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'80s Hair

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

"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 bangs.note  You can't help it. You shout "'80s Hair!" Be it the Jheri curl, wanton crimping, the feathered, hairsprayed and volumized big hair, the box cut, a Spiky Hair punk cut or the mullet, hair from The '80s sticks out.

As one can see from the photographs displayed at right, there never has been one standard template for '80s Hair, and the trend evolved along with the decade itself. The earliest examples were, at least for women, an outgrowth of '70s Hair, after ladies switched from the long, straight, long "hippie" style of the late Sixties to the voluminous, wavy style (think Farrah Fawcett) starting about 1976. In the early '80s, bowl cuts and other longer styles from the '70s remained popular among boys and young men. Later, as the Punk Rock aesthetic went mainstream, males also joined the fun, and both sexes increased the height and/or curliness of their hair and dyed it blond or other vibrant colors and made it stick up with Spiky Hair.

In the Black community, the Afros of the 70's gave way to box fades reaching the heavens, along with the Jheri curl (named after hair chemist Jheri Redding), hair that's been chemically relaxed and laden with enough grease to make Exxon jealous. Think Michael Jackson. These looks were primarily popular with Black men; while some women adapted them too, most others went with the feathered and teased look mentioned above.

At the same time, the rise of the yuppie, the influence of the "preppie" look, and the resurgence of cultural conservatism under Reagan and Thatcher caused white-collar professional men to favor a clean-cut, slicked-back look harkening back to '50s Hair. The closing years of the decade then saw a gradual phasing out of the style, especially for men, with boys' hairstyles getting shorter than they had been at any point since the mid-1960s, but often retaining the 1983-1987 glossiness and puffiness.

As a result of the decade's relevance in pop culture, these hairstyles have been constantly featured in many works on the ensuing decades, being notoriously portrayed in The '90s and The Aughts as impossibly tacky, and with the growing awareness and eventual removal of ozone-tearing chemicals in hair products, harmful to the environment. The New '10s' fascination with everything '80s however led to a brief public revival of the same 'dos that no one would want to get caught dead with ten years prior. But thankfully this wasn't done to the same extremes as it was in the 80's, and the ozone-damaging CFC chemicals present in aerosol cans back then have been banned in most countries today.

Also a reaction to Michael Knight, 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, '50s Hair, '60s Hair, '70s Hair, and '90s Hair.

It's very rare you see a character with '80s hair waking up extra-early to fluff, blow-dry, tease, iron, crimp, and apply tons of hair product. They appear to have somehow magically woken up with the full 'do, or you see two seconds of blow-drying.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Every Yuu Watase bishounen ever is all mullet.
  • Likewise, every single "young" Rumiko Takahashi characters have the Floofy Hair syndrome.
  • 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.
  • Bastard!! (1988) is a crowning achievement in '80s cheese, complete with giant feathered hair on most characters.
  • Bleach is notorious for this despite being a 2000s series. Many fans think that the mullet is a symbol of power. Kubo never did get over the eighties, did he?:
    • Grimmjow's release is a rather glaring example.
    • During the fight with Ulquiorra, Ichigo begins sporting a mullet as well. Thankfully, it doesn't last very long.
    • And guess what? Aizen began sporting a mullet too.
    • After using Final Getsuga Tensho, Ichigo gets one again.
    • After the timeskip, Renji manages to get a mullet that comes out of his ponytail.
  • Bubblegum Crisis is a rather glaring example... especially since it's supposed to be set 20 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.
  • In the Karaoke Christmas Special of Case Closed, Tatsuya and his bandmates exhibit this.
  • 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.
  • The original Dirty Pair is an extremely notorious perpetrator of the Floofy Hair syndrome, especially Kei. And especially Yuri.
  • Dragon Ball naturally had plenty of '80s hair since it was created in 1984. Notably Ranfan and Bulma (during the Mecha Frieza saga) possessed some massive and beautiful afro-like perms. Yamcha typically has long mullet hair, as well as kid Gohan briefly during the Android Saga. A few Saiyans have some very 80s hair too, such as Tora and Fasha/Celipa from Bardock’s squad. There’s also Zangya from Dragon Ball Z: Bojack Unbound and her massive, curly Starfire-sized hair, even though that movie came out in 1993.
  • In Fist of the North Star, Bat sports a Mel Gibson-esque mullet once he grows up. Mamyia’s hair is also quite massive and feathered.
  • The first Arc Villain in Futari wa Pretty Cure, Pisard, inexplicably resembles Labyrinth-era David Bowie, and has a wild mane of white hair to match. Combined with the overall muted colors and look of the animation, it makes the 2004 show look at least ten years older.
  • 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.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam: 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.
  • 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 hairband. And Daba wore a mullet when he was younger!
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: 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).
  • In Kill la Kill, Ragyo and her husband Soichiro are shown to have fairly '80s hairstyles during flashback segments.
  • 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 complements his car phone as well.
  • Saint Seiya first aired in 1986. It shows! Sideburns abound, seriously.
    • 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.
  • Oh Saiyuki, you and your love of mullets.
  • Shirow Masamune works Dominion Tank Police, Appleseed, and Ghost in the Shell are all full of '80s hair, since they were all drawn in the '80s. The anime adaptations from the 2000s generally avert this by giving most characters altered haircuts.
    • Except for Togusa from Ghost in the Shell. The MacGyver mullet stays! This along with him carrying a (by that time antique) Mateba semiautomatic revolver and not having the same level of cyberization as his teammates add to the image of him being out of place.
  • 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 '80s.
  • Hibari's hair in Stop Hibari Kun gets even more '80s than it normally is when she sings in a band.
  • Folken from The Vision of Escaflowne has a mullet.
    • So does Giovanni Gallo from Heat Guy J (which was made by the same people behind Escaflowne).
  • In Wedding Peach Abridged, Limone mocks Pluie's "hideous devil mullet."
  • Quite a few of the Yu-Gi-Oh! guys have mullets, as mocked in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series.

