In our current age of social media overkill and politics, some of us are harkening back to simpler times. Like the 1980s; The Best Decade EVER! The 80s were a time for excellent pop culture, including some of the most popular movies, music, TV shows, and toys of all time.
Why was the 80s the best decade ever?
The 1980s was a coming of age time for me. I was very impressionable during that era and remembered the 80s more than any other decade before or since. Every Movie, every song, every fashion had meaning for me.
This blog post is for anyone wanting to know what was so great about the 80s and also to take a walk down memory lane.
I’m writing about topics and events that I remember the most vividly during the 1980s era. More than likely, I will probably accidentally leave out some critical issues.
If you were an adult in the ’80s, you probably have a different take on things.
I did a lot of research for this post, and the 1980s were not fun for everyone; I understand this. However, for me, and my life experience, and where I lived in Baltimore, I am most fond of the 1980s.
The 80s was possibly the last time kids could hit the door as soon as they woke up and would stay outside and play until the street lights came on. Kids were limited only by their imaginations. That was my experience anyway.
We were horrified when 1983’s The Day After premiered. A television movie about a nuclear war against the United States and the Soviet Union: the nuclear scene with the giant mushroom cloud will forever be ingrained in my subconscious. The Day After set a record as the highest-rated television film in history.
And last but not least, we were entertained through comedy movies, television shows, and stand-up comedians before political correctness – (Which started in the mid-80s). I couldn’t imagine Andrew ‘Dice’ Clay, Sam Kinison, or Eddie Murphy doing their 80s routines today. They would get canceled!
Gen X falls between Boomers and Millenials.
I’m a Gen Xer, and I was a ‘latch key kid starting in Middle School. Latch Keys kids meant no adults were home when we got home from school. We had our own house keys, and we had to take care of ourselves.
We are self-reliant, problem solvers, and don’t need to be taken care of. We work to live but do not wish to live to work. We prefer a work/life balance.
I was born in the early 70s, and similar to anyone born then, we weren’t a child of the ‘70s but one of the ‘80s. I recall very little about the 70s, fragments like dressing up as a hobo for Halloween and my Stretch Armstrong figure, which I stretched the life out of so much that the ‘grape jelly’ substance inside the doll oozed out.
What Was So Great About the 80s?
The ‘sweet spot’ for 80s culture is between 1983-1987. What I mean is the early 80s is a carryover or transition period from the 70s, and the late 80s is a precursor or transition to the 90s.
The 80s had the best and most entertaining movies, Music, television shows, culture, and fashion. Television shows had ‘heart’ in them, the local newscasters were like family, and everything wasn’t politicized like it’s been after the 80s.
I still remember Jerry Turner and Al Sanders on Eyewitness News, WJZ 13. They were like family, along with Bob Turk and Marty Bass. They were comforting to watch on the local news, and I mourned when Jerry Turner and Al Sanders passed away.
I looked forward to watching Captain Chesapeake on WBFF TV 45 after school with his sidekick Mondy (Moan-Dee), the Seamonster, a local version of the Loch Ness Monster. Before the show, he always said, “Ahoy crew members,” and at the end, he always said, “So long crew members,” and his most important message was, “Be Somebody Important, Be Yourself.”
Once again, very comforting to watch.
We kids often played board games like Monopoly, Chutes & Ladders, Clue, Mousetrap, and Twister to occupy ourselves when we weren’t playing outside. We went to playgrounds and rode Big Wheels’ and bicycles to entertain ourselves.
- Going to the bowling alley with our parents was common.
- We only had one T.V., and it was a 25” Color Console.
- MTV debuted in 1981 and became a symbol and culture definer in the 80s.
- Things were still affordable in the 80s or inexpensive to fix.
The Mixtape, the Walkman, VHS, Beta movie tapes, Cereals, Garbage Pail Kids, Saturday Morning Cartoons, The Harlem Globetrotters, and Saturday Night horror Movies were all popular in the 80s.
Also, the ’80s were the start of the computer age, with Apple, Microsoft, and IBM being significant players in the game.
Car safety was still obsolete back then, so we didn’t wear seatbelts; we could sleep in the back of a station wagon or ride in the back of a pickup truck without getting pulled over.
Time appeared slower in the 80s. I remember summer break feeling like an eternity. So much so I looked forward for school to start up again. Time seemed to start going faster in the late 80s, and since then, time seems to fly by.
Everything was better in the 80s: Sports was better, music was better, politics was better, people were better, and life was better. Real artists made them, and all had more heart and soul since.
Everything wasn’t corporatized either like today. Mom & Pop shops were typical, and the customer service was better back then because people were friendly.
