Who's That 80s TV Character?


By: Weston Whitener

6 Min Quiz

Image: CBS

About This Quiz

When it comes to television, there were many great decades, and one of the best was the 1980s. Characterized by many family sitcoms, crime drama, the rise of animated series, and the beginning of SciFi, it's no wonder that so many unforgettable characters and personalities emerged during that decade.

Some of the most popular characters include Steve Urkel from "Family Matters," Peggy Bundy from "Married with Children," Maxwell Klinger from "M*A*S*H," Zack Morris from "Saved by the Bell," Sam Maline from "Cheers," Rose Nylund from "Golden Girls," and Alex Keaton from "Family Ties." Many of us either grew up watching these shows, reruns or remakes and that has contributed to the longevity and popularity of quite a few of the characters.

You might not have been around in the 1980s, but if you were given a clue about some of the most memorable characters from that time, would you be able to identify who they were correctly? Well in this quiz, you are going to be.

Will it say that you're a true 1980s baby or will it mean that you need to binge-watch some of those shows? If you would like to find out, then you should take this quiz!

He may have been in Hawaii, but this P.I. kept busy taking down bad guys.

"Magnum, P.I.," played by Tom Selleck, drove around Oahu in his Ferrari 308 from 1980 to 1988. Did you know that Tom Selleck almost dropped the show to star in "Raiders of the Lost Ark?"


He was an alien life form crashing at the Tanner's place.

Alf was the wise-cracking titular alien of the beloved show running from 1986 to 1990. But did you know he was very difficult to work with? Making a 30-minute episode with a puppet could take two 12-hour days to film!


He may not have carried a gun, but this secret agent sported a fine mullet and could improvise an inventive solution to any problem he faced.

MacGyver could stop bombs with anything from hockey tickets to milk, but his character retained a sense of humility. In fact, the show's producers cast Richard Dean Anderson in the role because he put on his glasses to read in the audition --the casting director appreciated his lack of pretension!


She may have waited on the regulars at "Cheers," but she always kept them in line.

Rhea Perlman played Carla on "Cheers." Perlman won four Emmy awards for her performance!


He's a young conservative living with his former-hippie parents.

The young Michael J. Fox played Alex P. Keaton. That middle initial "P" was ad-libbed by Fox at his audition for the role; the producers liked the addition to the character name and kept it in the show.


He's the cigar-smoking commander who loves when his plan comes together for "The A-Team."

George Peppard played Hannibal Smith, but did you know he acted opposite Audrey Hepburn? He played Paul Varjak in "Breakfast at Tiffany's!"


The littlest Huxtable on "The Cosby Show" always found her way into adorable trouble.

Keshia Knight Pulliam played little Rudy Huxtable when Pulliam was only 6 years old. Audiences watched her grow up through "The Cosby Show," which aired its last episode when Pulliam was 13.


Those good ol' boys tore through Hazzard County, no matter what Boss Hogg and Sheriff Roscoe did about it.

John Schneider played Bo Duke and Tom Wopat played Luke Duke on "The Dukes of Hazard." But did you know that both actors walked away from the show in 1982 over a contract dispute? Their characters were replaced by Duke "cousins" Vance and Coy, who were pulled from the show once Schneider and Wopat returned after the dispute was settled.


His egg-shaped spacecraft brought him to study human behavior in Colorado, where he greets everyone with "Nanu Nanu."

When Robin Williams auditioned for the role of Mork -- originally a one-time character on the show "Happy Days" -- he was asked to take a seat and sat on his head. His performance won audiences over and earned him the spinoff show, "Mork & Mindy."


This reborn crime-fighter fought for justice with his artificially intelligent super car.

The show "Knight Rider" was conceived by Glen A. Larson as a re-invention of "The Lone Ranger" in the modern day. But Brandon Tartikoff (who headed NBC programming) said that "Knight Rider" came from a joke about making a show in which an attractive lead wouldn't say more than six words, while his car would do the talking for him!


He was the captain of the "Love Boat" and a matchmaker to boot.

Capt. Merrill Stubing and his crew helped boat passengers fall in love for 10 years. Merrill Stubing was played by Gavin MacLeod.


He partnered up with Sonny Crockett to take down Miami's drug lords.

Philip Michael Thomas played Rico Tubbs on "Miami Vice." The show was a huge break for Thomas, and he famously wore a necklace bearing the acronym "EGOT:" Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony, the awards Thomas aspired to win. Although Thomas did not win any of them, he was the first to set the goal that is now pursued by many performers.


In "Cheers," everybody knew his name and said it in unison whenever he walked in.

Norm's character was based on a real person! "Cheers" executive producer Les Charles worked at a bar and knew a man who would come in every night to drink "just one beer," would always stay for "just one more" and be carried out every night. When his wife would call, the man would say "Tell her I'm not here."


This artificially-intelligent car helped its "Knight Rider" fight crime.

KITT was made from a 1984 Pontiac Trans-am. His voice was that of William Daniels, who won an Emmy for his leading role in "St. Elsewhere" and was the beloved teacher Mr. Feeny in "Boy Meets World."


Trust him to intimidate the fools who oppose "The A-Team," but don't put him in an airplane!

B.A. Baracus, played by Mr. T., was the toughest member of "The A-Team." Mr. T. worked as a bouncer and then a bodyguard before he brought his persona to show business in "Rocky III."


