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50 Shows From the ’90s That Were Canceled Way Too Soon

Where my Blossom fans at?

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Things that defined the ’90s: floppy middle-parted hair, questionable taste in leggings, and—most important—some truly iconic TV shows. Most of which, tragically, were canceled way too soon. From Clarissa Explains It All to Clueless (yes, they made the movie into a show), these are the shows from the 1990s that we wish were still on air (er, on Netflix, I guess) today.

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3rd Rock From the Sun

If you didn’t have a crush on Joseph Gordon-Levitt as hot humanoid alien Tommy Solomon, were you even living? 3rd Rock From the Sun blessed us with its unearthly presence for six seasons, and its ending definitely left room for a revival. You listening, Netflix?

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All That

Kids from the ’90s will remember coming home and feeling extremely cool while watching All That, Nickelodeon’s “sketch comedy” show for kids. Like, sorry, Lorne Michaels, but SNL who?

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Ally McBeal

You know, Ally McBeal? Aka that show your mom watched every night while you “did your homework” on the living room floor, desperately wondering who Ally would end up with? Tragically, it was canceled for the lamest reason ever: not winning enough Emmys.

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Moesha was one of UPN’s most successful shows. And if you’re wondering what UPN is, fair enough: It doesn’t exist anymore. The show lasted six seasons, and in insanely ugh news, it ended on a cliff-hanger (an unsolved pregnancy test!) thanks to being suddenly canceled.

Buy season 1

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Are You Afraid of the Dark?

First of all, yes, I am afraid of the dark, thanks for checking. Second of all, this horror anthology was legit the scariest part about SNICK, as in, Nickelodeon’s super-cool Saturday night programming for ~teens~ that felt extremely adult to 8-year-old me.

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If any single image could sum up the ’90s, it’d be this picture of Mayim Bialik as Blossom in her delightfully insane flower hat, high-waisted pants, and curled-under bob. But all that really matters is remembering how dreamy Blossom’s brother (played by Joey Lawrence) was. Le sigh.

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Boy Meets World

Between Shawn’s middle-part hair flop, Cory’s love for unbuttoned button-downs, and Topanga’s insane bangs, no show defines ’90s TV more than Boy Meets World. Hands up if Mr. Feeny is still your imaginary mentor.

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Breaker High

Yes, that’s Ryan Gosling on the right in this picture, and no, I am not okay. You might not remember Breaker High because it was only on for one season, but guys, we need to discuss the plot: It’s about a group of kids who go to high school on a cruise ship. If you can find a way to stream this show today, you are a better internet sleuth than I.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Sometimes in life, you have to make tough choices. And for us ’90s and early aughts kids, it all came down to this: Buffy or Charmed?! Both were canceled too soon, but Buffy was significantly more ’90s and is often considered one of the Greatest Shows of All Time (nothing but the truth!).

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Camp Wilder

Camp Wilder only lasted for one gloriously ’90s season before being canceled and was part of ABC’s iconic TGIF lineup. You wanna know the saddest part? Twenty episodes were filmed and the network only bothered to air 19 of them, because ratings were so low. I! Demand! Justice! P.S. Apparently, this show was a hit in Germany, so maybe you could relocate and try streaming it there?!

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Of all the completely wild animated shows Nickelodeon made in the ’90s, CatDog is definitely up there. It was on for four seasons and I still have questions (like HOW DOES CATDOG GO TO THE BATHROOM, HELP).

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Clarissa Explains It All

Guys! Clarissa really did explain it all. Like how to sneak into your best friend’s window with a secret ladder. And how to deal with your annoying little brother. And how to buy your first training bra. The list goes on.

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Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman

Okay, so in retrospect, the “white savior” vibes were pretty 😳 in Dr. Quinn, but it was a heartfelt show that your mom and grandma loved and featured some solid period fashion. Also, can we please talk about Byron Sully’s man bangs? I legit had this haircut in middle school.

