80s TV Shows & Their Unintended Legacies

Diff’rent Strokes



Wealthy old white guy adopts two black kids from the ghetto; fish- out-of-water antics ensue ad nauseum.



Legacy: Introduced a curse on child TV actors that lasts to this day.
Also: A mind- boggling windfall for masturbation humorists.

Saved By The Bell


Follows the exploits of a clique of privileged white kids attending a California high school. Pegged, acid- washed Levis run amok.



Legacy: Screech’s sex tape.

Three’s Company



Perky debutantes Janet and Chrissy run interference on suspicious landlord Mr. Furley, for the benefit of closeted roommate Jack Tripper.



Legacy: Gay marriage.

The Brady Bunch



Dad is an architect, mom’s a stay-at-home house-wife raising three boys and three girls with hair of gold, like their mother.



Legacy: When the cameras stopped rolling, Greg and mom steam-up the windows of the station wagon IRL.

That’s Incredible!



Early reality TV progenitor in which a swami squeezes himself into a tiny glass box, another guy (almost) catches a bullet in a small box in his mouth and countless daredevils attempt stunts involving motorcycles.


Legacy: The exquisitely awful Bam Margera.

Miami Vice



Miami police detectives Tubbs and Crockett bust coke dealers, set the haute couture agenda, piloting Ferraris and cigarette boats while wearing trendy lavender apparel.



Legacy: Is that you at your 8th grade prom? Blame Miami Vice.




Hot blonde lifeguards bounce around a sunny SoCal beach wearing tight, revealing bathing suits.



Legacy: Controversially, Baywatch became the first American serial TV program broadcast to the Middle East, leading to… 9/11, the underwear bomber and perpetual wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Thanks much, Pamela.)

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