Arguably, the 80s were a Golden Age for the television sitcom. If one is good, then 576 is better right? Eh...not really.

Jason Bateman It's Your Move
Life In Analog Via YouTube


The 1980s - The Decade Of Greed

The 80s were all about excess. Big hair, bright neon clothes, tons of makeup...over the top everything.

Less is more? Nope. More is more was the general attitude in the 80s.

The 1980s are often called "The Decade of Greed" and for good reason.

When you think of the 1980s, the music, the fashion, and the iconic movies like "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial", "The Goonies", "Karate Kid" are the first things that come to mind.


However, the 80s were pretty much one of the most important decades for the television industry.

From Wikipedia -

"The 1980s was a decade of transformation in television. Cable television became more accessible and therefore, more popular. By the middle of the decade, almost 70% of the U.S. population had cable television and over 85% were paying for cable services such as HBO or Showtime."

Because of the explosion of cable t.v. and the introduction of the consumer satellite dish, networks were churning out more shows of every genre than ever.

One of the genres that caught on like wildfire in the 80s was sitcoms.

The 1980s - The Golden Age Of Sitcoms

Fox Network Via IMDB
Fox Network Via IMDB


Too Close for Comfort, Family Ties, Cheers, Newhart, Married... With Children...the well of iconic 80s sitcoms runs deep.

Once sitcoms began pulling in big ratings, networks began pulling in big money from those ratings, and so the 80s sitcom boom was on.

There was certainly gold in them thar hills.

Networks began churning out new sitcoms seemingly every other month in an effort to cash in but alas, all that glitters is not gold.

Forgotten 80s Sitcoms

There were countless 80s sitcoms that only ran for 12 or 13 episodes, never to be seen again.

However, many of these short-lived sitcoms have somehow carved out a permanent spot in the hippocampus of our brains, patiently waiting with hopes of being remembered and fawned over someday.

Friends, today is that day.

Below are some of the best, some of the worst, and some of the flat-out weirdest 80s sitcoms that came and went in the blink of an eye that you probably haven't thought of since the last episode aired.

If you don't instantly recognize the name of the show, chances are you'll remember the theme song...

"Sit UBU sit. Good dog."

Unsplash Via National Cancer Institute
Unsplash Via National Cancer Institute

Just the Ten of Us

From ABC, "Just the Ten of Us" aired from April 26, 1988, to May 4, 1990.

Synopsis via Wikipedia -

"The series focuses on Graham Lubbock (Bill Kirchenbauer), a Catholic gym teacher who used to teach at the high school that Growing Pains characters Mike and Carol Seaver (Kirk Cameron and Tracey Gold) had attended on Long Island, and the father of eight children."


It's Your Move

From NBC, "It's Your Move" aired from September 26, 1984, to February 23, 1985.

Synopsis via Wikipedia -

"The show centered on Matthew Burton (Bateman), a teenage scam artist who lived in a Van Nuys, California, apartment with his older sister Julie (Cast) and widowed mother Eileen (Kaye). Matt ran various underhanded dealings with his high school friends, especially his sidekick Eli (Adam Sadowsky), such as selling pre-written term papers and exam answer keys and even engaging in blackmail."


Small Wonder

From 20th Century Fox, "Small Wonder" aired from September 7, 1985, to May 20, 1989.

Synopsis via Wikipedia -

"The show chronicles the family of a robotics engineer who secretly creates a robot modeled after a human girl, then tries to pass it off as their adopted daughter, Vicki. The series eventually turned out to be a surprise hit, specifically amongst the kid section, as many channels belonging to different nations witnessed while re-running the show."


Day by Day

From NBC, "Day by Day" aired from February 29, 1988, to
June 4, 1989.

Synopsis via Wikipedia -

"The show centers on Brian and Kate Harper, a married couple with two successful careers (Brian as a stockbroker, Kate as a lawyer) and a teenage son named Ross. After the couple had a second child, their daughter, Emily, they decided to quit their jobs because they had missed all the best times of Ross growing up and decided not to make the same mistake with Emily."


Empty Nest

From NBC, "Empty Nest" aired from October 8, 1988, to
April 29, 1995.

Synopsis via Wikipedia -

"The series, which was created as a spin-off of The Golden Girls by creator and producer Susan Harris, starred Richard Mulligan as recently widowed pediatrician Dr. Harry Weston, whose two adult daughters return home to live with him."


Out of This World

From NBC Universal, "Out of This World" aired from September 17, 1987, to
May 25, 1991.

Synopsis via Wikipedia -

"'Out of This World' is an American fantasy sitcom about a teenage girl who is half alien, which gives her unique superhuman powers."



From NBC and CBS, "Valerie's Family", also known as "Valerie" and eventually turning into "The Hogan Family" aired from March 1, 1986, to
July 20, 1991.

Synopsis via Wikipedia -

"Originally starring Valerie Harper in the titular role as a mother trying to juggle her career with raising three sons with an absent airline pilot husband, Harper's character was killed off in the series after its second season, when Harper was fired from the series following contractual disputes. The series was initially renamed Valerie's Family before Sandy Duncan joined the cast as Valerie's sister-in-law and the boys' aunt, and the series was ultimately renamed The Hogan Family."


Too Close for Comfort

From ABC, "Too Close for Comfort" aired from November 11, 1980, to
February 7, 1987.

Synopsis via Wikipedia -

Henry and Muriel Rush are owners of a two-unit house at 171-173 Buena Vista Avenue East, San Francisco, California. Henry is a conservative cartoonist who authors a comic strip called Cosmic Cow with a hand-puppet version of 'Cosmic Cow.' Muriel is a freelance photographer. They have two grown children, Jackie and Sara."



Jennifer Slept Here

From NBC, "Jennifer Slept Here" aired from October 21, 1983, to
September 5, 1984.

Synopsis via Wikipedia -

"The driving story behind the series was that Jennifer haunted the Elliot house—ostensibly to mentor and befriend the family's teenage son, Joey, who was the only person to whom she made herself visible. During the series, however, she does make herself visible in at least one episode. Naturally, Joey had a hard time convincing his family and friends of Jennifer's ghostly existence."


She's the Sheriff

From Warner Brothers, "She's the Sheriff" aired from September 19, 1987, to
April 1, 1989.

Synopsis via Wikipedia -

"Hildy Granger, a young woman suddenly widowed with two children to support. Her employment worries end when the commissioner of fictional Lakes County, Nevada (near Lake Tahoe) offers to appoint her sheriff, the job held by her husband until his death. Hildy accepts the position and is forced to handle the daily problems of locals and tourists, with extra trouble created by the four deputies on her staff."

LOOK: Things from the year you were born that don't exist anymore

The iconic (and at times silly) toys, technologies, and electronics have been usurped since their grand entrance, either by advances in technology or breakthroughs in common sense. See how many things on this list trigger childhood memories—and which ones were here and gone so fast you missed them entirely.

Gallery Credit: Stacey Marcus

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