15 Things People Miss Dearly About the 1980s

The 1980s is one of the most beloved decades for good reason. We can’t forget about the music, fashion, movies, and fast food that didn’t care about gluten. It was a time of excess, rebellion, and fun, and we miss it a lot.

1. Saturday Morning Cartoons

Image Credit: DIC Enterprises.

Gone are the days of waking up on Saturdays, pouring a giant bowl of Trix cereal, and spending hours on the couch watching TV. Do they even play cartoons on Saturday mornings these days? If they do, whatever’s on TV doesn’t compare to the greatness of G.I. Joe, Rainbow Brite, The Smurfs, and Thundercats.

2. VHS Tapes

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Streaming and WiFi might make watching movies and TV fast and easy, but back in the day, VHS tapes were everywhere. Some families had entire libraries of VHS, and even a special machine to rewind your tapes.

That way, the next time you wanted to watch a movie, it was ready to go.

3. ’80s New Wave

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Music from the ’80s is iconic and loved by all generations the world over. New Wave, in particular, is the sound of the decade. It included a bit of pop, some punk attitude, and a whole lot of synthesizers.

We’ve still got Depeche Mode, New Order, and Simple Minds playing on repeat.

4. SNL ’80s Cast Members

Saturday Night Live Eddie Muprhy
Image Credit: NBC.

Saturday Night Live had been running since the mid-70s, but some of the best comedians and actors came out of the ’80s.

We saw the meteoric rise of stars like Eddie Murphy, Joan Cusack, Billy Crystal, Martin Short, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, just to name a few.

5. Toys and Action Figures

Toys and Action Figures
Image Credit: Hafizzuddin and Shutterstock.

Whether you wanted action figures or stuffed plushies, toys that talked, or toys that lit up, there was something for every kid. The quality wasn’t always top-tier, but that was part of the novelty and what made playing with them fun.

6. Breakdancing

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

If you lived in New York City during the ’80s, you probably saw your fair share of breakdancing on the streets or in dance halls. Thanks to the influence and rise of hip-hop, MCs, and rap in the ’70s, breaking was the next big thing in that scene. It’s still going today, even on an international level.

7. Nintendo

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Even if you weren’t a kid in the ’80s, you probably still knew about Nintendo.

This Japanese company brought video games into our homes with the Nintendo Entertainment System, and our worlds were never the same. Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, and Duck Hunt — talk about the classics.

8. Going to the Mall

shopping mall
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Malls had been around for a couple of decades, but in the ’80s, it was the place to be if you were a pre-teen or teenager. We could spend hours walking around, running into classmates from school, checking out the new guy at Orange Julius, and feel like we were so cool and grown-up.

9. Blockbuster Video

Blockbuster Video
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

By the ’80s, nearly every household had a television with a VHS player. Blockbuster Video was the best stop on the way home on a Friday afternoon. Rent a couple of movies, pick up some microwavable popcorn, and you’re set for the whole weekend.

10. MTV

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Back in the day, you tuned in to MTV to check out your favorite band’s latest music videos.

And it was called Music Television for a reason — the channel played music videos all day. It also invented the role of a video DJ.

11. Landline Phones

Landline Phone
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Sure, cell phones are convenient and don’t require you to sit by your telephone waiting for Suzy to call at 4:30 after school. But honestly, that was part of the fun.

Young kids don’t even know what telephone party lines are. Go ask your parents.

12. Big Hair

Steel Panther
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Everyone had big hair in the 80s. It was even a genre of music. (Ask your folks about big hair bands like Night Ranger and Twisted Sister.) It seemed like everyone needed tons of volume in their hair.

Hairspray sales must have been through the roof. The iconic look is recreated today by bands such as Steel Panther.

13. Arcades

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

After a few hours of watching Saturday morning cartoons, you could head down to your neighborhood arcade and spend a couple of bucks in quarters playing Galaga, Asteroids, Pac-Man, and Frogger. If someone took your top score, you were obligated to bump them down in the rankings.

Thankfully, we’re seeing arcades come back in a big way with barcades: an arcade that doubles as a bar.

14. Shoulder Pads

female shoulder pads
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Shoulder pads originated in the 1940s, but women in the ’80s took the trend and made a statement.

This was the decade when career-driven women found their place in the corporate world, wearing pantsuits and jackets, much like their male counterparts.

15. Mixtapes

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Before Spotify, iTunes, and YouTube, if you wanted a recording of your favorite song, you became a pro at making mixtapes. You’d sit with your boombox, wait for the song to come on the radio, and hit record on a fresh cassette to record the track.

Don’t forget; if you were crushing on someone at school? Make them a mixtape.


The Fugutive
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.


+ posts