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Lessons Learned from 90s Television

November 29, 2010

Every person is molded, for good or bad, by what they see, read and hear during their childhood. For some, this means they will grow up believing that it’s perfectly normal for a laugh track to follow you around and let you know when you’re supposed to laugh. I for one, learned a lot from television in the 90s. So I thought I’d put together a short list of the most important lessons I gleaned from my time in front of the tube:

1. If the nerd tries hard enough, he always gets the girl: I know a lot of guys out there give up after the first rejection, but Steve Urkel (of Family Matters fame) taught us all an important lesson—annoy the mess out of the girl for 10 years and she will eventually give in and fall in love with you. It also helps if you can transform yourself into a more suave version of yourself.

2. Family members and close friends often disappear without explanation: Do you remember the other sister on Family Matters? Or how about the hair salon women from Step by Step? One season they all just disappeared without explanation. I find this especially disturbing when it involves family members. It’s like you’re telling kids “Hey, be interesting enough or we’re voting you out of the family.” Harsh.

3. Never try to hide anything: I bet 70% of girls born in the 80s remember the very special episode of Full House when DJ stopped eating in order to lose weight. Oh the drama. There was fainting, there was crying, and there was DJ feeding her sandwich to the family dog. What can we learn from this? Never try to hide anything when you live in a house with 47 other people. Oh, and eating disorders are bad, of course.

4. An entire camp can be run by one frazzled counselor: Nickelodeon had some gems in the 90s, one of which was Salute Your Shorts. In case you missed this one, it was about a group of kids at a summer camp. For the life of me, I can only remember seeing one counselor (and the voice of the camp director) named Ug. If he was the only staff member, that would also explain why he was so angry all the time.

5. The most important things happen in hallways: This is a lesson that can be learned in any TV show set at a school, but I learned this from Saved By the Bell. I’m sure there was some learning happening in the classrooms, but the real life lessons happened outside of the classroom. Or in the local restaurant where everyone hangs out. Bonus lesson: Don’t attempt to sell spaghetti sauce unless you know for sure it’s an original recipe and not a Betty Crocker ripoff.

6. Real friends go to college together: The test of a true friendship is what happens after high school. If you want life to turn out like a 90s sitcom, everyone goes to the same college in the same town in which they grew up. Then you end up marrying the girl you’ve known since the show…I mean your life…began. This is evident in classics such as Boy Meets World and Saved by the Bell. Friends that follow each other everywhere, stay together. Until after college. Then you’re on your own.

What lessons did you learn from television?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Ashley permalink
    November 29, 2010 11:13 am

    I forgot about “very special episodes” I learned that best friends can date, break up and just swap with no drama. Wait… this doesn’t happen for real? Oooh and caffeine pills are wacky and can make you very scared!

    • dtdorrin permalink*
      November 29, 2010 8:05 pm

      I feel like a lot of Full House episodes were “very special” because they all ended with the heartfelt talk and dramatic music. Ohhhhh Full House.

  2. November 29, 2010 3:18 pm

    Brilliance is dripping from this post.

    Also… DONKEY LIPS!!

    • dtdorrin permalink*
      November 29, 2010 8:04 pm

      Every once in a while I see that actor on other things and I can’t help but holler Donkey Lips!

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