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1980's punk rocker

I was born in the late 70’s so it’s fair to say that my awesome youth was mostly spent in the 80s. It was a great time to be a kid.  The 1980s was a decade filled with iconic moments, unforgettable music, and groundbreaking movies.

Whether you lived through this era or are simply fascinated by its pop culture, it’s time to test your knowledge with these fun trivia questions about the 1980s. Get ready to travel back in time and relive the magic of this exciting decade!

1980s Pop Culture Trivia

What British band released the hit song “Karma Chameleon” in 1983?

Correct Answer: Culture Club

Who played the character Ferris Bueller in the 1986 movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”?

Correct Answer: Matthew Broderick

In the TV series “Stranger Things,” what is the name of the alternate dimension?

Correct Answer: The Upside Down

Which actor played the role of Indiana Jones in the 1980s adventure film series?

Correct Answer: Harrison Ford

Which NBA superstar played for the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1980s?

Correct Answer: Magic Johnson

1980s vinyl music

1980s Music Trivia

Which British band had a hit in 1984 with the song “Careless Whisper”?

Correct Answer: Wham!

What was the first music video ever played on MTV?

Correct Answer: “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles

Who won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1984?

Correct Answer: Cyndi Lauper

Which pop star released the hit song “Like a Virgin” in 1984?

Correct Answer: Madonna

What was the name of Michael Jackson’s pet chimpanzee in the 1980s?

Correct Answer: Bubbles

Which band released the hit song “Sweet Child o’ Mine” in 1987?

Correct Answer: Guns N’ Roses

What was the first music video to air on MTV that featured an African American artist?

Correct Answer: “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson

Who sang the theme song for the James Bond film “A View to a Kill” in 1985?

Correct Answer: Duran Duran

Who was the former Beatle who was tragically shot and killed outside his New York City apartment building in 1980?

Correct Answer: John Lennon; Cause of Death: Gunshot

Which legendary reggae musician died of cancer in 1981, leaving behind songs like “No Woman, No Cry” and “Redemption Song”?

Correct Answer: Bob Marley; Cause of Death: Metastatic Melanoma

What was the name of Whitney Houston’s debut album, released in 1985?

Correct Answer: “Whitney Houston”

Which American singer had a hit in 1987 with the song “Never Gonna Give You Up”?

Correct Answer: Rick Astley

1980s Movie Trivia

Who played the role of the Terminator in the 1984 film “The Terminator”?

Correct Answer: Arnold Schwarzenegger

What was the highest-grossing film of the 1980s?

Correct Answer: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Who won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1980 for his role in the film “Raging Bull”?

Correct Answer: Robert De Niro

Which iconic actress starred in the 1980 film “9 to 5”?

Correct Answer: Dolly Parton

Who played the role of John McClane in the 1988 action film “Die Hard”?

Correct Answer: Bruce Willis

Which actress won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1988 for her role in the film “Moonstruck”?

Correct Answer: Cher

What was the name of the robot in the 1986 film “Short Circuit”?

Correct Answer: Johnny 5

Who directed the 1989 film “Batman”?

Correct Answer: Tim Burton

Fast-Paced Years

What was the name of the city where the TV series “Cheers” was set?

Correct Answer: Boston

What was the name of the youngest sibling in the TV series “The Cosby Show”?

Correct Answer: Rudy

Who played the character MacGyver in the TV series of the same name?

Correct Answer: Richard Dean Anderson

What was the name of the fictional hospital in the TV series “St. Elsewhere”?

Correct Answer: St. Eligius Hospital

What was the name of the character played by Michael J. Fox in the TV series “Family Ties”?

Correct Answer: Alex P. Keaton

Who played the role of Angela Bower in the TV series “Who’s the Boss?”?

Correct Answer: Judith Light

What was the name of the police officer character played by Tom Selleck in the TV series “Magnum, P.I.”?

Correct Answer: Thomas Magnum

Which TV series featured a family of extraterrestrial creatures living on Earth?

