30 Things Only People In The 1980s Will Remember

By Anna Collins 1 year ago

1. Wearing neon!

Image source/ eBayLet's just picture the leg warmers... Is there anything more shout out obviously 80s than a neon pair of leg warmers. Why, and how these were a thing is beyond us. But, as one of the coolest decades, somehow, they got away with it. Can we see ourselves wearing them now? Probably not.

2. Waiting for your favourite videos on MTV

Image source/ PinterestThose were the days. MTV introduced 24 hours of videos. But unlike YouTube, you could not pick and choose or anything like that. You might have had to wait all day just to watch your video of choice. But when the time finally came, it seemed all the better for the wait.

3. Carrying things round in a fanny pack

Image source/ whattowearFanny packs, remember in the 80s when these were a thing? They were all the rage. Way before the days where festivals made the cool and popular again. Although even now they are a controversial choice. Admittedly, they are practical to keep your belongings close.

4. The emotional MASH finale

Image source/ PinterestThis will bring it back for you. Whether you were a die-hard MASH fan or you just tuned in and out of the 11 seasons, there was pretty much nobody in the 80s who did not tune in for the MASH finale. It was a TV event like none other up until this point.

5. The Apple Macintosh Super Bowl Commercial

Image source/ Do You Remember?If you are from the 80s then you will remember this commercial. It was unlike any TV commercial up until that point and it is still unlike any other now - despite how hard they try. It was odd, but it was totally memorable, and it clearly worked because absolutely everybody wanted an Apple Mac after this.

6. The wedding of Diana and Charles

Image source/ The TelegraphOne of THE most watched, and highly anticipated weddings or events in history. No matter what country you were from. It seemed as though the entire world tuned in to see Lady Diana become Princess Diana and marry the then Prince (now King) Charles. And nobody was about to forget that dress anytime soon.

7. The reinventing and quick reversal of Coke's famous recipe

Image source/ BuzzfeedCoca Cola in the 80s decided to change their iconic recipe. But nobody liked it! There was total outrage. It became such huge news that the soap General Hospital was interrupted hallway through an episode to reveal the much-anticipated news that they had reverted back to the original just three months later.

8. The assassination attempt of President Reagan

Image source/ BBCThe attempted assassination of President Reagan, live on national TV, is a moment that nobody will ever forget. In fact, everybody who was watching at the time will have this moment ingrained in their minds forever and can probably tell you exactly where they were when they saw it.

9. Workouts with Jane Fonda

Image source/ throwbacks.comWorkouts with Jane Fonda... ring any bells? If you were from the 80s then you'll remember. In fact, you most probably had VHS copy yourself at home. It became the big and popular thing to do. She sold around 17 million copies. The whole world and his dog seemed to be doing Jane Fonda videos.

10. Owning Ray Ban Wayfarers

Image source/ eBayIf you were from, the 80s and you owned a pair of these...it's safe to say that you were a cool kid. All the celebrities were wearing them. Everybody was getting themselves a pair of Ray Ban Wayfarers. It was just the thing to do. But they've managed to stay in fashion.

11. Making calls on landlines

Image source/ EtsyLandlines...with cords. Can you imagine having to head to that one spot in your house where the landline was and stay in the same spot while ringing the person you wanted to speak to. Anyone from the 80s will, even if it does feel like a very long time ago.

12. Watching videos on tape

Image source/ RedditThere was something about owning a video that was much more satisfying. Opening its case, putting it into the video player, watching it come to life on the screen. It may be easier to press play on Sky movies. But an 80s person can tell you - it's not the same.

13. Admiring Ferris Bueller

Image source/ RankerFerris Bueller from Ferris Bueller's day off for many in the 80s came became a kind of icon - and someone who sometimes we wanted to be line. With his naughty tactics and skipping school, it was hard for kids at the time not to look up to him and want to do the same.

4. The basketball rivalry

Image source/ sportshistoryRemember the basketball rivalry between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. These will be images of the 80s that people do not forget. These games between the two had everyone on the edge of their seat and it produced some of the most memorable basketball games.

15. Holding hands across America

Image source/ liketotally80sThis was a lovely moment in the 80s. 6.5 million people across America held hands showing unity and togetherness. They stood across the country for 15 minutes hand in hand with one another. It was organised by Ken Kragen who had intended for the entirety of America to be covered with no gaps.

17. The love of huge hair

Image source/ USAWhen it came to 80s hair it was the bigger the better, there was no sleek, slicked back buns then. No, it was all about the volume and back combing. The bands that everybody of the 80s admired, all starred guys with huge hair for example, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard

18. The hype around Cabbage Patch Dolls

Image source/ eightieskidsI mean, cabbage patch dolls are cute in a strange very slightly creepy way. And to think that people really were shoving and pushing each other for those things... People of the 80s went mad for these things. If you had a collection of cabbage patch dolls, then you were popular.

