Can You Name These 1980s TV Families?

By: Kennita Leon
Image: NBC

About This Quiz

The '80s was an amazing decade. In addition to fashion, music, and food, TV was also pretty darn good. Among the things that dominated our favorite shows were the families who appeared on the screen. Whether they were live actors or animated creatures, the characters on those shows entertained us to bits. 

But do you remember these families who frequented our TVs so long ago? Do you remember the dads who taught you lessons, the moms who comforted their kids, the brothers who did silly things and the girls who kept trying to impress us with their fashion choices? We're here to test that today!

We're not going to ask you to name the individual members of each family, but we will ask you to choose the name of the group as a whole. So instead of choosing Bart Simpson, your choice would be the Simpsons. If this seems like something you can do, then it's time to call on all your knowledge of '80s television. 

If you remember enough about these family shows to ace this quiz, and with flying colors to boot, let's get started on this fun quiz. 


"Diff'rent Strokes" is a late '90s American sitcom that is centered around the lives of the Drummond Family including Phillips Drummond, a wealthy white businessman and his daughter, Kimberly. The two adopted two Arnold and Willis Jackson, two black boys from Harlem.

The fictional Keaton family of the 1982 sitcom, 'Family Ties," consisted of married couple, Steven and Elyse Keaton, and their three children, Alex, Jennifer and Mallory. This television series shed views on different concepts, such as politics, liberalism and feminism.

Danny Tanner was a sports anchor and widower who enlisted the help of his best friend, Joey Gladstone, and his brother-in-law, Jesse Katsopolis, to help him to raise his teenaged daughter, DJ, and her younger sisters, Michelle and Stephanie. "Full House" is credited for its portrayal of positive male figures and family life.

The Ewings were a wealthy family in Dallas, who were proprietors of Ewing Oil and the Southfork Ranch. "Dallas," the series, first aired in 1978 and lasted until 1991. It was revived in 2012. It features the messy lives of the Ewings, particularly the underhand business deals of J.R. Ewing.

"The Wonder Years" was a coming of age television series that portrayed the life of Kevin Arnold, from 12 to 17 years of age. It explored the typical struggles of the adolescent boy who was being raised in a middle-class family. The series ran for five years, from 1988 to 1993.

"The Golden Girls" featured four roommates- The ever cynical Dorothy, her mother, Sophia, the sultry, seductive Blanche, and the sweet but dim-witted Rose. This well-loved series won three Golden Globe Awards for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy, from 1986 to 1988.

The Bundys were a comical but dysfunctional suburban family that was first introduced to television in 1987. "Married… with Children" shows us the life of the dissatisfied Al Bundy, husband to the lazy, apathetic Penny and father of the promiscuous Kelly and intelligent Bud, both young adults.

The Huxtables were from the television series, "The Cosby Show," which first aired in 1984. This wealthy family consisted of Cliff Huxtable, who was a gynecologist, his wife, Clair, who was a lawyer, and their children- Sondra, Denise, Theo, Vanessa, and Rudy.

Unlike some other TV families, the Conners were not a wealthy family. Instead, they portrayed a typical working-class household and the difficulties they experienced. The series is named after Roseanne Barr, who starred as Roseanne Conner, a factory worker.

In the '80s soap opera, "Dynasty," the Colbys are a Los Angeles family whose lives become complicated when Fallon Carrington Colby suffers amnesia and later marries her ex-husband's cousin. This fuels drama and a rift between the two men and the Carrington and Colby families.

The Simpsons are an animated blue-collar family from the fictional town of Springfield. Homer is Marge's husband and the father to their two daughters, Lisa and Maggie, and their son, Bart. This long-standing paradoxical series is known for its jabs at human life and society in general.

The Duke cousins, Bo and Luke, live with their other cousin, Daisy and their uncle Jesse in Hazzard County, Georgia. They are a pair of troublemaking boys known in the town for their meddling and mischievous ways, that often land them in trouble with the corrupt police officers, Hogg and Coltrane.

Christine Cagney and Mary Beth Lacey are two detectives who work at Midtown South, Manhattan's 14th Precinct. They may be partners, but these women are very much different- Christine is career-oriented and single while Mary Beth is a married mother of two sons.

Sugarbaker & Associates is an interior design firm run by four women. Julia Sugarbaker is its president, her sister Suzanne is the silent partner, Mary Jo Shively is the head designer and Charlene Frazier manages the office.

The Tanners are a middle-class family of four whose lives are changed completely after an extra-terrestrial named ALF crashes into their garage when he lands on Earth. The Tanners take him in their home and hide him from their intrusive neighbors, Trevor and Raquel Ochmonek, and the Alien Task Force that is looking for Alf.

The Winslow family of Chicago is made up of Carl and, Harriette Winslow, their son, and two daughters. Extended family members, such as Harriet's sister, Rachel, and her son are also featured. However, the most popular character is their neighbor, Steve Urkel, well known for his quirky, nerdy ways.

The Seavers family consists of Jason Seaver, a work-from-home psychiatrist who lives with his wife Maggie and their four children- Mike, Carol, Ben, and Chrissy. Leonardo DiCaprio also starred in this sitcom, as a destitute teenager who finds a home in the Seaver household.

