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80s Flashback! Totally Rad Cartoons (and Theme Songs) You Grew Up With that your Children Need to See

By Monica Bielanko |

Jem was jamming with holograms way before a dead Tupac performed at Coachella

Saturday morning, 6am.

Trix, Lucky Charms, or Cap’n Crunch?

These are the big decisions of one Monica Butler, age 9.

Sometimes she’d sail the milky cereal waters with the Cap’n but most of the time she was a Lucky Charms girl. It was the call of the marshmallows that always got to her. And damn if the Cap’n had more crunch than was generally comfortable on a human mouth … the roof of her mouth felt sore for hours after every session with the diminutive sailor.

Older brother Brandon? He was a Trix man for sure. But most of the time these kinds of decisions didn’t have to be made as there was generally only a giant plastic bag of generic Fruit Loops in the cabinet. Those Fruity-O’s weren’t fooling anyone.  Add a splash of the powdered milk we had to resort to until the next batch of food stamps arrived and nobody was all that excited about breakfast time.

But, as soon as the morning line-up of cartoons kicked on, generic cereal and powdered milk were all but forgotten. By the power of Grayskull, those cartoons made everything better.

However, as I’ve recently discovered, Hollywood has come along and tried to ruin the naive purity of these gems from my childhood. The adorable Strawberry Shortcake is much sexier now. Smurfette will forever be linked with pop tart Katy Perry and, what with Tupac recently performing at Coachella 16 years after his death, holograms aren’t just the creation of Jerrica Benton and her futuristic holographic computer, Synergy, but a very real thing.

Oh well. Step back in time with me, won’t you, as we reminisce about a simpler era when cartoons didn’t sport cleavage and the scariest thing on the small screen was Gargamel plotting against the Smurfs or Dr. Claw maniacally laughing after growling: “I’ll get you Gadget. Next time!”

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Transformers, Rainbow Brite, Care Bears: Totally Rad 80s Cartoons

Scooby Doo

Scooby Doo rocks my world. Always has, always will. Shaggy and Scooby are better than Holmes and Watson, Abbott and Costello... This was no ensemble cast, this was all about Shaggy and Scooby, man. I couldn't wait for the team to split up and let Fred, Velma, and Daphne go their own way so Shag and Scoob could get it on with whatever ghost was haunting them.
This theme song is heaven
Click here to buy Scooby Doo on DVD

You can also find Monica on her personal blog, The Girl Who.

Read more from Monica on Strollerderby:

A Dad Reacts to His 7-year-old Son Coming Out Gay

Precocious Puberty: Girls Developing Earlier Than Ever and Nobody Knows Why

Couple Stuck with Million Dollar Hospital Bill After Their Daughter was Born

More on Babble

About Monica Bielanko


Monica Bielanko

Monica Bielanko was raised on the wild frontier of late 1970's Utah. She is a recovering Mormon who married the guitar player of an unknown band. She's been married to her Babble Voices writing partner, Serge Bielanko, for the past nine years. Her personal blog, The Girl Who was in the top ten of last year's Top 50 list. Read bio and latest posts → Read Monica's latest posts →

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7 thoughts on “80s Flashback! Totally Rad Cartoons (and Theme Songs) You Grew Up With that your Children Need to See

  1. jeneria says:

    I still watch Jem. It airs on Boom (I think) and I catch it when I can. What’s even more awesome is that it’s a block of Jem followed by a block of Batman Beyond. Yeah, I was in grad school when Batman Beyond aired, but it’s one of my all-time favorite cartoons.

    Jem rocked!

  2. Kendra says:

    My friend had a Jem doll and I wanted one so badly. My mom thought Barbie was just as good. She was so wrong. Pretty sure I can sing the theme song to most of these cartoons without clicking the link. Ahh the eighties, such wonderful times.

  3. charity says:

    Aww I love this stuff! I want to ditch work and go home, lay on the carpet with some snacks and watch all these!

    Kendra, I had a Jem doll but she was bigger than all my barbies and ken. So sometimes i had her be a boy doll.

  4. Risa says:

    What happend to muppet babies, spiderman and friends, kid video, garfield and friends smh!!!!

  5. Erin says:

    My Little Ponies is still available for the newer generation. Rainbow Dash is now a flying pony. My daughters love watching them on youtube. There’s full episodes available of the “Friendship is magic” and I’m pretty sure the new ponies are available on kid networks.

  6. Jim says:

    The Real Ghostbusters, The Raccoons, and Duck Tales were noticeably absent. Or Batman: TAS

  7. Jon says:

    Transformers pic is from the Armada storyline, NOT G1 from back in the 1980s

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