14 TV Shows You Didn’t Know Were Spin-Offs

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Spin-offs have a bad rap. Usually when we think of spin-offs, we think of failed attempts to cash-in on the legacy of a beloved but defunct series, like, say Joey spinning off from Friends. But the reality is that spin-offs, though sometimes creatively bankrupt, sometimes strike gold. Hell, some surpass the shows that spawned them in terms of both quality and cultural importance.

Here are just a few of the best spin-offs that were so popular, most of us forgot they were spin-offs. Scroll through the slideshow above or view the full list below.

1. The Simpsons – Spin-off of The Tracey Ullman Show

2. Mork & Mindy – Spin-off of Happy Days

3. Laverne & Shirley – Another spin-off of Happy Days

4. Frasier – Spin-off of Cheers

5. A Different World – Spin-off of The Cosby Show

6. Empty Nest – Spin-off of Golden Girls

7. Melrose Place – Spin-off of Beverly Hills 90210

8. Family Matters – Spin-off of Perfect Strangers

9. The Facts of Life – Spin-off of Diff’rent Strokes

10. Saved by the Bell – Spin-off of the short-lived Good Morning, Miss Bliss

11. Benson – Spin-off of Soap

12. Rhoda – Spin-off of The Mary Tyler Moore Show

13. The Jeffersons – Spin-off of All in the Family

14. Maude – Another spin-off of All in the Family