Can you match the tagline with the '80s television show?



By: J. Reinoehl

7 Min Quiz

Image: Fox, FX

About This Quiz

For many, it was the height of good television with its hour-long sitcoms, dramas, and detective shows. Do you know your '80s television series' well enough to identify them from these taglines? Find out by taking this quiz.

"More than meets the eye."

Prior to the 1980s, kid's television was not allowed to promote products. Ronald Reagan's policies deregulated the FCC and allowed Hasbro and Takara (TakaraTomy) to create "Transformers" and the cartoon as a way of marketing them.


"Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry."

Although other television shows and notably the movie, "Star Wars," used CGI to add effects at the time "The Incredible Hulk" pilot first aired in 1977, the Hulk version of Banner (played by Bill Bixby) was played by a separate actor (bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno) in the series. When the movies with the Hulk appeared in 2003, they used one actor and a CGI Hulk.


"Too cool for school."

Real-life cops are sometimes required to go undercover as high school students as they did in the "21 Jump Street" series. Two movies — "21 Jump Street" and "22 Jump Street" — were made based on the series.


What was the tagline for "Kojak?"

Telly Savalas starred in "Kojak" with his brother, George Savalas. He reprised the role during several made-for-television movies that aired throughout the 80s and early 90s.


"New stars. New stories. New worlds to explore."

"Space — the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before." (Spoken by Captain Jean-Luc Picard at the beginning of every episode.)


"Live from New York, it's Saturday night!"

"Saturday Night Live" began in 1975, has won 45 Emmys and has an additional 199 nominations in its 42-season run (as of 2017).


"His mind is the ultimate weapon."

MacGyverisms were created based on real science, but many times something would be removed from the actual solution. John Koivula, who served as one of the show's scientific consultants, was a gemologist with a broad science background who helped make the ways MacGyver resolved problems realistically. By the end of the show's 7-season run, the producers were getting short on ideas and asked for audience help.


"If you have a problem, if no one else can help you, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire…"

"In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum-security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team."


Do you remember the tagline for "The Cosby Show?"

Bill Cosby went to great lengths to represent a family the way it should be: with the parents in charge of smart children. When Tempestt Bledsoe graduated from high school in real life and wanted to go to college, Cosby rearranged the show so she could attend college full time and keep working.


What was the tagline for "G. I. Joe?"

When Hasbro wanted to market its new G. I. Joe toys, Marvel accepted the challenge. Most Marvel writers didn't want anything to do with the commercialism, but Larry Hama already had an idea for a comic series that had been previously rejected. After the comic books had been released, full color animated commercials were used that eventually led to the Saturday morning cartoon series. DiC said they would pay Hasbro for the rights to the third and subsequent seasons, instead of Hasbro paying to have them made, and so the series ended after the second season and was not reproduced by DiC until 1989.


"Friendship can be a real drag."

Bosom Buddies was set in New York City, but in the opening credits, you can clearly see it was filmed in Los Angeles. Palm trees are in the background as Hanks and Scolari run and walk through outdoor parks.


What was the tagline for "Dynasty?"

In addition to its 9-season run, Dynasty merchandise appeared on store shelves. People could buy everything from pantyhose, perfume, and tuxedos, to dolls and McCall's sewing patterns.


"Humankind's last stand."

"V" first aired in 1983 as a mini-series. "V: The Final Battle" was a sequel mini-series that ran the next year, and then "V: The Series" aired. In 2009, "V" was remade into a second television series. The original television series (1982) spent $1 million on each episode but still reused many action shots from the two mini-series.


"Once upon a time is now."

"He comes from a secret place far below the city streets, hiding his face from strangers — safe from hate and harm. He brought me there to save my life — and now, wherever I go, he is with me in spirit for we have a bond stronger than friendship or love. And although we cannot be together, we will never ever be apart."


Can you spot the tagline for "Silver Spoons?"

"Silver Spoons" originally aired on Saturday nights starting September 25, 1982, but quickly moved to Sundays for its second season. It ended after its fifth season on March 4, 1987.


"A new kind of weapon. A new kind of hero."

While filming "Airwolf," a stuntman was killed in a helicopter crash during a routine chase scene where the helicopter was flying closer to the ground than recommended (something that causes most helicopter crashes). Although the pilot was pulled out of the burning helicopter, they were unable to pull the stuntman out in time. Helicopter crashes related to filming result in fatalities more than 80% of the time, as opposed to the less than 50% fatality rate in all helicopter crashes.


"Domestic bliss was never like this."

Married… With Children was one of the first prime-time sitcoms to air on the new Fox Broadcasting station. The first episode aired Sunday, April 5, 1987.


"Where everybody knows your name."

In 1988, the Harvard Alcohol Project convinced television studios and networks to produce content that would help curb drunk driving as the leading cause of death for 15 to 24-year-olds​. One of the efforts included inserting the message into the script of "Cheers."


What was the tagline for "ALF?"

