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'80s Hair
Ah, the 80s, when Aqua Net, Jhirmack, and Vidal Sassoon thumbed their noses at gravity.note 

"Feathered hair and a mullet... this hair came to play!"

"We see a variety of hair styles in rock groups these days, huh? One must never underestimate the power of a good hairdo. I'd like to write a song about hairdos - not about the people under them; then the 'dos have the power by themselves."
David Byrnenote 

You are flipping through channels. Suddenly a woman comes into view that has huge bangsnote . You can not help it. You shout "80s Hair!" Be it the Jheri curl, wanton crimping, the feathered and volumized big hair, or the mullet, hair from The Eighties sticks out.

Also a reaction to Michael Knight, Angus MacGyver, etc.

This trope even exists in anime, which normally has its own kind of crazy hair.

When this occurs in material that is supposed to be set in the future (relative to the time it was created) you have an example of No New Fashions in the Future.

A Sub-Trope of Fashion Dissonance and Bigger Is Better.

Compare Giant Poofy Sleeves, Mega Twintails, '70s Hair and '90s Hair.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Bubblegum Crisis is a rather glaring example... especially since it's supposed to be set Twenty Minutes into the Future. Justified Trope, since it's noted that the Eighties has come back in fashion - Priss's band plays "oldies", aka Hair Metal/Glam Metal.
  • Shirow Masamune works Dominion Tank Police, Appleseed, and Ghost in the Shell are all full of 80's hair, since they were all drawn in the 80s. The anime adaptations from the 2000s generally avert this with giving most characters altered haircuts.
  • Heavy Metal L Gaim: This anime was made in the middle eighties, and the character's hairstyles reflect this. Nei Mo Han is a big offender, with her giant, floating mane, held by a hair band. And Daba wore a mullet when he was younger!
  • In Wedding Peach Abridged, Limone mocks Pluie's "hideous devil mullet."
  • Bleach is notorious for this. Grimmjow's release is a rather glaring example. Kubo never did get over the eighties, did he?
    • During the fight with Ulquiorra, Ichigo begins sporting a mullet as well. Thankfully, it doesn't last very long.
      • And guess what? Aizen has a mullet now too.
      • After using Final Getsuga Tensho, Ichigo gets one again.
      • Many fans think that the mullet is a symbol of power now.
    • After the timeskip, Renji manages to get a mullet that comes out of his pony tail.
  • Higurashi no Naku Koro ni:
    • To some extent, Keiichi in certain scenes. The show is set in the early eighties, so it makes some sense.
    • Rika, definitely. In certain scenes, it becomes quite apparent how much hair that little nine year old has. This is even apparent in the sound novels, where most other characters' bodies and hair are more realistic.
  • Every Yuu Watase bishounen ever is all mullet.
  • Likewise, every single "young" Rumiko Takahashi characters have the Poofy Hair syndrome.
  • Bastard!! is a crowning achievement in 80s cheese, complete with giant feathered hair on most characters.
  • Every Gundam show set in the UC era, due to the fact that the most notable of UC shows were made in the eighties. Gundam Unicorn, set during UC 0096, keeps this for the sake of continuity, even though it started in 2010.
    • Gundam ZZ gives us the franchise's crowning examples of this trope with Kyara Soon and Illia Pazom, both of whom wouldn't look out of place in Jem and the Holograms.
    • It does get considerably better in the 0100s, with Gundam F91 and V Gundam having much less 80s hair, having been made in the 90s.
    • G Gundam though featured some main characters like Kyoji who sport arguably mullets.
    • Kio Asuno in Gundam AGE and Season 1 Saji Crossroad from Gundam 00 both sported what could be arguably mullets.
    • The Plot To Assassinate Gihren's artwork can look rather odd because of this. All of the new characters are drawn in the style of modern manga and anime, with bishie looks, and modern haircuts. All of the characters from Mobile Suit Gundam are drawn with their eighties looks and hairstyles intact.
  • Saint Seiya first aired in 1986. It shows! Sideburns abound, seriously. Also a glaring example (in the anime) of You Gotta Have Blue Hair, which, when combined with this trope, is a little weird.
    • It gets more than a little weird during the Sanctuary/Golden Cloth arcs, where Phoenix Ikki has a decently sized mullet hanging down, but when he donned the Phoenix Cloth's helm, his mane was suddenly drawn as flowing halfway down his back.
  • Folken from Vision of Escaflowne has a mullet.
    • So does Giovanni Gallo from Heat Guy J (which was made by the same people behind Escaflowne.)
  • Dancougar is another fantastic example. Especially notable is Ryo, who looks like part of a Hair Metal band. Then again, before becoming a Super Robot pilot, he kinda was.
  • Slayers stars a main character with a headband and some impressively huge bangs, even for an anime. Not much of a coincidence since the original novels began in the 80's.
  • The original Dirty Pair is an extremely notorious perpetrator of the Poofy Hair syndrome, especially Kei. And especially Yuri.
  • Due to the eras when they were in vogue, anime with character designs by Akemi Takada and Atsuko Nakajima were all over this trope. Their early-to-mid '90s designs were no exception.
  • Fist of the North Star. "You're already mulleted."
  • Quite a few of the Yu-Gi-Oh! guys have mullets, as mocked in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series.
  • In the Karaoke Christmas Special of Detective Conan, Tatsuya and his bandmates exhibit this.
  • Oh Saiyuki, you and your love of mullets.
  • In Revolutionary Girl Utena, where most of the male eye candy has standard nineties Bishōnen hair, Akio's lavender mullet not only stands out sharply, but wonderfully compliments his car phone as well.
  • One constant across every adaptation of Ghost in the Shell is Togusa's very '80s mullet.
  • In Kill la Kill, Ragyo and her husband Soichiro are shown to have fairly 80's hairstyles during flashback segments.
  • Dio Brando: proof that the mullet existed in the 1800s. Ironically, his hair is a good deal shorter in the part set in the 1980s (albeit still kind of feathered).

