Twenty Movies From the 80’s Your Teenage Daughter Needs To Watch

A couple days ago a friend of mine asked for old school movie recommendations for his teenage daughter.

And while I’m still a few years away from Number 4 being a teenager, I thought about what movies I watched when I was that age. What movies I still remember quotes to. What movies I watched over and over and over again until I had pretty much memorized them. What movies I want to watch with her when she hits the teen years.

And here are my Top Twenty. All from the 80’s. Put ’em in your Netflix queue this weekend.

20. All the Right Moves

Steel Town.


Tom Cruise.

19. Officer and a Gentleman


I’ve got nowhere else to go!

And who doesn’t dream of being carried out of a factory by a young, hot Richard Gere in a uniform?

18. Stand By Me

Because everyone should have total recall of that puking scene in their heads for all of eternity.

And I miss River Phoenix.

17. Red Dawn.

I watched that movie with my brother about a thousand times.


16. The Princess Bride

My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

15. Uncle Buck

Didn’t we all want an uncle like that?

14. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

“Oh, he’s very popular Ed. The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wasteoids, dweebs, dickheads – they all adore him. They think he’s a righteous dude.”

13. Real Genius

Val Kilmer was the hottest and coolest smart guy ever.

12.  Weird Science

You’re out of shape, Al. I’ll kick your ahhhssss.

How about a nice, greezy pork sandwich served in a dirty ashtray?

And a super young Robert Downey Jr.

11. Some Kind of Wonderful

Cause the tomboy who can fix cars wins.

10. Top Gun

Take My Breath Away and Highway to the Danger Zone

And who didn’t want a dude to serenade them with You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling after that?

9. Say Anything

John Cusack.

And I’m still waiting for a guy to hold a boom box over his head for me.

8. Dirty Dancing

Long rolled up jean shorts and Keds.

That little move Baby does when she messes up at the dance contest.

And Nobody puts baby in the corner.

7. Flashdance

I’m still trying to perfect my sexy lobster eating.

6. Risky Business


And Sometimes you just gotta say, what the fuck. 

5. Better off Dead




And more John Cusack.

4. Footloose

When we left that movie my cousin said, “Kevin Bacon looks like he’s a good kisser.”

I had no idea what she meant by that or how she would even know that.

But now I bet she’s right.

3. Pretty in Pink

I still feel bad for Ducky.

I still wish I could sew like Andie.

And James Spader plays such a good dick.

2. The Breakfast Club

Don’t you, forget about me.





1. Sixteen Candles

A super young and super dorky John Cusack.

Because we can all relate to Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall.

Because we’ve all said “No more yankie my wankie, the Donger need food!”

And because we all still dream about Jake Ryan.

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Fun for all ages and you don’t walk off a cliff or get hit by a car when you play it.

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10 replies
  1. Kevin Epstein
    Kevin Epstein says:

    This is fantastic! Love you Susie Johnson. Thank you for this amazing list. Everybody needs to vote for your top mommy blog now.

  2. Just me
    Just me says:

    I love love love that kiss in Some Kind of Wonderful. Young Eric Stoltz can change my oil anytime.

    OH! And John Cusack – sigh!

    Now I’m going to have to watch all of these again! A little something to look forward to!! Thanks – great list!

    • not your average mom
      not your average mom says:

      Somehow I never saw Adventures in Babysitting. I’ll have to add it to my queue! And I can’t believe I forgot the Karate Kid!!! I LOVE that movie. And Mystic Pizza was good, too, although I didn’t watch that one as many times as I watched all the others on the list 😉

  3. Felicia
    Felicia says:

    Appreciate ALLLLLL the Cusack on here, since he was on the list of celebrity guys I could “get out of jail free” with my husband!
    No Valley Girl fan? “That chick Julie, she’s truly dazzling”.
    And Can’t Buy Me Love began my love for the Other Guy on list: Patrick Dempsey.


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