Entertainment
8.4k voters

The Greatest Teen Movies Of The 1980s

Updated March 16, 2021 103.0k votes 8.4k voters 232.9k views172 items

List RulesVote up your favorite teen movies from the 1980s.

Few decades have made their mark on film quite like the 1980s did. The era of John Hughes and oh so many classic teen movies, the '80s was the decade of classic high school movies like Heathers, Sixteen Candles, Can’t Buy Me Love, and Some Kind of WonderfulThis list has been voted on by men and women to rank the all time best teen movies from the 1980s.

Movies have the ability to make us feel. They make us want to believe, be inspired, and live vicariously through the stories we see on screen. Teen movies often resonate with us the most as our teenage years are the most angst-ridden and formative years of our lives. Movies that tell the story of nerds and outcasts connect with many people. It is with a peek into the lives of these individuals that we can either find solace, live vicariously, or connect with a story similar to our own. These movies vary in their genre but they are all equally fascinating.

The '80s was also a decade that created many iconic stars like Molly Ringwald, River Phoenix, John Cusack, and Matthew Broderick. Many of these '80s teen movie stars went on to have successful film careers as they grew older as well, and some are still working today.

Vote up the best '80s films about teenagers that you love and vote down any that you think other fans should skip.

Photo:
...more
  • 1
    3,376
    762

    The Breakfast Club

    Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald

    Released1985

    Directed byJohn Hughes

    More The Breakfast Club 

    #9 of 15 Classic Movie Endings People Only Accept Because They're Classics#46 of 170 The Most Rewatchable Comedy Movies

  • 2
    3,000
    713

    Back to the Future

    Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd

    Released1985

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

    More Back to the Future 

    Surprising Facts You Didn't Know About Back to the Future#12 of 12 12 Major Films With So Many Development And On Set Disasters They Almost Didn't Happen

  • 3
    2,880
    684

    Ferris Bueller's Day Off

    Charlie Sheen, Matthew Broderick

    Released1986

    Directed byJohn Hughes

    More Ferris Bueller's Day Off 

    Behind The Scenes Of The Famous Parade Scene In 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'#12 of 924 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

  • 4
    2,297
    581

    Stand by Me

    Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman

    Released1986

    Directed byRob Reiner

    More Stand by Me 

    Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'Stand By Me' That Prove The Film Shaped The Child Actors#5 of 22 The Best Movies Coming to Netflix in June 2021

  • 5
    2,640
    688

    The Goonies

    Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin

    Released1985

    Directed byRichard Donner

    More The Goonies 

    Things You Have To Ignore In Order To Enjoy Watching 'The Goonies'#30 of 112 Movies That Need Sequels

  • 6
    1,791
    603

    Fast Times at Ridgemont High

    Nicolas Cage, Sean Penn

    Released1982

    Directed byAmy Heckerling

    More Fast Times at Ridgemont High 

    #5 of 15 Hit Movies And TV Shows That Were Based On Books Nobody Had Heard Of#133 of 451 The Best Movies For Guys

  • 7
    2,230
    637

    The Karate Kid

    Elisabeth Shue, Ralph Macchio

    Released1984

    Directed byJohn G. Avildsen

    More The Karate Kid 

    #23 of 205 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made#7 of 14 '80s Movie Fan Theories

  • 8
    2,500
    676

    Sixteen Candles

    John Cusack, Molly Ringwald

    Released1984

    Directed byJohn Hughes

    More Sixteen Candles 

    #23 of 512 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked#36 of 305 The Funniest '80s Movies

  • 9
    2,037
    590

    The Lost Boys

    Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman

    Released1987

    Directed byJoel Schumacher

    More The Lost Boys 

    Behind-The-Scenes Details From 'The Lost Boys,' The Film That Made Vampires Glamorous#7 of 35 Rainy Day Horror Movies You Can Watch Again And Again

  • 10
    1,780
    611

    Weird Science

    Robert Downey Jr., Kelly LeBrock

    Released1985

    Directed byJohn Hughes

    More Weird Science 

    #34 of 541 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies#338 of 557 The Best Film Scores Of All Time

