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Top 10 Teen Comedies of the 80s

By Old School Tim


Honorable Mention. The Karate Kid (June 1984) - I made this movie an honorable mention because it is one of my favorite teen movies, but I would not quite classify it as a comedy. It is the same reason that Say Anything is not on this list either. The Karate Kid featured Ralph Macchio as Daniel Larusso and Pat Morita as Mr. Miyagi. Who can forget "Wax on, wax off"? It was the very first film role for the incredibly beautiful Elisabeth Shue. It also featured William Zabka as the bully Johnny Lawrence (Zabka would play that jerk role well in the 80's also appearing as the bully in Just One of the Guys and Back to School too) This film did not feature many classic 80's tunes, but it did have "Cruel Summer" by Bananarama.

10. Better Off Dead (October 1985) - This one just barely made the list. The main reason it makes it is because it stars of my all-time favorite actors, John Cusack. Cusack plays Lane


Meyer who is dumped by his girlfriend and challenges a guy to ski a dangerous slope in an attempt to get her back. Favorite Classic quote: "I want my two dollars!" Classic 80's song featured in the film: "Like to Get to Know You Well" by Howard Jones.

9. Just One of the Guys (April 1985) - This is one that not everybody has seen. It did not have any young stars, but still delivers in great 80's style. A high school girl feels she is being discriminated against because she is a girl, so she decides to transfer to a different school and pretend to be a boy. She helps give a makeover to another guy, falls for him and hilarity ensues. Classic quote: "Of course you're confused. You're wearing my underwear." Classic 80's tune: (Not a lot of great options) "Trouble" by Lindsey Buckingham.

8. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (August 1982) - A great movie, especially for its time, this one ranks a little lower for me because it actually deals with some serious issues and does not make me laugh as much as some of the others do. This movie was written by Cameron Crowe (Say Anything, Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous) and featured such future stars as Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold and Forest Whitaker. It is hard to believe that someone as serious as Sean Penn was once known for playing surfer dude Jeff Spicoli. Fast Times contains a scene that most guys growing up at that time remember in which Phoebe Cates exits a swimming pool topless (nice). Classic quote: Many to choose from, but my favorite is Spicoli saying "Relax, alright? My old man is a television repairman, he's got this ultimate set of tools. I can fix it." Classic 80's tune: "Somebody's Baby" by Jackson Browne.

7. The Breakfast Club (February 1985) - This is the first of 4 movies written by John Hughes on this list. Again a great movie, but ranks a little lower because it deals with some serious issues and does not have as many "laugh out loud" scenes in it. This is the first of 3 movies that feature Anthony Michael Hall in its cast. He and the rest of this cast (including Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy) brought a lot to these fantastic characters/stereotypes that they played. Classic quote: Principal Vernon says "Don't mess with the bull, young man. You'll get the horns." Classic 80's tune: "Don't You (Forget About Me)" by Simple Minds

6. Can't Buy Me Love (August 1987) - A very under-rated film which I still find funny and entertaining to this day. It stars Patrick Dempsey (now more known for his role on Grey's Anatomy) as geeky Ronald Miller who desperately wants to be part of the "cool" crowd during his senior year of high school. He convinces the gorgeous head cheerleader, Cindy Mancini played by Amanda Peterson (hot), to pretend to date him. His plan works for a while and then there is a moral at the end of the story. A couple interesting members of the cast include Seth Green as Ronald's little brother Chuckie and Gerardo (Rico Suave himself) as Ricky one of the jocks in the cool crowd. Classic quote: "Nerds, jocks. My side, your side. It's all bull$hit. It's hard enough just trying to be yourself." Classic 80's tune: "Dancing With Myself" by Billy Idol

5. Sixteen Candles (May 1984) - Another film written by the great John Hughes and another film featuring Anthony Michael Hall (as Farmer Ted, the Geek). The film revolves around Samantha, played by Molly Ringwald, with her family forgetting her 16th birthday and her crush on Jake Ryan. There is a foreign exchange student, Long Duk Dong, who steals every scene that he appears in getting big laughs each time. Also John Cusack has a small role in this film as Bryce, one of Farmer Ted's geeky friends. Classic quote: Anything from Long Duk Dong like "What's happenin' hot stuff?" or "No more yanky my wanky. The Donger need food." Classic 80's tune: "If You Were Here" by The Thompson Twins

4. Weird Science (August 1985) - What do you know? Another film written by John Hughes and another film starring Anthony Michael Hall. This is a funny movie that I still thoroughly enjoy. This is a tale of Gary (Hall) and Wyatt who are two dorks who somehow create Lisa, a beautiful woman played by Kelly LeBrock, with their computer. Obviously far fetched, but makes for a great storyline. The film also featured actors Robert Downey Jr. and Bill Paxton early in their careers. Paxton plays Wyatt's older brother Chet and is involved in many of the funniest scenes in the movie. Classic quote: "Well, my nuts are halfway up my a$$, but other than that, I'm perfect!" Classic 80's tune: "Weird Science" by Oingo Boingo

3. Real Genius (August 1985) - Came out the same month as Weird Science and just as funny, if not funnier. This film stars Val Kilmer as Chris Knight who is one of the brightest minds in the country, but he doesn't act like it most of the time. I find the dialogue/banter in this movie to be outstanding. If you have not seen it in a while, go watch Real Genius and pay special attention to the dialogue. William Atherton plays the perfect jerk as Professor Jerry Hathaway and Robert Prescott plays the perfect dork as Kent. Classic quote: Lots of great banter to choose, but my fav is when Chris says to Kent "What about that time I found you naked with that bowl of Jell-o?" and Kent replies "Look, I was hot and I was hungry, okay?" Classic 80's tune: "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" by Tears for Fears

2. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (June 1986) - This is the last of the John Hughes films on my list and this one does not star Anthony Michael Hall. It of course stars Matthew Broderick as the classic title character. This movie takes the place over one day when Ferris decides to skip school and show his buddy a good time. Very funny and charming movie from start to end. Many great performances include Jeffrey Jones as Principal Rooney, Alan Ruck as Ferris' buddy Cameron, Jennifer Grey as Ferris' sister, Ben Stein has the monotone economics teacher and Charlie Sheen in an early role as simply "Boy in police station." Classic quote: "Life goes by pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." Classic 80's tune: "Oh Yeah" by Yello

1. Revenge of the Nerds (July 1984) - This movie tops my list because it has all of the elements of a great teen comedy, but it could just as easily swap places with any of the other top 5-6 movies on this list. This was a rated R movie which allowed it to get away with some things that other teen comedies could not. It is the story of Louis (Robert Carradine) and Gilbert (Anthony Edwards) as they go off for their freshman year of college. If you have not seen this one in a while, I encourage you to watch it again (and not the edited television version). Some interesting cast members include Timothy Busfield who played Poindexter, Ted McGinley who played head jock Stan Gable and a young John Goodman who played the football coach. Classic quote: "Those nerds area threat to our way of life." Classic 80's tune: "Burning Down the House" by Talking Heads

There's my list. Like I said, put them in any order, but those are pretty much the best 10 flicks. Some movies that others might put on their list include Pretty in Pink, Footloose, Valley Girl, The Sure Thing, One Crazy Summer among others.

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