The Most Cringeworthy TV Shows Of The 1980s

By Sarah Norman | November 9, 2023

Saved By The Bell

Ah, the 1980s, a decade that gave us Rubik's Cubes, neon leg warmers, and some of the most cringe-worthy television shows ever concocted. For those who lived through it, these shows are a nostalgic trip down the rabbit hole of shoulder pads, mullets, and laugh tracks that were a bit too enthusiastic. But for those who didn't witness the '80s firsthand, get ready to dive into a world of TV oddities that feel like fever dreams and make you question the very fabric of the space-time continuum. From "Charles in Charge" to "Small Wonder," and obscurities like "Misfits of Science" and "The Phoenix," this gallery is a cringe-worthy time capsule you won't want to miss. So whether you're here for the nostalgia or simply to satisfy your curiosity about these '80s TV abominations, let's journey together through the worst the era had to offer. Click on to see the "best" of the worst!

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"Saved by the Bell," the timeless relic of the 1980s, continues to bask in the warm glow of millennial nostalgia. But let's be real, folks: if you attempt to watch it today, be ready for a cringe-fest of epic proportions. The hairstyles and fashion choices alone are a sight to behold, as if a neon factory exploded on set. The melodramatic high school antics and painfully scripted dialogue now serve as a comedic time capsule of an era when cheese was the order of the day. So, if you're planning to revisit Bayside High, keep your sense of irony handy because the cringe factor is off the charts.

Perfect Strangers

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"Perfect Strangers," the quintessential '80s sitcom that attempted to navigate cultural differences with all the grace of a bull in a china shop. Back in the day, its portrayal of other cultures left viewers cringing, and time has not been kind to this particular brand of '80s "humor." From the comically exaggerated accents to the cringe-inducing stereotypes, watching it today is like stumbling upon a relic from a cringe-worthy past. In an age of heightened cultural sensitivity, "Perfect Strangers" serves as a cringe-fest reminder of how far we've come (thankfully) in our understanding and appreciation of diversity.