The most popular fads from decades past
Find out what was popular when your parents were kids, or take a nostalgic trip down memory lane from your own childhood:


Big Hair with lots of Hairspray
  • Not only were the women sporting their hair like this, so were the 80's rock stars. Big hair was definantly in and so was Aqua Net hairspray to keep the hair up all day.

Boom Boxes
  • This oversized radio was popular with the youth of the early and mid-eighties because they played music so loud, you could hear them from a 100 yards away. They eventually came with dual cassette and CD players and used 8 "D" cell batteries to power the big speakers. Some had a special Bass Boost button that would make the boom boxes even louder and more annoying to most who could hear them. This fad is still popular with some young people because the new boom boxes come with MP3 players.

Break Dancing
  • Remember the parachute pants and cardboard boxes that dancers would gyrate themselves on? Break dancing seems so different from all other kinds of dancing that the first question people ask when they see it is: "Where did these kids learn to dance like that?" In 1969, when James Brown was getting down with his big hit "Get on the Good Foot" the Hustle was the big dance style of the day. When he preformed his hit, he did the kind of dance you'd expect James Brown to do. High Energy. This eventually, evolved into break dancing.

Cabbage Patch Dolls
  • Cabbage Patch Dolls were the doll craze of the 80s, and one of THE fads of the decade. Take this stroll down memory lane with the Cabbage Patch Kids and see what they've been up to lately.

Care Bears
  • Colorful, adorable, furry friends with a caring mission. These cute bears taught us how to care. Every bear came with a bright colored tummy picture that told who they were and what their special area of caring was.

Converse All-Stars
  • These popular sneakers are still worn today but not nearly as much as the 80's. Sometimes called Chucks or Chuck Taylors, these shoes come in many colors and high top or the low top options.

Denim Jackets
  • Dark blue, light blue, gray, acid, etc. Those denim jackets were the thing to wear in the 80's. Some jackets even had that fluffy white cotton material in the inside to keep you warm in the winter.

Friendship Bracelets
  • Friendship bracelets came in bright colors, vibrant woven patterns, beautiful glass beadwork and NFL football team names and colors.

Garbage Pail Kids
  • Garbage Pail Kids were like Cabbage Patch Kids only much more gross and the cards came with a stick of gum.... they even had their own movie.

Goatee Beards
  • Goatee beards really joined the mainstream, and no longer just for bikers, wrestlers, and Satan.

Hacky-Sack
  • Coordinated enough to kick a beanbag but too wimpy to be a jock? Hacky-Sack was your sport.

He-Man
  • If you were a young boy growing up in the 80's then you know all about this craze. Mattel's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was everywhere. Not only was it a popular cartoon but it was also on lunch boxes, t-shirts, school folders and many other places.

Horror Movies
  • Nightmare on Elm Street, Jaws, Friday the 13th, these types of films were so popular that many sequels followed. On top of that, there were tons of children that dressed as Freddy Krueger or Jason for Halloween.

Hyper-Color Shirts
  • These were shirts that changed color with temperature change.

Jelly Shoes
  • If you were a little girl that grew up in the 80's, then chances are you owned a pair of jelly shoes. These were flexible bright colored jelly shoes that you could wear without socks. A very popular fad during this decade.

Jem and the Holograms
  • A popular 80's cartoon about a music group that fought off bad guys, evil, and their rival rock band. They used their musical talent to create music and win over the hearts of people.

Koosh Ball
  • A toy ball made of colorful rubber strings attached to a soft rubber core.

Koosh Balls
  • During the 1988 Christmas season, the Koosh ball was the hottest toy on the shelves. The Koosh ball was a rubber ball filled with a jelly-like plasma and its outside consisted of hundreds of rubber spikes making it look like a soft and flexible porcupine that did not hurt to hold or squeeze. When someone squeezed the object, the plasma caused it to squirm around in his hand while the spikes provided something to grip in one's hand.

Lace fingerless gloves
  • ala Madonna.

M.U.S.C.L.E.
  • Small flexible rubber wrestling creatures. For a quarter you could buy about 3 of these guys in one of those egg shell dispensing vending machines at any grocery store. They were fun to play with and fun to collect. MUSCLE stands for Millions of Unusual Creators Lurking Everywhere.

Miami Vice Fashion
  • popularized by Don Johnson on the hit tv show.

Mullet Hairstyle
  • A unique hairstyle where the front is short and the back is long. Sometimes called "business in the front, party in the back".

Neon
  • Pretty self explanatory. Socks, Shirts, Hair accessories, bracelets, shoe laces, store signs etc.

Nintendo
  • If you were a kid growing up in the 80's then you remember playing Mario Bros, Tecmo Bowl, Metroid, Castlevania or other popular nintendo classics at home or with your friends. Most nintendo users played their video game consoles so much that in order to get the games to start they had to blow into the cartridge and adjust the spring in the console slot.

Not!
  • The use of the word "NOT!" was spoken in exclamation. For example: Bob: Hey Mike, do you like my new Vans shoes? Mike: Yes, they are totally rad!. Bob: Really?? Mike: Not!

Penny Loafers
  • A shoe which was usually made of leather and had no laces or buckles. Loafers were made to easily slide off and on.

Popples
  • These were popular toys in the mid 1980's. Popples were able to pull anything out of their back pouch. The craze was so huge that there was also a cartoon that followed the fad.

PSYCHE!!
  • This word was used very often during the 80's. It was used as another way to tell someone you were just kidding or pulling their leg about something. For example: Larry: Hey Bob, who did you buy that ice cream for? Bob: I bought it for you. Larry: Really?? Bob: PSYCHE!! ...I bought it for me!

Rainbow Brite
  • If you were a young girl growing up in the 80's then you know all about this craze. Almost every little girl had a rainbow brite doll and watched the cartoon that went along with it.

Rubik's Cube
  • Erno Rubik was looking for a innovative method of teaching his students about 3D objects and came up with what would be called Rubik's Cube. He patented this clever cube and made millions in the early 80's. There were 43 quintillion combinations of solving the cube, which prompted many books on how to solve the cube. The world record for solving the cube is 16.5 seconds! A later version of the cube was released called "Rubik's Revenge" which had four rows of four squares instead of three on the standard cube. 100 million cubes have been sold worldwide and are even now somewhat popular in certain places in the world.

Saved By The Bell
  • A popular TV show that included 6 teens making their way through prom, graduation, dating, and maybe some homework in between. Zack Morris became a teen heartthrob.

Slap Bracelets
  • A flexible metal with a colorful cloth over it. You would smack these on your wrist and it would wrap around it.

Smurfs
  • Blue elflike creatures, dwelling happily in the forest. Creatures with names like Jokey, Greedy, and Brainy Smurf. The went through adventures, sought advice from Papa Smurf and found themselves captivated by the perky Smurfette, the only female in the clan. During Smurf Mania, they out sold Star Wars, Garfield, Snoopy, Annie and Mickey Mouse.

Strawberry Shortcake
  • A popular 80's cartoon character. Every little girl that grew up in the 80's not only owned the doll, but also had either a Strawberry Shortcake lunchbox or blanket or even clothing with this character imprented on it.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • A hit cartoon about a bunch of hip turtles who loved eating pizza and could also fight well. People bought lots of related dolls, stickers, lunchboxes, etc.

Tetherball
  • A tetherball is similar to a volleyball and is tied to a ten-foot, vertical pole by a slender rope. Two players, who each get half of the area surrounding the pole, try to hit the tetherball ball repeatedly in one direction so that the rope wraps completely around the pole.

Trivial Pursuit
  • Want to seem as cleaver as Cliff Claven? Memorize a card set and then play a set or two against your friends. Both of them. We were all playing Trivial Pursuit in the early-Awesome80s.

Valley Girls
  • The official language of the 80's girls.Remember such lines as "gag me with a spoon", "Barf me out", Like,oh my god", "groody to the max" among others

Vans Tennis Shoes
  • The shoes of choice for skateboarders everywhere. Pull on tennis shoes - no laces.

Video Arcades
  • There are many arcades now, but during the 80s, they were the "in" place to hangout.

Wacky WallWalker
  • A sticky piece of rubber that usually resembled an insect that you throw at a window or wall. The Wacky Wallwalker would then slowly walk down the surface.

Where's the Beef
  • A slogan from a Wendy‚€™s commercial for showing that other restaurants didn‚€™t quite use as much meat on their hamburgers. Starred an old lady named Clara Peller, who kept asking that question.

Wrestling
  • Although it has made a comeback in recent years, nothing even compares with the classic years of the WWF, and the NWA.

'Baby on Board' Signs
  • Remember when we were supposed to avoid hitting the cars with the "Baby on Board" signs on them? It's open season on them now.