Celebrating Our Retro Series: 18 Facts You Didn't Know About the 80s

A few years after Rocky Balboa climbed the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Ferris Bueller took the day off, E.T, landed on earth, and Michael Jackson ruled the music charts. The 80s was a decade remembered by shoulder pads, big hair, and countless iconic films we've watched repeatedly.

To celebrate the release of our new Retro Tumblers, we wanted to highlight a few of our favorite things about the greatest decade. From music to movies, and technology to fast food, enjoy 18 facts you didn't know about the 80s.

18 facts you didn't know about the 80s

Back to the Future

1. A billion people tuned in to see Prince Charles and Lady Diana get married on June 29th, 1981.

2. It was called a "brick" for good reason. The first commercial U.S. cell phone weighed two pounds and came with a hefty price tag: $3,995—or $9,410 in today's dollars.

3. Top Gun director, Tony Scott, was fired 3 different times while filming, but then was hired back each time. One of the times he was fired was because he thought he made Kelly McGillis look beautiful, while the studio thought she looked “whorish”.

4. The King of Pop reigned in the 1980s. Throughout the 1980s, Michael Jackson maintained his spot atop the Billboard charts for a staggering 27 weeks.

5. In the movie Top Gun, Goose’s real name was never mentioned. It’s Nick Bradshaw in case you were wondering.

6. The Goonies' Josh Brolin, who would later star in films like No Country For Old Men and Milk (for which he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor), got his start in the business as Brand in The Goonies.

Sean Astin (who plays Mikey) accidentally calls Josh Brolin by his actual name, not by his character’s name, in the scene after Chunk breaks the water cooler in the basement of the abandoned restaurant.

7. MTV made its first broadcast on August 1, 1981.

8. Real estate was a different story in the 80s. According to Census data, the average cost of a new home in 1985 was just $92,800, or $229,990.61 when adjusted for inflation. 

The Goonies

9. In the 21st century, 24-hour news is a daily part of our lives. But it wasn't until June 1st, 1981, that Ted Turner launched the first-ever 24-hour news network. Dubbed Cable News Network (later shortened to CNN), the cable channel was also the country's first channel to show exclusively news programming.

10. CD technology had been around for a while, but you couldn't listen to them at home until 1982 when the Sony CDP-101 hit the market.

11. Remember the infamous parade scene in Ferris Bueller's Day Off? Matthew Broderick was unable to perform most of the choreography he had been taught for the scene due to a knee injury he sustained while running through the neighbors' backyards.

12. And who can forget Charlie Sheen's jailhouse cameo? He stayed awake for more than two days to achieve his police station look.

13. The Ferrari Ferris, Sloan, and Cameron borrow from his dad wasn't real. Instead of using the real thing, three replicas of a Ferrari 250GT California Spyder manufactured by Modena were used.

14. Maine North High School in Des Plaines, Illinois was used during the filming of The Breakfast Club. The school was also used for interior filming on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. In fact, some posters on the Maine North High walls can be seen in both Ferris and The Breakfast Club.

 15. The movie script for Back to the Future was rejected over 40 times by every major studio.

16. Ronald Reagan quoted Back to the Future in his 1986 State of the Union: "Where we're going, we don't need roads."

17. McDonald's is known for its Big Macs and French fries. But in 1986 they launched their own pizza.

18. The 90s kids know actor James Avery as Uncle Phil in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. But he was also the voice of Shredder on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles show from 1987 through its seventh season.

Retro Series Tumbler

Click here to relive the glory of the 80s with one of our Retro Tumblers.


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