Everyone has a favorite show, but do you remember your favorite TV show growing up? Here are some of the childhood TV shows we here at APN watched.
After coming home from school, I knew if I was going to watch TV it would be some type of cartoon. This was because I never had control over the TV remote. Do not get me wrong, I loved watching cartoons, but my dad and my brother never let me watch anything else. Thus, I was raised on Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. Specifically, my brother and I always had to watch “SpongeBob SquarePants” if it was on, but my dad was usually there watching it with us. I even remember my brother and me sharing a kid-sized SpongeBob couch while we watched it. Thinking about it now, we all loved to watch it together because it made us laugh and was one of the best times of the day because we all got to spend it together. I have not watched it in a long time, but who knows, I may have to indulge my inner child.
As an only child growing up in the 2000s, visual and audio entertainment spent time raising me almost as much as my parents did. Whether you were an only child like me, or grew up in a small town, or even convinced your parents you were sick so you sit on the couch and watch daytime TV all day, we were a generation raised on television.
I consumed a lot of television within many networks, but if I were to choose one that had the most influence on me, it would be “Courage the Cowardly Dog,” which ran on Cartoon Network from November 1999 until November 2002. While it was a show advertised for children on a children’s network, time has questioned its place in that lane. It was the epitome of horror for children and was definitely my introduction into that world. Watching the show years later, the themes, art and story all hold up, and I understand that it was a foundation for the love I have for the horror genre today. Giving children the opportunity to explore all types of stories through television that is still appropriate and geared towards them can help shape their interests for the rest of their lives.
Social media editor
My favorite childhood show was “Hannah Montana.” When I first came to America, it was the only show that I watched, even when I didn’t really understand what they were saying. I just loved that anyone could relate to the characters’ personalities. I also loved to watch Miley, Oliver and Lily’s friendship stay strong throughout anything. I remember watching the last episode and being sad because of how Miley chose her friendship with Lily over a movie deal. Miley and Jackson’s brother and sister relationship reminded me of my relationship with my brother. As well, the countless support she got from everyone just was *chefs kiss*. I will always remember the show and all the memories that came with it.
Ashley st. john
I was obsessed with Disney Channel when I was a kid, and I loved watching almost all of the shows. I would watch things like “That’s So Raven,” “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody,” and “Hannah Montana.” If I had to choose a favorite out of all of the Disney shows, I would choose “Wizards of Waverly Place.” Selena Gomez had been one of my favorite actresses, and she’s still someone I look up to now, 13 years later. “Wizards of Waverly Place” was one of my favorites because I loved the idea of magic, it blew 10-year-old me’s mind. I also really liked how funny it was and even if there were some serious moments, it would be lightened with a little humor. This show kind of felt like a fun escape from reality where I could pretend I had magical powers like Alex Russo.
My favorite childhood TV show was “Boy Meets World.” I have watched, rewatched, binged and rebinged that show for years. I know it like the back of my hand. Growing up I always resonated with Topanga. I wanted to be as smart, hardworking and ambitious as she was. I also wanted to be as gentle and caring as Cory was. “Boy Meets World” was the show that made me feel at peace and comfortable.
My favorite childhood show was “Zoey 101.” This was my favorite because of the characters and the storyline. “Zoey 101” is about a teenage girl that goes to a boarding school called The Pacific Coast Academy, located in Malibu. She makes new friends and they all go through obstacles and bonding life experiences together. It is a great representation of what an unrealistic middle school/high school is,and I absolutely loved it. I enjoyed it because, as a child being able to see on screen what I wanted to experience in middle school, unrealistic and imaginative of course, I was intrigued. The storyline was amazing with both of the main characters being best friends and ending up falling in love. Another reason why I really admired this show is because growing up I was obsessed with Britney Spears, winner of “American Idol.” So, when I found out her sister was the main character of the show, I just had to watch it. I felt that this was the best show on Nickelodeon.
When thinking back to my childhood television history, it would feel wrong to not mention “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.” I found this show to be incredibly funny while keeping me interested in the characters personal lives. This show went on for three years and then immediately became the “Suite Life on Deck.” Zack and Cody left the hotel and spent the remainder of their Disney lives on a boat. As being near the same age as the two main characters, it felt as if I was also growing up with them.
“Hannah Montana” was another great show, and I can still remember some of the scenes in my head. For example, I was thinking back just now to the episode of the characters slowly disappearing as the past is getting changed when Montana’s father is sent back to the past. My love for this show was so impactful, I can still see the picture of me that my mom took in 2008 on Christmas, in my new “Hannah Montana” pajamas smiling wide. “Hannah Montana” also had subtle life lessons and morals hidden within the plot.
A show I enjoyed growing up was “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide.” As a young person, I dreamt about going to high school a lot and imagined high school being similar to what I saw in “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide.” Having lockers specifically was the one thing I was excited about, but coming to find out that not all high schools have lockers was a very disappointing revelation. As it also turns out, that show didn’t prepare me for anything. What high school turned out to be was honestly probably better than what was portrayed to me. It was still a good show though.
When I was really young, I used to watch a lot of “The Upside Down Show” on Nickelodeon. The show was about two guys named Shane and David, who lived in a near-endless house with both their puppet and human friends. Although it wasn’t aired for long, this show was ahead of its time with its outlandish sense of humor. I remember watching one episode in particular where the main characters ventured into the “movie theater” room of their house, yet couldn’t find the correct room to view their show. As the episode progressed, the viewers saw many of the wrong rooms that Shane and David ventured into. Many of the places that the characters ventured were incredibly surreal. The way that Shane and David balanced their comedy with budget was eerily similar to much of the “Gen Z” sense of humor we hear about and see on apps like TikTok and Instagram over 15 years later.
My favorite “show” wasn’t on TV. “Smosh” was a YouTube channel that mainly consists of two friends, Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla. They were two characters who would play in a series of videos and episodes. From 2009 to 2015, they were one of the biggest and eventually the number one YouTube channel in the world. They aired every Friday and I would run home from school to watch them. I was still watching TV and loved “Spongebob” and “iCarly,” but they seemed to grab the attention of everyone my age. They had music videos and a plethora of funny video series.
Growing up, I had a whole slew of TV shows that I loved to watch, as all kids do. My parents weren’t a big fan of Disney when I was growing up, so that left me with all the Nickelodeon shows to watch. There is one TV show that I still come back to when I’m feeling a bit nostalgic: “Zoey 101.” I always enjoyed watching “Zoey 101” because it made me feel like I was away at a boarding school having the time of my life with friends. My childhood self was so obsessed with the show, that I even had a key necklace with my initial “K” on it to match Zoeys. It was a comfort show for me growing up, and sometimes it’s fun to go back and watch it and feel like a kid again.
My favorite childhood TV show was “Madeline.” It was streamed on KIDSCO which was discontinued in 2014. “Madeline” was a French cartoon about these little girls and their reverend sister who lived in a community home together. The show was very fascinating for me because of how the girls lined up to form six distinct rows. One aspect of the show I loved was the theme song, because it was exciting and had a lot of cartoon vibes, which really encouraged me to keep watching it. I tried watching it recently but I found it boring. This really made me realize how much I had grown.
In 2014, I was only sad that KIDSCO was no longer available, not because I loved KIDSCO shows but because I loved “Madeline” so much. I liked very few shows KIDSCO streamed, but “Madeline” was the top one on the platform. Looking back at this show and how much I watched it only proved that the most boring thing may be very interesting for a particular audience, in this case the age group of 8-9 year olds.