The Most Unforgettable '80s Cartoons

Voting Rules
Vote up your favorite animated TV shows that aired during the 1980s

Get ready to feel some serious nostalgia after reading through this list of the top 80s cartoons. Let's face it. The best cartoons of the 1980s helped to shape an entire generation. Whether we were dreaming of hanging out with chipmunk brothers or becoming a stealthy turtle who loves eating pizza in gutters, the 80s made for some pretty amazing television. This list contains funny 80s cartoons and action-packed 80s animations. 

Was there ever a better cartoon than The Simpsons? This show chronicles the lives of The Simpsons, a family from Springfield, IL., who always seem to make life a little more interesting (thanks, Homer). Created by Matt Groening in 1989, this classic timepiece is still on the air today, and it's the one 80s animation that holds the record for the longest running American animation of all time.

Other good 80s shows like DuckTales and The Gummi Bears also appear on this list of 1980s cartoon shows. The Transformers was a favorite 1980s TV show and it eventually became a series of blockbuster films. The Transformers aired from 1984-1987.

Where do your favorite 1980s shows fall on this list? You can even vote on this list of the best cartoons of the 1980s to make sure your favorite 80s cartoons end up in the No. 1 spot! Woohoo! GO 80s. 

Photo: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles / CBS

  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
    Photo: Group W Productions

    Prince Adam, through the Sword of Power, transforms into He-Man and is endowed with magical powers. Along with his closest ally Battle Cat, He-Man must defend Eternia from the evil Skeletor. The wildly successful show spawned the spin-off She-Ra: Princess of Power.

    • Premiered: September 5, 1983
    • Actors: John Erwin, Alan Oppenheimer, Lou Scheimer, Linda Gary

    Available On:

  • The Transformers
    Photo: Claster Television
    6,897 votes

    Inspired by Japanese toyline Microman, Hasbro's second attempt at a product-based television show (after G.I. Joe) was even more successful. Alien robots fighting each other was a no-brainer and the popularity of the Autobots and Decepticons was immense upon release. To this day, the franchise remains in the mainstream.

    • Premiered: September 17, 1984
    • Actors: Frank Welker, Peter Cullen, Corey Burton, Chris Latta, John Stephenson

    Available On:

  • ThunderCats
    Photo: Warner Bros.
    6,947 votes

    After the ThunderCats flee their dying home planet, they reach Third Earth and establish a lair. When the Mutants follow them there, they must fight them off to ensure their survival as well as the safety of Third Earth. Several comic series and video games were made based on the show, contributing to its lasting popularity.

    • Premiered: January 23, 1985
    • Actors: Peter Newman, Gerrianne Raphael, Robert McFadden, Larry Kenney, Earl Hammond

    Available On:


  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
    Photo: CBS

    One of the most popular animated series in television history, the series launched the merch boom of the Ninja Turtles in the late 80s. The show follows Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Rafael as they battle Shredder, Krang, and other bad guys. Interestingly, though the show started off lively with inept villains, the last three seasons of the cartoon were notably darker and more mature and the action was turned up several notches.

    • Premiered: December 28, 1987
    • Actors: Rob Paulsen, Cam Clarke, Barry Gordon, Townsend Coleman, Renae Jacobs

    Available On:

  • DuckTales
    Photo: Buena Vista Television
    6,617 votes

    Scrooge McDuck and his grandnephews go treasure hunting (after Donald enlists in the Navy) in this classic Disney show. The popularity of DuckTales can be attributed partially to its homages to classic stories and popular culture, as they parodied Shakespeare, Indiana Jones, Sherlock Holmes, and more.

    • Premiered: September 18, 1987
    • Actors: Alan Young, Russi Taylor, Chuck McCann, Terence McGovern, Frank Welker

    Available On:


  • G.I. Joe
    Photo: Claster Television
    5,633 votes

    In the early 1980s, Marvel Productions was commissioned to produce commercials for the G.I. Joe Marvel Comics series. The subsequent popularity of those commercials led to the "The M.A.S.S. Device" special and later G.I. Joe was promoted to a full television series.

    • Premiered: September 12, 1983
    • Actors: Michael Bell, Gregg Berger, Chuck McCann, Arthur Burghardt, Dick Gautier

    Available On: