How Well Do You Remember the 80s?


By: Lenore Brown

6 Min Quiz

Image: YouTube

About This Quiz

Were you a total 80s kid? Even if you weren't, you should take this gnarly quiz! It's like, totally tubular, man! How much do you remember about this fun decade?

Which former actor was President of the United States for most of the decade?

Ronald Reagan was a former actor who served as President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. He was well known for his new political and economic initiatives, also known as "Reaganomics."


What dividing wall in Germany was torn down in 1989?

The Berlin Wall was a barrier that divided East and West Berlin from 1961 to 1989. The wall was originally built to prevent East Germans from fleeing to the democratic West Germany.


What 1980s sitcom featured a setting in a bar "where everybody knows your name"?

"Cheers" debuted in 1982 and continued its run until 1993. This sitcom featured a place (bar) to go between work and home to meet with friends. The series was so successful, a spin-off show was created for one of the characters, titled "Frasier."


What doll brand featured fabric dolls that inspired other toys, games, and even an animated cartoon series?

​Cabbage Patch Kids dolls actually began as fabric sculptures offered at arts and crafts shows. The dolls became very popular and inspired several merchandising opportunities.


What popular movie series featured a time-traveling DeLorean?

"Back to the Future" is a science fiction comedy that features the invention of a time-travel machine. The first film was released in 1985, and its great success produced two sequels.


What video game console signaled the boom in video game popularity?

In 1983, Nintendo released a family computer known as Famicom in Japan. The system was redesigned for the North American market and was released in 1985 as the Nintendo Entertainment System, or NES. It's popularity led to many game titles being sold and many competitors designing their own video game consoles.


Which NBA basketball team dominated the decade, winning the division title every year in the decade, except one?

The Los Angeles Lakers were unstoppable in the 1980s. The NBA team won a division title each year in the decade, except for 1981 when they were defeated by the Houston Rockets. The Lakers also won five championships in the 1980s.


What disease was discovered in 1981 that lead to a worldwide campaign for its prevention?

AIDS is a disease caused by a viral infection known as HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus. The disease was first discovered in the United States in 1981. The campaign for prevention also informed the public that the disease could not be transmitted by casual, non-sexual contact.


Which space shuttle exploded in flight and grounded NASA missions for more than two years?

The unfortunate demise of the Challenger in 1986 led to the death of all seven crew members and the grounding of NASA's shuttle fleet until 1988. The Challenger was on its tenth space mission when an external tank explosion caused the shuttle to break apart.


What 1986 nuclear disaster led to the evacuation of an entire city and permanent damage to the environment?

The Chernobyl accident happened in 1986 at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant near Pripyat, Ukraine. It occurred during a safety test, during which safety systems were turned off to simulate a power failure. The explosion sent radioactive material into the air, prompting the evacuation of Pripyat.


Which genre of music produced popular 80s tunes from bands such as AC/DC, Bon Jovi, Kiss, Queen, and others?

In the 1980s, rock music was defined more specifically by its subgenre. Hard rock became very popular due to loud vocals and strong rhythms. Hard rock bands also increased their popularity by touring worldwide and performing live shows.


What cable television station led to the rise in popularity of music videos?

MTV was launched in 1981 and featured music videos hosted by famous television personalities. The popularity in music videos grew, and videos became more "scripted," adding more storylines to the videos and less showing of concert footage.


Which pop artist could you NOT hear during this decade?

Justin Timberlake rose to stardom in the 90s as a member of NSYNC. However Prince, Michael Jackson, and Madonna were forming the base of the pop genre and increasing the popularity of pop music in the 1980s.


Which of the following dance moves was performed first by Michael Jackson?

The moonwalk is a dance move where the dancer appears to be walking normally but actually moves backward​. Michael Jackson first performed the move during a performance of "Billie Jean" in March of 1983. It quickly became his signature move.


What type of dancing was very popular for street performers?

Also known as breaking or b-boying, breakdance was popular for street performers since it can be performed in a smaller space. It featured dance moves that were more gymnastic in nature. The dance went well with music featuring a rhythmic base,​ such as pop or hip hop.


What brand of basketball footwear was popularized and a must-have for every basketball athlete?

Air Jordan is a basketball footwear brand created by Nike. The brand was originally created for Michael Jordan when he was drafted in the NBA. He later endorsed the footwear when it was introduced to the market in 1985.


Finish this slogan from Wendy's restaurants: "Where's the ___?"

​The slogan for Wendy's ads pondered the question, "Where's the beef?" The ad campaign pointed out competitors didn't provide enough beef compared to Wendy's modest portions. The phrase became a popular saying when questioning the existence of a product.


What popular teen hangout spot featured coin-operated​ novelty games?

