North Penn Childhood TV Treasures


Peyton Stagliano

Disney Channel is one of the networks students loved growing up. It’s the network of many childhood TV shows.

Reminiscing on the moments of our childhood brings back many happy moments for North Penn students. That’s why when I asked many students what their favorite TV shows were from our childhood, they jumped with excitement to enlighten me on the memories inspired by these TV shows.

After interviewing many North Penn students, I came up with a list of the top 10 TV shows from our generation’s childhood. This was based on which TV shows were mentioned the most by students, and which got students most excited to discuss.

10. Jessie


Jessie was a 4 season TV show that aired on Disney Channel on September 30, 2011, and ran until October 16, 2015. The show follows Jessie Prescott, who grew up in a small town in Texas but moved to New York City with hopes of becoming an actress. With nothing but a suitcase full of clothing, she accepts a job as a nanny for millionaires Morgan and Christina Ross. The Ross’s have four rowdy children Emma, Luke, Ravi, and Zuri, all of whom are adopted except for Emma. Jessie also works alongside moody butler Bertrum. Throughout the four seasons, Jessie and the kids grow and learn as individuals going through many ups and downs. By the end of the four seasons, Jessie has grown a tight-knit bond with kids and has truly become part of the family.

While it seems that Jessie was a widely watched series from our childhood, I have learned that it wasn’t exactly one that stuck with many viewers as a more beloved show. For whatever reason that may be, some fans of Jessie did strongly think it still deserved to be on the list.

“I loved Jessie growing up. That was one of the staple shows of my childhood and one that I remember watching all the time,” said Paige Wagner, one who thoroughly enjoyed the show. “I loved Bertrum especially. I thought it was so funny how lazy and moody he was for being a grown man.”

9. Austin and Ally


Austin and Ally was a Disney Channel television series following the lives of two different musicians. The television series first aired on December 2, 2011, and ended on January 10, 2016. Set in Miami Florida at a music store called Sonic Boom, Austin overhears Ally singing a song that she wrote, which he later goes on to change the tempo too and make it a big hit. When Ally goes to take credit for her song, Austin convinces her to become his partner and write songs for him since Ally has immense stage fright and is unable to sing the songs herself. Ally agrees and her best friend Trish takes up the job as their manager while Austin’s best friend, Dez, shoots all the music videos. As the TV show continues the four all become best friends and take steps individually at pursuing careers.

Austin and Ally reign at number nine because it was a widely watched series, but many students claim that it wasn’t one of the top shows because it got boring as the seasons went on. Many also expressed that they felt Ally had an annoying personality and Austin was a bad actor. But the show found its spot on the list because it still seemed to be one that a large number of students recall as being a classic from their childhood.

8. Big Time Rush


Big Time Rush aired on Nickelodeon on November 28, 2009, and lasted until July 25, 2013. The show focuses on four hockey players Kendall, James, Carlos, and Logan each with their personalities that complete the group. When a big-time record producer, Gustavo, is impressed with Kendall’s personality he offers to take him to Los Angeles and make him famous. Staying loyal to his friends, Kendall convinces Gustavo to bring the other three with him but with the challenge that Kendall must turn them into a record-selling boy band in a matter of three days. At first, the boys are unsuccessful but work hard to eventually get themselves back with the record label. With that their journey takes off as they become a successful boy band.

Big Time Rush was widely loved by all of its viewers but it found its rightful place at number 8 because it seems that not many people watched it. This could have to do with the fact that it was one of the earlier shows and ended as many of us were beginning our journey into the Disney and Nickelodeon realm. Unlike many of the other older series, Big Time Rush also didn’t have many reruns after the series ended. I found that the show had a larger presence amongst the seniors.

7. Girl Meets World

Disney Channel

Disney channel created Girl Meets World, the spin-off series of the beloved show Boy Meets World. The series follows Riley Mathews, who is the daughter of the original main characters of Boy Meets World Cory and Topanga. The show depicted what it is like to be a young teenage girl struggling with relationships, friendships, and family life. Riley’s best friend Maya, who has a very different family life than Riley, is always by her side. She also has her boyfriend Lucas, who comes from a town in Texas to live in the Big Apple. Lastly, she has her quirky guy friend named Farkle. The group goes through many ups and downs but all of which lead to learning experiences for the group and their viewers.

Girl Meets World holds a spot at number seven because it received mixed reviews from students. After interviewing many people I found that you either loved the series or you hated it. Zoe Morawski was one of the many viewers that enjoyed watching Riley and Maya navigate their teenage life.

“That was one of the only Disney Channel shows I ever watched. I just loved the characters so much and especially Lucas. Lucas was my childhood crush,” Morawski said laughing. “This was also one of my mom’s favorite shows. She really liked that I watched it because she thought it portrayed real life scenarios really well, not just mischievous kids who screw up in some way.”

6. Phineas and Ferb

Disney XD

Phineas and Ferb is a TV show about the lives of two stepbrothers that go on all kinds of crazy adventures throughout their, what seems like, never-ending summer vacation. The TV show aired on Disney Channel and Disney XD from February 1, 2008, until June 12, 2015. In each episode, the boys come up with a brand new project that annoys their sister Candance, who restlessly tries to reveal to her parents what her brothers are up to. It also follows their pet Perry the Platypus who is working as a spy to take down the evil scientist Dr. Doofenshmirtz. The two different plots come together at the end of each episode when Dr. Doofenshmirtz accidentally destroys the boy’s new creation.

From my interviews, I found that Phineas and Ferb had a majority of guys swooning over it. Some girls found it to be entertaining, but I think it specifically was liked by male viewers because it was one of the few Disney Channel shows that was less feminine.

