How romantic the past is...
A common staple in fiction and in 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 Roaring '20s
, The '50s
and The '80s
. The '60s
and The '70s
are also popular choices, primarily during The '90s
and The Oughts
respectively, with these decades being irony fodder.
This celebration of the past might come from the use of a Nostalgia Filter
. 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 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.
Compare Disco Dan
. May overlap with Camp
- 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 '70s in mind, but Archie shows up in a caveman costume, calling it "the ultimate retro look."
- The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers: A comic from the 1970s had the guys throwing a '50s-themed New Years party. Franklin is a holdout, declaring the decade "a drag", and as the story recalls their real '50s party some 15 years earlier, with its reckless drunkenness, sexual frustration, and violent, destructive juvenile delinquents, they decide to have a naked sex-and-drugs '60s-themed party instead.
- Exaggerated In John Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar, since 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.
- An episode of House features an "80's Party". Dr. House comes dressed in late 18th/early 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 in Blackadder.
- There's an episode centred 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 episode "Balance of Power" has a flashback showing the characters at a party with a sign on the wall saying "Nostalgia Night 1990s". (The scene is set in the 21st or 24th century, depending on the Retcons.) The so-called '90s 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 made 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.
- An episode of Charmed had a 1930's Night being held at P3.
- An episode of Perfect Strangers had Larry and Balki throw a 50's themed party where one of the guests was a hypnotist. He tried to hypnotize Larry into thinking he was Elvis, but wound up hypnotizing Balki instead.
- The main characters in Doonesbury started holding The '60s revival parties in the mid 70's, when they were very recent history. In the same strip, the characters would parody this trope by having an end-of-decade party, coming as iconic moments from the decade that had just passed.
- The second Nintendo DS Guitar Hero title is set in a rock festival made of several of these, ranging from the 2000s to The '70s. However, the 2000s are split into "modern" and "2000".
- The Wotch had a 1970's themed dance (which annoyed Mingmei because she hadn't enjoyed the decade the first time around).
- In Daria's episode "Life in the Past Lane" (which provides the page image seen above), Jane is dating a guy, Nathan, who is obsessed with swing dancing and the styles and manners of The '40s. They go to a dance party and to a drive-by cinema meeting centered around said decade.
- 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.")
- One episode has Greaser's Cafe, which is built around this trope (concerning The '50s, to be specific.) The owner boasts that in there, the fifties will never go away. Soon thereafter, the cafe has to close down.
- Just google the words of the title. There'll be hundreds of matches for all kinds of decade parties, especially from The '80s, which is likely to be the one easiest to represent visually. For some reason or another, these tend to be about the pop culture of 30 years earlier.
- Buffalo, New York's "World's Largest Disco," an annual seventies themed party that revolves around thousands of people dressing up in fashions from 1970s and turning a major metropolitan convention centre into one gigantic convention hall sized disco.