Teen Shows of the '90s You May Have Forgotten About

From Bug Juice to The Secret World of Alex Mack

<p>Nickelodeon Network/Courtesy Everett Collection; United Archives/Alamy Stock Photo; Nickelodeon/courtesy Everett Collection</p> From left: The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo, Are You Afraid of the Dark, The Secret World of Alex Mack

Nickelodeon Network/Courtesy Everett Collection; United Archives/Alamy Stock Photo; Nickelodeon/courtesy Everett Collection

From left: The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo, Are You Afraid of the Dark, The Secret World of Alex Mack

If you came-of-age in the 1990s, there are no doubt dozens of television shows you remember from your childhood and teen years — shows that you cued up either after school (like Saved by the Bell) or during primetime viewing hours (who could forget ABC's TGIF lineup?).

But there are some other tv shows that were slightly more under-the-radar but still made their mark, either due to a cult following or to the actors who starred in them — many of whom are now A-listers and even Oscar winners.

Below, a look at some of the teen- and tween-focused television shows of the 1990s you may have forgotten.

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Related: The Cast of 'Hanging with Mr. Cooper:' Where Are They Now?

Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper

<p>Bob D'Amico /ABC / Courtesy Everett Collection</p> Hangin' With Mr. Cooper

Bob D'Amico /ABC / Courtesy Everett Collection

Hangin' With Mr. Cooper

This show — which aired for five seasons beginning in 1992 — followed a retired NBA player who transitioned to a career as a teacher and basketball coach. The sitcom was a hit on ABC's TGIF lineup, and had occasional crossovers with other shows (including Full House).

In addition to Mr. Cooper himself (played by Mark Curry), the show revolved around his roommate (played by Holly Robinson Peete), friends and family (including Raven-Symoné in one of her earliest roles).

Breaker High

<p>Everett Collection</p> Breaker High

Everett Collection

Breaker High

Though it had a short run, airing between 1997 and 1998, Breaker High had a cult following, thanks in part to it airing on both Canada's YTV and in networks in the U.S.

The show, which followed a group of students who attended high school on a cruise ship, was filmed in British Columbia, though episodes took place in exotic locations across the world. Breaker High is notable for both it's unique plot, which is inspired in part by the real-life Semester at Sea program, and for its cast, as it starred a young Ryan Gosling.


<p>PBS/Everett Collection</p> Ghostwriter

PBS/Everett Collection


This mystery show aired for three seasons, beginning in 1992. The series revolved around a group of young friends in Brooklyn who worked together to solve neighborhood crimes — with the assistance of a spirit or ghost, who only communicated to the group via writing.

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

<p>United Archives GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo</p> Are You Afraid of the Dark?

United Archives GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Another mystery show, this Nickelodeon classic aired for seven seasons in 1990. Each episode began with the members of the Midnight Society (a young person's storytelling club) sitting around a campfire in the woods, with one member recounting a ghost story.

Each episode's ghost story was different, though they usually revolved around the paranormal. And every episode ended the same way — with one character throwing a bucket of water onto the fire, and saying, "I declare this meeting of The Midnight Society closed."

The show ultimately spawned two revival series — one airing from 1999 to 2000, and another from 2019 to 2022.

Bug Juice

<p>Disney Channel/courtesy Everett Collection</p> Bug Juice

Disney Channel/courtesy Everett Collection

Bug Juice

This Disney Channel series premiered in 1998, ran for four seasons, and was in many ways one of the original unscripted reality shows on television. In Bug Juice, cameras followed real campers at a different camp each season. What was ultimately captured was similar to what viewers of MTV's The Real World might be used to — drama, crushes and heartbreak included.

And while the show followed young campers, most between the ages of 9 and 12, it developed a following with even teens, due in large part to the unique (at the time) nature of the reality concept.

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California Dreams

<p>Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty</p> California Dreams

Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

California Dreams

This teen sitcom aired on NBC's Saturday morning block, TNBC, between 1992 and 1997. Created by a team of writers and producers behind another iconic teen show — Saved by the BellCalifornia Dreams followed a group of teens who formed a band called, of course, California Dreams.

The cast reunited last year for a live concert and panel discussion with actor Jennie Kwan (who played Samantha "Sam" Woo on the show), telling PEOPLE at the time, "It’s like nothing has changed. We’re like a big crazy family. But with just a couple more wrinkles."

