The 80s was the Best Decade Ever, Fact

Cocktail Tom Cruise


I don’t want to argue with you. The 80s were and always will be the best decade ever, fact. It was a magic combination of economic success, laid-back tunes, perms, mullets and shoulder pads. If you could graph modern progress with the psychological impact on happiness, the 80s is where it peaked.

The 90s is proof. 90s music is depressing! Hole, Nirvana, Radiohead. That’s when the problems started and from there on it only got worse. I mean really, hit me baby one more time? Basically what happened is the internet, CDs and mobile phones. While they made life more convenient, they also made us busier, gave us too many choices, and pretty much sped up time. It’s not silly, it’s true. Time literally sped up. Compare a year today to a year in the 80s. See my point?

The 80s were great because we had all the progress we needed to be at our happiest. We valued the shit we had. Corruption was so easy back then too. Paper tax returns, are you kidding me? It was magic. Everyone was making money! And you did it slowly, with a cigarette and a drink in your hand. The pace of life in the 80s was so chilled. People worked hard, but methodically, and without today’s distractions. They still did things by hand and on paper, which people today are doing purely for relaxation purposes. You know what I’m talking about, adult-colouring-book people.

Although I was only born in the late 80s, I still remember how the early 90s had that 80s flavour before becoming a decade of its own. To turn on the radio and listen to Michael Jackson, not One Direction… I had just three cassette tapes: Madonna, MJ, and JJ (Janet Jackson). If I wanted to hear my own music, I only had to think, am I more in a Michael or Janet mood today? Jesus, trying to choose music today is like, hmmm, what song out of every song of all time do I want to play right now? Well fuck me.

It’s the same thing with movies. Movies used to be such a treat! Going down to your local video store, scanning the VHS covers before picking out your movies for the week. Everything used to be such a treat. If there is one universal golden rule, it’s that everything is best in moderation. Today’s information overload isn’t good for anyone.

I love my Netflix, but I actually felt sick once after watching it for 12 hours straight. This was impossible to do in the 80s. At some point, you would get bored and have to go outside. It was inevitable. There was no Amazon delivery. Only the postman or pizza would show up at your door. And maybe the occasional door to door salesman to keep all those stay-at -home mummies company, wink wink. They think we don’t know, but we know. Those 60s broads were cray-cray.

If you wanted something in the 80s, you had to like, wait for it to be invented. I kid. Seriously though, you had to go out and get it. You would have to get in your car, because gas was cheap and everyone had one, drive out of the suburbs, which is where people lived, and make an unscheduled trip into town or to the nearest supermarket and literally stock up on supplies.

Every Saturday was supermarket run, sweets and movie day. We had about 10 Disney VHS tapes, and a few other films I must have watched at least 100 times, like Mary Poppins (1964) and Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971). I also really loved Home Alone (1990) and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989).

But of that 80s vibe, there are two really special movies I grew up watching, 3 Men and a Baby (1987) with Tom Selleck and Tom Cruise’s Cocktail (1988). Every time I hear the Beach Boy’s Kokomo play (which is like every other day because tune), I’m reminded of a young, superhot Tom Cruise shaking up one of his classic cocktails, and the gorgeous Elisabeth Shue with her long golden hair running up to the beach bar in Jamaica. It gives me goosebumps. But the storyline takes a dark turn after they’re done frolicking under a waterfall.

3 Men and a Baby (1987) – and later 3 Men and a Little Lady (1990) – is my favourite feel-good film. It’s about three bachelors who find themselves forced to raise a baby together. It’s full of hilarious witty lines and comical scenes. It’s the best. The moment they figure out time travel, I know where I’m going!



Lara Olivia
Lara Olivia

Freelance writer and blogger obsessed with food, travel and good stories.

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  1. Jeremy
    20 October 2018 / 4:43 am

    I was born in 1975, and I can confirm, the 1980’s were AMAZING. My parent’s owned a department store in a farm-centric city of 15,000 people in the southwest corner of Minnesota. It was small, but upscale. I remember them as the best dressed couple in town. They weren’t rich, but very comfortable. And they flew to new York twice a year, and Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Dallas each once for clothing and merchandise markets. They carried Liz Claiborne, Donna Karen, Bill Blass, Polo, Bum Equipment, etc. And they offered free tailoring on everything except clearance items. The clothing was made so much better, and lasted longer. And people shopped at their store for their church clothes (people still attended church regularly), as well as for work, because men and women still wore suits if they worked in an office. I remember what a big deal it was when they began to carry Circulon Cookware in the store; that stuff just flew off the shelf because other then their store, people had to drive over an hour to Sioux Falls to buy it at Dayton’s. And in the 1980’s, we still had real regional Department Stores that sold merchandise based on regional tastes. And they anchored the big shopping malls, which is where you hung out with your high-school friends on the weekend.

    The 1980’s was also the last decade where I really felt America had a purpose and an identity. Sure, there was government corruption. Ronald Reagan, although a fantastic president, probably should have been impeached over Iran Contra. But we were still mired in the Cold War, so it was just kind of overlooked, even by the Democrats. And without the internet and non-stop talk radio, most people relied on the local news paper and the TV news – which kept most American’s in the center politically. Conspiracy theories were only available in books and fringe news letters, and only kooks read those then. And the minor political or corporate scandals never made it out to the greater public – which did a lot to keep things peaceful and civil. And with only a few channels on TV, the major networks had huge budgets for TV shows, cause they got huge ratings compared to today. Shows like Dallas, Dynasty, and Knot’s Landing were my mother’s favorites, and my dad rarely complained about watching them as long as he got to watch 20/20, Hee Haw, and the evening news.

    And the music? AMAZING, ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. Big hair metal, and super stars like Michael Jackson, Madonna, Tears For Fears, etc. played non-stop on the pop-stations, which still had local DJ’s, with local news and weather, and the daily farm report at noon. I remember getting my first “boom-box” that could play tape cassettes, but my parents kept a close eye on what i was listening to. The Beasty Boys were off-limits because they were “too vulgar.”

    And even transportation was better in the 1980’s. Oldsmobile, Buick, and Cadillac were still cranking out ‘full-sized’ sedans, and you still received a complementary meal in coach on domestic flights. With the Space Shuttle finally entering service after they worked out the bugs, it seemed like regular flights to a space station or even the moon were right around the corner – at least that’s what my “Weekly Reader” and “Boys Life” magazines were reporting.

    The 1980’s were a decade like no other. I miss it badly, and somehow wish were could return to it. Even the 1990’s, with all the emerging problems seemed more stable. I came out as gay in the mid-1990’s, before the internet and smart-phones killed the gay bar and gay community. People still went out to be social; that was how you met people. And it seemed like people had more realistic expectations too. Before the internet, and digital editing of everything, our idea’s of ‘attractive’ were more practical. And our expectations in a relationship were more grounded. Today, you just have to swipe left or right, but it’s made things so much harder.

    Thank you for your article, I really enjoyed reading it and reminiscing.

    • 21 October 2018 / 6:44 pm

      Thanks for your sharing your story, Jeremy! A lot has changed, some for better, others for worse! I also grew up socialising in bars, when it wasn’t about knowing the promoter or spending money on entrance or bottles, it was just good old fashioned cheap drinks in a cheap bar with a very diverse set of friends. It’s a topic I could talk about all day… There’s so much about how things used to be in the 80s and beyond that I miss and love to reminisce, but it’s also important to look to the future and see how we can recreate another 80s bubble for the next generation! All the best.

  2. 26 September 2017 / 2:44 am

    I absolutely LOVE Kokomo. You’ve inspired me to compiled a best ‘beachy music videos’ list!

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