watchworthy presents

The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s 

Ranker Film
Originally by
Updated January 17, 2020 102.9k votes 7.5k voters 214.9k views 314 items

List Rules Teen movies from the 1980s. Vote up the greatest 80s teen movies.

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 classics 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.

They 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 teen movies from the 1980s or add the greatest 80s films about teenagers that you love, if they aren't already on the list.

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
1
The Breakfast Club is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
2
Back to the Future is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson

Released: 1985

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

More Back to the Future 

#2 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies 46 Surprising Facts You Didn't Know About Back to the Futurelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

3
Ferris Bueller's Day Off... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
4
Stand by Me is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
5
The Goonies is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin, Sean Astin

Released: 1985

Directed by: Richard Donner

More The Goonies 

#19 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #3 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked Things You Have To Ignore In Order To Enjoy Watching 'The Goonies'

6
Sixteen Candles is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
John Cusack, Molly Ringwald, Joan Cusack

Released: 1984

Directed by: John Hughes

More Sixteen Candles 

#165 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #28 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked The Funniest Quotes From 'Sixteen Candles'

7
The Karate Kid is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
Elisabeth Shue, Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita

Released: 1984

Directed by: John G. Avildsen

More The Karate Kid 

#104 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #33 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #7 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

8
The Lost Boys is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Corey Haim

Released: 1987

Directed by: Joel Schumacher

More The Lost Boys 

#103 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #44 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #125 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies

9
Fast Times at Ridgemont ... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
Nicolas Cage, Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh

Released: 1982

Directed by: Amy Heckerling

More Fast Times at Ridgemont High 

#101 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #56 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

10
Weird Science is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
Robert Downey Jr., Kelly LeBrock, Bill Paxton

Released: 1985

Directed by: John Hughes

More Weird Science 

#229 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #97 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetimelisted on The Very Best Movies About Hackers

11
Footloose is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
wiabux added Sarah Jessica Parker, Kevin Bacon, John Lithgow

Released: 1984

Directed by: Herbert Ross

More Footloose 

#250 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #74 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime Cut Loose With The Best 'Footloose' Quotes

12
The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
Tom Cruise, Nicolas Cage, Diane Lane

Released: 1983

Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola

More The Outsiders 

#320 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #63 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #91 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

13
A Nightmare on Elm Stree... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
14
Pretty in Pink is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
James Spader, Gina Gershon, Molly Ringwald

Released: 1986

Directed by: Howard Deutch

More Pretty in Pink 

#92 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #23 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time

15
Gremlins is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
ronnie-delong added Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates

Released: 1984

Directed by: Joe Dante

More Gremlins 

#96 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #280 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made 'Gremlins' Was So Intense That It Led To The Invention Of The PG-13 Rating

16
Bill & Ted's Excelle... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
17
Adventures in Babysittin... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
ForestMays added Elisabeth Shue, Vincent D'Onofrio, Penelope Ann Miller

Released: 1987

Directed by: Chris Columbus

More Adventures in Babysitting 

#305 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #109 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

18
Heathers is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
Winona Ryder, Shannen Doherty, Christian Slater

Released: 1988

Directed by: Michael Lehmann

More Heathers 

#418 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #73 of 804 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made The Most Popular Quotes From 'Heathers'

19
Say Anything... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
John Cusack, Jeremy Piven, Joan Cusack

Released: 1989

Directed by: Cameron Crowe

More Say Anything... 

#779 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #152 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #128 of 804 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

20
Risky Business is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
Tom Cruise, Megan Mullally, Rebecca De Mornay

Released: 1983

Directed by: Paul Brickman

More Risky Business 

#933 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #129 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #159 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time

21
Back to the Future Part ... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
22
Better Off Dead is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
John Cusack, E.G. Daily, David Ogden Stiers

Released: 1985

Directed by: Savage Steve Holland

More Better Off Dead 

#239 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #337 of 1,017 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

23
Can't Buy Me Love is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
Paula Abdul, Patrick Dempsey, Seth Green

Released: 1987

Directed by: Steve Rash

More Can't Buy Me Love 

#215 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #208 of 804 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #146 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

24
Some Kind of Wonderful ... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
Lea Thompson, Candace Cameron-Bure, Mary Stuart Masterson

Released: 1987

Directed by: Howard Deutch

More Some Kind of Wonderful 

#756 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #330 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #179 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time

25
Dirty Dancing is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
liberajamesmordauntfan66 added Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach

Released: 1987

Directed by: Emile Ardolino

More Dirty Dancing 

#2,244 of 3,542 The Greatest Albums of All-Time #34 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetimelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever