Did you learn valuable life lessons from school, your parents, books, and the cub scouts? Maybe a little. But if you were growing up in the ’90s, you most likely picked up more than a few important dos and don’ts of making it in this scary world from family-friendly TV. Ah, yes. The “very special episode” is a staple of the sitcom, designed to warn viewers about the dangers of no-nos like drugs, alcohol, and married men played by David Schwimmer. (More on that later.) But which very special eps of the ’90s are worth watching? Here, we rank 10 memorable ones from nope to dope.
10. ‘Dinosaurs,’ Steroids to Heaven
What better way to teach children the dangers of steroids than through the power of creepy prehistoric puppets? Yes, even TGIF’s “Dinosaurs” was guilty of a ridiculous very special episode. Do you remember the one where Robbie turns into a total jerk when he bulks up on something called “thornoids” so he can be all about that jock life? Yeah, that happened.
9. ‘Home Improvement,’ What a Drag
The most extreme thing to ever happen on “Home Improvement” — aside from Brad’s ponytail — was when Brad was caught with a bag of marijuana. This leads mama Jill to admit she was a major pothead in high school. Lesson learned? You be the judge!
8. ‘Full House,’ Stephanie’s Wild Ride
“Full House” taught its fair share of life lessons throughout its run. The fam battled eating disorders, the death of a grandfather, lack of telethon entertainment, sleazy scheming uncles, and many, many more hardships. But when Steph hit her tweens, started wearing flannel and hanging out with bad influence Gia, things got real. For some reason she gets in a car with two total stranger boneheads from THE MALL and goes on an idiotic, over-the-speed-limit joyride with them. Gia later gets into a car accident … but Steph’s fine because this is “Full House” and nothing that bad actually happens to the Tanners. Well, aside from their mom being dead. Too soon?
7. ‘Family Matters,’ Life of the Party
Urkel plus alcohol is hilarious! But don’t laugh too soon, kids. This combo is almost lethal. After Steve teaches everyone to “do the Urkel” in a classic sitcom performance, his drink gets spiked and he nearly dies falling off a ledge.