25 Saturday Morning Cartoons From the ‘80s That Made Getting Out of Bed Fun

Saturday morning cartoons were a treasure trove of animated delights, each offering a unique blend of humor, adventure, and life lessons. They made getting up on the weekend with your favorite bowl of cereal a real treat. These shows hold a special place in the hearts of those who grew up with them, and their enduring popularity continues to captivate new generations of viewers.

1. The Smurfs

Image Credit: Hanna-Barbera Productions.

The Smurfs transports viewers to a whimsical world of tiny, blue creatures living in mushroom-shaped houses. Led by the wise Papa Smurf, this close-knit community of Smurfs embarked on colorful adventures while evading the schemes of the wicked Gargamel and his cat Azrael. With lessons in friendship and teamwork, The Smurfs captivated young hearts.

2. Adventures of the Gummi Bears

Adventures of the Gummi Bears Disney
Image Credit: Walt Disney Television Animation.

“Gummi Bears. Bouncing here and there and everywhere!” Adventures of the Gummi Bears introduced a kingdom of magical, anthropomorphic bears who guarded a secret potion known as Gummiberry Juice.

With medieval settings and fantastical quests, this show blended action, magic, and heartwarming lessons, captivating audiences with the Gummi Bears’ adventures. I still watch this show with my toddler. Nostalgic and great!

3. ThunderCats

Thundercats 80s Saturday morning cartoons
Image Credit: Rankin/Bass Animated Entertainment.

ThunderCats brought epic battles and noble heroes to Saturday mornings. The feline warriors of Thundera, led by Lion-O, fought against the forces of evil, including the cunning Mumm-Ra. With iconic weapons and memorable characters, this show was a thrilling ride for action and adventure fans.

4. Inspector Gadget

Inspector Gadget
Image Credit: DIC Audiovisuel Nelvana.

“Go go gadget arms!” Inspector Gadget follows the mishaps of the clumsy but resourceful detective, Inspector Gadget. Armed with various gadgets and guided by his brilliant niece Penny and her dog Brain, Gadget battled the sinister Dr. Claw. This show blended humor, mystery, and gadgetry for a delightful animated series.

5. Snorks

Image Credit: Hanna-Barbera Productions.

Snorks took viewers to an underwater world where the Snorks, colorful creatures with snorkel-like appendages, embarked on aquatic adventures. Each episode combined underwater escapades with life lessons and fun, making it a unique addition to the Saturday morning lineup.

6. The Transformers

The Transformers Saturday morning cartoons
Image Credit: Sunbow Productions.

“Transformers. Robots in disguise.” The Transformers brought robotic action and shape-shifting heroes to the forefront. The Autobots, led by Optimus Prime, clashed with the villainous Decepticons, with their epic battles transcending both Earth and Cybertron. With iconic catchphrases and transforming robots, “Transformers” became a cultural phenomenon.

7. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
Image Credit: Filmation Associates Mattel.

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe introduced the powerful hero, He-Man, and his battles against the malevolent Skeletor in the fantasy realm of Eternia. With iconic catchphrases and moral lessons, this show combined action and morality, leaving an enduring legacy in the hearts of fans.

8. She-Ra: Princess of Power

She-Ra Princess of Power 80s Saturday morning cartoons
Image Credit: Filmation Associates Mattel.

She-Ra: Princess of Power follows the adventures of Princess Adora, who transforms into the mighty She-Ra to fight against the evil Hordak. This show empowered young viewers with its strong heroine and tales of bravery and friendship.

9. Garfield and Friends

Garfield and Friends
Image Credit: Film Roman and United Media Productions.

Garfield and Friends starred the lasagna-loving cat Garfield, along with his owner Jon, and the dim-witted but lovable Odie. This show combined humor, wit, and social commentary through the eyes of a cynical but endearing feline.

10. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero

G.I. Joe A Real American Hero
Image Credit: Sunbow Productions and Marvel Productions.

“G.I. Joe. A real American hero. G.I. Joe is there. Go, Joe!” G.I. Joe assembled a team of elite soldiers to battle the terrorist organization Cobra. With its patriotic themes and action-packed episodes, this show instilled values of heroism and teamwork.

11. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon
Image Credit: Fred Wolf Films.

“Heroes in a half shell. Turtle power!” Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles introduced Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael, four pizza-loving turtles with ninja skills. They fought alongside their master Splinter against villains like the Shredder. The show blended action, humor, and pizza, becoming a cultural sensation.

12. Alvin and the Chipmunks

Alvin and the Chipmunks
Image Credit: Bagdasarian Productions and Ruby-Spears Enterprises.

Alvin and the Chipmunks showcased the musical talents of Alvin, Simon, and Theodore, three chipmunk brothers managed by Dave Seville. Their catchy tunes and comical adventures made for a harmonious Saturday morning experience.

13. The Bugs Bunny Show

The Bugs Bunny Show
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Cartoons.

The Bugs Bunny Show featured the iconic Bugs Bunny and a cast of Looney Tunes characters in various humorous skits and adventures. With its timeless humor, this show has entertained generations of viewers.

14. The Care Bear Family

Care Bears
Image Credit: DIC Entertainment.

The Care Bear Family introduced the Care Bears, each representing a different emotion, as they ventured to help children in need. The Care Bears warmed hearts and promoted empathy with their positive messages and colorful personalities.

15. The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show

The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show
Image Credit: Lee Mendelson Film Productions.

The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show brought the beloved Peanuts gang to life with their humorous and heartwarming escapades. Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and friends taught valuable life lessons amid their comical misadventures.

