The Universal 80's Movie Drinking Game

There were many bad movies made in the 80's. One of the few ways to make these films entertaining is to become really drunk while watching them. A popular way to do that is with a drinking game based on the movie itself. But there are far too many of these movies to create a unique game for each one, and who could remember all the rules even if you did?

We have the answer: the Universal 80's Movie Drinking Game. As the 80's was also the era of the Top Ten list, we present ten simple to remember rules (with associated mnemonic names) that are guaranteed to keep you drinking regularly during any movie made in that decade.

1. The Tina Turner/MC Hammer
Drink whenever you see a hairstyle or clothing popularized during the 80's and abandoned by anyone with taste afterward.
Samples: women with big hair or "ka-bangs", men with mullets, parachute pants, leg warmers, torn t-shorts, acid-washed jeans, Izod logos, shirts with the collars turned up.

2. The Tron Rule
Drink whenver you see cheesy special effects have since been modernized by computer graphics or actual talent.
Samples: Jerky stop-motion photography, hand painted glow effects, bad prosthetic monster faces, computer graphics you could outdraw on a Playstation now.

3. The Reagan Rule
Drink whenever you reference is made to a now obsolete political entity or distinction.
Samples: the Cold War or the evil Russians, East/West Germany divided by the Berlin Wall, any country that doesn't exist anymore.

4. The Cola Rule
Drink whenever you see a brand or company that has changed their logo or otherwise altered/ceased their business since the 80's.
Samples: the original Coke and Pepsi Logos, Apple's rainbow logo
Bonus chug: you see Prince before he changed his name to a logo.

5. The Molly Ringwald/Nicolas Cage Rule
Drink whenever you see someone who was a monster star in the 80's but whose last film anyone cared about was over a decade ago. Conversely, drink when you see someone who is a big star now but was barely known at the time.

6. The Schwarzenegger/Valley Girl Rule
Drink whenever you hear a character utter a phrase that's now considered a catch-phrase reference to that character. Similarly, drink when you hear era lingo no one would ever say now.
Samples: "I'll be back", "fer sure".
Bonus Chug: if it's actually a recognized physical movement you could do as a reference instead of a phrase
Chug samples: the Crane kick in Karate Kid, pulling the overhead chain to release the water in Flashdance

7. The Lethal Weapon Rule
Drink whenever there is witty banter between co-protagonists or partners at an inappropriate point in the movie, typically when someone is trying to kill them.
Bonus chug: if one of them actually dies as a result

8. The Madonna/La Bamba Rule
When you see a musician, comedian, or similar crossover performer appearing in a movie, drink whenever they act so poorly that it makes you wince. Similarly, drink any time an actor badly portrays a musician/comedian in the film.
Bonus chug: when you see actors who have successfully crossed over to a career in politics.

9. The Rocky IV rule
Chug for the entirety of any training montage that features cut scenes set to music.

10. The Ghostbusters rule
Chug when hearing songs from the film soundtrack that were just as popular on the radio as the movie was in the theaters

Seven Deadly Films

For those who'd like the fast track to learning this game, we suggest the following films as examples to quickly school you in its nuances. You may need an extra fist or three to keep up.

Three fisted drinking moment: Dancing montage, legwarmers, and big radio hit. You'll be a Maniac at night by the time you're done drinking through this one.

The Karate Kid
Three fisted drinking moment: Training montage featuring classic wax-on/wax-off and Crane, all done by long lost actor Ralph Macchio. Kick to the liver.

Four fisted drinking moment: Crossover Wrestling star Jesse Ventura and crossover body builder Ahnold, both now Senators, exchange painful "witty" banter while under fire.

Purple Rain
Four fisted drinking moment: Crossover musician turned actor Prince, before his name was a logo, acts badly over one of his radio hits. And look at that hair. I would drink 4 you.

Rocky IV
Four fisted drinking moment: Training montage that simultaneously comments on the Cold War while showing us now B-list Dolph Lundgren and Bridgitte Nielsen. Turn your liver into a punching bag.

Valley Girl
Four fisted drinking moment: Anytime we see Nicolas Cage, in his first big role, while hearing some classic Valley speak and looking at obviously period-only clothes and hair. Gag me with some shots.

Five fisted drinking moment: Relative unknown actor Kevin Bacon acting like he's a dancer during a training montage with period clothes and hair, all set to radio hit. You might as well get a funnel ready before it starts.


This guide was inspired mostly by beer at Baltimore PubNight

We acknowledge being influenced by the geniuses that created The Chuck Norris Top 30 and The Ruthless Guide to 80's Action

V1.1 1/11/2006

Baltimore Home