The 11 Most Important and Hilarious Life Lessons '80s Movies Taught Us | 22 Words

Most of us glean life's most valuable lessons from our parents (or the parental figures in our lives). Moms, dads, and surrogate moms and dads taught us everything from basic self-care to how to start up a 401K to the secrets to the frying the perfect egg. Would any of us even remember to floss, if a parent hadn't driven home the dangers of tooth decay?

But there's another reliable source for learning all of life's lessons. Movies!

The '80s in particular was a golden era of film for picking up tips on how to function smoothly in sort-of-real-life. And now, thanks to the glories of Twitter and the recent hashtag #80sMoviesProTips, we're able to see all of the greatest '80s-movie wisdom in one place.

You heard it here first: Makeovers can change your life.

It may sound a little vapid, but in the 1980s, a new dress and a fresh hairdo were all you needed to up your social status and snag the most popular guy in school. Of course, this may have only brought temporary happiness — but who doesn't love a fabulous "before and after"? The Breakfast Club nailed this.

There was a whole other survival skill set you needed to know.

With Halloween around the corner, it's a good time to look back at the survival knowledge '80s slasher flicks imparted on us. Worrying about murderers in waking life is so pedestrian. What's really scary? Falling asleep. Because we all know what Freddy Krueger got up to the second you closed your eyes. Just don't do it. If you want to live to see morning, that is.

Moms can get easily distracted. Maybe a little too distracted.

We're looking at you, ET. Understandably, moms get swamped with things like cooking, school meetings, and soccer practice schedules, but Dee Wallace took it to another level. Kids running amok in the house is one thing. In the '80s, kids hiding extraterrestrials from the government was everyday fare.

Moral dilemmas lurk around every corner.

We learned a lot from The Karate Kid. Pruning tiny trees is important work. Flies are susceptible to chopsticks. When in doubt, listen to your evil karate master and try to irreparably maim your opponent. OK, that last bit wasn't great advice, but we see you, Johnny — and we know you felt terrible. Lesson here: Bad guys are gonna be bad, so get ready.

Feeding mysterious creatures after midnight is a terrible idea.

We all know that eating after midnight is a terrible idea. Our skinny jeans just can't take it. But Gremlins also taught us that, when someone specifically tells you not to give food to a creature of unknown origin after a certain point in the day, you should probably take that advice and lock up the Oreos. Keeping them away from the bathtub is also preferable.

Time travel is a tricky thing, so come prepared.

If you weren't lusting after a hoverboard in the '80s, chances are, you weren't listening to Doc Brown either. But you should have, because getting stuck back three decades in the past was serious business. You can't just gun it to 88mph and hope for the best. Stock up on that plutonium and check your flux capacitor, or you can kiss your chances of making it back to the future goodbye.

Get in trouble, but make sure it's in a group setting.

Everybody knows detention's a drag, but, in the '80s, it didn't have to be. Punishments are always more fun when you're hanging out with attractive and interesting classmates on a Saturday. Share your deepest fears with one other. Ask someone outside your social circle out on a date. And, if there's time, throw in a good makeover.

Boomboxes are the most adequate way to declare undying love.

Sure, today's kids have infinite amounts of music at their fingertips, but where's the poetry in that? True romance is found in lugging several pounds of plastic onto your shoulders and blasting your beloved's eardrums with Peter Gabriel. The swooning should commence shortly after that.

Traveling via alien is the best mode of transportation.

We've already mentioned ET once, but it's worth pointing out that '80s movies didn't shy away from launching kids ridiculously high in the sky and trusting they weren't going to fall to their doom. Sure, the closest you were ever going to get was duct-taping a basket to your Schwinn, but it was something.

Decor is what you make of it.

Sure, the 1983 film A Christmas Story wasn't set in the '80s, but it gave the decade the leg lamp — and that was priceless. Among other things, the timeless holiday classic also taught us to stand up to our bullies, avoid sticking our tongues to frozen flag poles, and guard our turkeys with our lives.

When it came down to brass tacks, no one was waxing the correct way.

It's debatable, but perhaps the most important thing '80s movies taught us circles right back to The Karate Kid. Before the film came out, everyone was blissfully washing and buffing their cars just plain wrong. Mr. Miyagi fixed all for Daniel son, illustrating the art of soft circles and the error of our ways. It may not have been truly life-changing, but at least we were ready if anyone tried to sweep our leg.