Classic Sitcoms From The 1980s That Still Make Us Laugh

By Sophia Maddox | March 22, 2024

The Golden Girls

The 1980s provided homes all around the globe with some of the most memorable TV sitcoms in history. These timeless shows not only brought laughter into living rooms but also left an indelible mark on pop culture. If you doubt the impact that many '80s sitcoms continue to have on the world around you, consider how many times you hear a retro theme song used in a modern commercial, how many reboots and spinoffs you see today, and how often you hear people quoting signature catchphrases.

Family dynamics and workplace escapades took center stage in '80s sitcoms. Meanwhile, the characters became our extended family, and their catchphrases echoed in our daily conversations. Let's take a trip down memory lane as we revisit some of the standout '80s sitcoms that have left an enduring legacy, proving that laughter truly knows no expiration date.

 

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Premiering in 1985, it is another example of a show that has stood the test of time. The refreshing blend of humor, heart, and lasting friendship continues to offer a source of joy for people all around the world. The show revolved around a stellar cast that included Bea Arthur (Dorothy), Betty White (Rose), Estelle Getty (Sophia), and Rue McClanahan (Blanche), who played four older ladies who, through a variety of reasons, found themselves single and sharing a roof.



 

In addition to being comedy gold, “The Golden Girls” also tackled some major societal issues that continue to be prevalent in our modern world, nearly 40 years after its debut. Whether it was Rose’s AIDS scare, Blanche grappling with her own unrecognized homophobia, or the underlying theme of ageism, “The Golden Girls” makes you want to look at someone you love and thank them for being a friend.

Family Ties

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While it’s difficult to turn on the TV without seeing something about the growing political divide between the right and the left, the first bold leap into this realm was “Family Ties,” a 1982 sitcom created by Gary David Goldberg. While the show tackled plenty of difficult topics, it largely revolved around Alex P. Keaton, played by a young Michael J. Fox, a conservative young Republican with lofty aspirations, and his interactions with his left-leaning, liberal family. The show was largely set in the Reagan era and took a tasteful yet hilarious approach to the ideological differences that are still prevalent in our world today. Steven Keaton, played by Michael Gross, and his wife Elyse, played by Meredith Baxter, were also parents to Mallory and Jennifer. However, it was Fox who truly stole the show with his portrayal of Alex.