Can You Identify All of These ’80s Movies From a Single Frame?

Lauren Lubas

Image: SLM Production Group/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

About This Quiz

The 1980s gave us big hair and big music, but it also gave us a new generation of film making. In the '80s, we were introduced to the teen movie formula, and slasher films went a step further by landing in our dreams. Not only that, the cult classics of the '80s are still wildly popular today and call upon a younger following despite the modern love for superhero movies. There are a lot of reasons the movies from the '80s are so popular. The characters were simple to understand and identify with. The plots weren't difficult to follow, and there always seemed to be a happy ending. They were pure films that gave us more than we could ask for (even if they became predictable after a while). Whether or not you were an '80s kid, you most likely hold a place in your heart for the cheesy, funny, scary, and inspirational movies that were released in that decade. 

If you consider yourself someone who knows a thing or two about the movies of the 1980s, we have a quiz for you. Let's see if you can identify all of these moves from a single frame (trust us, it's more difficult than it sounds).

What is this teen movie that has four unusual suspects, and one usual one?

What happens when you put five people from different cliques in the same room for eight hours? "The Breakfast Club" (1985) happens. This movie brought us to the conclusion that opposites attract, and everyone can get along.

Can you identify this movie about a little boy and his alien friend who wants to go home?

There is nothing like a little boy and his alien friend. However, when the government gets involved, this movie turns into an action film. The greatest thing about "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" (1982) is that it contains every emotion in the human library.

This movie is about a kid who skipped school. What is it?

"Ferris Beuller's Day Off" (1986) showed us that there are consequences to our actions ... but only sometimes. While the main character never seems to get in trouble, his friend sure does. Let's not forget Cameron's face after the car incident.

Do you know the name of this movie about a time-traveling assassin?

Before he was the governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger was the most popular action star in the world. "The Terminator" (1984) gave us action, adventure and time travel. What else does a movie need?

Can you name this movie that gives us a closer look at the afterlife?

"Beetlejuice" (1988) was a movie about an unlovable creature who wanted nothing else than to be free and two dead people who needed to understand why they were dead. It is a glorious dark comedy.

Do you know the name of this comedy that included Bill Murray in the cast?

"Caddyshack" (1980) is an unapologetic comedy with a wide cast of characters, young and old. There are goofy characters and there's a whole lot of drugs and alcohol involved ... in the movie and in the writing of the screenplay.

In this movie, dancing was not allowed. Do you know the name of it?

In a town where dancing and rock music aren't legal, a young hero with a passion for dancing comes along and tries to change the mind of the older people in town. It's an '80s plot about young versus old.

In what movie would giving an animal water be a bad thing?

Mogwais are wonderful little creatures that give love. However, there are a lot of rules to follow when it comes to taking care of them ... because they can turn into gremlins if they come into contact with water, are exposed to bright light and are fed after midnight.

What is the name of this love story from the '80s that involved dancing?

People love "Dirty Dancing" (1987) so much that they even tried to remake the movie. However, the original was so perfect and timeless that it was nearly impossible to update it for a younger generation (that loved the original anyway).

Which '80s movie involved two boys who created a girl?

The 1980s were all about technology and the changes in the world. What better way to express all of that than with a teen movie where geniuses create a woman out of a computer program? That's where "Weird Science" (1985) comes in.

Can you name this movie that starred David Bowie?

If you love watching David Bowie in skin tight pants and showing off his junk, you probably loved "Labyrinth" (1986). It was a movie about magic, love and trickery. It also helped that Jim Henson directed it.

Can you name this movie that showed the slow walk toward insanity?

Based on the famous book by Stephen King, "The Shining" was an advanced psychological thriller of its time. While there was very little in the gore, there was a lot of mind melting insanity happening in that hotel.

Which '80s movie included an iconic moment where a boy holds a radio over his head?

John Cusack was a staple in 1980s movies. Not only was he dorky and innocent enough to be lovable, he was just normal enough not to be a heartthrob. That made him perfect to play the character of Lloyd in "Say Anything" (1989).

Can you name this movie about a teen heartache and the path to recovery?

The premise of "Better Off Dead" (1985) would never pass as a movie these days. The movie is about a teenage boy whose girlfriend breaks up with him and he contemplates suicide. These days, the boy would probably just threaten to ditch his social media pages.

What is this terrifying horror film that was said to be cursed?

"Poltergeist" (1982) was a terrifying movie that was said to be based on a true story. When odd things happened on set and to the actors of the film, the franchise was said to be cursed by demonic spirits.

Can you name this spoof movie about a pilot from the '80s?

"Airplane!" (1980) was a movie that was all about making fun of ... pretty much everything. It even included visual puns, linguistic humor and a hilarious back and forth over a PA system between two airport employees that we never meet.

Can you name this "Star Wars" spoof that became an instant cult classic?

No one could touch the comedic genius that was "Spaceballs" (1987). The movie even included a cross between a dog and a man ... he was his own best friend, and he was played by John Candy, a staple in 1980s comedy films.

Which of these movies made Tom Cruise famous for dancing in his undies?

Everyone remembers the iconic scene in "Risky Business" (1983) in which Tom Cruise slides across the floor in his underwear. While many have tried to copy this move, many have also been injured doing so.

Can you name this comedy starring Eddie Murphy as an African prince?

