Are You a True 80s Buff?



9 Questions

What was the goal of General Motors' Saturn, launched in 1985?

Which of the following was NOT a popular animated show in the 1980s?

What was the cause of the video game market crash in late 1983?

Which of the following was NOT a popular genre of music in the 1980s?

Which famous athlete was NOT active in the 1980s?

What was the dominant hairstyle trend of the 1980s?

Which video game console was released by Nintendo in 1989?

Which of the following was NOT a notable horror franchise born in the 1980s?

Which country witnessed widespread famine in the 1980s, leading to worldwide efforts to provide aid?


The 1980s: A Decade of Societal and Technological Advancements

  • The 1980s saw a shift towards conservatism and free market economics, and a move away from planned economies towards capitalism.

  • The decade saw significant economic growth in Japan and West Germany, as well as the relocation of multinational corporations to developing countries such as Thailand, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan, and China.

  • The AIDS epidemic became recognized, and global warming became a well-known issue.

  • The United Kingdom and the United States adopted supply-side economic policies, leading to global instability in international trade.

  • The decade opened with the US-Soviet confrontation continuing, but tensions eased in the second half of the decade, leading to the total collapse of Soviet communism.

  • Developing countries faced economic and social difficulties, requiring financial assistance from the IMF and the World Bank. Ethiopia witnessed widespread famine, resulting in worldwide efforts to provide aid.

  • Major civil violence occurred across the world, including in Angola, Ethiopia, Uganda, Laos, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Sudan, and Nagorno-Karabakh.

  • The desire for democracy in socialist states, combined with economic recession, resulted in Mikhail Gorbachev's glasnost and perestroika, which reduced Communist Party power and sanctioned limited forms of capitalism.

  • The decade saw tremendous population growth, particularly in African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian countries, with rates of natural increase close to or exceeding 4% annually.

  • The global internet took shape in academia, and the first compact, modestly priced synthesizers were sold to the public, making it easier to integrate and synchronize synthesizers and other electronic instruments.

  • The video game market experienced a crash in late 1983, but it was revived by Nintendo, which claimed 90% of the American video game market by 1989. The personal computer became a consumer product, and the Macintosh computer popularized the graphical user interface and mouse.

  • The decade saw fundamental advances in medicine and biology, including the first surrogate pregnancy of an unrelated child and the first genetically modified crops. Gene therapy techniques became established, allowing gene tagging and gene therapy to become a possibility.

  • American interplanetary probes continued, and the arrival of Halley's Comet in 1986 was met by a series of Soviet, Japanese, and European Space Agency probes.

  • The American auto industry recovered from a severe economic downturn and rising import competition, with cars becoming smaller and more efficient in design.The 1980s: A Decade of Pop Culture, Music, and Film

  • General Motors started Saturn in 1985, with the goal of producing high-quality import fighters; production began in 1990.

  • Under the leadership of Lee Iacocca, Chrysler introduced its new compact, front-wheel drive K-cars in 1981, and a succession of models using this automobile platform followed.

  • The DMC DeLorean was the brainchild of John DeLorean, a flamboyant former GM executive, and production of the gull-winged sports car began in Northern Ireland in 1981.

  • The imposition of CAFE fuel-mileage standards in 1979 spelled the end of big-block engines, but performance cars and convertibles reemerged in the 1980s.

  • The 1980s marked the decline of European brands in North America by the end of the decade, with Renault, Citroen, and Peugeot ceasing importation by the end of the decade.

  • MTV was launched in the United States in the 1980s, and music videos began to have a larger effect on the record industry.

  • The keyboard synthesizer and drum machine were among the most popular instruments in music during the 1980s, especially in new wave music.

  • Hard rock, heavy metal, and glam metal became some of the most dominant music genres of the decade, peaking with the arrival of such bands as Mötley Crüe, Guns N' Roses, Metallica, Iron Maiden, and Bon Jovi.

  • Prince was a popular star of the 1980s, and Michael Jackson was arguably the biggest star during this time, selling more than one billion records worldwide.

  • The 1980s saw the return of studio-driven films, coming from the filmmaker-driven New Hollywood era of the 1970s, and the period was when 'high concept' films gained popularity, where movies were easily marketable and understandable.

  • The 1980s saw the golden age of "teen flicks" and also spawned the Brat Pack films, many of which were directed by John Hughes.

  • Horror films were a popular genre during the decade, with several notable horror franchises being born during the 1980s, including the Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Child's Play, Hellraiser, and Poltergeist franchises.

  • Several action film franchises were also introduced during the 1980s, including the Indiana Jones, Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, and Rambo franchises.The 1980s: A Decade of Transformation in Television, Animation, and Video Gaming


  • Cable television became more accessible and popular, with almost 70% of the US population having cable TV by the mid-1980s.
  • Prime-time soap operas such as Dallas, Knots Landing, and Dynasty were introduced.
  • Popular sitcoms included Cheers, Family Ties, and The Cosby Show.
  • The Golden Girls and 227 premiered in 1985, and Saturday Night Live launched the careers of Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Martin Short, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
  • TV talk shows expanded in popularity, including The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and newer shows hosted by Geraldo Rivera, Arsenio Hall, and David Letterman.
  • Popular animated shows included The Smurfs, ThunderCats, Voltron, and The Simpsons shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show.


  • Don Bluth formed his own studio and directed successful films like The Secret of NIMH, An American Tail, and The Land Before Time.
  • Disney almost went bankrupt after The Black Cauldron, but recovered with The Great Mouse Detective and The Little Mermaid.
  • Popular Japanese anime films included Hayao Miyazaki's Castle of Cagliostro and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, as well as Golgo 13: The Professional, Akira, and Vampire Hunter D.
  • The Doraemon film series, based on the anime and manga series of the same name, began in 1980.

Video Gaming:

  • Pac-Man, Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, Castlevania, Metroid, Mega Man, Donkey Kong, Frogger, and Tetris were popular video games.
  • The Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum emerged in 1982 as primary gaming computers.
  • Nintendo released the NES in the US in 1985, bundled with Super Mario Bros. Sega released the Mega Drive/Genesis in Japan in 1988 and in North America in 1989.
  • The Game Boy, a monochrome handheld console, was released by Nintendo in 1989.


  • The 1980s saw the continuation of late 1970s clothing styles and the emergence of heavy metal fashion.
  • Significant hairstyle trends included the perm, mullet, Jheri curl, hi-top fade, and big hair.
  • Significant clothing trends included shoulder pads, jean jackets, leather pants, leggings, and off-the-shoulder shirts.
  • Makeup was aggressive and colorful, with emphasis on lips, eyebrows, and cheeks.
  • Miniskirts returned to mainstream fashion in the mid-1980s.
  • Popular accessories included athletic headbands, Ray-Ban sunglasses, Swatch watches, and the Rubik's Cube.

Notable people:

  • Actors and entertainers of the 1980s included Michael J. Fox, Tom Cruise, Eddie Murphy, Madonna, and Michael Jackson.
  • Athletes included Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson, and Wayne Gretzky.
  • Musicians included Prince, Madonna, Michael Jackson, and U2.


How much do you know about the 1980s? Test your knowledge about this decade of societal and technological advancements, pop culture, music, film, television, animation, video gaming, fashion, and notable people with our quiz! From the rise of capitalism to the emergence of iconic musicians and blockbuster films, this quiz will challenge your understanding of one of the most transformative decades in modern history. So, put on your leg warmers, grab your Rubik's Cube, and see how well you

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