    Comic Books 

    Films — Animation 
  • Disney's final two animated canon films of The '80s:
    • Oliver & Company managed to do this with non-anthropomorphic dogs. The fluff of fur on Rita's head looks awfully '80s.
    • Disney's The Little Mermaid (1989). Doubly impressive in that Ariel's hair is like that when she's out of the water and sopping wet. Not even the power of the ocean can defeat THAT volume. Underwater... well, hair spreads out underwater. This is why female scuba divers keep theirs short.
  • Heavy Metal 2000. Also model Julie Strain, then-wife and muse of its maker Kevin Eastman.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks:
    • Adagio Dazzle, the leader of the villains of the film, has a ridiculously poofy hairdo straight out of Hasbro's '80s franchise Jem.
    • The Crusaders (human version of the CMC) sport the same hairdos as their counterparts in "The Show Stoppers" episode from Friendship Is Magic during the Battle of the Bands.
    • In the short released for the Cut Song "Friendship Through the Ages", fittingly for the style of her segment, Pinkie Pie sports a very '80s-ish crimped side ponytail hairstyle, looking pretty much pixelated.
  • Sibella, Elsa Frankenteen, and Phantasma of Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Adventureland, being set in the '80s, has a few good examples.
  • In Amadeus, Mozart is given a 1980s-does-1780s style wig to amplify is rock star-like status as a musical composer.
  • Return of the Killer Tomatoes came out in '88, and it shows. George Clooney's mullet is just the tip of the iceberg.
  • Back to the Future:
  • 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.
  • At the beginning of "Crocodile" Dundee, Sue treks through the Australian Outback with gloriously feathered mane completely intact.
  • Doctor Detroit: Monica's blonde hair is very voluminous, especially in the finale where it floats around her head like a six-inch-thick cloud.
  • Some of boxer "Irish" Mickey Ward's sisters in The Fighter as evidenced in this clip.
  • Gozer the Gozerian in Ghostbusters (1984) has a noted flat top, being marked by Ray as a target when the team fire their proton packs at it. In Ghostbusters: Afterlife the flat top returns! Even though Gozer is played by a different actress, Peter even addresses Gozer as "Flat top" when he appears in a glorious Big Damn Heroes alongside Ray and Winston in the climax.
  • 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.
  • Talena from Outlaw of Gor has some huge '80s hair, which the crew of Mystery Science Theater 3000 take a couple jabs at in their commentary. This is despite being set on a whole other planet from Earth which is ostensibly in a Medieval Stasis.
  • Jean-Claude Van Damme's character in Hard Target has possibly the most hideous '80s hairstyle ever committed to visual media - a juice-drenched Jheri curl mullet that trails after his every jump, run, and roundhouse kick. Contemporary reviewers described the mullet as "a character in itself".
  • 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!
  • Hobgoblins, taken to extremes.
  • James Bond:
    • A View to a Kill: the most shining examples in the series with Tanya Roberts's feathery bangs and Grace Jones's box cut. To say nothing of the ladies' makeup...
    • Licence to Kill: Carey Lowell's massive perm before Pam and Bond go to Isthmus, then her short hair per the end of the decade's trend for the remainder of the film. Bond (Timothy Dalton) is himself perilously close to having a mullet, meanwhile.
    • GoldenEye: Pierce Brosnan kept his poofy Remington Steele hairdonote  (but toned down a bit) for his first outing as James Bond; in fact, the easiest way to tell that he only filmed one gun barrel scene for his run as 007 is his big hair. He changed to a more modern style by the time Tomorrow Never Dies rolled around.
  • The 2015 Jem and the Holograms (2015) remake replaces most of the hairstyles with popular 2010s styles like sidecuts and dyed hair. The titular Jem however has absolutely huge, very long hair.
  • Played for laughs in Joe Dirt, where the eponymous Joe Dirt has an ass-ugly mullet. It's actually a wig his mother put on him as a baby, on account of him being born without the top of his skull. The bones apparently grew and got infused with it, leaving poor Joe stuck with it.
  • 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 '80s style through most of the film but gets glorious '80s hair in the masquerade ball scene.
  • 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.
  • Love Lies Bleeding: Jackie and Lou both sport very '80s hairdos, particularly the latter having a mullet. On the male side, JJ sports a ratty mullet, and Lou Sr. sports a glorious skullet.
  • In Mario (1984), Mario's brother Simon has a perm.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Purple Rain is glutted to the gills with this, in part because so many of the characters (not least the protagonist) are Black, and are sporting Jheri curls and the like. However, all of the characters under age 30 (and some over it, too) seem to have '80s Hair, regardless of race - with a few exceptions like the Mohawk-wearing "punks" we see in the opening montage.
  • During the opening credits of Queens Logic, Al is driving around when he comes across a woman with full-on '80s 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!
  • Road Games: The hitchhiker's feathered cut, the serial killer's beard and unkempt mullet, and the trucker's moustache and short back and sides.
  • Rock of Ages is of course chock-full of it, seeing as it takes place on 1987's Sunset Strip. Among the few actors who didn't have their hair to be restyled was Russell Brand (Lonny) who walked onto the set with a massive mullet already. Subverted somewhat, in that the hairstyles are modern cuts, clearly teased and blowdried that way. No one seems to have gotten the layered cut required to have true '80s hair.
  • The cheesy sci-fi movie R.O.T.O.R. is unabashed in its love of the mullet.
  • In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Khan and his followers look like the entourage of a hair metal group.