She was the Southern "Golden Girl" who was always on the look-out for a man!

The promiscuous Blanche was brought to life by Rue McClanahan. McClanahan made Blanche a Southern belle, despite the pilot director's discouragement; he wanted McClanahan to use her native Oklahoma accent.


This Keaton kid was a bit of an airhead, but a fashionista none the less.

Justine Bateman played Mallory on "Family Ties." She started her acting career on the show and went on to appear on shows like "Californication," "Psych" and "Desperate Housewives." Later, she started her own fashion line!


On "The Cosby Show," she juggled being a lawyer and the mother of the Huxtable family.

Clair Huxtable was the model mother of the 1980s. Phylicia Rashad played Clair on the show; she was recently in the 2015 film "Creed" and has been listed in the cast of the new Marvel film "Black Panther!"


He was a former Boston Red Socks pitcher who owned "Cheers."

Ted Danson played Sam Malone on "Cheers" for its 11-season run. Danson received 11 Emmy nominations for his performance, winning in 1990 and 1993.


She wore cut-off shorts and helped her cousins escape the authorities of Hazzard County.

Producers for the "Dukes of Hazzard" were initially scared of censorship when they saw Catherine Bach in her Daisy Duke costume, especially with her revealing cut-off shorts. But Bach popularized the cut-off short look so much that they became popularly known as "Daisy Dukes!"


He kept the house for the Bower family, but he was always trying to figure out "Who's the Boss?"

Tony Danza played former baseball player Tony Micelli on "Who's the Boss?" Did you know Daza pursued a career as both a teacher and a professional boxer? Danza was discovered in a boxing gym when he was offered a role in the show "Taxi."


This former model turned into a "Moonlighting" private detective to avoid bankruptcy.

Cybill Shepherd played Maddie Hayes in the quirky detective comedy "Moonlight." Did you know she starred in 70s film classics "Taxi Driver" and "The Last Picture Show?"


He was the only son of Cliff and Clair Huxtable on "The Cosby Show."

Theo Huxtable was based on Bill Cosby's son Ennis Huxtable. Theo's graduation was the final event on 'The Cosby Show's" last episode, "And So We Commence."


He was the fun-loving uncle in "Full House."

Uncle Jesse always kept the "Full House" interesting! He was played by John Stamos, who has appeared since on shows like "ER," "Entourage," "Two and a Half Men" and "Fuller House."


He was "howling mad" and flew the "A-Team" wherever they needed to go.

"Howling Mad" Murdock was the A-Team's hilarious loose canon. He frequently had to be broken out of a mental institution so he could fly the A-Team's missions!


He was the unconventional judge who presided over "Night Court's" chaos.

Judge Harry T. Stone was certainly unusual, but did you know the actor who played him was a magician? Harry Anderson was known for his sleight of hand on shows like "SNL" before he was cast as "Night Court's" strange judge.


This idealistic sheepherder from a Mediterranean island lived with his American cousin in Chicago.

Bronson Pinchot played Balki Bartokomous on "Perfect Strangers," but did you know he appeared in two classic 1980s films? He acted alongside Tom Cruise in "Risky Business" and famously played Serge in "Beverly Hills Cop."


One of Miami's finest vice detectives, this undercover cop lived on a sailboat with Elvis, his pet alligator.

Sonny Crockett was played by Don Johnson, who received an Emmy nod in 1985 for his performance. Did you know that Johnson professionally raced offshore powerboats alongside Chuck Norris and Kurt Russell? They dubbed themselves "Team USA."


She was the housemother and school dietitian who taught the boarding school girls "The Facts of Life."

Edna Garrett, played by Charlotte Rae, originally appeared as the housekeeper on "Diff'rent Strokes." "The Facts of Life" was a spinoff of "Diff'rent Strokes," in which Garrett mentored girls attending a boarding school.


One of the "Golden Girls" living in Miami always had a lesson from her childhood in St. Olaf, if not an understanding, of what was happening.

Betty White was originally considered to play the sultry Blanche, but she was ultimately cast as the lovably daffy Rose Nylund on "The Golden Girls." Did you know that the Golden Girls put on a live performance for Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother? Her Majesty was apparently a fan of the show!


He's a psychologist trying to get his kids through their growing pains.

Alan Thicke played Dr. Jason Seaver on "Growing Pains." Seaver was one of the best-loved TV dads of his time and was a father-figure to many of his younger fellow "Growing Pains" cast members.


This youngest "Facts of Life" student wore pigtails and roller-skated around Eastland's campus.

Kim Fields played Tootie on "The Facts of Life." Fields was only 10 years old when she started on show!


He was the wise-cracking private detective of Blue Moon Detective service who worked with Maddie Hayes.

Before starring on "Moonlight," Bruce Willis was an unknown actor with only one credit --"Tony Amato" on an episode of "Miami Vice." But he was picked for the role of David Addison Jr. against all odds and went on to be a multi-million dollar action star!


She was the richest of the "Facts of Life" girls.

Blair Warner may have been a little spoiled, but she always stood by her friends at Eastland. At the end of the series, she uses her dad's money to buy the school!


He was an undercover police officer infiltrating high school who was a little self-conscious about his baby face.

Johnny Depp famously played the heartthrob cop on "21 Jump Street." The role was a big break for Depp, who had just finished playing a small role in Oliver Stone's "Platoon."


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