    Comic Books 
  • Teen Titans: Starfire and that...thing she's got attached to her scalp.
    • Her hairstyle has changed in later times. It's wavy more-so than curly; it's incredibly long and thick, but it looks like normal hair nowadays. Her Tiny Titans and Teen Titans depictions show her with straight hair; though they've both temporarily been shown with the original style as a Mythology Gag.
  • Tony Stark (Iron Man), especially during the second Michelenie/Layton run e.g. the Armor Wars, could be found with a Jheri curl during the 80s.
  • Even though it was during the 90s, Superman had a mullet after his resurrection.
  • Fire from the Justice League International. Ice even Lampshaded this at one point by saying that she and Fire looked like extras from a Hair Metal video.
  • The comic book sequel to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The Good The Bad And The Uglier, presumably wasn't able to acquire permission to use a likeness of Clint Eastwood in the role of Blondie. As a result, he's hilariously replaced with a near-perfect likeness of Solid Snake, complete with a charmingly anachronistic mullet. Lampshaded in that the first scene in the comic shows Blondie walking into a barber's shop for a haircut, but it's a ruse - he leaves his boots under the barber's smock and escapes through the back door to surprise the sniper watching him through the window. When the barber offers him a complementary shave and haircut, he frustratingly declines.
  • Deadpool once made fun of Daken's mohawk-mullet combo. He got his hand cut off for his trouble.
    (after imitating a telephone conversation) It was 1986. It wants its hair... (notices the stump where his hand should be) ...back...
  • When Todd McFarlane drew Spider-Man in the late 80s he not only gave Spidey a new look but made his new bride Mary Jane over by changing her hairstyle from her old hairstyle, (long and straight with bangs), to full on big, permed out Eighties hair. This is arguably justified. Since MJ is a fashion model and actress, it only makes sense for her to take to the latest styles (even if the look doesn't age well as real-world years go by).
  • The female X-Men Storm and Rogue got big hair when Marc Silvestri became penciler in the late Eighties. Also extra-dimensional Longshot joined the group bringing his trademark mullet with him. Jean's hair also remained large and wavy for quite a while.
  • She-Hulk, at least until her mini before Civil War.
  • George Pérez seems to like this. Just look up his designs of Wonder Woman and Scarlet Witch, for example.
  • Infamously, the Beyonder. Although the fact that he had no experience with the world and, therefore, no taste was certainly deliberate in his clothes, etc.
  • Durham Red, particularly when drawn by Carlos Ezquerra.

