We can say this much about the ’80s: they were a very, very long time ago. And we can hardly remember them. That’s probably for the better. An era of dramatically large, frizzy hair and over-sized shoulder pads is probably best left alone.
But that wouldn’t be as fun, right? So, instead, we’ve spent some time with our therapists to unlock our memories and have delved deep into the ridiculous things we thought were cool or great back in that long-forgotten decade. Take a trip back with us, won’t you?
1. T-Shirt Clips
These days it’s all about wearing clothing that clings so tight to your figure that others may wonder if those pants are actually painted on you. Not so in the ’80s! In the ’80s the ladies (and certain gentlemen) bought over-sized, slouchy t-shirts and fed them through these things. Because nothing said “fashion” more clearly than a shirt you bought that was too big, but then made slightly smaller.
2. Ecto Cooler
Have you heard the news? Ecto Cooler may actually be coming back! We have to admit that we are very excited about this possibility. Back in the ’80s, Ghostbusters was not only a film, but also a children’s cartoon featuring a floating green blob with a huge tongue named Slimer. Slimer was cool! Because… slime? Whatever. And Hi-C — peddler of over-sugared drinks that kept us running around the classroom driving our teachers nuts — came out with Ecto Cooler: a disturbingly slime-green citrus drink that we couldn’t get enough of. These days, kids know enough to stay away from green things… back in the ’80s? Nope! Just load it up with sugar and make it vaguely orange-flavored and we were set to go.
In the ’80s, girls were all into walking around on piles of Twizzlers. Or at least we think that must be what explains the passion for Jellies. Thoroughly unattractive squooshy shoes that looked like they were made of glowsticks or licorice whips? Sign us up! Jellies were all the rage… for some reason. Thankfully, these will most likely never make a comeback.
4. Teddy Ruxpin
The best-selling toy of the mid-’80s was none other than this creepy thing. Teddy Ruxpin was an animatronic teddy bear that blinked and moved its mouth as it told you stories that you jammed into a cassette player that was sliced into his back. Sound creepy? It just got worse when his batteries ran low and he started blinking unevenly and his voice dropped six octaves. If you thought Teddy Ruxpin was disturbing, Teddy Ruxpin going through puberty was worse. Still, our parents were too busy wearing shoulder pads and teasing out their hair so who else was going to read to us, dammit?
5. Slip ‘N Slide
Nothing says summer fun more than a long, urine-yellow sheet of plastic that stretches across your backyard. Slip ’N Slide was literally that. A big, yellow sheet that you sprayed with water to make it slippery just before you ran at it, launched yourself in the air, and landed on your stomach, zipping you across pebbles, rocks, stray bottles, branches, and all sorts of things you could very much feel through the very thin Slip N’ Slide. Do these things still exist? Probably not. And the knees and torsos of children everywhere breathe a sigh of relief.
6. Cabbage Patch Kids
Yes, we had dolls in the ’80s! And the most popular variety of those dolls had heads harder than ceramic that could dole out concussions when you smacked your friends with them. We won’t get into their weird dead buggy-eyed Stepford alien faces because the psychological damage from those pale in comparison from the bruises we sustained when our sisters hit us square in the face. Our parents let us have these! They were essentially the nonprison version of a sack full of doorknobs. Thanks, Mom and Dad!