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14 Things Only 80s Kids Will Remember

14 Things Only 80s Kids Will Remember

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Remember when parachute pants were cool, and the Walkman was the peak of portable music? If you grew up in the 80s, you experienced a unique blend of technological innovation, cultural shifts, and questionable fashion choices that defined a generation. While some aspects of the 80s might seem dated or even cringe-worthy today, the memories they stir are often filled with warmth, nostalgia, and a sense of shared experience.

Now, some may argue that the 80s were just another decade, no more memorable than any other. But for those who lived through it, the 80s were a time of unsurpassed creativity, bold experimentation, and a sense of optimism that permeated popular culture. It was a time when music videos ruled the airwaves, arcade games were king, and big hair was a fashion statement.

So, if you’re ready to relive some of the most iconic moments of the 80s, read on!

1. Mixtapes: The Soundtrack of Our Lives

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Before Spotify and Apple Music, there were mixtapes. These carefully curated collections of songs were a labor of love, meticulously recorded onto cassette tapes from the radio or borrowed CDs. They were the soundtrack of our lives, capturing the essence of our teenage angst, first loves, and heartbreaks.

Mixtapes weren’t just about the music; they were about the personal connection they represented. They were gifts given to friends, crushes, and significant others, filled with secret messages and hidden meanings. They were a tangible expression of our emotions, a way to share our musical tastes and connect with others on a deeper level.

2. The Magic of Saturday Morning Cartoons

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Saturday mornings in the 80s were sacred. It was the time when we woke up early, grabbed a bowl of sugary cereal, and parked ourselves in front of the TV for hours of animated bliss. From He-Man and She-Ra to Transformers and ThunderCats, these cartoons were were a cultural phenomenon.

Saturday morning cartoons were a shared experience for millions of kids across the country. We bonded over our favorite characters, debated the latest storylines, and eagerly anticipated the next episode. They were a source of joy, inspiration, and endless imagination, shaping our childhoods and leaving us with cherished memories.

3. MTV: Where Music Met Television

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MTV was a cultural revolution. It was where we discovered new artists, learned the latest dance moves, and witnessed the birth of the music video. It was a time when music and television collided, creating a visual and auditory feast for our teenage souls.

MTV was a constant presence in our lives, playing in the background as we did our homework, hung out with friends, and dreamed of stardom. It was the soundtrack of our generation, shaping our musical tastes and influencing our fashion choices. It was a time when music videos were an art form, and MTV was the epicenter of pop culture.

4. Video Rental Stores: A Treasure Trove of Entertainment

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Before Netflix and streaming services, there were video rental stores. These brick-and-mortar establishments were a haven for movie buffs, offering a vast selection of VHS tapes for rent. It was a Friday night ritual to browse the aisles, debate movie choices with friends, and stock up on snacks for a movie marathon.

Video rental stores were more than just a place to rent movies; they were a social hub. We’d gather with friends to discuss the latest releases, recommend our favorites, and argue over who got to pick the movie. It was a time when movie night was an event, and video rental stores were the heart of our entertainment experience.

5. Arcade Games: Where Quarters Were King

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The flashing lights, the bleeping sounds, the endless rows of arcade cabinets – the 80s arcade scene was a sensory overload in the best possible way. We spent countless hours (and quarters) mastering games like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Galaga, our thumbs blistered but our spirits soaring.

Arcades were a social gathering spot. We’d challenge friends to high-score duels, cheer each other on, and trade tips and tricks. The thrill of beating a level or achieving a new high score was a rush like no other, and the memories of those arcade days are still vivid in our minds.

6. Shoulder Pads: The Fashion Statement of the Decade

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Shoulder pads were the defining fashion trend of the 80s, adding bulk and drama to everything from blazers to dresses. They were a symbol of power and confidence, a way to assert oneself in a world that was often dominated by men.

While shoulder pads may seem excessive or even comical today, they were a ubiquitous part of 80s fashion. They were embraced by women and men alike, adorning the shoulders of celebrities, business executives, and everyday people. They were a statement piece, a way to stand out from the crowd and make a bold fashion statement.

7. Big Hair: The Higher the Better

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Big hair was another iconic trend of the 80s, with teased, permed, and hair-sprayed styles reaching gravity-defying heights. Hairspray was a staple in every bathroom, and teasing combs were wielded with the precision of a surgeon.

Big hair was more than just a hairstyle; it was a symbol of self-expression and rebellion. It was a way to break free from the conformity of previous decades and embrace a more individualistic style. From the feathered bangs of Farrah Fawcett to the teased curls of Madonna, big hair was a cultural phenomenon that defined an era.

8. Boomboxes: Portable Party Machines

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Boomboxes were the ultimate portable party machines of the 80s. These massive, battery-powered stereos blasted our favorite tunes wherever we went, from the beach to the park to the street corner. They were a symbol of coolness and a way to share our musical tastes with the world.

Boomboxes were more than just a way to listen to music; they were a social statement. They were a way to connect with others, create a sense of community, and express our individuality. From breakdancing crews to block parties, boomboxes were the soundtrack of our teenage lives.

9. The Rubik’s Cube: A Puzzle That Captivated the World

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The Rubik’s Cube, a colorful 3D puzzle invented in 1974, became a global phenomenon in the 80s. Its seemingly simple design hid a complex challenge that captivated millions, sparking a craze that swept the nation.

The Rubik’s Cube was more than just a puzzle; it was a symbol of intellectual prowess and a test of patience and perseverance. We spent countless hours twisting and turning the cube to solve its colorful mystery. It was a source of frustration but also of immense satisfaction when we finally cracked the code.

10. The Joy of Trapper Keepers and Lisa Frank

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Trapper Keepers and Lisa Frank folders were the ultimate school supplies of the 80s. These colorful, customizable binders and folders, adorned with unicorns, dolphins, and rainbows, were a badge of honor for any student. They weren’t just functional; they were a fashion statement, a way to express our individuality and creativity.

Back then, back-to-school shopping was an exciting adventure as we scoured the aisles for the latest Trapper Keeper designs and Lisa Frank folders. We’d spend hours organizing our school supplies, decorating our lockers, and showing off our colorful collections to our friends. It was a time when school supplies were more than just tools; they were a form of self-expression and a source of joy.

11. The Thrill of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)

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The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was more than just a video game console; it was a cultural phenomenon that revolutionized the gaming industry. With its iconic characters like Mario and Zelda, innovative gameplay, and endless hours of entertainment, the NES captured the hearts and minds of millions.

The NES wasn’t just about playing games; it was about creating memories with friends and family. We’d gather around the TV, controllers in hand, and lose ourselves in the worlds of Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Metroid. It was a time when video games were a social activity, and the NES was the centerpiece of countless gatherings.

12. The Cabbage Patch Kids Craze

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Cabbage Patch Kids were more than just dolls; they were a cultural phenomenon that swept the nation in the 80s. These soft, cuddly dolls, each with their own unique name and adoption papers, were so popular that they caused riots and stampedes in stores.

The Cabbage Patch Kids craze was a testament to the power of marketing and the allure of collectible toys. They were more than just playthings; they were a status symbol, a must-have item for any child. The frenzy surrounding these dolls was a defining moment of the 80s, capturing the spirit of consumerism and the desire to own something unique and special.

13. John Hughes Movies: The Soundtrack to Teen Angst

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John Hughes, the filmmaker behind classics like The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, captured the angst, humor, and heart of teenage life in the 80s. His movies weren’t just entertainment; they were a cultural touchstone, reflecting the hopes, dreams, and struggles of a generation.

Hughes’s films resonated with teenagers because they spoke to the universal experiences of growing up, from first love to peer pressure to parental expectations. His characters were relatable, flawed, and endearing, making us laugh, cry, and ultimately root for their triumphs. The 80s wouldn’t have been the same without the iconic moments and quotable lines from these beloved movies.

14. Reaganomics and the Yuppie Culture

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The 80s was a time of economic boom and bust, with the Reagan administration’s economic policies, known as Reaganomics, fueling both growth and inequality. The rise of the “yuppie” culture, characterized by materialism, ambition, and a focus on career success, was a defining feature of the decade.

Yuppies were the young urban professionals who embraced the “greed is good” mentality of the 80s, driving luxury cars, wearing designer clothes, and climbing the corporate ladder. Their lifestyle was often criticized for its excess and superficiality, but it also reflected the optimism and ambition of a generation eager to make its mark on the world.

17 Insane Things That Were Acceptable for Children in the 1960s

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Many of the behaviors that were deemed ordinary for children in the 1960s would be mortifying to people today. If parents from the ’60s were to raise their children in the same manner in today’s world, they might find social services knocking on their doors. As time progresses, so do parenting methods and the level of supervision and exposure provided to children.

17 Insane Things That Were Acceptable for Children in the 1960s

20 Things All 60s Kids Will Fondly Remember

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We have come a long way from historical gems like Vinyl records and sidecars. The ’60s certainly left a lingering aroma in the minds of anyone who grew up in that era.  

20 Things All 60s Kids Will Fondly Remember

18 Items from the 90s That Are Now Worth Some Serious Cash

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The 1990s was a decade of vibrant colors, fantastic tunes, and tech breakthroughs that totally changed the world. So, it’s no wonder some stuff from the 1990s is super valuable. These items could bring some serious cash or continue to be fun collector’s items.

18 Items from the 90s That Are Now Worth Some Serious Cash


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