The Journey of Allen Strange

<p>Nickelodeon / Everett Collection</p> The Journey of Allen Strange

Nickelodeon / Everett Collection

The Journey of Allen Strange

Airing from 1997 to 2000, The Journey of Allen Strange tells the story of a young alien (played by actor Arjay Smith) who is adopted by a father and his two kids. The series shows Allen as he attempts to return to his home planet and, in the meantime, does what he can to acclimate to modern society (like brining a store mannequin to life to pose as his human father during parent-teacher conferences at school).

The Secret World of Alex Mack

<p>Cinematic / Alamy Stock Photo/Hallmark</p> The Secret World of Alex Mack

Cinematic / Alamy Stock Photo/Hallmark

The Secret World of Alex Mack

This four-season sci-fi show aired on Nickelodeon beginning in 1994, and told the story of the titular character who, after being drenched with an experimental chemical during a mishap on her walk home from school, discovers she has special powers. Those powers (think telekinesis or the ability to dissolve into a puddle of water) proved unpredictable at times, though, often leading to confusion and comedy in the show.

The star of the series, actress Larisa Oleynik, continued to act after the show left the air, appearing notably in the movie 10 Things I Hate About You.

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The Adventures of Pete & Pete

nickelodeon/ everett The Adventures of Pete & Pete
nickelodeon/ everett The Adventures of Pete & Pete

This Nickelodeon drama, airing for three seasons beginning in 1993, began as a series of minute-long shorts airing between other shows on the network. The show revolved around two brothers, both named Pete, who navigate life in their quirky town of Wellsville.

The stars of the show — Danny Tamberelli and Michael C. Maronna — now co-host a podcast, The Adventures of Danny & Mike.

Salute Your Shorts

<p>Nickelodeon/Everett Collection</p> Salute Your Shorts

Nickelodeon/Everett Collection

Salute Your Shorts

This two-season show followed a group of teenagers and their myriad adventures while at summer camp at the fictional Camp Anawanna.

The show aired 26 episodes from 1991 through 1992. Following its end, the cast remained close, with the core actors reuniting at Portland's Everything Is Festival in 2015, Entertainment Weekly reported at the time, and again in 2019, to celebrate the opening of Nickelodeon's Good Burger pop-up in Los Angeles.

Get Real

<p>Twentieth Century Fox/Getty</p> Get Real

Twentieth Century Fox/Getty

Get Real

This drama followed the dysfunctional Green family and their three teenagers—Meghan, Cameron and Kenny. Unlike most sitcoms and dramas at the time, the cast in Get Real would occasionally break the fourth wall, addressing the camera directly and speaking to viewers while acknowledging they were watching a television show.

While Get Real aired for only one season in 1999, it's notable for its cast, which included actors Anne Hathaway and Jesse Eisenberg, and it's well-received reviews.

Hang Time

<p>NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty</p> Hang Time

NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty

Hang Time

Another show from NBC's Saturday morning program block, Hang Time aired alongside Saved By the Bell: The New Class. The show followed the boys' varsity basketball team at Deering High School, set in the fictional town of Deering, Indiana.

The show's premise saw the failing basketball team find success after a female transfer student tries out for a position, ultimately landing a spot on the team.

Brotherly Love

<p>Touchstone Tv/Kobal/Shutterstock</p> Brotherly Love, Joey Lawrence, Andrew Lawrence, Matthew Lawrence

Touchstone Tv/Kobal/Shutterstock

Brotherly Love, Joey Lawrence, Andrew Lawrence, Matthew Lawrence

This two-season sitcom focused on the relationship of three brothers — Joe, Matt and Andy — played by real-life brothers Joey Lawrence, Matthew Lawrence and Andrew Lawrence. The show followed the family after the eldest brother Joe returns to run the family business after the death of the siblings' father.

The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo

<p>Nickelodeon Network / Courtesy Everett Collection</p> The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo

Nickelodeon Network / Courtesy Everett Collection

The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo

Another mystery-themed show from Nickelodeon, The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo focused on a young girl who solved cases as an intern at the local police department — often to the chagrin of her innkeeper grandfather, who raises her. Each episode of the show — which ran between 1996 and 1999 — offered up a different case, which was ultimately resolved with the help of Woo and her teenaged friends.

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