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Top 20 Cartoons Of The 1980s

by Mary McFarren

The 1980s were not just about weird hairstyles and flashy clothes. Some real cartoon classics were made back in the day that are embedded in the minds of generations. Get ready to be hit with some real nostalgia.

Inspector Gadget

Source: Mental Floss

A clumsy and awkward detective that has built-in gadgets all over his clothes and a hat that made everyone laugh is one of the staples of the eighties. It originally ran from 1983 to 1986, but it still continues to air on some kid’s channels.

Jem and The Holograms

Source: Young Entertainment Magazine

Before Hanna Montana, there was Jem and the Holograms. During the day, Jem was an ordinary girl, but at night she transforms into a superstar. The cartoon aired for 2 seasons, 1985-1988.

Gummi Bears

Source: CBR

Gummi Bears is the first Disney project that went one step above the old-fashioned cartoons with silly storylines and bad production. Bears run until the early 90s and are still watched by little kids.


Source: Beano

Probably one of the most ridiculous shows, but also one of the funniest ones at the same time. When Eric eats a banana he is transformed into Bananaman! Even though it ran for only three years in the mid-80s, it was one of the most memorable cartoons.

The Transformers

Source: Cancelled Sci Fi

Robot superheroes that can transform into other machines fighting among themselves! Everyone had their favorite robot that was also sold in the stores so that the kids can play pretend.


Source: Bleeding Cool

Thanks to Scooby-Doo we all grew to love Great Danes. A huge dog that’s scared of everything, especially ghosts, made generations smile. Kids missed those marijuana insinuations, though.

Chip and Dale’s Rescue Rangers

Source: YouTube

Two funny and clumsy chipmunks, Chip and Dale, are fighting crime mostly by accident going from one mishap to another.

The Smurfs

Source: Pinterest

The Smurfs ran for eight years with enormous success. It had over 400 stories, several movies, and a remake. The little blue creatures living in mushrooms are still a valid source of fun for kids and adults alike.

He-man and the Masters of the Universe

Source: CNET

Who has the power? He-man! The blonde hero was only released to boost sales of toys, but it caught on with the kids becoming one of the most popular figures.

Care Bears

Source: 80s Fashion

Care Bears are sweet, cute, and calm teaching kids about friendship. To some, the show was a bit too adorable, but they definitely got their point across.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Source: My Nintendo News

Ninja Turtles were fun to watch for kids and teens alike. The show was a cross between a cartoon and a superhero animated movie. So, there was something for everyone.


Source: Mental Floss

A cross between cats and humans, mutants, were banished from their home planet. They move to another but are followed by mean creatures who want to steal their powers.

Duck Tales

Source: YouTube

Uncle Scrooge and his three nephews go on a treasure hunt. On the way, they are met with many hurdles that will take them to an adventure of a lifetime.

The Bugs Bunny Show

Source: MUBI

The classic Bugs Bunny show is the staple or Warner Bros. Everyone knows the opening tune and many funny quotes. Ehhh, what’s up Doc?

The Pink Panther

Source: The playlist

The Pink Panther came out in the mid-1960s but continue airing for a couple of decades. The character is based on French detective Jacques Clouseau. After the animated series, two short films, four TV specials, and five video games were released.