Video arcades became the "cool" place for adolescents to hang out. The arcade featured coin operated games, including pinball machines, mechanical games, air hockey, billiards, and video games.


What 80s hairstyle featured large shaped hair that probably required lots of hairspray?

Big hair was a big style during the 1980s, featuring large shaped hair for both genders. The goal of the hairstyle was for the hair to occupy a large amount of space around the head, often requiring hairspray to keep it in place. The hairstyle also included several techniques, including the afro and the beehive.


What gadget would you LEAST likely use to listen to music in the 80s?

All of the electronic gadgets, except the iPod were available for music playback during the 1980s. Boomboxes, though large, were already very popular from the 70s. Music playback became more portable with the Sony Walkman. CDs also entered the market during the 1980s and eventually became more popular than the cassette player. The Apple iPod was not released until 2001.


What modern technology device found a way into the homes of many Americans during the 1980s?

Computers have been around for several decades ​but usually required large rooms to house the components for even the simplest of calculations. The invention of microprocessors made computers smaller and more affordable mass-market.


Which restaurant chain is credited for first integrating food, family entertainment, and video arcades?

Chuck E. Cheese's was founded in 1977 but became widely popular in the 1980s because of the video arcade that was integrated with the pizza restaurant. The concept of Chuck E. Cheese's was actually created by Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell, who wanted to further the popularity of Atari's video games.


What fashion accessory was often worn to symbolize a bond between two people?

Friendship bracelets were often handmade and given as a symbol of friendship. Making a friendship bracelet involves macrame stitching and brightly colored threads.


One major fashion style included what clothing garment made of denim?

Denim is a sturdy cotton textile, often used in denim jeans. During the 1980s, denim was used as a fabric for jackets. If you wore the jacket and the jeans, you could be covered in denim.


What popular toy was often kicked around for fun and games?

Hacky sacks were small, round bags filled with sand or plastic pellets. The goal of​ playing hacky sack was to kick it into the air without letting it drop to the ground. This was often done with a group of people in a circle as a competitive game or just for fun.


This popular 1980s shoe style was known for its bright colors and glossy sheen.

Jelly shoes came in a wide variety of brands and colors and became a widely popular shoe style in the 1980s. Jelly shoes were made of PVC plastic and were often semi-transparent similar to a jar of jelly.


If you were a dancer in the 80s, you probably owned a pair of these pants.

Parachute pants were named because they were made from nylon material, similar to that of an actual parachute. They became popular for break dancing because they were made of a more durable material that didn't wear out as quickly and reduced friction.


What children's book series featured colored illustrations and a hidden character with red and white stripes?

"Where's Waldo?" series started in the UK as "Where's Wally?" but it still featured a character dressed in a red and white striped shirt hidden among other deceptive red and white striped objects. The books were first published in 1987, and inspired an animated cartoon and series of video games.


This popular toy was a difficult 3-D combination puzzle.

The Rubik's Cube, originally called Magic Cube, was first sold in 1980. The goal was to arrange the six faces of the cube to be solid colors by rotating and twisting the faces.


What popular sport equipment on wheels was developed in 1980 as a substitute for ice skates?

Originally used as a substitute for ice skates and training for the 1980 Olympics, inline skates are modified roller skates with all of the wheels arranged in a single line. The product was popularized in the late 1980s under the trademark name Rollerblade.


What video game was NOT released for Atari in the 1980s?

Centipede, Pac-Man, and Missile Command were video games that were released for Atari in the 1980s. Many of these games could be found in the arcade before becoming available on Atari. Doom was a first-person shooter game that was released in 1993 for MS-DOS.


What movie genre gained popularity due to releases such as "Nightmare on Elm Street," "Poltergeist," and "Friday the 13th"?

Following the success of "Halloween" in 1978, movies in the horror genre increased in popularity during the 1980s. Most of the movies fell under the subgenre of slasher films, where victims were often brutally killed.


After suffering a public relations scare in 1982, which product became the first major product to be recalled in America?

In 1982, seven people died in Chicago after ingesting Tylenol that was deliberately contaminated with cyanide. Tylenol was immediately recalled from store shelves, reclaiming nearly 31 million bottles. Ten weeks after the recall, Tylenol was being sold again in tamper-resistant containers.


Which great hockey player overtook records set by Gordie Howe and still holds many of them today?

Wayne Gretzky was a Canadian ice hockey player who played in the NHL from 1979 to 1999. During the peak of his career in the 1980s, he set many records, some which nicknamed him the greatest hockey player of all time. He was immediately inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame upon his retirement.


What series of teddy bear toys and animated shows originated from greeting cards?

Care Bears were originally painted by Elena Kucharik for American Greetings in 1981. The characters on the cards became popular and were later used for toys and animated TV shows.


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