Can You Identify the ’90s Show From One Image?

ENTERTAINMENT

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Gavin Thagard

7 Min Quiz

Image: NBC

About This Quiz

The television boom of the '80s produced a bar that was only exceeded by television in the '90s. However, without the benefits of streaming networks like Netflix and Hulu and the invention of DVRs, watching television during the decade was much more difficult than it is today, as it required families to gather around the television each evening if they wanted to catch the newest episode of their favorite shows. 

Considering television shows in the '90s were at an all-time high in quality, nobody wanted to miss out. Not only were family sitcoms more in-depth, but dramas were better catered to specific audiences. There were stories for everyone, from teens to adults, low-class people to high-class people, athletes to nerds. There was definitely something special about television shows in the '90s that created a culture around television frenzy. 

How well do you know this era of television galore? From popular sketch shows to animated series, the '90s were full of entertainment that could keep either an individual or an entire family occupied for hours. Every night, anticipation ran high as a new show premiered, leaving television fans completely hooked. 

When you're ready to dive back into '90s culture, start this quiz and see if you spent enough time in front of the television.

No one ever said strange occurrences couldn't be entertaining. Do you recognize this show that brought those spooky events and creatures to life?

When Chris Carter started developing the idea for "The X-Files," he was largely influenced by the 1991 film "The Silence of the Lambs." He went as far as to make sure the actress who played Dana Scully, Gillian Anderson, had red hair to match the hair of Clarice Starling from the film.

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Entering the adult world can be difficult, which is why you shouldn't do it alone. The characters in which show shown here took that lesson to heart?

As with any show, various actors were looked at to play the six friends who became the staple of the show "Friends." One unique switch actually involved two of the actresses who were cast: Courtney Cox and Jennifer Aniston. Showrunners wanted Cox to play Rachel, but Cox refused as she better identified with Monica.

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How well do you know this '90s show created by one of the greatest comedians in the business?

Kramer was a fan favorite character on "Seinfeld," evident by the applause he always got when he made an entrance into a scene. The applause eventually got so drawn out that the audience was asked to hold it back to keep it from affecting the pacing of the scenes.

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Teen dramas got a huge boost when the show pictured here premiered in the '90s. What's it called?

Actors are known for hiding their age, and that's exactly what Gabrielle Carteris did to be cast as 16-year-old Andrea Zuckerman. In reality, she was 29 years old, which made her the oldest cast member out of the teenagers on "Beverly Hills, 90210."

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What's the name of this cartoon that changed television with its daring approach to storytelling?

Despite its high success, "The Simpsons" definitely had its critics. One of those critics was Barbara Bush, the first lady during the show's first few years. While giving a speech in 1992, Bush stated that she wanted American families to be "more like the Waltons and a lot less like the Simpsons."

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This one's a horror drama that became a cult classic. Do you remember its name?

Before creating "Twin Peaks," David Lynch and Mark Frost wrote a movie script about Marilyn Monroe that proposed the possibility that Monroe's death was caused by the Kennedys. The movie was never made, but they were able to incorporate parts of it into the story for "Twin Peaks."

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As evidenced by this show, a doctor's life never slows down. What's it called?

The pilot episode of "ER" was shot at a supposedly haunted hospital called the Linda Vista Hospital in Los Angeles. It was the only episode shot at this location, as the remaining episodes were shot at Warner Bros. Studio.

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Witty comedy was at an all-time high in this sitcom. Are you familiar with it?

The theme song for "Frasier," written by Bruce Miller, was sung by the lead actor in the series, Kelsey Grammer. The song was written to be somewhat oblique, not directly referencing the fact that Dr. Crane worked as a psychiatrist.

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Can you identify this sitcom where a Philadelphia teen is sent to live with his aunt and uncle?

Prior to joining "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," Will Smith made a large chunk of money when he released an album in 1988. The only problem was that he didn't pay his taxes on the money he earned. Luckily, he landed the role on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," which saved him from the IRS.

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High school can be full of teenage angst. Name this comedy that took a lighthearted approach to those years.

"Saved by the Bell" ran for four seasons and 86 episodes, ending in 1993. Though the show featured several child stars, only Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Mario Lopez and Dustin Diamond appeared in every episode.

