Can You Guess All of These 1980s Movie Titles?


By: J. Reinoehl

6 Min Quiz

Image: YouTube

About This Quiz

Were you an honorary member of the Brat Pack? Did you wish you could hang out with The Goonies? Maybe you just wanted to stand in the backyard and yell "KHAAAAAN!" at the top of your lungs. If you're a fan of '80s movies, you recognized everything I just mentioned. This quiz will test your '80s movie savvy and see if you can name the movies from a screenshot.

One of the single most recognizable characters of '80s cinema was Gizmo, the Mogwai from "Gremlins." That fuzzy, Furby-like face and that sweet, singsong voice melted the hearts of millions of moviegoers. Of course, then the rules weren't followed properly, Gizmo gave rise to Stripe, and the rest of the Gremlins and the movie turned dark in a hurry. Director Joe Dante and screenwriter Chris Columbus wanted to make the film a dark, sweet treat... cuddly on the outside, but full of grossness in the middle.

A lot of '80s cinema was like that. A movie like "Pretty in Pink" looked like a fluffy high school drama, but '80s-movie god John Hughes wove in themes of discrimination, teen despair, and class conflict that gave the story a lot more heft.

So, think you can pick out the '80s movies shown in our screenshots?  Pop some popcorn, settle in, and give it a try!

In which movie do parents leave their teenager alone for a week while they go on vacation?

“I don't believe this! I've got a trig midterm tomorrow, and I'm being chased by Guido the killer pimp.” –Miles Dalby in Risky Business (1983)


In which movie does a reporter bring a crocodile hunter from the Outback to New York City?

An urban myth is that the movie was based on a true story. Although Paul Hogan felt like a fish out of water when he first visited New York and based the character on that experience, there was never a real person behind the story.


Which movie stars Robin Williams as a war DJ?

“Excuse me, sir. Seeing as how the V.P. is such a V.I.P., shouldn't we keep the P.C. on the Q.T.? 'Cause if it leaks to the V.C. he could end up M.I.A., and then we'd all be put out in K.P.” –Adrian Cronauer in Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)


In which movie does Michael J. Fox travel in time?

Eric Stoltz was hired to play Marty McFly because Michael J. Fox was too busy to film it. He played the character too straight and the producers wanted to make the movie lighthearted so he was released.


In which movie does a mermaid go to New York City to search for a boy turned man, whom she has saved from drowning twice?

“I’m really a nice guy. If I had friends, you could ask them.” –Walter Kornbluth in Splash (1984)


In which movie does Kurt Sloan seek revenge for his brother’s paralysis in the ring?

Van Damme’s real name is Jean-Claude Camille Francois Van Varenberg. The main bad guy in the movie was not playing “himself” as it is listed, but martial artist Michel Qissi, is the actor’s real name.


Which movie has a summer camp maintenance man dreaming about becoming a camp counselor?

James Albert Varney, Jr., (June 15, 1949—February 10, 2000) created the Earnest P. Worrell character for television commercials. As his popularity climbed, he was offered a chance to bring the character to movies.


In what movie does Michael Keaton play a father who has lost his job?

“Are you crazy? You don’t feed a baby chili!” –Doris (the TV Repairwoman) in Mr. Mom (1983)


Which film has a sentient plant in it that wants to take over the world with only a humble florist to stand in its way?

Little Shop of Horrors was first filmed in 1960 over two days on a budget so tight, Jack Nicholson complained they wouldn’t even make copies of the script. The 1986 version had a production budget of $25 million.


In which movie does a girl travel to earth to find a lost power source for her dying community?

“You girls are rank amateurs playing with fire.” “Because we own the matches.” –Nigel and Selena in Supergirl (1984).


In which movie does a serial killer use voodoo to possess a doll?

Charles “Chucky” Lee Ray was named after three real-life killers. Charles Manson led a group of hippies to commit seven murders; Lee Harvey Oswald shot President Kennedy; and James Earl Ray assassinated Martin Luther King, Jr.


In which movie does a female owner find the worst baseball players she can to create a losing team that will allow her to move them to Miami?

“Just a reminder, fans, comin' up is our "Die-hard Night" here at the stadium. Free admission to anyone who was actually alive the last time the Indians won a pennant.” –Harry Doyle in Major League (1989)


In which movie do seniors find the fountain of youth in a neighboring swimming pool?

Cocoon won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and Best Visual Effects in 1985. It was also nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Picture.


In what movie do Steve Martin and John Candy travel across the country at Thanksgiving?

“Do you have any idea how fast you were going?” “Funny enough, I was just talking to my friend about that. Our speedometer has melted and as a result it's very hard to see with any degree of accuracy exactly how fast we were going.” –State Trooper and Del Griffith in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987)


In what movie do two hapless employees spend time at a beach house trying to make others believe their boss is alive?

Although the movie was not inspired by a true story, it did encourage a true story. Robert Young and Mark Rubinson spent a night on the town with their friend, Jeffrey Jarrett’s credit cards after finding him dead and were found guilty of “abusing a corpse” in 2011.


