Guess the '80s show from a character description!


By: Olivia Cantor

6 Min Quiz

Image: NBC

About This Quiz

A certified couch potato would know the most popular TV characters based on a description alone. Want to take that challenge back to the 1980s? Then travel back in time and try to guess TV shows where these characters came from!

His first name is Angus, and his favorite tool to solve complex cases is his handy Swiss Army knife ​since he dislikes guns. From which TV show is he?

MacGyver is everyone's favorite peace-loving hero. Along with a big heart, he has scientific knowledge of what works in daily life.


BA Baracus says his name stands for "Bad Attitude," which goes well with that bad mohawk he has. From which TV show is he?

BA Baracus is but one of the members of "The A-Team." He was played by Mr. T.


This show about four dome-shelled brother reptiles who became humanized and were trained in martial arts was a huge hit. It still is. Which show was this?

The show's character pitches are weird enough, but the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles proved to be a huge hit with both kids and adults. Its popularity is being tested with newer audiences and newer film versions.


This long-running sci-fi show had a 1980s version that featured a memorable character named Data and a pasty-looking android who was trying hard to adopt human behavior. Which show was this?

"Star Trek: The Next Generation" ran from 1987 to 1994. It had the most eclectic and memorable Star Trek ensemble of characters, ever!


The cool and funny Dr. Huxtable is loved by his New York brood. From which TV show is he?

Dr. Huxable is from "The Cosby Show." He was played by Bill Cosby.


The car is a character, and its name is Knight Industries Two Thousand, or KITT for short. From which TV show is it?

KITT is a car equipped with artificial intelligence. It is driven by Michael Knight, played by David Hasselhoff.


Who knew that a group of retired female senior citizens -- an Italian know-it-all and her widowed schoolteacher daughter, a seductive Southern belle, and a cutely naive provincial woman -- living under one roof would produce good and long-running comedy material? From which show are these ladies?

"The Golden Girls"was a surprise at a time when youthful characters were the norm. This showed that comedy has no age, and it also ages well!


Undercover detective Sonny Crockett doesn't like wearing socks with his fashionable loafers, but a t-shirt underneath his Italian Armani jacket is way cool. From which TV show is he?

"Miami Vice" was a very influential '80s show. To differentiate it from other police shows, their detectives wore fashionable outfits, and contemporary music was featured in it.


Alex P. Keaton is such a fan of Reaganomics, the Republican Party, and getting rich -- all while he's still in high school. From which TV show is he?

"Family Ties" had Alex P. Keaton as one of its most colorful characters. He was played by Michael J. Fox.


Captain Steubing ran this cruise line with a sense of humor that is as wacky as his ship's crew. From which TV show is he?

Captain Steubing is always in a fix aboard "The Love Boat." He was played by Gavin MacLeod.


This titular character is a broadcast journalist who stars in a news magazine show with zany co-hosts and an equally zany executive producer who is younger than her. From which TV show is she?

Candice Bergen played the role of the no-nonsense, but still sarcastically funny, Murphy Brown. The show debuted in 1998.


Kevin Arnold is the preteen middle class suburban character dealing with his coming-of-age wins and woes during the 1960s and 1970s. From which TV show is he?

"The Wonder Years" was a TV show popular in the '80s although its stories were set in the '60s and '70s. Kevin Arnold was played by Fred Savage.


Al Bundy is a low-income, loser-like dad of a very dysfunctional -- but funny -- suburban family. From which TV show is he?

Al Buddy came from "Married...With Children." He was played by Ed O'Neill.


These two New York female police detectives broke the '80s gender barrier in a profession usually dominated by men. From which TV show are they?

"Cagney and Lacey" showed American TV viewers that women could indeed make it in a "man's world." Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly both won awards for their roles in the show.


An unlikely partnership between a formerly-famous fashion model and a happy-go-lucky detective doing private investigative work became a dramatic-comedic hit '80s show. Which show was this?

"Moonlighting" catapulted Bruce Willis into stardom, and sparked a stellar movie career. Meanwhile, it revitalized Cybil Shepherd's dwindling movie career.


Perhaps it was the Boston bar where "everybody knows your name" that carried this mega-popular '80s sitcom into stardom." Which show was this?

"Cheers" first aired in 1982. Due to its popularity, it ruled most of the decade, until its conclusion in 1993.


No one portrayed working class comedy like the Conners, thanks to the leadership of their strong-willed matriarch who dished out the truths and the laughs of daily living as a working- class American. Which show was this?

Roseanne Barr carried off her standup comedy routine via the popular '80s TV show, "Roseanne." The Conners and their situations were comedy material from Rosanne's routine.


Jessica Fletcher was an elderly middle-class lady who wrote murder mysteries and tried to solve them, even if she wasn't really a detective! From which show was she?