    Film 
  • The Wedding Singer invokes this trope.
  • Of all things, Watchmen. Yes, it was set in the 80s, but Ozymandias's... floppy... side-banged... thing is the only really egregious example, and it stands out all the more strongly because of it. He still manages to induce all kinds of Perverse Sexual Lust anyway, because it looks damn good on him.
  • A View to a Kill was the only 80s Bond film to truly suffer this, from Stacey's feathery bangs to May Day's box cut. To say nothing of the ladies' makeup...
  • Hobgoblins, taken to extremes.
  • Evidently, viewers of Labyrinth were too distracted by...something... to notice that Jareth's hair is a damn good example of eighties hair. The protagonist, Sarah, wears another standard 80's style through most of the film, but gets glorious 80's Hair in the masquerade ball scene.
  • Adventureland, being set in the 80s, has a few good examples.
  • Eriq LaSalle's character in Coming to America and his entire family all have Jheri curls, leading to a hilarious moment when his family stands up... and they all leave behind "juice" stains on the couch.
  • Who could forget Sarah Connor's massive femullet in The Terminator?
  • Joan Cusack's hair in Working Girl defies the laws of physics.
  • Played for laughs in Joe Dirt, where the eponymous Joe Dirt has an ass-ugly mullet. Its actually a wig his mother put on him as a baby, on account him being born without the top of his skull. The bones apparently grew and got infused with it, leaving poor Joe stuck with it.
  • Some of boxer "Irish" Mickey Ward's sisters in The Fighter as evidenced in this clip.
  • Heather Graham in the 1988 teen comedy starring the two Coreys, License To Drive.
  • Almost everyone in The Lost Boys has Eighties Hair, especially the eponymous vampires.
  • In the flashbacks to the 80s in The Wood, the common hairstyles for black men during the 80s are shown, such as the Jheri curl and the high top fade (basically Will's hair in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air).
  • When Jules and Vincent enter Brett and Roger's apartment near the beginning of Pulp Fiction, Jules calls Roger "Flock of Seagulls" because of his 80s haircut. The character is even referred to as Flock of Seagulls in the stage directions of the movie script.
  • In Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Lynne's hair gets progressively more outlandish. Spoiled Brat Natalie Sands's hair remains consistently puffy and frizzy.
  • The two female leads in Night of the Comet have hair that is so 80s it hurts! Their valley girl personas don't help things either.
  • In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Khan and his followers look like the entourage of a hair metal group.
  • Hello Mary-Lou: Prom Night II was released in 1987, and it's obvious! Almost every female character in the movie has 80s hair to the extremes, and a number of guys have mullets, even in flashbacks taking place in 1957. Jess is the worst offender. She had a full-on 80s afro!
  • During the opening credits of Queens Logic, Al is driving around when he comes cross a woman with full-on 80's hair, and can't resist commenting:
    Al: You don't know me, and I don't know you, so let's cut to the chase, shall we? Your hair! Hey, I'm just trying to be honest here! I don't know if it's a wig, or what, but I can work with that!
    Woman: (chuckling) Go away, Al, before I do you with my hairspray.
    Al: Hey, I'll come back later with some hedge clippers; we'll do a sexy hair-cutting thing!