  • Terminator:
    • Who could forget Sarah Connor's massive femullet in The Terminator? Her roommate, Ginger, is no slouch either with a massive set of curls.
    • Arnold Schwarzenegger as the T-800 also had a mullet of sorts only to get trimmed down after being burned by an explosion in an alley during an initial chase scene. By the time of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, it's gone and has been replaced his more familiar haircut, which in the second and third films vaguely resembles the first film's T-800's post-burned hairdo. The mullet would not return until Terminator Salvation which the prototype T-800 had and Terminator Genisys where the first film's T-800 makes a brief return in a timeline reset.
    • Terminator 2 did feature John's friend Tim, who has one of the most '80s mullets of all time.
  • Virus Shark: Duke Larson, the security on board the Cygnus Research Facility, has a big mullet.
  • 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.
  • The Wedding Singer invokes this trope.
  • 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).
  • Working Girl has some truly spectacular examples, particularly Joan Cusack's hair, which defies the laws of physics.
  • X-Men: Apocalypse: The film's main setting is 1983.
    • Professor X, Havok, and Quicksilver can pull off the mullet look much better than a lot of the male celebrities of the era.
    • Raven Darkholme's crimped hairdo is a cross between Madonna's and Cyndi Lauper's in the early '80s.
    • Warren Worthington III's curly mane is Billy Idol-esque.
    • Nightcrawler's bangs come straight from A Flock of Seagulls.
    • Rose Byrne likens Agent Moira MacTaggert's hairstyle to Working Girl.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 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.
  • Almost Live!: The burnouts in "The Lame List" sketch.
  • Ashes to Ashes (2008): Alex acquires a massive perm when she arrives in the 1980s. The first season sparked a brief trend in the UK with women seeking perms to emulate the hairstyle.
  • Beverly Hills, 90210 in seasons 1 and 2, and in seasons 3 and 4 with Kelly (Jennie Garth).
  • Blake's 7:
    • Jan Chappell sported some truly awful perms, especially around the first season.
    • Sally Knyvette, who played Jenna Stannis, actually had to add extra hair in Season 1 to make her own seem fuller; fortunately, she was allowed to drop it in Season 2.
    • Soolin's hairdos in Season 4 scream early Eighties.
    • 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 had quite fluffy, curly hair in real life, and grew it while on the show.
  • Cheers: Which, in fairness to it, did start in the 80s. Most of the cast kept their hair pretty reasonable, though. However, one episode in season 10 (which aired in the early 90s) has Lilith decide to trade her Prim and Proper Bun for a perm. Poor Frasier can't stop himself laughing at it, which upsets Lilith. Rebecca appears to keep a straight face, only it turns out she's jammed her hand in a mousetrap to stop the giggles.
  • 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.
  • In Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, when the other people in Rebecca's meeting (including the judge and opposing counsel) turn into a Hair Metal band and sing "Textmergency", they all get '80s hair.
    • In season two, during "You Go First", Paula and Rebecca gain '80s hair throughout the song, which gets bigger with each shot!
  • Back when she was in high school, Emily Prentiss from Criminal Minds was a goth with massive '80s hair. Take a look here.
  • Degrassi Junior High: Christine Nelson, aptly nicknamed "Spike" in spades. It goes through several variations in Junior High, but by Degrassi High, she changes it to more of a mall hairstyle reminiscent of Season 1-2 Kelly Bundy from Married... with Children.
    • Stephanie Kaye, being one of the most fashionable people at the school, has some very very 80s hair at times. However, during her period of depression, she lets it down all the way, looking more like a 60s girl.
    • Derek "Wheels" Wheeler's mullet, which increasingly grows from about season 2 of Junior High to Degrassi Schools Out.
    • Erica and Heather, the twins, and their crimped hair.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Many regular and guest characters in the '80s. Nyssa (played by Sarah Sutton) and Mel (Bonnie Langford) are two particularly prominent examples Justified in Mel's case since she actually comes from the 1980s. So does Nyssa, technically, but from another planet.
    • 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.
    • This is used as a character beat in "Father's Day", which takes place in 1987 when Rose and the Doctor travel there to see her father before he dies. Rose is so shocked to see her younger mother with a massive curly perm that she briefly loses her composure and attempt to hide herself being a time traveller by noting that she's never seen Jackie's hair done like that as it's all straightened out in the show's present of 2005. Other background characters also have similar hair but not to the same absurd extent of curls as Jackie.
  • 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.
  • Family Ties: While Mallory was the only one to wear 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.
  • Friday the 13th: The Series
    • Louis Robey is one of the few women who could make that big hair look work.
  • Friends: Given that the characters were all teenagers in the '80s, the show was very liberal about this in the corresponding flashbacks. Most notable example is "The One With All The Thanksgivings'', with Ross and Chandler sporting ridiculous A Flock of Seagulls (and later Miami Vice) haircuts.
  • Beverly Goldberg. Her Eighties Hair has all the inobtrusive softness and tactile quality of a military helmet. It could withstand a direct hit. Other characters in The Goldbergs, set back in nineteen-eighty-something, show attention to period detail: Lainey Lewis is an Eighties teen with seriously big period hair.
