Quotes: The Eighties

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    Comic Books 

You've stranded us in the 1980s! Haven't you ever read a history book? This is the worst decade of the millennium!
Mrs Yorkes, Runaways

    Film — Live-action 

Lou: It's the fucking 80's guys. Let's do what we want to do. Free Love!
Jacob: That was the sixties, dipshit.
Adam: We had, like, Reagan and AIDS. Get the fuck outta here, ok?

Doc: Then tell me, Future Boy, who's President of the United States in 1985?
Marty: (confidently) Ronald Reagan.
Doc: Ronald Reagan?! The actor?! Then who's Vice-President, Jerry Lewis?!

    Live-action TV 

Hair. Shoulderpads. Nukes. It’s the eighties. Everything’s bigger!

It's the Eight-ies! Do a lot of coke and vote for Ronald Reagan!
Mike Nelson, MST3K on Hobgoblins

Get back to the decade where everyone was rich, and there was no problem too big to ignore!

Was there ever a more garish decade than the eighties? Neon clothing, big hair, spandex, blazers with shoulder pads for men? A jacket that anyone could buy for 25 bucks called 'Members Only.' The eighties were so ugly, even beautiful people looked ridiculous! Everybody looked awful! Look at ME in the 1980s! Honestly, I tried to find a good picture from then. It doesn’t exist!
Bill Maher, Real Time with Bill Maher

    Music 

"Push it to the limit
Walk along the razor's edge
But don't look down just keep your head
Or you'll be finished
Open up the limit
Past the point of no return
You've reached the top but still you gotta learn
How to keep it"
"Push It To The Limit" aka the most 80's song ever

"It was acceptable in the 80s
It was acceptable at the time"
Calvin Harris, "Acceptable in the 80s"

"There was U2, and Blondie
And music still on MTV!"
Bowling for Soup, "1985"

"Oh, there's a lot of opportunities
If you know when to take them, you know?
There's a lot of opportunities
If there aren't, you can make them
Make or break them
I've got the brains, you've got the looks
Let's make lots of money"
Pet Shop Boys, "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)"

"The times they are a-telling,
And the changing isn't free
You've read it in the tea leaves
And the tracks are on TV
Beware the savage jaw
Of 1984"
David Bowie, "1984"

"Springsteen, Madonna,
Way before Nirvana there was
U2, and Blondie, and music still on MTV
Her two kids in high school, they tell her that she's uncool
'Cause she's still preoccupied
With 1985"
SR-71, "1985" note 

"It was nineteen eighty-somethin'
In the world that I grew up in
Skating rinks and black Trans-Ams
Big hair and parachute pants
Lookin' back now I can see me
Oh man, did I look cheesy
But I wouldn't trade those days for nothin'
It was nineteen eighty-somethin'"
Mark Willis, "Nineteen-Something"

"The eighties almost killed me
Let's not recall them quite so fondly"
The Hold Steady, "Positive Jam"

    Video Games 

Oh, you fucking square. It's only a bit of snow. It's nineteen-eighty-fucking-four, dahling. EVERYONE'S doing cocaine.

    Web Original 

Everyone walked out of Road House into the sunlight feeling stunned, stupid, a little gay for Patrick Swayze, and wondering idly why they ever thought Duran Duran was a good band. In one day, the 80s were over. Women's hairdos started to make sense once again. Spandex was abolished. The New Kids and Wham! were purged from our cultural memory.

I like to imagine that as soon as the clock struck midnight on Sept. 30, 1982, Bowie washed the lipstick from his face, took off his dress to reveal a perfectly ironed suit and tie underneath, and said, 'Gentlemen, let's business.'

Biff! Pow! Comics aren’t just for kids! They’re not even comics anymore, they’re Graphic Novels so put it in the suck it bucket, Adam West!

Without a doubt the most 1980s sequence ever committed to film – if you want to see where everything went wrong in that era just stick these titles on. The fashion, the cars, the hair, the awful gadgets, the way everybody tried to look hip, the editing, the horrendous zooms…and the godawful music. Poor Lis Sladen is made to look as though she is blissed out on wine wandering around the country in her metro, occasionally getting out to jog along the country roads and pull down a paper and stare into the camera as though she really is sizzled. It’s agonisingly awful and very, very funny. I always stick it on when I am in a bad mood, but as a title sequence to introduce a gritty new series about an investigative journalist it fails on every level.

