Really Dark '80s TV Moments

  • Published on Jul 13, 2019
  • '80s TV wasn't just Thundercats, Domino's Pizza commercials, and Facts of Life. Remember the very special episodes of your favorite '80s shows? The ones that got pretty dark and quite possibly left you with lifelong nightmares? We're here to dig up some of your saddest TV memories.
    Nothing about war is really funny. And yet, for 11 seasons, the ongoing story of an Army hospital during the Korean War not only managed to be full of laughs, but also deeply meaningful, which probably explains why MASH stayed on television for more than a decade.
    But it couldn't be all be doctor jokes and cross-dressing conscientous objectors, and MASH had plenty of serious, dramatic moments. The dark and last episode of MASH was arguably the darkest moment of the series. Airing in February 1983, "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen" centers in part around leading character Hawkeye recovering from a mental breakdown. In the pinnacle scene of horror, Hawkeye is flashing back to the source of his mental anguish - he's on a bus, the enemy is nearby, and the passengers have to kill the lights and remain silent or risk discovery.
    But there's a woman on the bus who has a chicken, and the chicken won't stop making noise. Hawkeye tells her to shut the chicken up and she does, by smothering it, in order to protect the entire bus of refugees from being found. But we learn that it wasn't actually a chicken, like his fractured memory was trying to convince him. And it's horrific.
    Watch the video for more Really Dark '80s TV Moments!
    #TV #1980s
    Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen | 0:17
    Doris in Wonderland | 1:28
    Farewell, Mr. Hooper | 2:25
    Home Again | 3:33
    A, My Name is Alex | 4:29
    Hate Mongers | 5:22
    Goodbyeee | 6:56
    Turn Turn Turn | 8:14
    The Sad Story of Henry | 9:02
    Cherie Lifesaver | 10:00
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Comments • 1 261

  • Grunge
    Grunge  Month ago +36

    What were some dark TV moments that caught you off guard?

    • Karen Marie Little
      Karen Marie Little 12 hours ago

      Was a kid in the 80s. How about Knight Rider when they were in the desert and finally got a sight of Goliath and KITT said that it had the same shell that he did. That was the longest summer of my life.

      Also, what about the series "The Day After" or "V"

    • Karen Marie Little
      Karen Marie Little 12 hours ago

      @DirtyDeeds469 How did they miss this episode?

    • Sister Cyclone
      Sister Cyclone 2 days ago

      Portrait of Henry, an episode of Too Close For Comfort. A demonic portrait of Henry begins speaking to him. Scared the hell out of me.

    • Jason Jones
      Jason Jones 2 days ago

      There was a lot of good life lessons from those shows. It wouldn't work now because kids today need safe space and. are emotional snowflakes. Plus to someone would sue because they got offended.

    • ShelbyOrvis
      ShelbyOrvis 2 days ago

      Facts of Life the episode where I think it was the restaurant had a bad fire and the aftermath where they were surveying the damage.

  • Eric Lasalle
    Eric Lasalle 2 hours ago

    Wish I didn't see that clip of Hawkeye being on the bus...I had to stop watching right away..that scene messed with me when I was 12 watching the series finale....

  • Gregory Reed
    Gregory Reed 8 hours ago

    Omg. How did I not remember it was a baby

  • David Volsky
    David Volsky 15 hours ago

    That kid trapped in the refrigerator, crying for help hurt my heart, just to imagine a real life scenario.

  • David Volsky
    David Volsky 15 hours ago

    That wasn't even the darkest episode of Little House on the Prairie. And they left out the bicycle shop episode of Different Strokes.

  • Joe McKenzie
    Joe McKenzie 23 hours ago

    Everything with michael jackson in it

  • Mrs. Arthur Morgan

    When Virgil's wife is raped in their kitchen and stalked afterwards by the rapist on In the Heat of the Night, it TERRIFIED me as a child. Even now, I remember her trying to clean the kitchen after the rape; that image of her on the floor still haunts me. Can't remember if it was on an 80s or 90s episode.