  • 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 '80s, was chock full of this, although it wasn't quite as extreme as actual examples from the era.
  • Robbie Ray of Hannah Montana wants his mullet back!
  • 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).
  • Seen briefly on an old picture of Ted's boss in How I Met Your Mother.
  • Detective DeeDee McCall on Hunter (1984) usually had hairdos typical of the '80s.
  • In the late 1980s a pre-Lois Lane Teri Hatcher appeared occasionally on MacGyver (1985) and an episode of Night Court with huge hair.
  • MacGyver (1985): Richard Dean Anderson is one of the few men who can pull off a mullet and have it look good.
  • Married... with Children
    • Bud Bundy had a mullet for a while.
    • The red mess on top of Peg's head is a typical case of '80s Big Hair.
  • Much like the Happy Days example above, this was pretty egregious on M*A*S*H; a series set in the early 1950s but filmed during the '70s and '80s. The hair and makeup of the actors and actresses therefore straddled the line between '70s Hair and Eighties Hair, with Margaret's feathery 'do and BJ's hair and Porn Stache in later seasons particularly standing out. No one in the cast had the sort of haircuts one would actually expect to see from a military hospital unit of any era, much less the Korean War.
  • Midnight Caller: Jack's producer Billy Po's mullet, and his friend Deacon's flattop.
  • Murphy and Corky Sherwood on the first few seasons of Murphy Brown.
  • 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.
  • One of Us is Lying: Janae has hers in a very '80s style during Season 2, curly and blowdried, though it's set in 2022. Given she's a very nonconformist person it makes sense that she'd put on this throwback hairstyle.
  • Power Rangers:
    • Astronema from Power Rangers in Space rocked some pretty glamorous (and voluminous) wigs.
    • 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?
  • Probe: Austin's designer mullet and Mickey's post-dryer frizz with bangs are classic examples of the contemporary styles for men and women of the 1980s.
  • 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.)
  • Red Dwarf although being set in the far future was filmed in the 80s and then 90s so of course had heaps of gloriously poofy and frizzy hairdos, Lister actually keeps his locks to this day. It's especially noticeble in episodes like "Holoship" with characters like Nirvanah. Justified in the flashback in "Balance of Power", where the crew was having a "1990s Nostalgia Night" Disco party, covering up for why people would be rocking dated hairdos, less justifed the rest of the time.
  • Robin of Sherwood is almost perfect when it comes to period flavour, but the mullets on both Robins kind of stand out.
  • 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 1993.
  • Schitt's Creek has new mother Jocelyn pining for her 1980s youth, and Moira encourages her to "rock on" despite her age. Jocelyn then gets a Gag Haircut inspired by her love of the band Poison.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation started in 1987 and despite being set in the middle of the 24th century has some hilariously of-its-time styling. Deanna Troi's giant curly "cheerleader" look and Tasha Yar's intermittently slicked-back wet-look short hair are the worst offenders among the main cast, though we dodged a bullet as Geordi almost ended up with a Jheri curl. The first series in particular is also rife with guest stars sporting power mullets and the biggest of hairdos.
  • Stranger Things:
    • This show is a rare example where it's most notably pronounced on the boys instead of the girls. The two characters who most obviously fit this trope are Steve and Billy. Both of them have mullets at some point, although Steve's is much more well-coiffed than Billy's, which is more scraggly. Steve in Season 2 is ashamed to admit that he uses Farrah Fawcett-brand hairspray to get his luscious mane. Dustin uses it to get a similar hairstyle for the school dance during the finale.
    • This imbalance is rectified when Nancy starts sporting this in Season 3, adding some volume, curls and bangs to her hair. In Season 4, Robin joins in on the action with her straighter hair from S3 replaced with a wilder and curlier crop of hair.
    • The girls at the dance, who reject Dustin, have a pretty good hair farm between them, and it explodes when we see them again at the mall in S3.
    • Joyce's hair in Season 3, whilst still low maintenance, is full and has heavy bangs. Eleven herself in Season 4 touchingly copies this style as Joyce’s adoptive daughter before having her head shaved again.
    • Chrissy from Season 4 has a Olivia Newton-John’s Sandy-inspired fringe with ponytail, then there’s Eddie who manages to outstrip everyone else in this regard with his massive rocker do taken directly from his namesake Eddie Van Halen himself. There’s also the Big Bad Henry whom when he was properly human, had some long locks, that inexplicably get gelled back '80s style when reveals his evil nature. Though granted the flashback takes place in 1979.
  • Marion Moseby explaining the arrangement of photographs on his office wall in The Suite Life of Zack & Cody episode "Risk It All":
    Moseby: And by the way, it's afro, Jheri curl, then fade.
  • 21 Jump Street was a huge offender. It's impossible to watch an episode without screaming, "EIGHTIES HAIR!!!!!"
  • Diana from V (1983) switched from an elegant look in the two miniseries to classic eighties poofy hair when the series was launched.
  • 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 '80s and returned with Mike Score’s hairstyle from A Flock of Seagulls.
  • WandaVision: Episode 5 “ On a Very Special Episode…” which is set during the 80s (and packed full of references to Full House, Growing Pains, Family Ties, and Step by Step) Wanda and Agnes have some truly massive '80s hair. Additionally Vision’s hairdo is taken straight from Andy Warhol.
  • Ryan Stiles in Whose Line Is It Anyway? sports an endearing mullet.
  • The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss: Pam-I-Am, who has a big, spiky tuft of fur on her head.