    Live-Action TV 
  • Family Ties: While Mallory was the only one to wear an 1980s-style hair throughout the run, and Jennifer eventually began sporting such hairstyles late in the run, various bit and one-time characters sport these. The most obvious example was the 1986 two-part episode "It's My Party" (actually aired in 1987 as part of the fifth season, even though it was produced more than a year and a half earlier). Here, Jennifer's new friends — all valley-type girls who are supposedly popular but instead are disrespectful to teachers, skip school and spend most of their time at the mall — all sport blatantly 1980s hairstyles. Perhaps the attitudes of Jennifer's new friends, plus Alex's comment midway through the show about the girls ("I am running out of normal sisters") was meant as a sly commentary for 1980s style, fashion and teen culture.
  • The Facts of Life: Especially during the 1985-1988 era. All four of the core girls — Blair, Jo, Natalie and Tootie — have very 80s hair and fashions. George (George Clooney in his first major TV role) had this, as did Andy during his run, and then so did Pippa (Sherrie Krien, later known as country singer Sherrie Austin) when she came aboard in 1987.
  • Happy Days: Many of the younger characters had very 1980s hairstyles and fashions. This, on a TV show that was set in the early 1960s (at the beginning of 1980) through approximately 1965 (by the time the series ended).
  • Ashes to Ashes.
  • Several episodes of Quantum Leap that take place in the '80s feature, appropriately enough, Eighties Hair; this is complicated by the fact that the show started airing in the late eighties, so some episodes that don't take place in the eighties feature it as well.
    • "The Leap Back" takes place mostly in 1999, yet Sam's wife and Al's girlfriend both have pretty standard '80s Hair. (The episode itself first aired in Fall 1991.)
  • 21 Jump Street was a huge offender. It's impossible to watch an episode without screaming, "EIGHTIES HAIR!!!!!"
  • Averted in UFO (a '70s sci-fi show set in the future world of 1980) as everyone wore wigs.
  • Ryan Stiles in Whose Line Is It Anyway? sports an endearing mullet.
  • Diana from V switched from an elegant look in the two miniseries to classic eighties poofy hair when the series was launched.
  • Jimmy from Out of Jimmy's Head.
  • Some of the hairstyles during the first season of Friends are very 80s-ish (most notably Matt Le Blanc's and the original actress who played Carol before the more 90's looking Jane Sibbett took over). At the same time, many of the other hairstyles during that season seem stuck in a weird middle-ground between the 80s and 90s. Given that, by 1994, most of the styles and fashions of the 80's had passed, it really makes some first season episodes seem dated even for the time in which they were made. By Season 2, the series would finally have 90s hair and fashions down pat.
    • It arguably started them with the famous "Rachel" hairstyle and the moussed up short haircuts on Joey and Chandler.
    • Seen whenever there are flashbacks to their childhood. Most notable example is "The One With All The Thanksgivings'', with Ross and Chandler sporting ridiculous A Flock Of Seagulls haircuts.
  • Many regular and guest characters on Doctor Who in the 80s. Nyssa (played by Sarah Sutton) and Mel (Bonnie Langford) are two particularly prominent examples.
    • River Song (introduced in 2008) is known for her bushels of wild, curly hair.
    Eleventh Doctor: Oh, here comes the hair...
    River Song: The hair! It just never stops!
    • The Sixth Doctor's unspeakably bad, unspeakably 1980s dress sense also came along with a bleached blond poodle-perm, as was all the rage back then. Even at the time, the combination of wild, bright curls and garish clothes made him resemble what River Song calls 'a clown put through a woodchipper'. In the same piece of diary she suggests that the Sixth Doctor had actually been going for her hairstyle (based on a conversation she had about it with the Third Doctor) but had got it wrong.
  • Showed up every so often in Power Rangers S.P.D.. Is it a New Zealand thing, or are they trying to say that it'll be back in style by 2025?
  • The Gossip Girl episode "Valley Girls" (a Poorly Disguised Pilot for a spinoff series that, as of this writing, is in consideration as a Midseason Replacement), which featured flashbacks to Lily's teenage life in The Eighties, was chock full of this, although it wasn't quite as extreme as actual examples from the era.
  • Friday The 13th: The Series
    • Louis Robey is one of the few women who could make that big hair look work.
  • Robin of Sherwood is almost perfect when it comes to period flavour, but the mullets on both Robins kind of stand out.
  • In Married... with Children, Bud Bundy had a mullet.
    • And the red mess on top of Peg's head.
  • Robbie Ray of Hannah Montana wants his mullet back!
  • Marion Moseby explaining the arrangement of photographs on his office wall in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody episode "Risk It All":
    Moseby: And by the way, it's afro, Jheri curl, then fade.
  • Sally Knyvette, who played Jenna Stannis in Blake's 7, actually had to add extra hair to make her own seem fuller; fortunately, she was allowed to drop it in Season 2.
    • Contrary to popular jokes about B7 being all about jumpsuits and perms, Gareth Thomas and Steven Pacey didn't actually sport perms. Both of them have quite fluffy, curly hair in real life. Only Jan Chappell sported some truly awful perms, especially around the first season.
    • Soolin's hairdos in Season 4 scream early Eighties.
  • Many aliens on early episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • MacGyver - Richard Dean Anderson is one of the few men who can pull off a mullet and have it look good.
  • Parodied in a skit by The Vacant Lot in which all the cast members go back in time and return with a period-authentic hairdo. All of them get admitted to an exclusive present-day nightclub except for Rob Gfroerer, who travelled back to The Eighties and returned with Mike Score’s hairstyle from A Flock of Seagulls.
  • The Comeback: Lisa Kudrow's character has 80s hair, which is lampshaded when she brings out a poster of herself from the 1980s with the exact same hair and then mentions how much her hair has changed.
  • Some female televangelists had big 80s hair. Examples include Rexella Van Impe, Jan Crouch, and Beth Moore. Even when it's short hair, it tends to look like Pat Benatar. The only time they truly drop the 80s look is when they're trying to distance themselves from their sordid, seedy past, for instance Melissa Scott, and even then she seems to have adopted Sarah Jessica Parker's early, bookish look.
  • Murphy and Corky Sherwood on the first few seasons of Murphy Brown.
  • Back when she was in high school, Emily Prentiss was a goth with massive '80s Hair. Take a look here.
  • Saved by the Bell actually had more obvious 80s hair in 1993 than in 1989. However, the 80s-ness of the show is justified in that pop culture was largely 80s until about 1992 or 1993.
  • Beverly Hills 90210 in seasons one and two, and in seasons 3 and 4 with Kelly (Jennie Garth).
  • Seen briefly on an old picture of Ted's boss in How I Met Your Mother.
  • One episode of NCIS had Tim finding a high school picture of Tony with a particularly bad case of this... and showing it to Ziva.

