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All I Really Need to Know I Learned from 80s Movies

Some of the students at my school recently read an essay entitled Everything I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. The assignment got me thinking. The only thing I learned in kindergarten is that I hated school. I decided that all I really need to know I learned from John Hughes, the brat pack, and a host of 80s movies. The geek can get the girl, you can save the world with your ability to skateboard/play video games/harness the force, a great soundtrack can make a movie, and randomly breaking out in a dance number can fix anything. Here are my top lessons learned from 80s movies. I know there are many more lessons out there. What have you learned from 80s movies? Leave a comment with your wisdom here!

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  • Better Off Dead 1 of 27
    Better Off Dead
    Better Off Dead taught us to "go that way really fast. If something gets in your way, turn". Keep moving forward, persevere. When an obstacle appears, don't stress, just go around it.
    Photo credit: Fanpop.com
  • The Breakfast Club 2 of 27
    The Breakfast Club
    In this classic, we learn that people will be nice to you if you let them. (Also, a make-over can do wonders!)
    Photo credit: Shine
  • The Princess Bride 3 of 27
    The Princess Bride
    In The Princess Bride, we learn the classic blunders are "never get involved in a land war in Asia" - but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line"! Inconceivable!
    Photo credit: Whysoblu
  • Sixteen Candles 4 of 27
    Sixteen Candles
    If you're nice to others, good things will come your way ie. if you give your underwear to a geek, the hot guy will come to you.
    Photo credit: Listal
  • The Karate Kid 5 of 27
    The Karate Kid
    Those who sweep the leg and show no mercy never win.
    Photo credit: Survivinggrady
  • Ghostbusters 6 of 27
    Ghostbusters
    When someone asks you if you're a god, you say "YES"! Lying is okay when it's a demon-possessed person asking the questions.
    Photo credit: Only80s
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off 7 of 27
    Ferris Bueller's Day Off
    Everyone remembers the classic lesson learned in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
    Photo credit: Fanpop.com
  • Pretty in Pink 8 of 27
    Pretty in Pink
    "It's called a sense of humor - you should get one - they're nice." A sense of humor can go a long way! Lighten up and enjoy life! Laugh a little!
    Photo credit: Doctornerdlove
  • Better Off Dead 9 of 27
    Better Off Dead
    There are just so many life lessons to be gotten from this movie. Here we learn that "a car is not a toy".
    Photo credit: Kickseat
  • The Breakfast Club 10 of 27
    The Breakfast Club
    In The Breakfast Club, we discover that it's not nice to ask people if Barry Manilow knows they raid his wardrobe. "You mess with the bull, you get the horns."
    Photo credit: Autographmagazine
  • Back to the Future 11 of 27
    Back to the Future
    A great take-away from this movie is, "Stand tall, boy. Have some respect for yourself. Don't you know, if you let people walk over you now, they'll be walking over you for the rest of your life."
    Photo credit: Meneatburritos
  • Big 12 of 27
    Big
    Big is a perfect reminder to not take things too seriously, and to keep our childlike enjoyment of simple things. Oh yeah, and a wish come true is not always all it's cracked up to be.
    Photo credit: Yianniscove
  • Better Off Dead 13 of 27
    Better Off Dead
    Suicide is never the answer. Even when Beth dumps you for Roy Stalin because he can ski the K-12.
    Photo credit: Rottentomatoes
  • The Breakfast Club 14 of 27
    The Breakfast Club
    "Screws fall out all the time, the world is an imperfect place."
    Photo credit: Fanpop.com
  • The Princess Bride 15 of 27
    The Princess Bride
    "Sonny, true love is the greatest thing, in the world-except for a nice MLT - mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe, they're so perky, I love that."
    Photo credit: Drafthouse
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off 16 of 27
    Ferris Bueller's Day Off
    Another lesson from Ferris Bueller's Day Off is that Charlie Sheen was totally typecast.
    Photo credit: Fanpop.com
  • National Lampoon’s Vacation 17 of 27
    National Lampoon's Vacation
    In Vacation, we learn that it's the little touches that make the meal. "Real tomato ketchup, Eddie?"
    Photo credit: Rottentomatoes
  • Pretty in Pink 18 of 27
    Pretty in Pink
    Be true to yourself. Don't worry what others think. But remember, "If you give off signals that you don't want to belong, people will make sure that you don't."
    Photo credit: Heavemedia
  • The Karate Kid 19 of 27
    The Karate Kid
    Not everything is as it seems. Sometimes adults make kids do chores that seem pointless, but there's a method to our madness. (Or we just want to get out of doing the chores ourselves.)
    Photo credit: Inspirationalsportsmovies
  • The Outsiders 20 of 27
    The Outsiders
    In The Outsiders we learn to stay gold. " ...he meant you are gold when you're a kid, like green. When you're a kid everything is new , dawn..."
    Photo credit: Movpins
  • Better Off Dead 21 of 27
    Better Off Dead
    Another gem from Better Off Dead is - don't light a cigarette after drinking lighter fluid.
    Photo credit: Fanpop.com
  • The Breakfast Club 22 of 27
    The Breakfast Club
    People will sometimes see you as they want to see you... In the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal.
    Photo credit: Fanpop.com
  • Say Anything 23 of 27
    Say Anything
    No one remembers anything about this movie except the scene where John Cusak holds up the boom box playing Peter Gabriel's In Your Eyes which just goes to prove that a good song can go a long way.
    Photo credit: Thecoveted
  • The Lost Boys 24 of 27
    The Lost Boys
    Words to live by - "Don't ever invite a vampire into your house, you silly boy. It renders you powerless."
    Photo credit: Everythingaction
  • National Lampoon’s Vacation 25 of 27
    National Lampoon's Vacation
    Don't eat the sandwich from the picnic basket if it's wet.
    Photo credit: Bam
  • The Karate Kid 26 of 27
    The Karate Kid
    Man who catch fly with chopstick accomplish anything. AKA: patience and perseverance are good!
    Photo credit: Amomentwithmorris
  • The Princess Bride 27 of 27
    The Princess Bride
    "As you wish" means "I love you" and with true love, anything is possible (even surviving in the fire swamp).
    Photo credit: Uk.mobi

Want to read more from Dawn? Get her books Because I Said So (and other tales from a less-than-perfect parent) and You’ll Lose the Baby Weight (and other lies about pregnancy and childbirth) here!

If you liked this, here are some more favorites from Dawn.

Top Ten Things to do Before the World Ends

A Walk Down Main Street, USA

How I Stopped the Cockroach that Nearly ate my Face Off

Why my Smoke Detector is in my Backyard

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