80s tv The Best TV Characters of the '80s

6.9k votes 4.6k views 113 items Embed

List Rules Awesome TV characters from shows that aired during the 1980s

Who were the best TV characters of the '80s? From The Golden Girls, The Cosby Show, and Murder, She Wrote all the way to kid favorites like Punky Brewster, Elmo, and Saved By the Bell, these shows greatly impacted the culture of the decade. This list has the best TV characters from classic 1980s television shows.

It was the decade where the Pee-Wee Herman was introduced. Michael Knight and Virgil Tibbs also took to the small screen, entertaining millions of fans. The top TV show characters of the 1980s included family-focused favorites like Highway to Heaven and the still popular kid’s all-time favorite Sesame Street. And who can forget the Seaver family from Growing Pains (though we try to forget Kirk Cameron these days)? 

Children’s characters like Alf, Optimus Prime, and He-Man were also introduced. The top characters of the 80s were, for the most part family-friendly, uplifting, and hilarious. Let's honor the ingenuity of Mr. Angus MacGyver, and the importance of having life-long friends a la The Golden Girls.

Vote up your favorite 1980's TV characters below or add your favorite if he or she isn't already on the list!

1
+ - 80 62
Sam Malone is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Sam Malone Cheers

The Most Shocking TV Deaths of All Time The Best Anime Series of All Time

2
+ - 64 47
Diane Chambers is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s

3
+ - 97 62
Thomas Magnum is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Thomas Magnum Magnum, P.I.

4
+ - 57 37
Columbo is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s

5
+ - 48 28
Coach Ernie Pantusso is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s

6
+ - 74 37
Sophia Petrillo is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Sophia Petrillo The Golden Palace, The Golden Girls

7
+ - 81 62
Norm Peterson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Norm Peterson Cheers

8
+ - 65 32
Rose Nylund is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Rose Nylund The Golden Girls - Golden Girls

9
+ - 73 68
David Addison Jr. is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
David Addison Jr. Moonlighting

10
+ - 54 35
J.R. Ewing is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
J.R. Ewing Dallas, Dallas

11
+ - 100 60
Alex P. Keaton is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Alex P. Keaton Family Ties

12
+ - 37 40
Julia Sugarbaker is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Julia Sugarbaker Designing Women

13
+ - 36 32
Carla Tortelli is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s

14
+ - 36 35
Lilith Sternin is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s

15
+ - 57 71
Pee-wee Herman is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Pee-wee Herman Pee-wee's Playhouse

The Best Re-Casting of Famous TV Roles The Best Movies Based on TV Shows

16
+ - 86 64
Jean-Luc Picard is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Jean-Luc Picard Star Trek: The Next Generation

17
+ - 33 34
Frank Furillo is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Frank Furillo Hill Street Blues

18
+ - 27 29
Alex Reiger is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s

19
+ - 36 37
Dick Loudon is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Dick Loudon

20
+ - 35 44
Louie De Palma is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s

21
+ - 68 66
Heathcliff Huxtable is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Heathcliff Huxtable The Cosby Show

22
+ - 40 39
Ranker Video v
Jim Ignatowski Taxi

23
+ - 83 53
Angus MacGyver is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
MacGyver MacGyver

24
+ - 63 51
Frasier Crane is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Frasier Crane Frasier, Cheers

25
+ - 36 14
Hawkeye Pierce is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Hawkeye Pierce M*A*S*H

26
+ - 64 56
Benson DuBois is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Benson DuBois Benson, Soap

27
+ - 60 53
Remington Steele is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Remington Steele Remington Steele

28
+ - 31 32
Suzanne Sugarbaker is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Suzanne Sugarbaker Designing Women

29
+ - 50 53
Madelyn 'Maddie' Hayes is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Madelyn 'Maddie' Hayes Moonlighting

The Greatest TV Characters of All Time The Worst Things About Going to Bars in Your 30s

30
+ - 29 31
Lou Grant is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s

31
+ - 35 36
Mary Beth Lacey is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Mary Beth Lacey Cagney & Lacey

32
+ - 55 48
Kevin Arnold is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Kevin Arnold The Wonder Years

33
+ - 73 50
Dorothy Zbornak is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Dorothy Zbornak The Golden Girls

34
+ - 40 21
Jim Rockford is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Jim Rockford The Rockford Files

35
+ - 24 18
Dan Fielding is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Dan Fielding Night Court

36
+ - 55 39
John

37
+ - 33 19
Judge Harry T Jones is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Judge Harry T Jones Night Court

38
+ - 45 41
Al Bundy is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Al Bundy Married... with Children

39
+ - 53 55
Jessica Fletcher is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Jessica Fletcher Murder, She Wrote

40
+ - 28 38
Ed Grimley is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s

41
+ - 52 49
Sonny Crockett is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Sonny Crockett Miami Vice

42
+ - 53 40
Bo Duke is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Bo Duke The Dukes, The Dukes of Hazzard

43
+ - 43 49
Tony Micelli is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Tony Micelli Who's the Boss?

8 TV Actors Who Turned Out Just Like Their Characters The Most Anticipated New Shows of 2017

44
+ - 20 30
Andy Sipowicz is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Andy Sipowicz NYPD Blue

45
+ - 30 22
Daisy Duke is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Daisy Duke The Dukes of Hazzard

46
+ - 30 22
Jack Tripper is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Jack Tripper Three's Company

47
+ - 14 24
Anthony Bouvier is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Anthony Bouvier Designing Women

48
+ - 20 29
Latka Gravas is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s

49
+ - 18 18
Christine Sullivan is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Christine Sullivan Night Court

50
+ - 24 15
Nostradamus "Bull" S... is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Nostradamus "Bull" Shannon Night Court