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
187 140
Sam Malone is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
analise.dubner added Cheers
2
246 116
Thomas Magnum is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Magnum, P.I.
3
234 101
Alex P. Keaton is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Family Ties
4
126 151
Diane Chambers is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
JordanMc added Cheers
5
172 122
Norm Peterson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Cheers
6
159 93
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
115 85
Coach Ernie Pantusso is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
buzzy added
8
132 136
David Addison Jr. is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Moonlighting
9
120 114
Columbo is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
MatthewGill added
10
136 84
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
91 85
Carla Tortelli is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
CB Ladnier added Cheers
12
201 87
Angus MacGyver is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
MacGyver
13
165 121
Jean-Luc Picard is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Star Trek: The Next Generation
14
149 101
Frasier Crane is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Frasier, Cheers
15
157 90
Al Bundy is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
JohnnyCorelli added Married... with Children
16
101 143
Pee-wee Herman is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Pee-wee's Playhouse
17
119 58
Hawkeye Pierce is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
Rinkydink added M*A*S*H
18
73 99
Julia Sugarbaker is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
CB Ladnier added Designing Women
19
84 91
Ranker Video
CB Ladnier added Jim Ignatowski Taxi
20
74 99
Lilith Sternin is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
buzzy added
21
125 82
Kevin Arnold is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
The Wonder Years
22
69 85
Dick Loudon is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
CB Ladnier added Dick Loudon
23
60 85
Alex Reiger is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
24
100 99
J.R. Ewing is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
LanaYoshii added Dallas, Dallas
25
123 146
Heathcliff Huxtable is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best TV Characters of the '80s
The Cosby Show