    Magazines 
  • Fashion Magazines were, of course, all over this trope.
  • A really funny one is the cover of the December 1985 issue of Playboy. Barbie Benton is wearing a sable coat, and her hair is still several times thicker than the fur. That's how you can tell you have proper eighties hair.

    Music 
  • Hair Metal got that name for a reason. Pretty much any band that falls into the category was known for its members having long, enormously poofed-up hair, even those with curly or thinning hair. The Poison members in the page pic are one of the more extreme examples.
  • All over 80s music videos, of course, but perhaps most memorably in Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again", where singer David Coverdale's luxurious locks compete heroically with then-girlfriend Tawny Kitaen's.
  • Visual Kei, especially when you look at the Visual Shock or Neo-Visual Shock subgenres, has plenty of it - and Neo-Visual Shock only began its start in the mid to late 2000s, reviving the trope. The Kote Kei variant of Visual Kei also has some of this trope (as it descended from Visual Shock, which shares roots with Hair Metal), but nowhere near as much as Visual Shock or Neo-Visual Shock.
  • Limahl, of Kajagoogoo, had one of the most extreme examples. South Park has portrayed him as an alien on account of this.
  • In "Stop to Love" by Luther Vandross, backup singer Lisa Fischer has the most epic mohawk you'll ever see outside anime.
  • The New Kids on the Block were guilty of this throughout their original run, but it was really extreme in the later years {see the page pic).
  • Before becoming a successful solo artist in the 90s, Sheryl Crow sang backup for Michael Jackson in the 80s and had ginourmous hair.
  • Even in the more conservative world of Country Music, many of the top stars of the decade had 1980s-style hair. Many of the female stars — from Patty Loveless to Reba McEntire to Dolly Parton — had very 80s styles, and even the male singers had these; Steve Wariner, on some of his mid- to late-1980s albums, sports very 80s styles. The members of Alabama had longer hair, but by the mid 1980s, were starting to wear them in distinct 1980s styles. Notable aversions are some of the older stars, such as George Jones, Conway Twitty and Merle Haggard, and then newbie star George Strait.
  • A Flock Of Seagulls has probably become better known for the lead singer's insanely 80's hair than their music (except perhaps I Ran). To point that a minor character in Pulp Fiction is actually referred to as "Flock of Seagulls" due to his haircut.
  • In many aspects, The Bangles seemed more a '60s band than an '80s one. Hair was not one of those aspects.

