Total Nerd '80s Movie Fan Theories  

Jacob Shelton
1.3k votes 322 voters 9.9k views 14 items Embed

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

#51 on The Best Animated Films Ever

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

#24 on The Funniest '80s Movies

#10 on "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

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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

#6 on The Best Steven Spielberg Movies

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

#13 on The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

#37 on The Most Rewatchable Movies

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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

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

#54 on The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

#67 on The Most Rewatchable Movies

#97 on The Greatest Horror Films of All Time

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Indiana Jones and the Raiders ... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list '80s Movie Fan Theories
Photo:  Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Arc/Paramount

Redditor /u/msgrmdma theorizes that if Indie had just shown Belloq the Ark, then the Frenchman would have been able to carry out his real plan. Given his doctoral status, it's possible that Belloq knew that whoever opened the Ark of the Covenant would be destroyed by God's light. The theory suggests that he wanted the Ark delivered to Hitler. If Hitler had opened the Ark, his face would have melted, and World War II would have ended before it began. 

Actors: Harrison Ford, Alfred Molina, Karen Allen, Frank Welker, Denholm Elliott, + more

Initial Release: 1981

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Also Ranked

#3 on The Best Steven Spielberg Movies

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

#3 on The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

#9 on The Most Rewatchable Movies

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