown


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Mary Richards walked through the ’70s so Murphy Brown could run in the ’90s. Murphy was a powerful investigative journalist who was also a recovering alcoholic and, later, a single mom who suffered no fools.

9.

The Wonder Years


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The Wonder Years was one of those pivotal coming-of-age sitcoms that really reflected on how much changes over time without us noticing it. It looked back on the 1960s but gave us characters that really developed through the show’s run, complete with big lessons packed into small happenings.

10.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air


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The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was a show that brought us a great combination of pop culture, family, and life lessons. Every member of the Banks family gave you something to love, and you could laugh and cry along with them. 

11.

The Simpsons


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The longevity of The Simpsons is a testament to how likable this animated family is. Viewers have enjoyed all the different kinds of humor from this family of five and all the different characters that make up the chaotic Springfield neighborhood.

12.

King of the Hill


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Any conversation about ’90s animated sitcoms is incomplete without King of the Hill. It follows some ordinary-seeming Texans who are anything but. Arlen is home to a lot of lovable folks that may seem a lot like the characters in your own neighborhood.

13.

Frasier


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Frasier started as a Cheers spinoff but quickly took on a life of its own. It’s hard to make elite characters well liked, but Frasier and Niles Crane are the rare exception, brought back down to earth by their blue-collar dad and his home attendant, Daphne. As the series’ action unfolds and they meld into one big, dysfunctional-but-happy family, the writing just gets better and better.

14.

NewsRadio


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AM radio has never been more entertaining than when NewsRadio was on the air. It’s been hailed as one of the best and most underrated workplace comedies for a reason. 

15.

Seinfeld


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Telling everyday stories was heightened to an art form with Seinfeld, a sitcom that refused to play on the typical tropes that made the medium successful for storytelling. The little details many would overlook were always front and center in the show’s action, and that’s what made it delightful.

16.

Saved by the Bell


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Saved by the Bell was one of the best coming-of-age sitcoms. In just four seasons, the show built a legacy on par with some of the biggest dramedies of the decade and without most of the heavy material.

17.

The Nanny


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Fran Fine put a charm on television like no other. The contrast between her middle-class Jewish upbringing and the stiff upper-class Brits, the Sheffields, sets the stage for some serious hilarity. 

18.

Spin City


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Spin City had a great cast with a number of stars throughout its run. It followed the Deputy Mayor of New York’s office, starting with Michael J. Fox and, later, Charlie Sheen. 

19.

Party of Five

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Party of Five turned the family sitcom on its head with a completely different concept. The Salinger siblings found themselves orphaned after their parents died in a car accident. They were forced to hold things together or be separated, and as they grew up, that presented one challenge after another.

20.

Moesha


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Moesha gave us an upper-middle-class blended Black family living their best lives. And while it started out a little more family-centric, seeing Moesha come into her own (while Brandy dominated everything IRL) was perfection.

21.

Married…With Children

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Much like Roseanne, Married…With Children was a grittier family sitcom than your average. 

22.

Boy Meets World


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Boy Meets World was a family sitcom that also grew to focus on a group of friends and the ups and downs of their lives from middle school through college. The series really won fans over with the puppy love that was Cory and Topanga’s relationship. Their ups and downs ended in a happily-ever-after that fans couldn’t get enough of.

23.

That ’70s Show

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Hanging around doing nothing never seemed as cool as when the gang from That ’70s Show did it. The cultural references brought a lot of older viewers to the show, while younger viewers just appreciated a good very low-key stoner comedy.

24.

King of Queens

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An Everbody Loves Raymond spinoff that won everyone over with its own charm, King of Queens gave us a spirited married but childless couple, rare for a family sitcom.

25.

3rd Rock From the Sun

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It wouldn’t be a ’90s list without some aliens, and the 3rd Rock gang was the best of the best. The star-studded cast brought laugh-til-it-hurts hijinks while just trying to get by on Earth.

26.

Sports Night

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Before 30 Rock gave us behind-the-scenes TV laughs, Sports Night did it on a truly pro-level. It’s early Aaron Sorkin’s hot takes on Sports Center, and it’s kind of perfect.

27.

Mad About You


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Mad About You took a different approach to a sitcom about family and friendships, exposing fault lines other shows didn’t touch. Paul and Jamie are far from the perfect couple, but you can’t imagine them with anyone else.

28.

Home Improvement

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Home Improvement doesn’t get as much nostalgic love as other ’90s sitcoms, but it was pretty major. It launched Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Pamela Anderson’s acting careers and put a special twist on the family sitcom. 

29.

Family Matters


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Family Matters was meant to be one sitcom but the popularity of Steve Urkel took it in an admittedly different direction. The relationship between the Winslow family and the lovable, clumsy, hot mess that was Urkel made for great TV.

30.

Sister, Sister


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What ’90s girl wasn’t obsessed with Tia and Tamera?! Their fashion on this show was everything, and it offered something for every type of chick. PS: We’re all still recovering from the evolution of Roger, played by Marques Houston.

31.

Sabrina, The Teenage Witch


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Another ’90s staple was the witch, and no witch was more envied than Sabrina Spellman. Sabrina’s constantly trying to balance mortal life and witch life without messing up her friendships and relationships, to varied but hilarious results.

32.

The Drew Carey Show


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Drew Carey was running a microbrewing coffee beer out of his garage when you weren’t even old enough to drink. The show followed regular guys doing regular-guy-things, but the different comedic personas on the cast gave the characters a lot of oomph.

33.

Blossom


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Blossom followed a teen girl and her dad living and dealing after her mom leaves to focus on herself. Her dad does his best; her older brother is in recovery, 

34.

Wings

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A little airline in a little airport that packed a big punch, Wings was a sleeper hit in many ways. Another member of the Cheers universe, it sees some perfectly placed cameos as well.

35.

Just Shoot Me

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Vogue-dupe Blush is where a temperamental photographer Maya Gallo is forced to work after getting fired from multiple other gigs. Her father owns the magazine, and dealing with that and its crew of characters is not what she signed up for.

36.

Dharma and Greg


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This mismatched couple, with free-spirited yogi Dharma and uptight conservative lawyer Greg, feels oddly familiar in the present day. The two get married on a whim after their first date and have to figure out how to fit the rest of their very different lives together.

37.

The Larry Sanders Show

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The whole point of this show was to blur the lines between reality and written comedy with a late-night talk show that felt real. It offered a lot of commentary on pop culture that still rings true for many to this day.

38.

Freaks and Geeks


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Sneaking in at the end of the ’90s, Freaks and Geeks gave us just one perfect season of the coming-of-age angsty sitcom. We needed so much more, but this one has become a cult classic.

39.

Kenan & Kel


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Kenan & Kel may be a Nickelodeon show, but it was just as good as a lot of the major network sitcoms out there. The Chicago teens get into hijinks and break the fourth wall, and its just a great comedy duo to watch.

40.

Two of a Kind

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While we’re obsessing over twins, let’s take a minute to recognize the short-lived but kind of amazing moment that was Two of a Kind.  Mary Kate and Ashley as the daughters of a single dad whose world is turned upside down by their new babysitter is tween perfection.

Now let’s hear it: What were your must-watch shows in ’90s? Let’s hear it in the comments.


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