The 80s music was a whole conglomeration. When I think of 80s music, I don’t think of genres like pop, funk, metal, rock, rap, etc. I call it all 80s music. I primarily listen to 80s music on my Sirius Satellite in my truck. I have other eras programmed as well, and the 1990s had some excellent songs, and the Beach Boys are my favorite band from the 60s, but there is no comparison to the 80s.
I also noticed many modern commercials using 80s songs in them.
The 80s were a simpler time for sure. I believe that nostalgia for the 80s is due to how much calmer and simpler life was.
When I think of 80s nostalgia, I remember going to Orioles baseball games at Memorial Stadium, Blast games at the Civic Center, and going down the beach. In this case, the beach is at Ocean City, Maryland. It was so much fun back then. It was a family-oriented town with hardly any crime that I can remember.
Thrashers French Fries, The Zipper, Cotton Candy, The Dough Roller Pizza, The Haunted House ride on the boardwalk and the Pier.
On the pier at Ocean City, there were more rides, foods, and games and an obnoxious Dunking Clown Booth, and a cool Haunted House: Morbid Manor. Morbid Manor was a haunted walk-through attraction.
Debuting in 1975 for its first season, the “Manor” was a two-and-a-half story walk-through attraction that was made famous for its live actors, demonizing appearance, sinister sounds and effects, and Victorian-style façade with neglected exterior gardens. In short, the attraction’s artistry and details made visitors believe that an actual abandoned house was uprooted from elsewhere and placed on the pier.
It towered over the pier and was recognizable from virtually any distance on the boardwalk. It was a somewhat supernatural experience and scared hundreds of thousands of brave patrons during its 20-year tenure on the boardwalk. Perhaps most memorable was the tail of an airplane sticking out of the building’s top floor window, and guests from the late 1980s may recall the attraction operating under the name “Year of the Vampire” for a brief time.
One of the attraction’s scariest elements was the talented live actors that strategically hid in the Manor and chased customers with chainsaws. At times, the actors were theater majors from colleges and universities that came to work at the summer attraction. Their makeup and costumes altered their appearance just enough to leave even the bravest visitor screaming in terror. – https://www.oceancity.com/ocean-city-oddities-morbid-manor/
In November of 1995, Morbid Manor caught fire and burned to the ground. Unfortunately, it was never restored.
⇒Ocean City, MD – August 1987 – YouTube –Morbid Manor appears in the video @ 23:42
Holidays in The 80s
The Holidays during the 80s were magical. In elementary school, we would wear our costumes to school. Our teachers decorated the classrooms with Frankenstein, Dracula, Witches, and Pumpkin decorations. They even wore a Halloween themed sweater.
All the kids and teachers would bring food and drinks to class. A lot of moms made cupcakes, cookies, and other treats for our party. Also, the proverbial red punch drink was served to us. This mysterious red punch was served throughout elementary school in little Dixie Cups.
We had a Halloween party in the classroom every year, and we would visit neighboring classrooms and show off our costumes. Every Holiday was like this in school in the 80s. Generally, costumes consisted of a plastic mask with a rubber band stapled to it and a plastic costume.
It was cheap, and it came in a flimsy cardboard box at your local retail store. As a general rule, the single, thin rubber band in the back of the mask would snap within 30 minutes of use.
The Holidays were also a great time to be with my family, relatives, and friends. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, and watching The Fourth of July Fireworks were annual treats.
On Christmas, we went to so many different houses, ate great food, and received lots of presents. Generally speaking, people were a lot more relaxed in the 80s, and having fun and enjoying life was a priority.
One of the best parts of the Holidays in the 80s was the television shows and movies on TV. Many sitcoms would incorporate Halloween, Christmas, and Thanksgiving into their shows. One of my favorite Halloween television show episodes was 1984’s The Fall Guy Featuring Elvira.
Other classic holiday programs were The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and A Christmas Carol. The holidays were way more fun in the 80s. Everything seems so ‘hurried’ these days.
Back in the 80s, we only got gifts twice a year on Christmas and our birthdays. Don’t feel bad; my grandmother told me she and her sisters only got fruit for Christmas when they were young.
We didn’t have cell phones in the 1980s, so our parents only knew where we were if we told them where we were going. There was a general 80s rule to be home once it’s dark outside or when the lamp post lights came on before your father came out bellowing your name.
Once we were home, it was common to go back outside after dinner and hit lightning bugs with our baseball bats while riding our bicycles. The second time to be inside was usually around 9 pm during warmer months.