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Are you familiar with this show that made the supernatural seem cool?

The vampires in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" have a horrific look when they transform as they prepare to feed. The creator of the show, Joss Whedon, desired this look because he didn't want a teenage girl running around stabbing people who looked normal.

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An adolescent comes into his own in this sitcom. What's the name of it?

"Boy Meets World" was known for its many disappearing characters, from Cory's early friends to members of Topanga's family. However, one of the strangest disappearing acts was Mr. Turner, who never came back to the show after he was in an apparent life-threatening accident.

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The babies in this cartoon will make you rethink the power of the imagination. Which show is it?

Though three of the four main babies were boys, all of the babies were voiced by women. This decision was made because the children were supposed to have high-pitched voices to accurately resemble children.

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Is this sitcom that follows a widowed father and his three children a show you're familiar with?

It's hard to imagine "Full House" without its lead actor, Bob Saget. However, Saget didn't play Danny Tanner in the original pilot because he was currently on "The Morning Program." When Saget was fired from the job, the pilot was reshot with Saget in the lead role.

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If you ever needed advice from a teenager, this was the show to watch. Can you name it?

When Mitchell Kriegman went about creating "Clarissa Explains It All," he created a 52-page book recognized as the show's Bible. The book gave writers guidelines to follow as they wrote episodes, including catchphrases, character descriptions and how video effects worked.

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Identify this show that made every kid check their closet before going to bed each night.

Originally, Nickelodeon bosses didn't want to make "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" because they didn't believe in scaring children on their network. However, the network hired executive Jay Mulvaney later in the year, and he took interest in the script, which led to the creation of the show.

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Nickelodeon found magic with which sketch comedy series shown here?

The late comedian Chris Farley was part of a famous sketch on "All That" where he completely destroyed the set with condiments in a back and forth mess with Keenan Thompson. His decision to destroy the set was based on his desire to film it in one take since the crew couldn't reset when it was over.

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Do you recognize this teen drama that brought out some of the darker sides of high school?

The school scenes for "My So-Called Life" were filmed at a high school in Los Angeles called University High School. While filming during the school year, regular classes were moved to certain parts of the school for the filming to take place. Clearly, University High School was dedicated to the arts.

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This show proved nerds could be both adorable and funny. What's it called?

"Family Matters" was a spinoff of the series "Perfect Strangers," with Harriette Winslow being the carryover character between the two shows. Surprisingly for a spinoff, "Family Matters" ran a season longer than its predecessor.

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Watching teenagers grow up can be both entertaining and heartbreaking. Name this show that was able to capture both of those qualities?

Prior to creating "Dawson's Creek," Kevin Williamson wrote the horror film "Scream" and "I Know What You Did Last Summer." To hint at his previous work, Williamson often incorporated props from these films into Dawson's own world.

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It takes various tools to raise a family. That's exactly what you find out in which show depicted in this image?

In "Home Improvement," Tim Taylor has three children: Brad, Randy and Mark. Brad is portrayed as the oldest of the three in the show, but in real life, Randy, played by Jonathan Taylor Thomas, was actually older than Brad, who was played by Zackery Bryan.

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Can you identify this sitcom where twins prove that looking identical doesn't mean being identical?

In the early seasons of "Sister, Sister," the twins would often break the fourth wall to talk directly to the audience. However, this decreased substantially when the show moved from ABC to the WB and was completely removed by the sixth season.

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How familiar are you with this series that let you know every teenager isn't normal?

The idea for "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" came from an Archie Comics issue from 1962 titled "Madhouse #22." The character would continue to appear in the comic until she received her own title in 1971.

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Journaling can be both a release and escape. Have you seen this cartoon that captures the power of writing?

Making its premiere in 1991, "Doug" was one of the first three cartoons that Nickelodeon ever aired on its network. Prior to the airing of these cartoons, Nickelodeon had been on the air for 12 years without any cartoons, which is hard to image considering what the network is today.

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Select the name of this sketch comedy that was running as strong in the '90s as it was in previous decades.

"Saturday Night Live" is known for launching the careers of some of the biggest names in comedy since it started in 1975. The '90s were no different, as stars like Chris Farley, Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler and Norm Macdonald all made appearances on the show during the decade.