    Pinball 
  • Dr. Dude, whose hair is too awesome for gravity.
  • As with the band members themselves, Guns N' Roses features a healthy crop of eighties frizz.
  • Seen on all the female skaters in Rollergames, which was based on the short-lived 1989 TV show.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair had AWESOME 80s hair, and most wrestlers hung onto their mullets well past their sell-by-date. (Michael Cole had a mullet well into the "Attitude" Era.)
  • Dolph Ziggler is currently sporting a frizzy blond mullet with no apparent irony. Combined with his exaggeratedly "healthy" tan, he looks a great deal like the late Curt Hennig, a.k.a. "Mr. Perfect" (and, coincidentally, has a theme song with the title of "Perfection").
    • He has now trimmed back his 'do (and may be undergoing a Heel-Face Turn to boot).

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Solid Snake's (admittedly fairly tasteful) mullet from Metal Gear Solid 2.
    • Prior to that Liquid had some wild Eighties hair that looked a lot like the Poison members in the example picture.
  • Demyx of Kingdom Hearts fame has a strange mullet mohawk hairstyle. This among other characteristics leads to the point where he's usually compared to another '80s hair icon.
  • The Emperor from Final Fantasy II has this in spades in both that game and Dissidia: Final Fantasy. Even more so, though, in the latter game, due to the voice acting sounding remarkably like David Bowie... and The Emperor's hairstyle looking much like Jareth's. In fairness to the Emperor, though, he was originally invented and designed in The Eighties, so he comes by it honestly.
  • Paul Lee from Backyard Hockey.
  • General Lionwhyte from Brutal Legend has extremely wild 80s hair; in fact, it gave him the power to fly.
  • The player characters of Pokémon Black and White, surprisingly. One has a huge ponytail, the other a mullet. The trucker caps don't help.
    • It's surprisingly rampant in Gen V. Both Professors Juniper sport this, N's hair looks like a particularly long mullet in official art, Grimsley is rocking the Flock of Seagulls look, and even Emmet and Ingo have Nagaideburns.
  • Princess Peach from Super Mario Bros.
    • Justified given that the series began in the Eighties.
  • Sonia from Der Langrisser looks like Olivia Newton-John circa the "Physical" video... but with pointed ears.
  • Snake Logan from Bio Menace has a mullet and a moustache.

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 
  • 80's Chick that looked like a female version of Linkara sported huge wild hair.
  • Aurora, Diamond, and Vindicator, all from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, loved this look.
  • During The Nostalgia Chick's review of Jem, the Makeover Fairy gave herself, the Chick, and Nella an 80s makeover, complete with 80's hair.
  • Convictor of Super Playify took one look at the first monster silhouette seen in Call Of Cthulhu: Dark Corners Of The Earth and decided that it had this hairstyle. She declared it to be a "Heavy Metal Yithian", complete with screen-covering text stating such.

    Western Animation 

    Miscellaneous 


    The Newest Ones in the BookThe Abridged Series
'70s HairHair Tropes'90s Hair
Delinquent HairAnime HairHair Decorations
New Kids on the BlockImageSource/MusicOne Direction
Gag BoobsBigger Is BetterForehead of Doom
DystopiaThe EightiesFootball Hooligans
DynastyImageSource/Live-Action TVEmmerdale

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