We played and enjoyed life unsupervised for the most part. It didn’t matter where we were; adults were not concerned with what we were doing unless we broke something or someone got hurt. If we broke something, we could be in trouble; if we got hurt playing, someone would put some antibacterial cleaner on the cut and a Band-Aid, and we went back to playing once again.
The Ice-Cream Truck
One of the great things about being outside much of the day during the summer was the ice cream truck. Every day the ice cream man would go past my house and down the street playing his jingle over his loudspeaker. The song triggered us to run inside and grab money from our parents and then run down the road chasing the ice cream truck.
It was an exhaustive process, and it went like this:
Stop playing immediately and run inside and locate a parent with money. Sometimes Mom didn’t have money, so we had to find Dad. After finding Dad, he would tell me what he wanted, and I had to get ice-cream for my brothers and our Bulldog named Dudley.
Next, run as fast as I can down the street and catch up with the ice cream man. If I were lucky, he would already be stopped by another kid in the neighborhood, but not today. I could have hopped on my Huffy Bike and caught up with him faster, but there was no way I could bring all that ice cream back to my house while peddling and steering a bicycle.
At times it appeared as if the ice cream man sped up when he would see us chasing after him chanting the proverbial “Wait a minute,” which he never responded to until the last minute.
Kids on my street would often be running after the ice cream truck after it passed their house. I recall one day, a small white dog ran into the road and tripped up my friend Matt making him tumble to the ground and put me in the lead to order my ice cream.
When I finally caught up with the ice cream truck, a quarter-mile later, I was too out of breath to place my order, and I forgot what I was supposed to buy for the rest of my family. My brother asked for a Cookie Sandwich; he got a Sherbert Push-Up instead. Bulldog Dudley wanted a vanilla cup; well, he got a Pac-Man ice cream bar instead. My little brother wanted a strawberry shortcake bar; well, he got a toasted almond. But I digress.
The Home Phone
Speaking of phones, our home phone was attached to a base by a long stretchy coiled cord. We were stuck in one spot during a conversation, depending on the length of the cord. Our answering machines were an external device connected to our phone. In the 1990s, digital answering machines accessed through your home phone were used more often.
One of the many unfortunate things with landline home phones was eavesdroppers. It was typical for someone in the house to listen in on your phone conversation. This happened a lot.
The first chargeable cordless phone came out in 1980, but most people didn’t have one until the 90s.
The 80s Was Safe
“My generation didn’t have babysitters; our parents just told us to lock the door and don’t open it for anyone.” – Anonymous 80s Adult
I know what you may be thinking. Safe? The 80s had way higher crime rates. For one, How do we know if crime stats are being reported accurately now? We don’t.
Secondly, the areas I grew up in and the people and places I visited were safe too. The neighborhood I lived in in the 80s was very safe.
My family and I moved from Baltimore City to Baltimore County in 1979. We lived in the county just a few miles from the city line, so we weren’t living in the suburbs really and not in a rural area.
As a kid in elementary school, I never once felt unsafe wherever I went. In the 80s, kids were expected not to be in the house that much, especially during the summer. So we had to find ways to entertain ourselves outside.
We often spent the weekends at one of our grandparents’ houses or Aunts and Uncles’ house to hang out with our cousins. In elementary school, sleepovers, either at your home or your friend’s house, were common.
It was common to ride bikes, play in the woods, climb trees, build forts, go to the arcade, hang out at Skateland on Friday and Saturday nights, play sports, play tag, and home video games. We had an Atari home gaming system and enjoyed it. Later on, around 1987, I had Nintendo. I stopped playing video games entirely in 1988.
There was one bus stop per street in the 80s, and parents did not wait with you. On my road, our bus stop was across the street from my house. That meant every kid on the street had to walk to the bus stop across from my house. Plus, I was the first student on the bus, which meant I got to sit in the very back of the bus where all the cool kids sat.
Also, school seldom, if ever, closed for snow. We had one, two, and three-hour delays but rarely closed for snow unless projected to snow the entire day.
Saturday Morning Cartoons
Saturday morning cartoons were the best. I usually woke up before everyone else in my house, went to the kitchen, made a bowl of Trix cereal, and went to the basement to watch Saturday Morning Cartoons.
(It was common to read the back of the cereal box while eating if a television wasn’t nearby.)
We didn’t have a cartoon network channel in the 80s. In the afternoon, cartoons like He-Man, Scooby-Doo, The Smurfs, Transformers, and G.I. Joe were popular.
Cartoons were a way for advertisers to target children.
During the weekday, there were early morning television shows and cartoons as well as after school. I remember watching them before going to school and when I got home.
