Can You Name These TV Shows From the ’80s If We Give You 3 Clues?
By: Lauren Lubas
About This Quiz
"Leave It To Beaver" was left behind and "The Partridge Family" was out the door. The 1980s were ready to bring us bigger and better television in every way possible. Suddenly our action heroes were flawed. They swore and drank and didn't have perfect lives. The comedy we saw was crude and honest. It didn't tell us our families had to be perfect, and not everything had to be resolved at the end of a 30-minute spot. Alright, maybe there were still a few shows that did that in the 1980s, but it was clear that American television was going through a transition period, and the masses responded by watching more and more.
If you couldn't get to your TV on time, you could always set your VCR to record the shows you wanted to watch. This gave people the freedom they needed to watch what they wanted. If you were lucky enough to grow up during this time, or if you love to go back and watch those low-definition, high impact shows, this quiz is for you. We are going to give you three clues, and we want you to tell us which show we're talking about. Do you think you have what it takes to answer our questions correctly?
A postman, an ex-baseball player and Norm walk into a bar. What show are we talking about?
"Cheers" (1982-1993) spanned nearly the entire decade of the '80s and spilled over into the 1990s. It was a comedy, but it also gave us a wholesome feeling like we were at home. It made frequenting bars a totally cool thing.
This show was about a kid who loved Winnie, had a mean brother and said goodbye to his hippie sister. Do you know what it's called?
Let's face it, '80s and '90s kids remember "The Wonder Years" (1988-93) as the show that made them feel good, but when you look back at it, you realize that Kevin Arnold was kind of a jerkface. He was mean and rude.
Do you know which show included an alien, a Korean War veteran and the Tanner family?
There is nothing like seeing a little ugly alien trying to eat cats. Now that we think about it, it sounds like a terrible premise for a show, but "ALF" really worked, and the show even spawned a cartoon series.
An interracial family, a mother who died and a penthouse are all parts of the premise of which show?
If you've ever heard the catchphrase "Whatchyou talkin' 'bout Willis?" you know enough about "Diff'rent Strokes" to get by. This show ran for eight seasons and tackled issues of race, social class and money.
Which show included two female police officers, New York City and a whole lot of sexism?
When a working mother and a career-oriented woman team up as detectives in New York City, nothing can stop them ... except for poor ratings. However, this show didn't have that, so it lasted seven years throughout the 1980s.
This show began in 1989 and included a scientist and time travel. What show was it?
"Quantum Leap" (1989-93) was a show that proved that time travel was possible, as long as you didn't consider the fact that you had to jump into other people's bodies. It made a lot of sense if you ignored science completely, but it was still a great show.
The Phoenix Foundation, scientific knowledge and a very attractive man are all elements of which show?
If you lived in the mid-1980s and you didn't watch "MacGyver" (1985-1992), you either didn't have a television or you were working the night it aired. This show was fantastic and the previews for it were always along the lines of "MacGyver is trapped in a well, with only a ballpoint pen to save him." It was outstanding!
In which show would you see a stuntman, a stuntwoman and people who skipped their bail?
"The Fall Guy" (1981-1986) was all about one man's journey to make more money. The Hollywood stuntman worked on a team with his cousin (who wasn't much help) and his costar to capture those who skipped their bail.
This family had a robot, a weird neighbor and a young son. Do you know the name of the show?
Everyone loved robots in the 1980s, so why not make a show about a little robot girl who was incredibly strong. The best part about this premise was they had to keep VICKI a secret from everyone, including the nosy neighbor.
Can you name the show that was a prime time soap opera, had wealthy characters and a very large cast?
The Carringtons and the Colbys were our favorite crazy families to watch. Even if their shoulder pads made for interesting shots, this show was pretty much everyone's favorite from 1981 to 1989.
Do you remember which show began in the '70s but ended in the '80s, had a really cool character who jumped a shark and was set in the 1950s?
After the first episode of "Happy Days" (1974-1984), people realized that they had something. It was a special something that mixed nostalgia with wholesomeness with the Fonz, the Cunninghams and a cast of characters right out of the 1950's playbook.
