The 1980s Sitcoms Quiz

By: Alison Cooper

The 1980s Sitcoms Quiz
Image: ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images

About This Quiz

The 80s were prime time in American history for the sitcom (situational comedy) genre, as well as spin-off central. Do you know how many spin-offs "Happy Days" alone had? 

Whether you wanted a comedy about aliens (hello "ALF" and "Mork & Mindy!") or felt more in-tune with the complicated-family drama ("Family Ties," anyone?") there was something for everyone.

Perhaps you spent years rushing home to watch Bea Arthur and Betty White get into mischief on the "The Golden Girls." Maybe you're a little bit younger and had to watch "Full House" on reruns. Don't fret! This quiz is for anyone who enjoyed these shows at any time.

Just make sure you know the difference between Ben and Fred Savage, because yes, they appeared on different popular shows! You'll also want to brush-up on your feuding neighbors and neighborhood bars. Finally, it's important to get your family's straight: "Family Ties," "Family Matters" and "Mama's Family" might throw you for a loop if you don't take a deep breathe before answering. 

So go ahead, take this quiz, and find out exactly how much you know about 80s sitcoms!


This 80s sitcom inspired the phrase, "Jump the shark:"
"Happy Days"
Some people thought "Happy Days" went downhill fast after Fonzie literally jumped over a shark with his motorcycle. Hence the phrase for the moment when a show declines in quality and never recovers.
"Diff'rent Strokes"
"Gimme a Break!"
"Growing Pains"

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Name this 80s sitcom by its workplace: The Stratford Inn.
"Silver Spoons"
"Kate & Allie"
"Newhart"
The Stratford Inn was the bed and breakfast run by Dick and Joanna Loudon on "Newhart." Henry Mancini. who wrote the song, "Moon River," composed the theme for the show.
"Cheers"

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In what show did the main characters work at Sugarbaker & Associates?
"Designing Women"
Sisters Julia and Suzanne Sugarbaker were the designing women. The title is actually a play on words; in old American-English, a "designing woman" was a woman who schemed.
"Bosom Buddies"
"Webster"
"Family Ties"

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"FYI" TV newsmagazine was the place of employment on which show?
"Murphy Brown"
Murphy Brown (played by Candice Bergen) and Jim Dial (Charles Kimbrough) were the anchors of "FYI." "Murphy Brown" won 18 Emmy Awards and was nominated for 62.
"Barney Miller"
"One Day at a Time"
"Moonlighting"

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Name this 80s sitcom by its place of employment: Blue Moon Detective Agency.
"Mr. Belvedere"
"Too Close for Comfort"
"Moonlighting"
Maddie Hayes (Cybill Shepherd) and David Addison (Bruce Willis) were the partners of Blue Moon on "Moonlighting." Time magazine ranked the show on its list of 100 best TV shows of all time.
"Night Court"

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On what show did people work at Jack's Bistro?
"Three's a Crowd"
Jack Tripper opens Jack's Bistro in the later seasons of "Three's Company." The restaurant continued to exist in the spin-off, "Three's a Crowd." The series only lasted one season.
"Growing Pains"
"227"
"Silver Spoons"

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What was the nickname of Rudy's friend, Kenny, on "The Cosby Show?"
Bud
Kenny, who insisted on being called "Bud," appeared in 32 episodes of the show. It was rated the number one show (according to Nielsen ratings) for five years in a row.
Red
Mike
Pete

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Bud, on "Married…With Children," created this alter ego to help his luck with the ladies.
Lance DeGroove
Chester Love
Grandmaster B
Grandmaster B was just as successful as Bud's other romantic efforts...that is to say, not at all. The show, on the other hand, was quite successful! It spent eleven seasons on the air.
Love Machine

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Tony Danza starred on this sitcom before making the leap to "Who's the Boss?"
"Benson"
"Soap"
"Taxi"
Danza was Tony Banta on "Taxi." The show, which was about New York city cab drivers, won 18 Emmy Awards despite only being on the air for five seasons.
"Cheers"