Correct Answer: ALF

Classic 80s Movies

In the movie “Back to the Future,” what’s the name of Doc Brown’s time-traveling car?

Answer: DeLorean DMC-12.

Who played the lead role in the 1989 film “Field of Dreams”?

Answer: Kevin Costner.

In “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” what is the name of the young boy who befriends the alien?

Answer: Elliot.

Which 1987 movie features a memorable line: “I feel the need—the need for speed”?

Answer: Top Gun.

music mix tape from the 1980's

80s Music Legends

What Michael Jackson album included hits like “Billie Jean” and “Beat It”?

Answer: Thriller.

Which British band released the album “The Joshua Tree” in 1987?

Answer: U2.

In 1983, what song did The Police release that became one of their biggest hits?

Answer: Every Breath You Take.

Who is often referred to as the “Queen of Pop” and released the album “Like a Virgin” in the 80s?

Answer: Madonna.

What band gave us the iconic power ballad “Sweet Child o’ Mine” in 1987?

Answer: Guns N’ Roses.

Classic 80s Movies

In the movie “Ghostbusters,” what is the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man?

Answer: A giant marshmallow mascot.

Which 1985 adventure film features a group of kids searching for pirate treasure?

Answer: The Goonies.

What is the name of the fictional high school in the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”?

Answer: Shermer High School.

Who directed the 1986 movie “Aliens,” the sequel to “Alien”?

Answer: James Cameron.

Which 1988 fantasy film stars Tom Hanks and involves a piano that can play itself?

Answer: Big.

80s Iconic Songs

What band was Sting a part of before launching his solo career in the 80s?

Answer: The Police.

Which 1982 album by Prince includes hits like “1999” and “Little Red Corvette”?

Answer: 1999.

Who performed the iconic song “I Want to Know What Love Is” in 1984?

Answer: Foreigner.

In 1983, what Michael Jackson song had a famous music video featuring zombies?

Answer: Thriller.

What all-female rock band released the album “Beauty and the Beat” in 1981?

Answer: The Go-Go’s.

Pop Culture Trends

What hairstyle became incredibly popular in the 80s, characterized by excessive use of hairspray?

Answer: The big hair or “hair metal” style.

What fashion accessory became a must-have in the 80s, especially among fitness enthusiasts?

Answer: The sweatband.

Which aerobic exercise program gained widespread popularity in the 80s?

Answer: Jazzercise.

Tianemen Square

News Headlines

In 1989, what student-led pro-democracy movement took place in Beijing?

Answer: Tiananmen Square protests.

What deadly virus epidemic emerged in the 80s, leading to increased awareness and research for a cure?

Answer: HIV/AIDS.

Who became the first woman to be appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1981?

Answer: Sandra Day O’Connor.

In 1980, what event triggered a hostage crisis involving the U.S. embassy in Iran?

Answer: Iran Hostage Crisis.

1980s Nintendo Game Boy

What handheld gaming console, released in 1989, became a major success for Nintendo?

Answer: Game Boy.

In 1983, what was the name of the first commercially available portable cell phone?

Answer: Motorola DynaTAC 8000X.

Which breakthrough computer networking protocol was introduced in the 80s, laying the foundation for the internet?

Answer: TCP/IP.

What space shuttle, introduced by NASA in the 80s, was the first to be reusable for multiple flights?

Answer: Space Shuttle Discovery.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

TV Shows and Cartoons

What animated series featured crime-fighting mutant turtles named after famous Renaissance artists?

Answer: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

In 1982, which TV series followed the adventures of a futuristic crime-fighting duo and their talking car, KITT?

Answer: Knight Rider.

What long-running sitcom focused on a group of friends in a Boston bar and aired throughout the 80s?

Answer: Cheers.

What animated character famously exclaimed, “What’s up, Doc?” in various Looney Tunes cartoons?

Answer: Bugs Bunny.

What sci-fi series, premiering in 1987, featured a bald captain leading a crew exploring space?

