7 Things Only 80s Kids Can Understand

Ah the 80s. A time of great music, wacky hairstyles, and dial-up internet. Kids today just don’t know how awesome it was to grow up in the hands-down best decade ever. If you do happen to be part of the lucky ones who grew up during these years, you’ll definitely remember these trends, fads, toys, and more. You might even shed a nostalgic tear or two, which would be totally understandable because the 80s simply rocked!

1. Really Really Short Shorts…For Everyone

3 friends in very short shorts

“Who wears short shorts?” The answer was, apparently, everyone. Whether it was during gym class, going for a run, or simply a hot, sunny day, these teeny shorts were the choice of dress for practically everybody. Drawing the line between tighty-whiteys and running shorts was a pretty close call…we’re still a bit fuzzy on that one. It was also imperative to make sure that you were directly behind the hairiest boy in your class at the water fountain, which was a couple inches too low for comfort.

2. Just Say NO!

Nancy Reagan presenting her Just Say No to drugs campaign

If we were ever offered drugs, us 80s kids knew exactly what to do: just say no! Thanks to Nancy Reagan, who traveled to schools, rehabilitation centers, and radio/television talk shows all over the country, we knew that doing drugs was the wrong way to go. She covered pretty much everything, from the different types of drugs, peer pressure, abuse, etc. If any punk came up to us at the schoolyard and offered up a reefer cigarette, we gave them a big N-O.

3. The Most Uncomfortable Chairs Known to Mankind

Seeing one of these babies always brings up a twang of nostalgia…and back pain. The hours of sitting in school, butt glued to chair, trying to find a comfier position (which is, of course, scientifically impossible). Not to mention they always came with at least one uneven leg, allowing for a symphony of squeaking until the teacher had enough and sent us out to recess. And don’t forget those tiny metal screws at the top were always a booby trap for long hair…ouch!

4. Weepuls

A collection of colorful Weepuls

Cute, fuzzy, colorful, and just the slightest bit creepy. We’re talking, of course, about Weepuls! You could get them at pretty much any drug store or candy shop, in goodie bags at birthdays, and at school by trading with your friends. Unfortunately, the sticky-tack on their feet just didn’t seem to last long enough to stick onto your locker door for more than a few hours. Also, even more unnerving, the googly eyes just did not want to stay on these poor guys’ heads.

5. The Floppy Disk

Kids these days seem to have no idea what that little square on the “save” button represents…but we sure do! Pictures, songs, games, and of course homework could all be saved on this baby for later entertainment. A floppy disk was a great, travel-sized way to carry all of your technologically advanced fun to any of your friends’ houses for a computer game sesh. Still trying to figure out where they came up with calling it floppy though…those things were solid plastic!

6. Slap Bracelets

A young girl putting on her snap bracelets
Mental Floss

What’s better than a piece of jewelry that requires you to hurt yourself whenever you want to put it on? That’s right..not a thing! Slap bracelets were one of the hottest, self-punishing fashion trends of the 80s. They came in every kind of color and design. Joined the bowling club? You probably had a few balls and pins colorfully laid out on your bracelet. Swim team? Chlorine-blue was probably your top pick. Volleyball? Hopefully you sat this one out, trying to salvage your wrists. Oh, and when you’ve finished using it as a bracelet, they made for a pretty handy weapon.

7. Scratch N’ Sniff Stickers

Different flavoured scratch and sniff stickers
Recollections of Play

The only thing better than getting a A+ on your spelling test, was getting one of these smelly delights stuck to your paper. These aromatic stickers came in hundreds of flavors, from piping hot pizza to freshly popped popcorn, to dill pickle. Of course, not all of them were as pleasant as “Berry Good” strawberry. Remember the cowboy boot? Also, sometimes they didn’t quite smell like their names suggested (the chicken wing smelled suspiciously of burning rubber). For better or for worse, the stickers would only hold their smell for about two days…then they were just regular stickers, still fun, but not the whole package.

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