Total Nerd '80s Movie Fan Theories  

Jacob Shelton
3k votes 698 voters 34.8k views 14 items

List Rules Vote up the theories that change the way you think about the films.

Something about movies from the '80s brings out the inner nerd in people. Whether these films make us sing along with Cindy Lauper or quote Schwarzenegger quips, '80s movies give viewers all sorts of warm, fuzzy feelings. Many beloved titles also lend themselves to wild speculation, and theories about classic '80s films range from potential tie-ins, to amazing sci-fi crossovers, to total reversals of the films' heroes and villains. 

The most believable '80s movie theories provide an entirely new perspective on films you’ve probably watched hundreds of times. Some of these '80s movie fan theories will make you want to go back and start connecting all the dots you never noticed, while others will make you critical of the film's entire premises. 

Who Framed Roger Rabbit is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list '80s Movie Fan Theories
Photo:  Who Framed Roger Rabbit/Touchstone Entertainment

At the end of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, it's revealed that Judge Doom began his life as a cartoon, even though he now wants to kill other cartoons. However, the film never explicitly divulges what cartoon character Doom used to embody. Some viewers have noticed a string of Easter eggs strewn throughout the film that illuminate the Judge's original identity: the Pistol Packin' Possum. 

During an interrogation scene, there's a poster on the wall that depicts the Pistol Packin' Possum, a character with red eyes that look exactly like Judge Doom's at the end of the movie. The character also wields a super long cartoon gun, just like the one that Doom uses to kill R.K. Maroon. The biggest hint comes when Doom shoots Maroon, as his reflection perfectly overlays the poster for the Pistol Packin' Possum. 

Actors: Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd, Bob Hoskins, Mel Blanc, Frank Welker, + more

Initial Release: 1988

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

Also Ranked

#28 on The Best Animated Films Ever

#17 on 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

#40 on The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked

#38 on The Best Movies Based on Books

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E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list '80s Movie Fan Theories
Photo:  Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace/Lucasfilm

It's time for people to admit that Spielberg/Lucas definitely share a fictional universe, and their work is connected by a certain extra-terrestrial. In The Phantom Menace, Lucas includes a shot of several E.T.'s — or Asogians — who hold a place in the Galactic Senate. 

The link between worlds predates the prequel trilogy. In E.T., our main man uses the force to heal Elliot's finger after he cuts it on a saw blade, and makes Elliot's bike fly at the end of the movie. That's some serious Jedi stuff. 

Actors: Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Debra Winger, Robert MacNaughton, C. Thomas Howell, + more

Initial Release: 1982

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Also Ranked

#7 on 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

#17 on The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars

#28 on The Most Rewatchable Movies

#5 on The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked

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Beetlejuice is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list '80s Movie Fan Theories
Photo:  Beetlejuice/Warner Bros.

After close analysis of the film Beetlejuice, Redditor /u/patrckhh20 realized that the ghost with the most isn't actually a ghost. Instead, he's a living person who somehow found his way into the land of the dead. There's a ton of evidence to support this, but the most obvious clue is that when Betelgeuse is eaten by a sandworm at the end of the movie, he winds up in the waiting room for the afterlife. Why would be there if he was already dead?

Whenever Adam and Barbara want to take a trip to the afterlife, all they have to do is draw a door on a wall, and they never have to sit in the waiting room (since they're dead). This can only mean that Betelgeuse is very much alive up until the film's conclusion. 

Actors: Alec Baldwin, Winona Ryder, Geena Davis, Michael Keaton, Jeffrey Jones, + more

Initial Release: 1988

Directed by: Tim Burton

Also Ranked

#18 on 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

#54 on The Most Rewatchable Movies

#15 on The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked

#3 on The Best Movies of 1988

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Labyrinth is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list '80s Movie Fan Theories
Photo:  Labyrinth/Sony Pictures Entertainment

There's an absolutely insane fan theory surrounding Labyrinth that makes the whole thing seem even creepier than it already is. It's theorized that a long time ago, Jareth was a sorcerer who fell in love with a brown haired woman named Sarah. He kidnapped her baby brother, and when the child began to grow too old, he turned it into a goblin.

Jareth never stopped kidnapping children, and every time he finds a young, brown haired woman named Sarah, he kidnaps her baby brother so that she is forced to come looking for them. Each time this happens, he turns the baby into a goblin, and the cycle repeats ad infinitum. 

Actors: Jennifer Connelly, David Bowie, Frank Oz, Brian Henson, Kevin Clash, + more

Initial Release: 1986

Directed by: Jim Henson

Also Ranked

#35 on 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

#81 on The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked

#57 on Musical Movies With the Best Songs

#68 on Movies That Should Never Be Remade

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