  • A really funny one is the cover of the December 1985 issue of Playboy. Barbi 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.

  • 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. It should be noted that quite a few of the earliest metal musicians were of Ashkenazi Jewish or Southern Italian descent and had hair like this naturally (at least, insofar as they grew it long). Indeed, Jewish culture generally forbids men from cutting their hair, resulting in glaring examples of both '70s Hair and '80s hair among Orthodox or Conservative Jewish men, regardless of the time period.
  • 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.
  • Even in the more conservative world of Country Music, many of the top stars of the decade had 1980s-style hair; in fact, the gimmick became so prevalent that it had the ironic and even paradoxical effect of turning the mullet into a stereotypical symbol of American conservatism. 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.
  • In many aspects, The Bangles seemed more a '60s band than an '80s one. Hair was not one of those aspects.
  • For most of his career, Billy Ray Cyrus was known for his mullet.
  • A Flock of Seagulls has probably become better known for the lead singer's insanely '80s 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.
  • Sigue Sigue Sputnik wore big, crazy, and colorful wigs.
  • Tears for Fears: Baby mullets, rat tails and curls, oh my! During their heyday, the band's mullets were just as famous as their music. In fact, they're still being mocked for their '80s hairstyles to this day, which includes this meme that compares their distinctive manes to a llama and a squirrel. Curt Smith finds it unfair that he and Roland Orzabal seem to be picked on more often for their past hairdos than most other musical acts from that decade.
    Smith: The downside of videos is, they're a reminder of all the bad fashion you went through. Our videos are kind of embarrassing, especially "Shout", but they're an endless source of amusement for my children: "Oh my God, you've got braids in your hair!" They laugh hysterically. It's not like we looked worse than anyone else. There were people who looked even worse than we did. So on a scale, we were somewhere in the middle.
  • In "Stop to Love" by Luther Vandross, backup singer Lisa Fischer's mohawk weave comes with its own laws of physics. Vandross's Jheri curl is also an example, but it pales in comparison to the mohawk.
  • In Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again," singer David Coverdale's luxurious locks compete heroically with those of his then-girlfriend Tawny Kitaen.
  • Daniel Amos, on the cover of their 1984 album Vox Humana, show up with large, strangely sculpted hairdos. The back cover lampshades it with another photo of the band, this time with a speech bubble declaring, "My hair points to the sky, the place I'd rather be!" (a lyric from their song "Home Permanent").
  • Michael Jackson sported a Jheri curl on the covers of Thriller and Bad, a hairstyle that was popular with African-American men during the '80s.
  • 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 trope page's pic).
  • Before becoming a successful solo artist in the '90s, Sheryl Crow sang backup for Michael Jackson in the '80s and had ginourmous hair.
  • Limahl, of Kajagoogoo, had one of the most extreme examples. South Park has portrayed him as an alien on account of this.
  • Peter Slaghuis and Bianca Bonelli had white bob haircuts and bangs when they were in Videokids.
  • Thanks to Pop-Cultural Osmosis, spikey '80s hair is often associated with Tina Turner, though this isn't entirely accurate. The only reason she's known for that look is that she made her big comeback in 1984 with the album Private Dancer, and that was the fashionable look at the time, but she didn't stick to it longer than anyone else. When her career moved into the '90s and 2000s, her hairstyles matched the decade.


