The 1980s in 14 Seriously Nostalgic Highlights

Are you ready to embark on a time journey to the 80s? Get your film camera ready. As people who grew up in the ’80s can attest to, these are the things that Gen Z is (mostly) missing out on.

1: Stranger Things Have Happened 

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The hit show Stranger Things is a pretty accurate account of what the 80s looked like. Synth music, wood wall paneling, and shaggy carpets were all the rage.

2: From Dusk Till Dawn 

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Forget busy street corners packed with cars. Instead, kids in the 80s packed the streets with riding their bikes around to visit each other and play.

3: It Was Boring 

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Sometimes, there wasn’t much to do as a kid in the 1980s. And that was probably a healthy thing, according to neuroscientists. Boredom has been shown to increase creativity and performance.

4: Nuclear Nerves 

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When people in the 1980s became bored of being bored, they could occupy their time thinking about the threat of nuclear war. In 1983, during President Ronald Reagan’s first term, the threat of nuclear war was very real for the world.

5: Mullet Madness 

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Big hair was a massive part of the 80s. Mullets were too. It might not be much longer before mullets don’t seem old-fashioned, though, for it appears they’re making a comeback in 2024.

6: Cameras Off 

Neighborhood watch camera.
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Living through the 1980s meant not having to be worried about someone filming you on their cell phone and posting it to social media. While such filming undoubtedly has benefited victims in recent history, there was comfort in knowing that strangers and the government weren’t monitoring you via video cameras in public places.

7: Flying Cars 

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To some, the 1980s felt like a more mysterious time in positive ways. Urban legends and fantasizing about seemingly otherworldly things like flying cars were fun to think about. Now, people can Google anything at the click of a button. In June 2023, the Federal Aviation Administration even granted a certificate for a flying car model to test the air.

8: Can’t Back Out 

Man sitting and thinking.
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Folks who grew up in the 80s had to have much more trust in everything, and that could be a double-edged sword. For example, if you made plans, you had to follow through with them unless you gave significant advance notice. Nowadays, people often send a quick text to cancel plans within hours or less of the event.

9: Rock On 

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There was nothing like a good concert in the 1980s, with many options for great upcoming post-punk bands. Nightclubs in the 80s were also radical and had a totally different vibe than clubs the youth attend now.

10: Every Man for Themselves 

Empty wallet.
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People like to say that the 80s were comparably better financially than now, but many forget that a deep recession occurred early in the decade. That said, things turned around, with 13 million new jobs created between 1982 and 1987.

11: Taking the Scenic Route 

Alaskan road through mountains.
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Many things took longer to complete in the 1980s compared to now. Case in point? GPS was non-existent, so people had to build in more time to arrive somewhere when they weren’t quite sure where they were going.

12: Extra Extra 

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People in the 1980s usually had to wait until the evening news to hear about events happening in other parts of the country. Newspapers also didn’t feel quite as current as they had in the past, given the rise of news on TV.

13: Old Style 

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The switch to ’80s culture wasn’t as instant as some youngsters today seem to believe it was. Many of the fashion trends and home decor from the 70s lasted well into the 80s.

14: Mean Girls 

Students making fun of a student.
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Bullies in the ’80s were often part of the popular crowd. That appears not to be quite as much of the case nowadays, thanks to programs and education that makes many students not want to associate themselves with bullying peers.

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From childhood classics to forgotten chocolates, these treats bring back memories of simpler times. Rediscover the joy of beloved confections that deserve to make a comeback.   

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15 Things Americans Miss About the ’90s and 2000s

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From low-rise jeans to the all too familiar noise of dial-up internet, there’s a lot to be nostalgic about from the 1990s and 2000s. These are some of the things Americans miss the most.

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