For every person who sings the praises of The Next Generation for picking up the long-abandoned Trek baton and running like crazy with it, there'll be another scoffing at the pure '80s wackiness that placed a therapist on the bridge next to the captain, and had an adolescent boy piloting the ship.

Lytton is also strongly in keeping with the ethos of the 1980s... the theme of amoral, selfish, profit-driven individuals exemplified by such 1980s classics as American Psycho, Wall Street and Working Girl. Even if the character is, in fact, a Dalek duplicate, the metaphor still reads, as Lytton's betrayal can therefore be seen as a stab in the back from a corporate insider. Lytton is thus very much a character for his time.
Alan Stevens, "An Analysis of "Resurrection of the Daleks"

It was, in many respects, the last gasp of the idealism of the Kennedy era, with Kennedy’s Camelot extrapolated into the distant future. Kennedy’s 'New Frontier' became Roddenberry’s 'Final Frontier.'

The last of that enthusiasm slipped away while the show was off the air, caught up in scandals like Watergate — creating a fear and darkness at the heart of American culture. In fact, the final big screen adventure featuring the cast of the original Star Trek featured the crew thwarting a conspiracy by high-ranking officials (and some foreign agents) to assassinate the President.

These are the legacies of the 1980s. An economic ideology that fostered profits above all else created a world in which power justifies its own use and the maxim that history is written by the victors becomes a moral principle instead of a cynical observation.
Dr. Phil Sandifer, "Mary Whitehouse"

The hunt for money extends in this era; instead of looking for gold or for oil under the surface they have to find the people with the money to spend and convince them to part with it.
M. Dawson, "The Political Position of Glengarry Glen Ross"

    Web Video 

A man could die from so much eighties!
Bennett The Sage

Neo: You know what decade you're in, with a nice sax solo at the start.
V1: I have "Jax sex music" right here, written down.

We have a deep sense of shame in our culture now. In a world where privacy is less and less tangible, we've become too ashamed of our own personalities to share too much of them, afraid we'll be made fun of or guilted in some way. The 80s never had that problem, and I believe that's why people cling to it as the last bastion of great entertainment even if they're too young to remember most of the decade. It was a time when movies like The Running Man or Commando could exist without having to break the fourth wall or make a pointed statement about action movie tropes in order to get away with their own bullshit.

    Western Animation 

Zapp Brannigan: Kif, set course for the nearest XM repair facility. Meanwhile, we shall sing top hits from the Eighties.
Kif: Which Eighties, sir?
Brannigan: For me, there are only one Eighties. (sings "Hungry Like The Wolf" while Kif groans).
Futurama, "Into the Wild Green Yonder"

It was a back in a disgusting period known as the early 80s. It was a time when women would stand topless, high on coke, on the edge of hotel balconies while the curtains were billowing around them... I think there was actually more wind then.
Lois Griffin, Family Guy, "And I'm Joyce Kinney"

    Real Life 

The '80s were about acquiring — acquiring wealth, power, prestige.
— Political strategist Lee Atwater

There are times, however, and this is one of them, when even being right feels wrong. What do you say, for instance, about a generation that has been taught that rain is poison and sex is death? If making love might be fatal and if a cool spring breeze on any summer afternoon can turn a crystal blue lake into a puddle of black poison right in front of your eyes, there is not much left except TV and relentless masturbation.
Hunter S. Thompson, Generation of Swine: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the '80's

The only joy about that is that I was on the inside looking out and the rest of you had to put up with it. It was the Eighties, glam rock.
Colin Baker on his Doctor Who costume

Dallas hit a chord back in the late Seventies and Eighties because it was the age of greed: here you have this unapologetic character who is mean and nasty and ruthless and does it all with an evil grin. I think people related to JR back then because we all have someone we know exactly like him. Everyone in the world knows a J.R.
Larry Hagman