No matter your age, you're never too old (or too young) to watch a great teen series. Between heartwarming coming-of-age dramas, edgy murder mysteries, irreverent comedies, and supernatural romances, Netflix has an expansive slate of teen TV shows that make it easy to find your perfect binge for any mood you might be in.
In fact, the library of teen shows on Netflix is so massive that it can be a bit overwhelming if you don't know just what you're looking for. Fortunately for you, we combed through all the currently available titles to round up the absolute best and most binge-worthy teen shows on Netflix. So if you're in the market for your next teen TV obsession, look no further than the list below.
This show is so dumb, but in the best way possible. It will have you cackling with glee one minute, screaming at a character's idiocy the next, and then scratching your head wondering why a high schooler is doing a strip tease while singing "Mad World" karaoke at a biker bar. But the thing is, when characters are as stupid as the ones in Riverdale, it becomes believable that they'll do anything. Meaning: nothing is off limits and anything is possible in this wild CW drama. Even a high schooler being a mole for the FBI. Or a high schooler running a local biker gang. Or a high schooler being killed by a bear in one episode only to be revived and have to take his SATs in the next. Riverdale is just self-aware enough to let you know the writers and actors are in on the joke without compromising the earnestness with which the actors take on these absurd situations, allowing viewers to get seriously emotionally invested in these comically surreal storylines.
A charming and colorful teen dramedy, Sex Education stars Asa Butterfield as Otis, the son of a sex therapist (Gillian Anderson) who uses his second-hand knowledge to start a ramshackle sex advice business for his fellow students with the help of his crush Maeve (Emma Mackey). Ncuti Gatwa also stars as Eric, Otis' openly gay best friend who comes from a religious Ghanaian family — and who manages to steal pretty much every scene he's in. This Netflix Original perfectly balances being a realistic look at the challenges of being a high schooler today and refreshing escape. Plus, the show's aesthetic is a deliberate homage to John Hughes' films of the '80s, which only contributes to the show's endearing and timelessness vibe. [Season 1 Review | Season 2 Review]
The Vampire Diaries
Starring Nina Dobrev as a teenage orphan who finds herself torn between two vampire brothers, Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon (Ian Somerhalder), The CW drama has everything you could ever want in a teen show: a great love triangle to get overly invested in, a well-developed ensemble of characters to root for (and relate to), and a rich mythology that leads to surprising twists and shocking betrayals. It's no wonder The Vampire Diaries launched two spin-offs with all that going on! And with eight seasons available to stream, there are more than enough episodes to make for a satisfying and addicting binge.
The second spin-off of The Vampire Diaries, Legacies breaks form from the flagship drama by delivering a monster-of-the-week format. Following the staff and supernatural students of the Salvatore School, the show follows werewolf-witch-vampire hybrid Hope Mikaelson (Danielle Rose Russell), witches Josie (Kaylee Bryant) and Lizzie Saltzman (Jenny Boyd), and others as they battle monsters and all the regular challenges of growing up, including falling in love, family feuds, and finding your voice. It's definitely more playful than The Vampire Diaries was, but that doesn't mean Legacies doesn't know how to deliver some serious teenage ennui when it counts.
Degrassi: Next Class
Why should you watch this Canadian import? Because it goes there! Much like the beloved Degrassi: The Next Generation, Next Class continues the Degrassi franchise's mission of taking the real challenges teens face and confronting them head-on with a perfect mix of educational teachings, melodrama, and self-aware humor. Next Class also continues to push boundaries on TV, featuring one of the few genderqueer main characters on television. But if you're worried that watching Next Class will be like watching a few days' worth of health class PSAs, there are a lot of great characters who help turn the show's informative messages into an addictive binge, including Miles (Eric Osbourne), a bisexual rich kid struggling with addiction; Lola (Amanda Arcuri), a boy-crazy cheerleader who is repeatedly underestimated; and Goldi (Soma Bhatia), a feminist, Muslim activist who begins secretly dating a non-Muslim boy.
On My Block
This unique take on a coming-of-age story focuses on a group of black and Latinx teens growing up in South Central Los Angeles where gang violence is just part of the norm. While there's a lot to love about this high-stakes comedy, it's the range of experiences the teens go through that is probably the show's greatest strength, because where else do you get to explore the journey of a teenage boy forced into a gang through family obligation and also a Goonies-esque search for the mythical spoils of an infamous robbery? The show constantly keeps viewers on edge by subverting expectations to find absurdist humor in the least predictable places, but it's On My Block's ability to unexpectedly insert shocking emotional drama that leaves viewers hooked.
Unlike the glossy American teen shows of the early aughts, Skins is radically unfiltered. The British show follows a group of classmates as they deal with sensitive topics like eating disorders, sexuality, drug use, and virginity in an exaggerated but believable fashion. Skins often sparked controversy about the characters' alleged hedonism while it was airing, but the show never shied away from exploring the consequences of the characters' actions. Skins is a fun, witty, outrageous, and wonderfully fresh series, even all these years later. Plus, it gets bonus points for featuring more than a few fun and familiar faces, such as Nicholas Hoult, Joe Dempsie, and Dev Patel.
Everything Sucks! has more heart in its ten 30-minute episodes than many shows display in a syndicated run. Set in a small Oregon town in 1996, Everything Sucks! showcases the unlikely friendships (and romances) blossoming between members of the A/V Club and Drama Club. While the courageous-but-oblivious Luke (Jahi Di'Allo Winston) develops a crush on the quiet Kate (Peyton Kennedy), Kate begins to question her sexuality, developing a crush on the theatrical drama star Emaline (Sydney Sweeney), who in turn is in a co-dependent relationship with the arrogant senior Oliver (Elijah Stevenson). Between the touching queer romance and perfect '90s soundtrack, Everything Sucks! is an uplifting look at the heartbreak and joy of self-discovery in a far less accepting and open era. [Review]
If you're more in the mood for post-apocalyptic fare, this CW drama — about 100 juvenile delinquents who are sent to Earth to see if it's habitable nearly a century after a nuclear war destroyed the planet — is the perfect choice. Over the series' run, The 100 has evolved quite a bit beyond its initial premise, rebooting itself again and again as our heroes, led by Eliza Taylor's Clarke and Bob Morley's Bellamy, discover new obstacles they must overcome. But the rich world-building and complex character relationships — plus the show's willingness to ruthlessly kill off even beloved leads — will keep you itching to know what comes next season after season.
The Fosters always wore its heart on its sleeve. The Freeform drama focuses on a multi-ethnic, blended family led by mothers Stef (Teri Polo) and Lena (Sherri Saum) that includes one biological child, adopted twins, and two foster children (whom they later adopt). In addition to exploring the realities of the foster system and blended families, the series also tackles several other important issues, such as sexual identity, immigration, sex trafficking, breast cancer, and sexual assault, all with The Fosters' perfect blend of humor, pathos, and hope.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
This dark and campy Riverdale spin-off has little in common with Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Starring Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina Spellman, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina follows the half-witch, half-mortal teen as she struggles to navigate the mortal realm and the world of witchcraft and Satanic worship. The show can be a bit of a hot mess at times, but it's always an enjoyable one, thanks to its willingness to take risks, poke fun, and randomly insert musical numbers. We'd also be remiss not to shout out the incredible ensemble cast, including Gavin Leatherwood, Miranda Otto, Lucy Davis, Tati Gabrielle, Michelle Gomez, and Chance Perdomo. [Season 2 Review | Season 3 Review]
The Society stars Kathryn Newton as Allie, a high schooler who winds up becoming the leader of a new society when she and her classmates are mysteriously transported to a nearly exact replica of their Connecticut town, only their parents, siblings, and everyone else is nowhere to be found. In between trying to solve the mystery of how they got there and how they can get home, the teenagers must figure out how to survive on their own without destroying each other first. If The 100, The Leftovers, and Under the Dome merged into one show, it would be this addicting dystopian drama, which is less interested in the puzzle box mysteries and more in existential questions about good vs. evil and if history really is doomed to repeat itself. [Review]
Atypical has all the staples of a great teen show — awkward moments, coming-of-age storylines, and the struggle to find love in the hellscape that is modern high school — with the added bonus of being told through a lens we rarely get to see on television. The lead character, Sam (Keir Gilchrist), is autistic and the show explores his struggles to make sense of the mixed social cues he's bombarded with at high school with a tender honesty. As Sam experiences all the ups and downs of growing up, including falling in love and leaving for college, the show also puts the spotlight on his younger sister, Casey's (Brigette Lundy-Paine), journey, as she slowly starts to realize she has feelings for her friend Izzie (Fivel Stewart). [Review]
With a sequel series set at HBO Max, there's never been a better excuse to catch up on the show that singlehandedly made headbands the hottest fashion accessory for a brief period of time. The CW drama about the lives of students attending a prestigious Upper East Side high school in Manhattan — and the ruthless blogger Gossip Girl who documents their every move — launched the careers of Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley, and Chace Crawford. As much of a social satire as a glorification of upper-class extravagance, Gossip Girl was a cultural juggernaut for good reason.
