Totally Rad Quotes From The 1980s: Gag Me With A Spoon!

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1. “Greed is good.” – Gordon Gekko, Wall Street (1987)

Explanation: This quote from the ruthless stockbroker Gordon Gekko captures the materialism and focus on wealth that was prominent in the booming 1980s business world. It’s a cynical view that has been debated and critiqued ever since.

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2. “We are the generation that talks to computers, that wears headsets with portable phones on our belts and listens to music while we jog. We are the MTV generation.” – Kurt Vonnegut (1970s/80s)

Explanation: This quote highlights the technological advancements of the 1980s, with the rise of personal computers, mobile phones, and the cultural influence of MTV.

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3. “Wake me up before you go-go.” – Wham! (1984)

Explanation: This catchy lyric from the pop group Wham! reflects the upbeat and energetic vibe of 1980s music, often associated with partying and having a good time.

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4. “I’m a Barbie girl, in a Barbie world. Life in plastic, it’s fantastic!” – Aqua (1997, referencing 1980s culture)

Explanation: Though released in the late 90s, this song parodies the emphasis on materialism and physical perfection associated with Barbie dolls, a popular toy in the 1980s.

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5. “A nation is not defined by its borders, but by the stories it tells itself.” – Margaret Thatcher (1980s British Prime Minister)

Explanation: This quote reflects the emphasis on national identity and patriotism during the 1980s, particularly in countries like Britain under Margaret Thatcher’s leadership.

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6. “Tear down this wall!” – Ronald Reagan (1987 speech referencing the Berlin Wall)

Explanation: This powerful statement by US President Ronald Reagan called for the dismantling of the Berlin Wall, a symbol of the Cold War tensions that dominated the 1980s.

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7. “Houston, we have a problem.” – Apollo 13 astronauts (1970s/80s)

Explanation: This iconic phrase, uttered during the near-disastrous Apollo 13 mission, represents the technological challenges and risks faced during the era of space exploration.

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8. “The future is now.” – Back to the Future (1985 film)

Explanation: This tagline from the popular movie Back to the Future encapsulates the optimism and belief in technological progress that characterized the 1980s.

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9. “Knowledge is power.” – Public information campaign slogan (1980s)

Explanation: This slogan reflects the growing importance of education and information access in the 1980s, with the rise of personal computers and the Information Age.


10. “Excellent!” – Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989 film)

Explanation: This catchphrase from the comedy film Bill & Ted embodies the carefree and somewhat goofy attitude of some 1980s youth culture.