The 80s. A time of big hair, gnarly music and, like, totally rad movies. The blockbuster format was the most popular movie style at that time.
This was when the PG-13 rating was created mainly due to the amount of violence in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Gremlins. The 80s also saw an increase in film franchises due to the popularity of the Star Wars franchise.
Read on to test your knowledge of 80s movie trivia and may the Force be with you.
There are also PDFs and an image of all the 80s movie trivia questions and answers. Enjoy!
General 80s Movie Trivia
1. Which 80s movie was the highest grossing film of the decade?
E.T. The Extraterrestrial
The 1982 movie surpassed Star Wars to become the highest grossing film of all time. The movie held that record for 11 years until it was surpassed by Jurassic Park in 1993.
2. Which 80s movie was Alan Rickman’s first feature film role?
The 1988 film grossed over $140 million worldwide and turned Bruce Willis into an action star. Before then he had been known only as a comedy actor. Willis filmed the comedy television series Moonlighting at the same time as Die Hard. Beethoven’s Ode to Joy is the terrorist’s theme song in the movie, and Rickman can be seen humming the song during his elevator scene with Mr. Takagi.
3. Which 80s movie spawned 6 sequels and a T.V. series?
The comedy film grossed $146 million worldwide and became the sixth highest grossing film of 1984. The film was inspired by real life police cadets. During the filming of The Right Stuff Paul Maslansky witnessed a diverse group of police cadets ineffectively doing crowd control for the filming. He found the situation humorous, and that night he wrote up two pages to give to the Ladd Company. They loved the concept and agreed to develop the movie.
4. Which 80’s movie was the first to become a hit largely due to MTV?
The 1983 film had a decent opening weekend but the soundtrack was what catapulted the film to success. The movie’s music producers and artists worked quickly to make music videos so that they could air on MTV. This was especially significant because the video was not released during summer or winter holiday periods, was not rated R, and did not have any major celebrities involved. The movie became a massive hit and grossed over $100 million worldwide. The method of presenting sequences of the actual movie as a music video also largely influenced later 80s movies like Top Gun.
80s Movie Quotes Trivia
They can’t all be as iconic and obvious as “Bueller Bueller Bueller” and “I am your Father.” But see if you can guess which 1980s movie the following quotes are from:
5. “I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley”
Dr. Rumack (Leslie Nielsen) in Airplane
The 1980 film was a parody of the disaster film genre. It grossed over $83 million dollars in the U.S. and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture.
6. “Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?” (Hint: They’re not on a plane.)
Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) in Raiders of The Lost Ark
The 1981 film was the first installment in the Indiana Jones series starring Harrison Ford. It was the year’s top grossing film and was nominated for nine Academy Awards.
7. “We came. We saw. We kicked its ass.”
Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) in Ghostbusters
The 1984 supernatural comedy film grossed more than $95 million worldwide when it was released and was nominated for two Oscars.
8. “Don’t mess with the bull, young man. You’ll get the horns.”
Richard “Dick” Vernon (Paul Gleason) in The Breakfast Club
The 1985 classic coming-of-age film starring the iconic Brat Pack earned $51.5 million on a $1 million budget.
9. “Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”
Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
The 1986 film was one of the top grossing films of the year and earned $70.1 million. The screenplay of the film was written in less than a week and was a tribute to the city of Chicago.
10. “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!”
Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) in The Princess Bride
The 1987 film was based on a 1973 novel of the same name. Cary Elwes (Westley) and Mandy Patinkin (Inigo) both learned left-and right handed fencing. They did all of the fencing in the sword fight scenes. However, stunt doubles were used for the two somersaults.
11. “Carpe Diem boys. Seize the day. Make your lives extraordinary.”
John Keating (Robin Williams) in Dead Poet’s Society
The famous quote from the 1989 film was voted as the 95th greatest movie quote by the American Film Institute. It was the 10th largest grossing film of that year, and surpassed both The Little Mermaid and Honey, I Shrunk The Kids.
12. “I could disappear forever and it wouldn’t make any difference.”
Samantha “Sam” Baker (Molly Ringwald) in Sixteen Candles
The 1984 coming-of-age film was written with Molly Ringwald as the inspiration. The director saw her headshot, and wrote the film over a weekend with her in mind. The lead role of Jake almost went to Viggo Mortensen instead of Michael Schoeffling.
80s Movie Soundtrack Trivia
13. What artist sang the 1986 song “Danger Zone” from Top Gun?
The iconic song from Top Gun was once described by the U.S. Navy as “the most effective recruiting poster ever produced.” The soundtrack for Top Gun went platinum nine times (meaning 9 million copies were sold), and was No. 1 on the Billboard charts for five consecutive weeks in 1986. The one of the song’s lyrics is sometimes misheard as “I went to the danger zone.”, but is actually “Highway to the danger zone.”.
14. Which 1980s theme song was entirely instrumental and reached No. 1 in multiple countries due to a remix?
The theme song from Beverly Hills Cop was No. 3 on Billboard charts when first released. However, two decades later, it became number one in multiple countries after a remix was done by the animated character Crazy Frog for ringtone company Jamster.
15. Which 1980s theme song was recorded in just 3 hours?
“Don’t You (Forget About Me)”
The 1985 pop song from The Breakfast Club was rearranged and recorded by the Scottish rock band Simple Minds. It was the only number one song in the U.S. for the band.
16. Which two Footloose songs were nominated for Academy Award for Best Original song in 1984?
“Footloose” and “Let’s Hear It For The Boy”
“Footloose” spent three weeks at the number one spot on Billboard charts. “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” spent two weeks at the number one spot. Both songs lost to Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called to Say I Love You.”
17. Which 1980s theme song inspired its own separate film?
“Eye of the Tiger”
The theme song from Rocky III was the second bestselling song of 1982, and it stayed at the No. 1 Billboard spot for six consecutive weeks. “Eye of The Tiger” was also the title song of the 1986 film by the same name that was inspired by the song.
18. Which 1980s theme song was inspired by a commercial jingle?
The 1984 hit was recorded by Ray Parker Jr. who said he was inspired by a late night commercial he saw. He was only given a few days to record the theme song, and the commercial inspired him to make the theme song for the fictional business commercial featured in the film. The song was nominated for an Oscar and stayed at the No. 1 spot on Billboard charts for three weeks.
Animated 80s Movies
19. Which movie marked the beginning of a long string of successful Disney movies, sometimes called the Disney Renaissance era?
The Little Mermaid
Released in 1989, The Little Mermaid, was the 28th Disney animated film to be released. It grossed $84 million domestically during its initial release. Disney had suffered a long streak of commercial failures. After the release of The Little Mermaid Disney had ten successful films in a row from 1989-1999 known as the Disney Renaissance era.
20. What is the name of the lead character in The Secret of NIMH?
The movie was based on a 1971 novel by Robert C. O’brien titled Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. The name change occurred during production because of trademark concerns with Frisbee discs.
21. Which film was Disney’s first animated film to use computer graphics?
The Fox and the Hound
Most of the CGI in this film was during the scene where Slade traps Tod and Vixey in the burrow. Vixey was actually animated by an uncredited Tim Burton. Her animation style was so different from Burton’s usual dark Gothic style that he initially only animated her with distant shots.
22. What type of dinosaur is Littlefoot from The Land Before Time?
The 1988 film was a critical success and spawned a multi-million dollar franchise with 13 sequels and a television series. The original film was the only one in the series that was not a musical. It was also the only one to be released theatrically worldwide.
23. Which 80s animated movie is the song “There Are No Cats In America” from?
An American Tail
When it was released in 1986 it was the highest grossing non-Disney animated film at the time. The actor who voiced Warren T. Rat auditioned reading excerpts of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the voice of a Brooklyn taxi driver. This idea inspired the writers to make Warren a pretentious illiterate who continually misquoted Shakespeare.
24. Which 80s animated movie’s tagline was “Beyond good. Beyond evil. Beyond your wildest imagination.”?
The Transformers: The Movie
The 1986 film was a bridge between the second and third seasons of the television series, but it had a much darker tone. The Decepticons were more menacing and major characters were killed off. RIP Optimus Prime. Rodimus Prime can never replace you! The movie was also Orson Welles’ final film before his death at the age of 70.
25. What is the name of the main character from All Dogs Go To Heaven?
Charlie B. Barkin
The 1989 musical comedy was released the same day as Disney’s The Little Mermaid. The movie became one of the biggest selling VHS releases, and it inspired a television series. Judith Barsi, who voiced Anne-Marie, was murdered before the film was released. The end credits song “Love Survives” is dedicated to her memory.
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