- Inspector Gadget
- The Three Stooges
- The Flintstones
- The Little Rascals
- The Jetsons
- Captain Chesapeake
- Speed Racer
We all watched Bugs Bunny in the 80s, but the Hocus Pocus/Abracadabra episode has to be in the top 3 greatest Bugs Bunny episodes of all time. Do you remember this episode?
It’s been so long, so I don’t remember the lineup. But here are some of the Saturday Morning cartoons in the 80s that I remember:
- The Coyote and Roadrunner
- Heckle & Jeckle
- Bugs Bunny
- Tom & Jerry
- Super Friends
- Speedy Gonzalez
- The Smurfs
- The New Adventures of Johnny Quest
- The Littles
- The Flintstone Kids
- Josie & The Pussycats
- Fat Albert
- Alvin & The Chipmunks
- Mighty Mouse
- A Pup Named Scooby-Doo
- The Snorks
- The Real Ghostbusters
- Thundarr The Barbarian
Because of the backlash from parent groups, Saturday Morning Cartoons implemented Public Service, (P.S.A.’s) Announcements to give kids something positive to remember.
- I’m Just a Bill – Schoolhouse Rock
- Time for Timer – “Hanker for a Hunk o’ Cheese.”
- Exercise your Choppers – The Bod Squad a Fonz look alike. Keep those choppers tough.
- Don’t Drown Your Food.
- Yuck Mouth
- Conjunction Junction – Schoolhouse Rock
- Give a Hoot – don’t Pollute! – Woodsy the Owl
- Take a Bite out of Crime – McGruff the Crime Dog
- Only You Can Prevent Forrest Fires – Smokey, the Bear
Before music television, we had the radio, records, or cassette tapes to listen to our favorite music. Most kids had a ‘boombox’ in the 80s, which was often used to record your favorite song when it played on the radio. If you were lucky, you could record the song in its entirety instead of missing the first few seconds.
Also the BoomBox was great for bringing your music with you wherever you went. It only too 22 D Batteries and you were good to go.
I remember watching MTV in our basement when I was a kid. Of all the music stars that appeared on MTV, one man benefitted the most – Michael Jackson. Music videos like Billie Jean, Beat It, and Thriller made Michael Jackson a star above the rest.
Dire Straits had a hit song in 1985 – Money for Nothing with the lyrics ‘I want my MTV.”
MTV (Music Television) debuted just after midnight on August 1, 1981, with the broadcast of “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles. Following the format of Top 40 radio, video disc jockeys (or “veejays”) introduced videos and bantered about music news between clips. After an initial splash, the network struggled in its early years.
The music video reservoir was then somewhat shallow, resulting in frequent repetition of clips, and cable television remained a luxury that had not quite found its market. MTV expanded its programming to include rhythm and blues artists, and the network took off. Singles such as “Billie Jean” and “Beat It” from Michael Jackson’s Thriller (1982) not only showcased the strengths of the music video format but proved that exposure on MTV could propel artists to superstardom.
The network brought success to such newcomers as Madonna and new wave icons Duran Duran, who used increasingly sophisticated techniques to make the visual elements of the video as important as the music.
MTV also gave renewed life to veteran performers such as ZZ Top, Tina Turner, and Peter Gabriel, each of whom scored the biggest hits of their careers thanks to heavy rotation of their videos. By the mid-1980s, MTV had produced a noticeable effect on motion pictures, commercials, and television. It also changed the music industry; looking good (or at least interesting) on MTV became as important as sounding good when selling recordings. – https://www.britannica.com/topic/MTV
In 1989, MTV Unplugged was introduced to the world.
By the mid-90s, MTV almost completely stopped playing music videos and switched to programming that was not related to Music, like the show – The Real World.
Later on, it became a running joke that the Music Television Channel (MTV) doesn’t play music anymore.
We would either go to one of the privately-owned arcades in the neighborhood, and it was common for many local food joints, grocery stores, and Mom & Pop stores to have a video game or two inside.
The majority of the arcade games were .25 cents to play. Many Arcades’ exchanged tokens for either paper money or coins, after researching why quarters tended to jam up the arcade games and cause them to break, which meant losing money for the arcade operator. Tokens were more durable, plus exchanging real money for tokens gave the arcade operator cash upfront.
If someone were using the game that you wanted to play, you would put your quarter up on the screen out of the way to indicate you were playing next. And yes, people respected that back then.
Popular 80s Arcade Games:
- Space Invaders
- Pac Man
- Pac Man
- Donkey Kong
- Dig Dug
- Pole Position
- Dragons Lair
“How about a nice greasy pork sandwich served in a dirty ash tray?” – Chet – Weird Science
The 1980s had the best movies ever; some specific years had tons of great films.