When Fallon Carrington Colby suffers amnesia and later marries her ex-husband's cousin, the war between the Carringtons and the Colbys begins.

The Costanzas are another example of a dysfunctional TV family that captured the hearts of viewers, probably because of their antics and non-traditional customs. Aberrant George is usually caught between his bickering parents, the volatile Frank and Frank's overbearing wife, Estelle.

Ellen Powell, her son, and her two daughters live in Seattle with Ellen's father-in-law, Walter, who would serve as a positive male father figure to the children, since their Navy dad was frequently away on assignment. Charles is a college student who lives with them free of charge, on the condition that he helps care for Ellen's children.

This comic series is about small, blue anthropomorphic creatures that live together in a colony in the forest. They are characterized by their Phrygian caps and their unique names that usually say something about their character, for example, Brainy and Clumsy Smurf.

The Healys family consists of some of the children of the Conner family, such as Darlene, who married into the Healys family when she wed David, with whom she has two children. Darlene's sister, Becky, wed Mark Healy, who died off-screen.

This puppet show, which caters to children, is about three species of puppets created by Jim Henson. Fraggs, Gorgs, and Doozers all live in Fraggle Rock, which is more or less a gap in the wall of a human named Doc, who also happens to be an inventor.

Carl Kanisky is a widower, a retired police officer who is the patriarch of the Kaniskys family of California. He lives with his three biological and adolescent daughters, Katie, Julie and Samantha; Joey, his adopted son, and Nell Carter, the housekeeper who cares for them all.

Initially, "The Hogan Family" featured the life of Valerie Harper, a working mom maneuvering the demands of her job around raising her three sons in the absence of their career-oriented father. Due to a behind-the-scenes conflict, the lead character portrayed by Harper was killed off, but the storyline continued with Michael's sister, Sandy, fulfilling mommy duties.

"Too Close for Comfort" was a 1980s sitcom that revolved around the lives of Henry Rush, a comic artist; his wife, Muriel, who is a photographer, and their two adult daughters- Jackie, a bank employee and Sara, a university student. The young women strive to attain independence from their protective, traditional father.

Mr. Belvedere is an opulent butler who works for the Owens family, which is headed by George Owen, a sportswriter who once worked in construction. He supports Marsha, his wife, who is a law school student, as well as Kevin, Heather, ​and Wesley, their three children.

"Silver Spoons" revolves around the complicated relations of the Stratton family. Ricky Stratton who reunited with his immature father, Edward Stratton III, is caught between the new relationship with his dad and the tension between Edward and his own father, who dislikes his son's ​immature, carefree ways.

"Doogie Howser, M.D." was a comedy-drama series that followed the life and trials of Doogie, a child genius and doctor, who is the son of David and Katherine Howser. Doogie followed in the footsteps of his father, who is a family doctor.

Thelma Harper, also known as Mama, lives with Fran, her stuck up, single sister who works as a journalist. Her living arrangements become more complicated when her son, Vinton, and his two children, Sonjia and Buzz, move into their home and Vinton begins a romance with the next door neighbor, Naomi, who Thelma dislikes.

This 1989 sitcom is about an Army family led by commander Major John McGillis, also known as "Mac," his wife Polly, and her three girls- Elizabeth, Robin and Casey. "Major Dad" is about the army and family life of the McGillis family.

The Lawsons are a small family at the center of this science fiction comedy, which is essentially about an experiment with a robot that has been adopted into the household. The robot resembles a 10-year-old girl and the series follows the family's comical attempts to disguise its true nature from the outside world.

George Papadopolis is a retired football player who is married to a socialite who becomes a psychologist. Webster Long is a boy who is orphaned when his parents died in a car crash. He goes to live with the Papadopolises​ since George and his dad were long-time buddies.

"Falcon Crest" began in 1981 and ran for nine years, during which the adventures, feuds, and secrets of the rich Gioberti and Channing families were revealed. Angela Channing starred as the overbearing head of the Channing household and the Falcon Crest Winery.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are anthropomorphic animals that fight all sorts of crimes, such as thefts and alien invasions. These skilled fighters, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael, save the world and strive to keep their true identity hidden from humans.

Molly and Sam Quinn are hardworking parents who find it difficult to pay attention to and spend time with their teenage children- or at least that was what the show was supposed to be about. The show, "It Takes Two," aired for only one year and had 22 episodes. It was canceled in 1983.

Graham Lubbock is a gym teacher who identifies as Roman Catholic and works at a high school. He supports his family of eight children and his pregnant wife. This series is about the family's hectic life and Graham's meddling in his daughters' lives and romances.

This series is about a millionaire named Nick Foley, who adopts six young orphaned girls as a means of revamping his image of being a promiscuous man. They all live in his Bel Air mansion with his butler, John Clapper.

"The Munsters" is about the daily lives of a family of harmless monsters living together. Herman is Frankenstein's monster and Lily Munster, his wife, is a vampire like her grandfather, Vladimir Dracula. Herman and Lily have a son named Eddie, a werewolf who also lives with them. Their niece, Marilyn, is also part of the household. However, she is a normal human, not a monster, which is often used for comedic effect.

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