Classic Sitcoms From The 1980s That Still Make Us Laugh

By Sophia Maddox | April 19, 2024

The Cosby Show

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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“The Cosby Show” was a groundbreaking sitcom from the 1980s that focused on a successful African American family, the Huxtables, and their jobs, educations, love lives, and more. Created by Michael Leeson and Ed Weinberger, the show starred Bill Cosby, who played Doctor Heathcliff Huxtable. His unique sweaters, one of which you can see in this photo, became a visual trademark for this show that ran from 1984 until 1992. Phylicia Rashad played Clair Huxtable, a successful attorney, and largely focused on how the two parents raised their five children, with Dr. Huxtable often encouraging his children to grow up and move out of the family home.


When “The Cosby Show” debuted, there were plenty of stereotypes revolving around African American families, and a sitcom that took a humorous, yet profound, look at those things was revolutionary. As the show went on, the Huxtable children started dating, got married, and started families of their own, further extending the appeal of this show to its audience.

The Golden Girls

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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.