  • Dr. Dude, whose hair is too awesome for gravity.
  • As with the band members themselves, Guns N' Roses (Data East) features a healthy crop of eighties frizz on the various characters on the playfield.
  • Similarly, Raven failed at being a convincing One-Woman Army due to her immaculately well-coiffed hairdo.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • In wrestling - which arguably did every bit as much as any other corner of popular culture to promote this trope - '80s Hair is (just barely) Older Than Television. George Wagner - better known as Gorgeous George - is generally credited with being the first to grow out and tease his blond hair (although Buddy Rogers, the original "Nature Boy", bleached his hair blond first), so that he sported a mullet as early as the 1940s. He then became one of the first big celebrities on American television, rivaling the likes of Milton Berle.
  • "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.)
  • Irma Águilar, Irma González and La Medusa in Lucha Libre Inernacional/Universal Wrestling Association and CMLL, during the eighties, naturally. Also joined by AJW's Dump Matsumoto during the time period.
  • Ironically, Hulk Hogan, a figure who pretty much defines the '80s (and not just for pro wrestling fans) grew his blond hair long but never frizzed it, and even started to go bald at the height of his popularity.
  • Ryusuke Taguchi developed an affinity for big eighties hairdos as his New Japan Pro-Wrestling career went on, sometimes having an out and out Afro.
  • Dragon Gate fans knew Shingo for his mullet better than they did his face, leading to chants from the crowd about its absence when he changed his hairstyle in 2009.
  • Dolph Ziggler sported 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, he used to have a theme song with the title of "Perfection") though he trimmed back his 'do (and may be undergoing a Heel–Face Turn to boot).
  • One of Adam Cole's Kick the Dog moments in Ring of Honor was to shave the mullet off of Michael Elgin.
  • Dominik Mysterio sports a particularly obnoxious-looking mullet.

  • One song in In the Heights has Nina sing "you can tell it's from the Eighties/By the volume of their hair''.

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech shows many of the female characters in the early sourcebooks with Eighties Hair, particularly some of the color plates in the roleplaying supplement Mech Warrior and early sourcebooks. Clearly, hairspray was never lostech to the Inner Sphere.
    • Natasha Kerensky in the House Kurita Sourcebook.
    • Space Pirate Paula "Lady Death" Trevaline sports one of these hairstyles in the 1988 Perhiphery sourcebook
    • For the men, Tormano Liao has been shown with a similar hairstyle, in a more recent sourcebook.
  • Dungeons & Dragons female miniatures sculpted by Dennis Mize often had anachronistically crimped hair, such as the Ravenloft miniatures here and here.

