80s The Best TV Characters of the '80s  

Ranker TV
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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!
list ordered by

1
157 111
Sam Malone is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
analise.dubner added Cheers

2
190 102
Thomas Magnum is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Magnum, P.I.

3
109 117
Diane Chambers is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
JordanMc added Cheers

4
198 87
Alex P. Keaton is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Family Ties

5
149 103
Norm Peterson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Cheers

6
137 75
Sophia Petrillo is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
JohnnyCorelli added The Golden Palace, The Golden Girls

7
93 69
Coach Ernie Pantusso is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
buzzy added

8
115 114
David Addison Jr. is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Moonlighting

9
98 92
Columbo is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
MatthewGill added

10
77 67
Carla Tortelli is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
CB Ladnier added Cheers

11
111 72
Rose Nylund is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
JohnnyCorelli added The Golden Girls - Golden Girls

12
126 70
Al Bundy is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
JohnnyCorelli added Married... with Children

13
139 102
Jean-Luc Picard is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Star Trek: The Next Generation

14
120 85
Frasier Crane is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Frasier, Cheers

15
163 78
Angus MacGyver is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
MacGyver

16
90 119
Pee-wee Herman is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Pee-wee's Playhouse

17
95 44
Hawkeye Pierce is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Rinkydink added M*A*S*H

18
66 76
Lilith Sternin is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
buzzy added

19
73 72
Ranker Video
CB Ladnier added Jim Ignatowski Taxi

20
63 80
Julia Sugarbaker is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
CB Ladnier added Designing Women

21
103 70
Kevin Arnold is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
The Wonder Years

22
51 68
Alex Reiger is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s

23
84 81
J.R. Ewing is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
LanaYoshii added Dallas, Dallas

24
108 122
Heathcliff Huxtable is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
The Cosby Show

25
93 93
Benson DuBois is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Benson, Soap

26
50 81
Louie De Palma is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
CB Ladnier added Taxi

27
53 72
Dick Loudon is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
CB Ladnier added Dick Loudon

28
88 95
Remington Steele is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
analise.dubner added Remington Steele

29
77 47
Judge Harry T Jones is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
muzziac added Judge Harry T Jones Night Court

30
71 89
Madelyn 'Maddie' Hayes is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Moonlighting

31
106 81
Dorothy Zbornak is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
The Golden Girls

32
45 66
Lou Grant is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Linus added

33
54 64
Suzanne Sugarbaker is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
CB Ladnier added Designing Women

34
105 69
John

35
66 46
Jim Rockford is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
JordanMc added The Rockford Files

36
44 76
Frank Furillo is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
CB Ladnier added Hill Street Blues

37
84 40
Jack Tripper is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
muzziac added Three's Company

38
50 68
Mary Beth Lacey is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
JordanMc added Cagney & Lacey

39
100 58
Bo Duke is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
analise.dubner added The Dukes, The Dukes of Hazzard

40
93 75
Sonny Crockett is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Miami Vice

41
82 41
Daisy Duke is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
muzziac added The Dukes of Hazzard

42
81 90
Jessica Fletcher is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Murder, She Wrote

43
94 59
Michael Knight is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s

44
73 74
Tony Micelli is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Who's the Boss?

45
52 17
Woody Boyd is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Dave_7672 added Cheers

46
63 64
Arnold Jackson is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s

47
63 54
Homer Simpson is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
The Simpsons

48
55 42
Dan Fielding is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
muzziac added Dan Fielding Night Court

49
58 36
Nostradamus "Bull" S... is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
muzziac added Nostradamus "Bull" Shannon Night Court

50
46 43
Christine Sullivan is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
muzziac added Night Court