TV characters The Best TV Characters of the '80s  

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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
97 74
Sam Malone is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
analise.dubner added Sam Malone Cheers

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2
71 63
Diane Chambers is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
JordanMc added Diane Chambers Cheers

3
115 78
Thomas Magnum is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Thomas Magnum Magnum, P.I.

4
96 70
Norm Peterson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Norm Peterson Cheers

5
66 47
Columbo is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
MatthewGill added Columbo

6
121 64
Alex P. Keaton is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Alex P. Keaton Family Ties

7
84 49
Sophia Petrillo is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
JohnnyCorelli added Sophia Petrillo The Golden Palace, The Golden Girls

8
56 38
Coach Ernie Pantusso is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
buzzy added Coach Ernie Pantusso

9
75 43
Rose Nylund is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
JohnnyCorelli added Rose Nylund The Golden Girls - Golden Girls

10
47 41
Lilith Sternin is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
buzzy added Lilith Sternin

11
80 84
David Addison Jr. is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
David Addison Jr. Moonlighting

12
79 55
Frasier Crane is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Frasier Crane Frasier, Cheers

13
97 76
Jean-Luc Picard is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Jean-Luc Picard Star Trek: The Next Generation

14
61 78
Pee-wee Herman is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Pee-wee Herman Pee-wee's Playhouse

15
42 41
Carla Tortelli is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
CB Ladnier added Carla Tortelli Cheers

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16
52 47
Ranker Video
CB Ladnier added Jim Ignatowski Taxi

17
52 20
Hawkeye Pierce is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Rinkydink added Hawkeye Pierce M*A*S*H

18
63 48
J.R. Ewing is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
LanaYoshii added J.R. Ewing Dallas, Dallas

19
36 38
Alex Reiger is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s

20
42 51
Julia Sugarbaker is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
CB Ladnier added Julia Sugarbaker Designing Women

21
67 46
Al Bundy is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
JohnnyCorelli added Al Bundy Married... with Children

22
76 79
Heathcliff Huxtable is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Heathcliff Huxtable The Cosby Show

23
39 52
Louie De Palma is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
CB Ladnier added Louie De Palma Taxi

24
39 44
Dick Loudon is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
CB Ladnier added Dick Loudon

25
71 66
Benson DuBois is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Benson DuBois Benson, Soap

26
96 61
Angus MacGyver is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
MacGyver MacGyver

27
65 64
Remington Steele is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
analise.dubner added Remington Steele Remington Steele

28
35 24
Dan Fielding is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
muzziac added Dan Fielding Night Court

29
55 63
Madelyn 'Maddie' Hayes is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Madelyn 'Maddie' Hayes Moonlighting

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30
79 57
Dorothy Zbornak is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Dorothy Zbornak The Golden Girls

31
46 26
Judge Harry T Jones is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
muzziac added Judge Harry T Jones Night Court

32
36 37
Suzanne Sugarbaker is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
CB Ladnier added Suzanne Sugarbaker Designing Women

33
30 39
Lou Grant is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Linus added Lou Grant

34
34 48
Frank Furillo is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
CB Ladnier added Frank Furillo Hill Street Blues

35
62 53
Kevin Arnold is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Kevin Arnold The Wonder Years

36
44 28
Jim Rockford is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
JordanMc added Jim Rockford The Rockford Files

37
38 45
Mary Beth Lacey is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
JordanMc added Mary Beth Lacey Cagney & Lacey

38
65 50
John

39
58 64
Jessica Fletcher is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Jessica Fletcher Murder, She Wrote

40
63 45
Bo Duke is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
analise.dubner added Bo Duke The Dukes, The Dukes of Hazzard

41
61 58
Sonny Crockett is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Sonny Crockett Miami Vice

42
29 22
Christine Sullivan is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
muzziac added Christine Sullivan Night Court

43
39 28
Jack Tripper is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
muzziac added Jack Tripper Three's Company

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44
50 55
Tony Micelli is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Tony Micelli Who's the Boss?

45
34 20
Nostradamus "Bull" S... is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
muzziac added Nostradamus "Bull" Shannon Night Court

46
28 50
Ed Grimley is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
CB Ladnier added Ed Grimley

47
11 0
Kermit the Frog is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Kermit the Frog The Muppet Show, Sam and Friends

48
27 37
Latka Gravas is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
CB Ladnier added Latka Gravas Taxi

49
41 30
Daisy Duke is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
muzziac added Daisy Duke The Dukes of Hazzard

50
23 35
Mona Robinson is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
CB Ladnier added Mona Robinson Who's the Boss?