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PLAYING   A   1980S   CHARACTER   ROLE

1980s slang dictionary:

  • Bad - Good or cool.

  • Bodacious - Attractive, excellent, or admirable.

  • Chill Pill - Used to tell someone to calm down.

  • Dweeb - A nerdy or geeky person.

  • Eat My Shorts - An expression of dismissal or disdain.

  • Gag Me With a Spoon - Expression of disgust.

  • Gnarly - Extreme, especially good or bad.

  • Grody - Disgusting or gross.

  • Like - Used frequently in conversation for emphasis or as a filler.

  • Major - Very, or a lot of.

  • Mallrat - Someone who hangs out at malls.

  • No Duh - An exclamation that something is obvious.

  • Out to Lunch - Not paying attention or out of touch with reality.

  • Preppy - Someone who dresses in expensive, casual clothes and is considered to be part of the upper class.

  • Psyche - Used to indicate that the preceding statement was false and meant to deceive.

  • Radical (Rad) - Excellent or amazing.

  • Righteous - Morally right or justifiable; also used to describe something very good.

  • To the Max - To the utmost or extreme.

  • Tubular - Something that's excellent or cool, often used to describe waves or something equally awesome.

  • VCR Party - A gathering where people watch movies on a VCR.

  • Wannabe - Someone who tries hard to be something they're not.

  • Wiggin' Out - Freaking out or going crazy.

  • Zonked - Extremely tired or exhausted.

More on how to play a 1980s character role: 

When dressing up and embodying a character from the 1980s for a mystery party, you're not just putting on an outfit; you're stepping into a vibrant era of cultural and historical richness. Your attire should scream '80s — think neon colors, shoulder pads, leg warmers, and acid-washed jeans. Men might opt for a Michael Jackson-inspired look with a sequined glove or go for the Don Johnson "Miami Vice" vibe with pastel suits and loafers without socks. Women could channel Madonna with layered jewelry, lace gloves, and tutu skirts, or embrace the power suit phenomenon with bold prints and big hair. Accessories are key: chunky jewelry, oversized sunglasses, and bandanas can complete the look. Props like a Rubik's Cube, a Walkman with a mixtape inside, or a "brick" cell phone will add authenticity to your character.

When speaking, pepper your language with '80s slang — phrases like "totally," "gag me with a spoon," and "radical" should punctuate your sentences. Your character could frequently reference pop culture phenomena, from the premiere of MTV and the release of iconic movies like "E.T." and "Back to the Future," to discussing the latest Madonna or Prince album. You could also mention major events like the fall of the Berlin Wall or the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster to ground your character in the reality of the decade.

Your demeanor should embody the confidence and boldness that defined the '80s, a time of economic boom and technological advancements. Whether you're solving the mystery or just mingling, keep your interactions energetic and your attitude larger than life, just like the decade you're representing.

Watch the following movies that embody the 1980s to get ready for your 1980s character role:  

The 1980s were a golden era for movies, spanning various genres from action and sci-fi to comedy and romance. Here’s a list of iconic films that embody the spirit of the 1980s, capturing its trends, fashion, music, and cultural shifts:

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) - A heartwarming story about a young boy and his alien friend, capturing the decade's fascination with sci-fi and friendship.

The Breakfast Club (1985) - This coming-of-age drama delves into the lives of five high school students from different walks of life, stuck in detention.

Back to the Future (1985) - A time-traveling adventure that mixes science fiction with 80s pop culture, making it a timeless classic.

Ghostbusters (1984) - A supernatural comedy that became a cultural phenomenon, blending humor, action, and special effects.

Top Gun (1986) is an action-packed film that defined the 1980s with its high-octane aerial dogfights, killer soundtrack, and Tom Cruise's charisma.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) is a teen comedy that epitomizes the rebellious spirit of 80s youth. It focuses on a charismatic high schooler playing hooky.

Dirty Dancing (1987) - A romantic drama set to a backdrop of catchy 80s tunes and dance, capturing the decade's essence of love and rebellion.

The Terminator (1984) - A sci-fi thriller that introduced groundbreaking special effects and a dystopian future, influencing the genre for years to come.

Die Hard (1988) - An action film that redefined the genre with its mix of suspense, explosive action, and the everyman hero, John McClane.

Blade Runner (1982) is a visually stunning sci-fi film set in a dystopian future. It explores themes of identity and humanity.

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) is an adventure film that brings to life the quintessential action hero, Indiana Jones, on a quest for ancient treasures.

Footloose (1984) is a dance film that highlights the clash between youth culture and conservative values, set to an unforgettable 80s soundtrack.

Flashdance (1983) - A musical drama that tells the inspiring story of a young dancer's ambition, featuring iconic dance sequences and music.

The Goonies (1985) - An adventure comedy about a group of kids searching for lost treasure, embodying the spirit of adventure and camaraderie.

These films capture the essence of the 1980s and have left a lasting impact on cinema, making them must-watch movies for anyone looking to dive into the decade's unique culture.

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