15 Cartoons From The ‘80s You Probably Forgot Existed

Sure, you remember The Smurfs, Jem, and Transformers, but what about Beverly Hills Teens?

1. C.O.P.S.

Network: Syndication
Original run: 1988–1989

Plot: This kick-ass series revolved around Baldwin P. “Bulletproof” Vess, a Federal Agent from the FBI, who forms and leads a special police task force, C.O.P.S. (Central Organization of Police Specialists), in charge with protecting Empire City from mob leader Big Boss and his gang of cronies.

C.O.P.S. intro:

2. Beverly Hills Teens

Network: Syndication
Original run: Sept. 21–Dec. 18, 1987

Plot: The show revolved around the ridiculous and exaggerated lives of a group of spoiled, rich teenagers in Beverly Hills. Like all great ‘80s TV shows, it even had an awesome villain, the raven-haired Bianca Dupree, who, of course, was the real star of the show.

Beverly Hills Teens intro:

3. Popples

Via YouTube

Network: Syndication
Original run: Sept. 13, 1986–June 27, 1987

Plot: Based on the popular, yet weird, toy line of the same name. The Popples lived with brother and sister Billy and Bonnie Wagner, who naturally were the only ones that could see them. And, of course, like all magical anthropomorphic sidekicks, they caused trouble whenever they could.

Popples intro:

4. The Raccoons

Network: The Disney Channel/ CBC
Original run: Oct. 21, 1985–1991

Plot: Bert Raccoon and his boring married couple friends, Ralph and Melissa Raccoon, fight against an evil greedy businessman, Cyril Sneer, who is out to destroy the forest for some unknown reason.

The Raccoons intro:

5. MoonDreamers

Network: Syndication
Original run: Sept. 25, 1986–Jan. 8, 1987

Plot: A group of trippy celestial fairies whose sole purpose is to deliver sweet dreams to the children of Earth. Basically they were the Ambien of the ‘80s.

MoonDreamers intro:

6. Fraggle Rock: The Animated Series

Network: NBC
Original run: Sept. 12–Dec. 5, 1987

Plot: At the height of their popularity, the Fraggles were given a cartoon spin-off, based on the live-action HBO show. Unfortunately this adaptation of the Fraggles failed to catch on and was quickly canceled.

Fraggle Rock: The Animated Series intro:

7. Mister T

Network: NBC
Original run: Sept. 17, 1983–Sept. 6, 1986

Plot: Ultimate ’80s icon Mr. T and his bulldog Dozer lead a children’s gymnastics team around the world, where they must fight crime and solve mysteries.

Mister T intro:

8. Paw Paws

Network: Syndication
Original run: Oct. 31, 1985–1986

Plot: A tribe of Native American-esque bears use their mystical powers to fight against the evil sorcerer, Dark Paw.

Basically the series was a rip-off of The Smurfs.

Paw Paws intro:

9. Potato Head Kids

Network: Syndication
Original run: Sept. 24, 1986–Feb. 25, 1987

Plot: The misadventures of Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head’s children — so apparently the Potato Heads got it on.

Potato Head Kids intro:

10. BraveStarr

Network: Syndication
Original run: Sept. 14, 1987–Feb. 24, 1988

Plot: This badass Space Western followed the adventures of Galactic Marshall BraveStarr, who must use his superpowers to protect the desert planet of New Texas.

BraveStarr intro:

11. Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats

Network: Syndication
Original run: Sept. 5, 1984–1986

Plot: OK, so Heathcliff was basically the Cyndi Lauper to Garfield’s Madonna; while his segments were funny, the real stars of this show were the Catillac Cats — mainly because they lived in a junkyard and created all sorts of cool contraptions.

Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats intro:

12. The Legend of Zelda

Network: Syndication
Original run: Sept. 8–Dec. 1, 1989

Plot: Loosely based on the very popular NES game, the series followed the adventures of Link and Princess Zelda as they defended the kingdom of Hyrule.

Unlike the game, the series portrayed Link as less of hero and more as a snarky teenager. He even had an annoying catchphrase: “Well! Excuuuse me, Princess!”

13. Galaxy High School

Network: CBS
Original run: Sept. 13–Dec. 6, 1986

Plot: The series revolved around Doyle Cleverlobe and Aimee Brightower, two teenagers from Earth who transfer to Galaxy High, an intergalactic high school that is populated by aliens from all over the galaxy.

Interesting fact: The series was actually created by director Chris Columbus.

Galaxy High School intro:

14. Rude Dog and the Dweebs


Network: CBS
Original run: Sept. 16–December 1989

Plot: The series revolved around Rude Dog — who was actually a mascot created for the surf brand Sun Sportswear — a bull terrier that runs an auto shop, where he is assisted by his gang of friends, the Dweebs.

15. Ghostbusters

Network: Syndication
Original run: Sept. 8 – Dec. 5, 1986

Plot: Jake Kong and Eddie Spencer, along with their gorilla Tracy, are a team of paranormal investigators who must fight against the villainous ghost Prime Evil and his minions.

Most everyone assumed that the series was a rip-off of the film Ghostbusters, but it was actually based on a short-lived live-action TV show from 1975 titled The Ghost Busters.

In 1986, following the success of the Ghostbusters film, Filmation, the production company behind He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, decided to adapt the TV show as a cartoon series.

Ghostbusters intro:

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