Love, Entertainment And News

6 Tough Love Lessons We Learned From Our Favorite Childhood TV Shows

Photo: Clarisse Meyer on Unsplash
tough love lessons childhood tv shows

There is nothing better than watching reruns of your favorite childhood TV show: Hannah Montana, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Zoey 101, and even The Fairly Odd Parents are a few that come to mind.

When we re-watch our favorite old shows, we start to really think about the messages that went right over our heads when we were kids.

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What a lot of these shows have in common is their many love plot lines that had us rooting for the good guy and yelling at our screens to break up with the bad guy. We laughed, sobbed, and sighed along with our favorite childhood stars.

A lot of the TV shows we loved as kids had powerful messages embedded into them about love, relationships, friendships, and heartbreak. While we didn't realize it at the time, a lot of those messages can apply to our lives now, as young adults.

I had an infatuation with DJ and Steve from Full House — I thought their love would always last and that they were the epitome of romance. While I was only about five years old, the show used to make me think every family and relationship was perfect. At the end of every episode, there was always a heartwarming message presented to the audience throughout the characters realization of various trials and errors. Back then, I used to just kind of yawn over that boring part, but now I can think about the strong meaning those episodes held.

Here are some of our favorite throwback TV shows we all watched as kids and what tough love lessons they taught us:

1. Hannah Montana

Miley Stewart by day, Hannah Montana by night, Miley Cyrus portrayed a dynamic character that struggled with her identity as a growing teen. 

The show taught us that we should be loved for whoever we are and that we should never lose sight of our identity. 

Remember when Miley was terrified to tell any of her friends her secret (that she was an international pop sensation)? Her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, reminded her that she was always going to be Miley, regardless of the wig she wore. This classic Disney show taught us to always be ourselves and to never let people take advantage of our success — no matter how cute the boy is.

2. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

A family favorite, the show starring Will Smith still plays on Nickelodeon during the early hours of the morning.

The show's quirky character favorite, Carlton, taught us to always be ourselves —​ no matter how nerdy, and love will always follow.

Being fake and covering up your favorite dad sweaters won't make the ladies swoon, but authenticity and sick dance moves will (Let's be honest, we all used to attempt the Carlton dance).

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3. The Fairly Odd Parents

A cartoon extraordinaire, this Nick classic is a prime memory for kids as they got ready for school in the morning. While Cosmo and Wanda had the power to make Timmy the "perfect guy" to impress the ladies, he realized that he needed to take matters into his own hand.

No amount of magic can make you a great friend, partner, or sibling. You have to be the one in control of your own life.

4. Boy Meets World

High school sweethearts do exist and this classic proves this through the characters of Topanga and Cory. Never let others make fun of your soft and romantic side.

If you are a hopeless romantic, own that side of you. Your long-term relationships can last as long as you put in effort and communicate with your partner.

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5. Hey Arnold

Being rude to the guy you like won't make him like you more —​ We're talking about you, Helga. She secretly loved Arnold, but bullied him instead of telling him how she truly felt.

The love lesson learned: Never be mean to the people you like. Acting like a jerk will get you nowhere. Just look at Phoebe and Arnold (football head).

6. Family Matters

Looks aren't everything, and that is exactly what Steve Urkel taught us in Family Matters. Although nerdy and dressed head to toe in suspenders, Urkel found himself some ladies who adored his brains and sweet personality.

Never judge a book by its over and always look inside someone's heart to find their true intentions.

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Carlie Fox is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationship topics.