10 Unforgettable ’80s Movie Lines
If you remember more than half of them, congratulations! Your childhood and teen years were awesome.
(SPOT.ph) From blockbuster movies to coming-of-age films that affected a generation of audiences, the 1980s proved to be a thrilling ride for movie goers. A cyborg, an extra-terrestrial, an English teacher, and one of the best villains in movie history were just some of the characters that uttered epic words and comebacks that would linger on for decades and influence us to repeat them. What movie lines do you remember from the 1980s?
This list is not ranked.
"Carpe Diem. Seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary."
Dead Poets Society (1989)
The late Robin Williams delivered some of the most inspiring lines known to wide-eyed adolescents back in the late ’80s (raise your hands fellow Gen X'ers) in his role as English teacher Professor Keating. In the movie, he encourages his students in a traditional all-boys prep school to find their voice ("Because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all"), to challenge the status quo ("No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world"), and to-most famously-seize the day.
"I gave her my heart. She gave me...a pen."
Say Anything (1989)
Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Some Kind of Wonderful-the coming-of-age comedies and rom-coms were rife in the 1980s. Before the decade came to a close, Cameron Crowe added the heartfelt Say Anything to the bunch and gave girls Lloyd Dobler (thank you, Mr. Crowe). The endearing underachiever played by John Cusack initially got his heart broken (hence, the line) but, in turn, stole many teenaged girls' hearts when he held up that boombox with "In Your Eyes" playing.
"Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice!"
If you were a ghost and you discovered that your dream house, which you're destined to haunt forever, has been occupied by an oddball family WITH their curious Goth daughter (Winona Ryder a.k.a. Spock's mom in the Star Trek movie), would you turn to a "bio-exercist" too? The couple in this movie did, and they made the biggest mistake of their afterlife by summoning Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton a.k.a. Birdman to moviegoers of today). This movie was such a hilarious and campy horror comedy that we made several trips to the video store to rent the Betamax tape (yes, kids, we had stores that rented out movies!)
"My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."
The Princess Bride (1987)
Sure, there was the fairytale love story of Westley and Buttercup, but if you were a kid in the ’80s, the real fun of the movie was the adventure that Dread Pirate Roberts (still Westley) goes on in the process of finding the princess. It included meeting all sorts of characters, such as determined swordsman Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin). He uttered this line over and over again, particularly in the sword fight to avenge his father's death, and we couldn't help but repeat it ourselves long after the credits rolled.
"Gooooood morning, Vietnaaaaam!"
Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)
Hired to bring a lot of music and a little bit of comedy to the lives of American soldiers in Vietnam, Adrian Cronauer (Robin Williams) would start his radio show on the Armed Forces Radio Service with this greeting. You have to admit, it’s an effective way to wake anyone from a stupor...apart from effectively getting stuck in your head.
"Wax on, wax off."
The Karate Kid (1984)
Maybe Mr. Miyagi really just wanted to have Daniel-san clean his car and make it all shiny, but back then we wanted to think that this first lesson was the key to learning karate. "Wax on right hand. Wax off, left hand. Wax on, wax off." The next lesson was sanding the floor. Mr. Miyagi was on to something.
"I'll be back."
The amount of violence in this movie was shocking at the time-especially if you're a kid in the ’80s and your grandfather made the mistake of taking you to the cinema to watch it. The famous line (which was supposedly originally scripted as "I’ll come back") is spoken by Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator cyborg before he lays to waste the police station where Sarah Conner is being kept.
"Go ahead, make my day."
Sudden Impact (1983)
In the ’80s there were few people who were as badass as Clint Eastwood’s character, Harry Callahan, otherwise known as Dirty Harry for his rather "rough" and unconventional ways in dealing with criminal scum. Although nowadays that type of police scenario would technically be a nightmare, Dirty Harry and his two friends Smith and Wesson still kick some ass.
"E.T. phone home."
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
While the grown-ups had Aliens (1986), kids of the early 80s had E.T. The odd-looking extra-terrestrial just wanted to get back home and it does so with the help of some kids. And when you're a kid, why would you not want to encounter an amusing and friendly alien who you can occasionally play dress-up with?
"I am your father."
Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Cue the anguished,"Noooooooooo!" (Spoilers coming up-but c'mon, it's Star Wars and it's been more than 30 years. You have to know this by now.) When Darth Vader made this shocking revelation to Luke Skywalker in the sci-fi classic, every man, woman, and child in the ’80s had to pick up their jaws from the sticky movie floor. Good thing there was no social media yet for trolls to eagerly spoil the ending for the rest of humanity.