It’s funny how nostalgia works: certain TV shows are talked about and fondly remembered to this day, while others are forgotten before they’re even finished. We loved watching these 11 cartoons when they first aired in the 1980s, but good luck finding someone who remembers them all!
This strange space opera about a pair of lawmen on the New Texas planet was actually a spin-off of the Ghostbusters cartoon. Sheriff BraveStarr and his robo-horse Thirty/Thirty defended the planet from rustlers and outlaws like Stampede and Tex Hex.
These days, it’s remembered mainly for this questionable PSA about space drugs.
The crime fighters of the Mobile Armored Strike Kommand (M.A.S.K.) fought the nefarious forces of the Vicious Evil Network Of Mayhem (V.E.N.O.M.), boy did we love acronyms in the ’80s. Was this show a shameless promotion for a line of transforming toy vehicles? Yes, but we loved every second of it!
3. The Raccoons
This Canadian series made its way to the Disney Channel here in America, where we watched Bert the raccoon and his woodland friends foil evil businessman Cyril Sneer’s plots. Everything about this show – including music, animation and writing – was top notch. But it’s clear the animators have never seen a real aardvark.
These aquatic critters who lived in Snorkland and sported snorkels on their head never measured up to the Smurfs, who they were clearly inspired by, but their adventures were a lot of fun. Voice actor Frank Welker revealed he once had to voice “a sneezing lobster” for an episode of this show.
5. Beverly Hills Teens
Before we were obsessed with 90210, and before Saved by the Bell even existed, we loved to watch this cartoon about the Teen Club, who lived in Beverly Hills, shopped on Rodeo Drive and spent time on their family yachts. Was it shallow? Yes! But still lots of fun.
This next cartoon is one of my all-time favorites…
6. Denver the Last Dinosaur
Before the Land Before Time boom was in full swing, dinosaur-obsessed kids of the ’80s dreamed they were lucky enough to stumble onto a perfectly preserved dino egg. That was the premise of this show, where Denver was raised by California teenagers and learned to rock and roll. Totally radical!
Another crime fighting team with an acronym name, the C.O.P.S. were the Central Organization of Police Specialists. Kind of like a cross between G.I. Joe and The Avengers, each cop had a super power that helped them fight the evil gang of C.R.O.O.K.S. (we’re not gonna spell that one out for you).
Be on the lookout for the 15 issue DC Comics series based on this show.
This show was a little complicated for kids, since it featured inter-dimensional travel, magic necklaces, evil aliens and futuristic technology. But the upshot was it also had dinosaur fights! Sadly it lasted just 14 episodes, and despite rumors a remake seems unlikely.
Popples weren’t the first or the last toys to get their own TV show, but you could tell it was hard to turn stuffed animals with hidden pouches into an exciting weekly series. The Popples’s signature trick was pulling ridiculously large objects out of their pouches, which held anything and everything they ever needed.
Of all the shows on this list, only Popples managed to come back from the dead, being rebooted in 2015.
10. Galaxy High
When two kids from Earth are transferred to Galaxy High, they have wacky hijinks with the alien students. This show was a lot better than it had any right to be, thanks to young talent like character designer John Kricfalusi, who went on to create Ren and Stimpy.
The show was also an American-Japanese co-production, which meant the animation was pretty impressive compared to everything else on TV.
11. Mister T
Imagine taking Scooby-Doo, replacing Fred with A-Team star Mister T, Scooby with a dog who looks suspiciously like Mister T, and the rest of the Mystery Gang with a gymnastics team. Now you have some idea what this bizarre show was like.
The only thing stranger than Mister T solving mysteries with a van full of teen athletes is the fact that we watched this show for three seasons. To be fair, I would probably still watch this show today if they put it back on the air.
Share this list if you remember these shows!