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Top 7 Teen Comedies from the 80’s

Top 6 Teen Comedies of the 80’s

When it comes to movies, there are two things that the early-to-mid-1980s are best known for: slasher films and teen comedies. Here is a list of my favorite teen comedies of the 1980’s.


7- Sixteen Candles (1984)

One of the many collaborations with John Hughes and Molly Ringwald, “Sixteen Candles” shows the less glamorous side to turning sixteen. Anthony Michael Hall plays a hip freshman called Ted the Geek and steals the show. Keep a look out for a very young John Cusak who plays a minor role.

Memorable scene:

Anthony Michael Hall’s characters get with the prom queen in a Roles Royce.

Memorable quote:

Relax, would you? We have seventy dollars and a pair of girl’s underpants. We’re safe as kittens.

Memorable song:

The Stray Cats: Sixteen Candles


6- Risky Business (1983)

A groundbreaking film which clearly inspired movies like American Beauty.
Though Tom Cruise starred in plenty of films in the 1980s this was perhaps his breakthrough role.

Memorable scene:

Tom Cruises crashes his dad’s porche into the river.

Memorable quote:

“I don’t believe this! I’ve got a trig midterm tomorrow, and I’m being chased by Guido the Killer Pimp!”

Memorable song:

Bob Seger: Old Time Rock and Roll


5- Heathers (1989)

The influential black comedy casts Winona Ryder as a reluctant member of an evil clique of pretty and popular girls all named Heather. Christian Slater co-stars as the moody loner who tried to impress Ryder when he embarks on a killing spree made to look like a string of teen suicides. A clever, completely original and near pitch perfect black comedy about high school politics and teenage suicide.

Memorable scenes

The school exploding in the background with Christian Slater standing in front sucking in the flames and letting them light up his cigarette.
Memorable quotes:

“It’s one thing to want someone out of your life, but it’s another thing to serve them a wake-up cup full of liquid drainer.”

Dear Diary: Heathert old me she teaches people “real life.” She said, real life sucks losers dry. You want to fuck with the eagles, you have to learn to fly. I said, so, you teach people how to spread their wings and fly? She said, yes. I said, you’re beautiful.

Memorable song:

Sly and the Family Stone: Que Sera, Sera


4- The Breakfast Club (1985)

One of the most consistent writer/directors to contribute to ’80s teen comedies was John Hughes. Hughes was responsible for the likes of Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and The Breakfast Club. While all of those films were great in their own right, The Breakfast Club was arguably the most influential  and re-visited of them.

Memorable scene:

When all five kids get high in the library.

Memorable quote:

Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you’re crazy to make an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us… In the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions…

Memorable song:

Simple Minds: Don’t You


3- Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
An all star (than unknown) power house cast including Phoebe Cates, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold, Forest Whitaker, Nicholas Cage (credited as Nick Copolla) and Sean Penn in his iconic performance as stoner surfer Jeff Spicoli. Adapted from a novel by Cameron Crowe which he wrote while attending a California high school undercover and directed by Amy Heckerling.

Memorable scene:

Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn) crashing the car.
Memorable Quotes:

“All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I’m fine.”

”You dick!¨¨

”My brother’s gonna kill us! He’s gonna kill us! He’s gonna kill you and he’s gonna kill me, he’s gonna kill us!”

”Mister, if you don’t shut up I’m gonna kick one hundred percent of your ass!”

Memorable song:

Led Zeppelin – Kashmir


2- Say Anything (1989)
John Cusack starred in a number of teen films in the 1980s including One Crazy Summer, Better off Dead, The Sure Thing, Sixteen Candles and Stand By Me, However his best film to date is Say Anything and his best role is still his lovable character Lloyd Dobler in what is arguably Cameron Crowe’s best film.

Memorable scene:

John Cusak holding up his ghetto blaster outside Diane’s house playing the song ”In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel.

Memorable quotes:

“She’s gone. She gave me a pen. I gave her my heart, she gave me a pen.”

”I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don’t want to do that.”
Memorable Song:

“In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel


1- Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was most definitely John Hughes at the peak of his teen angst phase. The director put himself firmly on the map as the King of the Teen Comedy with this one, long before the genre turned into the increasingly-tedious string of gross-out gags. The film still holds up after 20 years, primarily due to Broderick’s comic timing and charisma in the iconic role he’ll never be able to entirely escape from.

Memorable scene:

Much like in Risky Business, the most memorable scene is when Cameron crashes his dad’s Ferrari.

Memorable quote:

Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Memorable song:

The Beatles: Twist and Shout

Special mention to Last American Virgin, Revenge of the Nerds, Some Kind of Wonderful, Footloose, Adventures in Babysitting, Weird Science and Pretty in Pink.

“Young people support the movie business and it is only fair that their stories be told”.  John Hughes 1986