Before coming to college, I didn't realize just how many pop culture references I didn't understand because I hadn't watched certain shows. In the last year and a half, I've come to realize that I miss most of the references because I hadn't watched the show.
I've compiled a list of the most referenced shows so that you (and I) can get stop missing references to them. The best part? They're all on Netflix so it's easy to catch up on them!
1. 'The Office'
Most days, I feel like the only person on planet Earth who hasn't seen The Office. At this point, I understand when someone is referencing it and know to laugh and act like I know what they're talking about, but honestly, it would be so much better if I watched the show. I would definitely start with this one if you haven't seen it!
I recently started watching Friends, and I finally understand what all of the hype is about. It's funny, heartwarming and full of romances and real adult problems that most college students can either relate to now or see happening in their futures.
3. 'Gilmore Girls'
Gilmore Girls might not be referenced as often as The Office or Friends, but it's a good one to have seen. It's sweet, funny, sassy, and full of family dysfunction. It's fun and easy to watch and one that most people have seen, making it a great way to start a conversation with new friends or a great show to rewatch with old ones.
4. 'Game of Thrones'
I, personally, haven't watched Game of Thrones because I wanted to read the books first, but I'm slowly breaking away from that just because of the number of times I've missed half of a conversation referencing it. If you haven't seen it, it would be a good one to watch.
5. 'Parks and Rec'
This one is high up on my "to watch" list because people talk about it fairly often and it sounds hilarious. Everyone who has seen it recommends it.
6. 'Stranger Things'
This is one of my very favorite shows to ever come out because of all of the cool 1980s references. As someone who loved old music and culture before the show, I have a lot of fun watching it all in action. Throw in a sci-fi monster, an evil government scientist, a massive coverup, and a little bit of teen romance over a horror movie and you've pretty much got Stranger Things. The cute kids (who are also amazing actors) are just an added bonus.
7. 'Full House'
Every time I confess to someone that I haven't seen Full House they just kind of look at me with a weird expression on their face like they can't understand that it was even possible to have a childhood without watching it. So, if you, like me, didn't watch this as a kid, it's best to just go ahead and do it.
8. 'The Great British Baking Show'
While no one quotes this one directly, the number of times I've heard someone say "I love The Great British Baking Show! " is surprising. I hadn't even heard of this before going to college, but now I hear about it at least once every two or three days.
9. 'Grey's Anatomy'
Grey's Anatomy is one of those shows that people just assume everyone has watched. They're usually shocked when I tell them that I haven't seen it. It gets referenced fairly often, usually talking about the characters (looking at you, McDreamy), and is (apparently) a wonderful show to watch.
10. 'Orange is the New Black'
The number of times that I've heard "this reminds me of that time on Orange is the New Black when..." or "hey, that person looks just like x character on Orange is the New Black! " is a little bit insane. I wouldn't normally think of it as being one of the biggest shows in pop culture references, but it has steadily become one.
If you're a college student who feels like you're missing half of every conversation because you haven't watched a show or a soon-to-be college student who wants to make sure they'll fit in and find friends, watching this list of ten shows should have you pretty well covered!