An orphan, her dog and a photographer are all seen in which children's show of the 1980s?
When an orphan girl meets up with a stern and child-hating photographer, there is bound to be something funny that happens. Apparently, this show wasn't all that bad as it ran for four seasons.
This show includes heroes that break the law, two brothers and an awesome car. What is it?
When adorable cousins Bo and Luke Duke meet up, they do their best to find trouble (or maybe trouble finds them). It's a good thing that they have an awesome car to help them escape the police.
Which show gives us a dysfunctional family, big hair and a shoe salesman?
Sitcoms of the 1980s changed a little bit, and you could clearly see the transition from wholesome family fun and laughter to brutal honesty about social classes, and "Married... With Children" (1987-1997) delivered just that ... in the best way possible.
Do you remember which show had a courthouse, a tall bald man and Judge Stone?
"Night Court" (1984-1992) was a situation comedy about what happens when you get arrested at night. It involved minor cases and very little suspense, and the show focused mainly on the characters, not the defendants.
Which show spanned from the '70s to the '90s, was on the water and had dozens of guest stars?
If you were even alive from 1974 to 1990, you had some knowledge of "The Love Boat." It was a show that just kept going. Not only did it offer fun and drama, but there were also dozens of high-end guest stars coming in and out every week.
A Chicago resident puts up his foreign cousin in this show that features a Mediterranean native and a guy who just wants to be left alone. Can you name the show?
"Perfect Strangers" (1986-1993) was a show that basically defined sitcom. Two people put into an odd situation and having to figure it out was the best way to bring comedy into our living rooms every week.
Can you name the action series that gave us an awesome theme song, helicopters and secret government agencies?
"Airwolf" (1984-1987) had a little bit of everything as well as a ton of action. Not only could you watch someone fly a helicopter, but you could also get the drama of what it was like working for a shady government agency.
This show included an elderly detective, a typewriter and many small town murders. What was it?
There were dozens of random murders and a plethora of crime in the small town where Jessica Fletcher decided to become an amateur detective. Luckily for Jessica, it gave her a lot of material to write her crime novels.
Do you remember the show that included high-priced lawyers, drama and office politics?
Not only did "L.A. Law" (1986-1994) give us the drama we were looking for in prime time television, it also gave us a glimpse into the law profession and some eye candy to go along with it. The show lasted eight years because it always delivered.
This show ran only two seasons, had transvestites and a women-only apartment complex. What show was it?
While we may think that Tom Hanks can do no wrong, we have to remember "Bosom Buddies" (1980-1982). The show had a funny premise, but it really couldn't sustain its run long enough with the storylines it provided.
The Sunshine Cab Company, Andy Kaufman and a frustrated actor were all parts of which show?
"Taxi" (1978-1983) gave us some great comedy and featured some of the best comedians of our time. From Andy Kaufman to Danny DeVito, we were able to watch our favorites every week for five seasons.
An orphan is taken care of by George and Ma'am in what 1980s show?
"Webster" (1983-1989) was the story of a young orphan who is taken in by his godparents. The saddest episode was when Webster's dad tells George that he's going to name his baby Georgia if it's a girl. They really were best friends.
Can you name the show that involved a shooting cliffhanger, the Ewing family and an oil company?
"Dallas" (1978-1991) was all about the drama. People loved to tune in every week just to see what antics the rich people of Texas were going to get into next. When J.R. was shot during a season-ending episode, people lost their minds (well, not literally, but audiences of the times couldn't stop asking, "Who shot J.R.?").
Sugarbakers, snappy dressers and a beauty queen were all a part of this show. Can you name it?
"Designing Women" (1986-1993) took us to a place where women in the workforce weren't just there to wear shoulder pads, they could also run their own businesses. It was about empowerment and hilarity, and it did not disappoint.
Which animated series that began in the 1980s is still running today, has a dysfunctional family and a religious neighbor?
While creators of "The Simpsons" tried to end the show in the late 1990s, fans wouldn't have it. They began sending in scripts and possible plots to keep the show going. It is still running, 30 years after it first began airing.
Can you name the show that included an estranged son, a rich man and Ricky Schroder?
If you weren't planning on watching this show, just know that the hairstyles alone should draw you to it. It screams the 1980s, as we learn that a rich business owner has a son he never knew about.
Gritty police drama, intense action and police brutality are three ways to describe which TV show from the '80s?
While there have been several gritty police dramas since "Hill Street Blues" (1981-1987), fans of the were shocked by the reality of what was featured on the show each week, and they always tuned in.
Do you know which show had Mr. T, a special forces team and vigilantes?
Mr. T was all the rage in the 1980s. His distinct voice and somehow not-punk mohawk showed us that being bad was actually really cool, and his role on "The A-Team" just made us love him more.
This comedy began in the '70s, gave us surgeons and showed us that Army life was different. What show was it?
"M*A*S*H*" (1972-1983) was one of the most popular shows of all time. Its series finale drew more ratings than any show that came before it. Comedy and reality were interwoven in the storylines to show audiences the reality of war.
Can you name the show that includes Knight Industries Two Thousand, Michael and a man who was shot in the face?
After watching this show, everyone wanted a car that could talk and help solve crimes. While modern technology has given us the former, it can still can't help with the latter as much as K.I.T.T. did during this series from the '80s.
Which show was made in response to the drug boom of the 1980s, gave us good-looking detectives and murder (lots of murder)?
"Miami Vice" (1984-1990) was such a well-loved show that they actually brought it back in the movies and a remake TV series. Everyone wanted Crockett and Tubbs in their lives. They were such snappy dressers (for the '80s anyway).
In this show, hippies raise a Republican son, his shallow sister loves consumerism and there is also tomboy of a sister involved. Can you name the show?
Alex P. Keaton is everything a Reagan-era kid should be: ready to stimulate the world of capitalism. He studies, wants the American dream and can't wait to be a success. It's a great juxtaposition with his parents who are hippies through and through.
Do you remember this show that had the Robbin's Nest, Hawaii, and Higgins?
If you need a thick mustache and a big smile, Tom Selleck will always deliver. Perhaps that is why "Magnum, P.I." (1980-1988) was such a hit. Some watched for the action; others watched for that epic 'stache.
Dorothy, Rose, and Blanche were all characters on which sitcom?
Even though "The Golden Girls" ended in 1992, this show still has a cult following. Young women watch it today because the show was advanced in topics that weren't normally discussed on television in the 1980s.
Can you name the show that involved a male housekeeper, a powerful businesswoman and a bunch of kids?
While making gender role reversal into a sitcom wasn't unheard of at the time, "Who's the Boss?" (1984-1992) made waves for several years. Tony (the main character) even went back to school once the kids were older.
This show included a sarcastic single mom, a news magazine and some Dan Quayle jokes. Do you remember what it was called?
Remember when it was big news that Vice President Dan Quayle couldn't spell potato? Murphy Brown remembers. When the vice president mentioned the show had problems because Murphy was a single mom, she struck back ... on prime time.
A teacher who could fly, alien technology and superpowers are all parts of which show from the 1980s?
In the 1980s, people didn't feel the same about superhero movies and television show as they do these days. It's probably because the Marvel Cinematic Universe wasn't there to accompany it. Perhaps that's why "The Greatest American Hero" only lasted three seasons.
Which show had a child doctor, medical drama and Vinnie Delpino?
"Doogie Howser, M.D." starred a familiar face. You may know him as Barney Stinson from "How I Met Your Mother," but Neil Patrick Harris got his start in 1989 on the famous television show featuring a teen doctor.
This show was set in Pittsburgh, included a male housekeeper and a sports columnist. What was it?
Smart, sophisticated English butler (housekeeper), Lynn Belvedere gets a job with a tough Pittsburgh family and hilarity ensues ... because there is nothing funnier than a proper gentleman meeting up with American teens of the '80s.
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