  • Toph Morris
    Toph Morris 2 days ago

    Any video covering "A, My Name is Alex" gets an instant upvote from me. I'm easy that way. To be fair, Family Ties often dipped into more serious topics (especially the episode where Tom Hanks played Alex's alcoholic Uncle Ned), but "A, My Name is Alex" is what put the show on the map for me forever. I was only either 12 or 13 when that episode aired, but we recorded it on a tape and I used to rewatch it frequently even though many of its themes went straight over my head at the time. Overall, the show doesn't get talked about enough these days, and that episode in particular is just phenomenal.

  • X F
    X F 2 days ago +3

    Mr Hopper killed me when I was growing up...

  • Arthur Watt
    Arthur Watt 2 days ago +2

    The mash chicken episode literally made me cry. Shockingly sad.

  • K Taylor
    K Taylor 2 days ago +1

    Or that episode of the Jefferson's where George and Louise's baby granddaughter Jessica found George's pistol and fired off a round. Luckily she wasn't hurt, but that scene was intense.

  • Frank Black
    Frank Black 3 days ago +1

    Yea MASH wins.

  • B
    B 3 days ago

    That Little House episode traumatized me when I was a kid. When that kid threw up during the withdrawal sequence, it grossed me out & I couldn’t shake it off for days.

    BLASTGAMER18 3 days ago

    | |

  • Patrick Andre
    Patrick Andre 3 days ago

    I remember that kid in the fridge

  • WarlegganFangirl1984

    Morphine addicted cowboys?! 🤣

  • Luther Smithers
    Luther Smithers 4 days ago

    I remember an episode of Punky Brewster where her dog Brandon got hit by a car. They were at the animal hospital, and she was talking to this old lady, who brought her dog in for something. Brandon lived and the old lady's dog passed away. She was crying and showing a lot of guilt because "her dog died so Brandon could live."
    Gets me in the feels every time I remember it.

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  • LEGION 4wermany
    LEGION 4wermany 4 days ago +7

    I was a little kid when the punky Brewster trapped in the refrigerator episode absolutely, terrified me.

  • ElleCee62978
    ElleCee62978 5 days ago

    Punky Brewster.... not this episode but the one where Punky goes into the cave where Brandon turns into a skeleton and the gigantic spider eats Alan. I literally have this episode taped from the tv. Written across the front of the tape - Punky B Scary Tape Do Not Watch. Also, my other favorite 80s show was kinda dark - Rags to Riches.

  • propjam2
    propjam2 6 days ago

    that BlackAdder wasn't from the 80s.

  • JoeCnNd
    JoeCnNd 6 days ago

    I thought it was going to be little house on the prairie where it burns down.

  • Shackille Uh'Deal
    Shackille Uh'Deal 6 days ago

    No Different Strokes? You had the one with child molester, the Bicycle Man that tried to rape Dudley, the one were the guy kidnaps Sam and threatens to kill his parents, and the Hitchhikers episode where Arnold and Kimberly get kidnapped.

  • 501Bloo
    501Bloo 6 days ago

    My best friend and I were playing with a box that his new fridge came in. I climbed in it and he sat on the opening for 10 minutes not letting me out. That punky brewster episode kept playing in my head. Now I'm claustrophobic. Thanks Timmy!! Bastard....

  • DarkRider69
    DarkRider69 6 days ago +1

    Will Lee (Mr. Hooper) was 74. His death was in no way “untimely.”

  • Dave smith
    Dave smith 7 days ago

    Most of the Toronto Maple Leafs games in the 80s.

  • scottjulie27
    scottjulie27 7 days ago

    "The Facts of Life" (especially the first 5 seasons), had its very dramatic moments. Especially the episode "Teacher's Pet" from Season 4.

  • Tim Hallas
    Tim Hallas 7 days ago

    Other that the M A S H episode there was nothing here that was " D A R K". There must be at least a dozen truly dark moments that you missed. Hit reset.