1984 alone stands out as one of the years of the decade with the most classic movies such as:
1984 Top Movies
- The Karate Kid
- Sixteen Candles
- A Nightmare on Elm Street
- Revenge of the Nerds
- Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom
- Friday the 13th The Final Chapter
- Children of the Corn
- Bachelor Party
- Red Dawn
- The Terminator
- Police Academy
- Beverly Hills Cop
Next, i’m going to go with some of my favorite and most memorable movies from the 80s. This includes action movies, horror, comedies, and sci-fi.
Back in the 80s, you have to realize it was a big deal to go to your neighborhood video store on Friday or Saturday Night and rent VHS or Beta tapes. We had several video stores near my home. If we didn’t rent tapes, we watched movies on Cable Television (Caltec Cable), if we had it.
I don’t know about other families, but we had cable television off and on for the entire decade. It was too expensive, I guess.
The Cable TV back then had this channel changer connected to the converter box on top of the TV. The Channel Changer for the Cable System was plugged into the converter box and had a long extension cord so you could sit on the couch and change the channel.
The channel changer was a dial that you turned clockwise or counterclockwise to get to your preferred channel.
Classic 80s flicks list
There are so many great movies from the 80s that it would take up too much time and space. Below are my favorite and most memorable films from the 1980s.
- Back to The Future
- The Goonies
- Rambo First Blood
- History of the World Part 1
- Rocky III & IV
- The Legend of Billie Jean
- The Terminator
- Revenge of the Nerds
- 48 Hours
- Mommy Dearest
- Karate Kid
- The Beastmaster
- Losin It
- Mad Max 2
- Raiders of the Lost Ark
- Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom
- Raiders of the Lost Ark
- Jaws 3D
- Top Gun
- Sudden Impact
- Coming to America
- Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
- Crocodile Dundee
- All the Right Moves
- Conan The Barbarian
- Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
- Romancing the Stone
- Fast Times At Ridgemont High
- The Breakfast Club
- The Neverending Story
- The Outsiders
- Lethal Weapon
- Can’t Buy Me, Love
- Risky Business
- Valley Girl (Nicholas Cage’s first movie)
- Friday the 13th 1-4
- Die Hard
- The Return of the Jedi
- Vacation, European Vacation, Christmas Vacation
- Child’s Play
- The Lost Boys
- Weird Science
- One Crazy Summer
- The Shining
- The Great Outdoors
- Fright Night
- Just One of the Guys
- Trading Places
- Children of the Corn
- Beverly Hills Cop
- An American Werewolf in London
- Full Metal Jacket
- Stand By Me
- A Christmas Story
- D.C. Cab
- My Bodyguard
- Adventures in Babysitting
- The Fog
- Pet Sematary
- Better Off Dead
- Smokey and the Bandit II & III
- The Great Outdoors
- Remo Williams
- Big Trouble in Little China
- Wall Street
- Psycho II
- Spies Like Us
- The Last Dragon
- Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure
- They Live
- Clash of the Titans
1980s John Hughes Movies
American Filmmaker, writer, and Director John Hughes was the King of classic 80s movies. I couldn’t write this article without giving Mr. Hughes his due respect. I put Hughes films up there with Ridley Scott and Stanley Kubrick. What I mean is when John Hughes was part of a movie, you knew you were going to get a quality movie.
- Mr. Mom – 1983
- National Lampoons Vacation – 1983
- Sixteen Candles – 1984
- The Breakfast Club – 1985
- European Vacation – 1985
- Weird Science – 1985
- Pretty in Pink – 1986
- Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – 1986
- Some Kind of Wonderful – 1987
- Planes, Trains, and Automobiles – 1987
- She’s Having a Baby – 1988
- The Great Outdoors – 1988
- Uncle Buck -1989
- Christmas Vacation – 1989
80s Remakes & Nostalgia
“Hollywood is bereft with talentless actors, directors, and imagination, is it indicative of social times! Art reflects society, and we have just begun the age of millennials who graduated from public schools with zero standards.” – Hollywood is running out of hit ’80s movies to reboot/Marketwatch.com (article commenter)
The 80s had some of the most original films. But what set these movies apart from today’s movies was the casting and character development. It’s not the plot that makes the movies in most cases; it’s casting the right actors.
Ghostbusters would not have worked without Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd. Back to the Future would have flopped without Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd. Would Friday the 13th have been so good without Betsy Palmer playing the sadistic Mom of Jason? How about the Vacation movie series? Could anyone other than Chevy Chase of pulled it off?