Answer: Star Trek: The Next Generation.

In 1986, what NFL team won the Super Bowl and famously declared, “I’m going to Disney World”?

Answer: New York Giants.

What Olympic gymnast scored a perfect 10 in 1984, becoming the first American woman to do so?

Answer: Mary Lou Retton.

Which NBA superstar led the Chicago Bulls to their first NBA Championship in 1991, capping off his dominant 80s career?

Answer: Michael Jordan.

Video Games Revolution

What iconic video game character made his debut in 1985, battling evil turtles to rescue Princess Peach?

Answer: Mario (Super Mario Bros.).

In 1986, what groundbreaking game introduced the concept of saving progress with passwords?

Answer: The Legend of Zelda.

atari lynx 1980s games

Which gaming console, released in 1989, is considered the first handheld console with interchangeable cartridges?

Answer: Atari Lynx.

More!

What 1987 game involved a group of teenagers battling supernatural forces in a small town?

Answer: Maniac Mansion.

In 1989, which Eastern European country peacefully transitioned to democracy, marking the end of Soviet influence?

Answer: Poland.

What Cold War policy, adopted by the U.S. in the 80s, aimed to contain the spread of communism?

Answer: Reagan Doctrine.

In 1983, what NATO military exercise raised tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union?

Answer: Able Archer.

What Soviet leader initiated a series of reforms known as perestroika and glasnost in the 80s?

Answer: Mikhail Gorbachev.

In 1987, what treaty between the U.S. and the Soviet Union aimed to reduce intermediate-range nuclear missiles?

Answer: Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty).

The new york stock excnage building

Economic Boom

What economic policy, associated with Reagan’s presidency, aimed to reduce government intervention in the economy?

Answer: Reaganomics.

In the early 80s, what major U.S. recession was characterized by high unemployment and inflation?

Answer: Early 1980s recession.

Which Japanese automotive company became a symbol of economic success in the 80s, challenging American car manufacturers?

Answer: Toyota.

What stock market index reached record highs in the 80s, reflecting the booming economy?

Answer: Dow Jones Industrial Average.

What technology company, founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, became a major player in the computer industry during the 80s?

Answer: Microsoft.

What popular fitness attire, often neon-colored, became a fashion trend in the 80s?

Answer: Aerobics wear.

In the 80s, what hairstyle involved cutting hair shorter in the front and longer in the back?

Answer: The mullet.

What brand of sneakers became a fashion statement in the 80s, especially among basketball players?

Answer: Nike Air Jordan.

In the 80s, what type of jacket became synonymous with rebellious youth, often adorned with patches and pins?

Answer: Leather jackets.

What fashion accessory, worn around the waist, was a must-have for both style and functionality in the 80s?

Answer: Fanny pack.

macintosh computer from the 1980s

Cultural Icons

Who was known as the “King of Pop” and dominated the music scene in the 80s?

Answer: Michael Jackson.

What British prime minister, known for her strong conservative policies, was in office throughout most of the 80s?

Answer: Margaret Thatcher.

Which iconic movie director brought us classics like “E.T.” and “Indiana Jones” in the 80s?

Answer: Steven Spielberg.

In 1984, what computer introduced by Apple became a symbol of personal computing for the masses?

Answer: Macintosh.

What famous talk show host began her nationally syndicated program in 1986, revolutionizing daytime television?

Answer: Oprah Winfrey.

pac man video game from the 1980s

Teen Culture

What arcade game, released in 1980, became a sensation among teenagers, featuring a yellow, pizza-shaped character?

Answer: Pac-Man.

What iconic teen movie, released in 1985, follows a high school student’s quest for love and identity during Saturday detention?

Answer: The Breakfast Club.

What was the name of the dance craze inspired by a Michael Jackson song, featuring a backward gliding step?

Answer: The Moonwalk.

What popular vacation destination in the 80s was known for its pastel architecture and vibrant nightlife?