  • Lance Uppercut
    Lance Uppercut 8 days ago

    You chose Geraldo over the "Different Strokes" kidnapping/ child molesting episode? Mmmmkay.

  • 97channel
    97channel 8 days ago

    After consulting with child psychologists to deliver the news in the least traumatising way possible...
    ...they went ahead and delivered the news in the most traumatising way possible.

  • Valerie Storm
    Valerie Storm 8 days ago +1

    Almost every episode with Bill Bixby in The Incredible Hulk left me crying. I think I was maybe 8?10? And loved that man so much because I felt so sorry for him. That scene with his wife driving away in the back of the death 😭

    • nevskislake
      nevskislake 2 days ago

      The theme song alone made me tear up, but yes no matter how much he bonded with someone in an episode, he had to keep moving along.

  • David Beauchamp
    David Beauchamp 8 days ago

    I remember a Facts of Life episode when a girl committed suicide after winning an election for class president.

  • Krzyzstof Polecat
    Krzyzstof Polecat 9 days ago

    The episode of The Chipmunks where they adopt a stray kitten called Cookie Chomper the Third, who dies after being run over by a car. I didn't know how to deal with that as a kid!

  • Elder scrolled
    Elder scrolled 9 days ago

    cagney was a hottie

  • Nathan Cruz
    Nathan Cruz 10 days ago

    9:30 that’s so wrong.

  • Phils MGB
    Phils MGB 10 days ago +1

    Just the fact that Full House was produced gave me nightmares.

  • Kaderin Wroth
    Kaderin Wroth 11 days ago

    I knew refrigerators were dangerous thanks to that Punky episode. I still remember it vividly.

  • stan broniszewski
    stan broniszewski 11 days ago

    How about an episode of The Facts Of Life. Kimberly begged Mrs. Garret to take her to a Jermaine Jackson concert. Kimberly made a sculpture of Jermaine's head bringing it backstage as a tribute gift. The security thought it was a bomb, soaked it in water, destroying the sculpture. Hilarious if you asked me.

  • J K
    J K 11 days ago

    We didn't think we were being scarred by t.v. because it was just real life.....and most t.v. was like this anyway. Being latchkey kids and being able to ride our bikes 5 miles from home taught us to be independent. Some things were worse back then for sure but thank God we didn't have social media

  • Fred E
    Fred E 11 days ago

    Another sad moment is when Chief Carl Kanisky died in Gimmie A Break.

  • John Mann
    John Mann 12 days ago

    MacGyver Killzone, need I saw more?

  • Justin Figgins
    Justin Figgins 13 days ago

    Other "Dark TV Moments" of the 80's Subject Matter....
    Mister Rogers Neighborhood - Political Assassination, Racism & Global Hatred Violence....
    Different Strokes - Kidnapping, Sexual Assault, Child Molestation & Bigotry....
    All in the Family - Spousal Physical Emotional Abuse....
    Good Times - Physical Child Abuse & Gang Violence....
    Maude - Abortion....
    The Golden Girls - STDs....
    A Different World - College Campus Rape, Slavery, Blackness, Self-Hate, HIV & Colorism....
    The Cosby Show - Teenage Highschool Pregnancy & Black Education Importance....

  • Ms. Sonshine
    Ms. Sonshine 13 days ago

    The smothered baby scene was copied from an old movie from the 40's. Can't recall the name, but had to do with a Nazi occupied European country.

  • mr. 100 ups in 60 god
    mr. 100 ups in 60 god 14 days ago

    Anybody remember little ceasars pizza double pizza, you bought a pizza and got 1 free!!!
    Pizza, pizza!!!☺

    • stan broniszewski
      stan broniszewski 11 days ago +1

      Or Dominos Pizza. Your pizza delivered hot and fresh to your doorstep within thirty minutes or it's free. Drivers were actually getting into car accidents with their own cars, all for the sake of a lousy eight dollar pizza.

