The 25 Best Shows on Netflix for Tweens and Teens Who Are Hard to Please
Chances are that the kids at home can’t agree on a show to watch. These are sure to please!
It’s hard to find good entertainment options for tweens and teens. They’re not interested in shows that are made for little kids anymore, and yet they’re also not yet ready for most adult stuff on premium cable. While there are plenty of great shows to see on Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and Hulu — the biggest selection for tweens may come from the most popular streaming service: Netflix!
This said, we’ve rounded up the best shows on Netflix for teens and tweens, and your kids will totally fall in love with them (Did we mention the streaming service has some nearly perfect teen movies as well?) From series that tackle themes like social anxiety, to shows about the supernatural, to an adaption of one of our favorite young adult book series, there’s guaranteed to be a show for your child, no matter what their interests may be. There are gentle adventures for the younger teens just trying to dip their toes into more mature content. There are fun reality shows and competitions that the whole family can watch together. And there are dishy, soapy dramas for the older ones to get sucked into. Put it together, and you’ve got hours of entertainment.
A new YA series on Netflix, Outer Banks follows a tight-knit group of friends in North Carolina who are thrown into a whirlwind series of events when the power is cut for the summer. What ensues involves a search for a missing father, romances, a high-stakes treasure hunt, and conflicts with rivals. Outer Banks premieres on April 15, 2020.
The Big Show Show
Wrestler The Big Show may be 7 feet tall and 400 pounds, but he’s no match for raising a family of girls. This is further complicated when a teen daughter from a previous relationship suddenly comes to live with him.
I Am Not Okay With This
Sydney (Sophia Lillis) is a typical teenage girl coming of age in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — except, of course, that she’s starting to realize she has supernatural powers. There’s some mature content in this series, so it’s for the teens (and maybe too much for the tweens).
Your tweens might not have been around to see the original Full House in all its ’90s glory, but there are so many kids in this show, they’ll have plenty of points of identification to start appreciating the Tanner family now. The first half of the fifth and final season already debuted on the site, with the rest of it on the way, likely sometime this year.
The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia
This Mario Lopez-produced show follows Ashley, a 15-year-old robotics engineer and rocket scientist, as she moves in with her Uncle Victor, a fun-loving, former football player. The first half of the first season debuted in February 2020, and more episodes will follow sometime soon.
The Healing Powers of Dude
Having premiered in January 2020, this show offers an honest look at how social anxiety effects tweens, this Netflix series follows 11-year-old Noah Ferris as he starts middle school with the help of his adorable emotional support dog Dude.
The Seattle-based McKellans are true fish out of water when they move to Georgia to be closer to their extended family. With part 2 of this series released in January, the family is still hilariously trying to adjust to life in the South.
Alexa and Katie
This show is all about the importance of friendship and support between girls — especially because one of the main characters has cancer. But the rest of the show stays firmly in tween-soap territory, so it isn’t always so heavy. The third season premiered in December 2019, with more episodes to follow.
For kids obsessed with celebrity and influencer culture, Team Kaylie shows what happens when a teen celeb has to give it all up and try to fit in as a normal middle schooler.
This story follows a single mother named Nicole whose son Dion starts to exhibit mysterious, supernatural abilities shortly after his father’s death. Teens will definitely love the supernatural element of this story — it’s already been renewed for a second season, and when it returns Alisha Wainwright’s Nicole must protect Dion from those trying to exploit his powers.
One Day at a Time
While the newest season will air on Pop TV, you can catch the first three season of the show on Netflix. The reboot of this beloved Norman Lear-created show is all about a strong family bond that can’t be broken. The kids will definitely be able to related to either Alex or Elena.
Malibu Rescue follows a team of junior beach rescuers from The Valley who want to outperform their well-to-do Malibu counterparts. It’s a perfect watch once warmer weather rolls around.
Once Upon a Time
Your kids will get a kick out of seeing how fairytale tropes get remixed and rearranged, with characters like Snow White and Rumpelstiltskin interacting in a modern-day world. There’s fantasy violence, so it might not be best for the younger tweens, but theres’s always the lesson that “magic has a price.”
A Series of Unfortunate Events
It’s possible they’ll be so taken by this show, about the strange occurrences that happen to three orphaned siblings, they’ll go back and read the book series it was based on. And parents will definitely enjoy the stylings of Neil Patrick Harris as the enigmatic Count Olaf. The series wrapped up at the beginning of 2019, ending after three seasons.
No Good Nick
Everyone loves a good scammer, and this show — co-starring Melissa Joan Hart and Sean Astin — is about a family whose world is shaken when a teenager con artists shows up claiming to be a relative. Two seasons of the show, which ended in summer 2019, are available.
Tweens who are definitely too young for Umbrella Academy can still find sibling drama, mystery, and suspense in this show about the culture of elite boarding schools. The teens at the heart of this story are placed into separate boarding-school houses — making them instant rivals — but connect again to unravel the strange circumstances surrounding the death of their mother.
Anne With an E
Anne runs across some tough situations in this series, but Anne of Green Gables fans shouldn’t miss this most recent retelling of the orphan’s adventures.
Best Worst Weekend Ever
The show is about a group of friends trying to sneak into a comic-con. It’s good for superhero fans and heist enthusiasts alike.
Cheerleaders will love the way this docuseries dives into the gripping and intense world of competitive cheerleading. With behind-the-scenes footage of practice and competitions, the series follows the Navarro College squad as they compete for a coveted-national title.
The Big Family Cooking Showdown
What’s better than cooking together? If you’re like me, it’s watching other families cook together from the comfort of your own house.
It’s a baking competition show, but the bakers are given very tight time constrictions. The race-against-the-clock factor makes it more suspenseful, and therefore more compelling to an impatient tween.
Minute to Win It
In this game show, people compete in 60-second challenges that use common household items, so you might want to stage a re-match in your home afterward.
If they watched Cheer and still want more, this show follows a group of elite cheerleaders as they practice and train for competition, offering an honest behind-the-scenes look at girls in sports.
Yes, you can stream Jeopardy! on Netflix! The episodes include entire tournaments of champions, though, so the questions are hard and come fast, but if you have a brainy kid at home, watching without commercials means you can stream a whole tournament relatively quickly.
Competing for a cash prize, hopefuls on The Circle must gain popularity and influence by interacting with other contestants solely through a social-media like app ominously called ‘The Circle.’ The show also serves as a healthy reminder for older teens not believe everything you see on social media.