80sTV 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
172 124
Sam Malone is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
analise.dubner added Cheers

2
222 106
Thomas Magnum is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Magnum, P.I.

3
117 130
Diane Chambers is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
JordanMc added Cheers

4
213 93
Alex P. Keaton is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Family Ties

5
157 109
Norm Peterson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Cheers

6
145 82
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
99 77
Coach Ernie Pantusso is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
buzzy added

8
121 121
David Addison Jr. is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Moonlighting

9
108 99
Columbo is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
MatthewGill added

10
119 77
Rose Nylund is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
JohnnyCorelli added The Golden Girls
Golden Girls

11
80 73
Carla Tortelli is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
CB Ladnier added Cheers

12
140 77
Al Bundy is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
JohnnyCorelli added Married... with Children

13
150 109
Jean-Luc Picard is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Star Trek: The Next Generation

14
130 90
Frasier Crane is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Frasier, Cheers

15
178 82
Angus MacGyver is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
MacGyver

16
106 49
Hawkeye Pierce is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Rinkydink added M*A*S*H

17
93 128
Pee-wee Herman is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Pee-wee's Playhouse

18
66 86
Julia Sugarbaker is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
CB Ladnier added Designing Women

19
68 84
Lilith Sternin is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
buzzy added

20
113 72
Kevin Arnold is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
The Wonder Years

21
75 80
Ranker Video
CB Ladnier added Jim Ignatowski Taxi

22
117 130
Heathcliff Huxtable is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
The Cosby Show

23
90 86
J.R. Ewing is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
LanaYoshii added Dallas, Dallas

24
54 74
Alex Reiger is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s

25
60 75
Dick Loudon is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
CB Ladnier added Dick Loudon