Skip To Content

    21 Things That Happened On Every '90s Sitcom Ever

    Tropes. Tropes everywhere.

    1. The pilot always goes out of its way to explain who everyone is.

    Carsey-Werner Productions

    Character One: Hello my smart, hard-working daughter!

    Character Two: Hi, dad who works a blue collar job!

    2. The show is always centered around a pretty conventional family, including...

    Warner Bros. Television Distribution

    3. The overachieving kid.

    Warner Bros. Television Distribution

    4. The cute and youngest child of the family.

    Disney–ABC Domestic Television

    Sometimes they'll even get brought in as the series nears cancellation to freshen stuff up!

    5. The kid that's always doing their own thing.

    Disney–ABC Domestic Televison

    Sometimes a bit of a "screw up," but always means well.

    6. The best friend that's always at the house.

    de Passe Entertainment

    *inserts joke about food at their own house here.*

    7. The "bad boy" who eventually becomes part of the family.

    Disney–ABC Domestic Television

    He's either associated with the family by friendship or as a love interest of one of the kids.

    8. The family pet (usually a dog) that only shows up when it's convenient for the plot.

    Warner Bros. Television Distribution

    9. There's the family friend that routinely acts as a confidant to the kids.

    CBS Television Distribution

    10. And the annoying neighbor...

    CBS Television Distribution

    11. ...who glo'd up in later seasons.

    CBS Television Distribution

    12. Every '90s sitcom has the “will they/won’t they” couple.

    Warner Bros. Television Distribution

    Sometimes it gets dragged out for the whole series.

    13. Aside from specific character tropes, there's a "very special episode" that teaches a life lesson.

    CBS Television Distribution

    Like the dangers of stimulant abuse, smoking, or alcohol.

    14. At some point, at least two of the main characters date each other.

    Warner Bros. Television Distribution

    15. There's the hangout spot that acts as a backdrop for most of the mishaps of the show.

    Warner Bros. Television Distribution

    16. There's a flash-forward episode that looks at what could become of the main characters.

    Sony Pictures Television

    17. There's a heart-to-heart talk with a parent about relationships.

    CBS Television Distribution

    Death of a family member, break-ups, and moving away from friends all required a sit-down talk complete with a hug.

    18. At some point throughout the series, there's a friend breakup.

    Warner Bros. Television Distribution

    But only for an episode!

    19. And the gang goes on vacation to Disneyland, a cabin, or a beach somewhere.

    Warner Bros. Television Distribution

    And usually something goes wrong on the trip.

    20. No '90s sitcom had a complete run without a few celebrity guest stars.

    CBS Television Distribution

    21. And, as a filler, there’s always an episode that uses flashbacks to recap what's happened so far throughout the series.

    Columbia Pictures Television

    Featuring bloopers, extra scenes, and a recap of the series so far.

    But despite these predictable tropes, we still love the nostalgia of '90s sitcoms.