Can You Ace This '80s Culture Quiz?


By: Robin Tyler

6 Min Quiz

Image: Getty Images via ak_phuong

About This Quiz

So, what exactly do you remember about the 1980's?

It certainly was a very magical decade. 

The '80s certainly had all the best music and saw the launch of pop megastars such as Madonna while the King of Pop, Michael Jackson just raised the bar a little higher with his release of "Thriller" in 1984, the album that featured NINE singles.

Elsewhere, toy fads came and wents (yes you, He-Man) while sporting events were brought right to our homes and into our living rooms, live and in the best clarity ever seen.

It was also a time of sadness with volcanic eruptions, space rocket explosions, stock market crashes and more.

Politically, the 1980's were a time of great upheaval. While in America the Republicans were in power for much of the decade, on the other side of the world, Communism was collapsing as the strength of the USSR disintegrated. 

But what do you remember about the '80s? In this quiz, we will test your knowledge about a range of things. These include sport, geography, history, music, film and more, and of course, all about the '80s. 

So let's do this and see how you fare!

Dude, you got this!

Which of these is NOT a ghost that chases PacMan?

Yes, it's Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde.. Winky just wasn't fast enough to chase PacMan!


Kids in the 80's had it good! There were so many awesome toys. Pick a popular toy from that period from the list below.

Although they were introduced in 1978, the sales of the Cabbage Patch Kids soared in the '80s. Each came with a birth certificate. Essentially, these were plush toys. They didn't do anything at all!


Which of these songs was the first official No 1 on the Billboard chart on January 5, 1980?

"Please Don't Go" by KC and the Sunshine Band was the first No 1 of the 1980s. It only lasted a week, however, before Michael Jackson's "Rock With You" knocked it off its perch.


What was the top selling album in the United States in 1980?

Driven by the single, "Another Brick in the Wall Part 2," The Wall was the highest selling album in 1980.


Who was the US president on January 1, 1980?

Carter was in the third year of his term in 1980, having become president in 1977. He was defeated in 1981 by Ronald Reagan and only served one term. Carter was a democrat.


Which driver won the Indy 500 in 1989?

Emerson Fittipaldi won the Indy 500, the most prestigious open-wheel race in America in 1989. He then did it again in 1993.


Which royal couple married on July 29, 1981?

A true fairy tale wedding at the time, the marriage of Charles and Diana sadly didn't work out. Diana died in a car crash in 1997.


Imelda Marcos, wife of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, was rumored to own 7,500 what?

And she only had two feet. What a waste. Here and her husband were forced into exile in 1986. She later returned to the Philippines and entered politics.


Who were crowned NFL champions in 1984?

Super Bowl XVIII was won by the Los Angeles Raiders who smashed the defending champions, the Washington Redskins, 38-9.


Who was He Man's nemesis?

Skeletor is desperate to defeat He-Man, claim Castle Gray Skull as his own and learns its secrets to help make him more powerful.


In what year did Madonna release her breakthrough album, 'Like A Virgin?'

Produced by Nile Rodgers, Madonna's "Like a Virgin" was released in 1984. To date it has sold over 21 million copies.


Darryl Hall and John ______ were a popular duo that had a number of hits in the 1980s, including 'Maneater' from the Flashdance soundtrack.

Hall & Oats began recording together in 1970. By the '80s, they were well established and very popular.


What was the first single of Michael Jackson's "Thriller?"

"The Girl is Mine" featured Paul McCartney and was the first single released from Thriller. Interestingly, Jackson never sang it live.


Which two countries clashed in 1982 over the issue of who owned the Falklands Islands.

After Argentina invaded the Falklands Islands, England sent a naval task force to take the island back. The war lasted from April 2, 1982 to June 14, 1982, 72 days with the Argentinians eventually surrendering.


Where are the Falklands Islands situated?

The Falklands are found in the South Atlantic Ocean of the eastern coast of South America.


Which of these is a popular soap opera that made its debut on March 23, 1987?

Still going strong, "The Bold and the Beautiful" first aired on March 23, 1987. There have been over 7,500 episodes! Now that's longevity.


After invading Afghanistan in 1979, in what year in the 1980's did the USSR pull their forces out of the region?

With the Cold War coming to an end and communism failing, the U.S.S.R. pulled out of Afghanistan in 1989. Effectively, they lost the war.


Which movie won the Academy Award for 'Best Picture' in 1980?

Directed by Robert Benton, "Kramer vs. Kramer" won five Academy Awards including Best Picture. It starred Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep.


What was the top selling album of the 1980s?

Incredibly, Michael Jackson's Thriller had NINE singles! It went on to be the top selling album of the 1980's.


Who won the Academy Award for 'Best Actor' in 1987?

After eight nominations, Paul Newman finally won an Oscar for his portrayal of Edward "Fast Eddie" Felson, a character he portrayed in "The Hustler," from 1961. The movie also featured Tom Cruise.


Which of these '80s US presidents was a former Hollywood actor?

President from 1981 to 1989, Ronald Reagan first found fame as a Hollywood actor, with up to 80 acting credits up till 1985.


In the movie "Top Gun," what was the call sign of Tom Cruise's character?

1986's "Top Gun" was a massive hit, helping to launch Tom Cruise into super stardom. Cruise played US Navy fighter pilot, Lt Pete Mitchell. His call sign was Maverick.


What was the name of the second movie in the Star Wars franchise released in 1980?

"Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back" was released in 1980. It was the second movie in the franchise but the fifth episode in the series.


In Washington, a volcano erupted in 1980. What was its name?

Located in the state of Washingtom, Mount St Helens erupted in 1980. The smoke column rose 80,000 feet in the air, and ash was found in 11 states. 57 people died as a result of the eruption.


Who shot J.R. Ewing in the soap opera, "Dallas?"

Not even the cast knew who shot JR Ewing in "Dallas" with multiple scenes filled with different shooters. In the end, it was Kristin Shepard, his sister-in-law and mistress that pulled the trigger. This episode of "Dallas" was one of the most watched TV shows in television history up to that point.


Where were 1984 Summer Olympics held?

The Summer Olympics of 1984 were awarded to Los Angeles. They were boycotted by the USSR just like the USA team boycotted the Moscow Olympics four years earlier.


Name the 1980's song from the lyrics 'You can't start a fire, you can't start a fire without a spark. This gun's for hire, even if we just....'

A massive hit for Bruce Springsteen, "Dancing in the Dark" launched his 1984 album, "Born in the USA." In the video for the song, Bruce pulls a very young Courtney Cox up on stage to dance with him.


The 1988 Formula One racing championship was one by which driver?

The 1988 F1 world champion was Brazilian, Ayrton Senna. It was his first championship. He went on to win two more.


Which British band was named after a unemployment form in the UK?

Although the band was formed in 1978, they had their biggest his in the '80s with "Red, Red Wine" (a cover) among others. Their name stands for Unemployment Benefit, Form 40.


In baseball, who were crowned World Series Champions in 1986?

A tight series of matches saw the Mets come from two games down to take the World Series, 4-3.


A major discover was made on September 3, 1985. What was it?

It was an expedition under the command of Robert Ballard that discovered the Titanic in 1985. It was at a depth of 2.7 miles.


In 1987, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted their first female singer. Who was she?

Aretha Franklin became the first female singer into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. She was hailed by the organization as the Queen of Soul.


Which team were crowned NBA champions in 1989?

The Pistons dominated the Lakers, winning 4-0.


In 1984, Michael Jackson's hair caught alight while filming a commercial for which brand?

Michael Jackson was burnt fairly badly during the fire which was started by pyrotechnics. Pepsi paid the star a compensation fee of $1.5 million.


What was the name of the Space Shuttle that exploded after liftoff on January 28, 1985?

Challenger exploded 73 seconds after take-off due to a failure of O-ring seals in the rocket boosters. All seven astronauts were killed. The explosion was witnessed by about 17% of the population of the United States.


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