Answer: Miami.

What Caribbean island saw a U.S. military intervention in 1983, known as Operation Urgent Fury?

Answer: Grenada.

In 1986, what catastrophic event affected space travel, resulting in the explosion of a space shuttle?

Answer: The Challenger disaster.

the berlin wall

What major world event in 1989 symbolized the end of the Cold War and the reunification of a divided city?

Answer: The fall of the Berlin Wall.

Which NBA team is known for its iconic green and white uniforms and plays its home games at TD Garden?

Answer: Boston Celtics.

In the 1980s, what NBA team was often referred to as “Showtime” and featured Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar?

Answer: Los Angeles Lakers.

What iconic TV series featured David Hasselhoff as a lifeguard patrolling the beaches of Los Angeles?

Answer: Baywatch.

What is the title of David Bowie’s 1983 hit single, which became one of his signature songs?

Answer: “Let’s Dance.”

In “The Golden Girls,” which character was portrayed by Bea Arthur?

Answer: Dorothy Zbornak.

Brooke Shields gained widespread fame in the 80s for her role in which controversial film about teenage sexuality?

Answer: “Blue Lagoon.”

What is the name of the central character in “Fraggle Rock” who explores the human world through a hole in the wall?

Answer: Gobo Fraggle.

Christie Brinkley appeared in the music video for which iconic Billy Joel song in the 1980s?

Answer: “Uptown Girl.”

Larry Bird, a basketball icon, played his entire career with which NBA team?

Answer: Boston Celtics.

Larry King was known for his distinctive style, often wearing what accessory during his interviews?

Answer: Suspenders.

Rhea Perlman played the character Carla Tortelli in which popular TV sitcom set in a Boston bar?

Answer: Cheers.

Summer Olympics in 1980

Summer Olympics

Where were the 1980 Summer Olympics held?

Answer: Moscow, Soviet Union.

Which city hosted the 1984 Summer Olympics?

Answer: Los Angeles, United States.

In 1988, where were the Summer Olympics held?

Answer: Seoul, South Korea.

winter olympics

Winter Olympics

What was the location of the 1980 Winter Olympics?

Answer: Lake Placid, United States.

Where were the 1984 Winter Olympics held?

Answer: Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.

In 1988, which city hosted the Winter Olympics?

Answer: Calgary, Canada.

Crazy Random Facts

What popular toy line featured small, colorful, scented dolls with big hair in the 1980s?

Correct Answer: Strawberry Shortcake dolls

Who was the lead singer of the band Wham!, known for hits like “Wake Me Up Before 
You Go-Go” and “Careless Whisper”?

Correct Answer: George Michael

In the movie “The Karate Kid,” what is the name of the sensei who teaches Daniel karate.


Correct Answer: Mr. Miyagi

What was the name of the computer in the movie “WarGames” that almost starts World War III.


Correct Answer: Joshua

Who wrote the novel “The Shining,” which was adapted into a popular horror film in the 1980s?


Correct Answer: Stephen King

He-man

What was the name of the evil sorcerer in the animated TV series “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe”?

Correct Answer: Skeletor

Who played the role of Sarah Connor in the 1984 film “The Terminator”?

Correct Answer: Linda Hamilton

What was the name of the main villain in the “Indiana Jones” film “Raiders of the Lost Ark”?

Correct Answer: Rene Belloq

Who sang the theme song for the 1984 film “Ghostbusters”?

Correct Answer: Ray Parker Jr.

In the movie “Dirty Dancing,” what is the name of the dance instructor played by Patrick Swayze?

Correct Answer: Johnny Castle

Which TV show featured a family living in a post-apocalyptic world where water and supplies were scarce?

Correct Answer: “The Road Warrior”

Who directed the 1982 science fiction film “Blade Runner”?

Correct Answer: Ridley Scott

Who played the role of Marty McFly’s girlfriend, Jennifer Parker, in the “Back to the Future” trilogy?

Correct Answer: Claudia Wells (in the first film) / Elisabeth Shue (in the sequels)

What was the name of the arcade game where players controlled a frog trying to cross a busy highway and a treacherous river?

Correct Answer: Frogger

In the movie “The Princess Bride,” what is the name of the giant played by André the Giant?

Correct Answer: Fezzik

What was the name of the TV series that followed the lives of the students and faculty at Bayside High School?

Correct Answer: “Saved by the Bell”

Which actor played the character Axel Foley in the “Beverly Hills Cop” film series?

Correct Answer: Eddie Murphy

What was the name of the spaceship in the movie “Aliens” commanded by Ellen Ripley?

Correct Answer: USS Sulaco

Who sang the hit song “Eye of the Tiger,” featured in the movie “Rocky III”?

Correct Answer: Survivor

What was the name of the character played by Robin Williams in the movie “Dead Poets Society”?

Correct Answer: John Keating

In the TV series “Miami Vice,” what were the names of the two main characters played by Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas?

Correct Answer: James “Sonny” Crockett and Ricardo “Rico” Tubbs

Who played the character Axel Foley’s best friend, Billy Rosewood, in the “Beverly Hills Cop” film series?

Correct Answer: Judge Reinhold

Which movie, released in 1989, featured an ensemble cast including Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman, and Valeria Golino, and won four Academy Awards?

Correct Answer: “Rain Man”

Who played the character Jack Torrance in the movie adaptation of Stephen King’s novel “The Shining”?

Correct Answer: Jack Nicholson

In the TV show “Dallas,” who shot J.R. Ewing?

Correct Answer: Kristin Shepard

What was the name of the family featured in the TV show “The Cosby Show”?

Correct Answer: The Huxtables

Who played the character of Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the TV show “Star Trek: The Next Generation”?

Correct Answer: Patrick Stewart

ALF 1980s tv show

In the TV show “ALF,” what was the name of the Tanner family’s cat that ALF constantly tried to catch and eat?

Correct Answer: Lucky

What was the name of the fictional town where the TV show “Full House” was set?

Correct Answer: San Francisco, California

In the TV show “The Wonder Years,” what is the name of the main character’s best friend?

Correct Answer: Paul Pfeiffer

Who sang the hit song “Every Breath You Take,” released in 1983?

Correct Answer: The Police

In the TV show “Growing Pains,” what was the name of the Seaver family’s youngest daughter?

Correct Answer: Chrissy Seaver

Korean Flag

What was the name of the fictional town where the TV show “MAS*H” was set?

Correct Answer: Uijeongbu, South Korea

What was the name of the fictional town where the TV show “The Simpsons” is set?

Correct Answer: Springfield

What was the name of the fictional town where the TV show “Gilligan’s Island” was set?

Correct Answer: Honolulu, Hawaii

What was the name of the town where the TV show “Happy Days” was set?

Correct Answer: Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Wrestling inthe 80s

1980’s Wrestling

Who was known as “The Immortal” and was one of the biggest stars of 1980s WWF wrestling?

Correct Answer: Hulk Hogan

Which iconic tag team, known for their dog, consisted of cousins Davey Boy Smith and Tom Billington?

Correct Answer: The British Bulldogs

Which wrestler famously carried Damian to the ring as part of his persona?

Correct Answer: Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Who was the first-ever wrestler to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania I in 1985?

Correct Answer: Tito Santana

Which legendary manager led a stable of wrestlers known as “The Heenan Family” during the 1980s?

Correct Answer: Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

What was the signature finishing move of “Macho Man” Randy Savage, who was one of the biggest stars of 1980s WWF wrestling?

Correct Answer: Flying Elbow Drop

Which wrestler famously carried a two-by-four to the ring and was known for his patriotism and rallying cry of “Hooo!”?

Correct Answer: “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan

1980's reaganomics

Fascinating Facts Of the 1980s

The Rubik’s Cube, a popular puzzle toy, was invented in 1974 by Ernő Rubik, a Hungarian architect and professor. It gained widespread popularity in the 1980s.

