With Stranger Things season 3 only months away, we are about to be reminded once again just why growing up in the 80s was so bloody awesome. Except let’s be honest, it wasn’t all that great. Your mum had a perm, your dad had the kind of moustache a sex offender would be proud of and everything that makes life so easy today simply didn’t exist.
But thanks to the magic of the movies, we can all recall childhoods that we wish we’d had if we hadn’t been spending ours poking white dog poo with sticks and wearing horrendous shellsuit emblazoned with the England Football team logo. But if for some reason you’re having a difficult time bringing any of these to mind, we’ve saved you the trouble with our list of the 10 1980s Movie Childhoods That We All Wish We’d Had.
FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR (1986)
Back in the 80s, you had more chance of being picked up by the local weirdo and the fictional puppies he drove around within the back of his van than you were a friendly alien on a mission to collect and study every species across time and space. Flight of the Navigator gave us some seriously false expectations of what it might have been like to be abducted by aliens. We’re sure there’d be far fewer Pee Wee Herman impressions and a bit more anal probing if we’re honest.
HONEY, I SHRUNK THE KIDS (1989)
Imagine having an inventor for a dad. That’s pretty cool in itself, but when you realise that your old man has invented a shrinking ray that allows you to be shrunk down to the size of a flea, well that’s just really exciting. Sure you might have to avoid being eaten by spiders or peed on by your dog, but we can think of worse ways to spend a weekend.
BILL & TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE (1989)
How many times have you had an exam or important school paper coming up, and wished you could jump in your faithful time machine and bring back important historical figures with you to help you ace the class? The answer was probably never at least until you copped a load of Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter in the iconic 1989 sci-fi comedy Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
Sadly we’re still waiting for Rufus to pick us up outside the Circle K. Bogus.
If you were an only child growing up, and a bit of a misfit to boot, chances are that when your annoying parents made you move to a new house in the middle of nowhere you didn’t end up chilling in the attic with the ghosts of the former residents or being forced to marry a perverted demon with a skin complaint.
This is exactly what happened to Lydia Deetz (Winona Ryder) in Tim Burton’s pièce de résistance Beetlejuice, and despite everything that happens to her and her family after moving into the old Maitland’s place we’d have given our favourite conker to have had a similar experience ourselves – but maybe without as many giant Sandworms.
We all remember wanting a new pet growing up, right? Nagging our parents for something a little bit more exciting than a Goldfish and being given a Hamster didn’t really count. So imagine our envy as we had to sit and watch Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan) receive a real-life Mogwai from his parents for Christmas. To say we were fuming is an understatement. In fact, we were so mad we didn’t even bother to listen to the so-called “rules” that came with the creature. We’ll worry about those after we’ve given our Mogwai a late-night bath and a few snacks.
THE GOONIES (1985)
Treasure maps. Spelunking. Pirate treasure. There’s absolutely nothing about Richard Donner’s Goonies that we didn’t wish we’d been able to do growing up in the 80s. Instead, we had to settle for running from the bathroom to the downstairs drains in the hopes we’d see our poo swim past after flushing the toilet. Why have you forsaken us, One-Eyed Willy?
BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985)
If Bill and Ted’s time-travelling phone booth wasn’t your thing as a kid, then you were offered an upgrade courtesy of Marty McFly’s awesome DeLorean automobile which allowed him to travel back in time to when his parents were teenagers, as well as visit the future and the wild west – and all without consequences! That pretty much sums up the attitude of the 80s, to be honest.
FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF (1986)
How many of us have sat in a classroom at school wishing we could get away with even half of what Ferris Bueller does in the 1986 movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? He was obviously the coolest teenager that ever lived – fooling his parents into thinking he’s sick in bed just so he can go on a joyride in a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder. We don’t know about you guys, but convincing our parents to give us the day off was about as easy as trying to negotiate an effective exit plan for leaving Europe, so it goes without saying that Matthew Broderick’s alter ego was our hero for many many years.
TEEN WOLF (1985)
Puberty can be a right ball ache. But don’t worry pre-teen children of the 80s, because instead of the embarrassing acne and squeaky-voiced nonsense that’s happening to all of your friends, you’ll be one of the lucky few that instead turns into a werewolf and becomes a kick-ass basketball player. That’s what we thought would happen anyway.
They should have totally shown us Teen Wolf at school instead of the so-called ‘awareness videos’ we had to sit through from ages 11 to 16.
THE LOST BOYS (1987)
The Lost Boys was one of the rare 1980s movies that offered multiple choices for anyone looking for an escape from their mundane childhood. You could either be Sam Emerson (Corey Haim), a hip and trendy fish out of water type, that discovers the new town he’s moved to is full of vampires, or you could be the ass-kicking Frog Brothers, the vampire hunting teens who split their time between working in a comic book shop and driving stakes through the hearts of the local undead. You could also choose to be one of the vampires if that was your kind of thing, but it did necessitate growing a mullet which for many of us was just a step too far.
Which 1980s movie would you have liked to live out as a kid? Let us know in the comments or join us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using #tbg80skids