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Cast of TV Comedy Series 'Clueless,' 1996
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To be clear, this show was not as good as the movie. And it didn’t star Alicia Silverstone as Cher. And the fact that it lasted three seasons on TGIF is fully shocking. But it tried. Bless its confused ’90s heart!

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Probably the best show MTV has ever made, Daria followed a sarcastic loner high school student who is the most relatable person (er, cartoon) ever. Its cancellation was tragic, but good news: The show is being revived with a spin-off called Jodie.

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Dawson’s Creek

Excuse me while I spend the next few minutes crying over Dawson, his aforementioned creek, and the fact that this show isn’t in my life anymore. It did, however, introduce us to a timeless GIF of James Van Der Beek weeping hysterically.

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Sister, Sister

This iconic ’90s show was on for six seasons, but it was actually canceled by ABC midway through its run, only to be picked up by The WB, which clearly thought ABC was being insane, which it was. Tragically, the revival (announced last year) doesn’t seem to be coming out anytime soon.

Buy the complete collection

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Anyone else ship Doug Funnie and Patti Mayonnaise harder than they ship their own relationship? Cool, same. Doug accompanied us through almost the entire decade, and spoiler alert: He and Patti finally go on a date in the last episode. Cute.

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Hey Arnold!

Speaking of animated ships, who else tuned in to Hey Arnold! every day after school to see if Arnold would finally return Helga’s unrequited love? Same again. I stan a football head!

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Watching Felicity basically involved (a) marveling over her gorgeous hair and (b) stressing out over her onscreen love life. Oh, and speaking of Felicity’s hair, her infamous cut is allegedly one of the reasons the ratings tanked and the show was canceled.

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Sure, it was just a hokey ’90s kids show. But Goosebumps introduced us to Slappy, the evil ventriloquist dummy, and nothing has been the same since. Thanks, R. L. Stine!

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Hey Dude

Just a casual teen Western comedy that was exactly as weird as you’d expect it to be! Not sure why Nickelodeon canceled it after five seasons, but the fact that it’s not available to stream on Netflix is a crime.

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Kenan & Kel

Kenan & Kel helped make SNL’s Kenan Thompson a household name, and it was honestly just the best. Fun fact: It had tons of notable guest stars, including the living legend known as Britney Spears.

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Malibu Shores

Guys, this show literally lasted only 10 episodes on NBC in 1996. Which is kinda wild considering it was about angsty teen high school drama in L.A. and starred Keri Russell. Like, what more do you want, world? I cannot for the life of me figure out a way to stream this, so if you can, I salute ya.

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My So-Called Life

Often hailed as one of the most important teen shows in TV history, My So-Called Life lasted only one season before being canceled. And, ugh, it *also* ended on a cliff-hanger. But still, its cultural impact and honest portrayal of teen angst was well worth the frustration.

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The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

🎵 This is the story all about how Will Smith’s life got flipped turned upside down 🎵...and then he morphed into a massive movie star. God bless the ’90s.

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Mr. Show With Bob and David

Mr. Show was hugely popular for people who stayed up past 10 p.m. and watched HBO. The sketch comedy featured comedian guest stars like Sarah Silverman and Jack Black, and while it never had a huge audience (premium cable was pretty limited back in ye olden days), it was pretty influential.

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Parker Lewis Can’t Lose

Apparently, Parker Lewis can lose, because this show was canceled after just three seasons—but still, the surreal teen sitcom remained super influential and had a dedicated fandom. Fall Out Boy even named a song after it, that’s all I’m saying.

Buy the box set

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Party of Five

More like Party of Six because I watched this show alone on my couch every damn week. Come for the siblings-with-no-parents angsty teen drama, and stay for literally everyone’s horrifying hair.

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Pinky and the Brain

In case you haven’t heard, one is a genius, the other’s insane. IDK who came up with the plot of this deranged show about two lab rats trying to overthrow the world, but there’s no way they weren’t high at the time.

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