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The sister of this famous actor played Scott Baio's mom in both "Happy Days" and "Charles in Charge."
John Lithgow
John Travolta
Ellen Travolta played Chachi's mother on "Happy Days" and Charles' mom on "Charles in Charge." She's eleven years older than her brother.
Nicolas Cage
Bruce Willis

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What was the name of Norm's never-seen wife on "Cheers?"
Suzanne
Vera
Vera Peterson was seen in exactly one episode; with a cream pie covering her face. The episode is called, "Thanksgiving Orphans," if you're interested!
Eileen
June

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Which football team did "Coach" coach?
The Minnesota State Screaming Eagles
Hayden Fox led the Screaming Eagles on "Coach." The show also starred Dick Van Dyke's younger brother, Jerry Van Dyke.
The Central Illinois Bobcats
The Western Washington Titans
The The Idaho Potato Launchers

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"Head of the Class" starred this actor from "WKRP in Cincinnati:"
Tim Reid
Loni Anderson
Howard Hesseman
Howard Hesseman, who played Dr. Johnny Fever on "WKRP," was history teacher, Charlie Moore, on "Head of the Class." The show's producer had actually worked as a substitute teacher before getting into the entertainment business.
Henry Winkler

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What was Punky Brewster's real name?
Isabelle
Anne Marie
Penelope
Punky didn't enjoy being called Penelope. Punky Brewster was actually named after someone name Peyton "Punky" Brewster, and the network received her permission to use her name for the show.
Georgina

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On "Night Court," Harry is a major fan of this singer:
Sonny Bono
Mel Torme
Mel Torme appeared as himself nine times on "Night Court." Torme's nickname was "The Velvet Fog," a reference to his smooth singing voice.
Dean Martin
Frank Sinatra

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Where was Balki from on "Perfect Strangers?"
Mypos
Balki was a shepherd on the fictional island of Mypos. "Perfect Strangers" is about two cousins with very different upbringings. There were both Brazilian and Russian remakes of the show.
Fidakia
Lefkada
Kraikia

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The"Golden Girls" spin-off about their neighbor was called:
"Mama's Family"
"Empty Nest"
Dr. Harry Weston of "Empty Nest" was a neighbor of the Golden Girls in Miami. The spin-off lasted for seven seasons, and even won a Golden Globe and an Emmy.
"Benson"
"Gimme a Break!"

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Name the spin-off of the 80s sitcom, "The Cosby Show:"
"Family Matters"
"Amen"
"A Different World"
Denise Huxtable went off to college and spun off into her own show, "A Different World." The show focused on her and her life at a fictional historical black college. Jada Pinkett Smith and Sinbad were both in the show.
"Small Wonder"

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The spin-off of the 80s sitcom, "Growing Pains," that focused on a gym teacher was called:
"Just the Ten of Us"
Mike and Carol Seaver's high school gym teacher and father of eight, Graham Lubbock, got his own show, "Just the Ten of Us." There were only four episodes in the first season.
"Too Close for Comfort"
"Who's the Boss?"
"Silver Spoons"

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Name the spin-off of the 80s sitcom, "Diff'rent Strokes:"
"Designing Women"
"The Jeffersons"
"The Facts of Life"
The Drummonds' housekeeper, Edna Garrett, took a new job as a housemother at the Eastland School, and became the star of "The Facts of Life." The series was one of the longest-running sitcoms that decade.
"Webster'

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The character, Steve Urkel, was on what spin-off of the 80s sitcom, "Perfect Strangers?"
"Family Matters"
"Family Matters" featured Harriette Winslow, the elevator operator of Larry and Balki's apartment building. Steve Urkel, the nerdy suspender-wearing neighbor, wasn't introduced until the mid-point of the first season.
"Who's the Boss?"
"Gimme a Break!"
"Charles in Charge"

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Name the out-of-this-world spin-off of the 80s sitcom, "Happy Days:"
"Silver Spoons"
"What's Happening Now!"
"Mork & Mindy"
Robin Williams showed up as an alien, Mork, on a 1978 episode of "Happy Days," and the rest is sitcom history. Remember, "na-nu, na-nu" means "greetings!" in Orkan.
"Bosom Buddies"

