Let’s be real: growing up in the ’90s was cool AF. Not only did we have the best clothes and music, but we had the best cartoons. How do we know they were the best? Because, even years later (years that we don’t want to admit to), these cartoons still hold up. They’re funny and witty, and they give us those cozy nostalgic feels. If you’re looking to binge out this weekend with a fun walk down memory lane, we rounded up the best ’90s cartoons and where to watch them right now.
And if you’re sitting in the middle of a pandemic with bored kids of your own, why not go down memory lane and introduce them to the Golden Age of animation? Heck, they’re already watching all the best Disney cartoons like The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Mulan, and Beauty & The Beast anyway.
1. Rugrats (1990-2006)
A bunch of babies provide one of the best commentaries on society and life (seriously, they were ahead of their time), and, oh yeah, it’s funny. Watch on Hulu.
2. Animaniacs (1993-1998)
Zany to the max is this show about the Warner brothers, Yakko and Wakko, and their sister, Dot — three inseparable siblings who are some type of animal but we really don’t know which one — who basically create a lot of mayhem. Watch on Hulu.
3. Ducktales (1987-1990)
Admit it: you’re humming the theme song already. The show starred Disney’s favorite ducks, Scrooge McDuck and his three nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, and their new friend, Webby, who — what else? — embarked on a lot of adventures. Watch on Disney+.
4. Doug (1991-1999)
Remember what it was like to be an awkward pre-teen? Well, Doug and his Skeeter, Patti, and Beebe will help you remember the anxiety and awesomeness of not quite being a teen yet. Watch on Hulu.
5. Tiny Toon Adventures (1990-1992)
This was the new generation of Looney Tunes starring new characters like Buster Bunny, Babs Bunny, Plucky Duck, Hamton J. Pig, and Fifi La Fume, who attend Acme Acres Looniversity, and get a little, well, looney. Watch on Hulu.
6. Hey Arnold! (1994-2004)
This cartoon is more than a “funny” kid’s cartoon. Starring a fourth grader named Arnold, who lives with his grandparents in an inner-city boarding house, this show gets real and will smack you in the feels. Watch on Hulu.
7. Daria (1997-2001)
Daria Morgendorffer was once described as “a blend of Dorothy Parker, Fran Lebowitz, and Janeane Garofalo, wearing Carrie Donovan’s glasses.” If you’re looking for a show that depicts what it means not to give AF what people think about you in high school, Daria’s your girl. Watch on Hulu.
8. Gargoyles (1994-1996)
These nocturnal Scotland creatures who pledge to protect New York City is like Game of Thrones meets Beauty & The Beast, and is chockfull of adventure, thrills, and romance. Watch on Disney+.
9. Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995)
This cartoon starring the caped crusader is considered by many to be better than any movie ever made about Batman or any superhero. It’s got epic fight scenes, drama, and love triangles. Buy on Google Play and Amazon Prime.
10. Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers (1988-1990)
What do you get when Chip and Dale turn into Indiana Jones and Magnum P.I., respectively? A nutty little caper that reimagines our favorite little guys as world crime fighters. Watch on Disney+.
11. Dexter’s Laboratory (1995-2003)
Dexter is a boy genius who likes to create scientific stuff in his secret lab when he’s not dealing with normal kid things, like his annoying kid sister. Buy on Amazon Prime.
12. Pinky and the Brain (1995-1998)
Another classic theme song stuck in your head, right? Who can forget these two odd-looking mice friends, one silly, one smart, who wants to take over the world. Buy on Amazon Prime or watch on Hulu.
13. Recess (1997-2006)
Recess: that time during school, which, depending on your social status, was either awful or the best thing ever. This cartoon about six brave fourth-graders at Third Street School depicts that perfectly. Watch on Disney+.
14. The Wild Thornberrys (1998-2004)
Who doesn’t love a cartoon that promotes appreciation for nature while starring a kickass female heroine named Eliza who can talk to animals? Watch and buy on Amazon Prime.