  • 11
    839
    324

    Back to the Future Part II

    Clint Eastwood, Michael J. Fox

    Released1989

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

    More Back to the Future Part II 

    When ‘Back To The Future II’ Recreated Crispin Glover’s Face, He Took The Studio To Court#6 of 69 The Best Comedy Movie Sequels

  • 12
    1,799
    773

    Footloose

    Sarah Jessica Parker, Kevin Bacon

    Released1984

    Directed byHerbert Ross

    More Footloose 

    #2100 of 2,809 The Greatest Albums of All-Time#30 of 203 The Best Teen Romance Movies

  • 13
    1,897
    584

    The Outsiders

    Tom Cruise, Nicolas Cage

    Released1983

    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    More The Outsiders 

    #35 of 97 The Best Film Adaptations Of Young Adult Novels#75 of 277 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

  • 14
    1,118
    379

    Gremlins

    Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman

    Released1984

    Directed byJoe Dante

    More Gremlins 

    'Gremlins' Was So Intense That It Led To The Invention Of The PG-13 Rating#185 of 549 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

  • 15
    600
    229

    E.T

    Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak

    Released1982

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    More E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 

    The Dark Story Behind The Canceled Sequel To 'E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial'#97 of 1,195 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

  • 16
    1,326
    598

    A Nightmare on Elm Street

    Johnny Depp, Robert Englund

    Released1984

    Directed byWes Craven

    More A Nightmare on Elm Street 

    Ranking Freddy Krueger's Best Kills from A Nightmare on Elm Street#4 of 727 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

  • 17
    1,184
    426

    Adventures in Babysitting

    Elisabeth Shue, Vincent D'Onofrio

    Released1987

    Directed byChris Columbus

    More Adventures in Babysitting 

    #16 of 26 The Best F-Bombs In Movie History#120 of 246 The Best Movies For Kids

  • 18
    1,289
    655

    Heathers

    Winona Ryder, Shannen Doherty

    Released1988

    Directed byMichael Lehmann

    More Heathers 

    #3 of 72 The Greatest Female-Led Comedy Movies#1 of 29 The Best Classic Movies Streaming On Hulu

  • 19
    1,392
    680

    Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

    Keanu Reeves, George Carlin

    Released1989

    Directed byStephen Herek

    More Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure 

    #2 of 15 Fictional Metal Bands That Are More Metal Than Real Metal Bands#51 of 152 Movies That Should Never Be Remade

  • 20
    1,944
    724

    Pretty in Pink

    James Spader, Gina Gershon

    Released1986

    Directed byHoward Deutch

    More Pretty in Pink 

    #1 of 16 Movies That Completely Changed Their Endings After Everyone Freaked Out#23 of 290 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time

  • 21
    1,306
    744

    Say Anything...

    John Cusack, Jeremy Piven

    Released1989

    Directed byCameron Crowe

    More Say Anything... 

    #27 of 126 The Greatest Directorial Debuts Of All Time#13 of 105 The Best Valentine's Day Movies

  • 22
    1,887
    587

    Dirty Dancing

    Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey

    Released1987

    Directed byEmile Ardolino

    More Dirty Dancing 

    #5 of 18 18 Movies With 'Happy Endings' That Were Actually Unspeakably Tragic#100 of 116 What Are the Best Diamond Certified Albums of All Time?

  • 23
    1,480
    576

    Can't Buy Me Love

    Paula Abdul, Patrick Dempsey

    Released1987

    Directed bySteve Rash

    More Can't Buy Me Love 

    #225 of 375 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime#138 of 783 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

  • 24
    244
    118

    WarGames

    Matthew Broderick, William H. Macy

    Released1983

    Directed byJohn Badham

    More WarGames 

    #1 of 49 The Very Best Movies About Hackers#367 of 1,506 The Most Rewatchable Movies

  • 25
    917
    589

    Better Off Dead

    John Cusack, E.G. Daily

    Released1985

    Directed bySavage Steve Holland

    More Better Off Dead 

    #28 of 433 The Best Lifetime Movies Ever Made#3 of 66 The Best Movies About Getting Dumped