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The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s 

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Updated July 27, 2020 105.2k votes 7.7k voters 219.9k views 259 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.

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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 

Surprising Facts You Didn't Know About Back to the Future #5 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedlisted 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 

Things You Have To Ignore In Order To Enjoy Watching 'The Goonies' #3 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #16 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

6
The Karate Kid is listed (or ranked) 6 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 

#7 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #135 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #68 of 299 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time

7
Fast Times at Ridgemont ... is listed (or ranked) 7 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 

#50 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #256 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #69 of 923 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

8
Sixteen Candles is listed (or ranked) 8 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 

The Funniest Quotes From 'Sixteen Candles' #27 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #164 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

9
Footloose is listed (or ranked) 9 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 

Cut Loose With The Best 'Footloose' Quotes #2,233 of 3,110 The Greatest Albums of All-Time #44 of 522 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 

#47 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #179 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on The Very Best Movies About Hackers

11
A Nightmare on Elm Stree... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
12
The Lost Boys is listed (or ranked) 12 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 

#23 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #28 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #145 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

13
The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 13 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 

#60 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #346 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #79 of 133 Movies That Should Never Be Remade

14
Bill & Ted's Excelle... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
15
Heathers is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
Winona Ryder, Shannen Doherty, Christian Slater

Released: 1988

Directed by: Michael Lehmann

More Heathers 

The Most Popular Quotes From 'Heathers' #108 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #410 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

16
Gremlins is listed (or ranked) 16 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 

'Gremlins' Was So Intense That It Led To The Invention Of The PG-13 Rating #30 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #51 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

17
Back to the Future Part ... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
18
Say Anything... is listed (or ranked) 18 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... 

#86 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #1,120 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #29 of 114 The Greatest Date Movies of All Time

19
Adventures in Babysittin... is listed (or ranked) 19 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 

#79 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #236 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #127 of 923 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

20
Pretty in Pink is listed (or ranked) 20 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 

#51 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #1,014 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #26 of 114 The Greatest Date Movies of All Time

21
Better Off Dead is listed (or ranked) 21 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 

#174 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #1,363 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #352 of 923 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

22
Risky Business is listed (or ranked) 22 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 

#78 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #614 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #204 of 923 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

23
Some Kind of Wonderful ... is listed (or ranked) 23 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 

#232 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #581 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #217 of 693 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

24
E.T. the Extra-Terrestri... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
catchiari101 added Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Debra Winger

Released: 1982

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

More E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 

The Dark Story Behind The Canceled Sequel To 'E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial' #31 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

25
Can't Buy Me Love is listed (or ranked) 25 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 

#120 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #197 of 693 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #224 of 363 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime