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While not as exciting as the last day of school, the first day of school tends to be memorable for everyone. After all, no one knows what to expect when they first walk into a new school or class.

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With such a variety of emotions surrounding the first day of school, this makes for a perfect TV plot. Almost every family sitcom has an iteration of the First Day of School episode. From the first day of school wardrobe anxiety to the fear of starting a new school and making a good impression, the sitcom has nailed all of those feelings on more than one occasion.


ten Full House: “Back To School Blues” (Season 3, Episode 2) – 7.4

Full House DJ dressed as a professor in the cafeteria

One of DJ Tanner’s best episodes Full house is his first day in college. DJ’s excitement quickly turns scary when she learns that she only has one class with Kimmy. Things only get worse when they realize that all of their classmates have grown up over the summer except them. The knockout blow for DJ comes at lunch when everyone laughs at her for wearing the same outfit as a teacher.

Full house Perfectly nails the anxieties of adolescence, especially when it comes to college. The great thing about this episode is that even though DJ has a terrible first day, she returns on the second day determined to make new friends and not succumb to peer pressure which was a cheesy but awesome storyline. and a lesson in life in the series.

9 Fresh Off The Boat: “First Day” (Season 4, Episode 1) – 7.4

Fresh Off The Boat: Eddie tries his hand at football

Fresh off the boat tackled the first day of school in season four when Eddie started high school. Eddie’s day hits a roadblock when he decides to join the football team despite his mother’s protests. His younger brothers don’t have the best day either when it’s revealed that Evan has skipped a class and is starting college with Emery, much to his displeasure.

“First Days” is one of the best episodes because it has something for everyone to resonate with. Protecting Jessica from Eddie is a common experience that many young boys face when they decide to play football. Still, nothing is more relevant than being overshadowed by your younger sibling encroaching on your college space.

8 The Middle: “Back To School” (Season 2, Episode 1) – 7.7

Middle Frankie standing with her schedule on whiteboard

Tired of being the stricken family, a hilarious running gag on The middle, Frankie begins to organize. She makes the kids’ breakfasts, gets a head start on baking for future bake sales, and even makes an appointment with Brick’s teacher before she asks him to. However, all of this quickly backfires, leading his children to take action and start off on the wrong foot with a teacher.

Few of the first day of school episodes focus on parents, which makes this episode The middle so special. Just as the first day of school is difficult for children, it can be even more difficult for parents, especially those who are busy juggling their own careers.

7 Modern Family: “First Days” (Season 5, Episode 2) – 7.8

Modern Family: Cam dressed as George Washington in Alex's classroom

In the episode, Luke and Manny started high school, sending Phil and Gloria into an emotional spiral as they realize their children are growing up. Elsewhere, Alex faces the horrors of Cam intervening as a substitute teacher when he knows nothing of the story. And it’s also Lily’s first day of preschool, during which Cam and Mitch feel all kinds of emotions.

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With so much going, this episode can be a comfort to many anxious children and parents. From parents dealing with the realities of their children growing up to children facing embarrassing family members in their classroom, the episode perfectly sums up the ups and downs of the first day of school.

6 Saved By the Bell: “King Of The Hill” (Season 1, Episode 15) – 7.9

Saved by the Bell: Zack and AC fight in class

During the first season of Saved by the Bell, Zack is entering high school. He has high expectations for the day and can’t wait to finally earn his crush, Kelly Kapowski. However, her confidence crumbles when AC Slater transfers to their school and immediately takes an interest in her. The two find themselves in a whole war, determined to win Kelly over.

Love can certainly be felt in the air on the first day of school, which is why this episode of Saved by the Bell works so well. Not only does it deal with day one nervousness and general anxieties, the war over a crush makes it even more authentic.

5 Boy Meets World: “Back 2 School” (Season 2, Episode 1) – 8.0

Boy Meets World Corey talks to Eric in the hallways

Boy meets the world have always dealt with serious topics teens face, which is why it’s no surprise that they approached Cory’s first day of high school the way they did. Cory and Shawn are initially thrilled to finally be in high school and away from Mr. Feeny, only to learn that high school isn’t that different and that Mr. Feeny is now their principal. The episode also deals with the bullying and embarrassment of having a sibling in the same school.

Boy meets the world does what he does best in this episode showing how Cory and Shawn overcome their fears as they learn to adapt to their surroundings. It’s also one of Eric’s best episodes, as he decides to defend Cory even though he didn’t want anything to do with him at first.

4 The Goldbergs: “Breakfast Club” (Season 4, Episode 1) – 8.0

The Goldbergs Breakfast Club tribute episode

The Goldbergs is known for parodying 1980s pop culture, and in its fourth season the series took on the iconic John Hughes film, The breakfast club. Adam is determined to be a new person on his first day of high school and takes inspiration from Judd Nelson. Elsewhere, Beverly has acquired her supply teaching credentials but remains stranded as a janitor. Not to be overlooked, Beverly banishes her children and their friends from detention on Saturdays on the first day of school.

While this episode of The Goldbergs could rely on nostalgia, that’s quite relatable. Erica has a rough first day after learning that her crush has started dating someone else, which is all too common a theme for day one of school episodes. And Barry and Adam have the typical conflicts that arise when brothers go to the same school.

3 Zoey 101: “Back To PCA” (Season 2, Episode 1) – 8.2

Zoey 101: Zoey and Nicole smile on campus

After a tough first year at PCA, Zoey is set to make her second year the best ever. However, her plans were immediately met with a roadblock when she and her best friend, Nicole, find themselves stuck with a very strange roommate. Elsewhere, Chase and Micahel struggle with roommates themselves, as Logan transforms their dormitory into their apartment building’s party dorm.

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Zoey 101 succeeded in highlighting the anxieties of the first day of school when it comes to studying away from home. Not only do residential school children face the usual first-day nervousness, but their anxiety is heightened by having to live with strangers. Fortunately for the students and the characters of Zoey 101, their roommates end up becoming lifelong friends.

2 Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide: “First Days And Lockers” (Season 1, Episode 1) – 8.2

Ned's Declassified: Ned Bigby seems worried

Ned declassified school survival guide is one of the best Nickelodeon shows of the 2000s, with the pilot episode a fan favorite. Ned goes straight into survival mode on his first day of college and helps his friends navigate selection classes, first day of school outfits, and new friends.

This episode manages to hit all the main points of Day One’s nervousness, but it takes it a step further by helping audiences learn how to deal with it. For a generation of college kids, this episode was the most important episode of their childhood.

1 Alexa & Katie: “Day Two” (Season 2, Episode 1) – 8.6

Alexa & Katie: Alexa seems concerned about Katie

After missing their first day of freshman, best friends Alexa and Katie are determined to get it right for second year. Unfortunately, Katie twists her ankle the night before, causing Alexa to go into nursing mode, causing tension.

Alexa and Katie manage to sum up perfectly teenage friendship and how strained friendships can be in stressful situations like the first day of school. And yet, despite the bickering and tension, these two come out stronger than ever because they’re still there for each other.

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