  • capnovan
    capnovan 14 days ago +4

    The Day After.....about WW3. Seeing people being vaporized..... my heart was beating so fast I thought it would explode.

    • Judi Dipillo
      Judi Dipillo 4 days ago +1

      I had nightmares for a long time after watching that.

  • Einsteinz Vice
    Einsteinz Vice 15 days ago

    I never could consume enough...'Titanic' tragedies are sorta my niche! From the Beverly Hills Supper Club to the Shark attacked beaches of a 1916 "Shore," I'm there like "Frost on Nixon!" ;-) TY for the #Epic upload! #My3LbOpinion

  • Sam Farnsworth
    Sam Farnsworth 15 days ago

    I remember this. Around the end of the 70s stuff started to get morose. Every TV show had a divorce, a death, a drug addict, etc. People who should have gotten together didn't. Stuff like that. It was either that or dumb-ass comedy. Now we are immersed in nihilism. It's shows about people sleeping around (Grey's Anatomy) or people doing stupid ass stuff for 10, 000 dollars.

  • walkofShane
    walkofShane 15 days ago

    More stuff from the 60's 70's and 80's

  • Oh Snap!!!
    Oh Snap!!! 15 days ago

    How about every single episode of Small Wonder. I was a kid and the storyline totally creeped me out about the dad.

  • TheChinatownkid
    TheChinatownkid 15 days ago

    Natalie getting raped by Snake on the Facts of Life didn't make the cut?

    • TheChinatownkid
      TheChinatownkid 11 days ago

      @Fred E There was a fucked up episode of Little House on the Prairie where a dude wearing a mask rapes Albert's girlfriend, I don't remember if it was her own father... some fucked up people used to write for that show.

    • Fred E
      Fred E 11 days ago

      Or when Carol Seaver's boyfriend dies after getting into a car accident.

  • eee-eee-clap-clap
    eee-eee-clap-clap 16 days ago

    Would the "Gimme a Break!" episode called "Baby of the Family" count?

    Samantha puts Joey in blackface and he doesn't understand that blackface is degrading toward African-Americans.

  • Jenny Kennedy
    Jenny Kennedy 16 days ago

    I remember that episode of punky Brewster I watched it when it came on TV… Another show that had an episode that terrified me was the Webster… Which is usually a nice cute show but this is the episode where his mom and dad are taking part in a toy drive for Christmas or something so that poor kids can have Poisen… Well Webster saw a chemistry set in the offerings and he took it and then ended up burning up his apartment by catching his closet on fire… It was a huge fire! And it scared me to death and I’m still scared of fire After that episode was done… My folks would not let me watch it if it came on and a rerun ever again because of how upset it made me after that episode was done… My folks would not let me watch it if it came on and a rerun ever again because of how upset it made me to this

  • Adam Warren
    Adam Warren 16 days ago +3

    The Hawk Eye still gives me goosebumps after all these years :( Awful.

  • Steffen Schuchardt
    Steffen Schuchardt 16 days ago

    Great video. I don't get the tragedy of Geraldo. A few today Russian shows are just like that.

  • Harith Anti Bully
    Harith Anti Bully 16 days ago

    80's were the worst years for woody allen and co.

  • NutritionFacts1979
    NutritionFacts1979 16 days ago

    Friday the 13th: The Series. Third season episode "Hate on Your Dial", 1989. Dark as they come, even for the horror genre.

  • moonwalker 9705
    moonwalker 9705 16 days ago

    Wasn't "Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends" called "Shinning Time Station" in the 80's? It definitely was in the USA.

  • moonwalker 9705
    moonwalker 9705 16 days ago


  • Beshara Saleh
    Beshara Saleh 16 days ago

    Different Strokes with the pedophile. That was pretty damn disturbing.

  • Kristin Márie
    Kristin Márie 16 days ago

    I remember when Mr. Hooper died

  • Tami Augustson
    Tami Augustson 16 days ago +9

    In Family Ties, Tom Hanks played Uncle Ned with such an addiction to alcohol that they found him in the pantry drinking vanilla extract.

    • Frank
      Frank 7 days ago

      @stan broniszewski I guess they didn't have any cough syrup. Wasn't uncle Ned also on the run from the FBI? Was that the same episode?

    • stan broniszewski
      stan broniszewski 11 days ago +1

      Drinking vanilla extract for the alcohol? Well, at least he never had to worry about bad breath.

  • Retro Robbie
    Retro Robbie 17 days ago +1

    girl in fridge is Maxine from Family Matters?

  • Brian
    Brian 17 days ago

    Omg, that Mash thing.

  • AL
    AL 17 days ago

    the family ties episode with uncle ned played by tom hanks, where he's a raging alcoholic and starts downing jars of cherries and vanilla extract to get a buzz then hits alex... would have been good if they'd brought that back for the drunk driving storyline - a relapse from rehab perhaps as it can and does happen.

  • Sly Steve
    Sly Steve 17 days ago

    I rather TV be about those dark moments and shows instead of just pushing the gay agenda now every show gay agenda I like to see what video are you going to make it 30 years from now

    • san damiano
      san damiano 15 days ago

      Sly Steve
      Of the 109 most popular film releases from the major studios in 2017, only 14 films (12.8 % overall) contained any characters identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans. This is a significant decrease of 5.6 percentage points and down nine films from the previous year (2016).

    • Sly Steve
      Sly Steve 15 days ago

      @san damiano I do not comply it's not even that I care that there's gay people in movies or TV it's just every single movie or TV show

    • san damiano
      san damiano 15 days ago +1

      Sly Steve They’re here, they’re queer, GET USED TO IT.

  • savvysearch
    savvysearch 17 days ago

    Thinking back, the "very special episodes" in 80s sitcoms were laughably ridiculous and fed into the fear-de-jour of paranoid 80s moms.
    But my favorites for sheer extremity:
    Mr. Belvedere: Wesley gets child molested by his camp councilor.
    Different Strokes: Arnold and Dudley get molested; Dudley is drugged and almost gets raped.
    Different Strokes: Arnold and Kimberly get kidnapped and Kimberly almost gets murdered.

  • Vickie Godfrey
    Vickie Godfrey 18 days ago +1

    I remember that Punky Brewster episode.

  • Fcutdlady
    Fcutdlady 18 days ago +1

    About blackadder. In the UK where blackadder was written and made the poppy is the symbol of remember a certain for those who passed away in war. The Royal British Legion sell paper poppy badges to wear on remembrance Sunday.

    • meandmy2phans
      meandmy2phans 12 days ago

      This is true in the USA as well...Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) pass out paper poppies on Memorial Day, with the "In Flander's Field" poem.

  • byron p
    byron p 18 days ago

    One thing about that Little House episode was that it was certainly the first time projectile vomiting was graphically shown on a TV show. THAT was certainly startling. Also weird was Little House's last episode where the whole town of Walnut Grove literally blows itself up for....reasons, I'm sure.

  • La Onda
    La Onda 18 days ago

    1983 was the year 👹HE👺 came home.

  • SARISS80
    SARISS80 18 days ago

    A lot of shows they forgot that had dark scene. The old man molesting Dugley on DS. Penny's mother burning her with iron on GT.

  • The Blue Morpho
    The Blue Morpho 18 days ago +1

    BTW, if anyone hasn't seen Blackadder, especially "Goes Forth" please find a way to see it.

  • The Blue Morpho
    The Blue Morpho 18 days ago +1

    Oh God, no, not the Black Adder WW1 ending. Imma cry my eyes out.....

  • Ed Findlay
    Ed Findlay 18 days ago

    Death of Optimums Prime.

  • Todd Craig
    Todd Craig 18 days ago

    God, Alan Alda gets on my nerves.