They just don’t make them like the used to…sigh. The 80’s really were the best decade for Teen Movies. You just can’t beat the classics that combined John Hughes, The Brat Pack and the whole genre they inspired. (You might also like to check out our list of favorite 80s books.)
So, before you blink and these teens of yours are off to college and starting their own lives, don’t miss out on the opportunity to share these favorites from your own teens years with them. (You might also like to check out our list of favorite 80s books.)
Also, to me these are “teen” movies, so you won’t see other classics from this decade that actually could be watched by a younger audience like Star Wars, E.T. or Back to the Future, for example. If your kids haven’t seen those yet, it’s time for a movie marathon weekend. You’re seriously neglecting their cinematic education. 😉
*Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. We receive a small commission from purchases made by our readers.
The Best 80’s Movies Every Parent Should Watch With Their Teen
This is probably our number one. There are so many great lines (Bueller. Bueller. Bueller.) And it touches upon so many great themes like young romance, friendship and making the most out of life. It’s just good fun. It’s hard for any teenager not to fall in love with Ferris (and hope that he and Sloane got married!) We also love this “Save Ferris” t-shirt as a gift for the 80s movie lover.
OK, we know that this movie has not aged well and the behavior is wrong. BUT, it does provide you with an excellent opportunity to have a discussion with your teens about appropriate behavior and how much times have changed. Just remember, there are a lot of unsavory scenes in it, so this might be better suited towards older teens.
Oh, Duckie. It hurts how much you loved Andie. This is one of John Hughes’ most classic love stories about a rich boy who falls in love with a girl on the other side of the tracks. There is a lot of heartbreak in this movie, but the themes are a little bit more digestable for teens of all ages.
“I feel the need. The need for SPEED!” This is such a great watch for a Friday family movie night. Every one with a heart will root for Maverick to save the world and get the girl. Plus, there are so many memorabe lines in it that your kids just need to know like, “Talk to me, Goose” or “That’s a negative Ghostrider. The pattern is full.” Plus, the soundtrack alone is worth watching the movie again. Tell me you won’t be singing Highway to the Danger Zone or You Lost That Loving Feeling for the rest of the night….
Your kids might have first been introduced to The Breakfast Club in Pitch Perfect when they sing “Don’t You, Forget About Me,” so it might be time to show them where that defiant hand in the air came from. This is another one that might be better for older teens. The Breakfast Club is a popular ’80s film that deals with edgy teen issues. Topics such as suicide, depression, social alienation, materialism, sex, and physical and emotional abuse are discussed openly. It can be an excellent opportunity to talk about these issues as a family. But everyone can relate to the letter written at the end by Anthony Michael Hall’s character signed by the nerd, the princess, the jock, the basket case, and the criminal. And aren’t we a little bit of all of them?
“Hey You Guys!” This is the quintesential 80s movie, when kids used to run off for hours on an adventure and their parents had no idea where they were. Who can forget Chunk, Data, Mikey and Mouth and how they searched for a way to save their friend’s childhood home by finding the treasure of the famous pirate One-Eyed Willy? And when the group takes Sloth in as one of their own? Tell me you don’t get a little teary. And remember. “Never say die.”
Who hasn’t wanted someone to stand outside their window holding up a boom box playing a love song? The entire movie is worth showing to your kids for just that scene alone.
“Inconceivable!” This cult classic is a must-watch for your teens. This movie has it all. Romance. Adventure. Action. Fight scenes. Giants and pirates. Humor. And so much more. Your whole family will be quoting the best lines like, “I don’t think that word means what you think it means” before you know it.
My teenagers cracked up when they heard this was the movie their dad used to watch with girls, but it only took them one viewing to fall in love with the music and start quoting, “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.”
“Greetings and Salutations.” Before there were “Mean Girls” there was Heathers. There’s a reason this movie is still talked about to this day, more than 20 years after its release, and that’s because of its fantastic story, smart dialogue, dark humor, and amazing characters. It’s a must-watch so you can remember just how iconic this movie is. As Veronica would say, “How very.”
Some of our other favorites include:
Bonus Teen Movies:
Okay these weren’t exactly an 80’s movie, but it really feels like they should have been. Either way, they are definitely essential movies from past decades you should watch with your teen.
Raising teens can be fun, but it can also be so challenging. If you could use a little more support and encouragement, check out these other popular posts.
This post contains affiliate links. If you click and purchase something I will receive a very small commission.