15. Talespin (1990-1991)
In a sort of a sequel to The Jungle Book, Baloo, King Louie, and Shere Kahn not only all get along (kind of) but now operate businesses in Cape Suzette in the 1920s, along with a 12-year-old navigator named Kit. Watch on Disney+.
16. The Ren & Stimpy Show (1991-1996)
Nothing was more insane than this cartoon about Ren, a psychotic Chihuahua, and Stimpy, a dimwitted Manx cat, who do lots of strange sh*t together. Buy on Amazon Prime.
17. The Magic Schoolbus (1994-1997)
Is it a bus, submarine, or plane? How about all three? Take the ride with Ms. Frizzle (a.k.a. Lily Tomlin) and her class as they set off on some of the weirdest and most fascinating field trips ever. Watch on Netflix.
18. Darkwing Duck (1991-1992)
The cartoon about an underrated superhero named Darkwing Duck who lives a double life (in a nod to Batman) also had a catchy theme song, and, of course, tons of fun adventures. Watch on Disney+.
19. Sailor Moon (1992-1997)
Who didn’t want to be Sailor Moon or one of her awesome BFFs who join together to fight evil and protect the universe while also looking super duper cute? Watch on Hulu.
20. Goof Troop (1992-1993)
Well, nothing gets goofier than a show starring Goofy, who’s now a single father, and his adventures with his pre-teen son, Max, who happens to be BFFs with the son of Goofy’s nemesis. Watch on Disney+.
21. X-Men (1992-1997)
If you’re like us and find yourself humming the iconic theme music from the X-Men animated series, then you’ll be happy to know you can now stream the series and introduce this whole new (old) world to your kiddos. Or, you know, you can binge it on your own. Watch on Amazon Prime Video.
22. Powerpuff Girls (1998-2005)
Remember all those times kindergarteners saved the world? No? Well, fans of the Powerpuff Girls do. Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup, the three pint-sized superheroes from Townsville gained a whole generation of fans for saving the world from evil many a time during the series’ seven-season stretch. Lean into the nostalgia and watch it on HBO Max.
23. Rocko’s Modern Life (1993-1996)
This animated series memorably centered on the travails of an anthropomorphic wallaby named Rocko and his eccentric squad: Heffer Wolfe, an idiosyncratic steer; Spunky, Rocko’s faithful but excitable dog; and Filburt, a neurotic turtle. Was it a bit dark and maybe too mature at times? Sure. But, really, it was the edge that made it so interesting. Rent or buy on Google Play, iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, or YouTube.
24. Captain Planet and the Planeteers (1990-1996)
“Earth! Fire! Wind! Water! Heart! By your powers combined, I am Captain Planet!” Raise your hand if you want to chant this catchphrase every time someone mentions any of the above elements (*raises hand*). Kwame, Wheeler, Linka, Gi, and Ma-Ti — along with Captain Planet, of course — introduced many of us ’90s kids to environmentalism. Score one for the good guys. Watch on Hoopla, or rent/buy on Google Play, iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, or YouTube.
25. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987-1996)
Who would have thought turtles could be so cool? You’ve probably seen the many (and we mean many) remakes of this classic ’90s show, but here is where it all started. The TV world was first introduced to these LA cool and buff reptiles named after famous Renaissance artists in 1987. They gained their human traits by coming into contact with toxic sludge. After being trained in martial arts by Splinter, their teacher and father figure, they dedicated their lives to keeping the city safe from bad guys like archnemeses Shredder and Krang.
26. The Real Adventures of Johnny Quest (1996-1997)
This one only lasted a year, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t revisit it. In the show, famous phenomenologist Dr. Quest investigates mysterious occurrences, strange legends, and exotic locales. His companions? His son, Johnny Quest, adopted son Hadji, bodyguard Race Bannon, Race’s daughter Jessie, and their pet bulldog Bandit.
More Awesome ’90s Cartoons
- Rocket Power (1999)
- Angry Beavers (1997)
- Ed, Edd n Eddy (1999)
- Street Sharks (1994)
- Dark Wing Duck (1991)
- SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron (1993)
- The Jungle Book (1989)