Six questions about '90s TV sitcoms

Six questions about '90s TV sitcoms
Photo by Piotr Cichosz / Unsplash

The 1990s may have been the peak era for TV sitcoms.

After decades of the medium being honed, producers knew exactly how to put a hit show together, but it was also before the internet came along and blew everything to hell.

The '90s gave us ABC's TGIF lineup and oodles of iconic characters with catchphrases that we're still uttering today.

That means there are plenty of little factoids about '90s sitcoms that may (or may not) be floating around in your brain. Let's see if those neurons are still sparking.

We'll add to this list from to time as we add new trivia questions about this topic. Good luck!

What was the name of Screech’s dog on Saved by the Bell?

When it comes to TV pets, there’s no shortage of furry (or not-so-furry) friends that have graced our screens.

You’ve got your cats (Salem from Sabrina), horses (take your pick of westerns, we’ll go with Silver), monkeys (Marcel from Friends), dinosaurs (Dino from The Flinstones), bears (Ben from Grizzly Adams), and even dolphins (Flipper from … well, Flipper).

But no animal can beat man’s best-ish friend: the dog. From Santa’s Little Helper to Lassie to Moose — hell, you could even throw Scoob in there — dogs are undeniably part of American TV’s backbone.

And while Saved By the Bell is undeniably a classic TV show, I bet you haven’t spent much time thinking about this particular canine. Can you name him or her?

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Which iconic '90s TV character was supposed to be a one-off?

I'm not sure how to adequately explain to a young person today what it was like when a TV character would get popular back in ye olden days.

Sort of like going viral, except instead of them filling up your social media feed the local Kmart would be flooded with books, toys, and games all featuring your favorite character saying the thing they always say.

And just imagine what the world would have been like had this been a one-time-only character, as it was originally intended to be. Frankly, I'm not sure I want to see what's happening in that timeline.

See if you can name this '90s character that was almost not iconic.

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Who is the Jack Russell Terrier that irks Frasier Crane?

If you randomly think about tossed salads and scrambled eggs, there are two likely scenarios: You're a fan of the '90s Cheers spin-off sitcom, Frasier, OR you are having a stroke and should seek immediate medical attention.

Even in the shadow of one of the most beloved TV series in history, Frasier did pretty darn well for itself, earning 37 Emmys over an 11-year run.

Among the many characters that seem to rub Dr. Frasier Crane the wrong way, one four-legged antagonist had a running gag of making him uncomfortable throughout the show's original run. Do you remember this doggo's name?

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What was Seinfeld originally called?

It feels like the characters in Seinfeld were fully developed and every episode was delightfully packed full of comedy from day one. But if you go back and watch the first season, you'll see there was a bit of figuring out to be done (part of what irks me about streamers gutting shows so quickly these days, but that's a topic for another day).

Nonetheless, Seinfeld grew into one of the greatest sitcoms to ever hit the airwaves. But it was originally known by a different name. I wonder if they had kept the title whether the show would have been as successful? Not sure I want to see what that timeline is like.

What was this iconic sitcom originally called?

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How many seasons of Mr. Bean are there?

Tea. Soccer. Mr. Bean. Of all the things we've imported from Britain in modern times, Mr. Bean belongs right at the top of the list, if not at the very top.

As I often do, I like to muse about how the pitch for this show went down. It must have been like the pitch for Seinfeld (a show about nothing), except they added that there's only one main character who never says anything.

Somehow, this extremely strange character is also extremely lovable. What would we do without Bean's hijinks in our lives?

It feels like he's been around forever. So how many seasons of Mr. Bean are there?

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What was Friends almost called?

So no one told you life was going to be this way, huh?

As easy as it would be to just launch into all of the lyrics from the Rembrandts' theme song for Friends, I'll spare you. You probably already sang them all in your head as soon as you saw the name of the show.

This group of goofballs began letting us into their inner circle nearly 30 years ago, premiering in 1994. It was a massive cultural and television hit. Just say "Ross & Rachel" in a crowd and someone nearby will start giving you their take.

Yet it was almost called something entirely different. Which of these titles was almost used for the show?

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Bonus quiz on '90s TV

Feeling pretty good about yourself? Let's go for a bonus round then.

Not limited to sitcoms this time, here's a quiz on '90s TV.

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