25 Things Every 80s Kid Will Recognize

Posted by , Updated on January 16, 2018

Most decades are remembered for their historical events, unique fashions, and beliefs. However, out of all the recent decades, the 80’s seem to stand out the most with some of the weirdest but arguable the best things. From whether or not a board game is going to kill you to a program that combats drugs, it’s no wonder 80s kids look back on the 80’s with both fond nostalgia and confusion. Are you ready to do an epic throw back into a unforgettable decade? Here are 25 things every 80s kid will recognize.


Bubble bottle necklaces were the only kind of necklace.

bubble bottle necklaces

Bubble Necklaces were all the rage for girls in the 80s. If you didn’t have bubbles at your disposal at all times, then you weren’t cool.


Rad, gnarly and tubular were totally going to have a long shelf life.

most excellent

People thought to say rad, gnarly, and tubular was a good idea. They probably also thought those words would live on forever but thankfully, they stayed dead and buried in the 80s.


The Mullet was the glistening hairstyle of the gods.


From MacGyver to Uncle Jesse on Full House, the 80s elevated the Mullet as the perfect hairstyle every guy should have. Fortunately, people changed their minds on this one.


Pogo Balls absolutely didn't make you look silly.

pogo ball

Pogo Sticks were pretty old fashioned. Stepping it up a notch, the 80’s thought it would be a great idea to redesign it into Pogo Balls. A toy perhaps even worse than the Pogo Stick.


Members Only jackets were the height of fashion.

members onlySource: http://mentalfloss.com/article/83033/how-members-only-dressed-80s

Let’s face it, in the 80’s if you weren’t a “member,” then you were failing at life. Now, of course, the opposite is true.


Do anything necessary to get a Cabbage Patch Kid doll.

cabbage patchSource: https://timeline.com/cabbage-patch-craze-867ce8d076c

Once Cabbage Patch Kid dolls hit the market in the 80’s, parents went totally bananas, creating riots and fighting each other in the stores. In one case, a woman clutched a Cabbage Patch doll while another shopper had her purse strap wrapped around the woman’s neck.


Bill Cosby was the best TV dad.

bill cosbySource: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/18/arts/television/how-to-think-about-bill-cosby-and-the-cosby-show.html?mcubz=0

In the 80’s, one of the most popular television shows was The Cosby Show. Everyone loved Bill Cosby. We thought he was hilarious and a great TV dad and role model. Now, we’re not so sure we believe that anymore.


Smoking on airplanes wasn't a big deal.

smokingSource: https://www.thrillist.com/travel/nation/air-travel-ways-flying-was-totally-different-in-the-80s

In general, flying was totally different in the 80’s. Security was almost non-existent, people could meet you at the gate, and if you wanted to light up in the cabin, you could go right ahead.


Your t-shirt wasn't complete without a clip.

t-shirt clips

For girls in the 80’s, t-shirts were pretty boring. They just kind of hung there and didn’t do anything fun. Enter the t-shirt clip. By clipping the bottom of the t-shirt to the side, they now had a little tail-looking thing that stuck out of the side of their stomach.


You blew inside your Nintendo cartridge to get it to work.

Blades-of-steel-nesSource: http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/05/13/research-suggests-blowing-into-nes-cartridges-didnt-make-games-work

There’s no denying the original Nintendo Entertainment System was the best. However, it also had its quirks. One big issue was the video games didn’t always work right. People thought dust was the problem. So, they blew really hard inside the cartridges to get all the dust-out. Except, we learned later dust wasn’t a problem at all and the system just had a design flaw.


Dungeons and Dragons was the work of the devil.

Dungeons_and_Dragons_gameSource: http://www.popularmechanics.com/culture/gaming/a20453/moral-panic-dungeons-dragons/

A major news story on 60 minutes claimed kids were committing suicide and the culprit was an evil game called Dungeons and Dragons. In a moral outcry, many parents freaked out and banned together to stop the supposed Satanic game from killing children. Turns out, it was just a game all along.


New Coke wasn't as good as the old Coca-Cola.

new cokeSource: http://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/coke-lore-new-coke

In the 80’s, the Coca-Cola product was fading fast and the company wanted to reinvigorate the brand. So, they decided to change the formula and release “New Coke.” Everyone panicked, claiming the New Coke was inferior to the old formula.


No one was cooler than the Brat Pack.

brat packSource: http://www.ifc.com/2013/09/12-reasons-the-brat-pack-were-awesome

No one was cooler in the 80’s than Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, Rob Lowe, and pretty much anyone else who was in a John Hughes film. The Brat Pack reigned supreme.


Pumping up your Reeboks make you jump higher and run faster.

reebok pumpsSource: https://www.sneakerfreaker.com/features/pump-up-and-air-out/#18

If you wanted to magically become a better athlete, then you needed to get a pair of Reebok Pumps. By simply pumping up the shoe, you suddenly could run faster and jump higher. Many of their ads claimed you could beat professional tennis players and fly “first class.”


Pee-Wee Herman was not a total creep.


Kids loved the Emmy award-winning Pee-Wee’s Playhouse in the 80’s and didn’t think he was creepy at all. Once that scandal happened with Paul Reuben, opinions changed pretty quickly.


Action Figures were not dolls.

he-manSource: https://geektyrant.com/news/20-greatest-action-figure-playsets-from-the-80s-and-90s

Action Figures were crime-fighting heroes like G.I. Joe and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Solely intended for boys, they absolutely were 100% not dolls.


Teddy Ruxpin was adorable and not secretly trying to murder you.

teddy ruxpinSource: http://www.liketotally80s.com/2017/06/teddy-ruxpin-childhood-hero-creepy-bear/

Teddy Ruxpin was a top-of-the-line animatronics kids toy which used cassette tapes to tell stories. Back then, most kids loved the little guy and parents thought he was adorable. Today, we’re all more than a little creeped out by it.


Aqua Net hairspray was a mystical hair elixir.

aqua net

With the power of Aqua Net hairspray, girls could make their bangs go as high as they wanted and it would last all day.


Finding Carmen Sandiego was of paramount importance.

carmen sandiegoSource: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdRmei1-7kc

What better way to teach kids about history and geography by tasking them with hunting down a criminal mastermind? For some reason, finding Carmen Sandiego became a childhood obsession.


Everyone got dysentery on the Oregon Trail.

oregon trailSource: http://time.com/3656635/play-oregon-trail-ms-dos-games-free/

If there’s one thing kids learned about the Oregon Trail, its that it makes a fun video game and a lot of pioneers died of dysentery.


The more sugar in your cereal, the better.

froot loopsSource: http://www.liketotally80s.com/2011/09/80s-cereals/

Sure, there’s plenty of sugary cereals today but back in the 80’s, eating sugary cereals was a requirement. From Dunkin Donuts cereal to Ice Cream Cone cereal, the kids in the 80’s had it made.


Kids ate ice cream with a flat wooden spoon and loved it.

wooden spoon

As a kid in the 80’s, eating ice cream out of a tiny cut with a flat wooden spoon was a piece of pure joy. Things were much simpler back then.


"Just Say No" were three magical words that would vanquish drugs for good.

just say noSource: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-just-say-no-doesnt-work/

Spearheaded by Nancy Reagan, the “Just Say No” campaign was a major pop culture phenomenon to combat drug and alcohol use among adolescents. But we realize now it’s going to take a lot more than three simple words to stop drug use.


Bob Ross told us trees could be happy and we believed him.

bob rossSource: http://www.liketotally80s.com/2016/03/bob-ross-facts/

On his television show The Joy of Painting, Bob Ross delighted us as he taught us how to paint, telling us of happy clouds and happy trees. The trees were always happy and in the process, we were too.


You could go anywhere in a reading rainbow

reading rainbowSource: mentalfloss.com

Speaking of shows, there was probably no other show like Reading Rainbow to encourage kids to read more. Hosted by LeVar Burton, reading rainbow ran for 26 years becoming one of the most enduring and endearing kid shows ever on public TV. Hey, “I can be anything, take a look, it’s in a book…” now you have that catchy song stuck in your head…you’re welcome.

Photo: 25. Photo via Amazon (Fair Use: Illustrative Purposes Only), 24. Ben Ostrowsky via flickr. CC BY 3.0, 23. TNS Sofres via flickr. CC BY 2.0, 22. Photo via Amazon (Fair Use: Illustrative purposes Only), 21. DougLovins, Member wearing a jacket 31, CC BY-SA 4.0, 20. adrigu via flickr. CC BY 3.0, 19. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 18. Kashif Mardani from Karachi, Pakistan, No Smoking Sign Pakistan International Cabin, CC BY 2.0, 17. Photo via Amazon (Fair Use: Illustrative Purposes Only), 16. bestandworstever.blogspot. CC BY 2.5, 15. No machine-readable author provided. Moroboshi assumed (based on copyright claims)., Dungeons and Dragons game, CC BY-SA 3.0, 14. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 13. pcutler via flickr., 12. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 11. photo by Alan Light, Pee-Wee Herman (1988), CC BY 2.0, 10. semihundido via flickr. CC BY 2.0, 9. Source, Teddy ruxpinBackpack, CC BY-SA 3.0, 8. twitchery via flickr. CC BY 2.0, 7. Apostolos K via flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0, 6. methodshop .com via flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0, 5. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 4. imgur (Fair Use: Illustrative Purposes Only), 3. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 2. haiden goggin via flickr. CC BY 2.0, 1. Image from TVguide.com show here for illustrative purpose. Fair Use.

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