Twenty years ago, we didn’t know many dancing babies, and we didn’t think much about women’s wattles… and then Ally McBeal premiered and changed everything.
Ally was a soaring comet of a TV show, burning bright for a few years (winning an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series and landing on the cover of Time magazine) before flaming out after just five seasons. But it still left us with a legacy of Barry White dance numbers, Fish-isms and a quirky blend of comedy and drama that paved the way for countless genre hybrids to follow.
The series premiere — airing on Sept. 8, 1997 — dialed back on the quirk: The infamous dancing baby, and Peter MacNicol’s delightfully eccentric John Cage, didn’t make their debut until later in the first season. But the pilot still stands as a time capsule of ’90s trends and societal norms that feel downright quaint when viewed two decades later.
So if you’re in need of a little Clinton-era nostalgia, check out the gallery to the right — or click here for direct access — and see the most ’90s moments we could find in the Ally McBeal pilot. (And if you need to see Ally back in action for yourself, all five seasons are available to stream right now on Hulu.)
Join us in the unisex comments section below and share your favorite Ally McBeal moments.