Favorite Childhood Shows: Ranked

If you need something to watch, you can always go back to these classics


When our last issue premiered on March 28th, I put up a poll on my personal Instagram to find out people’s favorite shows from their childhood. In particular, I was looking for the Disney/Nickelodeon-type program with maybe a dash of Cartoon Network. Nowhere in that post did I say I would rank the shows based off of the number of mentions they got. So I won’t. Instead I will take all the responses and rank them according to my own set of standards. Conveniently, just about every response I got came from either a Magnet student or recent alum.

13. Ben 10

This one was suggested by senior Luke Haenel, and while I don’t have anything against it, it never hooked me. I just remember a lot of commercials where Cartoon Network was pushing Ben 10, but the original series only lasted four seasons from 2005-2008 with three subsequent sequel programs each going about two years. Cartoon Network did reboot the series in 2016, and that iteration continues to run today.

12. Shake it Up

I really wanted to like this show, I really did. Zendaya continues to be a great actress (and Bella Thorne was a budding Disney star). But this show never came together. I will never claim to understand dancing, and maybe that was the hangup, but the show only lasted three seasons over a three year timeline despite packing seventy-five episodes into the long seasons that set my expectations way too high for other shows. Thanks to junior Liana Horner for the recommendation but this one sits at twelve.

11. Spongebob Squarepants

Preface: I love Patrick, Sandy, and Gary. Spongebob, the character and the show, has never been for me though. This one came with strong backing from seniors Simone Kavarana, Ella Lesesne, Piper Monk, and junior Taylor Aquino, but these are my rankings. Nickelodeon has managed to air well-over 250 episodes of this show since 2005, with the most recent premiering in February, but it seems like it just sort of drags on. Between Spongebob’s laugh, the overwhelming use of static characters, and nightmares of DoodleBob this one lands at number eleven (would be 13 but I felt it necessary to use Shake it Up to disrupt the animation parade).

because . . .

10.  Phineas and Ferb

I know, I know. You have to understand that this was a huge time in my life so the top shows are so near and dear to me. This one is not, so number ten it is. Phineas and Ferb was a great show in theory. Between the Dr. Doofenshmirtz and Perry, there was a lot to be a fan of, but the show seemed too routine. For one, this show had 222 episodes. Never mind this being 1/3 of 666; the show infamously claimed 104 days of summer vacation only to act like the summer just kept going for 222 episodes. Thanks again to sophomore Charlie Habakus, but I do have to disagree and move on.

9. Sonny with a Chance/Girl Meets World/Lilo and Stitch

All of these shows were good in their own right. I grouped these for one simple reason, my brother,  Zachary Kronsberg (’18), suggested a plethora of programs, of which most are mentioned later on. These three were not bought up by anyone else, but each deserve a mention in these rankings. Sonny with a Chance was a quality look at a young actress making it big, but the show was short-lived as the real-life star, Demi Lovato, departed. On the other hand, Girl Meets World was not so much short-lived as below expectations. It followed the very popular Boy Meets World that ran from 1993-2000. The spin-off aired from 2014-2017 (so Zachary wasn’t exactly a young kid but whatever). Finally, Lilo and Stitch was the best of the animated shows. I was too young to really understand what exactly was happening, but I remember I loved it.

8. Hannah Montana

These rankings just got real. I really assumed this would fall in the top five, but here we are at eight. Of course, this show launched the mixed bag of successes and let downs that has become Miley Cyrus’ career, but it also benefited from an amazing supporting cast. Besides 2019 music star Billy Ray Cyrus, younger cast members Emily Osment, Mitchel Musso, and Moisés Arias all performed incredibly strong over the nearly 100 episodes. Big shoutout to seniors Bailey Hillen and Caroline Hyde for giving this some love.

7. Good Luck Charlie

Coming from writers involved in Sonny with a Chance, this additional Disney program was designed as a family show that went beyond just the child demographic. And it worked, at least for a while. The show had everything from the parents’ struggles of running the family to PJ and Teddy’s adventures in adolescence to Charlie growing up from early infancy. But it felt like it just went too long. Like Hannah Montana, the show went four seasons (nearly 100 episodes) and a movie. Thanks again to Zachary as well as senior Sophia Wilson and junior Leah Heineck for adding this one to our list.