“I really loved Phineas and Ferb. I don’t really know why, but it stood out to me,” stated Irene Tulik. “I think it was just different from anything else you watched on television. I know a lot of guys always liked it because it kinda showed what most guys do. They are always causing mischief in some way.”

5. iCarly


iCarly made its debut on Nickelodeon on September 8, 2007. The show ran until November 23, 2012, accumulating a large number of fans. The show is about a teenage girl by the name of Carly Shay who creates a web show called iCarly. After her friend Freddie uploads a comedy skit Carly and her friend Sam create for a school audition, many online fans beg for more leading to the creation of iCarly. After creating the web show, Carly, her friends, and her brother Spencer grow into fame. In each episode, the friends encounter a new challenge having to do with balancing teenage life and their newfound fame.

iCarly found its way in the middle of the road because not a lot of people watched it, but nobody who watched it had anything negative to say about it. Most viewers of the show were pretty big fans. Many were even buzzing about the 2021 iCarly reboot. It is clear that for the people who did watch that it has a special place in their hearts.

“iCarly was literally my childhood. Like when you say iCarly, I just think of everything from childhood,” said Isabella Gonzalez. “Sometimes I think I love that show a little too much,” she admitted.

4. The Suite Life of Zack and Cody


The Suite Life of Zack and Cody was aired on March 18, 2005, to Disney Channel viewers nationwide. The series is about a set of twins, Zack and Cody, who live at the Tipton Hotel in Boston due to their mother’s position as the hotel lounge singer. The show ran until September 1, 2008, and started airing reruns in 2014. Zack and Cody befriend others in the hotel such as the hotel owner’s daughter, London, the candy counter girl, Maddie, and the hotel manager, Mr. Moseby. In most episodes, the boys manage to get themselves into some sort of trouble and have to concoct a way to get themselves out of it.

The Suite Life of Zack and Cody sits comfortably at number four on the list because clearly, the Sprouse twins have won over many viewers with their portrayal of Zack and Cody. Most viewers loved the life the twins lived in the hotel and thought the brothers were hilarious because of all the problems they caused.

“This show was so good. I mean what kid doesn’t think it’s cool to live in a hotel,” said Julia Kile.

3. Spongebob


Spongebob is a Nickelodeon animated television series that was a staple of many of our childhoods. Spongebob first aired on May 1, 1999, and is still producing new episodes today. The series follows a sea sponge who lives in the underwater city called Bikini Bottom with his friends such as Patrick, a starfish, Squidward, a squid, Mr. Krabs, a crab, and many more. We also can’t forget Spongebob’s pet, Gary, a snail. Each episode follows Spongebob with his childlike demeanor as he and his friends go on adventures throughout Bikini Bottom. Spongebob also works his beloved job at Krusty Krab, Mr.Krabs burger joint. All kids who grew up loving Spongebob wish they could get their hands on the infamous Krabby Patty.

Spongebob is huge amongst kids from many generations because of its long-running history. Spongebob was also another show that accumulated a lot of male attention. Spongebob also is popular because it appeals to a wider age range. It can have viewers as young as five years old but as old as 13 years old.

“I enjoyed Spongebob as a kid. That was the one show that I could actually agree to watch with my sisters because we all enjoyed it, and it wasn’t so girly,” claimed Zac Ridler.

One common thing I did see amongst my interviews that keeps Spongebob from claiming the number one spot was that many students weren’t allowed to watch Spongebob as a child. It seems that some parents had a strong opinion on what the show taught their kids.

“My mom never let me watch Spongebob as a kid. She always said he was a bad influence and was extremely rude,” said Zoe Morawski.

2. Wizards of Waverly Place


Wizards of Waverly Place first aired on Disney Channel on October 12, 2007, and ran until January 6, 2012. The story centers around Alex Russo, played by the incredibly famous Selena Gomez, who is a teenage wizard undergoing training with her two siblings, Justin and Max. In each episode, Alex and her brothers undergo issues dealing with family, friends, and most importantly, keeping their powers a secret.

Wizards of Waverly Place just misses holding the number one spot, but proudly holds the number 2 spot. This show placed high on the list because it starred Selena Gomez of course. That isn’t the only thing that appealed to many Waverly Place fans. It was also the fact that they were wizards with magical powers. To any kid watching a show where the main characters are wizards, it is going to be appealing. Everyone who enjoyed the show said it was most likely because they were living out a fantasy that all little kids wished they could live out themselves.

1. Good Luck Charlie

Disney Channel

The television series that has most students in love was the series Good Luck Charlie. The Disney Channel series aired from April 4, 2010, until February 16, 2014, and was created not only to entertain children but also their families. The show portrays the hectic everyday lives of the Duncan family which consists of parents, Bob and Amy Duncan, and their four children PJ, Teddy, Gabe, and Charlie. Later in the series, there is also an addition of a fifth child named Toby. At the end of each episode, Teddy records herself giving advice to Charlie about teenage life and how to deal with their family based on the obstacles faced in the episode. All of the videos are then turned into a video diary for Charlie to hopefully watch when she gets older.

Good Luck Charlie grabbed hold of the number one spot amongst almost everyone. As stated earlier, what makes Good Luck Charlie the top show of our generation was its appeal to not only kids but their families. It was one of the few shows that an entire family, including parents, could sit down and enjoy. It really depicted how a family truly functions and everyone agreed it was such a sentimental show.

“As being one of four kids I totally understood everything that went on in that show,” stated Emma Hersh. “I felt as a kid that the show could really relate to my life because it depicted my struggles of being in such a large family. My mom always said that she loved Amy Duncan too because every mother in the world could relate to her.”