Created By: Quag15 on January 27, 2013 Last Edited By: Quag15 on March 15, 2013
Troped

Decade Themed Party

A party centered around a particular decade.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
A common staple in fiction and Real Life. There are always parties which are centered around certain decades which remain firmly in the minds of people (who may or may have not lived such decades) and popular culture. Such parties are usually based around music, fashion, dance styles and/or movies of a decade. The most popular ones tend to be The Fifties, The '70s and The '80s.

This celebration of the past might come from the use of Nostalgia Goggles. As people grow older, they start to miss their youthful days, where things seemed a lot simpler and, well, fun. Hence why these parties are usually organized. Nostalgia is connected to the need of escapism and the need of reminding of what you've left behind, from things like clothes to old friends. However, people also tend to celebrate decades they barely or even haven't lived through just because the fashion seems more appealing or glamorous.

It may include dinners and special meetings around the same theme. An alternative name might be: "Decade Revival Party" or "Retro Decade Party".

Compare Disco Dan, Retraux. May overlap with Camp.

Examples:

Comic Books

  • The cover of one Archie'sDoubleDigest from the 2000s had the gang at a "retro party". Based on the clothes Betty and Veronica turned up in, we assume the party's organizers had The '70s in mind, but Archie shows up in a caveman costume, calling it "the ultimate retro look."

Literature

Live-Action TV

  • An episode of House features an "80's Party". Dr. House comes dressed in 19th century garb because the invitation just said 80's, and didn't specify a century. Doubles as an Actor Allusion due to his role as the Prince Regent.
  • There's an episode centered around an 80's party in Hellcats.
  • In an early episode of 2 Broke Girls the girls are kicked out of a late night laundromat because the laundromat is the location for an 80s themed rave/party with special guest VIKI from Small Wonder. Max is unironically pissed at being too poor to attend. She loved Small Wonder.
  • The Red Dwarf (a Sci-Fi set in the 21st or 24th century, depending on the retcons) episode Balance of Power has a flashback showing the characters at a 90's themed party (there's a sign on the wall in said scene saying "Nostalgia Night 1990s"). The so-called 90's themed party looks like a cross between The '70s (for example, the disco ball) and The '80s (for example, the extravagant, campy clothes). Such cues and many more were taken from said decades because the episode itself was broadcasted in 1988.
  • Several episodes of The Vampire Diaries have featured the main characters attending high school dances themed after certain decades (called Decade Dances in-universe).
  • In Kath and Kim, Kath arrives in her everyday's clothes (which she hasn't changed since The '80s) to an 80's themed party.

Newspaper Comics

  • The main characters in Doonesbury started holding 60's revival parties in the mid 70's, when they were very recent history.

Webcomics

Western Animation
  • In Daria's episode "Life in the Past Lane", Jane is dating a guy, Nathan, who is obsessed with swing dancing and the styles and manners of The Forties. They go to a dance party and to a drive-by cinema meeting centered around said decade.
  • In an episode of The Simpsons, Marge's Old Flame Artie Ziff tries to woo her back by recreating their prom and paying everyone in town to dress like they did in The '70s. (Disco Stu, of course, "is working pro bono.")

Real Life
  • Just google the words of the title. There'll hundreds of matches for all kinds of decade parties, especially from The '80s (which is likely to be the one easiest to represent visually).
Community Feedback Replies: 29
  • January 27, 2013
    StarSword
    Comic Books:
    • The cover of one Archie's Double Digest from the 2000s had the gang at a "retro party". Based on the clothes Betty and Veronica turned up in, we assume the party's organizers had The Seventies in mind, but Archie shows up in a caveman costume, calling it "the ultimate retro look."
  • January 28, 2013
    Frank75
    Could swear we have this... did you already title search "party"?
  • January 28, 2013
    TonyG
    On The Simpsons, Marge's Old Flame Artie Ziff tries to woo her back by recreating their prom and paying everyone in town to dress like they did in the seventies. (Disco Stu, of course, "is working pro bono.")
  • January 28, 2013
    Quag15
    Frank75, I did, but I didn't get anything that approached this sort of thing.

    Tony G, I don't know if that would be a valid example, since Artie paid everyone to be there, therefore, to act, basically. This thing is more of a party that people voluntarily go and mostly to have a good time.
  • January 28, 2013
    Larkmarn
    • An episode of House featured an "80s Party." House himself comes dressed in 19th century garb because the invitation just said '80s, and didn't specify a century.
  • January 28, 2013
    TrustBen
    Newspaper Comics
    • The main characters in Doonesbury started holding 60s revival parties in the mid 70s, when they were very recent history.
  • January 28, 2013
    Quag15
    Which name do you think I should choose? By the way, if you have a suggestion, say it, please.
  • January 29, 2013
    Larkmarn
    I think Decade Themed Party was perfect.
  • January 29, 2013
    SKJAM
    In John Brunner's Stand On Zanzibar, this is updated to a "Twentieth Century Party". The confusion about whether 2000 C.E. counted as Twentieth Century or Twenty-First was referenced, one of the few predictions the book got right.
  • January 29, 2013
    Quag15
    Larkmarn, yeah, I think it sounds better. But we'll see. I'll alter it from time to time.

    SKJAM, I put your example, but I'm a bit confused. Does it count as a subversion, exaggeration or what?
  • January 29, 2013
    SKJAM
    Call it an exaggeration, I guess. The book is set in 2010.
  • January 30, 2013
    Arivne
    I like Decade Themed Party as well.
  • January 30, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In an early episode of Two Broke Girls the girls are kicked out of a late night laundromat because the laundromat is the location for an 80s themed rave/party with special guest VIKI from Small Wonder. Max is unironically pissed at being too poor to attend. She loved Small Wonder.
  • January 31, 2013
    Megaptera
    Pop Music
    • The Prince song "1999" contains the line "Tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1999". We're over a decade into the twenty-first century and people still use the phrase "party like it's 1999" to describe partying hard.
  • January 31, 2013
    Quag15
    Megaptera, I'm sorry, but your example doesn't apply. If Prince's song described someone going to a Decade Themed/Revival/Nostalgic Party, it would be ok. But a sentence being used to describe partying hard? Without any other context (i.e., if a song was used in an actual 80's themed party scene in a movie or something)? Sorry, but no. But thanks for reminding me that I got to listen to Prince again. No problem?

  • February 14, 2013
    abloke
    • The Red Dwarf episode Balance of Power has a flashback showing the characters at a '90s themed party. The episode itself was broadcast in 1988.
  • February 14, 2013
    stupac85
    Several episodes of The Vampire Diaries have featured the main characters attending high school dances themed after certain decades (called Decade Dances in-universe).
  • February 14, 2013
    SKJAM
  • February 26, 2013
    Quag15
    Bump for more examples, please.
  • March 3, 2013
    Quag15
    Bump.
  • March 3, 2013
    XFllo
    I'll try to come up with examples from fiction. Just to note, the ever popular thing for my friends and acquaintances is Roaring Twenties and The Thirties, usually gangster style ;-)

    EDIT: I think that example from The Simpsons definitely counts, even though Artie paid them. It's the same thing, just played differently. Tropes Are Flexible.
  • March 4, 2013
    Quag15
    X Fllo, thanks!

    As for the Simpsons example, I'll reconsider it, then.
  • March 12, 2013
    XFllo
    Bumping for feedback and examples.

    @Quag15: I will occasionally "zero edit" your draft for feedback. (If there are too many bumps in the discussion, it can soon look disorganized and hard to read). If I change anything in the text, I'll let you know in the comments.

    Also, it occurred to me that you might add a note about Nostalgia Goggles to the description.

    The Red Dwarf example cold use a mention that it's a Sci Fi set in 24th (?) century. People who are not familiar with the show might be confused that it was broadcast in 1988 and that they had 90's theme party. I actually don't recollect that it was a Decade Theme Party. I should re-watch it and check it for myself:-)
  • March 12, 2013
    abloke
    Regarding the Red Dwarf example, there's a sign on the wall saying "Nostalgia Night 1990s". I think it was supposed to be the 21st century at the time, but with the subsequent retcons it's easier just to say it's after the '90s.

    How's this for a revised example?

    • The Red Dwarf episode Balance of Power features a '90s-themed party. The episode itself was first broadcast in 1988; it's science fiction and set at some point well after the 1990s. The theme of the party takes a lot of cues from the '70s and '80s.
  • March 12, 2013
    Quag15
    X Fllo, sure, go ahead. As for the note about Nostalgia Goggles, I'll write something about it in the description.

    abloke, considering your revised example and X Fllo's example, I'll see if I can do a mix of the two/three (if we count the bit I wrote in the example).
  • March 12, 2013
    Quag15
    I have a doubt here: I googled about 'Mad Men parties' (based around the so-called TV show). Should I write a little bit about it in the Real Life section?

    Considering that it's about the early Sixties.

    EDIT: Ignore this Post.
  • March 15, 2013
    Quag15
    Wait, looks like I reached the five hats. HURRAY! Now, could someone please indicate me the page that says how to launch this?
  • March 15, 2013
    XFllo
    The part about nostalgia goggles is too long-winged, methinks. I would cut it, for instance to this:

    This celebration of the past might come from the use of Nostalgia Goggles. As people grow older, they start to miss their youthful days, where things seemed a lot simpler and, well, fun. Hence why these parties are usually organized. Nostalgia is connected to the need of escapism and the need of reminding of what you've left behind, from things like clothes to old friends. However, people also tend to celebrate decades they barely or even haven't lived through just because the fashion seems more appealing or glamorous.

    I took one hat off because I think the text needs minor polishing, but I will give it back very soon. I kind of think you over-use brackets, both in the text and in the examples.


    I can think of other examples of theme parties, e.g. on Gilmore Girls they had a British theme party when Logan was leaving for London or dressing up like characters from Quentin Tarantino movies. I think decade theme party is a neat concept and tropeworthy on its own, but these are very close - its Sister Trope perhaps.
    The launching is pretty easy, actually. Have a look here. A Guide To Easy Launching Of Your YKTTW.

    Copy the text from your draft - either when you edit it or when you click on "show all markup". Just click on the launch button and that will create the page. Then edit the trope page, insert the copied text and save it. Voila! Then set the page's type ( you need a trope). Don't forget to cross-wick it, that is list the trope on works' pages.

    Also, the trope should be indexed.

  • March 15, 2013
    Quag15
    Ok, thank you very much. I'll see what I can do. However, these parties are merely supposed to be centered around decades, not characters from movies of a certain director or a country. Someone will probably create a Sister Trope to this one involving those kind of parties. As for the brackets, I think it's more to indicate the titles of the series and the episodes, as well as actual bits found in said episodes (like straight from a dialogue or from an announcement board or something like that) or written in text.

    However, someone else removed another hat, so, it'll take a little bit longer yet to launch. I'll try to make this more appealing.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=g8d3koy2yko6nhq8l9ockuxo