Total Nerd

'80s Movie Fan Theories  

Jacob Shelton
3.6k votes 832 voters 42k 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. 

back to page 1
Labyrinth is listed (or ranked) 5 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

Released: 1986

Directed by: Jim Henson

More Labyrinth

#72 of 334 on 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #55 of 221 on Musical Movies With the Best Songs #82 of 580 on The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked featuring Get Lost In The Best Quotes From 'Labyrinth'

Is this revelatory?
see more on Labyrinth
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventu... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list '80s Movie Fan Theories
Photo:  Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure/Interscope

Redditor /u/AngrySpock believes that Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure is more than just a lark about two dopes traveling through time; this user argues that it's an exercise in non-linear thinking. They posit that when Rufus sets up the ticking clock for Bill and Ted at the Circle K, he's telling them that they need to think outside the box with regards to normal time. 

The Redditor writes, "While ostensibly Rufus got involved to help them pass their report, his real impact is helping Bill & Ted start down the path of exploring what Q called the 'unknown possibilities of existence.'"

Actors: Keanu Reeves, George Carlin, Jane Wiedlin, Diane Franklin, Al Leong, + more

Released: 1989

More Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

#61 of 580 on The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked #24 of 443 on The Funniest '80s Movies #14 of 103 on Movies Turning 30 in 2019 #80 of 207 on The Best Adventure Movies

Is this revelatory?
see more on Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
Ghostbusters is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list '80s Movie Fan Theories
Photo:  Ghostbusters/Sony Pictures Entertainment

Everyone loves the Ghostbusters — those New York dudes that throw a bunch of 'tude while cleaning up paranormal messes — but what if they're the ones creating the ghostly problem that's tearing apart Halloween? That's what Redditor /u/ToliB theorizes; in 2017, they suggested that, by putting all of the creepy crawlies in one place, the Ghostbusters actually draw more specters to their area. This high concentration of paranormal energy creates a figurative magnet for ghosts that ends up causing the dimensional rift that the Ghostbusters have to shut down. 

Actors: Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Walton, Ron Jeremy, + more

Released: 1984

Directed by: Ivan Reitman

More Ghostbusters

#2 of 334 on 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #34 of 410 on The Best Rainy Day Movies featuring Moments In ‘Ghostbusters’ That Went Too Far And Scarred Our Childhoods Behind The Scenes Secrets From 'Ghostbusters' Most People Have Never Heard

Is this revelatory?
see more on Ghostbusters
The Karate Kid is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list '80s Movie Fan Theories
Photo:  The Karate Kid/Sony Pictures Entertainment

The Karate Kid is one of the quintessential '80s movies. In the film, the young Daniel LaRusso moves to Los Angeles, where he quickly attracts the attention of Johnny Lawrence and the rest of Cobra Kai. After meeting Cobra Kai, Johnny starts learning karate so he can beat up all of his new neighbors. This kind of aggressive behavior is exactly why people think that Daniel's the main antagonist of The Karate Kid

Viewers have noted that Daniel instigates every aggressive situation in the film, and goes out of his way to get into fights with Cobra Kai. In contrast to this, Johnny is kind of a jerk, but spends the majority of the movie trying to become a better person while facing constant adversity. 

Actors: Elisabeth Shue, Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Andrew Shue, Frances Bay, + more

Released: 1984

Directed by: John G. Avildsen

More The Karate Kid

#22 of 334 on 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #16 of 580 on The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked #18 of 183 on The Best Sports Movies Ever Made #73 of 319 on Movies with the Best Soundtracks

Is this revelatory?
see more on The Karate Kid