19. The start of 24-hour news

Image source/ eightieskidsIn the 80s, the news started to be 24 hours. This was the first time ever, if you remember back, that the news was available 24 hours a day. It was the start of things to come. A world where we were ever more aware. And where we could know about things pretty much immediately.

20. Turning your tape over

Image source/ RankerYou're dancing away, singling along to your favourite track - oops, time to change over. It really is a hard concept for those born outside of the 80s to grasp. The fact that you had to switch the tape over so that it could carry on playing on the other side.

21. The explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger

Image source/ theworldnewsThis was a tragedy that will never leave people of the 80s who were old enough and aware of what happened that day. The explosion of the space shuttle challenger. It lasted 73 seconds in the air before it exploded, killing 5 NASA astronauts and a civilian whose profession was a teacher.

22. Singing The Super Bowl Shuffle

Image source/ YelpThe Chicago bears were one of the most loved teams out there at the time. And what was even better was when they released the Super Bowl Shuffle for charity. Now we've jogged your memory, the tune will come flooding back. People were singing along and doing the moves, despite the fact that the whole thing didn't look great.

23. When Jessica McClure Morales fell down a well

Image source/ DailynewsLittle Jessica McClure fell down a well and everybody was on tenterhooks as to whether she would be okay. All of those in the 80s will remember the moment when Jessica McClure was rescued out of the well. It was a pinnacle moment, and this was the image in people's minds.

24. Going to the arcade

Image source/ SheknowsGoing to the arcade in the 80s was all the rage. Even if there were video games at home, the arcade was better. It was a social meeting place where everyone could hang out, and a chance to play on all of the games now seen in modern day as the retro fashionable accessories.

25. The release of "Do They Know It's Christmas?"

Image source/ fineartamericaDo They Know It's Christmas Time...a Christmas classic, played year after year. But do you remember its release in the 80s? When it first took off. And not only did Band Aid release a hit that everyone loved, but it also educated some people for the first time on the Ethiopian famine.

26. Cutting up and 'revamping' clothes

Image source/ PinterestIn the 80s: 'let's take a bunch of perfectly fine clothes and cut the collars off, shred them and cut random holes in them'. For some reason, wearing shredded clothes became the new 'in' thing. And the best thing was, you could just take your kitchen scissors and do it yourself at home.

26. The Chernobyl Disaster

Image source/ BBCThe Chernobyl disaster was a completely heart wrenchingly horrendous event that happened in 1986. Something nobody of the 80s will EVER forget. The accident at Chernobyl nuclear power station became history's worst nuclear power disaster ever, killing so many people.

27. Bodywarmers

Image source/ blogspotCould this down vest look any more 80s? These down bodywarmers were considered the cool thing to be wearing back int he 80s. And in fact, now. 80s memorabilia and 80s outfits have become fashionable again. Also, thanks to TV series' such as Stranger Things.

28. Using a Nintendo Gameboy

Image source/ everything80spodcastThe original Nintendo Gameboy - it looks miles different from our devices today. It's big, it's bulky - it's the epitome of 80s gaming. And, somehow, it's just far more satisfying playing on one of these things with the games that slotted in the Gameboy.

29. Slogan tees becoming a huge thing

Image source/ YelpSlogan tees are no back in fashion, all because our 80s craze has come back, and people are going mad for anything 80s. But back when the original slogan tees became a big thing, they were everywhere. If you're from the 80s you may remember your favourite slogan T, or maybe even still have it.

30. Mullets!

Image source/ PinterestOh...the days of mullets. If you ever tried out a mullet you were one of the brave. Then again in the 80s this was the coolest hairstyle going. It's definitely one of the more unusual styles we've seen through the decades. Who knows...maybe one day it will eventually come back in fashion.

31. Expecting nuclear war

image source: bbc.com
It was a reality of everyday life in the 1980s that you had to think nuclear war was going to happen anytime now, and be prepared for it. It was a time that everyone was being more influenced by what they saw on TV and on movies, which wasn't helped by the fact that the networks liked to play a huge amount of movies and shows that include nuclear attacks, and the aftermath of nuclear war - like the movie The Day After from 1983. Even big musicians of the time were writing songs with lyrics about nuclear attacks or threats from other countries...

32. Max Headroom

image source: cartoonbrew.com
Max Headroom is a name - and a prosthetic face - you'll definitely remember from the 80s, marketed as the very first computer-generated TV presenter (though of course it was just an actor in a suit and fake face). But that didn't stop us from thinking this could be the future of technology and the intelligence of computers (and we're not far off these days...). Max Headroom was a series you had to watch, even though it only ran from 1987 to 1988 - not long enough, in our opinion! - but if there's one thing we remember, it's to "Catch the wave!".

