Childhood is a formative time in our lives. The books, movies, and TV shows we read and watch become a part of our lives in a significant way. But as we get older, those TV shows recede into the background, and you're left wondering if you're the only person who even remembers them. Today, we take a look at some of those shows.
1. The Zeta Project (2001-2002)
A spinoff of Batman Beyond, The Zeta Project was a 2001 WB Kids about a robot that, after discovering the moral error of his ways, goes rogue against the dark government forces who sought to use him as a murderer.
2. Waynehead (1996-1997)
Created by Damon Wayans, Waynehead is a show about a boy named Damey Wayne, a club-footed child who hangs out with all his friends in New York as they get into a variety of adventures. This one only aired for a season, and there were a ton of other cartoons at the time, so it's easy to see how it could go under the radar.
3. The Secret World of Alex Mack (1994-1998)
Kids interacting with their own otherworldly abilities is pretty much always a guarantee to be a good watch. And yet, The Secret World of Alex Mack feels like it never happened, as it's not one of the first 15 or so TV series you'll remember from your childhood, even if you're a true ’90s baby.
4. 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd (1999-2002)
This one, a tale of a bully who's transformed into a dog until he can prove his improved morality, was buoyed by a bold concept and solid execution. But that didn't stop it from being canceled like a racist celebrity.
5. Ghostwriter (1992-1995)
Ghostwriter was a unique series, unlike other children’s programming. The PBS show followed a diverse group of kids in New York who solve crimes and mysteries with the help of Ghostwriter, a spirit that can only read and write. I fondly remember this kid’s mystery series, but it’s one few people remember.
6. Kids Incorporated (1984-1993)
In my childhood, I remember watching Kids Incorporated every day after school. This show follows a group of tweens and teens who sing at a club for their peers while dealing with the challenges of adolescence.
Those who remember Kids Incorporated recall the fun musical numbers, simple lessons learned, and the famous cast members and guest stars who became big stars, such as Stacy Ferguson, otherwise known as Fergie, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Mario Lopez.
7. Eerie, Indiana (1991-1992)
Aptly named Eerie, Indiana was short-lived but left a lasting impression because of its odd, unsettling stories. This was a show for the kids who read Goosebumps and would become horror fans as they got older. Starring Omri Katz (who we remember as Max from Hocus Pocus) Eerie, Indiana featured mysteries in this small town known as the center of the weirdness of the universe.
8. The Torkelsons/Almost Home (1991-1993)
The Torkelsons is a show few remember. But for the select few like myself, we fondly recall this funny and wholesome family sitcom. The series follows a single mother in a small town in Oklahoma, struggling to make ends meet and raise her five children. It was a sweet and often laugh-out-loud series because of the kids' shenanigans and oldest daughter Dorothy Jane’s penchant for romance and melodrama.
In the second season, the show was re-tooled and re-named Almost Home. They inexplicably lost two kids and moved the Torkelson family to live with another family in San Francisco, with mother Millicent working as the housekeeper for a single father of two teenagers (including Brittany Murphy in one of her first roles).
9. Out of This World (1987-1991)
The 1980s and 1990s were a time with so many family sitcoms we loved watching. One of the wackiest and most often forgotten is Out of This World. The show was about a teenage girl named Evie whose mother was from Earth and whose father (voiced by Burt Reynolds) was an alien.
10. David the Gnome (1985-1987)
Animated shows are a staple of childhood. While most remember Ducktales and Tiny Toon Adventures, only a few recall David the Gnome. This whimsical series follows a gnome named David and his wife Lisa, who ride through the forest on their trusted friend, Swift the fox, protecting animals and battling trolls.
11. Ocean Girl (1994-1997)
Ocean Girl was an Australian-produced series that aired on the Disney Channel in the U.S. It follows two brothers living in an underwater research colony with their mother. They discover a mysterious girl named Neri who lives on a nearby island alone and can communicate with whales. The series has a thoughtful, environmentally conscious tone mixed with fantasy. It was a show I remember obsessing over, but most have long forgotten it.
12. Hey Dude (1989-1991)
To the unfamiliar, Hey Dude is a Nickelodeon kids comedy that revolves around teenagers who work at a dude ranch during the summer.
The characters were archetypes but funny and likable, and the hijinks and lessons learned were corny. But those who still remember this series likely look back and smile, remembering all the lyrics to the catchy theme song.
13. Eureeka's Castle (1989-1995)
If you sang that title in your head reading it, you’re one of the few who haven’t forgotten this children’s classic. Do you remember this series that revolves around various animals, creatures, and giants in a magical castle?
14. The Charmings (1987-1988)
Only a few remember that Once Upon a Time was not the first series that depicted fairy tale characters in the modern world. While the individual episodes are a blur, I still remember The Charmings’ characters and comedic tone. This show featured married couple Snow White and Prince Charming, magically transported to a present-day suburb with their sons, the magic mirror, king and queen, and other fairy tale characters. It was ridiculous but a fun concept.
15. Bear in the Big Blue House (1997-2006)
Although I never watched Bear in the Big Blue House, I remember catching glimpses of the series when my younger cousins watched it. And it was a charming series, though today it’s been forgotten by many.
