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The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s 

Ranker Film
Originally by
Updated January 17, 2020 104.9k votes 7.7k voters 219k 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
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
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 

#33 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #6 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #17 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

7
Fast Times at Ridgemont ... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
8
Sixteen Candles is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
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

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Cut Loose With The Best 'Footloose' Quotes #2,229 of 3,542 The Greatest Albums of All-Time #19 of 210 The Best Movies About Music

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 

#116 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #53 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedlisted 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 

#44 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #23 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #5 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure 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 

#66 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #56 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #347 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

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' #128 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #108 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

16
Gremlins is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
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

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#131 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #87 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #1,124 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

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 

#95 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #82 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #234 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

20
Better Off Dead is listed (or ranked) 20 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

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#250 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #173 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #1,389 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

21
Pretty in Pink is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
James Spader, Gina Gershon, Molly Ringwald

Released: 1986

Directed by: Howard Deutch

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#75 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #54 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #1,021 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

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 

#117 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #77 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #617 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

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 

#227 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #583 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #238 of 802 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
25
Lucas is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s
liberajamesmordauntfan66 added Charlie Sheen, Winona Ryder, Corey Haim

Released: 1986

Directed by: David Seltzer

More Lucas 

#260 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #376 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars #263 of 439 The Funniest '80s Movies