33. Having to use the phone for dating

image source: reddit.com
Even though the dating world is difficult enough to navigate these days, swiping right or left on an app hiding behind a phone screen has to be better than the horrifying reality of the 1980s - which is that not only did you have to make a phone call and actually speak, but if you had any hope of a date or a social meet up, you had no choice but to use the family landline phone... which could have been in the middle of the family room for everyone to hear, or else you had one of your siblings picking up the other phone in the other room so they could eavesdrop on the call (and on you making a fool of yourself).

34. Garfield phones

image source: reddit.com
Speaking of phones - if you had no other choice but to use a landline, then why not make it novelty? The 1980s were huge for novelty landline phones, and one in particular was the Garfield phone. If you happened to be turned down for that date you called someone up for, we guess seeing Garfield's face might help to make it all a little easier. The problem was, the Garfield phone could get a little creepy - because the model was made to open or close his eyes whenever you lifted the receiver, or put it back... probably a great idea in theory.

35. The Exxon Valdez oil spill

image source: reddit.com
Some things to be remembered from the 1980s aren't all fun novelty items - some of them are actually horrifying to think about. The Exxon Valdez oil spill back in 1989 was one of those moments, when an oil tanker in the Arctic waters in Alaska had 11 million gallons of its crude oil spilled into the water. The world then had to watch it unfold as animals like birds and sea turtles were facing up to being covered in oil, swimming in oil waters and dying. But then there was hope when the people of the 80s learned about the cleaning product, Dawn - apparently Dawn was safe enough to use to get oil off the feathers of birds with a non-toxic formula, so people were using on sea turtles and birds where they could!

36. Mr T

image source: reddit.com
No matter when you were born, you would have at least heard of Mr T in legend - not to mention quoted him - but if you were from the 1980s, then this is when Mr T was a big deal. We're specifically talking about the first moment he said that famous catchphrase, "I pity the fool". He'd already appeared as a character in the A Team, but it was only in 1982 when he appeared in the Rocky II movie opposite Sylvester Stallone that the character Clubber Lang said it. Mr T then became known for wearing a ton of gold jewelery around his neck, a stylish mohawk and this famous catchphrase that nobody will ever forget!

37. The "Just Say No" campaign

image source: usatoday.com
There have been a lot of political movements and campaigns over the years, but if we're talking about the 1980s, then we have to give a shout out to the 'Just Say No' campaign from then-First Lady, Nancy Reagan. Nancy launched the campaign to tackle the drug epidemic that was happening during this time. It took off in the early 1980s, but a lot of people didn't think 'just saying no' to drugs was as easy as it sounded and the campaign got a bit of critical reception. But then Nancy even went on the hit TV show Diff'rent Strokes to convince Gary Coleman that drugs were stupid, and the campaign was viewed a little more positive after that!

38. Trying to solve a Rubik's Cube

image source: reddit.com
Maybe you've still got the same one you were fumbling with in the 1980s and you're still trying to solve it to this day! But there's no doubt back then the idea of successfully solving a Rubik's Cube turned into an absolute obsession where we couldn't put the thing down. We were a lot more easily amused back then and even though we knew solving the Rubik's Cube was supposed to be 'impossible', we were still so determined to be that person in our family who could do it and then show the proof! This brain puzzle was so popular that there was an even an ABC cartoon made called Rubik, The Amazing Cube.

39. Everything about Wall Street

image source: imdb.com
If there's one movie we remember from the 1980s, it has to be Oliver Stone's 'Wall Street' - and that of course let to something else for us to remember from that time, the catchphrase "greed is good" and the obsession with the stock market and, ultimately, the Wall Street crash. Known as the 'Black Monday' stock market crash, it resulted in trillions of dollars being lose. 1987 specifically was the year a famous movie and a famous quote got everyone excited about being greedy, and then having to live in the aftermath of actually, maybe it's not so great after all when you lose a ton of money. Thanks Wall Street.

40. Trying to solve the season finale of Dallas

image source: wikipedia.org
Alongside M*A*S*H, Dallas had to be another of the biggest TV shows to come out of the 80s, so if you were a fan, you'll definitely remember *that* season finale, when the oil tycoon J. R. Ewing was shot, and nobody knew who did it. During the time before things easily went 'viral' online, this went viral in real life by every single person talking about it, and who they think did it. There were then a ton of theories from fans and viewers trying to work out who killed Ewing, and because everyone needed to know the answer, Dallas had a whopping 83 million viewers tune in when it returned for the next part!