16. Just the Ten of Us (1987-1990)
Those who grew up in the 80s and 90s enjoyed family sitcoms. They were a comforting childhood staple and there were so many to watch. As a result, some have gone into the far recesses of our memories. Many remember Growing Pains, but few recall its spin-off, Just the Ten of Us.
The story follows football coach Graham Lubbock who uproots his wife and eight kids and moves to California, where he’ll teach at an all-boys Catholic school. His girls are permitted to attend, creating a lot of comedy gold. This was a high-quantity show that never was given a chance to soar.
17. Small Wonder (1985-1989)
The 1980s had its fair share of bizarre shows. Small Wonder is a perfect example. This sitcom is about a dad who built a talking little girl robot named Vicki and pretended she was their daughter. You either loved it or loved to hate it. Perhaps it’s not that people have forgotten Small Wonder; it was so outlandish we thought we’d imagined it.
18. Road To Avonlea (1990-1996)
Road to Avonlea was my favorite series as a child, but sadly, not many remember it today — at least in the U.S. While many recall the Anne of Green Gables mini-series, finding fans of its series spin-off can be challenging.
The show ran for seven seasons and followed the King Family on the tiny hamlet of Avonlea in the 1900s on Prince Edward Island in Canada. It was a beautiful, heartwarming series of supreme production value. It garnered many awards and featured superb guest stars such as Christopher Lloyd and Christopher Reeve.
19. California Dreams (1992-1997)
California Dreams is remembered less than the more popular and successful Saved by the Bell. With a similar premise, this series involved a group of teenagers in a band. The comedy was goofy, the friendships and couples were wholesome, and it was an innocent diversion compared to modern teen shows.
20. Dennis the Menace (1959-1963)
Those who grew up with Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite in the 80s and 90s may recall reruns of the sitcom Dennis the Menace. It was a prime-time show in its day but geared more toward children. It was based on the comic strip involving precocious troublemaker Dennis Mitchell, who was unaware of how much he exasperated others, especially his neighbor, Mr. Wilson.
21. Brotherly Love (1995-1997)
Brothers Joey, Matthew, and Andrew Lawrence are remembered for many projects, such as Blossom or Boy Meets World. Less so would be this family show which starred all three as brothers. In the city of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, eldest brother Joe returns home after his father dies. As he takes over his dad’s business, he tries to reconnect with his stepmother and younger half-brothers.
22. In a Heartbeat (2000-2001)
As early 2000s shows go, In a Heartbeat was very unique. It follows a group of teenagers who volunteer as EMTs, learning the ropes while still attending school and maintaining personal lives. It was a short-lived, under-the-radar series that aired on the Disney Channel, so it’s not surprising not many remember it.
23. Flash Forward (1995-1997)
When people think of Disney Channel shows geared toward kids, tweens, and early teens, they usually recall Lizzie McGuire, Even Stevens, and Hannah Montana. Not many will mention Flash Forward. This Canadian series follows best friends Tucker and Becka as they navigate friendships through junior high school.
It was a funny and often thoughtful show. Those unfamiliar with it would be surprised to see it starred Jewel Staite of Firefly fame and Ben Foster, who went on to have a successful career playing roles vastly different than the character in Flash Forward.
24. Adventures in Wonderland (1992-1994)
Anything based on the bizarre works of Wonderland will be zany, and Adventures in Wonderland is no different. This modern colorful show follows Alice, who travels through her bedroom mirror to Wonderland, where the White Rabbit wears rollerblades, and Tweedle Dee and Dum sing hip-hop music. I adored this series, but only the most hardcore Disney fans know about it.
25. Dumbo's Circus (1985-1986)
Like a similar show, Welcome to Pooh Corner, Dumbo’s Circus featured life-sized costumed characters and puppetry in this delightful children’s series. In the series, the high-flying elephant runs a circus with his friends Lionel the Lion, Lilly the Cat, Q. T. the orangutan, and Fair Dinkum the koala. It’s meant for young kids with bright colors and simple stories. It made a lasting impression on the few who still remember it.
26. Brooklyn Bridge (1991-1993)
Brooklyn Bridge is a series I fondly remember watching with my parents. It followed the Burgers, a Jewish family in New York, primarily focusing on the two sons as they navigate childhood in the 1950s. It also dealt with discrimination and clashes between other families and religions.
27. Legends of the Hidden Temple (1993-1995)
While it’s not as obscure as most of the shows on this list, Legends of the Hidden Temple remains a deep cut in the list of children’s programming. In the same vein as Double Dare, this game show involved answering history questions to test your listening comprehension and engaging in a series of physical games.
28. Swans Crossing (1992)
Swans Crossing may have been a short-lived teen drama, but it lingers in the mind the same way as the New Mickey Mouse Club’s “Emerald Cove.” It was tame compared to today but had a little bite to its characters, particularly the mayor’s scheming and spoiled daughter Sydney and her arrogant boyfriend, Garrett. The most notable thing about Swans Crossing was that it starred Sarah Michelle Gellar in one of her earliest roles.