These Are the 5 Words That Totally Defined the ’80s

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Everything about the ’80s was extreme. The hair was so big. The music was so epic. The fashions were so neon, so stretchy, and so shoulder-padded. It was a wild time in the history of our great planet, and many people miss those years dearly, including those like me who were born at the tail-end of the decade. I may not have been alive for most of the ’80s, but the spirit of the ’80s lives on within me. The music, the movies, the television… There was so much to love about it.

Kids today really don’t know what they are missing. Also, the world seems to be falling apart at a faster rate every second of every day. It is for those reasons that people recently took to Twitter to share their memories about the biggest, wackiest decade in history. In exactly five words. #The80sIn5Words hashtag is a surprisingly comprehensive look back at the boldest decade.

Best decade

I’m sure it was the best decade for some people, and there were some really great things to come out of the ’80s, but I have to admit; I’m a ’90s kid at heart.

Life moves fast

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is one of the quintessential ’80s movies, and if you don’t agree, you can leave.

Music icons

It is true that so much music innovation and so many larger-than-life music personalities came out of the ’80s.

Crimped hair

’80s icon Lea Thompson herself contributed to the hashtag, and man was she right. Crimped hair don’t care!

Controlled frizz

Speaking of hair, it doesn’t get much bigger than this. I don’t know what exactly we were all thinking at the time, but I’m glad there’s photographic evidence.

The Breakfast Club

I would venture to say that this song is probably the most iconic freeze frame/end of movie song ever in the history of movies. Do you agree?

Power ballads

There was something bigger and deeper and more epic and more emotional about songs in the ’80s, and it makes me so happy.

Bye bye ozone layer

Seriously, climate change is real and it is rapid and that’s probably due to the hairspray use in the ’80s.

The Facts of Life

I love this show so much. I love this show so much my fiancé bought me a little Jo doll that sits on my desk.

Playing outside

Playing outside and getting dirty was one of the great joys of childhood, and I can’t wait to make my own kids do it too.

Video shops

I remember going to Captain Video (our video rental store) in my pajamas with my college friends to rent movies. College! Video stores still existed when I was in college!


I went to screenwriting school, and the pilot of Cheers was always taught as the perfect pilot, and you know what? It is.

I am serious…

…and don’t call me Shirley! Sure, Airplane! hasn’t quite aged well, but it was a classic in my household when we were growing up.

D batteries

Nowadays, you hardly ever need batteries, let alone D batteries! I only buy those when the smoke alarm starts beeping.

Bill and Ted

Who knew that Keanu Reeves would grow up and become one of the world’s best action heroes/people? We don’t deserve him.


Not gonna lie, I could watch this video on repeat for days. Dirty Dancing is a total classic.

Greatest movies

The ’80s really did give us some of the best movies of all time, including my top two favorites: The Princess Bride and When Harry Met Sally

Rewinding cassettes

Cassette tapes were low-key the best, and I’m glad that they are making a bit of a comeback.

Glamour shots

I’m mostly glad that the glamour shot phase was over by the time I was a kid, but I also sort of wish I had my own glamour shots.

Sit, Ubu, sit!

If you don’t remember this, I can’t help you. Plenty of classic ’80s shows like Family Ties had “Sit, Ubu, sit! Good dog” as a closing tag.

John Hughes

You can’t talk about movies in the ’80s without talking about John Hughes. You just can’t!

The Oregon Trail

This was one of the first popular computer games, and in it, you often died of dysentery. The ’80s were fun.

Acid wash

Acid wash is back, baby! But pleats are (hopefully) gone forever. The pleats were really where the problem was.


No, this is not a trio of circus clowns, this is just what people wore in the ’80s. Big blocks of color, baggy sweaters, and let’s not forget the windbreakers.


The queen of mall bops herself responded to this hashtag game with the perfect line from her perfect ’80s hit!

“Trickle down”

Ronald Reagan is laughing in his grave while economic inequality gets worse and worse every single day! Woo!

The mall

The mall used to be the hub of social activity, the mecca for tweens and teens looking to do something fun. Now, it’s a sad place you go when you need shirts.


The horror movies of the ’80s are classic! They contributed so much to the genre as a whole.


Um, did we all just get Rickrolled by this hashtag game? Yes, yes we did, and the worst part is that it’s totally appropriate.

Reall cool

Music videos were maybe the ’80s most significant pop culture contribution. Share this with someone who misses the ’80s too!