    Video Games 
  • Paul Lee from Backyard Hockey.
  • General Lionwhyte from Brütal Legend has extremely wild '80s hair; in fact, it gave him the power to fly. The Razorgirls also have fairly poofy hair- one of their idle animations is the pull out a can of hair spray and use it on themselves.
  • 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 '80s, so he comes by it honestly.
  • Final Fight was made in the 80s so this was inevitable. The most notable example is probably Poison, who has a giant mane of bright pink hair and a leather hat that would make Rob Halford proud.
  • Although it came out in 1996 rather than '86, the first Fire Emblem Jugdral story, Genealogy of the Holy War, features this in spades. Your army is full of huge fluffed bangs, waves like a sine equation, and even a couple of mullets. The midquel, Thracia 776, tones things down considerably—compare the first game's portraits to the second.
  • William Daughton from The Journeyman Project 2: Buried In Time seems to have a flared '80s hairstyle, almost like Marty McFly; and An option you can pick for Gage Blackwood's auto-stylist in the first game is a mullet, although it's labeled "GeoWave". However, the computer tells you that it won't fit TSA dress code, so you don't get to have it for the day.
  • 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.
  • Leisure Suit Larry 1: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards: There's a teenager with a mohawk in Reloaded, though ironically, Larry exclaims that his hair is so seventies.
  • Metal Gear is heavily inspired by 80s action movies, so is notorious for this:
  • This type of hair is common in Pokémon Black and White. It's like Unova is having a huge trend of 80s nostalgia. One has a huge ponytail, the other a mullet. The trucker caps don't help. Both Professors Juniper's 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.
  • In Quest for Glory IV, Katrina sports an impressive mane when she plays up her appearance as a fearsome vampire. (It's much more subdued when she passes for a human, and when she sleeps.)
  • Carlos’s hair in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis while the game was released in the late 90s, his Mel Gibson’s mullet has come straight from the 80s. Billy from Resident Evil 0 has a pretty ostentatious mullet as well.
  • Police Chief Jim sports a mullet in The 11th Hour: The sequel to The 7th Guest.
  • Mona and Lisa, twin bosses in Streets of Rage 3, sport a big frizzly and wild hairdo while wearing a skin tight purple outfit. The game was made in the early 1990s however, long after the 80s hairstyle came to an end.
  • Princess Peach from Super Mario Bros. has had puffy hair since her modern design was introduced with Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels.
  • Namco's Wonder Momo, who debuted in 1987, sports the kind of ridiculously fluffy hair popular in anime of the time. While this is downplayed by The New '10s webcomic and anime adaptations, her other appearances—such as in Namco × Capcom—keep it as a deliberate part of her look.
  • The "Sleeping Zelda" from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link has puffy 80s hair despite the medieval fantasy tone of the game (on top of her being Really 700 Years Old due to being put in a magical coma).

    Visual Novels 
  • Higurashi: When They Cry takes place in the summer of 1983. Keichi and especially Rika sport 80s hair. Rika has huge hair for such a small girl.


    Web Original 
  • '80s Chick that looked like a female version of Linkara sported huge wild hair.
  • Homestar Runner:
    • The members of Limozeen, Strong Bad's favorite hair metal band, all have long, voluminous, wavy blond hair.
    • In the Strong Bad Email "different town", one of the ways Strong Bad says he'd make the town different is that "Marzipan would rock", and it shows Marzipan with her usual blond hair done up in a ridiculously-tall feathered bouffant.
  • During The Nostalgia Chick's review of Jem, the Makeover Fairy gave herself, the Chick, and Nella an '80s makeover, complete with '80s 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 
  • Barbie and the Rockers: Out of This World was made in the image of Jem so, naturally, the characters all have 80s hair. Barbie has huge, curly hair in contrast with her typical straight hair, while Ken has a mullet.
  • Another example from the '90s: Nightwing's mullet from The New Batman Adventures. Surprisingly, it wasn't that bad...
  • Some of Beavis and Butt-Head's classmates have mullets and fluffed-up hair. While this might've been appropriate when the show premiered (in early 1993), it was very jarring by 1997 (the show's final year before its 2011 reboot).
  • In Beverly Hills Teens, the characters are so rich, they can afford to take this to extremes.
  • News reporter Terry Bouffant from ChalkZone.
  • Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers: Gadget Hackwrench sports quite a long and poofy Furry Female Mane. Lampshaded in the Of Mice and Mayhem Fan Comic.
  • The Fairly OddParents!: Parodied. At one point, they go back to the '80s and see people with green, cube-shaped hair and the like.
  • In the Green Eggs and Ham episode “You Only Mom Twice” when Sam and his mother Pam enter a time zone where they get younger at one point Pam is dressed as a punk rocker with a big pink mohawk, Sam asks what mission that was from she replies that it was from a bad hair decade.
  • Another 90s example was the retooled second season of Iron Man: The Animated Series, which was largely modeled after the late '80s/early '90s run of the comics; thus, Tony got the mullet from the comics, though without the curls. Still made him look plenty badass, though.
  • All of the Jem and the Holograms have truly, truly outrageous hair. It's a near-perfect Unintentional Period Piece full of late 1980s fashion.
  • My Little Pony:
  • In the Regular Show episode "Rage Against the TV", Mordecai describes The Hammer as "Blue, with a black mullet".
  • Defied on The Simpsons: Whenever they have flashed back to the 1980s (and the first episode aired in 1989, so if you think about it they shouldn't have to do it in the first place baring the sliding timeline), Marge's hair looks the same as it did in the 1990s and later (not that it was very timely to begin with, being an exaggeration of Matt Groening's mother's '60s beehive); and Homer has hair, but it looks perfectly timeless. This is especially interesting when you remember how parodically they portrayed '70s Hair when showing Homer and Marge's high-school years. Of course, they started doing the '80s jokes in the early '90s, when the '80s had barely ended, so maybe they didn't consider those hairstyles unusual yet and decided to focus on popular culture and politics instead.
  • Steven Universe: Rainbow Quartz, being both a Pearl/Rose fusion, as well as an homage to Jem, has huge, long Jem-esque hair, complete with platinum blonde color, feathering, and pink highlights. Such hair, combined with long hair, also seems fairly common among Quartz-type Gems; Amethyst and Jasper have long, wild metal hair, while Rose Quartz has soft, poofy ringlets that would be a bouffant if there wasn't so much of it. Garnet has a square afro, giving her a synth-mod look. Greg had metal hair during his flashback appearances, and his current hairstyle is reminiscent of a mullet, only because he's lost all the hair at the front of his head and the hair at the back is rocker-esque long hair.
  • In the Teen Titans Go! episode "Nose Mouth", Raven's idea of "fixing" Starfire is giving her giant blonde hair, which she doesn't take kindly to.
  • ThunderCats. Oh lord, the ThunderCats:
    • All the heroes, with the exception of Panthro and Jaga, have truly enormous hair. Lion-O's dad has even more enormous hair, done in an impressive Elvis-like bouffant, with a beard to match. Well, they're cats. They have manes.
    • Unlike the heroes who can justify it as Wild Hair, Luna, leader of the late-series villains Luna-taks, had purple and white hair that could only be described as the '80s gone way too far. She made up for four of the six Luna-taks (two are bald, one is balding with long hair, one has a mohawk, and the other chick has perfectly reasonable hair).
  • The Venture Brothers characters tend to be stuck in the past — witness Brock Samson with his mullet, and Pete White with his Flock of Seagulls 'do.
  • In the 2016 reboot of Voltron, Keith's design remains fairly close to the original. This includes the original's '80s mecha pilot mullet, which Lance is not averse to taking jabs at.
    Lance: I'd know that mullet anywhere!