The 80s have so many people clamoring for it: Facebook, Instagram, and websites dedicated entirely to the era, which brings me to the next topic. Modern Movies are remaking classic 80s films or modern movies taking place in the 80s.
I’ve been an avid movie watcher since I was a kid. Almost all of the 80s remakes have been flops. Why? You can’t recapture the essence of the 80s in modern times. The only time remakes work is when you do it comically, like Starsky & Hutch with Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller from 2004 or the Brady Bunch Movie from 1995. These were hilarious because they poked fun at the era they were supposed to take place.
Coming to America Part 2 or Coming 2 America with Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall will be out in 2021 through Amazon. The original Coming to America was released in 1988 and was one of Eddie’s hot movies in the 80s.
The 80s produced some of the most iconic horror and teen movies ever.
- Ghostbusters – 2016
- Overboard – 2018
- It – 2017
- 21 Jump Street – 2012
- Karate Kid – 2010
- Pet Sematary 2019
- Evil Dead – 2013
- Fright Night – 2011
- Annie – 2014
- Hairspray – 2007
- A Nightmare on Elm Street – 2010
- The Howling 2020
- Red Dawn – 2012
- Hellraiser – 2020
- Friday the 13th – 2009
- RoboCop – 2014
- Conan The Barbarian – 2011
- Valley Girl – 2020
These Classic 80s Movies Are in the Process of Being Remade
- Escape From New York
- Flash Gordon
- The Little Mermaid
- The Cannonball Run
- Big Trouble in Little China
- American Werewolf in London
Modern Movies and Shows Set in the 80s
- Hot Tub Time Machine – 2010
- Adventureland – 2009
- Donnie Darko -2001
- No Country for Old Men – 2007
- The Pursuit of Happyness – 2006
- Fargo – 1996
- Let the Right One In – 2008
- Dallas Buyers Club – 2013
- Wet Hot American Summer – 2001
- American Psycho – 2000
- Mandy – 2018
- The Wedding Singer – 1998
- Boogie Nights – 1997
Popular 80s Fashion
As much as I loved the 80s, I will agree that the fashion was pretty bad. No decade gets as mocked as much as the ‘80s does for fashion. However, the style was memorable and nostalgic for me. Below are what was fashionable in the 80s for men and women.
- Parachute Pants
- Leg Warmers
- Jimmy’Z Clothing
- Denim Jackets with or without a Rock Band Backpatch
- Air Jordan
- The Velcro Wallet
- Fanny Pack
- Rib Knit Slouch Socks
- Rat Tail Haircut
- Members Only Jackets
- Baby on Board Sign
- Fingerless Gloves
- Big Hair
- Long hair
- Short Shorts –Men and Women
- Half-Shirts – Men and Women
- Big Gold Chains (Dookies)
- O.P. Shorts
- Rolling the bottoms of your pants up
- Swatch Watch with Swatch Guard
- The Skater Haircut
- The Piano Key Necktie
- Boxer Shorts (the Mid Eighties)
- High-Top Sneakers
- High Waisted Jeans
- The Mustache
- Black Leather Jackets
- Bugle Boy Pants
- Hair Feathered Parted in the Middle
- Popped Collar Izod Shirt
- Shoulder Pads
80s Lingo and Slang Terms
Most of the below sayings were from famous movies in the 80s filmed in southern California and many of the John Hughes films made in the 80s. Others were popular urban terms that made their way into the mainstream.
“Look, I can see you getting all ‘bunged up’ for them making you wear these kinda clothes. But face it, you’re a Neo-Maxi-Zoom-Dweebie!” – John Bender – The Breakfast Club
- Fer Sure
- Gag Me With A Spoon
- Like Totally
- Totally Awesome to the MAX!
- No Can Do
- Don’t have a Cow
- Big Time
- No Duh
- Word Up
- Barf Me Out
- Neo-Maxi Zoom Dweebie
- Spazz/Spazzo/Spazoid/Spastic Nerf bag
- Eat My Shorts
- Ya Know
- What’s Your Damage
- Totally Tubular
- Take a Chill Pill/ Chill Out
- Grody to the Max
Famous Events of the 80s
- Hands Across America
- Challenger Explosion
- Gandhi is assassinated.
- Berlin Wall Came Down
- The NBA reintroduced the ‘Slam Dunk Contest’ in 1984
- Microsoft releases “Word.”
- The first version of Microsoft Windows is released.
- Just Say No Campaign
- Sandra Day O’Connor First Woman U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
- Iran-Contra Hearings
- Carl Lewis wins 9 Medals in the 1984 Olympics
- John Lennon murdered
- Pro-Democracy protests take place at Tiananmen Square in China.
- The Simpsons” make their debut on the Tracy Ullman Show.
- The Chernobyl nuclear reactor explodes in the USSR.
- The wreck of the Titanic was discovered.
- Macintosh Computer Debut
- Hulk Hogan slams Andre the Giant at Wrestle Mania III
- CNN Launches
- First Mobile Phone (Motorola)
- The rise of Yuppie Culture – (Young Urban Professional)
Famous 80s Musicians & Bands
- John Cougar
- The Go-Go’s
- Dire Straits
- Christopher Cross
- Michael Jackson
- Cyndi Lauper
- Thompson Twins
- Lisa Lisa & The Cult Jam
- Men at Work
- Billy Ocean
- Simply Red
- Iron Maiden
- Robert Palmer
- Billy Idol
- Dionne Warwick
- Quiet Riot
- Motley Crue
- Peter Gabriel
- Elton John
- Gloria Estefan
- Duran Duran
- Beastie Boys
- The Cars
- Culture Club
- Huey Lewis and the News
- Pat Benatar
- Bruce Springsteen
- Fleetwood Mac
- Depeche Mode
- The Fat Boys
- Lionel Ritchie
- Talking Heads
- Van Halen
- Billy Joel
- Eddie Money
- Bon Jovi
- Pet Shop Boys
- Whitney Houston
- Hall & Oats
- ZZ Top
- Tina Turner
- Brian Adams
- The Police
- The Bangles
- Ozzy Osborne
- Run D.M.C.
The 1980s’ Popular Songs
- Billy Jean – Michael Jackson
- Kokomo – Beach Boys
- The Boys of Summer – Don Henley
- Don’t You Forget About Me – Simple Minds
- Girls Just Want to Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
- Jesse’s Girl – Rick Springfield
- Moving in Stereo – The Cars
- Walk Like an Egyptian – The Bangles
- White Wedding – Billy Idol
- Take Me Home Tonight – Eddie Money
- Sharp Dressed Man – ZZ Top
- Jack and Diane – John Cougar
- 867 5309 /Jenny – Tommy Tutone
- Tainted Love – Soft Cell
- Eye of the Tiger – Survivor
- In The Air Tonight – Phil Collins
- Turn Me Loose – Loverboy
- I Melt With You – Modern English
- Like a Virgin – Madonna
- Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley
- Fight for Your Right – Beastie Boys
- Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – Wham
- In Your Eyes – Peter Gabriel
- Dancing in the Dark – Bruce Springsteen
- Can’t Fight This Feeling – Reo Speedwagon
“You’re talking to the Rolex wearin’, diamond ring wearin’, kiss stealin woo’, wheelin’ dealin’, limousine ridin’, jet flyin’ son of a gun. And I’m having a hard time holding these alligators down. Woo!” – Nature Boy Ric Flair
Ah yes, 80s wrestling. I began watching wrestling in the early 80s because my dad and brother both watched it. There were several wrestling organizations back then. I watched Georgia Wrestling, NWA, AWA, and of course, the WWF.
As memorable as wrestling was to me, nothing was more impressive than the Rock-n-Roll wrestling connection.
The Rock’ N’ Wrestling Connection was a period of cooperation between the WWF and Pop Culture. The idea was formed by WWF manager Lou Albano, who met with Cyndi Lauper on a business matter. Lauper wanted Albano to appear as Lauper’s father in her music video “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.”
McMahon later booked Lauper and Albano to appear on a segment of Piper’s Pit. Albano called Lauper a “broad,” and Lauper retaliated by hitting him with her purse during the part. Lauper then challenged Albano to a match between two female wrestlers of their choice. It was this segment that started an era that brought wrestling to prominence.
MTV broadcasted the first live wrestling match on cable television and the first live women’s professional wrestling match. Women have played a significant role in bringing the WWF to the forefront on cable television despite the appeal and audience being primarily masculine. It was The Brawl to End it All. Cyndi Lauper chose to manage Wendi Richter, while Lou Albano chose The Fabulous Moolah. The Brawl to End it All took place on July 23, 1984, and despite there being eleven matches on the card, only Moolah and Richter’s main event match was televised on MTV.
Moolah and Richter went head to head for the WWF Women’s Championship, which Moolah had been holding for twenty-eight years. During the match, Lauper interfered on Richter’s behalf by hitting Moolah in the head with her purse. Richter would defeat Moolah and win the championship. This is the most-watched program in MTV history. -Vavel.com
I remember Captain Lou training Moolah for the match. He had her eating footlong cheesesteak subs saying she was on a strict protein diet.
80s Wrestling Legends
The 80s debuted a lot of wrestling legends such as:
- Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig
- The Barbarian
- Mike Rotunda
- King Kong Bundy
- Steve Austin
- Booker T
- Charles Wright/ Papa Shango/The Godfather
- Sensational Sherri
- Arn Anderson
- Road Warriors Tag Team Hawk & Animal
- Jim Cornette
- Mick Foley
- Jim Hellwig/ The Ultimate Warrior
- Ron Simmons
- Owen Hart
- Ravishing Rick Rude
- Eddie Guerrero
- Sid Vicious
- William Regal
- Scott Steiner
- Rick Steiner
- The Rock-n-Roll Express
- Barry Darsow
- The Undertaker
- Paul Heyman
- Shawn Michaels
- Razor Ramon/ Scott Hall
- Sting Lex Luger
- Big Boss Man
- Bam Bam Bigelow
- Dustin Rhodes
1980s Popular Television Shows
There are much well-liked television shows that I enjoyed in the 80s. Three’s Company Debuted in the late 70s, but most of them hit their peak in the 80s. The most memorable time for watching television shows was when you got the double. For example, on Saturday Nights, you had The Love Boat at 8 pm, Followed by Fantasy Island at 9 pm. Or on Friday Nights at 9 pm, You Had Magnum P.I. followed by Miami Vice at 10 pm.
Whenever I hear the Phil Collins song – In the Air Tonight, I think of Miami Vice. It’s similar to the T.V. Series Supernatural and the song – Carry on Wayward Son.
Top 80s TV Shows
- Magnum P.I.
- Miami Vice
- Growing Pains
- Facts Of Life
- Gimme A Break
- Family Ties
- The Cosby Show
- Married With Children
- The Simpsons
- The Phil Donahue Show
- Silver Spoons
- Who’s The Boss
- Three’s Company
- Saturday Night Live
- The Equalizer
- Charles in Charge
- Different Strokes
- Knight Rider
- The A-Team
- The Dukes of Hazzard
- The Fall Guy
- Highway to Heaven
- Fantasy Island
- The Loveboat
- Punky Brewster
- Perfect Strangers
- TJ Hooker
- Benny Hill
- Little House on the Prairie
- Remington Steele
- Laverne & Shirley
- The Incredible Hulk
- Saved By The Bell (Saturday Mornings)
- Mamas Family
- Happy Days
- Night Court
- The Greatest American Hero
Nostalgic 80s Commercials
There were so many memorable commercials in the 80s. Unfortunately, we couldn’t skip commercials, so we were forced to watch them for two minutes and 2 seconds. Many 80s commercials started in the 70s, like Life Cereal Commercial with Mikey and The Incredible Edible Egg.
- Where’s The Beef – Burger King Commerical
- Gimme a Cheese Wit Nuttin – Polly-O String Cheese
- Tootsie Pop – Mr. Owl
- Michael Jackson – Pepsi Commercial
- Leggo My Ego – Leggo Waffles
- Kool-Aid Man – Kool-Aid
- Move Over Bacon – Sizzlelean Bacon
- Time to Make The Donuts – Dunkin Donuts
- Peter Comes Home For Christmas – Folgers Coffee
- Michael J Fox – Diet Pepsi Commercial
- New Coke – Max Headroom – Cocoa Cola
- Get a Little Closer – Arrid Extra Dry Deodorant
- Bill Cosby – JELL-O Pudding Pops
- David Naughton – Be A Pepper – Dr. Pepper Cola
- Good Vibrations – Sunkist Soda
- Kiss a Little Longer – Big Red Chewing Gum
- I Don’t Want to Grow Up – Toys R Us.
- So Happy Together – Golden Grahams
- Gimme a Break – Kit Kat bar
- The Taste is Gonna Move You – Juicy Fruit Chewing Gum
- Mikey Likes It – Quaker Oats Life Cereal ( Debuted in the 70s, played throughout the 80s).
- Whatcha Eating – Whatchamacallit Candy Bar
Ahhh The 80s
The 80s was a decade of mustaches, leg warmers, slouch socks, dirty teen movies, and Reaganomics. Do I want to go back to that time? No, I am where I am, but I am Like Totally Stoked to the MAX that I got to experience firsthand the greatest decade ever! Fer Sure!
Lastly, I leave you with this 80s Awareness Video from Kevin Bacon.
⇒Read this article next please: The 1980s was the Best Decade for Horror Movies⇒
Check out my pics below too.
The post Why The 80s Was The Best Decade Ever! appeared first on Mazzastick.