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Mayhem drives this animated series. Do you know what it's called?

Steven Spielberg, one of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, served as the producer of "Animaniacs," the second animated series he ever produced. Spielberg's previous work included directing movies like "Jaws," "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial."

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You'll learn just how much one character loves orange soda in which comedy series shown here?

The two actors who played Keenan and Kel, Keenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell, made Nickelodeon history as the first two African American leads on one of their shows. They had previously been cast members on "All That," but that show featured an ensemble cast.

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Are you familiar with this series that made Manhattan seem fabulous?

While most shows use multiple directors to oversee different episodes, "Will & Grace" relied on the watchful eye of James Burrows for its entire run. Burrows was the co-creator of the series "Cheers" and worked as a director on shows like "NewsRadio" and "Third Rock from the Sun."

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A neighborhood comes to life in this cartoon. What's the name of it?

Matt Groening, who created "The Simpsons," was an important influence on the way Craig Bartlett went about creating his characters. Groening told Bartlett to design characters that could be recognized from far away, which is probably a major reason Arnold has a football-shaped head.

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Identify this '90s sitcom that gives an honest view of a working class family?

"Roseanne" got a reboot in 2018 titled "The Connors," which featured many of the original cast members. However, the show was retooled the same year after the lead actress, Roseanne Barr, posted insensitive comments on Twitter.

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Is this period sitcom about a group of friends a series you recognize?

Topher Grace, who played Eric Forman in "That '70s Show," was discovered by the show's creators while performing in a high school production of "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum." The creators, Bonnie and Terry Turner, were at the play watching their child perform when Grace stole the show.

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Name this animated series that follows one of earth's greatest heroes.

The creation of "Batman: The Animated Series" led to the discovery of the Joker's most legendary voice actor, Mark Hamill. Hamill had previously starred in the original "Star Wars" trilogy but was able to rebrand himself as a voice actor by taking on this role.

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Crime doesn't always pay, but this series tried to bring some form of justice. Are you familiar with it?

In many ways, "Law & Order" was the first of its kind, going on to inspire several spinoff series. The show created a basic formula for these series where the first half of the show is about the investigation of a crime while the second half is about the prosecution.

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The ancient world is protected by a powerful warrior in which fantasy show shown here?

Prior to getting her own series, Xena was a character on "Hercules" who was actually supposed to die after a three episode arc. However, producers fell in love with the character and , instead, decided to create a spinoff series based on her.

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Can you identify this cartoon that made every kid want to be a genius inventor?

"Dexter's Laboratory" was a revolutionary part of Cartoon Network's history because the show was the first original animated cartoon series on the network. It received this honor after winning the popular vote in a short series contest.

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Do you recognize this sitcom that proves marriage can be worth it if you're willing to stick through the hard times?

For the longest time, "Mad About You" was only known as "The Paul Reiser Project," and representatives for Paul Reiser wanted it to carry his name. However, executive Warren Littlefield expressed that the show was about a couple and not a single person, and "Mad About You" became the title.

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One of the greatest adventures in animated history started with which show depicted here?

Pikachu might be the most famous Pokemon in the animated series, but it wasn't intended as Ash's original Pokemon. Instead, Clefairy was supposed to hold this title, which would have matched the comic books. However, Pikachu was viewed as more appealing to younger viewers, and thus, the cultural icon began.

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How well do you know this crime series that proves martial arts can be a valuable tool against bad guys?

After nearly 20 years, "Walker, Texas Ranger" is finally getting a reboot. In the new show, Jared Padalecki will star as Cordell Walker. Padalecki had previously played Sam Winchester in the long-running series "Supernatural."

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The beach is the primary setting in this famous soap opera. Is it a show you recognize?

Michael Newman, who played a character with his real name in "Baywatch," was an actual lifeguard in real life. Newman influenced the show by not only providing knowledge on how to perform the duties of a lifeguard but also by providing stories from his experiences for the plot.

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Name this animated sitcom that proves sometimes kids are the rudest ones of us all?

With adult-oriented content never seen before, "South Park" was an immediate hit from the moment it first aired. Since then, the show has run for over 20 seasons, and the creators have used the style to make numerous movies including "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut" in 1999.

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