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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