In which movie does a college student earn a business degree while bartending?

“The waitresses hate me.” “You wait ‘til you’ve given them crabs. Then you’ll really know hatred.” –Brian Flanagan and Doug Coughlin in Cocktail (1988)


In which movie does a woman drop her new stepson off at her estranged parents’ vacation cottage, while she goes to Europe on a honeymoon?

Jane Fonda purchased the rights to the stage play, On Golden Pond, because she recognized the strained relationship between her father and her in it. She had always wanted to act with him and she hoped that as the relationship on screen overcame its difficulties that her and her father would be able to overcome theirs.


In which movie do the two Coreys team up to fight vampires?

“Second shelf is mine. That's where I keep my root beers and my double-thick Oreo cookies. Nobody touches the second shelf but me.” –Grandpa in the Lost Boys (1987)


Which film chronicles the life of high schoolers and featured Sean Penn and Jennifer Jason Leigh and the line, “What are you, people? On dope?”

“Hamilton, you’re going over there as a representative of Captain Hook Fish and Chips. Part of our image, part of our appeal is that uniform—you know that… Show a little pride.” –Pirate King in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)


In which movie is the semi-biographical story of Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic told?

Tom Cruise spent several weeks in a wheelchair to prepare for his role as Kovic. He also spent time with the real life Kovic.


What movie attempts to answer the question: “Can a man and woman be friends without sex getting in the way?”

“What I'm saying is - and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form - is that men and women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.” –Harry Burns in When Harry Met Sally (1989)


In which movie, do parapsychology scientists set up a business after being kicked out of their university positions for conducting unethical experiments?

The initial script written by Aykroyd involved battles across time and dimensions. As written, it would have cost an estimated $300 million to make in 1984 when most movies cost $10-20 million. On a final $30 million budget, it made $229 million at the box office.


In what movie, does a one-night stand turn into a stalking situation?

“I’m not trying to hurt you, Dan. I love you~!” –Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction (1987)


Which of the following movies is based on the life of Billy the Kid?

William H. Bonney (Billie the Kid) was paid to help defend one New Mexican cattle rancher John Tunstall from cattle barons Lawrence Murphy and Frank Dolan. Tunstall’s murder sparked the Lincoln County war, which led to Bonney’s death at the hands of sheriff Pat Garrett.


In which film are Mel Gibson and Danny Glover forced to work as a cop team to bring down a gang of drug smugglers?

“You’re not trying to draw a psycho pension! You really are crazy!” –Roger Murtaugh in Lethal Weapon (1987)


Which high school movie is about a teenager who decides to take the day off school?

Initially, Ben Stein was supposed to give his economics speech off camera, but the high school student extras thought it was hilarious. The speech is ad-libbed. Stein was told to talk about something he knew a lot about.


In which movie did Dolly Parton make her first appearance?

“One thing you should know about dear old Roz—She’s the eyes, ears, nose, and throat of Mr. Hart. Anything she hears, he hears.” –Violet Newstead in 9 to 5 (1980)


Which movie is set primarily in and around a beauty salon?

Writer Robert Harling wrote the movie in just 10 days after experiencing similar true events in his life. Steel Magnolias was initially a play that the studios picked up for the big screen.


Which movie is the story of a city teenager trying to bring rock and roll and dancing back to a small town in time for prom?

“Hey, I like that hat, man. They sell men’s clothes where you got that?” –Ren McCormack in Footloose (1984)


In which movie does a police officer develop culture shock when he pursues a murderer from Detroit to California?

It took five years for the script to become acceptable. Daniel Petrie, Jr., finally nailed the project after talking with real police officers and discovering the violence of their stories were punctuated in spots with humor.


In which movie do a group of preteens and teens search for pirate treasure to save their home?

“Clark, can you translate that?” “For sure, Mrs. Walsh. [in Spanish] The marijuana goes in the top drawer. The cocaine and speed go in the second drawer, and the heroin goes in the bottom drawer. Always separate the drugs.” –Mrs. Walsh and Mouth in Goonies (1985)


In which movie does a love sick man have to fly a plane when the pilots become sick from food poisoning?

Airplane! parodied the 1957 movie Zero Hour! Zucker, Abrahams, and Zucker had grown up together and recorded late night television where they discovered the old film. The film was similar enough that the trio bought the rights to it as source material.


Which movie starred Eddie Murphy as a detective tasked with finding a special child?

“So, I gotta go to Tibet because I’m the Chosen One. Why can’t anybody choose me to go to the Bahamas?” –Chandler Jarrell in The Golden Child (1986)


In which movie does the title character want to “phone home” repeatedly?

Drew Barrymore captured her role as Gertie by telling Spielberg she was not an actress but a drummer for a punk rock band called the Purple People Eaters. The fib got her the part because of her vivid imagination.


Which movie begins with a grandfather (played by Peter Falk) reading his sick grandson (played by Fred Savage) a story?

“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” –Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride (1987)


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