Ronald Reagan, an actor turned politician, served as the 40th President of the United States from 1981 to 1989.

The fashion trend of wearing shoulder pads became popular in the 1980s, especially among women, as it created a more powerful and structured silhouette.

The action film genre thrived in the 1980s, with iconic movies like “Die Hard,” “Rambo,” and “Predator” captivating audiences with their high-energy stunts and intense storytelling.

Cabbage Patch Kids, a line of dolls with unique names and birth certificates, became a cultural phenomenon in the 1980s, leading to long waiting lists and even riots in stores.

Hip hop emerged as a dominant genre in the 1980s, with artists like Run-D.M.C., LL Cool J, and Salt-N-Pepa paving the way for future rap stars.

Sitcoms like “Married… with Children,” “The Cosby Show,” and “Family Ties” entertained audiences with their relatable characters and humorous storylines.

The 1980s saw a rise in big hair, with both men and women embracing voluminous hairstyles that often required significant amounts of hairspray and teasing.

British bands like Duran Duran, Culture Club, and Wham! gained international fame in the 1980s, contributing to the popularity of New Wave and synth-pop music.

Be all That you can be

Popular Commercials

Where’s the Beef? (Wendy’s)

This iconic catchphrase was coined in a series of commercials for Wendy’s fast-food chain, featuring elderly actress Clara Peller, who famously exclaimed, “Where’s the beef?” to compare the size of Wendy’s hamburger patties to competitors’ offerings.

I Want My MTV

MTV revolutionized the music industry and popular culture with its launch in 1981. The network’s “I Want My MTV” advertising campaign featured celebrities like Mick Jagger and David Bowie urging viewers to demand their cable providers carry MTV.

Mikey Likes It (Life Cereal)

In this memorable commercial for Life Cereal, three brothers give their picky eater friend, Mikey, a bowl of Life Cereal, expecting him not to like it. To their surprise, Mikey enjoys the cereal, leading to the catchphrase, “He likes it! Hey, Mikey!”

Be All That You Can Be (U.S. Army)

This recruitment campaign for the U.S. Army featured the memorable slogan “Be All That You Can Be,” encouraging young Americans to consider a career in the military. The campaign emphasized personal growth and achievement.

Nerds Candy

Popular Foods From The 80’s

Pop Rocks

This carbonated candy sensation was introduced in the late 1970s but gained immense popularity in the 1980s. Pop Rocks offered a unique eating experience with its popping and crackling sensation in the mouth.

Nerds Candy

Introduced by the Willy Wonka Candy Company in 1983, Nerds Candy quickly became a favorite among kids with its dual-flavored, crunchy, and tangy miniature candies.

Capri Sun

Originally introduced in Europe in 1969, Capri Sun gained popularity in the United States in the 1980s. This convenient and portable drink pouch offered a refreshing and flavorful juice drink option for kids and adults alike.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch 

This beloved breakfast cereal, introduced by General Mills in 1984, featured crunchy squares of wheat and rice flavored with cinnamon and sugar. Its catchy jingle and “Cinna-men” mascot helped make it a staple of breakfast tables across America.

Dunkaroos

Introduced in 1988 by Betty Crocker, Dunkaroos were a lunchbox favorite for kids in the 1980s and 1990s. This snack consisted of cookies shaped like kangaroos and a small serving of frosting for dipping, offering a fun and delicious treat.

Flash Backs on Memory Lane

What was the most popular 1980s TV show in your opinion? Let us know in the comments!

The 1980s was a truly remarkable decade, leaving an indelible mark on pop culture and entertainment. From iconic music videos and memorable TV series to blockbuster movies and fashion trends, the 80s continues to captivate and inspire.

Hopefully, this trivia journey through the 1980s has brought back fond memories and sparked a renewed interest in this vibrant era. So, gather your friends, organize a trivia night, and have a blast revisiting the magic of the 1980s!

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