Paul Fusco (creator and director of 6 episodes) provided the voice of ALF as well as operating the puppet. However, when ALF's full body was shown, Mihaly Meszaros was in the costume (this happened 11 times during the show's run 1986-1990).


"Some powers are higher than others."

Eugene Maurice Orowitz "Michael Landon" (October 31, 1936 - July 1, 1991) was a main character in three long-running television series: "Bonanza" (as Little Joe Cartwright from 1959-1973), "Little House on the Prairie" (as Charles Ingalls from 1974 to 1983), and "Highway to Heaven" (as Jonathan Smith from 1984-1989).


"Making unwatchable movies essential viewing."

"Mystery Science Theater 3000" was a low budget success that was canceled numerous times. Initially, the show's broadcaster (KTMA) was having financial problems, but the show was pitched to the new Comedy Channel (which later merged with Ha! to become the Comedy Central channel of the 90s) and accepted. Although it was canceled and revived on other channels because of letter writing programs, the show finally ended in 1999 due to the rising costs of licensing films and the Sci-fi Channel's limited film pick list.


"No case is too hot to solve."

After the success of the movie Blue Thunder, several television shows sprung up with helicopters for transport. In addition to the boat named the Riptide, which was the detective agency's base of operations, the three also used an old Sikorsky S-58T helicopter named The Screaming Mimi for a side business that provided aerial tours.


"A mother trying to double as a father. Two headstrong daughters, and a series of the world's least likely (and most amorous) men."

Schneider, the building superintendent, was the only person left after Ann took a job in London and her daughters moved out on their own. However, a spin-off titled "Another Man's Shoes" was planned with him as the star. The pilot for this was aired as the last episode of "One Day at a Time" on May 28, 1984, but CBS decided not to pick it up.


What was the tagline for "Columbo?"

Milton Bradley repackaged their "Why" board game (originally themed around "Alfred Hitchcock Presents") with a Columbo theme in the early 70s. The game was a combination of Memory and Go Fish, with movement around a board incorporated into it.


"Just a product of society that's lost its good manners."

Matt Groening was the middle of five children and named the Simpson's family after his own with parents, Margaret Ruth (Wiggum) Groening and Homer Philip Groening, as well as younger sisters Lisa and Maggie. Bart is said to represent Matt and is an anagram of "brat."


"Prepare yourself."

"Alien Nation" lasted only one season and was ranked 90th on Nielson's ratings for 1990 in a tie with "The Tracey Ullman Show." Other shows that were canceled that year because they came in at the bottom of the list were "227," "The Outsiders," and "ALF," with only "21 Jump Street" (ranked 89th) making it one more season.


What was the tagline for "A Different World?"

Initial critic reviews of "A Different World" were poor, but it was sandwiched between two favorites, "The Cosby Show" and "Cheers," which boosted its ratings enough to keep it in the top five for its first four seasons.


"From the Enchanted Forest to L. A., the storybook romance continues."

"I'm warning you. I'm a witch!" "Oh, yeah? So is my wife." (Queen Lillian White and an IRS Agent in "The Charmings.")


"Most coaches love a crowd. This coach fathered one."

"Just the Ten of Us" won two awards, including a Primetime Emmy Award, and was nominated for three Young Artist Awards.


"These girls are capable of doing everything a man can do (and more)."

Farrah Fawcett-Majors had primarily done shampoo commercials before the television show. She had it written into her contract that she would not work past 7 P.M. so she could make it home in time to cook dinner for her husband, Lee Majors (star of "The Six Million Dollar Man").


"One everyday housewife who put some spies in her life."

"The Scarecrow and Mrs. King" won a Primetime Emmy and was nominated for three more. Kate Jackson was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award because of her performance in the series.


Do you remember the tagline for "Murphy's Law?"

"Murphy's Law" was based on novels in the Trace series by Warren Murphy. The books featured Devlin Tracy, an insurance fraud investigator based in Las Vegas.


"What America needs is a super hero. What America got was Ralph Hinkley!"

The main​ character, Ralph Hinckley, had a name change for part of the first season to Ralph Hanley because President Ronald Reagan was shot by a man named John Hinckley, Jr. Reagan recovered quickly, and Ralph got his original last name back at the beginning of the second season.


"It's 1968. The suburbs. And in each little house with a Chevy in the driveway and a TV in the den, there are people with stories… families band together in laughter, hope, love and wonder."

At least one of Winnie and Kevin's breakups was because actress Danica McKellar had grown noticeably taller than Fred Savage, and they wanted to keep them apart long enough for him to catch up. The main reason cited for the show's cancellation was that the issues with which the writers wanted a 17-year-old to deal with were not issues the producers wanted for primetime. The show had fallen steadily in ratings since season 3.


"If this is law enforcement… [Heaven] help us all."

Alan Spencer wrote the first script for "Sledge Hammer!" when he was only 16. No studio accepted it at the time, but he did get a studio to pick up his story for "One Day at a Time" while he was still in high school, making him the youngest member of The Writer's Guild of America.


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