This beloved British sitcom follows the shenanigans of a group of four suburban teenage boys as they learn to survive high school together. The painfully real comedic depiction of naïve male teens — and the toxic culture they aspire to be a part of — often results in a severe case of second-hand embarrassment for viewers who were subjected to regular crass, vulgar, and borderline offensive situations. However, this is exactly the point; The Inbetweeners isn't a glorification of a "boys will be boys" culture of sexual conquests and partying, but a look at how absolutely pathetic this notion is and the blustering ignorance and insecurities that feed into it. Although the two movies that follow don't quite capture the magic of the original three-season run, we can just pretend they don't exist. And since Netflix doesn't even have them available to stream, that's easy enough.
I Am Not Okay With This
The horrors of adolescence are made literal in I Am Not Okay with This, Netflix's adaptation of Charles Forsman's comic of the same name. It's Sophia Lillis stars as Sydney, a high schooler who's struggling to cope with the grief of losing her father to suicide, questions regarding her budding sexuality, and fears of her burgeoning supernatural powers, which she doesn't know how to control. Sydney copes with her trauma by ignoring it — a strategy whose failings are repeatedly made clear as Sydney's repressed emotions explode into destructive bursts of supernatural energy. While the series embraces the tougher aspects of growing up, it's a surprisingly easy binge and injects enough moments of levity to balance out some of the darker themes. With only seven, 30-minute-episodes and a catchy soundtrack, you'll find yourself speeding though this interesting take on teen angst. [Review]
There really aren't enough teen shows being produced right now that even come close to resembling the realities of modern American teen life. If you went solely based on TV shows, you'd think most of today's youths are busy investigating murders, dating vampires, or fighting the literal devil. That's why this grounded CW drama is such a welcome refuge. Inspired by a true story, All American follows rising high school football player Spencer James (Daniel Ezra) as he transfers from Crenshaw to Beverly Hills to play for the elite school's team. Set against the explorations of class issues and family drama, Spencer's journey is as captivating as it is inspiring. [Season 1 Review]
This Spanish murder mystery follows the lives of the students at an exclusive private high school and how their ambitions, desires, and jealousies ultimately led to a murder of one of their own. Outside of the central mystery, Elite also explores more relatable teen issues, such as the struggles of being gay in a conservative household, how far one might go to fit in, and the pitfalls of social media. It's soapy, over-the-top, and absolutely addicting.
Set in Northern Ireland in the '90s, this charming sitcom focuses on a group of friends growing up in Derry: the passionate Erin (Saoirse-Monica Jackson), her cooky cousin Orla (Louisa Harland), good girl Clare (Nicola Coughlan), rebellious Michelle (Jamie-Lee O'Donnell), and Michelle's cousin James (Dylan Llewellyn), the only male student and the only Brit at the Catholic school they all attend. The series' off-kilter and irreverent humor makes Derry Girls an overwhelming delight, but it's the shows tender heart that makes it an absolute must-watch.