"Murder, She Wrote" was a crime-drama hit that made its star, Angela Lansbury, very popular with younger TV audiences.


Who knew that a California law firm like McKenzie, Brackman, Chaney, and Kuzak, plus its slew of colorful lawyers and administrative staff would provide an unforgettable TV drama that focused not on the cases per se, but on the lives of these emphatic and sometimes zany lawyers. Which TV show are they from?

"LA Law" was a runaway hit in the '80s. It ran from 1986 to 1994, and paved the way for the legal dramas we're seeing on TV today.


While this TV show began running in the late '70s, its popularity carried over into the '80s thanks to colorful characters like Jack Tripper, a womanizer who pretended to be a gay man so he could live in an apartment with two women. What TV show was this?

"Three's Company" made stars out of John Ritter, Joyce DeWitt, and Suzanne Somers. The show lasted until 1984.


A streetwise black kid who liked saying "Whatcha talkin' 'bout, Willis?" was adopted by a rich, white New York businessman, and the formula was a success for TV comedy. What was this show?

"Diff'rent Strokes" made Gary Coleman a pop culture favorite. The show began airing in 1978 and dominated the airwaves until 1986.


This sitcom flipped traditional gender roles and produced great TV comedy when it put a single dad and former baseball player as the live-in housekeeper for a divorced mom who worked as an advertising executive. What show was this?

"Who's The Boss" starred Tony Danza as a housekeeper and Judith Light as his employer. Alyssa Milano played Danza's daughter.


An average American guy gets a visit from his distant cousin from another country. Which show was this?

"Perfect Strangers" was about the misadventures of out-of-towner Balki and his Chicago "cousin" Larry.


The '80s loved its Vietnam War-set TV shows. This one, with a no-nonsense nurse named Colleen McMurphy, focused more on women in the war. Which show was this?

"China Beach" was a hit with lead star Dana Delaney at the forefront. The show highlighted the Vietnam War from the point of view of the women who took part in the war, including nurses, army officials, and even a prostitute, played by Marg Helgenberger.


This British-produced series that revolved around how TV networks ruled in the future featured an unforgettable, dystopian sci-fi character. Which show was this?

"Max Headroom" was a dark, satirical show that ran for only one year. But its style and themes are reflected in today's pop culture.


A female private investigator creates a fictitious male image to attract clients, then a dapper, former con-man assumes the identity of this fictitious character. Which show is this?

Stephanie Zimbalist played the lead character behind Remington Steele. Pierce Brosnan became a household name.


Audiences tuned in to unearth "who shot JR," the conniving and unethical oil tycoon. What show was this?

"Dallas" began airing in 1978 but its popularity lasted through the 1980s, until its conclusion in 1991.


An out-of-this-world, brown, hairy creature named Gordon Shumway was a wisecracking non-human who lived with a suburban, American middle-class​ family. Which show was this?

"Alf" was a funny and weird sitcom that somehow made its mark on '80s TV culture. The long-nosed Alf provided sitcom comedy gold.


This 1989 show revolved around a middle-class African-American family from Chicago, but their quirky-geeky-nerdy spectacles-wearing pre-teen neighbor, Urkel, stole the sitcom's thunder and became its focus. Which show was this?

"Family Matters" began airing in 1989. Its popularity continued well into the '90s, with Steve Urkel at the forefront.


This show featured no-nonsense police officers and detectives whose lives and careers intertwined seamlessly in urban America. Which show was this?

"Hill Street Blues" was a pioneering hit produced by Steven Bochco. Bochco would go on to produce equally memorable TV shows like "LA Law" and "NYPD Blue."


The titular character in this show is a precocious 14-year-old prodigy who had earned a doctorate by the time he hit puberty. What show is this?

"Doogie Howser, MD," starred a young Neil Patrick Harris.


​This standup comedian, who knows he is in a TV sitcom, portrays a standup comedian who knows he is in a TV sitcom! What show is this?

"It’s Garry Shandling’s Show" always broke the proverbial fourth wall as comedian Garry Shandling portrayed a fictional character based on his real life.


A sitcom featuring artistically-inclined ladies from middle- to upper-class Georgia proved to be an '80s hit. What show was this?

"Designing Women" aired from 1986 to 1993. It was popular for its content, as well as the offscreen feuds between the actors.


Three men who ran a household with three little girls was a family sitcom hit. What was this show?

"Full House" began in 1987 and ended in 1995. The baby girl was portrayed by twins, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen.


Girl-crazy teen son, Mike, brought the misadventures, psychiatrist work-from-home dad, Dr. Jason, brought the logic, journalist mom, Maggie, brought the balance, honor student younger sister, Carol, brought the sense, and cute kid, Ben, brought the comedy into the Seaver household. From which show were they?

"Growing Pains" made a household name out of its teen star, Kirk Cameron.


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