When a prince gets bored with his life in his wealthy country, he decides to sow his wild oats in America. As you may or may not know, hilarity ensues as he learns what it's like to live in the slums of New York City.

This coming of age movie reminded us of the times before video games, but can you name it?

"Stand By Me" (1986) was another movie based on a tale written by Stephen King. This adaptation showed what it was like for boys to come of age in the 1960s ... in Maine (of course, we are talking about a Stephen King story here).

What is this dark comedy about some crazy teens?

Murder and intrigue were what this movie was all about. "Heathers" (1988) did seem to open a lot of doors for catching the bad guys by recording their entire plans as they told the story of how great they were. This part of the formula didn't go away until the mid-1990s.

Can you identify this movie starring Keanu Reeves as a teen who's a little burned out?

Not only was "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" (1989) the perfect comedy about two dumb kids, it was also an educational film about history. In order to avoid military school, Ted has to pass his history class, and that's just where it starts.

Can you name this fish-out-of-water comedy that stars Eddie Murphy?

Eddie Murphy was a common face in 1980s comedy movies, and "Beverly Hills Cop" was the perfect role for him. While the movie completely denies the rules of jurisdiction, it is an interesting take on solving a murder mystery.

What is this boxing movie that stars Robert De Niro?

Over the years, Robert De Niro has graced the screen with some excellent characters, and one of the most memorable of those characters is Jake LaMotta. As with most De Niro movies, Joe Pesci also plays a role.

This movie was all about social classicism, but it was a comedy. What is it?

"Trading Places" (1983) is about a rich man who ends up poor and a poor man who ends up rich. It's an interesting tack on how intelligence and the ability to do what others do doesn't necessarily take a college degree ... it just takes a leg up.

This ridiculous movie is a cult classic starring Elizabeth Shue. Can you name it?

We may remember Elizabeth Shue from quite a few 1980s movies, but "Adventures in Babysitting" (1987) was one of her most memorable roles, as she had to fight her way through the city to ensure that the kids she was babysitting made it home safely.

What is this iconic coming of age sports film from the 1980s?

Anyone who has seen "The Karate Kid" (1984) may not have realized that Daniel won the tournament with an illegal move. Luckily for us, this fact was brought up in the series set in the same frame on YouTube Red called "Cobra Kai" (2018).

Can you name this fantasy movie from the 1980s that encouraged children to imagine?

You may remember "The Neverending Story" (1984) from the interesting characters, but the plot of the story is where this movie breaks the mold. It is basically a movie that tells kids to stop watching movies and use their imaginations.

What is this action movie from 1988 that some call a Christmas film?

There is a great debate as to whether "Die Hard" (1988) is a Christmas movie or an action movie. Either way, it's an action-packed movie that is set around Christmas time. The movie put Bruce Willis on the map as an action star.

Do you know the name of this action/adventure movie that has interesting character names?

With character names like Sloth, Chunk, Mouth and Data, you know this is going to be a good movie. Not only did this feed the thirst for a good treasure hunt movie, it also gave us a good laugh and understanding of the bonds that we make as children.

In what movie does a grandfather tell his son the story as we watch?

If ever there was a fantasy movie that could make you laugh and cry and fear for the hero, "The Princess Bride" (1987) most likely gave you a foundation to judge all the others. Most who have seen it agree that this movie was perfection.

What is this movie about Vietnam that stars Charlie Sheen?

Charlie Sheen and Tom Berenger star in this raw and real movie set in Vietnam in 1967. "Platoon" (1986) brought a lot of people back to the war that tore their families apart and changed their lives forever.

Can you name this military movie that takes us through basic training?

"Full Metal Jacket" (1987) was decidedly the most intense military movie that had been made to date. Not only was this movie brutally honest about what people go through when they join the military, it was frighteningly real.

This movie had both live action and cartoons. What is it?

"Who Framed Roger Rabbit" (1988) was about a young rabbit who was so in love. However, he is framed for murder, and chaos ensues. This movie is a dark comedy that stars a cartoon character and Bob Hoskins.

Can you name this dark superhero movie that included actors like Jack Nicholson and Michael Keaton?

Before Christian Bale took over, Michael Keaton starred as Batman in the 1989 film. While it is a heavily debated issue, some see him as the best actor to play Batman ever ... well, he sure beats George Clooney.

Which of these movies was based on Elliot Ness and prohibition?

"The Untouchables" (1987) starred Robert De Niro as Al Capone and Kevin Costner as Elliot Ness. The all-star cast helped create one of the most memorable movies that was based on history.

Can you name this Christmas classic that is still aired today?

If you've ever turned on a television around Christmas, you've seen "A Christmas Story" (1983) and sung "You'll shoot your eye out" and steered clear of frozen poles with your tongue. This movie is the perfect Christmas movie.

What is the name of this Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn movie?

If you think Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn are the perfect couple, you would love the movie "Overboard" (1987). It's a cooky comedy that (when you really think about it) has a dark side to it.

What is the name of this movie that had a main character with autism?

"Rain Man" (1988) starred Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise. Hoffman plays a man with autism (before there was a spectrum) who is a savant. While his brother takes advantage of him, he falls in love with the autistic man.

What slasher film made us want to drink a lot of coffee?

If "A Nightmare on Elm Street" (1984) didn't terrorize your dreams, you are probably immune to most slasher films. This movie was all about revenge, murder, and teens trying not to go to sleep ... ever again.

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