41. The breakdance craze

image source: rollingstone.com
Remembering the 80s means definitely remembering trying to learn how to breakdance - either you did it yourself, or you were certainly friends with someone who was trying to do it in the living room every time you went round. Pretty much every young person in the 80s wanted to know how to breakdance, even just a few moves, to show off to their friends. At the very least, it was a must do to at least be able to to do the robot in the school cafeteria. And then you had the professionals doing it in the street and putting everyone to shame... Good times.

42. The Whitesnake videos with Tawny Kitaen

image source: ultimateclassicrock.com
The 80s saw our obsession with huge bands with even huger hair grow and grow, and that includes the rock band Whitesnake - and one music video in particular. Regardless of whether you listen to Whitesnake these days, or even remember any of the songs, at the time you must have been obsessed with this music video! Tawny Kitaen was an American actress, and was also married to the lead singer of the band at the time - and she often made appearances in their music videos, including her rolling around on top of cars.

43. The power of David Letterman and Velcro

image source: purpleclover.com
So nothing has changed since the 80s in terms of how useful Velcro is - but the 80s in particularly gave us the treat of seeing David Letterman, legendary talk show host, show us just how funny Velcro could actually be. We're all aware these days of a movie or TV show that's shown a person throwing themselves at a wall or dart board dressed in Velcro in order to stick to it, but it was David Letterman's show in the 80s that first let us watch this hilarious treat, with him dressed in a Velcro suit, shoes, dart gun and basketball.

44. The 1980 Olympic Winter Games

image source: wikipedia.org
Right at the beginning of the 80s was the XIII Olympic Winter Games, which took place in New York in Lake Placid. This particular ice hockey game was between the US and the Soviets, and nobody at all expected the US team to win, made up of young college students up against some pretty harsh competition. The Soviets came with a team of experienced athletes, which meant we could all support the US for trying but we considered the game already lost. But then... The Americans ending up beating the Soviets in the 1980 game that went down in history!

45. Madonna in a prom dress

image source: pinterest.com
If there's any huge music star you're going to remember from the 80s - or any decade, really - it's going to be Madonna. And, as well as her music, it was her fashion choices. One particularly memorable look was Madonna's prom dress outfit - or should we say, more like a wedding dress! She debuted the look on the MTV Video Music Awards back in 1984, which was actually the first ever televised version of the awards show. She then performed her hit 'Like A Virgin' whilst wearing the dress and rolling around on the stage.

46. The Bjorn Borg vs John McEnroe tennis match

image source: concrete.com
Whether you're a fan of tennis or not, John McEnroe is a name you'll know from the sport - for better, or for worse! Bjorn Borg was known for being very calm - although anyone might be compared to John McEnroe - while John himself was his opponent known for being very short-tempered. The match became one of the most dramatic things to watch of all time, not just of the 80s! The pair of them had both proven their skills with tennis match wins, but with this particular match, it was Borg who took the winning title - and of course resulted in McEnroe having a little tantrum about it.

47. Making a mixtape

image source: reddit.com
We know that using tapes to record music was a huge thing in the 80s, but it was making a mixtape specifically that everyone in the 80s will remember doing. It was an art form - you had to get everything just right, and you had to put together the perfect list of tracks in a time long before Spotify playlists. And you only had a limited number of room on the tape, which meant you had to be certain about the right choice of tracks. Not only that, you actually had to own the physical copies of the tracks you wanted in order to put on them on the tape!

48. The Berlin Wall coming down

image source: reddit.com
If there's one huge historic moment from the 1980s, it has to be the fall of the Berlin Wall. During this time, President Reagan had first suggested it when he delivered a speech in Berlin in 1987 and asked the Soviet leader to "tear down" the wall. At the time, nobody thought it would really happen, but over two years later, right at the end of the 80s, it did. The wall that had once separated the east of Germany from the west was torn down, and the wall itself - and the tearing down - then became a symbol of the end of the Cold War.

49. Being obsessed with acid wash denim

image source: reddit.com
We may be a long time since the 80s, but that doesn't mean denim ever really went out of fashion. What has changed though is our preference for what it should look like. While these days it's a preference for denim with rips in it, back then it was acid wash specifically. Nobody really knows how the acid wash look started, as some believe it started by accident when denim had been washed with bleach - whatever the reason, there's no doubt it took off in spectacular fashion - quite literally. You couldn't go out clubbing if you weren't wearing a pair of acid wash jeans!

50. Holding a boombox over your head

image source: cinemablend.com
These days even someone looking at you on public transport for a split second too long is nightmare fuel, so imagine someone actually finding out where you live and standing outside your window holding a boombox. Back in the 80s, that sort of thing was seen as romantic and acceptable rather than creepy and pretty much noise pollution - and it was all thanks to John Cusack in that very memorable scene from 1989's 'Say Anything', and while it worked for him, people were very quick to assume that it would work for them in real life, too...

What To Read Next

Load More