The 7 Best Shows in the History of TGIF

Thank God It’s Friday. It’s a weekly sentiment felt by the youth in school to the workers of America. Heck, everyone loves Friday. And perhaps that proclamation by American families was at its all-time high between the years of 1988 and 2005, when ABC’s two hour programming block, TGIF, took over living rooms across the country. Every Friday, a special guest or character from one of the shows would host the program. I mean, even Hanson hosted it! In its prime, TGIF ran away with the Nielsen ratings and completely changed the scope of family television. Nowadays, do families even watch television on Fridays?  It seems the 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday timeslot is dedicated for networks to air reruns of their current shows or test out new ones. Friday has become the black sheep of primetime television. But there was a time, particularly during the childhood of most of our readers, when ABC created a lineup that included some of the best family oriented situational comedies in television history…and theme songs, too.

Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper

Characters: Mark Cooper (teacher, ex-NBA player), Vanessa Russell (roommate, future girlfriend), Robin Dumars (best friend), Pamela Jane Moore (principal), Geneva Lee (cousin, roommate), and Nicole Lee (little cousin).

Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper was groundbreaking in the 90s because not only did the series comically depict black characters in the troubled city of Oakland, but they did it in an endearing way in which families with all different kinds of backgrounds could enjoy it.


Characters: Earl Sinclair (father), Fran Sinclair (mother), Robbie Sinclair (son), Charlene Sinclair (daughter), Grandma Ethyl, and Baby Sinclair.

Dinosaurs was, by far, the coolest show to ever portray a prehistoric family of creatures from 60,000,003 BC. It’s a cult classic that created the catchphrases, “Not the mama!” and “I’m the baby, gotta love me!” As shouted by Baby Sinclair.

Step By Step

Characters: Frank (father), Carol (mother), Dana (smart daughter), John Thomas “JT” (jock son), Karen (aspiring model daughter), Alicia (tomboy daughter), Mark (nerd son), Brendan (shy son), and Cody (Frank’s eccentric nephew).

The Foster family and the Lambert family teamed up to make a mega family that dealt with every family-related issue a typical household would endure, times four.

Sabrina, The Teenage Witch

Characters: Sabrina Spellman (main character), Hilda Spellman (aunt), Zelda Spellman (aunt), Salem Saberhagen (talking cat), Harvey Kinkle (boyfriend), Libby Chessler (enemy), and Mr. Willard Kraft (teacher, on and off boyfriend of Hilda AND Zelda).

Lost in all of the classic family sit-coms, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch was a very funny show, and might be one of the few family shows in which the writing still holds up. Further, has there ever been a more awesome television pet then Salem?

Full House

Characters: Danny Tanner (father), Jesse Katsopolis (uncle, Danny’s brother-in-law), Joey Gladstone (Danny’s best friend), Becky Donaldson-Katsopolis (Jesse’s wife and Danny’s co-host for “Wake up, San Francisco”), D.J. Tanner (oldest daugher), Stephanie Tanner (middle daughter), Michelle Tanner (youngest daughter), Nicky and Alex Katsopolis (Jesse and Becky’s twin sons), Kimmy Gibbler (annoying next-door neighbor), and Comet (family dog).

What can you say about Full House that hasn’t been said by any parent, friend, teacher, advisor, mentor, or motivational speaker? Danny Tanner is our generation’s television father, and that’s a fact. Try not learning a life lesson while watching Full House. Better yet, try not falling in love with this scene. It’s impossible.

Family Matters

Characters: Carl Winslow (father), Harriette Winslow (mother), Laura Winslow (daughter) Eddie Winslow (son), Judy Winslow (young daughter), Estelle Winslow (grandmother, Carl’s mother), Steve Urkel (nerdy next-door neighbor, eventual main character), Myra Monkhouse (Steve-lover) and Waldo Geraldo Faldo (Eddie’s dim-witted best friend).

There are many reasons why Family Matters is the second-longest running American sit-com with a primarily African-American cast (The Jeffersons being first). It was current, but traditional; family friendly, but edgy; silly, but earnest. It also included one of the greatest television characters ever, Steve Urkel.

Boy Meets World

Characters: Cory Matthews (main character, son), Shawn Hunter (Cory’s best friend), Topanga Lawrence (Cory’s girlfriend, later wife), Alan and Amy Matthews (Cory’s parents), Eric Matthews (Cory’s older brother), Morgan Matthews (Cory’s younger sister), and George Feeny (teacher, principal, professor, mentor, God, next-door neighbor).

Boy Meets World wasn’t just the best series on TGIF; It’s one of the best family television shows of all time. Why? Well, thats a conversation for a whole new list.


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4 Comments on “The 7 Best Shows in the History of TGIF”

  1. 10.13.11 at 6:01 PM #

    Joey Gladstone rules

  2. Liz Connolly
    10.13.11 at 6:11 PM #

    There are two kinds of people in this world: TGIF people and SNICK people. And the TGIF people are better.

    • 10.13.11 at 10:54 PM #

      well then you will not like my list for tomorrow


  1. The 7 Best Shows In The History of SNICK | List Off - 10.14.11

    […] 7 Best Shows In The History of SNICK Dan spent his post yesterday remembering the greatness that was TGIF (but no Teen Angel Dan? For shame). In the comments section, a certain female sibling of […]

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