The 1990s was something of a golden age for the sitcom, with many classic series that continue to draw in viewers even so long after they left the air. One of the most notable things about sitcoms of this era was how optimistic they were, and how they allowed viewers to inhabit, if only for half an hour, a world that was pure and optimistic.
Of course, every 90s sitcom had to have at least one magical feel-good moment, in which the audience was invited to feel that everything was going to be okay.
10 The First Time Rachel Kissed Ross (“Friends”)
The romance between Ross and Rachel in Friends was and is one of the most iconic in the history of the sitcom. This is especially true because it took them so long to finally get together and stay that way. However, there’s no question that the moment when they kissed for the first time was a magical moment, both for the series itself and for the sitcom genre as a whole. The fact that things went awry so quickly afterward just makes it that much more special.
9 When Grace Planned A Weekend Getaway For Will (“Will & Grace”)
The phenomenal Will & Grace, like many of the best sitcoms, was groundbreaking, particularly since it focused on the lives and loves of LGBTQ+ people. However, the ccentral relationship in the show was that between Will and Grace, and their friendship provided many warm and magical moments. One of the most notable was the one in which Grace planned a weekend getaway for her best friend, in order to help him forget his failed relationship. The fact that she was willing to sacrifice her own romantic happiness for him made it all the more touching.
8 The Moment When The Students Say Goodbye To Mr. Feeny (“Boy Meets World”)
There are few series more associated with the famous TGIF programming block than Boy Meets World. Like all 1990s sitcoms of this type, the series was filled with heartwarming moments, but arguably the most important is the one in which the students finally bid a farewell to their longtime teacher, Mr. Feeny. It’s a powerful and touching moment, a testament to just how much of an impact this particular teacher had had on all of their lives from the very beginning of the show.
7 When Will’s Father Leaves (“Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air”)
The incredible Will Smith has been in many great movies and TV shows, but arguably one of his most iconic is in the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Though it was a fairly light-hearted show, it had moments of powerful pathos, as when his father arrives, only to abandon him again. What really allows this scene to shine, however, is the genuine moment of bonding that occurs between Uncle Carl and Will, which shows just how much the older man really loves his nephew.
6 When Uncle Jesse Moves (“Full House”)
Of all of the shows that aired in the 1990s, Full House was arguably the one that was the most full of heart-warming moments. One of the most magical, however, occurred when it seemed as if Uncle Jesse was going to move out of the house. His scene with Michelle remains powerful, precisely because it’s clear how much the little girl loves her uncle and will be devastated by his absence.
Fortunately for everyone, he did end up moving back in.
5 When Randy Breaks Down Thinking He Has Cancer “(Home Improvement”)
Like Fresh Prince, Home Improvement was one of the 1990s sitcoms that was more light-hearted than serious. However, it had its fair share of heavy yet heartwarming moments, as when Randy broke down in his father’s arms thinking that he had cancer. Though he is primarily known for his comedic talents, Tim Allen demonstrates in this scene that he also has the ability to bring out strong emotions in a moment, and the father/son scene is one of the best in television.
4 When Naomi Gives Birth (“Mama’s Family”)
Though the series may not be everyone’s favorite, Mama’s Family is still an iconic 1990s sitcom, and its unique brand of humor continues to amuse. Like all good sitcoms, however, it also had heartwarming moments here and there, nowhere more clearly than when Naomi gives birth to her daughter.
It’s a rare instance in which she actually bonds with her feisty mother-in-law Thelma, and it allows the two women to find affection for one another across their differences.
3 Blanche And Clayton (“The Golden Girls”)
In all of the 1990s, there were very few sitcoms that were quite as far ahead of their time as The Golden Girls, which throughout its run addressed many important social issues. In one of its later episodes, Blanche has to confront the fact that her brother is not only gay but plans to marry another man. Though she has trouble coming to terms with it, she finally offers a form of conditional acceptance, and this conversation remains powerful, heart-warming, and magical even today, demonstrating just how timeless this series is and how well it was written.
2 Phoebe And The Triplets (“Friends”)
The kiss between Ross and Rachel wasn’t the only important and heartwarming scene to appear in Friends. The moment when Phoebe meets her triplets is also tremendously moving, in large part because Phoebe admits that she does feel at least some amount of regret for the fact that she won’t be able to take them home. At the same time, it is also quite moving, as she also realizes that she will still be a part of their lives.
1 When Mr. Sheffield Tells Fran He Loves Her (“The Nanny”)
One of the less-appreciated sitcoms of the 1990s was The Nanny, which focused on Fran Fine, a nanny who gets employed by the Broadway producer Mr. Sheffield. Their chemistry is obvious from the beginning, but it’s only when they think that they’re going to die that he admits his feelings for her, before immediately taking it back. When, at long last, he finally tells her the full truth and they become a couple, it becomes one of the most iconic and heartwarming moments in a sitcom. A true couple has emerged at last.
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