6. Arthur

What a show. I almost forgot to mention it, but Senior Carson Goodier as well as both of my brothers added Arthur in. This is another show from when I was too young to fully comprehend, but the genius that is Arthur, DW, Buster, Francine, and the whole crew is hard to ignore. Like Spongebob, this show is still going with nearly 250 episodes to show for it. Of course, Arthur, the character, is now a world-famous meme to continue this show’s legacy.

5. Zoey 101

Getting to our top five was not easy, either. Coming to us from sophomore Izzy Custer, I present Zoey 101. The show was incredible in my opinion, with the AMHS Student Council trying (and eventually failing) to use the famous “Hands on a Blix Van” episode as influence for a school event for much of 2017 and 2018. The show wound up ending too early, however, airing just 61 epodes before star Jamie Lynn Spears (yes, Brittany’s sister) abruptly left acting. That said, the show did mark the beginning of an ascent for Victoria Justice, who later starred in Victorious.

4. Drake and Josh

I grew up on this show, I swear. The show only lasted three and a half years and fifty-six episodes, but it feels like it was on forever. Between the excellent integration of a movie theater, the three-pronged sibling rivalry I am accustomed to, and the excellent cast, it is hard to dislike any part of this masterpiece suggested by not only Zachary, but also juniors Elias McCall and Mohamed Ismail as well as 2019 grad Max Windom. In addition to Drake Bell and Josh Peck, the show also featured Jerry Trainor, Miranda Cosgrove (both went on to iCarly), and Yvette Nicole Brown (later of Community and more).

3. The Suite Life of Zack & Cody/The Suite Life on Deck

For the purposes of this ranking, we will consider the whole Suite Life franchise, which also featured a movie in 2011. The credit for this suggestion again goes to Max and Zachary as well as senior Jordan Thomas.  The original series was just eighty-seven episodes, but like Drake and Josh, it felt like a whole childhood of entertainment. When the series ended in 2008, The Suite Life on Deck premiered less than a month later and went on for another seventy-one episodes. Between the two, the series lasted over six years and featured amazing supporting characters like Mr. Moseby, Esteban, London, and more. Though Cole Sprouse (Cody) continues to star in Riverdale, twin brother Dylan (Zack) has left major entertainment. Other future stars to come from the shows include Debby Ryan and Zoey Deutch. Perhaps the most well-known episode in the latter part of the franchise was the crossover “Wizards on Deck with Hannah Montana,” which saw Disney combine the Suite Life with Hannah Montana and . . .

2. Wizards of Waverly Place

Imagine if Harry Potter took place in a sandwich shop. Now open your eyes and remember the incredible 106 episodes of Wizards of Waverly Place from 2007 to 2012 that saw three siblings, only one of which could survive a day at Magnet, grow up with magical powers. As with other shows of the time, that circa 100 episode trend continued, and Disney threw in a movie in 2009 for good measure. Just to show the wide net that this show cast, it was hyped by not only my brother but also senior Cassie Brisbin, junior Disha Qanungo, and sophomore Ada Skradski. Unfortunately, this is the last Disney show on our list, but it did launch the careers of Selena Gomez and (to a lesser degree) Bridgit Mendler (10 episodes) and Hayley Kiyoko (4 episodes).

1. iCarly

This was hard to call. Though I love Wizards of Waverly Place, it’s hard to beat iCarly. With two members of the main cast coming over from Drake and Josh, iCarly took off for Nick from the jump. Cosgrove played a much more likable web show host with her friends Freddy and Sam as well as Gibby (more of a meme than anything). Weirdly, this show also had about 100 episodes and a few TV movies. Even without Zachary’s input (he favors the early seasons), iCarly is well-viewed by seniors Carson Goodier, Simone Kavarana, Jordan Thomas, and Shreyon Roy. In the end, it spawned a crossover spin-off in 2013 after helping to popularize teen internet culture and memes.

Honorable Mentions: True Jackson VP, Victorious, Ed Edd n Eddy, Codename: Kids Next Door, The Replacements, Jessie, Danny Phantom, and Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide