10 Telltale Signs You're Watching an '80s Movie

Shoulder pads? A-ha? The films of the '80s had it all!

No, it's probably not considered the Golden Age of Hollywood, but it is safe to say that the '80s brought us more than enough films to stand the test of time. Whether you relate to the Brat Pack or Detective John McClane, you've probably got a few favorites that make you squeal when they show up (again and again) on AMC or TBS. And if you ever come across a film you don't recognize, just use this handy checklist to determine if you're indeed watching '80s gold.

1. Is there a Cusack on the screen? 

No disrespect to the current careers of John or Joan, but no one dominated the big screen that decade like they did.

2. Equal representation for every high school stereotype

Because the '80s didn't care if you sang choir in addition to playing quarterback. At least at the beginning of the film. By the end you realized we were all partly a brain ... an athlete ... a basket case ... a princess ... and a criminal.

3. Is the soundtrack amazing?

Whether you're watching Top Gun, The Big Chill or Back to the Future, you're likely dancing in your seat right about now. And downloading tracks to your iPhone.

4. Giant cellphone in the house!

Spot a humongous cellphone in the hands of a rich and/or hot character? Yep, you're watching an '80s film.

5. Less-than-subtle Cold War references

Like, for instance, Rocky Balboa in American shorts fighting a Soviet.

6. Gratuitous nudity

It's like it took until the '80s for some movie executive to say "What if someone got naked?" And the rest was history.

7. A dancing montage


Why did this go out of style?

8. Outfits like this:

Maybe not such a travesty?

9. A character that frequently breaks the fourth wall

Is the main character of your movie looking you dead in the eyes, speaking as if they are off-camera? Then you should feel very confident that you're watching an '80s film. Or House of Lies.

10. And, of course, a jerk for a principal

Because authority figures were always out to get you back then.

Drew DiSabatino is a viral writer for iVillage. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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