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Jamie, Sarah and Adam Powell were characters on which show?
"Charles in Charge"
Jamie, Sarah and Adam were Charles' charges. The show didn't do well until after it was in syndication. It was actually canceled after one season in its original form.
"One Day at a Time"
"Too Close for Comfort"
"My Two Dads"

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Heather and Wesley Owens were a family on this sitcom:
"Mr. Belvedere"
Mr. Belvedere is the Owens family's butler. The show (and title character) are based on a 1947 novel by Gwen Davenport.
"Silver Spoons"
"227"
"Benson"

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Name the show with this family: Samantha Micelli and Jonathan Bower.
"Bosom Buddies"
"Benson"
"Who's the Boss?"
Samantha was Tony's daughter, and Jonathan was Angela's son, brought together by circumstance on "Who's the Boss?" The show won one Golden Globe and one Emmy Award.
"Kate and Allie"

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Lynn and Brian Tanner and an extraterrestrial named Gordon appear on what series?
"Small Wonder"
"ALF"
ALF is short for Alien Life Form, but his name is actually Gordon Shumway, and he lives with the Tanner family. According to the show, ALF was born before the American Revolution (1756, to be exact.)
"Gimme a Break!"
"Good Times"

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D.J., Stephanie and Michelle Tanner are three daughters on what show?
"Mama's Family"
"Married … With Children"
"Full House"
The Tanner girls were the "Full House" sisters, being raised by their dad, uncle and dad's best friend. The 2006, a Russian network adapted the show and called it, "Topsy-Turvy House."
"Silver Spoons"

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Danica McKellar and Fred Savage appeared on what show set in the late 60s?
"Barney Miller"
"The Wonder Years"
Kevin Arnold (played by Savage) was the narrator of "The Wonder Years." Danica McKellar played his love interest, Winnie. McKellar, who has a degree in mathematics, has written a number of children's math books.
"Benson"
"Saved by the Bell"

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Name the show with this family: Becky, Darlene, D.J. and Jerry Garcia Conner.
"Family Matters"
"Roseanne"
Jerry Garcia was Roseanne and Dan's surprise last-season baby. Before the show, Roseanne Barr was a stand-up comedian.
"Gimme a Break!"
"Too Close for Comfort"

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Michael J. Fox played the young conservative son of ex-hippie parents on what show?
"Family Ties"
Fox won three Emmys in a row for his leading role on "Family Ties." He shot most of the "Back to the Future" franchise while on the show.
"Coach"
"Webster"
"Silver Spoons"

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What show stars Bea Arthur and Betty White as two of a group of four women living together in Miami?
"The Golden Girls"
"The Golden Girls," which won multiple Golden Globes and Emmys, was ranked by TV Guide magazine as one of the best series of all time. The Queen Mother was reportedly a fan of the show, as well.
"Three's Company"
"Saved by the Bell"
"Silver Spoons"

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What sitcom was a spin-off from a series of sketches from "The Carol Burnett Show?"
"Laverne and Shirley"
"Too Close for Comfort"
"Kate and Allie"
"Mama's Family"
"Mama's Family" started as a series of sketches on "The Carol Burnett Show." It starred Vicki Lawrence as a curmudgeonly matriarch of a family in the city of Raytown.

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What 80s sitcom was about two divorced mothers that decide to live together?
"Laverne and Shirley"
"Kate and Allie"
"Allie and Kate" starred Susan Saint James and Jane Curtin. Curtin was on the original cast of "Saturday Night Live" and was later on "3rd Rock from the Son."
"Mork and Mindy"
"Bosom Buddies"

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On what sitcom was the fourth wall regularly broken?
"Good Times"
"Soap"
"227"
"It's Garry Shandling's Show"
Gary Shandling, who is (and was) a stand-up comedian, would often interact with the audience during "It's Garry Shandling's Show." The show had guest stars like Rob Reiner and Gilda Radner.

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On which show did the leads work at Shotz Brewery?
"Small Wonder"
"Laverne and Shirley"
"Laverne and Shirley," one of many spin-offs from "Happy Days," is about two friends and roommates that work as bottle-cappers in a brewery. In its third season, it was the most-watched show on American TV.
"Too Close for Comfort"
"Silver Spoons"

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You Got:
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