  • The site Awkward Family Photos has one particular photo of a family portrait where everyone has extreme 80s hair.
  • Old nerd joke: "Astronauts always have puffy hair in orbit... but in the '80s, they still had it when they came back to Earth!"
  • AnnaLynne McCord is keeping this trend alive in the present day.
  • It's often seen when some people get a faux hawk and it turns out bad, it winds up looking like a mullet.
  • Affectionately parodied by the Real Hot Bitches dance troupe. In 2011, though, they announced they would '"cryogenically freeze themselves until the next 80s revival."
  • Alex Kingston does her best to tame it down, but her wildly unruly curls are rather her trademark.
  • Shockingly common on Fantasy book covers, along with '70s Hair.
    • The Dragonlance characters tend to have 80s Hair in spades, especially the women like Tika, Kitiara, or Crysania.
  • Barry Melrose, whose mullet is its own piece of hockey lore.
  • Given hockey player Jaromír Jágr had a glorious mullet during the 90s, there is a group of his fans called "Travelling Jagrs", each dressed in a Jágr jersey (including of the Czech national team and on occasion the All-Star Game) and with a mullet wig.
  • Young Jeremy Renner's mullet is something of an inside joke for the Avengers fandom.
  • A common joke/stereotype in the US is that New Jersey and Texas are two places where '80s hair never went out of style, especially among women.
  • By the mid-Eighties, it had become difficult to watch any German Bundesliga soccer game without at least a dozen mullets on the field.
  • In Europe, mullets are as much an integral part (and a cliché) of The '80s as tricked-out but not necessarily tuned-up cars and often even associated with the latter. In Germany, home of the Manta jokes, one of the several names for the mullet translates to "neck spoiler".
  • Till this very day, a lot of middle-aged guys still use it. And general consensus is that they try to look cool but they fail miserably because it doesn't suit them. Nor is a good haircut.
  • The mullet made an unexpected comeback in American sports culture in 2020 during the breakout football season of the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, which also served as something of a diversion during peak COVID. Many Chants players, most notably star QB Grayson McCall, sported mullets right out of the 80s, and the then-unbeaten team really leaned into it when it arranged a game against also-unbeaten BYU on literally two days' notice.Background Unofficial game merch bore the tagline "Mormons vs. Mullets", playing off the notorious "Catholics vs. Convicts" used to promote the 1988 matchup between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Miami Hurricanes. Coastal won, by the way.


Video Example(s):


Amber Lynn

The 80s porn studette's hair is teased-out big hair blonde.

How well does it match the trope?

4.33 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / EightiesHair

Media sources: