Once upon a time before Instagram ruled the world, the only place that aspirational spring break content existed was the small screen. Every year for a week in March, the MTV airwaves devolved into, well, something that looks a little bit like late night at the Bachelor mansion. Our favorite tele-dramas created their own fictional versions of the booze-fueled debauchery, and ahead are the eight most critical episodes.
Laguna Beach, "What Happens in Cabo"
What happens in Cabo winds up on MTV. In the first season of the iconic reality show, Kristen, Stephen, and the gang headed south to a vacation that no high school student should be privileged enough to embark on. But we digress — because more important than their upsettingly luxurious beachside resort was the fight between Stephen and Kristen that was witnessed by all of America and included some slut-shaming barbs that absolutely did not age well.
Dawson's Creek, "Stolen Kisses"
Joey, Andie, and Pacey spend their spring break at Dawson’s aunt’s house in Vermont. The woodland state isn’t exactly the center of debauchery, but the episode still features plenty of drama as Joey and Pacey try to determine what the heck is going on between the two of them.
Beverly Hills, 90210, "Spring Breakdown"
Brandon and Tracy go to Hong Kong (NBD) and Brandon gets grilled about his secret feelings for Kelly. Back at home in BH, there’s a perfectly ’90s party scene that includes a Barenaked Ladies performance. Talk about a relic.
Friends, "The One With Joey's Fridge"
Ross is dating his student — something that he’ll soon learn isn’t just “frowned upon” but is in fact officially against the rules — and is haunted by the creeping suspicion that their age gap might be a problem. He tags along with her friends on their Spring Break trip where he learns that it is, in fact, a problem.
Greek, "Spring Broke"
Think of the spring break trip from Laguna Beach and then knock it down a few notches — the gang from Cyprus Rhodes does their March madness in Myrtle Beach. There’s a rusty school bus, missing luggage, a barely-usable fake ID, and pretty much every other mishap that one could think of. In other words, it’s almost too similar to all of our college trips.
Gilmore Girls, "Girls in Bikinis, Boys Doin' the Twist"
We know what you’re thinking: There’s no way Rory can survive Spring Break. And you’re right. She heads down to Florida with Paris, where they meet up with Stars Hollow alumni who try (mostly unsuccessfully) to teach them how to party.
The O.C., "The Return of the Nana"
Seth and Ryan go to Miami to visit Seth’s grandmother, with Sandy in tow as a chaperone. It isn’t exactly the same vibe as our teenaged Seth Cohen-related fantasies, but it does provide plenty of opportunity to see him make old-people-in-Florida jokes.
Sabrina the Teenage Witch, "Beach Blanket Bizarro"
Sabrina and her friends get set to head south in search of spring break related debauchery, but her aunts (who are well-practiced witches) have other plans. They cast a “good, clean fun” spell, which turns the whole place into the 1960s.