16. The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show

Tom and Jerry 80s Saturday morning cartoons
Image Credit: Filmation MGM Television.

The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show continued the classic rivalry between the clever mouse Jerry and the hapless cat Tom. Their timeless slapstick comedy and chase sequences entertained both young and old. They still do.

17. Pound Puppies

Pound Puppies
Image Credit: Hanna-Barbera Productions and Tonka Corporation.

Pound Puppies followed a group of dogs in a shelter who worked tirelessly to find their fellow canines loving homes. This heartwarming series combined humor and messages of compassion.

18. DuckTales

Image Credit: Walt Disney Television Animation.

DuckTales featured the adventures of Scrooge McDuck and his nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, as they hunted for treasure and unraveled mysteries. With its memorable characters and quests, the show was a treasure trove of entertainment.

19. Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids

Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids
Image Credit: Filmation.

“Hey, hey, hey. This is Fat Albert!” Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids follows the adventures of Fat Albert and his friends in the inner city. This show combined humor with important life lessons, fostering understanding and empathy. It’s unfortunate that Bill Cosby has tainted its greatness. It was always one of my favorites.

20. Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures

Mighty Mouse the New Adventures
Image Credit: Bakshi Animation and Bakshi-Hyde Ventures.

Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures was a revival of the classic Mighty Mouse character that soared onto television screens in the late 1980s. This animated series put a fresh spin on the iconic superhero mouse, blending traditional animation with innovative storytelling and satire.

Mighty Mouse, also known as Mike Mouse, continued to save the day with his superpowers, often in whimsical and comical ways. The show’s clever writing and witty humor appealed to children and adults, making it a Saturday morning cartoon transcending generational boundaries. 

21. Rainbow Brite

Rainbow Brite 80s Saturday morning cartoons
Image Credit: TMS Entertainment.

Rainbow Brite took viewers on vibrant adventures with the titular character, who brought color and happiness to a dark world with Murky Dismal. With her magical companions and messages of friendship, the show brightened Saturday mornings.

22. Shirt Tales

Shirt Tales
Image Credit: Hanna-Barbera Productions.

Shirt Tales featured a group of adorable animals who wore shirts with messages and embarked on adventures. With their charming personas and teamwork, the Shirt Tales promoted positive values.

23. The Muppet Babies

Muppet Babies
Image Credit: Henson Associates Everett Collection.

The Muppet Babies took the beloved Muppet characters, including Kermit, Miss Piggy, and Fozzie Bear, and reimagined them as adorable toddler versions. This animated series allowed the pint-sized Muppets to embark on imaginative adventures from their nursery.

24. Popples

Popples Saturday morning cartoons
Image Credit: American Greetings DIC Enterprises.

Popples feature a group of colorful and playful creatures who can roll into balls and bounce around. These lovable characters, including Punkster, Party, and Puzzle, ventured into the human world for fun and adventure. The show combined imaginative escapades with lessons about friendship and problem-solving, making it a delightful addition to Saturday morning cartoon lineups.

25. Jem and the Holograms

Jem and the Holograms
Image Credit: Hasbro Sunbow Productions and Marvel Productions.

Jem and the Holograms was one of my absolute favorites. It followed the dual lives of Jerrica Benton and her alter ego, Jem. Using a holographic computer named Synergy, Jerrica transformed into the rock star Jem, leading the band “The Holograms” to pursue music fame and social causes.

The series was known for its empowering themes, diverse characters, and memorable music, which featured catchy songs and glamorous fashion.

Of course, we still watched some Saturday morning cartoons from the ’60s and ’70s, too, including The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Scooby Doo, and The Pink Panther Show. Watching Saturday morning cartoons was the highlight of my week growing up. How about you?

Saturday Morning Memories: 24 Best Cartoons From the ’60s and ’70s

Rocky & Bullwinkle The Bullwinkle Show
Image Credit: Jay Ward Productions and Gamma Productions.

Saturday morning cartoons hold a cherished place in the hearts of generations past, a time when the clinking of cereal bowls and the glow of the TV screen signaled the start of a weekend tradition.

25 Nostalgic Movies Everyone Needs to See at Least Once in Their Lifetime

Stand by Me 1986
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Take a trip down memory lane with this hand-picked list of classic films that have forever changed the face of cinema. These movies represent the spirit of different times and genres, from inspiring stories of friendship and adventure to terrifying suspense and beautiful romance.

22 Popular Films That Completely Traumatized 80s Children, What About You?

Jaws Steven Spielberg
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Was there a film(s) that completely traumatized you as a child? I’ll go first, Cujo. I have no idea what my mother was thinking, allowing that film to play in the background of her chores, but I watched it and had nightmares for months. After someone polled an entertainment forum for other traumatic experiences, here is what scared the youth.

12 Most Racist Movies of All Time According to IMDb

Gone with the Wind 1939
Image Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Both entertaining and thought-provoking, cinema frequently reflects the ideals and ideologies of its day. The representation of racism and stereotypes in some films, however, has sparked debate in the past. These movies have drawn criticism for their problematic representations and cultural sensitivity — igniting crucial conversations about racial representation.

Top 12 Most Racist Disney Classics That Are Better Left in the Vault

The Sound of Music Julie Andrews
Image Credit: 20th Century-Fox/Disney.

Exploring film history often exposes tales of awe, imagination, and cultural shifts. Did you know that there are racist undertones in many Disney classics? It makes sense as progress evolves throughout the decades, but it’s cringe-watching it now. Here is a look at the most racist Disney films.

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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and Jesus.